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    Global Warming Skeptics Conserve Energy As Much As Believers
    By Hank Campbell | April 22nd 2011 07:22 PM | 12 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    You might think that those who are skeptical (or downright intransigent) on a CO2 basis for global warming are bigger wasters of energy or greater polluters than those who accept climate science.

    Not so.   Skeptics are just as green.   Their reasons may simply be different.

    In 2008, Ed Maibach and colleagues did a survey (Who's 'Greener', Democrats Or Republicans?) and found that percentages of people concerned about our climate future to varying degrees were about what you would expect; on the fringes were outright deniers that pollution could be bad on one side and on the other side were people who believe anything advocacy groups like Union of Concerned Scientists tell them.   In the middle were varying levels of skepticism and acceptance and that has likely gone up and down as issues like ClimateGate (and UN claims about 50 million people in a global warming Exodus by 2010) came to the fore or new studies showing melting ice came around.

    So why wouldn't skeptics be less environmentally considerate?   As discussed in Were Republicans Smart All Along? They Accept Climate Change But Not Global Warming disbelieving a CO2 basis for global warming does not mean lack of concern about the environment, it's more that climate scientists and journalists chose to become cheerleaders for global warming - and that was never going to win hearts and minds when it came to good policy decisions.    Skeptics still care, they just aren't convinced the other side is caring about the right thing.

    Stephanie Pappas at LiveScience recently caught up with Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale University Project on Climate Change, who helped with the 2008 survey, and he noted all of the groups, from outright skeptics to true believers, conserved energy at the same rates.

    "The dismissive are conserving energy and saving energy as much as anyone else," Leiserowitz told LiveScience.  "It's about thrift, conservation.   These are core American values."

    Why?  To some, conserving energy is saving money, to some, it is dislike of OPEC dictators who control much of the oil supply.   It doesn't matter why, the fact is they do it.   Insisting that people not only act the right way but truly believe is religion, not public policy, so doing the right thing is good enough.

    Environmental advocacy groups have shrilly insisted they are being outspent and that is why they have lost ground publicly.  That was never true, not even close, but it brought in donations because activists wanted to believe it, much like they want to believe they're the only ones who conserve energy or care about nature.    Matthew Nisbet, associate professor of communication at American University in Washington DC but more famous here for his staunch advocacy of framing science (cynical opposition to our belief that people out there are smart, they just don't like being deceived or manipulated) did a study and showed that not only were advocacy groups not outspent, even the more generous agreement to accept environmental group statements for how much they spent on global warming ad campaigns was well beyond what detractors were able to mobilize.

    Instead of lamenting a money cause for skepticism, the onus is back on climate science to rein in silly kooks who think they are trying to help and become trusted guides for the public once again.   But, no, the commentary on Nisbet's work from the usual suspects is that it wasn't peer-reviewed (it's an analysis of money spent - yet the Himalayas are melting passed IPCC 'peer review' just fine, even though it was a comment from a magazine article printed as fact) while Joseph Romm of ClimateProgress.org panics and claims opponents of climate legislation outspent environmentalists 8 to 1 and thinks that because other true believers also don't like  Nisbet's analysis it must be flawed.   Logical fallacies make lousy science.

    I'm not a big fan of his framing stance but Nisbet is right on this one.  Because climate change is an issue that impacts all of us, it has to be acted on by all of us.    So why people use less energy or tackle charge is basically irrelevant - stopping terrorism, saving money, caring about Sierra Club - what is important is that they do.

    Comments

    Court Action Will Come Sooner Than Later:
    There is now a solid grass roots effort by the masses of former climate change believers to have the leading scientists and leading news editors subjected to criminal charges for knowingly sustaining the false CO2 death threats to billions of children for the last 25 years of the climate blame mistake.
    Scientists made environmental protection necessary in the first place when they supposedly polluted the planet with their evil chemicals and cancer causing pesticides and so how ironic is it that we bowed like fools to our Gods of science for 25 years of “unstoppable warming”?
    Scientists are not gods and don’t forget that scientists also produced cruise missiles, cancer causing chemicals, land mine technology, nuclear weapons, germ warfare, cluster bombs, strip mining technology, Y2K, Y2Kyoto, deep sea drilling technology and now climate control. Proof of consensus not being real is the fact that scientists did not march in the streets when IPCC funding was pulled, the EPA was castrated and Obama’s not even mentioning the “crisis” in his state of the union speech. Consensus was a myth because if it were true, the consensus scientists declaring a climate emergency would act like it was an emergency and demand their CO2 mitigation be taken seriously. We believed a handful of lab coat consultants who said we could CONTROL the planet’s temperature and prevent it from boiling. Pure insanity as history will call this modern day witch burning. The new denier is anyone still believing voters will vote YES to taxing the air to make the weather colder. Not going to happen.
    REAL planet lovers don't hold scientists as Gods and bow to politicians promising to make lower the seas and scare kids with such doomsday glee.

    Stay tuned. We missed getting Bush for his false war and a wave of former believer rage will get this one right. Call the courthouse.

