Yale study and apathy over climate change... - why is consensus important?

{edited to change the title in light of my last comment, #8.}
Been looking at a few articles regarding cognitive dissonance in relation to how people are reacting
to the growing body of evidence of cascading impacts resulting from our relentless injection of gigatons worth of
greenhouse gases into our thin atmosphere.
This one caught my eye and since it touches on something interesting we discussed a while back I thought I’d post it
and see if anyone had any opinions about the article.

Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy May 27, 2012 Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A study published today online in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults. Check out the whole article at: http://phys.org/news/2012-05-yale-apathy-climate-unrelated-science.html#jCp

That’s interesting especially because the most scientifically literate individuals ( scientists) do have a much higher level of concern about this issue. Obviously there is not a linear relationship between science literacy and acceptance of AGW but there is clearly some level of science literacy at which that changes.

Been looking at a few articles regarding cognitive dissonance in relation to how people are reacting to the growing body of evidence of cascading impacts resulting from our relentless injection of gigatons worth of greenhouse gases into our thin atmosphere. This one caught my eye and since it touches on something interesting we discussed a while back I thought I'd post it and see if anyone had any opinions about the article.
Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy May 27, 2012 Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A study published today online in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults. Check out the whole article at: http://phys.org/news/2012-05-yale-apathy-climate-unrelated-science.html#jCp
The problem is apathy, not science illiteracy. Science illiteracy is common, apathy is universal. Lois
Been looking at a few articles regarding cognitive dissonance in relation to how people are reacting to the growing body of evidence of cascading impacts resulting from our relentless injection of gigatons worth of greenhouse gases into our thin atmosphere. This one caught my eye and since it touches on something interesting we discussed a while back I thought I'd post it and see if anyone had any opinions about the article.
Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy May 27, 2012 Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A study published today online in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the answer to both questions is no. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults. Check out the whole article at: http://phys.org/news/2012-05-yale-apathy-climate-unrelated-science.html#jCp
The problem is apathy, not science illiteracy. Science illiteracy is common, apathy is universal. LoisI agree, apathy, BUT I'd go one step further and say "innocent" apathy. There are just so SO many issues, many of which are huge, that people are berated with on a daily basis that I think they're just paralyzed into apathy. The current financial situation (engineered or not) just has most people worrying about whether the price of gas and bread and milk will skyrocket tomorrow. I'd like to see a study where a certain population is given say 1 million dollars per family, allowed to buy a nice house, car, etc. and basically get out of the rut of living one day at a time. Let them do that for a couple years THEN ask them if they care about GCC.
I agree, apathy, BUT I'd go one step further and say "innocent" apathy. There are just so SO many issues, many of which are huge, that people are berated with on a daily basis that I think they're just paralyzed into apathy. The current financial situation (engineered or not) just has most people worrying about whether the price of gas and bread and milk will skyrocket tomorrow. I'd like to see a study where a certain population is given say 1 million dollars per family, allowed to buy a nice house, car, etc. and basically get out of the rut of living one day at a time. Let them do that for a couple years THEN ask them if they care about GCC.
I think you would have to actually give them the house and car. If you just give them a million dollars half of them will go off on a spending spree and possibly end up in a worse hole and more miserable than before, but your point is well taken.

While scientific literacy is important, I believe political and social conservatism is even more important. My two libertarian friends are both quite scientifically literate and also GCC deniers. That side does publish papers “showing” that all of the factors that indicate GCC have also happened in the past. The conservative scientifically literate take those things as proof against it.
Occam

While scientific literacy is important, I believe political and social conservatism is even more important. My two libertarian friends are both quite scientifically literate and also GCC deniers. That side does publish papers "showing" that all of the factors that indicate GCC have also happened in the past. The conservative scientifically literate take those things as proof against it. Occam
Yes, I've seen that libertarian streak in quite a few people--at least that's what most people would call it. They probably wouldn't call themselves libertarian, but they seem to be panicked by the thought of losing their ability to earn money and control their net worth. They see people who accept climate change as conspirators bent on interfering in their economic lives. They are intelligent for the most part and should understand the science behind climate change but they refuse to accept it. They are full of fears. They will come up with crazy ideas about how climate change is not happening, about how all the scientists who back it are wrong. I think it is an emotional aberration, a form of paranoia. It interferes with their intellectual functioning. Lois

