Why Hasn’t the Climate Disaster Frame Resonated?

By Keith Kloor | January 17, 2014 1:04 pm

During election years, opinion polls and surveys often drive national media coverage of political candidates. This is derisively known as horse race journalism. It is a style that has carried over to everyday political coverage. “I worry that politics is covered almost like sports at a relentless who’s winning and who’s losing kind of way, who’s up, who’s down,” New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson said said last year.

The overall tenor of climate change reporting isn’t like that. (I’ll get to its dominant characteristics in a minute.) But every three or four months, there are poll-driven stories and blog posts that have a who’s up/who’s down flavor.

That is because some researchers conduct regular public surveys on climate change-related questions. Anthony Leiserowitz, the Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, and Ed Maibach, the Director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, are two such trackers of public opinion. Their work helpfully chronicles prevailing attitudes on climate change and in the case of Yale’s Six America’s report, has shed important demographic insight.

Their latest survey findings were released this week in a report called, “Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in November 2013.”

I’m not sure how valuable this narrow snapshot is; nonetheless, here’s what Leiserowitz found (my emphasis):

We report that there has been an increase in the proportion of Americans who believe global warming is not happening (23%, up 7 percentage points since April 2013). The proportion of Americans who say they “don’t know” whether or not global warming is happening has dropped 6 points – from 20% to 14% – since spring of 2013. Finally, a majority of Americans (63%) believe global warming is happening, a number that has been consistent since spring 2013.

Naturally, that sizable uptick in the “global warming is not happening” category was headline bait. But I’m probably not the only one that was surprised to see the percentage of climate dismissives rise, given the jump in media coverage of climate change in 2013, with many of the stories linking warming temperatures to severe weather events and broader energy and security-related concerns.

So why are more people suddenly inclined to think global warming is not happening? Here’s the theory: 

Media coverage surrounding the release of the IPCC report in September may be the explanation for the shift of more previously uncertain people into disbelieving climate change, Leiserowitz told LiveScience. While the report made a strong case for human-caused climate change, most media coverage focused on the question of whether there has been a “pause” in global warming.

Leiserowitz speculates that such framing may have reinforced doubt in the minds of those who were on the fence about global warming. He tells LiveScience:

Media frames can be really important in shaping the way people interpret the news.

No doubt this is true. Then again, this has been the dominant media frame for quite some time:

Now, if media frames are really that influential in the climate debate–with the biggest frame being the catastrophic message–then how do we explain this factoid also listed in Leiserowitz’s latest report?

Half of Americans are worried about global warming, although few are “very” worried.

Indeed, the accompanying infographic shows that the number of Americans who are “very”worried about global warming has remained fairly constant since 2008, averaging about 15%.

I can understand how a spate of confusing stories about a so-called “pause” in global warming might lead fence-sitters to suddenly jump into the denial camp. But then why isn’t the incessant climate doom message in the media getting through to more than 15% of Americans?

Lest you doubt just how dominant this frame is, let me point you to last year’s “Climate Change in the Media” report by James Painter, published by Oxford University’s Reuters’s Institute for the Study of Journalism. The salient findings (my emphasis):

An examination of around 350 articles in three newspapers in each of the six countries with a combined circulation of at least 15 million showed that the dominant messages that readers receive were predominantly ones of disaster or uncertainty. The language of risk (and of opportunity) was much less prevalent. This was true for most of the climate change stories examined, and across the different media and political contexts of the six countries, and the range of newspapers.

The disaster/implicit risk frame was present in more than 80 per cent of the articles, making it the most common frame. For coverage of three reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it was present in over 90 per cent of them. It was also the most salient (in the headline or first few lines) with 44 per cent of the articles containing the frame, more than twice the next most common frame. It was also by some margin the most dominant tone of all four frames with well over half the articles containing it.

This is no snapshot in time. This “be worried, be very worried” message has been the dominant media frame since those words appeared on the cover of  Time Magazine in 2006. Why, then, are so few Americans very worried?

  • oldwolves

    Maybe people are not worried because they’ve found out that every prediction so far has been proven wrong. Maybe because the scientists who have been pushing this the hardest have been discovered as frauds who’s email scandal shown them to be fudging the numbers. Maybe the current world wide trend of no rise in temperature after being told that we should already be on the brink of major heatwaves , storms and flooding ? Maybe because the scientific method itself is being ignored because all the models haven’t worked? Maybe because some scientists need to keep this fraud going for funding? Take your pick.

    • FosterBoondoggle

      Maybe you need to get your information from somewhere besides Fox Nooz.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

      Sounds like you’ve been studying at the Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Donald Trump conspiracy institute.

      • Ken Falkenstein

        Ad hominem attacks – The first retort of uninformed leftists.

        • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

          You paint with a ridiculous broad brush. And you sound just as hysterical as those you criticize.

          • Buddy199

            Maybe, but he does have a point. Those media outlets are unfailingly uniform in their ideology and coverage of climate science. Particularly MSNBC and the NYT; are they in any way different from the WH website or daily press briefing on climate, or anything else for that matter? To get ANY alternative opinion on climate you have to go to the conservative media. National Review, for example, which has regular, very well written pieces, besides the tongue in cheek Planet Gore column.

          • Rusko

            Reality does seem to have a slight liberal bias.

          • Buddy199

            You mean like how accurately the same outlets predicted the square-wheeled roll out of Obamacare?

          • CrankyMiddleAgedGuy

            I didn’t realise American’s did dry humour (a Brit)

          • NameNotGiven

            Actually the major flat earth beliefs are on the left.
            Slate recently did a piece on this with the left and anti vaccine and ant gmo nuts as examples

          • SixSixSix

            With you on the anti-vaccine but you are literally off base with gmo nuts. Just wait until some corporate couldn’t care less inserts nut genes into potatoes for flavoring. Or a zillion other cross species transplant that otherwise can’t happen naturally due to separation of species. Some day soon a whole bunch of people are going to get unpleasant surprises.

          • Spencet

            How about scientific, rather than liberal.

          • Thomas Fuller

            It certainly used to, which is why it peeves me no end when supposed liberals sacrifice reality for alarmist exaggerations. I want to reclaim reality for Liberalism! Not much of a slogan, I’ll grant you.

          • SixSixSix

            Yep, just need more Fox News and Issa faked scandals.

            Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Christie, ooops, still have gotten the hang of being a right wing nutter.

          • Patrick Klocek

            Benghazi (claiming a video caused it when they knew otherwise), the IRS, Fast & Furious, NSA spying, AP Phone records — yeah, all that stuff is fine as long as the person involved in the incompetence and deceitfulness is of the right political persuasion.

          • SixSixSix

            No fake is fake.

          • Spencet

            The reason for this is simple. The science supports the validity of anthropogenic climate change, not the wacky political diatribes of some of the writers in Natioinal Review.

          • Patrick Joseph Klocek

            I often get called a “denialist”. That’s not very nice but it is the go-to-word as soon as someone voices an opinion opposed to received orthodoxy.

        • SixSixSix

          Huh, who started the tin hat name calling?

      • NameNotGiven

        Keith, over 90% of regular CNN and MSNBC viewers think gun murder is up, when it has crashed by 50% in 20 years .

        • SixSixSix

          No, gun killings are up.

          • Patrick Klocek

            What’s your baseline? If it’s gun killings in 1750 … then, sure, they are up. If it’s killings in 1993, then it’s down.


          • SixSixSix

            1993? 1993? What happened in 1993? Oh yeah, Bill Clinton became President. Look how the decline began with the passage of tighter controls:

            You can also read it on the Pew charts (and supposing they are in fact accurate).

            Look, look that period also coincides with the passage of taxes to balance the budget which grew into surpluses. Wow, Democrats reduce both Republican violence and there incredible mismanagement of public funds.

            All told, there were 31,672 deaths from guns in the United States in 2010. But those are useless disposal people. So let’s be totally indifferent and let them die. A small price to pay for self indulgent gun “freedom” and the right to commit the treason of armed insurrection against the US government, city government, State government, hell, any government. If the Founders were insurrectionist, so we should be too. Hey, those 31,672 are dead so they can’t have rights, can they? Of course that is 300,000 over a decade, 1.7 million dead Americans over a 70 year life span. All the wars in American history do not come close to that body count. I think maybe the NRA is an Al Qaeda front.

