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DeSmogBlog: Are Conservatives Inherently More Biased than Liberals? The Scientific Debate Rages On

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In the first round of critical reactions to my book The Republican Brain, there wasn’t much to impress. As I related at AlterNet, the general conservative response to the book was to misrepresent its arguments, rather than to engage them seriously. (The book predicted this, incidentally.)

But now that some researchers . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Are Conservatives Inherently More Biased than Liberals? The Scientific Debate Rages On

DeSmogBlog: Conversion Fever! Why The Media Adores Former Climate Skeptics

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If you’ve been following the science of global warming for over a decade—as I have—you might find the recent conversion of Berkeley physicist Richard Muller into a climate believer kind of underwhelming. That’s certainly the reaction of many longtime climate scientists, with whom Muller now, finally, agrees.

“At this rate, Muller should be caught . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Conversion Fever! Why The Media Adores Former Climate Skeptics

DeSmogBlog: If Conservatives Were Really “Conservative,” They Would Want to Do Something About Global Warming

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Originally, when I asked MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel to be a guest on the Point of Inquiry podcast, my goal was simple. I wanted someone who could give an expert take on the relationship between climate change and all the freakish weather we’ve been seeing. As for having this individual . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: If Conservatives Were Really “Conservative,” They Would Want to Do Something About Global Warming

DeSmogBlog: It’s the Weather, Stupid: Slowly Re-Awakening the Public About Climate Change

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The Yale and George Mason Centers on Climate Change Communication, collaborators on the well-known “Six Americas” studies of how the public views global warming, are out with their latest report, the fifth in the series. And it hints at an underlying theme discernible in many of these surveys: On climate . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: It’s the Weather, Stupid: Slowly Re-Awakening the Public About Climate Change

DeSmogBlog: After All That, The Himalayan Glaciers are Indeed Shrinking

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Remember the Himalayan glaciers?

They were at the root of the most deserved black-eye to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change during the intensely politicized period of 2009-2010. In so-called “GlacierGate,” it was revealed that the IPCC had published, in one of its reports, a truly bogus assertion that the Himalayan . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: After All That, The Himalayan Glaciers are Indeed Shrinking

DeSmogBlog: Anthony Watts Is Right Because He’s Older Than Me

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Last week, the leading climate skeptic blogger Anthony Watts criticized my writing based upon my age and looks—and other, er, observations:

For the record, it is now official; Chris Mooney is a paid political hack disguising himself as a science writer. I’m going back to calling him a “kid blogger”, because no . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Anthony Watts Is Right Because He’s Older Than Me

DeSmogBlog: More Evidence That Republicans Are More Factually Challenged Than Democrats

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In writing The Republican Brain, I had a problem to solve. You see, it was one thing to cite all the psychological research suggesting that liberals and conservatives just think differently, because they have different personalities and cognitive styles. Sure, one could infer on this basis that certain conservatives, especially authoritarian . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: More Evidence That Republicans Are More Factually Challenged Than Democrats

DeSmogBlog: The Politics of Ice and Fire

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In late June of 1988, just under 24 years ago, NASA’s James Hansen testified before the U.S. Congress about global warming. He noted that the Earth had been remarkably warm in the months leading up to that moment, and said he was 99 percent certain that the overall warming trend in . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Politics of Ice and Fire

DeSmogBlog: New Study: Climate Deniers Are Emoting–Especially the Conspiracy Theorists

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Anyone paying attention these last few years will have noticed that global warming denial simply isn’t a rational phenomenon. And it’s not just that if there were any reason involved, then denial it would have decreased in prevalence—rather than increased—as climate science grew more firm and certain over the past two decades.

. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: New Study: Climate Deniers Are Emoting–Especially the Conspiracy Theorists

DeSmogBlog: A Court’s Scientific Smackdown: The D.C. Circuit Trashes Science Deniers on Global Warming and the EPA

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Tomorrow, we may see a court—the highest in the land—flout precedent for partisan ends in its ruling on President Obama’s signature health care law.

However, in the meantime, we can rejoice that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit understands how to weigh complicated science-policy issues without partisanship . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: A Court’s Scientific Smackdown: The D.C. Circuit Trashes Science Deniers on Global Warming and the EPA

DeSmogBlog: Climate Denial in Brazil: A Translation

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This is a translation of the May 2, 2012 “Programa do Jo” on Globo, a half hour interview with the climate skeptic geographer Ricardo Augusto Felicio on global warming. On YouTube alone, the interview has nearly 700,000 views; in Brazil, Globo is a dominant television network. Original clip here; for a . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Climate Denial in Brazil: A Translation

DeSmogBlog: Climate Denial Hits Brazil

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Last year, I wrote about how journalists in developing nations were doing a better job of covering climate change, largely because denial hadn’t really taken root in many of these countries. In particular, I singled out Brazil for praise: According to a study by James Painter of the Reuters . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Climate Denial Hits Brazil

DeSmogBlog: Rio-Inspired Optimism (If Not Optimism About Rio)

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If the goal was to get the world focused on sustainable development, then this definitely counts as terrible timing.

With global leaders pressured by the unending European debt saga—which most recently has engulfed Spain, the euro zone’s fourth largest economy—it’s not surprising that environmental concerns aren’t exactly at the front . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Rio-Inspired Optimism (If Not Optimism About Rio)

DeSmogBlog: The Normalcy of Hypocrisy: From Clean Energy to Health Care, Conservatives Flip Flop in Support of the Team

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One striking feature of the liberal psyche is how it is simultaneously outraged by hypocrisy on the conservative side of the aisle—and yet also morbidly fascinated by it.

