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« Beddington on tipping points | Main | David King has the answer - central planning and more spending »
Monday
Jun182012

Potty-mouthed Nature

Here is an extraordinary example of the depths to which academic journals are willing to go in support of the great green cause.

Count how many times Bain et al use the "d-word" in their paper on attitudes towards AGW - it certainly looks as if the authors intended to generate offence and controversy rather than truth and light. Hilariously, the authors are writing about how to convert people to the green cause!

I think it's pretty interesting that the editors have decided to give their backing to this kind of thing. One almost wonders if they are struggling for readers and need to try to get some attention. Of course it has long been clear that Nature has been so corrupted by greenery as to put a question mark over all of its output. This latest paper is just confirmation of what we already knew.

(As ever, do not respond in kind)

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Reader Comments (147)

Does this mean that Prince Charles and Nature are being fed the same talking points?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/g20-summit/9338099/Rio-20-Prince-Charles-warning-on-climate-change.html

Jun 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

As I read Bain's letter to Nature Climate Change, two thoughts came to mind. First, I thought I was reading a 'marketing presentation' on how to sell toothpaste while avoiding any discussion of the properties of the toothpaste. Second, the paper seemed to be addressing the question:

If doing "X" increases your perception that you are a "good guy", would you do "X"?

Duh! Maybe people who sell toothpaste should get paid for this kind of research, university professors shouldn't.

Jun 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterReed Coray

Hey Frank! I've missed you. Remember this?

"While I realise this is pointless, you might actually try reading the Gergis paper to see what was actually done before getting on your high horse.
[...]
So first they only looked for proxies that track *detrended* temperature changes over the calibration interval - so they aren't selecting for trends at all, and all of the verification is based on getting a higher skill than using AR1 noise - exactly the issue you are accusing them of ignoring.
But hey, any reason to bash an inconvenient scientist right?"

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/6/1/joelle-gergis-talks-up-her-results.html

You seemed to disappear shortly after that for some reason, so it's good to see you back.

Jun 18, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

@ Jay Currie

The scariest thing about this "paper" is that people were actually paid to write it.

Why on earth do you say that? Authors of papers in academic journals are not normally paid for them. They may earn modest royalties from books but typically the only reward they get from journal articles is in terms of professional prestige, which may lead to promotion eventually.

Jun 18, 2012 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Jun 18, 2012 at 6:27 PM Roy

The scariest thing about this "paper" is that people were actually paid to write it.

Why on earth do you say that? Authors of papers in academic journals are not normally paid for them. They may earn modest royalties from books but typically the only reward they get from journal articles is in terms of professional prestige, which may lead to promotion eventually.

Come on Roy. Writing papers and getting them published is what university academic staff are paid to do - along with a bit of teaching and a bit of administration.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The AGW faithful seem to be inching their way towards a decisive, even final solution to the problem of those wicked denialist subhuman industry schill scum.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Roy
re: "Authors of papers in academic journals are not normally paid for them"

Please, that's a quibble. Anyone who is in a full-time academic appointment is paid to publish such articles as a condition of promotion and tenure. Once tenured such publication is still a huge part of the "game" of increasing promotions and salary. They are paid for the body of work even if not on a piece-rate scale. Few academics are in the classroom more than handful of hours per week. The rest is research and publishing for a full-time salary. [yes, and time for classroom preparation and office hours and committee work. etc., at least for those who are conscientious about doing such things well, I know the drill]

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Barbara said "I'm a bit confused by option (3): Denied the climate was changing."

Good point - if one was to compare the Earth's climate to say Jupiter and Venus, I think you would conclude that our climate is extremely stable within pretty tight limits. So I guess it doesn't change.

Jun 18, 2012 at 5:38 PM | steveta

Little bit of your false logic. The action of change is not defined by the amount. A little change is still a change. However, if you apply what you believe is a significant force for change in a system and it changes only a little then you could justifiable state that this system is insensitive to the force which you applied. (CO² anyone)

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

This paper really makes me cringe.

Neither "Belief" nor "Denial" have any place in a subject that relies on scientific evidence, and continual testing and review of that evidence. It should be about being either convinced or not convinced by the evidence.

"Denier" is highly-charged word, and even if the evidence is strong, using the word "denier" for someone who is not convinced is deeply unsettling.

