This provides a very strong clue about what’s going on that can be used in analysis of Dan’s results, as executed in Appendix 2. This analysis finds that the assumption of an independent culture inspired by the concept of climate change, i.e. one not spawned from left-wing or right-wing politics, provides a much better fit to Dan’s survey results. This culture has an interaction, a relationship, with both political left and right, but in the US at least its alliance with the left happens to be far stronger (causing more cultural steering here than for the Republicans). The large percentage drop in Democrat responses (depending on what questions are asked) mentioned above, represent those in alliance with, but not personally committed to the belief and cause of man-made Global Warming. These ‘shifters’ only ‘believe’ when their party allegiance calls upon them to believe. The analysis in Appendix 2 rests upon only mainstream cognitive bias mechanisms, not anything unusual such as ‘duality’. No common ‘widespread apprehension of danger’ is found, but a widespread lack of faith in climate science pronouncements, is.
It’s easier to visualize the cultural landscape on a diagram. Here’s a tentative one I knocked up for this post, with suggested figures for the present US scenario taken from the quoted polls in Appendix 1 (which figures are pretty fuzzy anyhow as different polls show quite some variance). It’s for concept not accuracy, though may have representational problems I haven’t thought about yet…
It sinks in rather more when looking at this map that CAGW has adherents on the political right too; cultures will wow and woo anyone they can. I haven’t yet checked surveys for other countries, but in some (e.g. the UK), the slope of the left to right rising lines should be much shallower, with climate culture and alliance encompassing much more of the right. The Consensus narrative on climate change is officially supported by the UK Conservatives, although there are probably a few more rebels than on the left. But the same generic principles hold. Those in the ‘alliance’ band are the respondents who shift allegiance depending upon the questions asked, per above and explanations in Appendix 2. Note that the right has a few shifters too. In the US these can’t be defending their identity in terms of simple party allegiance; they may be in alliance due to other social drives. E.g. falling to peer pressure about seeming stupid or uncaring on this trendy / moral issue, or expressing more complex political motives, e.g. from the Republican left wing and not wanting to seem like a ‘tea-party dinosaur’, maybe even leveraging climate change as a platform to ‘modernize’ local Republicans (see GOP deeply divided over climate change).
This suggests that at least some shifters on the left may also have more complex motivations, which likely are not fully conscious. The lack of trust arrow on the left (it won’t necessarily be contiguous in this representation, hence the dashed part), taken from the Rasmussen survey (see Appendix 2) about falsification of global warming data, must penetrate very deep into shifter territory, suggesting that many Democrats allied to climate culture not only don’t believe all the scary stories, they even believe some of the science is deliberately fixed. Their alliance is simply to further a personal social / political agenda in some way.
Note: According to Dan’s data, if we could visualize the graph separately for the science unaware and science aware folks, as indicated by the colored arrows that show which way the slopes tilt, they would be shallower for the former and steeper for the latter. See Appendix 2 for more context. ‘Innate’ in the ‘innate skeptics’ refers to the instinctive protections that can be triggered against misinformation and cultural bulldozing, Lewandowksy’s key to accuracy, see AW1 to AW3 for reference.
With typical insight and brevity, Judith Curry captures a big part of the implication from Dan’s data with a single sentence: ‘The issue is this: the public sees a vociferous debate about climate change in the media and on blogs, and people that are actually paying attention to science see reasons to question the consensus.’ But Dan doesn’t see this skepticism as valid. Recall that summary of his puzzlement Dan gave, of ‘what needs to be explained’, as expressed by one of his audience at a lecture: ‘How, he asked, can someone simultaneously display comprehension of human-caused global warming and say he or she doesn’t “believe in” it?’ Dan is rebranding skepticism as disbelief. He comes to the conclusion that the science aware Rep/Cons are culturally steered and so trapped in ‘dualism’. I think this is key to Dan’s investigation veering off course. The above assumption of disbelief comes in turn from assuming that the (science aware) Dem/Libs must be ‘right’ in the polarized chart in DK1, essentially pinning them to an absolute truth that he personally believes exists. Everything else in the investigation had to flow backwards from this fixed position. This is pretty much bound to cause puzzles and inconsistencies, and ultimately ends up with the same result as the bad cop, i.e. with the entire psychological case essentially turned upside-down. I guess a difference between the bad and good cops is that the latter don’t know that they’re policing the Consensus, are unaware that they’re under its influence. But CAGW culture is effectively steering Dan’s investigation.
In comments Dan summarizes his assumption about puzzling Rep/Con behavior as a ‘knowing disbelief’, thus showing that he thinks the subjects in question have access to an absolute knowledge, which contradicts their disbelief. But there is no such knowledge. At the opposite pole, neither does overlapping knowledge provide any absolutes confirming the Dem/Lib belief. As Professor Judith Curry points out in comments regarding the DK1 survey question on Global Warming (i.e. is it man-made or natural): ‘I don’t know how to answer this question. Given the inadequate evidence (lack of knowledge about solar impacts, inability to adequately model the network of multidecadal internal variability, etc) my current best assessment is 50-50. And this is something I have studied carefully for the past 5 years and have published papers on.’
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