          • Patrick Klocek

            I am not going to give Bubba credit for that. It’s a function of demographics. The sort of people who shoot each other and shoot themselves is very predictable. When you have a lot of people in that demographic cohort, you get a lot of homicides and suicides. By 1993, the trailing edge of that group has passed out of the danger zone.
            I think it is a mistake to blame guns. We need to look at the cause of a violent society. Plenty of societies have widespread gun ownership without high homicide rates … Norway, for one. Saying gun rights cause gun violence is like saying forks cause obesity.

          • SixSixSix

            You contradict yourself. You treat demographics as determinative but that would be true only with live ammunition in this case. I don’t think you can ignore the introduction of countermeasures to problem. It was not just a matter of us baby boomer leaving the hormone charged years. Gun fetish does cause concern, especially when turned loose in a class ridden, winner take all, racially divided society with deeply inequitable economic distribution and a long history of domestic violence that was core to its very creation, Civil War and oppression for 100 years thereafter. The US and Norway (and even Canada) are not comparable. Mexico would be, and guess what? Saying self indulgence and over availability of killing weapons, many with no other purpose, has no influence is to deny the three school shooting in as many days and 30,000 deaths per year which is out of whack except for the most desperate third world countries. Why do you people waste you time on worshipping weapons of death and mass murder? The most precious “freedom” is the freedom of life. Maybe you would like it if the rest of us advocate for our “right” to walk around with hand grenades as our “arms” of choice. Concealed and open carry hand grenades at that.

          • Patrick Klocek

            I am not sure where my contradiction was. But I simply seek to increase the number of variables considered. I will not deny that availability plays a role. Obviously, it must. But there are alternatives and substitutes for firearms when a society is bent on mass-slaughter (see Rwanda in the 1990s). But once you control for race and class, the US murder rate is not that much higher than Canada’s.

          • SixSixSix

            Once you control for class and race you eliminate nearly all differences with Canada. But it is what it is. I do not believe that using other means that are much less convenient would be anywhere near to being equal substitutes. I offer the Australian experience as indicative but admittedly not entirely determinative. America did worse things in its formative years, but modern America is not Rwanda. Why this obsession with pushing ever more of these weapons of death with such passion without any compassion? I totally reject the learned helplessness that implies the gun plague is unavoidable or ultimately uncontrollable for which we just sit by coldly watching the slaughter with indifference and false resignation. And then we have the gall to think the puny numbers killed on 9/11 justify a rash of wars all over the planet. Not buying any of it.

          • Patrick Joseph Klocek

            Yes, that was my point. The US murder rate has less to do with the presence of guns and more to do with difference in the US class/race system. I think these are the issues to address, the guns aren’t the problem. But they are the EASY and politically convenient target that allows a politician, or society, to avoid making hard choices. The unfortunate fact is that when you pull out African-Americans, the US murder rate plummets to roughly normal (slightly high) 1st World rate numbers. We should either consider disarming African-Americans or finding away to acculturate them more to the bourgeois-culture of the middle class which often owns guns but generally doesn’t shoot other people with them — unless you are Phil Spector.

          • SixSixSix

            I think that is totally naive. It is like saying shanks in prison don’t kill people, prisoners kill people. So let’s have unlimited access to shanks because they are not the problem. Obviously there will be other ways to kill. Obviously some shanks will slip though. But those prison with unlimited shanks, including machete level assault shanks, concealed carry shanks, and open carry shanks will have murder rates 10 times of more than those who try to control them, just like you know where with guns. It is brutally obvious common sense if you think about it.

            The existence of inherent social tensions and violence is reason to reduce the amount of arms floating around, not a reason to deny the reality of what they further enable and aggravate.

          • SixSixSix

            P.S. Two thirds of all gun deaths are suicides made easy. Want to break down those rates? I would also challenge that the murder rates are that lopsided.

      • jh


        I’d love to say that the people claiming screaming “fraud!” are full of crap but, unfortunately, they aren’t.

        McIntyre, I think, has demonstrated that much of Mann’s hockey stick was manufactured with dubious practices and that other members of “The Team” also employed dubious practices. Some folks might say that it was sloppy work generated in the heat of the moment and the heat of emotions and I do buy that to some extent – but not entirely. Some of these things are just too outrageous to be unintentional. Moreover, sloppy work is sloppy work, regardless oft he heat of the moment or the heat of emotions.

        I’m certain this strain of dubious practice does not include most climate scientists, but there’s no doubt that Mann’s Schtick, valid or not, generated a great deal of momentum for the climate-doom movement, and probably framed the way many researchers thought about climate.

        Whatever the case, it’s not a surprise to me that in the 4+ years since climategate occurred, there has been a substantial increase in the breadth of views on climate change in the climate science community and in the research being published. I think the range of views and ideas in the literature will continue to broaden in the coming years.

        So, is the entire climate science community guilt of fraud? No way. Not even close. Have some researchers used dubious methods and tactics to convince people that their views are correct? Absolutely. No question about it.

        • Patrick Klocek

          I used to be a researcher in Academia. I wasn’t in climate science but grad students are all the same. Everyone wants to land a post with tenure somewhere and the higher you go the more intense the competition. You need a new idea and need to make waves when you are young. I think a lot of young researchers (Michael Mann was in his 30s when he put out his Hockey Stick) needed to make names for themselves and they seized an opportunity with AGW. More than a few departments expanded with the hype of this AGW scare. New departments formed and chairs were endowed. We would have had a feeding frenzy for funding just the same … but we in history and political science never managed to convince anybody that we were quite so relevant

      • Thomas Fuller

        Happy New Year, Keith.

    • DavidAppell
      • jh

        A rather unremarkable set of “correct” predictions. I’m not sure I’d be bragging about it if I were you.

        • DavidAppell

          Really? How many correct predictions have you ever made? My guess is: none.

          • jh

            But you wouldn’t know that, would you? :)

            “Predicting” that CO2 would increase exponentially as more FF are used is hardly a scientific challenge. By the same token, it’s not much of a prediction that increasing CO2 will result in a decrease in outgoing radiation that is absorbed by CO2. It’s hard to classify either of these as great successes of climate science.

            Determining the radiation balance and therefore temperature of the moon, which is essentially a rock, is I’m sure good work but has almost no relevance to the climate on earth.

            It should hardly have been rocket science to “predict” that warming would be greater over the poles than elsewhere, or that it would be greater over land than over the oceans. These are not “predictions” of GCMs, but simple conclusions that are obvious from the basic physics of the planet. It’s interesting that the not-so-obvious prediction of the “vertical amplification” in the tropics has yet to occur.

            Arrhenius’ prediction that CO2 would warm the planet stands out as the only major correct prediction of the bunch.

            If the Earth were a simple rock like the moon, subject to simple physical calculations, we’d have understood the climate – insofar as it would have one – long ago. But that’s the rub. It ain’t a rock. It’s a dynamic planet with multiple processes impacting climate operating at time scales ranging over many orders of magnitude.

          • DavidAppell

            Determining the radiation balance and therefore temperature of the moon

            Can you calculate the temperture of the moon?
            I doubt it.
            I can:

          • DavidAppell

            CO2-warming is also a “basic prediction” of physics.
            Notice how you completely dismiss that while also dismissing all the other successful predictions of physics.
            Makes me wonder what your point it.

          • Thomas Fuller

            Is that a prediction, Mr. Appell-crusher? How many points did you get for this post?

      • NameNotGiven

        That leaves out huge numbers of studies stating we were sliding toward cooling in the 1970’s.
        The author of that is as flat earth as those he seeks to criticize.
        He unwittingly proved the point of AWG theory critics by being unscientific himself

        • facefault
          • Thomas Fuller

            No, but Stephen Schneider wrote one of the papers. People who note that there were few papers promoting the cooling theme forget that. There were about half a dozen serious papers in serious journals considering it–they generated a lot of buzz in the mainstream media.