"Believer" makes being convinced by the evidence for AGW sound like a religion, which it isn't.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Richard Betts

Convinced is also not really adequate either, IMHO. It's TO KNOW. As in know this is true because I have this mathematical proof in front of me which I cannot fault, yet, but I will continue to try. Oh boy is AGW a long long way from that.

It's more like, I have adjusted these data to make them fit my beliefs and I call it HadCru4. It's better than the last rubbish because it matches much better my beliefs.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Other issues apart, the first part of the paper (study 1) seems to be a case of selecting on the dependent variable (a statistical mistake that we've been warned about recently).

In study 1, the authors screened out the ‘believers’ and only asked the 'deniers' to complete the survey. So the correlations in Table 2 only reflect their 'denier' population. There’s no control group. So this part of the study is meaningless as far as identifying characteristics of 'deniers' goes. But it serves the authors' purpose in suggesting how 'deniers' behaviour might be changed.

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:37 PM | Registered CommenterDR

Notice they are crying out for advertizing but they dont seem to have any
The Guardian will tell you that The Green Consumer is a big money spinner

Agree with them or not
Negativity dosent ring any bells with the public
Just turns people away to something more cheerfull and uplifting
Much as we hate the Smug Gaurdian it still covers Celebrity Culture Showbiz and Sport
Even for Skeptics the Guardian is still a must read (much as we disagree with it)
Something their proprieters should mention to them

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

CommenterBarbara : I'm a bit confused by option (3): Denied the climate was changing.

Changing from something which always has changed (i.e. ceasing to change)?
Bit difficult to know whether to say yes or no to that one, tbh.

And here we see why the PR department moved from "global warming" to "climate change". Warming - well that's a change. Cooling - well that's a change. Flat lining - certainly a change.

In the end there is but one way CO2 can impact climate - (global) warming. No warming, no impact.

Psychologists everywhere may disagree but then again, if the carbon funding trough runs dry, they may have to go out and get real jobs. Seriously - if you want to confuse a babbling Psychologist just ask about climate sensitivity to CO2 - thousand yard stare. Clueless parasites. Don't get me wrong, they are not stupid, these people certainly recognise a "government gravy train" when they see one.

Had to laugh at the latest Bob Tisdale post at WUWT - Warming (ocean up-welling) will occur well after Rio and too late for inclusion in AR5. It seems they just can't get a break these day's (no sniggering at the back there in the cheap seats)

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

James Evans
On the other hand, I'm still waiting for Frank to explain to me exactly what it is I'm "denying".
That was five hours ago but it's OK, I'm not holding my breath!

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"Well I read the article and the even worse PDF at the bottom and all I can say is Orwell wrote a book about these kinda people but the scariest part is they don't realise they are the ones applying the rat helmet...."--Shevva

Shevva: The same image came to mind as I read the summary. There is no question that the authors are "Believers." Moreover, their faith has elevated them to an intoxicating sort of sanctity, accompanied by a sense of infallibility and exemption from normal human standards. Can some sort of clerical garb be long in coming?

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Richard Betts 'This paper really makes me cringe'.

Good for him, and as a past contributor of a piece in this rabidly tendentious wing of the formerly 'prestige' Nature stable, I hope it stings.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

It is truly wonderful that we now have sanction from the Temple of Nature Climate Change priests, er, editors to refer to CAGW types as "believers".....

That is worth a few slings and arrows of "denier" epithets........

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

@Jun 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM | theduke

"False consciousness" as the Marxists would have it. It is a profoundly nasty approach, and they deserve to be howled down like the mad woman from Oregon State Uni.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

The paper makes the fundamental mistake of assuming "deniers" are anti-environment (and apparently all-round bad guys in all sorts of other ways) just because they aren't convinced by all the hullaballoo about AGW.

Mr Turning Tide and I have replaced conifer plantations with native trees (thousands of native trees) and put up hundreds of bird boxes (and have attracted many species of birds that weren't here before); we grow organic fruit and vegetables; we make our own compost; we recycle everything it's possible to recycle (even though there's no council collection where we live); we work from home (no daily commuting to pollute the atmosphere); we fly rarely (as in approx. once per decade, and that's only to Germany).

