In a survey of more than 1,000 readers of websites related to climate change, people who agreed with free market economic principles and endorsed conspiracy theories were more likely to dispute that human-caused climate change was a reality. …
What [researchers] found was remarkable. People who endorsed conspiracy theories such as “9/11 was an inside job” and “the moon landings were faked”, were also more likely to reject established scientific facts about climate change.
The link between endorsing conspiracy theories and rejecting climate science facts suggests that it is the libertarian instinct to stick two fingers up at the mainstream – whatever the issue – that is important. Because a radical libertarian streak is the hallmark of free-market economics, and because free market views are popular on the political right, this is where climate change scepticism is most likely to be found.
The findings also suggest that talk of a 'consensus' on climate change is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, the weight of scientific evidence showing that humans are changing the climate is a powerful argument for taking action to prevent its dangerous effects. But the very notion of consensual agreement is also a red flag to libertarians, who distrust statements about consensus on principle.
Embedded below, if I have mastered the custom Power Line formatting, is a stunning five-minute video of Berkeley physicist Richard Muller shredding the infamous climate “hockey stick” that is making the rounds widely on the Internet....
..in the aftermath of Climategate, Muller is “going big” you might say. Watch this and you’ll see what I mean, especially his summary phrase, “You’re not allowed to do this in science.” Muller is not just tenured, but is late in his career, so feels free to speak out, unlike younger academics who don’t dare cross the Climate McCarthyism of the universities. More importantly, Muller is heading up the new Berkeley Earth Temperature Study, which will review and analyze all of the data on this subject starting from scratch. Unlike the Climategate cabal in Britain and in our NASA, the Berkeley group will share its data with all comers. Keep your eye on this; it will take time–years more than months probably–but may prove to be the thread that unravels the main prop of the climate campaign.
But just how much of a “skeptic” was Muller? Here’s the opening from his 2008 interview with Grist.org... Sounds pretty close to the “consensus” party line to me, and as such today’s Times op-ed does not represent a fundamentally new position for Muller at all. (I’m wondering whether a Times editor pressured him to use the “total turnaround” language.) Actually, Muller has always been among the group of folks known as “lukewarmers"...
This map shows the maximum wet-bulb temperatures reached in a climate model from a high carbon dioxide emissions future climate scenario with a global-mean temperature 12 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than 2007. The white land areas exceed the wet-bulb limit at which researchers calculated humans would experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress.
The researchers calculated that humans and most mammals, which have internal body temperatures near 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, will experience a potentially lethal level of heat stress at wet-bulb temperature above 95 degrees sustained for six hours or more, said Matthew Huber, the Purdue professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who co-authored the paper that is currently available online and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Although areas of the world regularly see temperatures above 100 degrees, really high wet-bulb temperatures are rare," Huber said. "This is because the hottest areas normally have low humidity, like the 'dry heat' referred to in Arizona. When it is dry, we are able to cool our bodies through perspiration and can remain fairly comfortable. The highest wet-bulb temperatures ever recorded were in places like Saudi Arabia near the coast where winds occasionally bring extremely hot, humid ocean air over hot land leading to unbearably stifling conditions, which fortunately are short-lived today."
The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.
These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small.
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