Thursday, April 23, 2015

What In the World ? A Climate Denial Course 101

Queensland University of Queensland, Australia, states that keeping ahead of climate change deniers is exhausting. The problem is that the simple question “What is causing climate change?” has an infinite number of wrong answers and only a few correct ones.

Almost every week deniers cook up some new theory, each more ludicrous than the last: The sun is getting hotter (coming in a future posting). The thermometers are in the wrong places. It’s all part of a natural cycle. Scientists are liars. Something about cosmic rays (ignoring The Chilling Stars). The multiplicity of these facts gives climate change deniers an advantage in debates—they know exactly what scientists are going to say, but scientists have no idea what cockamamie theories to prepare for.

For this reason and others, climate change denial has become its own field of academic study, and the University of Queensland means to cash in on it, separate from the science of climate change itself. And, like any legitimate field of study, climate change denial has its own massive open online course, or MOOC. It'll stop at nothing to help muddy the waters of climate science to graduate more brainwashed souls into their global warming religion.

John Cook, (the same asshole who did the sham study that 97% consensus paper and did a ''Colonial Clink'' on anyone questioning it) is a climate communication fellow at the University of Queensland and the creator of the website pushing warming dogma, Skeptical Science, is coordinating the course. It will feature climatologists, modellers, chemists, computer scientists, meteorologists, and glaciologists—real scientists talking about science, pushing the ''it's settled'' line rather than honestly looking at the facts. Is it a crazy idea to think that these are the REAL deniers !.

The eight-week course will give students a grounding in the science of the greenhouse effect and climate change (which will hopefully be a review), as well as explain why the most common climate denial theories are wrong. The instructors will address the alleged (but real) “pause” in global warming and the role the sun plays in changes to the earth’s temperature.

The teachers will also discuss the psychology of climate denial. Al Gore famously attributed climate science resistance to people’s fear of losing their jobs (is he serious??).  Social scientists now tell us that it’s far more complicated than that. Climate change denialism (actually scepticism) is linked more strongly to political conservatism and dislike of government regulation than to economic vulnerability. This is called “motivated reasoning,” the tendency to accept evidence selectively based on a pre-existing belief. As David Robert Grimes (photo left) pointed out last year in the socialist Guardian, the best quote to describe the situation is Leon Festinger's observation that “a man with a conviction is a hard man to change.''

Motivated reasoning is just one of many explanations for the phenomenon. There is also evidence that climate change denial is a form of tribalism. The psychology of climate deniers is a fascinating topic.

The university touts, ''With a virtual diploma from the upcoming MOOC, you can turn a debate with a climate change denier from an argument over science into a deep exploration of your opponent’s motivations and psyche.'' I guess that’s a lot more interesting than the climate “debate” itself, which is, you know,''settled''.

About this course (in Uni-Speak)

In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is proven consensus that 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming has been discredited.
  • Why the gap between the public and scientists?
  • What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?
  • How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?
This course examines the science of climate science denial.

We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” (boy are they out of touch) to “global warming is caused by the sun” (ignore a 11/14 paper published in Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics) to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science, but we won't mention ''Climate-Gate.''

With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths. This isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change.

  What you'll learn
  • How to recognise the social and psychological drivers of climate science denial
  • How to better understand climate change: the evidence that it is happening, that humans are causing it and the potential impacts
  • How to identify the techniques and fallacies that climate myths employ to distort climate science
  • How to effectively debunk climate misinformation.
Gavin Cawley

Some of the Instructors:

Daniel Bedford
On the University website there is a Rogues Gallery of a ''Bakers Dozen'' of these climate ideologues and many of those with their snouts so far in the government Grant Trough their reputations as impartial scientists seem to be finished.
bio for Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Our Dud-Predictor
 Ove .H. Guldberg

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