In this recent post

Jit examines a paper by Coan, Boussalis, Cook, & Nanko: “Computer‐assisted classification of contrarian claims about climate change” which attempts to produce a taxonomy of claims made by denialists (sceptics / contrarians.)

The training material for coders who analysed sceptical material (Supplementary Methods S1.1.1) contains this “quick, 10-word introduction to climate change:”

There are 5 key facts that summarize everything you need to know about climate change. And they are: 1. It’s real 2. It’s us 3. It’s bad 4. There’s hope 5. Experts agree

For the authors of the paper, all the above five points are true, and denialism (scepticism / contrarianism) is defined by disagreement with one or more of them.

Survey

Please indicate in a comment below this post whether you believe each of the above five statements to be TRUE, FALSE, or MIXED, where “MIXED” covers any other possibility, e.g. “partly true and partly false,” “sometimes true and sometimes false,” “true in some circumstances and false in others,” “statement ambiguous / meaning not clear,” “impossible to determine at present” etc.

It would help if you give your response as a simple list of the five questions, (or their numbers) followed by the the words “TRUE,” “FALSE,” or “MIXED,” without comments, until we’ve got a satisfactory number of responses. I’ll explain the purpose of the survey afterwards. Unlike Furious Lew, I won’t be telling you what I think of you while the survey data is being collected, but once responses are closed there’ll be plenty of opportunity to discuss.

70 Comments

  1. 1. It’s real – true.
    2. It’s us – mixed.
    3. It’s bad – mixed.
    4. There’s hope – true.
    5. Experts agree – mixed.

    Like

  2. 1. It’s real – true.
    2. It’s us – mixed.
    3. It’s bad – mixed.
    4. There’s hope – true.
    5. Experts agree – mixed.

    Like

  3. 1. It’s real – True
    2. It’s us – Mixed
    3. It’s bad – Mixed
    4. There’s hope – Mixed
    5. Experts agree – Mixed

    Like

  4. 1. It’s real – True
    2. It’s us – Mixed, there is some human impact, mostly land use change IMO
    3. It’s bad – False, anthropogenic climate change is a minor actor
    4. There’s hope – Mixed, True that there is no climate crisis and False that zero-emissions technology is ready for use
    5. Experts agree – False

    Like

  5. 1. It’s real True
    2. It’s us Mixed
    3. It’s bad False
    4. There’s hope True
    5. Experts agree False

    Like

  6. 1. It’s real…MIXED
    2. It’s us…MIXED
    3. It’s bad…FALSE
    4. There’s hope…TRUE
    5. Experts agree…FALSE

    Like

  7. 1. It’s real True.
    2. It’s us mixed
    3. It’s bad false
    4. There’s hope true
    5. Experts agree false

    Like

  8. There are 5 key facts that summarize everything you need to know about global warming,/b>. And they are: 1. It’s real 2. It’s us 3. It’s bad 4. There’s hope 5. Experts agree

    1. True
    2. Mixed
    3. False
    4. True
    5. Mixed

    Like

  9. Gotta agree what “It” is. Definition of Climate Change: A change to the average moisture, wind, temperature (weather) of a specific region over a thirty year period.
    1. It’s real – True
    2. It’s us – False
    3. It’s bad – False
    4. There’s hope – True. Everyone always hopes the weather will change…
    5. Experts agree – True. Weather, therefore climates, change

    Like

  10. Geoff Chambers says:
    02 DEC 21 AT 7:59 PM

    That’s why I put the MIXED answer in, to cover any other possibility. (I know you like people to read carefully before replying)

    Whatever. By your definition, I guess “mixed” must include “I’m trying make my friends look like fools with a bogus poll where the results will be totally meaningless”, so clearly you’re right. I should have said “mixed” for all of them, but foolishly, I never considered that possibility.

    But in the future I will, and I assure you, you won’t have to remind me. You won’t fool me again.

    Congratulations. You’ve been successful.

    w.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Willis

    …I should have said “mixed” for all of them…

    .
    That’s how interpreted your reply, and I hesitated about including it in the results, then I thought I’d better not, without your consent. Can I put you down as a MIXED X 5?

