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Potty-mouthed Nature

Here is an extraordinary example of the depths to which academic journals are willing to go in support of the great green cause.

Count how many times Bain et al use the "d-word" in their paper on attitudes towards AGW - it certainly looks as if the authors intended to generate offence and controversy rather than truth and light. Hilariously, the authors are writing about how to convert people to the green cause!

I think it's pretty interesting that the editors have decided to give their backing to this kind of thing. One almost wonders if they are struggling for readers and need to try to get some attention. Of course it has long been clear that Nature has been so corrupted by greenery as to put a question mark over all of its output. This latest paper is just confirmation of what we already knew.

(As ever, do not respond in kind)

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Reader Comments (147)

It's amazing what a combination of ignorance and desperation can drive these greenies to do. They need to calm it down or become a laughing stock.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterGerry

"Climate change deniers (N=155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development."

Unfortunately for the author, climate change "deniers" will take some persuading that either of these outcomes is a likely consequence of climate change "action", but full marks for writing a primer on how to brainwash people. This and the recent Adam Corner piece show the extent to which the discipline of psychology is prepared to prostitute itself for the environmentalist cause.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

The scariest thing about this "paper" is that people were actually paid to write it.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJay Currie

Written by "the team" for "the team".

That such a mutual admiration society can see nothing wrong in such a laughable piece of self deception is evidence that their core principles are imploding.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

The following paragraph from the abstract caught my eye (mentioned in part by Nicholas Hallam I notice):-

An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important. People have strong interests in the welfare of their society, so deniers may act in ways supporting mitigation efforts where they believe these efforts will have positive societal effects. In Study 1, climate change deniers (N=155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development.

Filtering out the unpleasant language and smugness, I wonder if this does represent a genuine offer to find more reasonable policy options? It does in some ways echo the kind of suggestions made by Pielke Jr and the Hartwell group. Alternatively, it might just be more blather, I suppose.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:34 AM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

"about the outcomes of acting on climate change using one of three frames: the reality of climate change and how acting would avert its environmental and health risks (Real frame); climate change action would increase interpersonal warmth in society (Warmth frame); or climate change action would promote economic and scientific development"

And there's the problem, none of the proposed actions will actually have those effects.

"climate change action would increase interpersonal warmth"

They're Australians. The action under way in the UK means that the way to "increase interpersonal warmth" will be huddling together under a couple of duvets one windless -9C February night and hoping the power will come back on tomorrow.

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered Commentermalcolm

Actually, the paper can be made quite reasonable - in an Alice in Wonderland sort of way - with a couple of simple substitutions:

"Enormous effort has been devoted to convincing the public that the Easter Bunny is real. However, these attempts are increasingly failing—since 2008 the number of deniers of the Easter Bunny has climbed to one-third or more of the population in high-Easter egg countries such as the United States and Australia. As widespread acceptance of the reality of the Easter Bunny is considered critical to effective responses, public scepticism about the Easter Bunny is seen as an important obstacle to meeting the Easter Bunny challenge."

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered Commentermemoryvault

Another point about Nature...considering the size of the journal and its website, have you seen how many 'editors' it has?

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:55 AM | Unregistered Commentersidel

OMG I live in Brisbane. It's a terrifying thought but they may live in the next street. I might even see them down at the pub. There's been a few weird looking characters down there recently.

However they're social scientists, psychologists, wannabe Lewandowskis, so why does anyone expect them to write anything else but this sort of tripe? I wouldn't have even bothered with the letter. Brief as it is and fobbed off as it will be.

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

I find it very difficult to decide if this paper should be taken seriously, or whether it is intended to act as a "wind-up" for realists. I was tempted to say "Well, they are Australians after all", but this would be insulting to the many intelligent, educated and articulate Australians. What could possibly have induced the editors even to consider such a paper? I copied a section onto my word-processor, and the grammar check consistently came up with "repetition" of the d-word. Five d-words in three sentences in one paragraph. Surely this calls into question the quality of the editors? It is so badly written that I have only "skimmed" it, so cannot comment on the psyence.