Yea guess that’s what happens to a society that becomes disconnected from the realities of our planet’s evolutionary process.
A little less Hollywood and bit more reality would have done our country much good…
although with every passing week I gain a deeper appreciation that the problem is simple,
we had too much too fast,
and the solution…
at this point it’ll all be
too little too late.
We got one wild ride ahead of us and the libertarian ethos ain’t gonna make it any easier.
But, at least many Americans will have had time to brush up on their shooting skills, that should help us ease into the tough days to come.
It’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago.

Lois I did a little addition

While scientific literacy is important, I believe political and social conservatism is even more important. My two libertarian friends are both quite scientifically literate and also GCC deniers. That side does publish papers "showing" that all of the factors that indicate GCC have also happened in the past. The conservative scientifically literate take those things as proof against it. Occam
Yes, I've seen that libertarian streak in quite a few people--at least that's what most people would call it. They probably wouldn't call themselves libertarian, but they seem to be panicked by the thought of losing their ability to earn money and control their net worth. They see people who accept climate change as conspirators bent on interfering in their economic lives. They are intelligent for the most part and should understand the science behind climate change but they refuse to accept it. They are full of fears. They will come up with crazy ideas about how climate change is not happening, about how all the scientists who back it are wrong. And freely accept, even defend, obvious factual falsehoods. I think it is an emotional aberration, a form of paranoia. It interferes with their intellectual functioning. This has gotten me to thinking about "consensus" and the scientific process. The point about science is that it's about presenting all ones facts, exposing them to the full range of critique. Other's need to be able to duplicate experiments and measurements, think about that, isn't that a seeking of "consensus". This pattern of treating observations and suppositions are established practices because they work well in keeping each other honest… … and developing a solid fact-based foundation of knowledge to build on. The right-wing, Republican, libertarian approach is one of only seeking their own immediate good… regardless of the greater reality of the situation, or "externalities". Thus, they feel no shame in promulgating one fraudulent claim after another - if it helps their latest effort succeed. Their cause is all that matters…it's all very one-sided (treading close to sociopathic even >:-( )… the very thing that has lead to one human/societal downfall after another.