    I confess that your warning at the bottom of your articles at WUWT about “quoting the exact words you are discussing” has terrified me into silence for years, though I much appreciate your occasional comments here.

    As for “..I’m trying make my friends look like fools with a bogus poll…”as I said, I’ll discuss the point of the poll when it’s over. You may remember Lewandowsky wrote two whole papers based partly on responses he’d elicited by interacting with his “subjects” (strangely feudal vocabulary they use in the social sciences) by insulting both them and their intelligence while collecting data on their replies. I want to avoid any misunderstandings by leaving any commentary until the end.

    When the exercise is over I hope we can agree that no data is bogus in itself. It depends what you do with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “The training material for coders who analysed sceptical material”

    coders write code – these people scrap web sites for desired results.

    agree with 1 only.

    ps – Willis – read Jit’s post or take a nap mate.

    Like

  13. dfhunter
    The authors are using “coders” in a sense which I understand from my experience in market research 40 years ago – as the poor buggers who have to interpret the complex musings of human beings into data which can be entered on a punch card. So which one do you agree with? Please don’t keep us guessing. We need codable data.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 1.) True
    2.) True — Humans have undoubtedly caused a significant increase in the CO2 concentration that causes some warming.
    3.) Mixed — I don’t really believe it’s bad, but I don’t like to discount the possibility of the huge amount of methane in the system having some sort of cascading effect, including the slight chance of Hansen’s worst case scenario (and possible answer to Fermi’s paradox) of us turning into Venus.
    4.) True — My hope is that the Malthusians, especially the anti-nuclear ones, will go down in history as laughing stocks.
    5.) False — You got to be kidding!

    Like

  15. 1. It’s real – TRUE
    2. It’s us – FALSE – mostly not us
    3. It’s bad – FALSE
    4. There’s hope – TRUE – in that there’s hope that govt’s will stop closing reliable energy sources and replacing them with unreliabe wind and solar
    5. Experts agree – FALSE

    Like

  16. 1, TRUE
    2. MIXED.
    3. MIXED. A small(?) minority directly by effects of climate change, A majority if use of hydrocarbons curtailed.
    4. TRUE but diminishing rapidly.
    5. TRUE Almost all climate “experts” support alarmist views.

    Like

  17. Yes, Willis, it is a bit like one of those courtroom dramas.

    Defence: “Objection M’lud! Leading the witness.”

    Judge: “Overruled. I’m going to allow this one. But Prosecution, this better be leading somewhere.”

    Prosecution: “Yes M’lud. It speaks to character and motive.”

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a simply superb way of discovering a number of “lurkers” that tune into Cliscep. And those willing to participate.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. “And they are: 1. It’s real 2. It’s us 3. It’s bad 4. There’s hope 5. Experts agree.”

    It’s a Jesuit test for the faithful. The point of 4 and 3 is a ‘hope and fear’ cocktail that induces emotive not rational support (albeit it also induces emotive not rational rejection). 1 is essentially a truism that helps the whole thing masquerade as truth, albeit regarding detail as Willis notes, it rather depends on ‘what’ is real. 2 is to confirm guilt. 5 is to confirm authority. 4 doubles as a truism also, it’s pretty hard to imagine any scenario in this domain completely devoid of hope; but likewise to 1 regarding detail it rather depends on the hope of ‘what’ (the principle narrative has it as ‘salvation’, but if you never believed in ‘certain catastrophe’ then the hope of salvation from this is redundant – and yes, the ‘certain’ clashes with simultaneous salvation, but cultural narratives do that). Really, all options suffer from vagueness, which is a huge advantage for emotive memes. E.g. what does ‘bad’ mean exactly? According to *mainstream* science, let alone any skeptical science, it does not mean ‘certain catastrophe’; so what does it mean?

    Long way of saying: 5 x Mixed.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. 1. It’s real – FALSE – Most of the ‘Science’ is no more than book learning, but temperature variations are to be expected as the world cools towards the expected Ice Age.*

    2. It’s us – FALSE – Not me gov’ I’m not a shaman. I’m no more responsible for storms fifty years in the future than having a bunch of people having to spend a whole weekend in a Yorkshire pub because of a bit of snow.