If only we weren't guilty of the thought-crime of doubting AGW, we'd be considered paragons of virtue by the "greens".

It's about time the AGW crowd understood that "the environment" doesn't consist exclusively of climate change.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

I mentioned to Richard Betts earlier this week that my view of academics had plummeted as a result of the exposure of this previously hidden world during the Climate Debate. Then right on cue comes this perfect example to prove the point. Jeez, this is the calibre of person who is looking down their nose at the rest of us as not fit to lace their intellectual boots. You couldn't make it up.

How on earth is this sort of study a good use of anybody's resources. Whoever funded this nonsense needs to ask for the money back and the authors need to be turfed out to look for gainful employment elsewhere. I'm sure the world is still short of a binman or two.

Pitiful.
<shakes head in amazement>

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonW

I would be tempted to send this paper to every leading science journal and every national scientific society and invite them to support it a serious contributor to climate science.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterOakwood

The reason the denier word was used in the Guardian was to move the debate to an emotional level. When the big arguments took place, it was clear that the vast majority of science literate individuals were very sceptical about climate models.

What they did was to promote George Monbiot to be (almost) exclusive corporate hatchet man against the deniers. Monbiot is a very angry man. Violence comes as standard.

Jun 18, 2012 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterE Smiff

This paper harks me back to an older one

The Social Simulation of The Public Perceptions of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change

link


This paper uses a dynamic simulation model to situate the role of variables representing environmental processes in the social construction of the issues of climate change and global warming. In effect, it presents a quantitative dynamic simulation model of the social construction of a quasi-reality.

By quasi-reality we mean a reality that thus far is defined by expert knowledge and is surrounded by uncertainty. A description of the model is followed by a demonstration employing a series of climate scenarios.

Clearly there are many potentially serious limitations to the approach we have developed here, including the legitimacy of the postulates and the difficulty of acquiring suitable data for future calibration. However, in the broader context of promoting interdisciplinary efforts (necessary for increasingly geo-physical societal complexities), we hope, none the less, to have offered a demonstration of developing methodological possibilities.

Jun 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

There was way too much to pick out as just personal bias …. but a new term has been coined “environmental citizenship” as opposed to what ?

And the real kicker for this study …… http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/nclimate1532-s1.pdf page 6 of 7 …… only “347 participants” who’s ideology are they really promoting ?

Jun 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterCraigR

a little light relief:

16 June: Gloucestershire Echo: Funny men to fashion it's all about science
Cheltenham Science Festival continues until tomorrow and today you can find out about solar storms and Northern Lights, join DJ Simon Mayo and Itch the Element Hunter to do chemistry in your bedroom. and be in on a recording of BBC Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince...
The grande dame of British fashion Vivienne Westwood talked about her other passion – climate change – while BBC science correspondent David Shukman told anecdotes about the trials of broadcasting live from the Arctic, and consumer waste on Midway Island...
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Funnymen-fashion-s-science/story-16386030-detail/story.html

Jun 19, 2012 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Imagine my frustration when I read about an entry in a journal by Bain, et.al regarding the use of the "d" word.....and find no clear reference to the paper, the journal, the information at all. "d" word is what? I have at least 4 such words starting with "d".
Oh...I'm supposed to speak the jargon and know that it is the journal "Nature"?
Or that I can find the article .....where?

I am sure that the article is a fine example of malfeasance. But compounding the problem by being obtuse and sloppy doesn't help anything at all. "d" word is childish. Not properly referring to the article, journal, edition, page, etc is just sloppy. Stop it. Be a grown up.

Be clear in your reportage, sir.

Jun 19, 2012 at 1:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brunfeldt

The d word is Dung!

The paper was about dung, some of it was statistical dung and some was political dung but dung is what it was from start to finish ^.^

Jun 19, 2012 at 1:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

David Brunfeldt

Is this actually your first hour on the Internet? I think this blog host assumes that people arriving here know what a hyper-link is. You just click on the blue in his first sentence:

"Here is an extraordinary example...."

If you don't know that much you're not going to be able to handle anything else here.... or are you just trolling to make pointless trouble?