oh and for those interested in this, here’s an excellent article

The market for delusion on climate change Oct 07, 2013 - by Brian Davey http://www.feasta.org/2013/10/07/the-market-for-delusion-on-climate-change/ The 5th Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change was published while I was writing this book. It is the consensus assessment of the world’s scientists of the state of their knowledge about climate change and what they think is likely to happen. What happened in the mass media at this time, and even in statements by a government environment minister in the UK, Owen Paterson, was a clear attempt to downplay the message of the scientists and the impact of the report. In the opinion of Paterson:
“People get very emotional about this subject and I think we should just accept that the climate has been changing for centuries…I see this report as something we need to take seriously but I am relieved it is not as catastrophic in its forecast as we had been led to believe early on. What it is saying is that it is something we can adapt to over time, and we are very good as a race at adapting."
Climate scientists responded angrily – for example, Professor Kevin Anderson of Manchester University and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research:
“It’s a deliberately partial reading of the report. Either that or he has not read the report properly or does not understand the significance of the emissions scenarios. These tell us that business as usual will give us a 50:50 chance of a 4C temperature rise. His view that we can muddle through climate change is a colonial, arrogant, rich person’s view. Many people will die in the developing world where the changes will be felt the most and it is irresponsible and immoral to suggest that we as a species can adapt to climate change," - Independent, 1st October, 2013.
...
That's by way of introduction, then it get's interesting.
oh and for those interested in this, here's an excellent article
The market for delusion on climate change Oct 07, 2013 - by Brian Davey http://www.feasta.org/2013/10/07/the-market-for-delusion-on-climate-change/ The 5th Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change was published while I was writing this book. It is the consensus assessment of the world’s scientists of the state of their knowledge about climate change and what they think is likely to happen. What happened in the mass media at this time, and even in statements by a government environment minister in the UK, Owen Paterson, was a clear attempt to downplay the message of the scientists and the impact of the report. In the opinion of Paterson:
“People get very emotional about this subject and I think we should just accept that the climate has been changing for centuries…I see this report as something we need to take seriously but I am relieved it is not as catastrophic in its forecast as we had been led to believe early on. What it is saying is that it is something we can adapt to over time, and we are very good as a race at adapting."
Climate scientists responded angrily – for example, Professor Kevin Anderson of Manchester University and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research:
“It’s a deliberately partial reading of the report. Either that or he has not read the report properly or does not understand the significance of the emissions scenarios. These tell us that business as usual will give us a 50:50 chance of a 4C temperature rise. His view that we can muddle through climate change is a colonial, arrogant, rich person’s view. Many people will die in the developing world where the changes will be felt the most and it is irresponsible and immoral to suggest that we as a species can adapt to climate change," - Independent, 1st October, 2013.
...
That's by way of introduction, then it get's interesting.
I have one quibble, though. He says it is an "arrogant rich person's view,'" but I know many people who are far from rich who have the same view. It isn't so much a rich person's view as a conservative capitalist's view--held by people who, though they haven't made a fortune yet, don't want any government to interfere with their ability to do so in the future. There is also a fear that it would raise taxes--another thing that is anathema to them. They see climate change predictions and everything a government might plan to do about it as a liberal plot to take away their earning rights and make the world socialist (or at least the US). So fearful and determined are they that they will attack the science behind climate change and claim, by any means possible, that what scientists see as potentially destructive climate change is either not happening at all or is a natural cycle. They also refuse to believe that humans are causing changes in climate so, they reason, there is nothing humans can do to stop it and, most important of all, business pursuits, big or small, should not be interfered with because of the lie of the effects of climate change. Lois

Speaking only for myself, I’m apathetic about it largely because of two factors: priorities and burnout. The former is easy to explain. I simply have other, more immediate concerns to address before climate change becomes more than a vaguely dangerous future concern. Things like bills, and employment concerns, and digging my way out of debt. Until those are taken care of, I simply don’t care all that much about it. The latter is because I’m sick of hearing about it. Yeah yeah, it’s petty and irrational and blah blah blah. But it is what it is. Preach to human beings about something long enough, especially something that isn’t an immediate concern, and some of them will simply get sick of hearing about it and stop listening.
EDIT
Fixes

Speaking only for myself, I'm apathetic about it largely because of two factors: priorities and burnout. The former is easy to explain. I simply have other, more immediate concerns to address before climate change becomes more than a vaguely dangerous future concern. Things like bills, and employment concerns, and digging my way out of debt. Until those are taken care of, I simply don't care all that much about it. The latter is because I'm sick of hearing about it. Yeah yeah, it's petty and irrational and blah blah blah. But it is what it is. Preach to human beings about something long enough, especially something that isn't an immediate concern, and some of them will simply get sick of hearing about it and stop listening. EDIT Fixes
I think your apathy is common among the general population, but it doesn't explain climate change deniers. Apathy is one thing, outright denial is another. They aren't just apathetic, they are afraid of the science and what it predicts, so they go to great lengths to deny it is happening, denigrating science and scientists in the process. Lois
Preach to human beings about something long enough, especially something that isn't an immediate concern, and some of them will simply get sick of hearing about it and stop listening.
Not an immediate concern? Are you not paying attention? California drought spurs governor to declare an emergency] California drought has ranchers selling cattle] Historic California drought called red flag for future of US] California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years] California drought could impact world food prices] Wake up, DM. The future is here.

Go back to your slumber darrons, You are sorely mistaken if you think that drought in California means that the earth is running out of water. People in Calgary and Manitoba have not forgotten about the deadly flooding that occurred there…should they be spouting off about how there is too much water on the earth and that humans are the cause of all this extra water ? No. The future is not here…The future is tomorrow…only the present is here.

Go back to your slumber darrons, You are sorely mistaken if you think that drought in California means that the earth is running out of water. People in Calgary and Manitoba have not forgotten about the deadly flooding that occurred there.....should they be spouting off about how there is too much water on the earth and that humans are the cause of all this extra water ? No. The future is not here...The future is tomorrow......only the present is here.
So all you have is a straw man argument?

