I´ve been asked to comment on the “fact” that college educated Republicans tend to be “climate deniers” who ignore “facts” as expressed by “the scientific consensus”. This short course is a comment on this point, with emphasis on teaching the reader about something called "data".
This short course is intended to clarify some points
The request included a link to “The Ugly Delusions of the Educated Conservative” by Chris Mooney in Salon.com (see link below). The article subtitle:
“Better-educated Republicans are more likely to doubt global warming and believe Obama's a Muslim. Here's why”.
I´m not “Conservative”, nor “Republican”. And I´m not a Democrat either. This makes me an excellent arbiter when it comes to their cat fights. In this short course I will ignore the remark about President Obama being a Muslim (he´s probably agnostic like me and faked being Christian to get elected).
Quoting from the article:
..”the rapidly growing social scientific literature on the resistance to global warming (see for examples here and here) says so pretty unequivocally. Again and again, Republicans or conservatives who say they know more about the topic, or are more educated, are shown to be more in denial, and often more sure of themselves as well—and are confident they don’t need any more information on the issue.”
The first here in this paragraph goes to a Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire website. It doesn´t show anything related to global warming, climate change, or related subjects. The Second here goes to a paper by Malka et al 2009, “The Association of Knowledge with Concern About Global Warming: Trusted Information Sources Shape Public Thinking” (see link below). The Malka et al paper has a flaw: it´s based on population surveys, and these were limited to asking people about “climate change”. Most of it is garbage and it doesn´t back anything.
People like Malka et al aren´t climate scientists, they are social scientists who can´t tell a thermometer from a glass straw. This renders them completely unable to understand the real problem isn´t whether to believe in global warming (or “climate change” if you wish). The real deal is whether we hairless chimps are to blame for ALL or MOST of the climate change that´s going on.
If you happen to be relying on articles in Salon.com written by “progressives” you do have a serious problem in your hands. Most of these articles are feeding preconceived notions (any "conservatives" reading this should stop grinning, because the same applies to Fox et al).
All of these sources lay out their bullshit like a school cafeteria worker puts shit on a shingle (for non Americans that´s an awful mix of hamburger meat with an unspeakable white sauce we get in High School cafeterias in the USA).
So you got a choice, either eat that shit without knowing what´s in it, or you go home, and make yourself a decent lunch made with properly labeled imitation cheese and corn syrup coated baloney. Modern life is hell, isn´t it?
Conversely to the junk you get watching Fox and MSNBC, or reading your favorite hyper polarized webzine, in this short course you will be receiving the raw data straight up. I live in Europe, so I´m going to show you the temperature record we get from an European agency website. Before you start looking at these graphs, please go get a ruler from the drawer (it´s under the Pizza coupons)....Now let´s look at some graphs. First the temperature anomaly record, to which I stuck the CO2 record for a reference.
The graph above shows the temperature anomaly, in degrees C.
If you want to think in Farenheit multiply by 5/9ths). The CO2
content labels are mine. The record is shown in larger format below.
Stare at it for a while. And if you want to get serious grab the ruler and measure slopes, values, or whatever else you can think of.
Now let´s look at the CO2 record. This is an old graph, right now CO2 is being measured at 400 ppm in Mauna Loa. The northern hemisphere usually has more CO2 (it has more land, termites, cattle, rice paddies and people).
The graph above shows the CO2 record, in ppm.
This section is called “Stare at the Graphs”. I could try to bias you by pointing out the way the temperature moves up and down, up, stabilizes, and so on. But that´s not the point. The point is that data exists. It shows there´s a gradual warming tendency. We also know the bulk of the CO2 atmospheric concentration increase is caused by us.
But there´s some doubt regarding the attribution of all the ongoing warming to CO2. Because the bulk of the increase in CO2 concentration is caused by us, the temperature increase we are causing is called ANTHROPOGENIC Global Warming.
Feel free to grab more rulers, download the data and stick it in a spreadsheet, and play around with it. This isn´t intended to brainwash you. It´s intended to make you think.
It´s reasonable to conclude the Salon.com author doesn´t get it. The deal isn´t really global warming, the deal is whether we cause ALL of it, or part of it, and if so, what part of it do we cause. And if we cause some of it, what can we do about it. And as long as social scientists and pollsters keep asking the wrong questions their conclusions will be mostly garbage. This means most social scientists engaged in writing articles and papers discussing how the other side is full of ignorant people are pissing upwind.
Note: Most “progressives” get really lost on the “what can we do about it” part. Not being properly educated in the engineering and economic issues which impact how one looks at renewables, they tend to fall for the biggest crocks of shit one can imagine (or they reveal their watermelon nature and argue only communism can solve global warming).
Wind Turbines (this photograph is intended to bias you)
I think this is a bigger problem than whether global warming exists or not. And this problem can´t be fixed if people keep getting shit on shingle and think it´s real beef. This will be discussed in my “Electric Power Generation 101 Short Course”.
The Ugly Delusions of the Educated Conservative
Malka et al 2009