            What those papers didn’t get was a lot of criticism from the scientific community. Not for two or three years, anyhow.

            Ain’t the internet a wondrous thing?

      • Thomas Fuller

        Does the science indicate that average people should be worried? The IPCC says that extreme weather will not start to affect us before 2040. Stern projects that the total cost of global warming will be 5% of GDP in a world that is growing steadily wealthier. Sea level rise is projected to be between 18 and 59 centimeters this century.

        Does that warrant fear?

        • DavidAppell

          Where does the IPCC say that extreme weather will not start to affect us before 2040? Volume, chapter, and page number, please.

          • Thomas Fuller

            Hey, Crusher–if you’re too busy following team instructions to disrupt climate threads to actually read what the IPCC has written in their reports, maybe you should adjust the balance of how you spend your time. I remember when Tobis asked me the same question–why don’t you go ask him where he found the answer?

    • Spencet

      The logic of oldwolves statement is amazing….yes the scientists HAVE been wrong, but their estimates have been LOW, not high. No, they were NOT discovered as frauds – if you followed the email scandal, that was not what it revealed at all. Yes, the world’s temperature IS rising, and we are likely seeing exactly the things you talk about. More than 99% of the the peer reviewed articles on climate support the notiion of global waming…etc., etc.

  • Andy_Revkin

    I’ve got to go back to 2006, when I wrote “Yelling Fire on a Hot Planet” – pushing back on those “be worried” pieces. Helen Ingram said it then and many have said it since: a lack of salience. That’s why Six Americas, while invaluable in many ways, is — on this scale — charting water sloshing in a (still) shallow pan. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/23/weekinreview/23revkin.html

  • FosterBoondoggle

    There’s no mystery here. Humans notoriously underestimate the impact and consequences of high probability hazards — viz texting while driving, smoking — while overestimating the salience of low-risk and low-probability events such as hypothetical cancer risk from Fukushima or GM food. AGW has the added feature that it has become political, which generates a lot of motivated reasoning. As you well know, most people have no clue about how to evaluate scientific claims and the acceptance or rejection of a theory by the scientific community. As long as motivated reasoning drives the thinking of enough people, surveys like Yale’s are just measuring tribal affiliation.

    • NameNotGiven

      What is fascinating is you mention GMO. The vast scientific consensus is it is not dangerous.
      You are flat earth yourself

      • PaulM

        NoName, Foster said that humans overestimate the risk of GM food, he’s not saying its dangerous. Just mentioning it doesn’t mean he’s agreeing with folks who think GMOs are bad.

        • SixSixSix

          The risk from GMOs, other than immoral assertions of patents, are yet to be played out. Somebody has an allergy to anything you care name that isn’t pure water. Sometimes a lot of people, like most humans on this planet are allergic to cow’s milk. Peanuts and seafoods kill a surprisingly large number of people if ingested, even accidentally. Express the wrong gene in a food that should not be expected to have it, and somewhere soon there will be a crisis. Like maybe grapes that resist freezing from artificially inserted shrimp genes. The actual cases are yet to happen but it is basic biology that it will.

          • Patrick Klocek

            I am reasonably sure that the good people at Monsanto and ADM will test those new strains before they bring them to market because it’s their reputation on the line. It’s not like they are the government who feels free to force everyone to use Healthcare.gov under penalty of fines even when the site doesn’t work. Governments can coerce, corporations must persuade.

          • SixSixSix

            If you think that for profit companies will put anything ahead of making money,you are totally naive. If you ever worked for one, you also know they are huge bureaucracies which do things on their own internal dynamics. Do you really think they are any different than tobacco companies or that hedge funds managers would let them behave any other way. That’s why we regulate food and drugs, and a number of other things of vital safety. But our intimidated regulators follow after technology waiting until damage is demonstrated. By the way, Healthcare.gov got fixed up a lost faster than Microsoft can get out of the Windows 8 debacle or Target has come clean about its negligent protection of personal financial information. Healthcare.gov did not come near me (or 95% of Americans), although it did well enough when I poke around, but I am still feeling the effects from Target. Got another new shiny card yesterday from my bank.

          • Patrick Klocek

            I don’t know that regulators are intimidated. I would say that they usually go native or are co-opted by those they regulate quite quickly. Competition regulates the market — fear of losing your brand’s good name — as effectively as some lawyer-bureaucrat looking forward to later sitting on the board of directors of that same corporation.

          • SixSixSix

            Vicious paid off Republican Congress with fake scandals and investigations. I would say they are intimidated because the same people buy Democrats too. And yes if they are in a position to jump ship that effectively buys off those ones too. A sad system of corrupt for ideological gain to serve the super economic elite. Government should balance unequal relationships, but even that gets attacked. Would you want to stick your neck out to serve politicians who openly denigrate you?

          • Patrick Joseph Klocek

            The only ones who have denigrated me are Democrats, especially BHO.
            The only way to stop government from aiding corporate interests is to stop allowing government to have any control of influence to peddle. Vote Libertarian!

          • SixSixSix

            Totally naive placing the slave collar on your own neck. The Tories (look it up) are laughing at you all the way to the bank.

          • Patrick Joseph Klocek

            Labour!?!? HA!!! Things were never worse in the UK than they were in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Thanks Labour! I suggest you look that up if you weren’t old enough to remember it.

          • SixSixSix

            Tories were the Conservatives who lost the American Revolutionary War. They lost the Civil War and won pretty much everyone other battle in American history. Libertarians are foolish handmaidens of the economic super elite. They provide cover, camouflage, and rationalization for the unlimited rampage of the plutocratic oligarchs.

          • Patrick Joseph Klocek

            It sounds like your understanding of history was acquired from street corner ranters and other assorted misfits. As a principle, I support the Tories in UK elections although recently I have been supporting UKip.

          • SixSixSix

            You still don’t get it. Think history, not the current meaning in British or Canadian politics. Before the United Empire Loyalist were booted out of what became the United States of America, the Conservative side of the day were called Tories. On the other hand, the Radical side called themselves Patriots. The US Revolutionary War was both a civil war and war of independence. In fact, the British over calculated the contribution that local support would offer. In order to maintain that support, they further refrained from the worst slash and burn tactics they had demonstrated for centuries in Scotland and Ireland. Once the Tories fled, some back to England, but most to British North America later called Canada, they became known as the United Empire Loyalists where they are honored as such today.

          • Patrick Joseph Klocek

            Yes, we all know and that is the reason for the convergence of accents between the US and Canada — the massive population sharing. But what does that have to do with my position that CO2 levels are actually at a historic low right now — not a high?

          • SixSixSix

            Actually,that does not explain the linguistic differences that are regionally far less in Canada than the US, especially considering the UE Loyalists came from New England and the South. As for your “fact”, it is not true. Sorry empiricism trumps wishful thinking. Your world of innuendos and slurs are delusional.

    • jh

      “most people have no clue about how to evaluate scientific claims and the acceptance or rejection of a theory by the scientific community.”

      Sure they do. If the same community makes bogus claims frequently, they stop paying close attention.

      The scientific community, unfortunately, makes bogus claims almost daily (cholesterol, peak oil, etc). They like to claim that its just the press hyping their work and taking it out of context, but of course that’s total bullshit. Scientist hype their work all the time, in everything from talks to grant proposals to papers. It’s getting so bad that they don’t know the difference between the hype and the reality of what their data actually supports.

      Now, you might say “hey, that’s only 10% or so of scientists doing that” and maybe you’re right. But those are the headlines, so everyone else has to live with it.

    • Patrick Klocek

      The “scientific community” is incentivized to make alarming predictions to the press and government to gain attention and funding even at the cost of alienating some of their colleagues in the “scientific community.” So, when you look at a Freeman Dyson relative to a Michael Mann, you may ask which is the right team??? Which is the team on the take?

      • FosterBoondoggle

        As long as we’re invoking self-interest as a reason to discredit the scientists, it’s worth mentioning that all of us developed world fossil fuel users are also self-interested, but in this case towards ignoring the downside. The cost would be on us now, while the benefits will be to poorer people all over the world (but also to our grandchildren). The self-interest argument cuts both ways, and it certainly assumes quite a conspiracy to argue that it extends to the 95+% of climate scientists who agree that our CO2 output will cause extreme climate change.

