Is climate change alarmism encouraging scepticism?

Climate change ‘alarmists’ have been utterly relentless in their campaigning. It’s quite possibly the biggest global political campaign in history. My media survey last year found an average of 1.6 different predictions of climate doom a day. Even on a boat tour of Stockholm today I could not escape it, with warnings that human-caused global warming could cause parts of Stockholm to flood (on the other hand, not having their waterways ice up in winter might be one of the pluses of global warming).

But a recent Morgan poll suggests that maybe the constant predictions of doom is having an unintended effect. The number of people who think concerns are exaggerated has doubled since 2006, from 13% to 27%.

There is still an overwhelming majority of people who believe that climate change is happening and strong majorities in favour of policy action. But perhaps the claims of impendending disaster are sounding a little too hyberbolic, and people are beginning to mentally discount the scale of the problems we face.

(It could be that the denialists are gaining some traction; though they get only a small fraction of the media coverage given to the alarmists.)

HT: Pollytics blog.

77 thoughts on “Is climate change alarmism encouraging scepticism?

  1. Sinclair misrepresents the results of the Johns Hopkins review of the Lancet study by claiming that it found that the study was “ethically deficient”. It made no such finding. The researchers collected names for some respondents but the protocol approved by the IRB was for no names to be recorded. However, it is simply wrong to call this “ethically deficient”. The ethical reason for the protocol was to protect the respondents from harm by keeping their identities confidential and the researchers did keep their names confidential. It is not “ethically deficient” to record the names of people you survey.

    It is interesting to note that, like Joe Cambria, Sinclair Davidson doesn’t understand sampling. He wrote:

    Yet, the Lancet tells us a research team went to every house in Baghdad (at 15 min per house, in the middle of the day, in a war-zone).

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  2. The Lancet study did not follow the approved ethical procedures that had been specified before the study was undertaken. There are only so many ways that you can make that point. Did not follow the correct ethical procedure means that the study did not have ethics approval for the manner in which it was actually conducted. It was ethically deficient. To be blunt an academic study that has not followed ethical procedures when required to do so is extremely problematic. I am simply astonished that Tim is trying to cover-up (and divert attention from) what is a phenomenal breach of ethical standards and procedure. What makes this all the more remarkable is that they set the research protocol themselves. If they had wanted to collect identifying data they could have declared that they were in fact doing so. And if they did not follow the ethical standards required of their own university, and the standards they themselves set for their own research, what other standards didn’t they follow? Asymmentic information is especially a problem in medical research which is why these protocols have been developed.

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  3. Tim has admitted

    The researchers collected names for some respondents but the protocol approved by the IRB was for no names to be recorded.

    but denies any problem. Maybe in America, but here in Australia

    Research misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting the results of research, and failure to declare or manage a serious conflict of interest. It includes avoidable failure to follow research proposals as approved by a research ethics committee, particularly where this failure may result in unreasonable risk or harm to humans, animals or the environment. It also includes the wilful concealment or facilitation of research misconduct by others.

    Emphasis added.

    To be fair, Tim isn’t research active, so it is unreasonable to expect him to be familiar with the Code for the responsible conduct of research.

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  4. Oh dear. But it gets worse.

    A review of the original data collection forms revealed that researchers in the field used data collection forms that were different from the form included in the original protocol. The forms included space for the names of respondents or householders, which were recorded on many of the records. Use of the form and collection of names violated the study protocol submitted to the IRB and on which the IRB determined the study was exempt from full human subjects review.

    You have to wonder if the US Federal government will investigate?
    But, of the clincher of wrong doing doing is this

    Because of violations of the Bloomberg School’s policies regarding human subjects research, the School has suspended Dr. Burnham’s privileges to serve as a principal investigator on projects involving human subjects research.

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  5. Tim does great imitations of Homer these days. Next up he’ll be showing up at Catallaxy defending Homer’s unique meaning of Skanky ho which according to Homes is the name of a Asian warlord’s wife.

    Lol.

    Tim what are you doing, seriously? Give up and stop digging dude as it’s getting embarrassing for you now.

    One other thing, boyo. I never said or even suggested I had formal training in sampling Math. My major is finance, so another strawman you’re erecting.

    Homer and Tim seem joined at the hip these days as both are a caricature of each other.

    CL.

    Nice piece. Timbo really is conducting a “short” war on science isn’t he? What a deniailist he’s become.

