I will happily admit, the next several posts over the next several days constitute me trying to play some amount of catch-up with my ever-burgeoning Firefox tabs and RSS feeds. I’m trying to post a bunch of days ahead of time, too, so I might be reporting on some older stuff. But I’ll try to keep it fresh and relevant with my opinionation. Apologies if we’re covering ground you’ve already covered, you savvy and avid reader you.
Via Peter Sinclair’s excellent Climate Denial Crock of the Week, this story from USA Today explores the ramifications of a study about how people react to global warming policy when having been exposed to examples of the kind of extreme weather event that climate realists have been warning of for decades.
[A] new study finds that people who have endured extreme weather events are more likely to support environmental legislation, even if it means restricting individual freedoms.
The study was led by Ann Owen, a professor of economics at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.
Additionally, the authors write in the study that “our results are consistent with the idea that experiencing extreme weather causes individuals to become more aware of the issue of global warming, and increases their perception of the risk of global warming.”
Although the survey focused mainly on heat waves and droughts, and was conducted in the summer, Owen says their findings can be extrapolated to any type of severe weather event, including blizzards and tropical storms.
So, potentially, study authors report that weather disasters may hurt conservative candidates more than liberal candidates, because of their positions on environmental policy.
Also interesting are the study’s other findings:
- People who believe that global warming is an important issue are more willing to support regulation that might restrict individual freedom.
- People who consult more news sources and environmentalists are less likely to have their attitudes toward global warming changed by current weather conditions.
- Experiencing extreme weather has the greatest impact on respondents who are less aware or knowledgeable about global warming.
I can’t help but think this is just the sort of effect you’re gambling with when you take a stance that is demonstrably contra-reality. Since the political right has aligned itself against the very idea that the globe might actually be warming, and that even if there was we might actually be responsible, when people see evidence — visceral, first-hand evidence — of that fact, in the extreme weather predicted by climate realists for, as I’ve said, decades, they are going to react in kind. And “in kind” means “against the people who are denying the truth which is plain as day even to the common rabble”. You’re just going to lose support for your contradictory ideas when they’re shown to be wrong. It should be obvious.
If you want to make a political party predicated on the idea that the moon is made of green cheese, as soon as someone lands on there and determines it is not in fact made of any dairy product whatsoever, you’re going to lose a lot of clout — everything else you say is going to sound like just another lie. Of course, there will always be those hangers-on to the old philosophy, for whom evidence is not evidence enough, but that way lies delusion predicated on hyper-skepticism. That way lies, in other words, madness.
That’s what we’re fighting here, primarily, in the skeptic community, isn’t it?