    3. It’s bad – FALSE – Any change will produce winners, losers and bookies.

    4. There’s hope – FALSE – Hope for what exactly? Hope we get what we’ve always wanted — well good luck with that.

    5. Experts agree – FALSE – Independent experts don’t agree, though there is a tendency of people to form themselves into groups for reasons of status or finance.

    *Given what is known about paleoclimate and ice ages, I think it is remarkable that so many people make such a fuss of small degree of warming as the climate moves towards the end of the present Holocene interglacial.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Much though I respect MIXED x 5 responders I have to go, exactly, with Jit:

    1. It’s real…MIXED
    2. It’s us…MIXED
    3. It’s bad…FALSE
    4. There’s hope…TRUE
    5. Experts agree…FALSE

    And talking of the original ‘results’:

    6. It’s ridiculous…TRUE

    I also agree with Alan that Geoff has found a ingenious way of smoking out many Cliscep lurkers.

    Prize for the best pseudonym: Ill Tempered Klavier. (Its Bach is worse than its bite.)

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Cough, cough, cough. I’ve been smoked out.

    1. True
    2. Mixed, but mostly NOT us
    3. False, ’cause it’s normal
    4. Marvelously true
    5. False, though I should say that having experts agree to anything is a bad sign anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. 1-5: all TRUE.

    (There were six loyalty tests for a while. I’d say the abandoned one – ‘Lobbyists deny’ – merits a MIXED.)

    Like

  24. 1. True,
    2. Mostly false
    3. False
    4. True
    5. True in public, mixed in private

    Like

  25. ..and here’s mine 1. true 2. mixed 3. mixed 4. true 5. false

    I’ll stop there at 40, so I can do the percentages easily without having to find a battery for my pocket calculator.

    Thanks everyone. Of course the questions are daft as formulated. The point is to provide concrete evidence to demonstrate that the paper from which they are taken is rubbish. (see again Jit’s excellent demolition at https://cliscep.com/2021/11/29/a-new-comprehensive-taxonomy-of-climate-denial/

    In the Coan/Cook binary world, there are 32 ways of looking at climate change, only one of which counts as the Truth. (It so happens we had one of those in the survey, the ever erratic Vinny. And who’s to say he’s wrong? Even if the world ends in 2030, Mann’s hockeystick and Jones’s HADCRUT are still crap, so we can die with our sceptic boots on.) But, sorry Vinny, the other 97% were against you, so you might as well not exist.

    What this mini survey reveals is that, while believers in the Truth all agree 100% on all five points, sceptics not only don’t agree, but they don’t even agree among themselves on what they don’t agree on and, given the large number of “mixed” responses, in the vast majority of cases they’re not even sure that they disagree. On only two points (“it’s bad,” and “experts agree”) did half the sample think the statements false. 97% couldn’t bring themselves to say that climate change isn’t real.

    Back with the final results when I’ve finished multiplying by 5 and dividing by two.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Here are the results: (n = 40)
    1. It’s real True 73% False 3% Mixed 25%
    2. It’s us True 5% False 20% Mixed 75%
    3. It’s bad True 3% False 50% Mixed 48%
    4. There’s hope True 68% False 8% Mixed 25%
    5. Experts agree True 10% False 50% Mixed 40%

    One respondent thought all five statements true; one all false and I counted five all mixed.

    Does anyone have the same problem with those Captcha photos ? Does a coach count as a bus? And what about an Airbus? Etc.

    Cook & Coan is Captcha for desperate Climate Catastrophists.

    Like

  27. The latest IPCC WG1 report (and the previous) highlighted the best estimate for the anthropogenic contribution to global warming was similar to the observed warming. In other words, it’s probably mostly us. Can I ask if those who responded to “It’s us” with “mixed” agree with this, or are suggesting that there is a good chance that a substantial portion of the observed warming could be natural?