    No mass movement? 350.org is a worldwide movement! 10,000 young folks went to Washington DC this weekend to protest for action to stop Global Warming.
    Why do you folks in denial keep throwing the stolen emails up for fodder. Three (3) INDEPENDENT peer reviews found no fudging with the data!
    Tell the folks in Pakinstan or Russia or Australia about all is well and they do not need to move!
    I don't know, you deniers are in your own little cubicle shell, sad.

    Please note that prominent left wing intellectuals are starting to jump ship:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n92YenWfz0Y

    Please note too that actual thermometer records that carry back long enough (350 years!) to establish a historical trend show NO SIGN WHATSOEVER OF TREND CHANGE in the modern high emissions era:

    http://i49.tinypic.com/rc93fa.jpg

    Please not that not even the global average shows a trend change before vs. after the big postwar boost in emissions:

    http://i49.tinypic.com/2mpg0tz.jpg

    And of course note that The Sky is Falling doomsday cultism is quite popular with psychopaths:

    http://oi56.tinypic.com/zs39s.jpg

    And perhaps note as well, if you are not closed minded, that sea levels have DECELERATED in rate of post-Ice Age melting:

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/romanm_slensemble_ann...

    And finally remember that the number of proxy studies of temperature that form hockey sticks is DWARFED by the number which show a warm Roman and medieval eras including this latest one:

    http://notrickszone.com/2011/02/14/from-hockey-stick-to-boomerangs/

    "Please note too that actual thermometer records that carry back long enough (350 years!)"

    Wow. Global thermometer records stretching back prior to the development of accurate temperature scales. That really IS impressive.

    Hank
    If we're going to be fair, accurate measurements do not exist before 1980 but no one in UCS ever mentions that when they are raising money talking about hockey sticks.  Obviously 350 years is silly but so is 100 when we are talking about actual accuracy and a half degree of change.
    All this discussion is a waste of energy. Why can't the true believers understand that in the greenhouse effect, it is required that an energy photon be absorbed by a greenhouse gas, AND that every night the reduction in photons results in a reduction in temperature (there are fewer GHGs involved thus there is excess unused GHGs in the air even though more CO2 is emitted at the same time. This means that it is the amount of energy that dictates the warming, AND man can not control the amount of energy. Mother Nature does. MAn can't control the weather or the climate. Stop wasting money trying.

    Thanks for this post. I myself invested about $40,000 to bring my house to Kyoto standards, I walk to work, I eat locally and I compost but I am a conservative and do not believe that humans can change the Earth's climate. I do this because I know we passed peak oil in 2005 and are now facing peak gas. And I also worry about the political impact of sending my money to OPEC countries.

    Right on! Just as someone's motives are irrelevant if they do the wrong thing (it's still wrong), it's irrelevant why people do the right thing (it's still right). What's important is getting people to change their ways by, e.g., using less fossil fuel energy.
    That said, the evidence of global warming goes far beyond the temperature record that extends back to only 1850 or 1880. Sea levels are rising and at an accelerating rate, ice fields and glaciers are melting, arctic tundra is melting and arctic sea ice is thinning, atmospheric humidity is rising, the habitats of many species of flora and fauna are moving to cooler areas (north or to higher elevations), some plant species are blooming earlier each decade, and so on.
    If we consult only scientists who have genuine expertise in climate science and related fields, and bona-fide scientific organizations rather than journalists, politicians, liberal or conservative think-tanks and other non-experts (which seems eminently sensible), ALMOST all experts say the weight of the available scientific evidence makes it highly PROBABLE that our greenhouse gas emissions are going to pretty bad effects on human interests.
    For reliable info, I recommend the following.
    The Royal Society (UK) October 2010 pamphlet on climate science, available at
    http://royalsociety.org/climate-change-summary-of-science/
    The National Academies of Sciences summary of three key reports from 2010
    http://dels.nas.edu/materials/booklets/warming-world
    and NASA's climate change page
    http://climate.nasa.gov/

    Non-belivers or not, governments could have the power to change the furture of our world with the use of : Taxes, fiscal credits, education and laws.

    Since the beginning of the humanity, there is a sole way to be understood : $

    I work as a gardener. I love nature. Nurturing plants and is what I do. I don't own a car. I live in a miniscule cottage. I don't have central heating. I recycle. I check the shower every day before I use it to make sure there are no little bugs in there that will get flushed down the drain. If there are, I carefully remove them. I nudge all the spiders' webs in the cottage with a duster before I do the vacuuming, so the spiders leave the web and I don't suck them into the bag. All-in-all, when I die I'm destined for Greenie Heaven, where we shall all sing "Kum bay ya, my Lord" while eating hummus until the end of time.

    But I'm a sceptic when it comes to CAGW. Because second rate science is second rate science.

    If Al Gore was a thousand times more attuned to Green issues than I am, he'd still have a bigger carbon footprint than I do. Unless he sells the houses, the cars, and stops jetting around the world. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

    keesp
    Over here in the Netherlands, conservative or liberal ideas on global warming tend to be submissive to the good 'ole nimby syndrome...we're not republicans or democrats...we're nimbies...
    Keesp
    Hank
    In defense of Dutch culture, though, you love Twitter.  And something called Hyves.
    Okay, that is not much of a defense.

    Well, you are all very tall and speak a lot of languages...so you have that going for you.