Author Options:

"The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate" Answered

"Americans with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge are more skeptical regarding the dangers of climate change than their more poorly educated fellow citizens, a U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study has found."

See link here: http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-more-science-you-know-the-less-worried-you-are-about-climate

What do you believe?


I believe climate change is a reality, but I'm not so sure humanity is 100% responsible for causing it. Each time a volcano erupts, it spews an equivalent of many, many year's worth of human-caused air pollution. We can all be 100% clean and green with our energy generation/use, and a few big eruptions will still foul our air and cause the climate to change. That's just one example of a natural occurrence that can change our climate. There are others, as well.

The reason I don't fear climate change is I know we can use our current technology to provide our needs. We have multiple sources of clean energy we can switch to anytime we choose. If we have enough energy, most of our needs can be met. Our top needs are air, water, food, shelter, and energy. With enough energy, water can be desalinated and/or purified, water can be condensed from air and purified with dehumidifiers, air can be purified, food can be grown under grow lights, and shelter can be quickly erected using locally available resources---think earthbag construction or earthship houses. The last climate change occurred during the Dark Ages. People back then did not have access to anywhere near the energy we do today, and they suffered for it. Today, we do have access to energy and better technology, which can see us through the next climate change, should we choose to employ it.

Our biggest problem is lack of common knowledge about energy production, sustainable food production, and water conservation. Our second biggest problem is relying on corporations and the corrupted governments they own to provide for our needs. Corporations care only about profits. Governments care only about increasing authority over citizens. Neither will put the good of the people first.

We The People, of every country, are on our own when it comes to making changes toward sustainability.

By learning about our options, investing in those options in our own lives, then putting them to use in our lives, we can become more self sufficient and hence, more capable of thriving during hard times, or even good times. It should start with energy and food production. Start building or buying alternative energy systems as money and time allows, expanding/adding to them until they meet your energy needs. Start growing your own food now. It can be a traditional garden, container garden, or even microgreens for those living in apartments. Again, expand and add to the growing until it can meet your needs. (There was an article about a couple living in an apartment who managed to produce 300+ pounds of microgreens per month using a total of 60 square feet of space in their apartment. That's more than 10 pounds of food per day from that little bit of space, folks. No excuses. You now know it can be done.)

Climate change is no longer a matter of education or believe, it has become reality.
But althoug we can mostly blame ourself for the outcome there are some facts that seem to be forgotten when it comes to the topic.

Take the natural cycle, even without humans present we had our climate collapse a few times in the past.

A shift in the magnetic field is also happening and from what we learned about the past it always comes along with a climate change.

When we just focus on the changes we make through pollution and burning fossile fuels it comes to no surprise that those countries using the most are the most reluctant for change, namely the US and China, closely followed by Australia.
Claims like "The impact on the industry would be too great and costs too high" are quite common.

Sadly they don't reflect the concern, only the fact that noone like to invest money for nothing in return and when it comes to nature most companies simply think someone else can care about it.

I believe that your diagram presumes much that is not real except in propaganda.

The diagram isn't showing "facts", it's linking beliefs to political viewpoints.

(Without wishing to start an argument, I'd be interested to know which ones you think are "propaganda", though...)

It would definitely be interesting kiteman, +1

It is like Hans Christian Andersen's story The Emperor's New Clothes, only uneducated people believe in climate change.


5 years ago

I read part of the article. It refers to a study in the "Nature Climate Change" journal.
A subsidiary of the Macmillan publishing company. The only thing available regarding the actual study referred to in the "article" is a brief summary and a summary of the summary ( they call supplementary information) here:

its a pdf. The actual study is not available for free. To read it it will cost you 35 dollars, that is unless you have access to a university library.
The study summary does not specify the actual survey size of the people they "surveyed" to get their info. They just say "large". That brings into question the validity of the study. How many people did they survey, and where? Without that information their stats mean nothing, and the study does not carry any validity, period. End of story. For all we know, they could have done a survey of 50 or 100 people in their home state. That would be totally invalid. They also limited the age group. That is totally invalid if they are talking about people, in general.
Ok, so here we have the pot calling the kettle black. This article supposedly showing the fickleness of climate change "belief" , actually has the same shortcomings that all the "climate change deniers" point out in the climate change studies - vagueness, statistical errors, and assumptions, and data missing. How absurd can one get?

We all sit around and argue about what is causing the fire, while we watch it burn, "believing" we have no valid facts, even though we see it burning. . . the climate, that is.

Maybe the research shows that worry itself stems from ignorance. I dont believe "high literacy" people are more disbelievers of climate change (or consider it a less important issue) than people will "low literacy" but it seems plausible that people with scientific interests and activities can see what people are doing against climate change and are therefore less worried.

In my experience, we are aware of how little people are doing, and are more worried than the wider population.

I wonder if this is a US/UK difference?


Some scientists and the media have told you what you should fear.

Please provide the scientific evidence that the temperature today is not a reasonable temperature for the planet earth.

Please provide the scientific evidence that it is not part of the natural evolution of this planet to gradually become warmer as it absorbs more energy, from the sun and other sources, than it gives off

We're not going to argue with someone unwilling and unable to evaluate factual information. Why don't you start by reading the IPCC reports, identify specific facts which you believe are false, and point out to us where the authors of the research supporting those facts went wrong. After you've done that, come on back and we can have a discussion.

It is not about your so called "scientific facts".