    Like

  28. libmob have standard techniques
    #1 They don’t normally debate .. thus stay protected from challenging

    #2 If they do discuss, their first technique is to MISREPRESENT the other person’s argument
    ie seek to build strawmen to make attack easier

    So saying the argument must be defined as those 5 things is misrepresentation.

    #3 Furthermore see what they are doing with their 5 points
    they are seeking to make a false dichotomy ie True vs False
    in reality the rule is “It’s more complicated than that”

    #4 Imprecise language : eg what does experts agree mean ?

    “1. It’s real” : Climate change is real in that Climate patterns always change over the centuries and are no fixed
    : However what they claim “Climate change is” may not be true
    eg are current changes the fastest ever.. I don’t know
    eg is the temperature what they say it is ?, is the Spring date what they claim ?
    No, I guess confirmation bias makes for a lot of data tampering
    I also think that average annual temperature of the globe is a BS metric to represent Climate
    cos wind direction plays such a part
    Though obviously a true ice age would give a lower temperature than now

    ” 2. It’s us” : Varying Climate has many factors and humans will play some part
    both directly and both via CO2
    however with feedbacks etc. I am not sure of the direction and magnitudes

    “3. It’s bad”
    That’s subjective isn’t it
    Is ONE flood death bad ?
    Generally the sun shines the crops grow and building survive the weather
    Weather events don’t seem as destructive as earthquakes and volcanoes
    I’m in no hurry to try to change Climate
    eg we are not saying some countries need to be evacuated etc.
    Apart from you can’t live in really cold places.
    How can you say the situation is bad when currently humans live longer than ever ?

    4. There’s hope
    When is there never hope ?
    There is always chance of magic new tech
    Anyway they are begging the question, cos it assumes climate is bad and we need hope.

    “5. Experts agree” : as ever cherry pick your experts
    If you put in ONE skeptic expert, then experts don’t agree
    Anyway what are they agreeing on ? That wind turbines are a magic solution, that Drax woodburning reduces CO2
    Sure you can argue that in western countries , establishment people are in the alarmist camp, but is that them agreeing ?
    =====================

    I think I’d answer “Trick question” to all 5
    – At first I’d thought “Mixed” to all
    but look who is ever going to answer NO to question 4 ?
    .. How can you answer “True to 3. it’s bad” ?

    1. It’s real : MIXED
    2. It’s us : MIXED
    3. It’s bad : FALSE
    4. There’s hope TRUE
    5. Experts agree FALSE

    So MMFTF
    So that goes with the majorities on the last 4 points
    but not on point 1 I guess cos people are accustomed to saying “Of course Climate Change is real, natural climate doesn’t stay fixed”

    If you look at all the minority answers it is difficult to side with them
    eg When is there never hope ?
    As with anything to do with Lew and Cook, it doesn’t look very scientific.

    Like

  29. ATTP,

    >”Can I ask…?”

    No you can’t. This is Geoff’s survey, not yours. People will elaborate their views in due course. Or not, as the case may be.

    Like

  30. ATTP

    “Can I ask if those who responded to “It’s us” with “mixed” agree with this,[i.e. the IPCC] or are suggesting that there is a good chance that a substantial portion of the observed warming could be natural?”

    Certainly you can ask, and I’ll reply with another question. Why shouldn’t a substantial proportion be natural, given that it certainly was in the first part of the 20th century?

    Like

  31. Who cares what the Climate Liars think, or their survey:
    The climate is always changing.
    The current climate is wonderful

    The future climate is unknown.
    No one knows if our planet will be warmer or cooler in 100 years.
    The so called “experts” make wrong climate predictions of doom.
    They’ve been doing that since the late 1950s.
    They are experts on nothing.
    I stopped listening to their climate astrology 24 years ago.

    We LOVE global warming here in Michigan USA
    and want a lot more warming.

    Like

  32. Geoff,

    Why shouldn’t a substantial proportion be natural, given that it certainly was in the first part of the 20th century?

    Maybe because many researchers have spent many years considering this and their analysis indicates that it’s almost certain that a substantial proportion of the observed warming is not natural.