Sine, flooding in Calgary and Manitoba have nothing to do with a drought in California. Besides, what fruits and vegetables do we here in the States depend on from there? None. While I do sympathize with those Canadians affected by flooding, Darron’s not talking about conditions in Canada. This BTW is the same argument used by climate deniers; the arctic conditions this Winter prove that global warming is a hoax! No, it proves that the weather patterns have been altered by AGW and it’s now snowing in Atlanta while California is drying up and burning down. And because of this we’re all going to see a spike in food prices and experience shortages because we rely on California for much of our fruits and veggies:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/explainer/2013/07/california_grows_all_of_our_fruits_and_vegetables_what_would_we_eat_without.html
Cap’t Jack

Sine, flooding in Calgary and Manitoba have nothing to do with a drought in California. Besides, what fruits and vegetables do we here in the States depend on from there? None. While I do sympathize with those Canadians affected by flooding, Darron's not talking about conditions in Canada. This BTW is the same argument used by climate deniers; the arctic conditions this Winter prove that global warming is a hoax! No, it proves that the weather patterns have been altered by AGW and it's now snowing in Atlanta while California is drying up and burning down. And because of this we're all going to see a spike in food prices and experience shortages because we rely on California for much of our fruits and veggies: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/explainer/2013/07/california_grows_all_of_our_fruits_and_vegetables_what_would_we_eat_without.html Cap't Jack
Our global heat distribution engine, it's a fascinating 'organism':
Arctic Amplification (Extreme Weather): Jennifer Francis June 6, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY0RdXmLGdU
And this one, I believe every student in school, and out of school, ought to view:
Earth From Space HD / Nova The groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38peWm76l-U
Speaking only for myself, I'm apathetic about it largely because of two factors: priorities and burnout. The former is easy to explain. I simply have other, more immediate concerns to address before climate change becomes more than a vaguely dangerous future concern. Things like bills, and employment concerns, and digging my way out of debt. Until those are taken care of, I simply don't care all that much about it. The latter is because I'm sick of hearing about it. Yeah yeah, it's petty and irrational and blah blah blah. But it is what it is. Preach to human beings about something long enough, especially something that isn't an immediate concern, and some of them will simply get sick of hearing about it and stop listening. EDIT Fixes
Good to see you around DM. Yea, you nailed it and I imagine you speak for the vast majority of people. I'm "fortunate", besides being 58 with that career path behind me, I'm in a good place, financially quite modest, but no debts and no desires for material crap, my time is more precious than the shackles of keeping up with the jones, so I can afford to learn about, think about and worry about what is happening to this planet I am in love with. But, unlike religious folks, who can easily dissociate themselves from the reality of our planet being an actual physical entity, including how the damages we, and our society, are inflicting is having increasing consequences and moving beyond our control, I can't. We have set ourselves on a path that will be inflicting ever greater insults on our climate system, biosphere ( read: life support system), society's infrastructures and psyche, which will in turn have it's ugly cascading consequences. What to do… I have no idea, so far I'll keep beating my drum, even with an increasingly hollow feeling in my heart. Why? because I'm appalled at the willingness of folks to repeat and believe complete and easily exposed lies. Although, I know, it don't matter how many regular citizens "get it" - so long as those sociopathic oligarchs such as the Kochs, Murdoch and that "free-corporate-market" crowd don't see the light… nothing at all will change and fools like us will cope best we can as the ship goes down.
Preach to human beings about something long enough, especially something that isn't an immediate concern, and some of them will simply get sick of hearing about it and stop listening.
Not an immediate concern? Are you not paying attention? California drought spurs governor to declare an emergency] California drought has ranchers selling cattle] Historic California drought called red flag for future of US] California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years] California drought could impact world food prices] Wake up, DM. The future is here. The deniers will say that drought is simply a natural cycle and there is nothing we can do about it. They will say there have been such droughts in the past, they have all passed and there is no reason to get our knickers in a twist over them. Some will say we shouldn't have become dependent on farms in drought prone areas in the first place. Lois