The deep irony for the authors is that they had in their hands the right tool that could provide a much better understanding of what is really happening regarding CAGW, yet they discovered nothing of note. They failed to acknowledge their own cultural immersion and hence have not realized their uncritical acceptance of CAGW supportive frames. While I see no reason to doubt the immediate findings of their survey of Alberta’s petro-chemical industry, what this paper doesn’t say regarding the whole narrative contest, plus the fact of the authors’ CAGW cultural bias, together rob the conclusions of any real meaning and betray the paper’s supposed objectivity. Rather than remain neutral as academics should, they have significantly furthered the purpose of their own frame with LM2013, which might be labeled ‘authority of academia’, and which appears to be wholly allied and committed to CAGW.
Religious narratives essentially never run out of fuel; there is and likely always will be some level of uncertainty about the existence of God(s). Secular narratives, especially those spawned by science, should in theory run out of fuel one day, *if* the scientific method survives of course, as this is the means to eventually remove uncertainty. But there is vast social inertia behind CAGW now, to the extent that even a 17 year ‘hiatus’ in global temperatures has had surprisingly little impact on the big narrative beast. Most likely it won’t be tamed for some years yet, but understanding the nature of the beast can only help.
Footnote 1: I make the caveat here that the narrative competition is essentially unrelated to whatever is happening in the real climate, and whether that is good, bad, or indifferent. Social narratives feed upon uncertainty, and even if a ‘bad’ real climate scenario emerged (though this seems increasingly less likely), most of the excesses of the aggressive CAGW culture would swiftly die-out. This is because a real enemy not an array of fantasy ones would now be identified, and just like for a war or a natural disaster, society would soon grasp what to do and folks would simply get on and do it.
Footnote2: References regarding various points above, such as the comparison by many folks of CAGW with religion (or use of religious metaphors), narratives altering the law, etc. can be found in my essay The CAGW Memeplex; a cultural creature. A memetic perspective provides great insight on the competition of social narratives, and allows a detailed exploration of how and why these happen, which is simply not possible in the space of the post above.