        I’m grateful that you reference Dyson – a physicist – rather than politicians and AM radio bloviators. Dyson’s view seems rather more nuanced than you’re crediting. He does not say that CO2 emissions aren’t causing AGW. The science on that has been understood since the late 19th century. He just doesn’t think it’s important enough to forestall. He says this in his review of a book by Nordhaus on the economics of climate change:
        There is a worldwide secular religion which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible …
        [T]he ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists—most of whom are not scientists—holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

        You didn’t mention Richard Muller, another notable scientist skeptical specifically of the Mann et. al. “hockey stick”. I assume that’s because Muller, after deciding that he’d only trust research he did himself, replicated the Mann results. From the Wikipedia page on Muller:

        When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.
        Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate.

  • Ken Falkenstein

    Because the establishment “news” media are so obviously propagandists for the leftist movement that they no longer have any credibility.

    • Rusko

      The ‘leftist’ movement. You mean the great awakening? The people who have grown tired of the oil industry lying to us?

      • DaBilk

        Please let the rest of us know when you have finished waking up. Then you will be prepared to join reality.

      • Patrick Klocek

        And what lie have they told you?

  • Kuze81

    “Very worried” will increase in percentage if:
    1. Economy improves. “Climate” usually ends up around 20th out of 20 on surveys where issues are ranked by importance. If economy booms more people will have the luxury of scaring themselves with TIME magazine and documentaries. Until then you’ll still get token acceptance and the plain “worried” about climate change that you have today.
    2. Surface temperatures take dramatic upwards turn. It needs to get much warmer for population to notice or be convinced of likelihood of tangible costs to carbon emissions. Until then you’ll still see the standard words/actions disparity of even some of the most vocal climate campaigners (eg: decrying fossil fuels but still enjoying the benefits without meaningfully altering lifestyle).
    3. a)An actual massive increase in “extreme weather”
    b)An increased exploitation of the public’s availability heuristic by the media to build perception that bad weather is increasing
    In so far as what this means for meaningful action on climate change all three are suceptible to Pielke’s “Iron Law” that economic growth will take precedence over climate action.

    • CrankyMiddleAgedGuy

      OK – let address the “extreme” weather bit. Years ago, my Physics lecturer told us to always to “reasonable” tests. Does the result really make sense? Did you press the wrong button on the calculator? Is you model completely wrong? See If you can confirm it by appealing to common sense, rough approximations and the like.

      So lets give it a go with extreme weather.

      The idea is somehow we lucked into the position that the weather is OK but a minor change in temperature (tiny fractions of a degree) will dramatically increase extreme weather. A “tipping” point. I remember “scientists” claiming in the news that the number of severe storms had tripled over summer because of global warming. So apparently a change of 0.5 degrees (I’m being generous) causes a 3x increase in storms. But a 5 degrees forecast would imply (3)^10 =59,000 increase in storms. OK – the response may be linear (giving a 30x increase in storms), but it would have to have highly convex to avoid a large effect. Would a 0.5 degree drop have a similar effect? It is possible to go on, but the only real way to avoid the extreme weather nonsense is to assume we are at a special “tipping” point. Well, the weather data shows that the weather now is not particular cold or hot, and there have been significant variation in the part without weather disaster of the implied magnitude. A simple thought experiment indicates that at least the extreme weather claim is nonsense.

      Most importantly similar analysis, combined with contrary evidence in the real world indicates that man-made climate change is highly questionable.

      • Kuze81

        I should point out that my comment was more directed at the sociological factors affecting belief in global warming and not on the degree to which its actually happening.

        As the IPCC has currently noted, the rise in “extreme weather” is largely relegated to heat waves and high temperature records.

  • Buddy199

    I can think of a few of reasons:

    – Because the weather isn’t changing in any noticeable way as catastrophists predicted. Severe weather events do not show a pattern of increased occurrence. Global warming has actually stabilized, contrary to their models and predictions. Catastrophists shout: “Are you going to believe me, or your own eyes?” The public yawns.

    – Most catastrophic predictions over the past few decades have not come to pass. Killer Bees didn’t sting us into submission. The world didn’t run out of oil 10 years ago. AIDS didn’t turn out to be the Bubonic plague. The arctic ice cap didn’t melt last year.

    – Why are 15% “very” worried? They’re probably “very” neurotic worriers to begin with, and of an ideological bent that them makes more prone to believe the AGW we’re-all-doomed message (I’d bet there’s an amazing overlap with the anti-GMO crowd). They’re sort of the flip
    side of the Glen Beck Plan 9 from outer space folks.

    – Catastrophists come off like any other hard sell types; self-serving, with an ulterior agenda and a lot of B.S. mixed in with any truth.

    – Most importantly, people have better things to worry about. Things more immediate, closer to their wallet, their kid’s education, WTF is happening to their health care, whether this f**ing recession will ever end so I don’t have to worry about losing my job and maybe, God forbid, getting a raise some day. You know, things like that.

    • PaulM

      You should know that “weather” is not “climate.” The arctic ice cap did melt last year, and will continue to melt. Until the desalinization gets to the tipping point off of Greenland and dramatically alters ocean currents, I’ll fully understand why deniers are in denial. Change like this is hard to see and therefore easy to deny.

      For the record, bring me all the GM food I can eat!

      • Tom Scharf

        “weather” is not “climate”….

        …unless you tell us it is, right?

        Extreme events, anyone?

      • Buddy199

        I realize the difference between weather and long term climate patterns. However, most people don’t, which is why I think they don’t place much priority on global warming. Also, the pro-AGW media constantly fudge the two concepts to suit their needs. Whenever it’s really hot – gee, that proves global warming is real. Whenever it’s really cold, like 2 weeks ago, well that just proves climate change is real. You don’t have to be a scientist to spot the “heads I win, tails you lose” logic which undermines the credibility of the AGW folks in the eyes of the general public.

  • DrNomad

    It seems to me from the convention below, scientists have done real dishonor to themselves and global climate change if any by politicizing the issue…. maybe non regurgitated data Would help. The scientific community has to understand tat this subject is not one that can be sidelined with hopes of media or government support and needs to be fed to the public in everyday language. Explaining why while record cold winter or recosupported in parts of antarctic are happening now the world avg temp is actually raising… If not sold with proper language and proper support by credible scientists it will never get supported.

    • Buddy199

      There’s no controversy surrounding the Large Hadron Collider or satellites doing space surveys. Those scientists didn’t let themselves and their science get hijacked and used as a tool by ideologues trying to push a political agenda. I can imagine it’s irresistible to turn down feeding at the trough of government funding and career advancement. But when you sleep with dogs you get fleas. Climate scientists have no one to blame for the damage to their own credibility but themselves.

  • GoldBell

    Just stop it. India and China are predicted to increase the the carbon output in the coming decade by a full one third.
    No global carbon tax scam is going to change that.
    Putting manufacturing back in nations that can and will try to keep it as clean as possible is the only way.

    • Patrick Klocek

      People in India still cook their dinners and boil their tea using wood. That’s way worse than coal or natural gas. There are days that you can’t see more than a few miles in Mumbai — I know, I work in Mumbai. During the monsoons, I could see the control tower of the airport just five miles away. Now that the monsoons have ended and the smoke is collecting, I can’t see a darn thing past about 2 miles (and I am on the 26th floor).

  • MediaOps

    This article focuses on public opinion as if people formed opinions in a vacuum or only around the scientific debate. It ignores the other critical factors in that debate: Politics, media, industry and religion..

    Ignoring the role played by conservative media is like ignoring the role of greenhouse gasses. The fact that climate change is continuously and loudly denied and condemned by Foxnews and the thousand or so right-wing & religious talk shows coast to coast, is central to how Americans form their opinions on the matter.

