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aliad 1 November 2015 07:34 PM
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I like to think I would allow them to present their case, though I can't know if I would be that high minded in actual practice.

Prestige signally can work batter than logic with the uncommitted or loosely committed. But if you signal to someone that they and their parents and the whole community they see as fundamental to their identity is low-class, that can backfire. They may seize on any hint that the signaled is arguing dis-honestly to decide that rather than their group really being bad the signaler is a dishonest person of group who is unfairly using their prestige to attack the people they are labeling low-class.

This can lead to them discounting the source of the prestige signaling in later arguments. I think part of the problem with getting action on global warming is that there exists a large group of people in the US and other countries that were already prepared to take any "consensus of the scientific community" with a grain of salt because they felt already that they had been disrespected, dismissed and argued against dishonestly in the evolution debate.

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melian 2 November 2015 09:06 AM
67%

I think part of the problem with getting action on global warming is that there exists a large group of people in the US and other countries that were already prepared to take any "consensus of the scientific community" with a grain of salt because they felt already that they had been disrespected, dismissed and argued against dishonestly in the evolution debate.

This is certainly one of the factors. But I think peopleís attitude to global warming might be influenced by their politics more than by their religion (though the two are obviously connected). According to the polls, about 60% of Republicans and 40% of Democrats are young earth creationists. Yet, over 70% of Republicans and less than 30% of Democrats donít believe in the anthropogenic global warming.

Btw, did I interpret your comment correctly that personally you do support taking action against the global warming?


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aliad 2 November 2015 09:14 PM
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Yes, I wouldn't claim that resentment of prestige signally is a majority or even principal factor in AGW skepticism. But the fact that creationist and AGW skeptics are only somewhat overlapping groups, just means this is an opportunity for another group of people to become distrustful of scientific consensus out of resentment for being dis with prestige signals rather argued against straightforwardly.

As for global warming, I think there is enough of a chance it is real that we ought to be concerned about the possibility, but I also think that creating a big decrease in global CO2 output is a political and practical impossibility. So I would favor gearing up for climatological engineering projects like pumping artificial volcanic gasses into the upper atmosphere in case strong measures are needed.

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melian 3 November 2015 08:40 AM
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So I would favor gearing up for climatological engineering projects like pumping artificial volcanic gasses into the upper atmosphere in case strong measures are needed.

I think that climatologists do not yet understand how the climate works well enough to predict the long-term outcome of such projects. But even if they could propose a reliable technological fix, I suspect that it would be opposed by an even larger majority of voters. A large part of the environmental movement views the GW as a moral problem whose roots are in corporate greed and consumerist attitudes of the general society. The solution therefore must involve repentance, penance and ultimately drastic reforms. Trying to bypass these stages with a cheap technological fix would feel like a poor attempt at cheating.


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aliad 3 November 2015 08:49 PM
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I think its fairly clear that volcanic eruptions have cause global cooling in the past and I'd give us a 50/50 change of being able to replicate the phenomenon well enough to repeat the effects.

I do agree that a lot of GW activists have gotten the practical problem all mixed up with imposes to moralistic legalism, mystical emotions rations to "nature" in a spiritual since and the like. This is a significant part of their unwavering focus on reducing carbon emissions. (The irritation this produces in everyone else may also be a minor contribution factor to why they are not going to get significantly reduced carbon emissions.)

But reducing carbon emissions requires practically everyone to coordinate major and painful changes n behavior and sustain them over long periods. One of the benefits of simulating a volcanic eruption is that any one of a number of industrialized countries do this on their own, without requiring positive action from their general citizenry, and probably for an amount that would be hardly more than poker change for the US federal budget. Of course the leaders of those industrial nations would not be eager to do it without the support of a majority of their citizens, which is somewhat good because of the danger of over correction. I'd only give it a 20% to 30% chance the GW is going to be a big enough effect that we shouldn't just live with it rather than poke at something we don't fully understand.

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