Jun 19, 2012 at 2:03 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Skiphil: Anyone who is in a full-time academic appointment is paid to publish such articles as a condition of promotion and tenure. Once tenured such publication is still a huge part of the "game" of increasing promotions and salary. They are paid for the body of work even if not on a piece-rate scale. Few academics are in the classroom more than handful of hours per week. The rest is research and publishing for a full-time salary. [yes, and time for classroom preparation and office hours and committee work. etc., at least for those who are conscientious about doing such things well, I know the drill]
--------------------------------

I can confirm this from firsthand knowledge, being married to one.

Jun 19, 2012 at 2:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

15 years ago I stopped buying and reading magazines like Nature and "Unscientific America". Because I found them increasingly politicized and forwarding radical environmentalists propaganda with the purpose of radicalizing me and my World.

Stop buying and reading that crap and the problem will soon be gone.

Jun 19, 2012 at 6:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

"I mentioned to Richard Betts earlier this week that my view of academics had plummeted as a result of the exposure of this previously hidden world during the Climate Debate. Then right on cue comes this perfect example to prove the point. Jeez, this is the calibre of person who is looking down their nose at the rest of us as not fit to lace their intellectual boots. You couldn't make it up.

How on earth is this sort of study a good use of anybody's resources. Whoever funded this nonsense needs to ask for the money back and the authors need to be turfed out to look for gainful employment elsewhere. I'm sure the world is still short of a binman or two.

Pitiful.
<shakes head in amazement>"

A few days ago I saw an interview on Norwegian NRK with a leftist journalist and the socialist Gro Harlem Bruntland about increasing climate sceptisizm. She claimed that big oil money was financing unscientific climate claims and that climate deniers was the same as TobacoDeniers.

I think that this behavior is widespread in the UNFCCC camp and that when they go after the Man that asks the difficult questions instead of answering the questions it simply means that they have
Lost the scientific debate.

Jun 19, 2012 at 6:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Richard Betts wrote:

This paper really makes me cringe.

Neither "Belief" nor "Denial" have any place in a subject that relies on scientific evidence, and continual testing and review of that evidence. It should be about being either convinced or not convinced by the evidence.

"Denier" is highly-charged word, and even if the evidence is strong, using the word "denier" for someone who is not convinced is deeply unsettling.

"Believer" makes being convinced by the evidence for AGW sound like a religion, which it isn't.

I agree with Richard's whole post except for those last three words.

Jun 19, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

David Brunfeldt
And to follow on from skiphil's comment, the title of this thread is 'Potty mouthed Nature'.
The clue is in the word Nature and the giveaway is the capital 'N'!
"Not properly referring to the article, journal, edition, page link you have been given and understanding that this is a blog and not a university lecture, etc is just sloppy silly. Stop it. Be a grown up."
Now, is there anything useful you would like to add to this debate or should we just treat you like a troll? Either way ...

Jun 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Richard Betts- {"Believer" makes being convinced by the evidence for AGW sound like a religion, which it isn't.}

Bertrand Russell- “Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.”

Bertrand Russell again- “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible”

Jun 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Judith Curry now has a nice post on this.


I view this pretty much as the green equivalent of the unabomber billboard. I find this kind of stuff in a high impact journal to be offensive: what was Nature Climate Change thinking when they published this?

Somebody needs to research the sociology and psychology of people that insist that anyone that does not accept AGW as a rationale for massive CO2 mitigation efforts is a “denier.”

Jun 19, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

With respect to "denier" (and psychology: respectively to these two recent posts here (http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/6/15/geoff-chambers-talks-to-adam-corner.html and http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/6/18/potty-mouthed-nature.html)), I don't know were the following video fits better (it is probably hard to watch the entire video (...although--after the first time watching this video--M. Mann seems to me w.r.t the other panelists to be comparatively reason-/likeable...)):

"Changing the Moral Climate on Climate Change" (see especially the part of Janet Swim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=41m21s).

The info-box of the YouTube video reads (my emphasis):

"A free presentation given on April 30, 2012 at 101 Thomas Bldg. on Penn State's University Park Campus to a live audience. Panelists' names listed below with links to each presentation.

FROM THE FLYER:

'There's a difference between skepticism and deception.

We take on climate change, justice, psychology, and the need for PSU [Penn State University] to take on climate change and combat climate change denial to defend democracy.