    Like

  33. ATTP

    Maybe because many researchers have spent many years considering this…

    That’s “Experts agree” isn”t it? That doesn’t count as an argument. Unless you can tell us in what units “consideration of experts” is measured.

    What a non-expert like me needs is some indication of why the warming of the past few decades can be wholly attributed to us, when a very similar warming in the early 20th century clearly can’t, given the different levels of emissions. Ideally, the argument should be convincing for the current adjusted secular temperature estimates and the unadjusted ones put out a few decades ago (HADCRUT 1 through 5 or whatever.) Then once you’ve convinced us on that point, we can work backward to discuss the “happening” (why and how the adjustments were made etc.) and forward to whether it’s bad or not, and how bad does it have to be to justify throwing out the gas boilers etc..

    The problem for believers is that they have to get all their five skittles in a row (or four if you don’t count number 4. – “hope” – which I don’t.) We doubters only have to knock one over to win.

    Like

  34. Geoff,

    Is this article about the limitations of surveys and how they can be abused, or did I get that wrong?

    Like

  35. Geoff,

    What a non-expert like me needs is some indication of why the warming of the past few decades can be wholly attributed to us, when a very similar warming in the early 20th century clearly can’t, given the different levels of emissions.

    You’re not quite correctly representing what I was saying. The current evidence indicates that the best estimate for the human-caused warming over the same period as we have instrumental temperatures is similar to the observed warming. There are, of course, uncertainties, so it could be slightly smaller than, or slightly larger then, the observed warming. However, the best estimate is that most of the observed warming is anthropogenic.

    The reason this may not be the case for the early 20th century is that this is a much shorted time period and the warming over this period was much smaller than the warming since ~1850. Hence, natural influences can have a much bigger impact. The same is also potentially the case for recent decades. On decadal timescales the impact of natural drivers can be much larger than on multi-decade timescales.

    Like

  36. John Ridgway
    Not particularly about the limitation of surveys. Certainly about the limitations of surveys with only binary answers allowed.

    With ten times the number of responses I’d consider it a serious survey. As it is, I think it at least demonstrates that the assumptions on which the Coan & Cook paper is based are entirely false, and that therefore their attempt to teach machines how to spot us are doomed from the start. There are as many kinds of sceptic as there are questions to be asked of the experts – about the data, attribution, forecasts, interpretation of climatic events, energy economics, geopolitics of international decision-making and I’m sure you can think of a dozen other subjects. I don’t expect ATTP to have all the answers, but I welcome the chance to debate with him, or anyone.

    Like

  37. ATTP

    The current evidence indicates that the best estimate for the human-caused warming over the same period as we have instrumental temperatures is similar to the observed warming.

    The best estimate for human caused warming must, I assume, be proportional to the estimate for transient sensitivity, which has a wide margin of error (1.5 or 2%C to 4.5°C ?) So “similar to observed warming” must mean something like: “somewhere between half the observed to twice the observed…” The size of the zigzags on any scale just doesn’t correspond in any way to the smooth hockeystick of emissions with it’s bend circa 1950

    The reason this may not be the case for the early 20th century is that this is a much shorted time period..etc

    No, the reason that this cannot be the case is that emissions were minimal compared to the present, yet one finds upward zigs comparable to the late 20th century one anywhere you look. (further back than 1850, if you’ll drop the obsession with averaging to get global or hemispheric figures.) If the late 20th century zig is all man-made, then without us, temperatures would have been flat. Why should they be, given that they’ve been rising, in general, for centuries?

    Like

  38. Geoff,

    The best estimate for human caused warming must, I assume, be proportional to the estimate for transient sensitivity, which has a wide margin of error (1.5 or 2%C to 4.5°C ?)

    Since it’s not exclusively due to CO2, the likely range ends up being 0.8C to 1.3C with a best estimate of 1.07C (IPCC SRM A.1.3.).

    No, the reason that this cannot be the case is that emissions were minimal compared to the present, yet one finds upward zigs comparable to the late 20th century one anywhere you look.