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  6. Sinc:

    There’s a Harvard grad by the name of David Kane that has torn the Lancet up into small pieces on the math side. Timbo of course wouldn’t tell you about that. David often frequently showed up at Lambert’s blog with evidence of the fraud even on the math/sampling side of things.

    I’m sure he’ll like to see what Lambert has been up to here. Amusingly he kills Timbo with kindness so as not to give him any excuse to ban him, which of course Timbo would have done so, at the first opportunity, as he doesn’t like being shown to be wrong at his blog site. He’s like Homer with attitude that way.

    Perhaps I’ll let David know as I’m sure he’d like to see what the “Lancet defender” has been up to behind his back.

    Here’s David’s temporary blog 100% devoted to the fraud that Timbo is defending and is now actually perpetrating…. Our Lancet defender… Lol.

    http://lancetiraq.blogspot.com/

    Also take a look at Megan McArdle’s blog piece in The Atlantic where she tears our erstwhile Lancet defender to shreds over the dissembling and generalized dishonesty. It’s hysterical. Unable to confuse the hell out of everyone with block quotes when not at his blog, Megan makes him look like a featherless, skinny chook ready for roasting.

    (Megan if you’re reading this a “chook” Australian slang for chicken)

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  7. To be fair, Tim isn’t research active, so it is unreasonable to expect him to be familiar with the Code for the responsible conduct of research.

    Like for about a decade unless of course a blog attacking right wingers and courting far left commenters with personality issues counts as research these days in academia.

    (one of his devout commenters was tickled I said his language resembled the Unabomber’s).

    Anyways I’m off to let David Kane know what the Lancet defender is up to and perhaps he may join in.

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  8. I seems that the only form of argument that Joe Cambria and Sinclair Davidson know how to use is the ad hominem argument. It is certainly surprising to learn that I’m not research active on the same day that our paper was accepted by Proteomics.

    Sinclair, is it really your thesis that it is “ethically deficient” to collect names when conducting a survey?

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  9. Congratulations on your publication.

    is it really your thesis that it is “ethically deficient” to collect names when conducting a survey

    It is ethically deficient to conduct research at variance with the approved ethics protocol. So in this case, ‘Yes’. If the approved ethics protocol has provided for names to be collected then ‘No’. Note, however, if names were to be collected then a stricter ethical regime would have applied. So it looks like the Lancet study team applied for the lower risk ethics approval process and then conducted research that would have required stricter guidelines, and stricter ethics procedures. This is simply extraordinary. In my experience, having been on an ethics committee and having been a Associate Dean (Research) and having to advise researchers on the ethics approval process, that individuals have to submit their survey questionnaire to the ethics committee at the time that they apply for approval. Yet we know that the LAncet study people used a different questionnaire (and not just translated) to the one that had been submitted for approval.

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  10. Tim:
    It is certainly surprising to learn that I’m not research active on the same day that our paper was accepted by Proteomics.

    Tim , seriously, congratulations. It’s pretty obvious that I wouldn’t know you’re about to be published, as that has been a running criticism leveled toward you by various people. It’s been a long time between drinks, hey, but at least you’ve done it and that’s a good thing. Let’s hope it’s not another decade before you publish again as I’m sure you’re good at it.

    Seriously, what are you doing still supporting the Lancet thing? You gotta learn how to give up the bad cards and keep the good ones. You’re on a role with the AGW shtick and now wanna give up the entire kitty on one pair of 3’s and 6 high?

    You emailed Durham or Roberts trying to support him and he returned the nicety by lying to you, according to David Kane, which was something, you never corrected. He lied to you Timbo and you’re trying to hold the dyke for him. There’s nothing you can do. While you’ve got your finger in the hole of that wall the rest of the dyke is gone. It’s over.

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  11. JC etc.
    .
    Maybe you haven’t realized it, but:
    1) Carbon emissions are going to be restricted whether you like it not;
    2) This is by far the most popular opinion, so the tyranny of the masses is going to win on this issue;
    3) No-one listens to raving loonies that can’t help but suggest how glaciers we haven’t observed yet etc. are growing whilst all the others shrinking; and therefore
    4) We are going to get emissions reductions policies with essentially no input from anyone but a group of big government conservatives, since the alternative is to ask another group of big government conservatives that appear like raving loonies whose views yours seem aligned with (Barnaby Joyce, William Tuckey etc.); and
    5) The Labor party will be able to wedge the Liberals for all eternity on this. If they call a DD, they will have all the power to do anything at all they feel like.
    6) This means that things like a carbon tax that is used to reduce other taxes is never going to get off the ground (or any other strategy not suggested by the Labor party).
    7) This is the problem of never getting past the obvious facts.