It is about the interpretation of those "facts" and what people believe they really mean.

Please present the scientific facts that prove that the temperature today is the ideal temperature for the planet earth.

Please present the scientific facts that prove that global warming is not part of the natural evolution of the planet earth.

You cannot.

There is no "ideal temperature" for this or any other planet. What exactly do you think that means? Do you mean "ideal for your comfort"? Or "ideal for the growth of methanophilic bacteria"? Or "ideal for the oxidation of iron minerals"?

Your meaningless questions are a reflection of your scientific ignorance, and merely reinforce your incomprehension of nature.

I think he's fallen for the "Goldilocks zone" idea, which is understandable, since even respectable science journalists fall for it on a regular basis (and I think some scientists are guilty of exploiting the idea to get research money out of politicians).

And he's reified the "average" as though it were some actual physical condition.

I wonder which he thinks is more "ideal" - living around a black smoker, or in the cracks of Antarctic rocks?

Read the link I gave you.

The current phase of climate change is anthropogenic. That is a fact, supported by the evidence helpfully summarised at the link I gave you.

Read the link (all of it), then either withdraw your statements about the lack of evidence that climate change is anthropogenic, or provide your own, equally extensive, equally valid evidence that demonstrates that the current phase of climate change is nothing to do with human activity.

That's how science works - if you think it's wrong, you have to provide the evience to show what's right.

I'm not going to have another argument with you over the science.

Short version: the current temperature, and continuing rise, are anthropogenic - the rise matches human expansion and activity, and evidence going back over ten thousand years (ice-cores, lake sediments etc) backs this up.

New Scientist did a nice "Guide for the Perplexed" you ought to read.


6 years ago

Well, this looks a bit unreliable...

I for one consider myself to have high scientific literacy (compared to the majority of people I interact with), and I am very aware of the dangers that come with climate change.

My skepticism and opinions on climate change are not based on science alone; not when there's enough information to suggest ulterior motives among those involved. Such as one of the earliest proponents on this subject, Maurice Strong, who commissioned a U.N. report back in the 70's that eventually led to the formation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), for which Strong led in the first four years; while also being Secretary General for the 1972 U.N. Conference on the Human Environment, and then later Secretary General for the 1992 Earth Summit. His roles have been instrumental in the globalization of the Environmental Movement.

To fully appreciate Strong's involvement in the Climate Change debate is to look at his whole career, beginning as a Canadian entrepreneur, most notably in the Oil Industry, and in the Alberta Oil patch. Throughout his early career he made a name for himself in energy and utility businesses and was appointed to Executive Vice President and then President of the Power Corporation of Canada.

After Strong's U.N. work, he returned to Canada and became head of Ontario Hydro and CEO of Petro Canada. Which is rather odd if your vested interests were in protecting the Environment. Although Strong earned many awards and accolades, he may be most proud of the fortune he's amassed. He began as an investment analyst at the age of 19, and has made many successful investments over his career. Since his U.N. work beginning in the 70's, Crude Oil Prices have skyrocketed from less than $20 a barrel, perhaps in large part to his influence working with the U.N.

Strong's entrepreneurial side is also not limited to Oil, or in Canadian businesses. In the late 70's Strong made an acquisition of 200,000 acres of Colorado land from a Saudi arms dealer because the land was over one of the continent's largest fresh water aquifers. Strong had plans to pipeline the water to the southwest U.S. desert region but protests stopped this plan. He then settled with the water company for 1.2 million and still retains the rights to the water. Perhaps that motivated the launch of the American Water Development in the mid-80's; a corporation which he controlled and used to file applications to Colorado Courts to pump that same underground water. The project again was opposed, primarily for the alleged affects to other water rights, and for the significant environmental damage it would cause to a nearby wetland and other ecosystems.

There are in my opinion, many deep pockets and individuals who can directly or indirectly benefit from both sides of the Environmental and Climate Change debates. The drive on either side isn't in the name of science, or in protecting Earth. It has much more to do with the all mighty buck, and if you follow its trail, you'll see the truth.

I work as an engineering consultant aiding in the design of all kinds of factories and logistic centres (mostly in europe, africa and the middle east). There are allot of rules to keep the "dirty" industry in check and surprisingly many voluntarily go the extra mile to "go green". From where I stand it looks like there is allot going on behind the scenes that the average consumer will never hear of. Of course we can always do better.

I said "people", not "industry" - I know the rules governing industry physically within Europe, and I know that lip service is paid to green issues when industry is based outside the EU.

(For instance, I was watching a documentary recently about the Coca Cola factory in India which has lowered the water table by around a hundred feet, rendering local farms untenable for miles around, and need I mention the mining industry in South America, or electronics "recycling" in China?)

I believe that the information presented in your link itself is insufficient to draw any intelligent conclusion. There are no quantitative results, merely vague descriptions and polemical interpretations. The "conclusions" reported are painted whole-cloth with no actual support in the writeup itself.

The link within that writeup, to the Nature article, is no better. As Kiteman points out, it is statistically absurd to infer a "trend" of any kind from just two points.

What is more, the data as presented (with uncertainties shown) is entirely consistent with no trend at all. The authors' conclusions seems to be based more on their own opinions, and not on the actual results of their "study." It is impossible for anyone to say whether those conclusions are true or false.

They somehow only have "high" and "low" scientific literacy.

You cannot identify a pattern from a graph with only two points.

I like how they imply causality from (supposed, as you point out) correlation.