    Remember that the change in forcing depends logarithmically on the change in concentration. Hence, the change in forcing in the early part of the 20th century wasn’t actually negligible. There has also been work that has looked at this. See, this paper, for example, which summaries the work and highlights that:

    Attribution studies estimate that about a half (40–54%; p > .8) of the global warming from 1901 to 1950 was forced by a combination of increasing greenhouse gases and natural forcing, offset to some extent by aerosols. Natural variability also made a large contribution, particularly to regional anomalies like the Arctic warming in the 1920s and 1930s.

    In other words, it was a combination of externally forced, but with a large contribution due to natural variability.

    Like

  39. The five loyalty tests may have been written by Ed Maibach. Longer versions have been on the website of his Center for Climate Change Communication since before John Cook moved there. Wayback has one from May 2016.

    The earliest use of the short versions that I found was in a 2019 pamphlet (‘America Misled’) by Cook, Supran, Lewandowsky, Oreskes and Maibach. In that, the short statements were accompanied by a bit of explanation.

    IT’S REAL – Global warming is happening.

    IT’S US – Human activity is the main cause.

    EXPERTS AGREE – There’s scientific consensus on human-caused global warming.

    IT’S BAD – The impacts are serious and affect people.

    THERE’S HOPE – We have the technology needed to avoid the worst climate impacts.

    Those explanations informed my poll answers. (Cheating? Probably.)

    Incidentally, the last one sounds a lot like ecomodernist techno-optimism, which I thought was despised by all right-minded righteous people in the climate establishment.

    Incidentally part deux, there’s an entry called ‘techno fix’ in Cook’s taxonomy of denialism. I assumed that this referred to TBI-style techno-optimism but in the SI the same taxonomic entry (4.2.7) has this: ‘We should invest in technology/reduce poverty/disease first’. The first part perhaps hints at techno-optimism if you squint hard enough but the rest of it is about things that have nothing to do with ‘techno fixes’ (or, of course, with denialism).

    Incidentally part trois, has techno-optimism ever been classified as climate denialism by the climate establishment’s righteous right-thinkers? Mais oui! Here’s Peter Kalmus:

    A bit ambiguous. I’m sure there are better examples out there. (I think I’ve read some in peer-reviewed papers.)

    Liked by 2 people

  40. ATTP (5.59pm)

    the likely range ends up being 0.8C to 1.3C

    Likely range of what? Not of sensitivity to a doubling of CO2, I take it.

    Your quote from the Hegerl paper says next to nothing:

    Attribution studies estimate that about a half the global warming from 1901 to 1950 was forced by a combination of increasing greenhouse gases and natural forcing, offset to some extent by aerosols. Natural variability also made a large contribution

    So half of global warming is estimated to be due to a combination of a plus b minus c (to some extent) with a contribution from d? What about the other half?

    The conclusion of the article is even clearer in its statement that they authors know very little:

    These anomalous events [droughts, dustbowls etc.] occurred during a period of strong global-scale warming, which can be attributed to a combination of external forcing (particularly, greenhouse gas increases, combined with a hiatus in volcanic events) and internal decadal variability. The exact contribution of each factor to large-scale warming remains uncertain, largely due to uncertainty in the role of aerosols in the cooling or stabilization of climate following the middle of the 20th century.

    The humility of Hegerl et al is all to their credit. But why did a paper with so little to say get grants from the Natural Environment Research Council, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, the Wolfson Foundation, the Royal Society, and the European Research Council funded project “Transition Into The Anthropocene”? And why are you quoting it to me when it can’t possibly contain the answer to my question?

    The logarithmic thing is just another example of painting yourself into a corner while looking over your shoulder at the past. The bigger the problem in the past, the less we have to fear from the future.

    Like

  41. Vinny
    That’s interesting. I thought I detected the hand of Cook behind the five oaths of loyalty. Sticking in the irrelevant fourth one about hope seemed a typical Cookian touch. Also typical was the fact that of the five UK blogs examined, four were identified as from the USA (manicbeancounter, notalotofpeopleknowthat, Roger Tallbloke, and Rational Optimist) – as is Donna Laframboise’s No Frakking Consensus. (thanks to a tweet from Barry Woods for that discovery.)

    Like

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