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  12. sorry this is too much.

    Having lost the argument about global arming the debates meanders into a survey that eventuated in Iraq. Then Sinkers who published material that is either inaccurate , wrong or highly misleading most days of the week and then was caught blatantly lying that the word Goebbels was racist is talking about ethics.

    irony upon irony.

    I wonder what john Zogby thought about the survey?

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  13. 1) Carbon emissions are going to be restricted whether you like it not;

    Ours possibly. World not so sure. Let’s wait and see what comes out of Copenhagen

    2) This is by far the most popular opinion, so the tyranny of the masses is going to win on this issue;

    It’s popular in terms of what exactly? According to polls posted by Andrew Norton, support falls off a cliff as the cost rises.

    2) No-one listens to raving loonies that can’t help but suggest how glaciers we haven’t observed yet etc. are growing whilst all the others shrinking; and therefore

    Obviously you “listened” otherwise you wouldn’t know about it. ?

    4) We are going to get emissions reductions policies with essentially no input from anyone but a group of big government conservatives, since the alternative is to ask another group of big government conservatives that appear like raving loonies whose views yours seem aligned with (Barnaby Joyce, William Tuckey etc.);

    You know from my views? And you also know that I’m somehow aligned with those people you mentioned? Who exactly are you channeling? I think we do have a global emissions problem however I consider the ETS is pathetic scam. It’s a huge rent seeking big government boondoggle based unbelievably faulty assumptions that we will be able to find substitutes when the most likely substitute and one that produces zero emissions (nuke) is off the table. That decision alone deserves a felony conviction.

    5) The Labor party will be able to wedge the Liberals for all eternity on this. If they call a DD, they will have all the power to do anything at all they feel like.

    So what.

    6) This means that things like a carbon tax that is used to reduce other taxes is never going to get off the ground (or any other strategy not suggested by the Labor party).

    It’s sad, isn’t it, as the last people we should trust with major economic policy is Rudd/Swan

    Conrad,

    I’m not an AGW sceptic and I believe the science and the scientists (nearly all) behind the work. As far as I can tell though the rate of change and the degree of damage isn’t yet settled and the debate on this one is still raging in scientific circles. Having said that, AGW does look problematic.
    However you shouldn’t confuse my view with my present disgust at the abatement plans being wheeled out, as those things are quite different.

    One last thing….. the point of the thread is the shocking vitriol heaped on those who disagree by people like Lambert who the ONO opinion editor once described as an intellectual hooligan. There is nothing wrong with Plimer or people like him holding dissenting views and in fact it’s actually quite healthy. Furthermore I will support anyone like Plimer or Richard Lindzen to get a fair hearing and not be treated like they were in front of an Inquisition. You should too.

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  14. Homer:

    The only reason you’re cross with Sinclair is that he deleted comments you made referring him as sounding like a past leading Nazi. That’s grossly offensive to anyone. Considering the fact that he is partly Jewish as I think he’s mentioned makes it doubly so. Grow up.

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  15. No it isn’t Sinkers it merely reflects on how you propagandise a lot and continue to do so even when it is pointed out how inaccurate it is.

    Rather ironic for a person who is loose with the truth to then fib about racist comments

    Nor could you justify it which is typical.

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  16. Homer if you chose to call me Muhammed Saeed that would be fine, but rather you chose to be entirely offensive, and as long as you choose to make those sorts of comments you are also choosing not to post on my threads.

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  17. Homes:

    No offense but you ought to be the last person to be talking about propagandizing and spinning.

    Let me remind you (again) that in your emotionally laden support of Mark Latham you actually spun the unbelievably, jawdropping story that the term Skanky ho wasn’t being used in the American slang ghetto way to offensively describe a woman. You said and continue to argue that the term was describing an Asian warlord’s wife (not mistress, as you corrected me once) consequently causing a spelling to Skank Ho. Even more jaw dropping you have said in the past that “this was well known in NSW labor right circles’. I’m sure you must have heard on one of your corridor of power walks. LOL

    Getting back to the point. Sinclair is basically extolling free market right views. Now you may not like them and think they’re wrong, but that is what he’s doing. Suggesting this is propaganda is hysterical claptrap.

