How to win climate change deniers reported in Nature Climate Change 17 June 2012, doi: 10.1038/nclimate1532, and ABC News in Science 18 June 2012.
A team of psychologists at the University of Queensland admits that in spite of enormous efforts to convince the general public that man-made global warming was real, “since 2008 the number of deniers of anthropogenic climate change has climbed to one-third or more of the population in high-carbon-emitting countries such as the United States and Australia”. According to the researchers “the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions”.
The researchers conducted two studies that showed “climate change deniers” were more likely to take “pro-environmental action” if they thought that mitigating climate change would improve society and promote development. One study asked participants “how their nation would be different in 2050 if widespread action to mitigate climate change was taken from the present year (2011)”.
The results showed “environmental citizenship intentions were greater where deniers believed action on climate change would result in people becoming more interpersonally warm and considerate, and where they thought climate change action would promote societal development”.
The second study presented the participants with statements ostensibly made by previous research participants claiming that taking action on climate change would result in more caring society and promote scientific and economic development.
The researchers ended their report with the following suggestion: “Communication about the reality of climate change should continue, but public discussion should broaden to encompass the societal effects of action, especially how mitigation efforts will promote scientific and economic progress, and can make us more caring and considerate people”.
Not everyone is impressed with this study. Joseph Forgas, a professor of psychology at University of New South Wales, was highly critical of the report and claimed it was based on a “very biased ideological position”. He commented: “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. 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 questioned the significance of the results, claiming they simply show “environmental citizenship intentions” were greater if people believe action on climate change would result in society becoming more warm and considerate. He commented “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”.
Editorial Comment: We couldn’t say it any better than Joseph Forgas. Furthermore, when global warming proponents openly admit they have to resort to exploitation of people’s desires to make a better society in order to promote environmental ‘climate change’ activism, they are admitting they are losing the battle.
The idea that climate “mitigation efforts” and “pro-environmental action” will somehow make people more caring and considerate is preposterous. The reason people are uncaring and inconsiderate has nothing to do with the climate, the environment or any external factor. It is an internal problem caused by sin, i.e. our rebellion against our Creator.
The only way to make a new and better human society is to deal with the real problem of sin and only one person has. The Lord Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin and mine by dying on the cross and rising from the dead, and He does promise to make new creations of all those who put their trust in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Evidence News 5 July 2012
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