To simplify the authors’ argument:
“There are a few standard explanations for unequal outcomes. But those explanations do not explain all the variance in outcomes. Therefore, unobservable facts reflecting systemic barriers explain the rest and they are the ultimate cause of injustice. Elimination of these barriers will require fundamental change in the nature of our society.”
Original Study published in Nature on November 1, 2018: “Our result—which relies on high-precision O2 measurements dating back to 1991 —suggests that ocean warming is at the high end of previous estimates…” … Nature issues an editor's note about the errors on November 19, 2018: : We would like to alert readers that the authors have informed us of errors in the paper. An implication of the errors is that the uncertainties in ocean heat content are substantially underestimated.” …Retraction published online in Nature on September 25, 2019….
“Out of those [scientists] surveyed, 25 per cent said exaggerated findings, a lack of detail, and poor conclusions make research outputs untrustworthy.” Says one scientist: “There’s always someone trying to pull the wool over your eyes…”
….These requirements pretty much rule out testing the UBI (Universal Basic income) before implementing it. In other words, claims about the UBI could not be subject to a process of scientific verification. It’s either all-or-nothing. Ya gotta take a leap of faith and just do it.
…twice as many Democrats as Republicans consider astrology “very” scientific and Republicans are more likely than Democrats to consider astrology “not at all” scientific. What’s going on here? Is there a solid scientific case for believing in astrology?
Verheggen et al gets the final word:
“Different surveys are not directly comparable, due to different groups of people being asked different questions…. Different surveys typically use slightly different criteria to determine their survey sample and to define the consensus position, hampering a direct comparison. It is possible that our definition of “agreement” sets a higher standard than, for example, survey question[s] about whether human activity is ‘a significant contributing factor’.”
The last post addressed the consensus definitions, methods and findings of the top four papers in the graphic (Oreskes 2004, Doran 2009, Anderegg 2010, and Cook 2013). This post will address the bottom three papers…
The above graphic conveys two things: first, getting skeptics to accept the scientific consensus on climate change is essential to convincing them of the need for urgent action. Second, in order for skeptics to accept the consensus, you have to convince them that the consensus is overwhelming - not just most scientists, but the vast majority of scientists. So is that what the studies in this graphic show? Let’s find out.
Rule # 1: If you’re going to have an honest conversation about climate change, don’t misrepresent what the scientific consensus actually is.
Rule # 2: If you’re going to have an honest conversation about climate change, be prepared to discuss the evidence for a scientific consensus.
Rule # 3: If you want to have an honest conversation about climate change, remember that conversation is a two-way street. That means it’s just as much about listening as speaking.
Rule # 4: If your goal is to persuade someone to agree with you, then your goal is not to have an honest conversation.
The rest of us rely on mental shortcuts to arrive at our opinions on climate change - mostly to do with trust and perceived plausibility. In other words, how we feel/think about climate change depends in large part on whom we trust or don’t trust, as well as what information, explanations, and opinions fit with our understanding of how the world works. This is not an irrational way for non-scientists to approach a subject as complex as climate change.
But we could do better. We could live the words “science is real”…
Most Americans have accepted that the climate is changing as a result of human activity. If pressed for a reason, many will refer to the scientific consensus that such is the case. Some will refer to a 97% consensus.
Not that these survey results are implausible. Plenty of peer-reviewed studies have revealed today’s millionaires to be frugal, hard-working, and mostly from middle-class backgrounds. They buy boring cars. They’re diligent savers. This is not new information - twenty years ago academics Thomas Stanley and William Danko found that 80% of US millionaires were first-generation rich. That is, they did not inherit their wealth.
The capacity to imagine future danger and take constructive steps to avert it is called “adaptive anticipation”. Adaptive adaptation starts with sensitivity to threat. It ends with effective problem solving.
According to this trope, the Fearful Conservative is afraid of change and uncertainty, clinging to the safe harbor of habit and tradition, overly controlled, troubled by bad dreams and distressed by disorder. In so many words: fear makes conservatives stupid. The authors usually bolster their case with a few studies and quotes from “experts”, which can be hard to refute if you don’t know what they’re leaving out - namely, evidence to the contrary.
One thing the articles and opinion pieces don’t mention is the decades of research on personality and political attitudes, covering tens of thousands of participants. And that research is, well, unequivocal: conservatism is not associated with anxiety or fear - it’s most strongly associated with Conscientiousness.
Azarian wrote a Psychology Today piece titled, “Fear and Anxiety Drive Conservatives' Political Attitudes” …he supported his claims with evidence from four studies. Luckily I was able to locate most of the original studies to see if his conclusions were reasonable. Here’s what I found…
The preliminary report doesn’t discuss why over two-thirds of those contacted did not complete interviews. Nor does it address potential differences between individuals who did complete interviews and those who did not.
…in Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Robert Sapolsky concludes a discussion of MFT with the claim that “…conservatives heavily value loyalty, authority, and sanctity.”
“…a four-year old’s openness to a new toy predicts how open she’ll be as an adult to, say, the US forging new relations with Iran and Cuba.” — Robert Sapolsky (2017) Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
All that nose-touching, rubbing, and grooming comes with exchange of scents, suggesting that cats within a given colony develop a ‘colony odor’ that is maintained during these behaviors.