    Getting back to what you said earlier: I want to make a point.

    Having lost the argument about global arming the debates meanders into a survey that eventuated in Iraq.

    This is wrong again. I know comprehension isn’t one of your strong points so let me remind you that the “debate” is not about AGW at all. It’s about sceptics who and more are being made resemble political dissenters of old and why this is so , so wrong.

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  18. Sinkers I have shown quite regularly your columns are either wrong, inaccurate and blatant fibs.

    Whether it be the UK and Australia’s wonderful recovery from the great depression where you conveniently leave out important facts, so-called criticism of Keynesian economics about failed policies of the 70s , the CRA being the cause of the sub-prime problem just for starters.

    We could go onto countries recovering which allegedly had no stimulus or even which period big government started.

    you are a propagandist.
    Even when you are told where you are wrong you continue with your misleading information so your inexperience in an area cannot be help up.It is deliberate.

    If you do not propagandize you cannot be called a catallaxian goebbels.
    Which I do note you still cannot justify. This simply confirms what I said.

    Forrest,
    As yet you have not been able to find one person to who at the time found what I said to be wrong.As always you cannot find any facts to back you up.
    I , on the other hand do.

    no Forrest you were trying unsuccessfully argue with Harry about whether AGW is occurring or not.
    Your right comprehension is not your strongest point in fact one struggles to find one

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  19. Homes

    Just curious, but why are you dragging over battles from another blog to Andrew’s site on a thread about AGW sceptics and religious-like intolerance towards them?

    As yet you have not been able to find one person to who at the time found what I said to be wrong.

    Homes, people were left speechless for years. Seriously after reading what you said I’m sure there’s a syndrome named after it with the major symptom being sudden outbursts of hysterical laughing for no apparent reason.

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  20. Homer – You should consult a competent medical authority. The only person who think that you are correct in any of the comments you have made is your good self (and maybe your mum, but she has yet to appear at catallaxy). I am actually beginning to worry about you. Are you unwell? or has there been some trauma in your life? Even by your own standards your recent behaviour (beginning with the whole Tooze business) has been extreme.

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  21. Homer:

    Sorry for digression here Andrew:

    Can I make a suggestion here and try to calm things down a little? No one, certainly not Sinclair or any of the other administrators at Cat are saying that you can’t post comments there (I think). Sinc. has never deleted any of your comments and as far as I recall when they are critical or rebuking threads subjects directly. What he doesn’t want is to be called names like the one you chose. I think if you follow that simple advice you would never have a problem. I really don’t think you have any cause for appeal if your comment includes insults that are deleted if you’re directly offending the thread owner. Follow my humble advice and you’ll be fine… in that you will be able to tell Sinc how wrong he is for suggesting $300 billion debt accumulation isn’t great economic policy and why Fuel and Grocery watch were the best thing since sliced bread. Just try to stay on message: like don’t bring up Keating or Clinton’s election win when the discussion centers on deficit spending. I’m sure that would help a lot.

    This is just plain advice from me, as I don’t have anything to do with the management of the site.

    Get stuck into commenters like me whenever you like but just don’t use that term against those guys.

    (You seem so serious these days. Whatever happened to the famous puns? More of those horrible postings would be nice as at least it would a how you haven’t lost your sense of humor.)

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  22. Sinkers, I have actually detailed why they were all wrong.
    It wasn’t hard.

    Let us take but one example.
    I asked for evidence that ‘keynesianism’ was used in the post war economy.
    I did ask for evidence of a liquidity trap or something similar in the 70s or in fact at anytime before Japan in the 90s.

    none were ever given. you and the rest merely assume greater spending is keynesianism. This is so appalling that one would believe no-one has ever read the General theory.
    yet it is YOU who was most vociferous about Rudd being misleading about Hayek.
    Indeed it isn’t hard to believe you deliberately prey on Catalaxxian ignorance of what Keynes actually said.

    Yet you carry on if nothing has happened. That is what happened when a person simply fibs all the time.

    They do not know what is a fib and what isn’t.That is why you blatantly fibbed about a ‘racist ‘remark. As if a South African doesn’t know what racism is.
    Your great problem is a person catching you out with such very simple errors.

    Forrest, give up. you continue to insist that Mark Latham knew what the term Skanky ho was. He said he didn’t in his diaries. Both of Lawrence’s staffers agreed. in other words you have no evidence for your claim.
    I, on the other hand do have evidence.

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