>>If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.<< -- Thomas Jefferson'

INDIVIDUAL PANELISTS & LINKS FOR PRESENTATIONS:

Dr. (Juris) Donald Brown
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=4m58s

Peter Buckland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=25m25s

Dr. Janet Swim
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=41m21s

Dr. Rick Schuhman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=57m13s

Dr. Michael Mann
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=82m28s

Audience Q & A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j1AIQwfWts#t=112m55s

PENN STATE SPONSORS:
Science, Technology and Society Program, Center for Sustainability, Campus Sustainability Office, Rock Ethics Institute, Natural Resources and Environment Program, Sustainable Agriculture Club, Sustainability Now Radio

ADDITIONAL SPONSORS:
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, Sierra Club Moshannon, Sierra Club Pennsylvania, Sierra Club Moshannon, National Wildlife Federation, Voices of Central PA, PennEnvironment, PennFUTURE, Juniata Valley Audobon Society, Centre County Democrats, Interfaith Coalition on the Environment, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, Pennsylvanians for Clean Air and Water, Elk County C.A.R.E.S., and the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC)."

What does "combat climate change denial" mean? Does it mean that one could think justifiably: if you insult enough/lots of people (with this kind of "shelving" (denial/denier(s))) it is not really an insult anymore? no kind of argumentum ad hominem? not a kind of (workplace) bullying?... And, basically, what do you think is "climate change denial"? Do you know somebody who denies climate change?

W.r.t. "combat climate change denial to defend democracy":
Are those "climate change deniers" dangerous for democracy? If you think so then how many "deniers" are there, and/or who are they? Do the "deniers" have reason(s) to deny respectively do they have the right to "deny" something? Is this kind of group_thinking/name_calling just an obstruction of the (allegedly) so desperately needed discussion?

Jun 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

In view of sunspot activity indicating colder years to come, I am surprised at how many global cooling deniers there are. Are they mentally ill?

Jun 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

Via ABC-Science (18 June 2012, News in Science: "Study suggests how to win over 'deniers'"; http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/06/18/3525363.htm (respectively T. Nelson http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12339127&postID=4376094259776359497)

"While climate change expert Professor Andy Pitman said the [Nature] paper is 'a very useful contribution to the strategy of finding solutions to climate change', University of New South Wales School of Psychology Scientia Professor Joseph Forgas attacked the paper for taking what appeared to be a 'very biased ideological position'.

'It assumes that `denial` only results from `deception, ignorance or misunderstanding` which is a very poor position to take when your objective is to bring about reasoned attitude change,' he says. 'To label those who remain unconvinced by the evidence as `deniers` is reminiscent of the Holy Inquisition.'

'There is no 'true faith' here to be denied, just a valid disagreement about the validity and reliability of the models and the assumptions of climate change research.'

He also questions the strength of the findings saying the first study 'simply shows environmental citizenship intentions were greater where deniers (sic) believed action on climate change would result in people becoming more warm and considerate'.

'Since almost nobody would want people to become less warm and less considerate under any circumstances, these responses seem to simply reflect a strong social desirability element,' he says.

Jun 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

Just to point out, as it seems that it's not clear to all, that Nature and Nature Climate Change are separate journals, though both are published by the Nature Publishing Group. And in calling NCC a high-impact journal Judith Curry is at best a bit premature; as a still relatively young journal it won't have an ISI impact factor until next year.
Someone raised the question of the number of editors on Nature. The work academic editors at such journals do pre-review, during review and post review is vastly more per page than the work typically done on a journalistic magazine. So a weekly journal with high pagination like Nature needs a lot of editors.

Jun 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterOliver Morton

Yes, Oliver, thanks: "published by [the] Nature Publishing Group", a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishers which in turn is owned by the Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group which... .