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

Imagine this report as a carefully edited epistle to Rome from an outpost of the Holy Church in Oz. It's not meant to be offensive, just what they have been indoctrinated to think.

This will take a generation to overcome worldwide and in Queensland where the new LIA and the cool ENSO will intensify the cyclones, they'll remain convinced it's Gaia's punishment for longer!

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Could not be bothered to read the actual article at Nature. For the same reasons I will not read articles that contain terms such as watermelons, eco-fascist. I applaude the good bishops efforts at returning the debate to a proper discussion rather than vitriolic rubbish.

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Mind you, perhaps this is Bain et als last gasp parting shot as they realise that at least Queensland funding for this sort of drivel is drying up.

Campbell Newman Government gives staff of defunct Office of Climate Change $6500 or more to leave


Jun 18, 2012 at 8:28 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

'Deniers may eventually be convinced by sustained efforts at communicating climate science, or through personal experiences attributable to climate change such as flooding.'

Yeah! Inundate all those pesky deniers! That'll teach them a lesson they damn well deserve!

Meanwhile in the real world seven forlorn Laborites (count 'em seven!) sit in the Queensland parliament. Must be depressing being a leftie academic in Brisvegas these days. Go the Maroons! (Rugby league reference)

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Back in the days of Cavemen what use were these people, how did natural selection let them survive generation after generation until civilisation appeared.

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

Yeah, another study from Australia that seems to have a lot of meta-baggage underlying it that the great journal Nature seems willing to ignore. Like constantly accepting papers on eugenics from 1930’s German scholars without wondering if there is something else going on (yeah sod Godwin) . I am not sure if complaining about the terminology per se is worthwhile without ascertaining why they don’t make it more rigorous? Asserting that it is offensive is like being overly PC why not make a more nuanced point about the crappiness of the report in the first place?

If they can show they surveyed people who deny anthropogenic climate change it is possible then that the usage is fair. I think more attention should be addressed towards what the “Screening questions” are, I couldn't see them in the supplementary. I suspect there are issues there for a start – a screening fallacy? ;) And were they as rigorous with their screening of believers?

What is it about Australia currently about climate? I think a meta study on the society that provides this stuff would be more interesting

The thing is they talk about “believers and deniers” which to me, if you take it literally, almost certainly misses most of the population. Why is a study on how minorities influence the majority policy so poorly laid out?

The worst thing about this paper is the fact it is a social science paper so laden with overt a priori assumptions that are hardly understood by the authors. Something I am beginning to realise having been reading the alleged “Literature” that supports this awful self-deception, is that reference to another paper when making a gross a priori assumption is the normal technique that leads them along the road to this delusionary scholarship.

For me this is just another piss poor paper that reduces the standing of Nature really. But what the hell, that's me, maybe the rest of the science community love this level of crap? What does that say?

Jun 18, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

"Believers" is a revealing word.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Talk about how to win friends and influence people!

It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally.

No, I want to save forests, prevent the over exploitation of nature and continually bang on about clean water and sanitation, but I don't accept CO2 as climate driver

However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions

Translation: Anybody who is slightly right wing is naturally a "denier", whereas everybody who a raving leftie is correct

An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important.

Translation: We have no evidence, let's try something else

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Registered Commentermangochutney

"Nature Climate Change". Sponsored by Arab oil money?

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

£268K (aus)! (Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP0984678))

I could have written the same for a mere $100K

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Registered Commentermangochutney

"Here is an extraordinary example of the depths to which academic journals are willing to go in support of the great green cause."

But it's not published in an academic paper, it's been published in Nature, which gave up being an academic paper some years ago.

Having said that, it is drivel, but you have to be aware that they don't see "deniers" as people, the very word separates us from the human race, it will make it easier for them should they ever get the chance to persecute those that don't share their philosophy.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

This piece of scholarship emanates from the University of Queensland which also hosts our old friend John Cook of Skeptical Science.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

It's purely a subjective impression, but over the last year or two, a lot of likewarmers or don't knows have moved over to the realist side. I think cack-handed propaganda like the stuff Nature publishes, has been a factor in their decision. More interestingly, I've yet to hear of a realist moving over to the alarmist side. Perhaps I should apply for a grant to study it ...


