Here we go round the mulberry bush....
Ethon** flew in hungry from Boulder. The guys out there have moved him from his assigned easy, and tasty duties to flying from house to house doing polls on attitudes towards climate change. Not only are folk not very hospitable to a large eagle at the door, but you can hardly find a chopped liver sandwich on a street cart these days, so he dug right into Mom Rabett's best.
Ike Solem and Roger are engaged in a parsing match. Ike asked Roger to predict when global surface temperature would stop rising. Roger replied first that he bets neither with Brian Schmidt nor James Annan. On being pressed a bit, he linked to a book he participated in on prediction science. Ike has not yet asked if the book answers his question.
Ike pointed out
The real problem with politics in climate science if the continuing efforts by the fossil fuel industry, led by ExxonMobil, to distort scientific facts in an effort to deceive the public about the real extent of the problem.Roger didn't want to deal with this, so he asked Ike whether
1. What evidence do you have that that the public is deceived?This has been a tactic that Roger used before about the dangers of tobacco, and one that Eli easily demolished
A rather curious idea is being put forward by Roger Pielke Jr., thatby linking to and quoting from various Surgeon General reports and the scientific publications that were cited therein.In the battle over smoking efforts to deny a link between smoking and health risks seems to have been completely a lost effort.
Eli calls this tactic incurious amazement. The user depends on the other party not following up or stating the question in a way that requires considerable work to dig out. Usually a pretty safe bet, but if by happenstance he meets a large eagle or a Rabett coming down the street, there is an easy retreat to gee, that's amazing, never knew that, or if enough time has passed and everyone else has moved on one can simply ignore the answer. Of course, Banning in Boulder is also a choice. Note the close relationship of incurious amazement to the well know implausible deniability trick popularized in Casablanca (Climate change going on here, I am shocked, shocked)
So the Rabett Institute for Policy Studies, sent poor Eth out on the street. The first thing he found next to some liver souffle (Boulder is a frou frou town) was this April 2006 interesting study from World Public Opinion showing that US attitudes about the reality of climate change significantly lags that in other countries.
As Rabett Run has been pounding, US public opinion on this matter has change considerably over the past year, but there was a lot of catching up to do BECAUSE of the fossil fuel companies investing megabucks convincing the public that there was no such thing as human driven climate change. We speculate based on past performance that Roger has not yet read the Union of Concerned Scientists Report on Exxons bankrolling think tanks.
Still, all this pointed the ears at a rather interesting thought. For Eli, Pielke's major insight is that the policy makers are the important constituency. One could conceptualize the Exxonian tactic as immobilize rather than convince public opinion, then elect George Bush. At this, they have been very effective. Eli would suggest that if Roger really wants to answer his question he might look at results from the International Social Survey Programme which the Rabettorium does not have easy access to.
The RabEditors have slightly modified the text.
**Ethon or The Eagle Kaukasios was a gigantic eagle born of the monsters Typhon and Echidna. As punishment for stealing fire from Mount Olympus, Zeus had Prometheus chained to Mount Caucasus, where Ethon was set to gnaw on his liver.