“The Truth is Out There.” Or maybe not.
Conspiracy theories about climate change are widespread. They cover a wide range, but the theme is generally that the world is run by some elite that is secretly using climate change as an excuse to take over the world. My favorite conspiracy theory is that the world is run by the Lizard People, evil reptiles …CONTINUE READING
Of all the states in play, the Wisconsin race may have the sharpest contrast between view on climate change.
Wisconsin has been a swing state in recent presidential elections. The Senate race there could help determine control of the Senate. The incumbent Republican is a climate change denier. The challenge highlights his support for climate action. Ron Johnson (R). Johnson, the incumbent, has a 7% lifetime LCV score, meaning he voted against the environment …CONTINUE READING
Decades ago, industry scientists fought to get their bosses to pay attention to climate change.
Decades ago, their own scientists told car companies and oil companies about climate change, information the companies chose to ignore. The scientists were voices crying out in the corporate wilderness. Sadly, they were ignored at the time, but companies are starting to pay the price for that in lawsuits. Those scientists advocated for the truth, …CONTINUE READING
Anti-vaxxers and climate deniers are abandoning America’s founding values.
Ironically, those who most trumpet their allegiance to the Founders often have least in common with their values. The Founding Fathers were men of the Enlightenment. They shared a belief that reason, free inquiry, and science would better the human condition. They looked to reason as a guide. They sought, in Jefferson’s words, to expunge …CONTINUE READING
Debate about climate policy is often distorted by misconceptions.
In this post, I want to talk about some of the ideas that make it hard to have sensible discussions about climate policy. I don’t mean outright climate denial. Instead, I’m talking about less blatant misconceptions that keep many people from thinking seriously about cutting carbon emissions. Myth #1. EPA climate rules are a regulatory …CONTINUE READING
Evident-Resistant Reasoning DIsorder can strike without warning.
A stubborn disagreement. A misguided tweet or facebook post. A lame remark. Those things can be normal behaviors. But they could be signs of something much more serious: a syndrome called Evidence-Resistant Reasoning Disorder or ERRD-16. This disorder has expanded explosively since a mutated form was introduced by a super-spreader in 2016. This super-spreader is …CONTINUE READING
There’s a common theme: “nothing to worry about, folks.”
It’s interesting to see what conservative think tanks are saying about the coronavirus and compare it with their views on climate change. There are some common themes — both problems tend to get downplayed, along with any possible need for major government action. Like Trump himself, the conservative think tanks seem unable to process scientific …CONTINUE READING
It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to move on.
Dear Denialist, I’ve addressed you from time to time on this blog, in the hope of persuading you to consider the evidence. To tell the truth, I have no way of knowing whether you are a hack fronting for an oil company, an operative somewhere in Russia or Eastern Europe, or even some kind of …CONTINUE READING
Public opinion on an issue like climate change can sometimes flip quickly. Here’s why.
You might think that the public’s view of an issue – climate change for instance – would evolve continuously as events occur and information becomes available. That often may be the case, but sometimes public opinion can change relatively quickly. A prime example is the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, which went from being a weird, …CONTINUE READING
Originally, an April Fool was someone who didn’t realize the times are changing.
April Fool’s jokes are a curious tradition, and I started to wonder where this custom came from. The origins of April Fool’s Day aren’t known with certainty, but there’s reason to connect it with blindness to change. In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. This meant that the year began …CONTINUE READING