    Another major factor is that roughly half of Americans still believe in Biblical Creationism, which promotes mistrust of science as “godless humanism” or even “lies straight from the pit of hell,” and demands belief that the Bible is the “infallible, literal word of God,” and that to question it will result in eternal damnation. This has an extremely profound effect on Americans’ attitudes toward science in general and climate change and Evolution in particular.

    Compounding this is the widespread fundamentalist belief that the Earth is the “wicked realm of Satan,” which must be conquered and vanquished, and that environmental degradation is simply unimportant, since Jesus is returning any day now to send unbelievers to perdition and restore the Earth to a pristine state,

    And then there’s the huge factor of industrial PR, which stealthily discounts and denies climate change, plus the fact that much of the funding for climate change deniers comes from fossil fuel industries.

    Scientists I’ve talked to are afraid to even discuss these factors, saying they don’t want to “politicize” science. But the fact is, science has already been politicized by the loud, often irrational voices on the right, calling climate change a “liberal hoax,” etc. and have made climate change denial a central article of faith in conservative doctrine. Needless to say, many scientists also fear for their jobs if they speak out on the issue.

    A few heroic scientists, however, like Bill ‘the lionheart’ Nye, are making a gallant stand against belief in evil spirits and anti-science propaganda.

    Let’s hope he inspires more scientists to take a stand against the creeping return to superstition and ignorance.

    In Carl Sagan’s masterful, lucid and fascinating book on science and superstition, THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD, Sagan tackles head-on this central question of our time: The incremental abandonment of science and reason and the slow slide backwards into the dark pit of superstition.

    It is still in print and available online.

    • Buddy199

      Loosen you tin foil hat some.

    • NameNotGiven

      Believing that god created the earth, which a MAJORITY of those with science degrees believe, and believing that it is 6,000 years old are not the same thing.
      The vast majority of world Christians are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox and they do NOT hold to a literal timeline, and accept that as figurative, and thereby do NOT have a problem with billions of years of geologic history or for that matter evolution
      And the fact is MOST of the anti science movements of today are from the LEFT. The Anti vaccine, gun control and anti GMO movements, heck even the anti-fluoride movement are all on the LEFT
      The SCIENCE shows us people like tea party members have a better grasp of science (see the Yale study, just google yale tea party science) than the average Democrat.

  • Dana Bishop

    global warming the biggest ruse played on gullibe Americans! it has become a religion!!! silly people!

    • disconsolatechimera

      You know, there is a world outside the U.S. And the majority of it is of the “very worried” school of thought, i.e., believes climate change is a problem that needs to be addressed.

      • Patrick Klocek

        The “majority” of the world speaks either Chinese, Hindi, or Arabic and having lived amongst all three of those people — I can tell you that they don’t give two hoots about AGW.

  • Some Rabbit

    Look, we know when we’re being bullshitted. Commonsense (our eyes and skin) tell us it’s not getting dramatically warmer. None of the dire predictions made 10 years ago have come true. And frankly, all this incessant nagging is becoming tedious. So just STFU already, we’re tired of it. We’re not going to bankrupt ourselves over some fairy tale so the rich elites can continue lives of wretched excess while the rest of us suffer.

  • NameNotGiven

    The consensus of scientists 35 years ago, and that is is not medieval superstitious times, was that we were under threat of global cooling.
    You also have this conflation of the current consensus on global warming — duh earth has been warmer than today for MOST of its geologic history — with the issue of weather this is mostly caused by people or not (anthropogenic)/
    The issue of whether the warming is mostly caused by man is not settled science.
    Just mosey on over to wikiepdia on glacial maximums. We are at a near glacial maximum. Today we have more glacial cover than the average. Yes the glaciers went down further south 10,000 years ago but that was at the height of an ice age. In most of earth history the north and south pole have not had a since glacier.
    We are and would be in a warming trend because we are oscillating out of a glacial maximum — and that is even within a larger oscillation.

  • Tom Scharf

    Most people are pretty apathetic about the science. What they get emotional about is the proposed solutions to the problems.

    The AGW proponents couldn’t help themselves from pushing really hard on a progressive agenda. Just take a close look at what “climate justice” entails. How many political activists have co-opted climate science for their cause? It is a classic case of political over-reach. This is the Achilles heel of the movement. It is no surprise that a political backlash occurred.

    How many movements have benefited from political polarization? I would say pretty close to zero. It has become trench warfare. And the skeptics win with business as usual.

    There certainly are some signs that people are sensing there is never going to be a political “win” here. It is not a political issue in the US. It wasn’t even discussed in the presidential debates. Neither side wanted that tar baby. The left doesn’t have to push very hard on this, the greens are a captive voting block. They will never vote Republican, so they have little leverage on their own party.

    The media sells fear on everything nowadays, not just climate. People have climate fatigue, and mostly media fatigue. Most can tell the difference between a real crisis and a manufactured crisis.

    Your 401K’s dropping 40% in value in 2008 is a REAL crisis. Slowly melting ice in the Arctic is not. 1 inch per decade sea level rise is not a crisis. There simply aren’t any big piles of bodies caused by climate change. The self elected climate thought leaders pushing the “doom is already upon us” have only reduced credibility further.

    I think most people are taking a “wait and see” attitude. Because of the political polarization it is unlikely there will be any movement soon. Oh, did I mention the 15 year plateau?

  • J M

    “But then why isn’t the incessant climate doom message in the media getting through to more than 15% of Americans?”

    Well, Keith, it does not seem to get to you so why do you wonder?

    “I must admit that I find the collapse junkies entertaining. I’m sure they believe the world is headed for a crash and their sincerity and eloquence is enough to scare some of us senseless.”


  • PaulFelixSchott

    World Leaders Pay Close “ATTENTION”.

    This Planet Earth Cannot And Will Not Support Life As We Know It Without Its FOREST.

    Soon all will take note to the sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes and Earthquakes Around Earth
    that are Waking Up at a Alarming Rate. Just as they did in 1883 from Krakatoa.


    Read well and study on your own after you have read this.

    This is not a game or joke our Sun gives off a Solar Wind all day year round. If you live in the State of
    Alaska you see it in the sky above what a sight it is going through our Earth’s Magnet Polls of the
    North and the South, North Poll. Its Called the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis.

    The day will come when you will be able to see it all over Earth as in the year 1859 Solar Flare,
    It was the largest in 500 years. Two Astronomer’s Hodgson and Carrington told the World that the
    Solar Flare made a Geomagnetic Storm reach Earth in hours not days. Back then it gave new meaning to
    “Reach For The Skies” from Telegraph Operators. For hours sparks flew from the key board. Even after
    the Batteries were disconnected. Nov 3 and 4, 2003 had a X40+ Class Solar Flare,
    Thank GOD it was not coming at Earth this time.

    Our Sun’s UV Rays will get stronger as each passing day go’s by, read and i will tell you why.

    The Great big FOREST have be striped from most of the Earth for Greed of Money by the Wicked.
    The trees our are Main Source of Oxygen on this Plant.

    The Forest Trees scrubs the Pollution out of the air and makes Oxygen from the rain and dirt that it grows in.

    The Forest Trees do more then just make Oxygen they stop Soil Erosion, just Look at the 1930 Dust Bowl. Greed by
    our wicked Government leaders to bleed from us as much money as they could out of us tru taxes led farmers to clear cut all their
    Forest, and farm all the land they were being Tax on.
    They had to farm it to pay for the Taxes. Why leave the Trees when food crop makes Money.

    This Did not Help the Depression that effected most all Worldwide. More then 100 million in the coming years will suffer from
    Malnutrition and Dehydration. Going without Food and Safe Drinking Water to drink many will die!

    One country can see clearly and knows already the World’s food and safe drinking water supply is running out at a record pace.
    With one of the worlds largest Population it has taking steps to no longer let anyone in its country, export any of its farmland grown
    food or grain from INDIA to any other country Nov 2013.

    China is trying to buy up all the world’s grain it can and the future harvest of framers.
    Future Commodities of Food Stocks soon will climb like a rocket because of this.
    China is also right now working on passing laws on its farmers. China Rural Reforms On Farming Jan 2014.
    It to soon will become a country that will not export any of its food or grain to any other country.