Jun 20, 2012 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeptember 2011

The lead author Paul Bain has responded at Judith Curry's site:

http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/19/analyzing-people-who-talk-about-agw-denialism/#comment-210808

Jun 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

some more interesting discussion here:

Bain responses discussed on WUWT thread

Jun 21, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9I_byMC9UA

Well i phoned up George Galloway on Talksport one night to discuss the Stewart Dimmock court case challenging the Governments right to show Inconvienient Truth in British schools

And George Galloway got all upset and called me a Denier then cut me off

Jun 21, 2012 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmRh7FiFsNM&skipcontrinter=1

If they knew what a real Denier looks like
I dont think Nature would be quite so quick to label anyone else one

Youtube clip comes with a warning

Good luck England for Sunday

Jun 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

A little odd that Bishop Hill has not updated this post with Paul Bain's response reported in WUWT and elsewhere:

Comments about the use of the “denier” label are a fair criticism. We were focused on the main readership of this journal – climate scientists who read Nature journals, most of whom hold the view that anthropogenic climate change is real. It should also be noted that describing skepticism as denial is a term increasingly used in the social science literature on climate change (e.g. in Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Routledge Handbook of Climate Change and Society), and is used informally by some within the climate science community. So we were using a term that is known, used, and understood in the target audience, but which we thought involved a stronger negative stereotype (e.g. being anti-environmental, contrarian) than skeptic. My thought was this would highlight the contrast with the data, which suggests that you need not believe in AGW to support pro-environmental action, especially when it had certain types of (non-climate) outcomes (demonstrating a non-contrarian position). So in my mind we were ultimately challenging such “denier” stereotypes. But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics. Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term, I regret the negative effects it has had and I intend to use alternative labels in the future.

I can not for a moment imagine the authors were so 'naive' that they "didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics."

It seems the journal Nature, its gatekeepers and a large chunk of audience on either side of the debate have all been Sokaled. Although the author set out to fool Nature, they seem to be surprised by the way skeptics were also fooled.

Memo to Bain et al: you've just caught my eye. I'll be watching you.

Jun 22, 2012 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

"negro" is accepted Italian terminology for people of black skin (my grandpa called me "negro" when I was born, as my skin had an olive-black tint and such it becomes when I stay a couple of weeks in the sun). Dozens of Italian dictionaries mention the word and it has been used for centuries.

that said, for obvious reasons it isn't used any longer among reasonable people as the pejorative aspect has spilled over to Italian from American English.

the issue isn't in fact simply what the utterer means. for COMmunication with other people the issue is also what the receiver gets from the word.

Dr Bain is still happily unaware of the sheer ridicule of a work about how "deniers" react, done by people who had no clue on how "deniers" react to being called "deniers". and remember, in their world even Richard Betts would be called a "denier" with his "2C not.necessarily a big deal" (he should try posting that under a pseudonym at Thinkprogress)

call me cynical but Dr Bain et al and the Nature Climate Change editorial board and peer reviewers are, in this respect, complete imbaculi (oops...that's another word that shouldn't be used! :) ...)

Jun 22, 2012 at 8:33 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I don’t think that we who are sceptical of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) hypothesis should be paying any attention to this “Climate Change Letter” in Nature. Look at the topics of the papers that the corresponding author Paul G. Bain has co-authored:
- “The David and Goliath Principle: Cultural, Ideological, and Attitudinal Underpinnings of the Normative Protection of Low-Status Groups From Criticism”
- “Humanizing the self: moderators of the attribution of lesser humanness to others.”
- “Conceptual beliefs about human values and their implications: Human nature beliefs predict value importance, value trade-offs, and responses to value-laden rhetoric.”
- “More human than you: Attributing humanness to self and others.”
- “The David and Goliath Principle: Cultural, Ideological, and Attitudinal Underpinnings of the Normative Protection of Low-Status Groups From Criticism”.
Etc. etc. etc. (http://www.psy.uq.edu.au/directory/index.html?id=1614#show_Activities)

As Paul says “ .. My research interests include human values and virtues; lay theories and beliefs (e.g., about human nature and how societies develop); the cognitive structure of concepts (especially of social concepts like values and moral rules); psychological essentialism; infrahumanisation (treating people in other groups as less human); cross-cultural psychology; and conceptions of society in the future. .. ” so his views relating to the extremely complex subject of the processes and drivers of the different global climates are hardly significant.

In my opinion Johanna is correct when saying “As for Nature, the only debate left is whether it is a rag or a comic”.

Best regards, Pete Ridley
http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.co.uk/

Jun 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Ridley

Well Bain et al did have this useful effect, they generated the article at the link below, one of the best articles I have read yet on what it means to be a "skeptic" about CAGW:

Physicist Robert G. Brown shreds use of "denier" label by Bain et al

Jun 23, 2012 at 2:33 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

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