Jun 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterpointman

All the talk of Believers, Deniers and "conversion" doesn't sound much like science to me

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

Through these papers I think I can dimly perceive the future of the CAGW movement. Ordinary people are ceasing to believe in droves, the politicians have noticed and are chasing votes as usual. Most of the proper scientists e.g. physicists etc. were never convinced in the first place. Soon the pseudo-scientists (eg. climatologists, environmentalists) will jump ship too. Only psychology departments will still believe, and write increasingly obscure papers trying to identify the reason why no-one outside their departments is afraid of the coming climatic nightmare.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

I do that paper for you in 50......k

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterjona

There’s so much wrong with this paper, it seems foolish to get worked up about one word. Richard Lindzen prefers to be called a denier than a sceptic, so why should I complain? “Tory”, “Whig” and “Quaker” all started out as insults before being adopted as badges of honour. (Someone also once mentioned the Old Contemptibles).
There’s a contact address for one of the authors if you click on “affiliation” but I’ll read the article carefully first.
The gist seems to be that you can make people accept doubling energy prices and restrictions on air travel if you tell them it will result in people becoming more moral, interpersonally warm and competent. Perhaps the interpersonal warmth will help them cut down on their heating bills.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Ironic that Nature no longer 'believes' in the power of nature.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Jun 18, 2012 at 7:34 AM | philiprichens

Unfortunately, the way I read this is as follows.

1/ Nobody in history has ever knowingly voted for our programme of economic suicide, a return to Victorian levels of infant and elderly mortality, and a Mao-style Great Leap Forward.

2/ We used to be able to advance these green goals by frightening people with lies about climate change. This approach has now failed, but these are still our goals.

3/ We need now to identify a fresh disguise to adopt. We can then lie to people that the disguise is what we are really about, and use it as a Trojan horse to advance a quite different agenda.

4/ In reality, and just as before, this agenda is for about half to five-sixths of humanity to die. Whoever's left can live in mediaeval poverty under a greenish-red jackboot."

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

''Deniers may eventually be convinced by sustained efforts at communicating climate science, or through personal experiences attributable to climate change such as flooding.'

Noah thought it was the wrath of god for not doing his sacrifices right or some other such bo**ocks. Nowadays the warmists believe it is the wrath of gaia for not cutting our emissions or some other such bo**ocks

I am hard pushed to really see much of a qualitative difference between then and now.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

geoffchambers - not forgetting the Rats of Tobruk and see how that backfired. My great uncle was one in the 9th Aust Div.

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:46 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

25K is my lowest and final offer.

Or 20K if you sign today and throw in 500 Tesco Clubcard points and tickets to a Premier League game of my choice

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder


nomen omen

Jun 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

And here is the websote of a bunch of anti frackers.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

"Competing financial interests
The authors declare no competing financial interests."

So where do the psychogarbage clowns get their money from?
Of course they are so intelligent that they think if you want to win an argument then insult your opponent.
Unfortunately for them the have no argument and are actually in complete denial.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Which institution funded this? And, more to the point, why?

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I have yet to see the scientific justification for the use of ‘insults ‘ as a tool of academic review . Can anyone supply one ?

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

I recall watching a BBC programme Beautiful Minds on Graphene. The highly skilled and very competent editorial staff on Nature rejected Geim’s and Novoselov’s paper on graphene not once but twice. They went on to win the Nobel Prize.
I speculate, but could it be because Graphene is carbon atoms and the poor luvs at Nature can't tell the difference between Carbon and CO2?

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Justice4Rinka @ Jun 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Just parsing the words as they appear in the paper and trying hard not to make too many assumptions my end. The words suggested to me that the authors may be willing to support "greater economic/technological development", which would be good I think. However, I also accept that it could simply be a debating ploy, as you suggest (and you are probably right).