    In the United States of America alone more than 46+ Million Americans Received Food Stamps and that number is
    going up every day every year since 2009. The number of Homeless is growing world wide in
    America 20,000 in the once known to the world as “Motor City” Detroit Michagin.
    The bread and food lines are growing World wide. 100 to 300 in
    Sioux Falls S.D. Every Friday stand in the cold waiting to get food at the Military Armary. The same once a
    month in Hawaii in front of a Stone that drowafs any man That reads…….

    it list the names of many

    Through the years many of us have help cook and feed the poor and needy in Hawaii and around the World,
    most of us USA Military or work or did work or Volteered for Uncle Sam.
    And GOD willing may we be able to do so till our LORD returns.

    The Pollution and CO2 Carbon Dioxide go into the Tree Bark as a shield from most bugs so they do not eat the tree.

    Less Forest less Oxygen this is why the Moon. That has no Oxygen is very cold on the side with out Sun Light,
    And hot as ever on the side with Sun Light. Way too cold and too hot to live there. You would need at least 10
    times the Energy we use on Earth to even live there and life on the Moon would be very short.

    With no blank of Oxygen to lessen or reduce the Sun’s UV Rays and Solar Wind they are deadly there on our Moon.
    Every Mt. Climber and Aircraft Pilot knows the higher you go the thinner the Oxygen and colder it gets.

    Just spend a night on a Mt. top above 13,000 feet with no Sun Light and you will see or should i say feel the
    cold stinging any of your exposed skin. If you are new to Mt. Climbing stay below 10,000Ft. The Astronauts and
    the Cosmonauts and Fighter Pilots that i have been with for years know this very well, and the Radiation Hazards
    to humans at High Altitudes.

    Soon the Sun’s Solar Wind and UV rays will be way to strong for most to go out in the Sun Light for even a short time.

    The Geomagnetic Storm to come and the Bad Weather Storms well you have not seen nothing yet and the Sea Level is Rising
    the Oceans. Many Millions have been affected by Floods in China and Pakistan and around the planet.
    Every year there is more storms and they are stronger of greater magnatude and biger.
    In 2005 Over a Thousand dead in New Orleans flood, and the list is going on.

    GREENLAND Ice sheet took more then 3,000 years to get its mass size and weight.

    Greenland’Ice sheet is one of the largest ice sheets
    on this Planet Earth it is the second in mass.

    People on Earth are putting an end to it in less then 50 years.

    There is a very simple point to this. Dams all over the planet have had
    a Earthquake when filled too fast or let out alot of water in a short time.

    GREENLAND Ice sheet Weight is a unbeliveable amount as it gets lighter,
    GREENLAND ICE sheet WILL give a Earthquake no one will forget.
    Coastal cities LOOK OUT a Mt. Wall Of Water will come, from one of these Earthquakes.

    If you live by the coastline now is a good and smart time to move you might not get
    another chance to do so in time.

    History has recorded times of coastal towns,
    cities and coastline being inandated by sea water 5 to 10 miles inland.

    In the past 50 years Earth has had more FLOODING then in the last 1,000 years.


    And there shall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes, in divers places such as was not from the beginning of the Creation.

    Scientist Dr. Katharine Giles had done many experiments investigating “Sea Ice Thickness”,
    and showed it to governments around the Earth how the Sun rays and winds
    affected the newly exposed Arctic Ocean. Some of Scientist Dr. Giles research focused on using satellites to better
    understand the physics of the ice covered Polar Oceans.

    Scientist Dr. Giles to all Warning Water will warm faster then ICE covered water or water with ice in it.

    The last 30 years On Earth we have broke all High Temp Records and the temp it is still going up.
    All the Worlds Ice Glacier are melting at an Accelerating Rate. The Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps store more water than
    all the Fresh Water Lakes on Earth.

    Look to the (US Gov web site “USGS U.S. Geological Survey” Repeat Photography of Alaskan Glaciers USGS)

    The Bad Weather Storms now are Babies compared to what is to come.

    They will get even bigger and worse less Oxygen the more UV Rays to the Earth and more Water molecules will evaporate and go
    up into the Earth’s Atmosphere. Less Oxygen the Colder with out sun light and Hotter with it.
    Record cold and record hot temps, highs and lows will now be broke every year.

    The Sky full of more water vapor molecules, more snow in the winter and more Flash Floods in the Summer. All earth will
    see way more fires and the Deserts are growing larger and have been for the last 75+ years.
    Satan’s Sin City “Las Vegas” very soon to die like a fish out of water. And to become hot as hell when the electric power goes out.

    The Governor of California Jerry Brown has declared a State Of Emergency due to the driest DROUGHT in Califronia’s history. Friday January 17, 2014
    Lake Mead at record low and soon will not be able to make electric power.

    (” If every living person on Earth were to Plant A Tree Today we might have a chance.”)

    IN PAKISTAN MORE THEN A MILLION TREES IN A DAY, and they did this for days.

    NOW WHY CAN WE NOT DO THIS WORLD WIDE? Maybe the UN and leaders on this planet are just a little more then show in the head.

    OUR Planets Atmosphere needs Oxygen with the decline of it the world’s health will decline, as like some of the
    not so smart gov payed Scientist. Some that will do or say anything for $$$$$.
    Once the days start gettig shorter the cooler it will get and longer days warmer, most all fifth graders and every framer on Earth knows this.
    IF they had know better and had a brain like a Scientist to go with the tital of one they carry they would have known,
    that the Sea Ice is going to grow at a Record Pace with Shorter Days. Just as with longer days the summers are going to
    brake all records each and every year that OUR Planets Atmosphere Oxygen declines.
    Mid Summer Days hot as Hell, Winter Nights POLAR BEAR WEATHER.

    (“EXPEDITIONS on ships into ice seas many have been done most all know it is safer and wiser to do it as the days are getting
    longer not as a fool when the days are getting shorter. You risk yours and the lifes of others that will come to rescue you.
    World Leaders and your Scientist be Smart open your eyes most all on Earth can see and want to hear the TRUTH from its leaders.
    Stop running your vessel Afoul. If you follow a true course the spirit that gives your heart its life will give you great wisdom
    and strength and power to resist the wicked.”)

    Scientist are you afraid of loseing that fat pay check,
    or think that the wicked will end your work like NOBLE BRAVEHEARTED Scientist Dr. Katharine Giles.
    Everyone that the wicked think they have stoped its work 100 will replace that NOBLE BRAVEHEARTED one.
    By your work shall ye be judged do good help others and always seek and tell the TRUTH.
    Every soul will be filled with great fear that don’t help others and don’t seek the truth and our LORD, JUDGEMENT DAY.

    The Earth’s Atmosphere Blanket surrounding it protects life on Earth as Our Lord and GOD will all that seek Him.

    Then it is written WHEN THE TREE IS FULL IT IS HARVEST TIME. All the Earth will someday burn away.

    This is all Foretold in the Bible Read it
    and may our Lord Bless all that do so.

    Daniel 12 : 1 – 3

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott


    2 Peter 3:10
    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar
    and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the Earth and its works will be burned up.

    GOD Bless You and Your Love ones
    Give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ every day.

    Luke 21:20-22
    Matthew 24: 30-33

    Solar Energy the way to go.
    Many States and Countries Are and are Banning Fracking.


    Hydraulic Fracturing a Danger to us All.

    Archimedes and Albert Einstein
    These two are at the top of the list of the Worlds Greatest Scientists,
    Viewed by Scientist around the World.

    Sad that for the last 25 years or so of every teacher asked no matter what
    Grade k through 16. At least 80% of them did not know Archimedes. Even sadder 90%
    of them could not tell you what one of the most Brilliant Scientist to ever
    live on Earth. Won the Nobel Prize for.

    It was for the work Albert Einstein did to show the World it could get
    Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. (THE PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT).

    We still do not Teach this to are young Why?
    Churches all over earth are Going Solar why not are schools?
    In many cities and more added every day there are more (EV’s) Electric Vehicles Charging Stations than gasoline, the UK was one of the first.
    Wicked Leaders and many that are in the Dark and Lost wake up it will very soon be too late.