Just this morning, reading, I came across the following examples:

1.      Ezra Klein’s much discussed New Yorker article, on how Republicans came to oppose . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Normalcy of Hypocrisy: From Clean Energy to Health Care, Conservatives Flip Flop in Support of the Team

DeSmogBlog: The New ExxonMobil: Has the Tiger Changed Its Stripes?

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For a decade, now, I’ve been a reporter on climate science. And one of my earliest stories was a Mother Jones cover, exposing ExxonMobil’s funding of think tanks that support climate denialism. The piece was actually nominated for a National Magazine Award. It got around.

With this article and others, I contributed . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The New ExxonMobil: Has the Tiger Changed Its Stripes?

DeSmogBlog: Mann Handled: A Decade Ago, Conservatives Attacked a Scientist—And Created a Leader

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This is a review of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines, by Michael Mann.

I first became familiar with the name Michael Mann in the year 2003. I was working on what would become my book The Republican War on Science, and had learned of . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Mann Handled: A Decade Ago, Conservatives Attacked a Scientist—And Created a Leader

DeSmogBlog: How Do We Explain Scientifically Literate But Anti-Science Conservatives? Paging Drs. Dunning and Kruger

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As regular readers of this blog know, I have spent a lot of time discussing what we call the “smart idiot” effect: Political conservatives who know more about science—or, have a higher level of education—tend to be more in denial of science or facts in contested areas, like global warming, than . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: How Do We Explain Scientifically Literate But Anti-Science Conservatives? Paging Drs. Dunning and Kruger

DeSmogBlog: The Polarizing Poles: Yet Another Study Shows That More Knowledgeable Conservatives Are *Worse* on Global Warming

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Bloggers and commentators have been talking a lot lately about a recent study, by Dan Kahan and colleagues in Nature Climate Change, capturing what I call the “smart idiot” effect: Conservatives who are more educated, or have a higher degree of scientific literacy, are more strongly in denial (or less worried) . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Polarizing Poles: Yet Another Study Shows That More Knowledgeable Conservatives Are *Worse* on Global Warming

DeSmogBlog: The Big Waffle? New Report Exposes Corporations That Try to Split the Difference on Global Warming

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We hear a lot about the Koch brothers. And before them, we heard a lot about ExxonMobil.

In other words, we all know the names of the corporations, and the corporate leaders, who have sought to undermine public understanding about global warming—for instance, by supporting think tanks that misrepresent the science . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Big Waffle? New Report Exposes Corporations That Try to Split the Difference on Global Warming

DeSmogBlog: A Top Scientist Ignores the Science of Why People Deny Science

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In the world of evolutionary science, you don’t get much more prominent than Richard Leakey (pictured here). An anthropologist and conservationist, he’s the son of the archaeologist couple Louis and Mary Leakey, famed for their human origins research in Africa. Richard Leakey is credited with multiple major discoveries, including his team’s unearthing . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: A Top Scientist Ignores the Science of Why People Deny Science

DeSmogBlog: The Meaning of Tropical Storm Alberto–and a 2012 Hurricane Rap Session

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Uh oh. Hurricane season has started early.

On Saturday (the 19th), when Tropical Storm Alberto spun up off the Carolina coast, forecaster Brennan of the National Hurricane Center had this to say:

ALBERTO IS EARLIEST–FORMING TROPICAL STORM IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN SINCE ANA IN 2003.  THIS IS ALSO THE FIRST TIME . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Meaning of Tropical Storm Alberto–and a 2012 Hurricane Rap Session

DeSmogBlog: Will Climate Denial, Like, Ever End?

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This week, as the Heartland Institute commences its annual conference, the organization is clearly back on its heels. Funders, experts, and even some staff are bailing, reports The Guardian. Apparently pushed into defensive mode by Peter Gleick and his attempt to expose its funding, the Institute struck back with its ill-advised “you . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Will Climate Denial, Like, Ever End?

DeSmogBlog: The Weekly Standard on “Hillbilly” Climate Denial

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In its latest cover story, the conservative Weekly Standard has decided to try to refute, outside of the scientific literature, the large body of research on the psychological underpinnings of political ideology (summarized in my book The Republican Brain). The critique, written by Andrew Ferguson, fails badly, in part because it . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Weekly Standard on “Hillbilly” Climate Denial

DeSmogBlog: Canadian Environmental Groups Black Out to Speak Out Against Government Threats to Nature & Democracy

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With full page ads in the Globe and Mail and La Presse national newspapers, a major coalition of Canadian environmental non-profits have come together to launch the Black Out Speak Out campaign (Silence, on parle! pour la Francophonie.)

CPAWS, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Equiterre, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Canadian Environmental Groups Black Out to Speak Out Against Government Threats to Nature & Democracy

DeSmogBlog: Us and Them: The Psychology Behind the Heartland Institute Billboards

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The Heartland Institute’s jaw-droppingly ill-advised, and now withdrawn billboard campaign—pictured here—has drawn a huge volume of denunciations in the last week. There’s not much more to say substantively about the campaign, or the fallout from it, which has included a number of Heartland funders heading for the hills.

But it is fascinating to . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Us and Them: The Psychology Behind the Heartland Institute Billboards