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Registered CommenterPhilip Richens

This is about as credible as the Church's claim to be able to 'de-program' gays. And will hopefully be exposed as thoroughly.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon Jermey

I asked @NatureNews if it were all down to idiocy or fascism. They told me to ask @NatureClimate. I have.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

The Leopard said:

What is it about Australia currently about climate? I think a meta study on the society that provides this stuff would be more interesting
It is because the government which has promoted CAGW is currently on 30% approval rate and is throwing everything it can (ie our money) at the wall in the hope that something will stick. The CO2 tax comes in on July 1 and is currently detested by the vast majority of voters, despite lavish bribes to certain sections of the population.

The research dollars have been flowing because of political prioritisation - for example the Australian Research Council, one of the major funding sources, has given priority to projects that will 'help us to prevent and deal with climate change' for several years now, thanks to the inclinations of its political masters who control the ARC budget. Same goes for the universities, who spend a lot of their time sucking up to Ministers because that is how they get their money.

These projects are often delivered over multi-year periods, so there will be a backlog, but expect the tide to start turning no later than November 2013, which is the last possible date for the next Federal election.

As for Nature, the only debate left is whether it is a rag or a comic. I wish our host the best in trying to shame them, but am not optimistic.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

This paper is market research to aid policy makers in creating promotional material to support their programme. Nothing wrong with that. If Australians don’t like it, they can vote out the people who commissioned it.
But what’s Nature doing publishing it?

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Actually, the climate change "deniers" are now the global warming alarmists. They keep denying that the global warming swindle is coming off its wheels. In any case, the more they use the "denier" term, the more support they are going to lose from the man on the street. As it is, most people around the world no longer trust climate change "scientists" and their wolf-crying stories. So let them, as they say: give a fool enough rope...

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterbob13

From the SD -

Nine participants (2%) were excluded for exhibiting convergent evidence of pattern and nonsense responding, e.g., completing the whole survey in less than 3 minutes with no variation in scores, and answering the text question with nonsensical responses like “nanananananananana”.

Full marks and a gold star in their diaries for the Magnificent Nine. Although I'm sure they would be mortified to know they exhibited "convergent evidence of pattern".

Latimer Alder - Q: "Which institution funded this?" More to the point, who funded the institution? A: Stupid taxpaying pricks like myself.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

This paper really makes me cringe.

Neither "Belief" nor "Denial" have any place in a subject that relies on scientific evidence, and continual testing and review of that evidence. It should be about being either convinced or not convinced by the evidence.

"Denier" is highly-charged word, and even if the evidence is strong, using the word "denier" for someone who is not convinced is deeply unsettling.

"Believer" makes being convinced by the evidence for AGW sound like a religion, which it isn't.

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Richard Betts - spot on

Jun 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy scrase

Sad to see what "Science" is morphing into. Somebody is "in denial" and I'm increasingly sure that it isn't me.

Jun 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

The gist seems to be that you can make people accept doubling energy prices and restrictions on air travel if you tell them it will result in people becoming more moral, interpersonally warm and competent.
Geoff, I think it might be more accurate to say "convince" rather than "tell" but either way I thought psychologists, of all people, were slightly more in touch with the real world.
Sure, I would accept all sorts of things if you convinced me that it would be socially and morally beneficial to mankind, possibly even restrictions on air travel and a doubling of energy prices.
The difficulty is going to be convincing me because with my knowledge of human nature I am very strongly of the view that these guys have got one hell of an uphill struggle on their hands!

Richard Betts
Thankyou for a bit of sanity from the coal face! Are these people totally insensitive to anything but their own ivory-tower arrogance?

Jun 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

re--However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions
Why don't you actually try “using scientific evidence”?
Of course I mean real evidence, not lies like the hockey stick, or claims that CO2 leads temperature in Al Gore's ice cores when the reverse is the case, or false claims of unprecedented rates or warming, or false claims of the warmest decade in 1000 years.

If you have actual, real empirical, evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous warming, please try showing it!


Jun 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJim Karlock

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