    Please go to (Electric Vehicle Charging Station map) Oil CEO’s soon to lose more than their shirt.
    FREE SOLAR ENERGY FROM THE SUN. Why KEEP sending your TAX $$$$$ to the Middle East.

    Canada is next door obama and is one of our Closest Allies. Canada keystone pipeline in January 2012,
    President Obama put the brakes on and rejected the application. We should have done all we could, to have completed the project long ago.
    Sorry obama i forgot Canada did close the wicked Muslin Islamic Republic Den Of Spies And Espionage in Canada and tell the Terrorist supporting
    people working in them to leave Canada in less then 5 days or go straight to jail.
    You obama are still trying to send Muslins all the USA tax money you can.

    WHY ARE WE STILL SENDING $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ TO THE Middle East ?

    There is enough Energy coming from our SUN to power all are needs and then some.
    Albert Einstein

  • http://www.nicescorts.com/ JUAN

    Caring for the Earth and care for climate change, is the way to live well in this world http://www.nicescorts.com

  • Paul Matthews

    It is hard to tell if this post is serious or ironic.
    Is Keith really surprised that talk of disaster makes people more sceptical?
    I have written about the poll at

  • Buddy199

    The Sun could be entering a phase of “solar lull” similar to the Maunder Minimum. If so, it will be interesting to compare climate conditions between the modern and 17th century periods to see just how much human activity actually affects climate.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    There has always been someone preaching doom since at least the dawn of the second millennium. In the end doom fails to happen and people move on.

    As to global warming in particular, what ever you think of the evidence that the world is warming and the humans are the cause, the evidence that the result with be catastrophic is at best very weak.

    The very paper that AR4 cited for the increase in deaths to to extreme heat and extreme heat related weather also looked at deaths do to extreme cold and extreme cold related weather. Look at the details of that paper and under the IPCC’s worst case senario the reduction in deaths due to cold exceeds the increase in deaths due to heat by an order of magnitude.

    The weight of empirical evidence is that a warmer world would be better for both the biosphere in general and for humans in particular.

    Extreme cold kills far more people on a global basis than extreme heat.

  • mipak

    I might be worried if I was a Polar Bear but as a human living a mile above sea level not so much……

    • Patrick Klocek

      Even if ocean levels rose 80-120 cm (3 feet or so), that would require nothing more than a few socialites and idle rich abandon their Malibu or Monaco beach houses … if that. I can live with that.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Nik Keun

    I dont worry about global warming, because its pointless to do so. Its been happening for the last 15-20,000 years, and its part of a 100,000 year cycle, and we are gradually approaching the apogee.
    Its an asymptotic curve, so will increase more and more rapidly. Nothing humans can do will alter it, unless they can turn the ‘wick’ down on the sun.
    All the ‘carbon tax rip-offs’ in the world will do nothing except make government departments richer, and the population in general poorer.

  • Paul Shipley

    Reading the comments here that are quite often emotive it is no wonder that next to nobody is extremely worried. Everyone seems to think it is up for debate. So until a decision is made so why should they be worried. The consensus is you are a trendy lefty if you believe in climate change or a radical right winger if you don’t.
    Take a look at this link and decide for yourself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveys_of_scientists'_views_on_climate_change

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com William Masters

    “You can fool all the people some of the time, and you can
    fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the
    people all the

    Abraham Lincoln

    The reasons for the growing doubt is the increase in the people’s
    knowledge of the truth. The press can not keep the truth from
    being known, they can only slow its dissemination, in time, the truth
    outs because truth is stronger than fiction.

    Let’s look at the claims made by the Man Made global warming

    Increasing levels of man made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is
    helping to trap heat in the upper atmosphere (that would
    otherwise be sent out into space), and so artificially warms the

    This gas is responsible for the record warm temps in the
    1990’s and for the record low ice pack in the arctic in 2012.

    Truth, however, shows us something completely opposite.

    In 1997, earth temperatures started to fall and have been falling
    for the past 13 years. This in spit of the fact that man made
    carbon dioxide levels are higher than they were in the early 1990s.

    Plus, the ice pack in the arctic in 2013 is 60% greater than in
    2012. In spite of the fact that carbon dioxide levels have not

    Since green-house gases are greater today than in the 1990’s and
    we aren’t seeing the warm temps of the early 1990’s, logic tells
    us that the green-house gasses were not responsible for the high
    temps of the 90’s erstwhile, we’d still have those high temps today.
    Likewise with no drop in green-house gases, the ice pack is growing,
    when we were told it would continue to shrink because of the
    green-house gases.

    The rule of “Cause and Effect” states that when the
    cause is removed then the effect should stop. Yet the effect,
    high temps and less pack ice, has stopped, while the cause
    has gotten worse.

    Even poorly educated people understand “Cause and Effect”,
    and they can see that it doesn’t apply to the man-made warming claims
    being made.

    Without a consistent effect to point to, the climet war is being
    won by the deniers, because people don’t see the effect
    -planet warming- predicted. They don’t see pack-ice getting
    smaller today. They don’t see hurricanes in the North Atlantic
    getting worse. 2012 set a record for hurricanes, in both numbers
    and strength, but 2013 set a record for the least and weakest

    It doesn’t take much brains to see that what is happening
    is not what the man-made warming people said would happen. So
    obviously that gives strenght to the doubters position.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com William Masters

    Insulating the Earth with Green House Gases.
    The Nonsense of Man Made Global Warming.

    The scientific basis for man made global warming is very unrealistic. In fact, it is impossible as it violates Einstein’s Mass Energy Equivalence theory, and the First Law of Thermo-Dynamics.


    The First Law tells us that energy cannot be created, nor destroyed. It can only be transmuted into another form of energy. Thus, HEAT energy has to be transmuted from some other form of energy into HEAT. We usually do this through the chemical process known as COMBUSTION.

    Your gas stove is a perfect example of the First law, and Mass Energy Equivalence.

    Your stove burns natural gas, a hydro-carbon fuel. If you have a large pot of water to boil, you turn up the flame. This releases MORE natural gas and so transmutes more gas into HEAT energy.

    Mass Energy Equivalence tells us that one unit of Mass has a fixed amount of atomic and chemical energy, so, if you want more HEAT energy, you must transmute more Mass into HEAT.

    Where your gas stove is concerned, you have to burn more gas to get more heat. Simple…right?

    HEAT Energy comes from the gas being burned, and more heat requires more gas be burned. That’s the First Law, and E=mc2.

    The U.N’s council on Climate change claims, wrongly, that over the next century, increases in green-house gases, will cause a “three degree” increase in the Earth’s temperature.

    Given that you understand how your stove works, you already know that this three degree increase in the Earth’s temp. is impossible. HEAT is Energy, to get the Earth 3 degrees hotter, the Sun has to get 3 degrees hotter. After all, it is the Sun which warms the Earth, not mankind.

    During the 500 year LITTLE ICE AGE, the sun’s output dropped, so the Earth got colder. During the Medieval Warming Period, the Sun’s output rose, so the Earth got warmer.

    The Sun is our stove, it is what is burning fuel to warm the planet Earth. So, the temperature of the Earth’s surface is totally dependent on the Sun’s solar output.

    To raise the Earths temperature, something HAS TO BURN MORE FUEL!!! HEAT energy has to come from somewhere, it cannot just appear.

    Increasing the amount of green-house gases in the Earth’s atmosphere will not cause the Sun’s output to rise. Thus, the Earth’s Total Heat Energy Level (THEL), which is totally dependent on the Sun’s output, cannot change. The HEAT energy that enters the Earth’s atmosphere from the Sun is the only HEAT Energy we get. If it doesn’t rise, the temperature cannot rise here on the Earth.


    Insulation works both ways, more Green-house gases will COOL, NOT WARM the Earth.

    I’m amazed by how many people forget this rule. Insulation works both ways. YES it does keep heat inside, but it also keeps it outside.

    Let’s say that the green-house gases in our atmosphere over the next century will stop one-hundredth of one percent of the light and heat that the Earth gives off from leaving our atmosphere.
    This means that instead of the temperature dropping One-hundredth of a degree, it will stay one-hundredth of a degree warmer. I have no problem with scientists who say this will happen.

    Insulation slows down the rate at which heat is lost, so if you have a constant heat source, adding insulation will cause you to be warmer. This allows you to reduce the heat you need to stay warm, thus an insulated house uses less energy to keep warm and cool year round than a house with no insulation.

    HOWEVER, you have to remember, before the Earth can get warm, the Sun has to send HEAT INTO our atmosphere.

    The Earth isn’t a sun, it is’t burring fuel, it doesn’t produce HEAT, it gets HEAT from the Sun.

    So, if we insulate the Earth with green-house gases, those gases will help to keep the Sun’s HEAT OUT OF OUR ATMOSPHERE by absorbing some of it and radiating it back out into space, as well as absorb some of the heat the Earth is giving off and radiating it back to the Earth.

    The fact is, however, the Earth gives off very little HEAT and LIGHT Energy. That is why the International Space Station has its solar panels turned towards the Sun, and not the Earth.

    The total effect of the green-house gases insulating the Earth will be to keep out far more of the Sun’s HEAT and LIGHT energy than it will in trapping the Earths meager amount of LIGHT and HEAT energy it radiates out into space. This will cool the Earth, just like clouds cool the Earth on Cloudy days, by blocking out some of the LIGHT and HEAT energy of our Sun.

    • Jonathan Roth

      Please take a chemistry class. Carbon dioxide is not an insulator. It absorbs infrared energy and releases it slowly.

      Take two bottles, fill one with a higher concentration of CO2. Shine a light through them. The bottle with the higher CO2 concentration will reach and retain higher temperatures compared to the other bottle over the same timeframe. If it were an insulator, it would take the CO2 bottle longer to heat up, and then it would retain heat longer.

      • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

        THAT is what you had a problem with? Let’s start with the fact that he said chemical combustion follows the law E=mc2. My 40 pound propane cylinder would be pretty threatening if it did.

        He’s also apparently the ghost of Lord Kelvin because he seems not to know that the Earth has an internal heat source in the form of radioactive elements.

        I dearly hope this was intentional satire that just sailed over our heads.

        • Jonathan Roth

          Good grief… yeah, how did I miss that one?

  • RogerSweeny

    I suspect one reason is that climate change has not been presented in most media as, “this is a slowly developing thing that eventually will have bad effects.” Rather, it has been presented as, “this is going to be really bad, pretty soon. All the polar bears are gonna die!”

    But people have seen that things have not gotten pretty bad. The polar bears are still around. There are lots of cold days.

    So they have over-reacted in the opposite direction. Since there is no big problem now, maybe there isn’t a problem at all.

    • Patrick Klocek

      Who cares about polar bears!?!? Those things are nasty and won’t think twice about eating a human.

  • Serge Grenier

    Why should we care what they believe ?

    It’s happening just the same
    whether they believe it or not !

  • Serge Grenier

    «Why, then, are so few Americans very worried?»

    Because most of them believe
    Jesus will come to save them at the last minute.

    Tough luck, Jesus was a myth…

    • Buddy199

      Ironically, most AGW proponents display the same fervor and dogmatic attitude as the religious people they deride, right down to their fetish for apocalypse. (See your own comment).

      • Patrick Klocek

        It is no coincidence that most AGW-alarmists are atheists. The biblical eschatology has been over-laid onto the environmental movement. They have appropriated all of the symbols and the catastrophism of Judeo-Christianity and re-packaged it CO2 standing in for sin and climatologists the new priestly class. BEHOLD, there is no god but GAIA and Al Gore is HER prophet.

        • Matthew Slyfield

          No, Al Gore is her loss.

          • Patrick Klocek

            Just as every storm or Earthquake was a religious retribution from God to the Christians or Jews, so to now is every hurricane and evidence of GAIA’s sensitivity and every Earthquake is not amplified by fracking. Every unusually warm or cold day is penance for our sinful CO2 emissions. REPENT — GO GREEN — THE END IS NEAR!!!

          • Matthew Slyfield

            I think you missed my point.

            1.If Al Gore is the best GAIA can do for a prophet then GAIA is in big trouble.

            2. Play on words: prophet -> profit.

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Jesus was a myth…
    Climate breakdown though is very real.

    “The Wicker Man” (1973). The little debate near its end.
    Tommy Aquinas proved God exists by citation. Baruch Spinoza disproved God exists by derivation. Empirical reality is not subject to peer vote or political convenience. Reality deficit disorder, then deformed decisions, then economic cloudy days.

  • DMAllen

    A sizable uptick in the “global warming is not happening” is probably correct on a 15 year time frame, incorrect on a 100 or 300 year time frame, correct on a 1000 or 2000 year time frame. The overall tenor of climate change reporting and surveys is so superficial that most reporting and surveying obscure rather than illuminate the science and the opinions about the science.

  • mr butters

    I am not going to deny global warming but I am not convinced either. What worries me is when scientists and politicians use phrases like the debate is over there is no doubt. No doubt in science? Really this is new one to me. Even some reputable science doubt things like the big bang. Just recently scientist were shocked and surprised that the sun is not behaving as predicted. When spokesman for science tell me that there is no room for debate anymore. When there is no room for an opposing viewpoint. I am sure that there is some real evidence of man made global warming but I do not believe any scientist has proven how terrible this might be for anyone.

    You have people like Richard Lindzen who seem to indicate alarmists are causing the push in global warming panic. He seems to indicate a longer term more moderate changes in human global warming. No one is interested in the money trail of what these scientist put out and what the politicians regurgitate.

    You would be right to assume I am not interested in understanding the science at a detailed level. But I certainly have common sense. When someone shouts for me to look in the their right hand long enough I for one am interested in what is in the left. When scientists stop acting like scientists what do you expect.

  • http://www.tvqc.com/ Jean-François Cloutier

    MIT Professor Exposes Climate Change Hysteria – “The opportunities for taxation, for policies, for control, for crony capitalism are just immense.http://www.infowars.com/mit-professor-exposes-climate-change-hysteria/

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    Part of the problem is that science itself has been politicized. When politicians use scientific report to push hyperbolic party agendas (both liberals and conservatives are guilty), scientists have almost no choice but to advocate an educated view point.

    Unfortunately many get sucked into the party politics and the genuine ones are indistinguishable from the ones with an agenda.

  • SixSixSix

    Right wind media. With a little push from religious Fundamentalist who don’t want anything in the way of End Days and worrying about climate change would imply End Days might not be in their life time. But mainly Right Wing media. So why play dumb, Conservatives and literalistic religious establishments are the major forces behind denial.

    • Buddy199

      Everybody knows that the Koch Bros. caused the 15 year hiatus in conjunction with the Carlyle Group.

      • SixSixSix

        No, no it was Benghazi, the IRS, Fast & Furious and other pseudo-scandals. Believe.

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      People largely tend to find religions less compelling when they predict imminent rapture or something. We just don’t respond well to doomsday predictions when our day to day lives show no signs of the impending apocalypse.

      It isn’t surprising.

      • SixSixSix

        Some people do. An amazing number actually.

  • harrywr2

    In the US ‘Climate Change’ lost it’s supporting actor…’Energy Security’ thanks to the magic of fracking.

    As long as ‘Energy Security’ and ‘Climate Change’ shared the same ‘solutions base’ a whole lot of people were prepared to believe in ‘Climate Change’ as a way to solve energy security.

    The US did make more progress then anyone else in the world on the back of the ‘Energy Security Acts’ of 2005 and 2007.

    Unfortuantely, as fracking ended up being wildly successful in addressing energy security someone is going to have to find ALL of Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’ until climate change becomes a major issue again.

  • jared

    Could the answer be that maybe people worry about it now and then, but think that there isnt anything that will solve the problem so why waste energy worrying. Or they just think all the negative imagery and articals are just typical news, like how there are news reports of say 10 murders for every 1 generally good news event.

  • http://www.abicana.com/shop2.htm Knut Holt

    lol Perhaps they think so because they can see and feel that it is indeed not happening,


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Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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