Tuesday, August 09, 2011

RP Jr. says strength of climate denialism in the US "not a limiting factor" in US politics

Roger Pielke Jr. on To the Point, which previously had done a good job in picking speakers (speaking around minute 24):


I would say the evidence suggests pretty strongly that public opinion is not a limiting factor in taking effective action on climate change.

All right then. If public opinion is not a limiting factor then you hypothetically could increase public opinion from what it is so that it matches the opinion of climatologists publishing on climate change, 97% of whom accept human effects on climate, and we still wouldn't have passed a climate bill in Congress in '09 or '10. Sounds a little loony to me.

This isn't Roger "The Battle for US Public Opinion on Climate Change is Over" Jr's first attempt to dismiss denialism while demanding people not talk about it. He also concluded that the claim that 57 US Senators accepted climate reality in 2007 was not a problematically low figure. My math places 57 as less than 60, not even taking account the climate realists who bow to lobbyist pressure and the lost potential votes among the 43 who are unlikely to vote to address a problem they doubt exists.

This isn't to say that the forces of denial are going to win in the long run, just that RPJr's dismissal of their influence doesn't sound like sound political science.

Now hidden in his drive to be contrarian is an interesting nugget - back to To the Point:

Public has at least for 20 years been strongly behind climate science and the idea that action needs to be taken. What we have seen is a big partisan divide....It's become part of the culture wars of the United States....as assumption that many scientists and experts carry with them that if only the public understood the science as they understand the science, the public would come to share their values....As a political scientist I look at issues like the debt ceiling or the war in Iraq or the TARP program and when you look at what public opinion was when action was taken on these controversial topics you find out that the strength of public opinion on climate change is at or exceeding the levels for which action was taken for the other issues. So I would say the evidence suggests pretty strongly that public opinion is not a limiting factor in taking effective action on climate change.

The stuff that's not bolded is either wrong or obvious. The bolded stuff, that legislative solutions with equal public support don't get passed at an equal rate suggest there's more to look at. RPJr goes on to say its the voters choosing the economy over their potential long term interest in climate, an Iron Law that's not so irony in practice. I'd suggest that the Iron Law doesn't exist, but that powerful economic interest tied into ideological backwardness can really screw things up in our democracy, especially when the 60 vote requirement in the Senate isn't very democratic.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

We have a Republic not a true democracy. If you change the rules in the Senate to a majority vote, there is not much purpose in having a Senate at that point.

If your side was not a total public relation disaster, you would not be in such a predicament.



Celery Eater

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Celery Eater, so you admit that the victory of climate inactivism is not due to facts or evidence or logic, but due to "public relations"?

Hey, I can agree with that!

-- frank

Brian Schmidt said...

"If you change the rules in the Senate to a majority vote, there is not much purpose in having a Senate at that point."

It's the current Republican Party that abused the filibuster to the point of not being much of a republic. Dems prior to '06 also pushed it, but only half as badly.

Anyway, a majority rule Senate would have some value in slowing down things, while still not causing the current level of paralysis.

Anonymous said...

Celery Eater

"If your side was not a total public relation disaster, you would not be in such a predicament."

Why do you not accept AGW as settled science? Your comments indicate you are simply an ideologue, who would never accept anything that was outside their political views

EliRabett said...

Well, as a political scientist wrote to Eli Roger is either a political scientist who doesn't understand politics or something other than a political scientist which appears to be the opinion of the Political Science Department at Boulder. YMMV. This is nothing new for the Honest Joker"

****************************************
He is quite the expert in erasing context. For example, in discussing tobacco he said
--------------------------
In the battle over smoking efforts to deny a link between smoking and health risks seems to have been completely a lost effort.
------------------------
This is consistent with Pielke's effort to frame other issues

----------------------------
...science has a huge role in getting a subject onto the "agenda" of decision making, but after that, its role is very much diminished and subsumed to other factors, such as cultural, social, and political. If this is correct, it would require some deeper understanding about the role of advocacy related to scientific issues and the efficacy of using science as a tool of advocacy.
---------------------------
and he continues
---------------------------
This begs the question -- why has anti-smoking advocacy been so successful over time? The throwaway answer that increasing scientific certainly is the key does not seem to jibe with this data.

John said...

Speaking of Pielke's knowledge of politics:
The US Senate has a 60 vote rule to stop a filibuster. BUT that is not mentioned in the Constitution. It is merely a Senate rule, which can be changed by a simple majority vote in the Senate.

dhogaza said...

"This begs the question -- why has anti-smoking advocacy been so successful over time? The throwaway answer that increasing scientific certainly is the key does not seem to jibe with this data."

Is this fuckhead actually fucking saying this in all seriousness?

(feel free to edit)

Anonymous said...

There's no point to the Senate. Particularly a Senate which permits 16% of the country to veto needed legislation. The Senate already permits a state like North Dakota to have legislative equivalence to California or New York. Add the filibuster and Citizen's United to the mix and it means plutocrats don't even have to buy many senators.

Jeffrey Davis

Anonymous said...

John,

Correct with the finer point that rules may be changed only on the opening session of a new Congress, by majority vote. There is a lot of precedent for that. Once the next Congress accepts a prior's rules it would take 67 votes to change a Senate rule.


Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Shorter Jeffrey Davis:

"There is no point to the Constitution, because recently I am not getting my way."



Celery Eater

John said...

Celery Eater:
If you look at the history, you'll find that the vote margin to overcome a filibuster has varied from one era to another: 67% or 60%? Either 67% of votes cast or 67% of all Senators, etc. It's in the Senate rules, NOT in the Constitution.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Why is it that people (such as Celery Eater) who worship the US Constitution the most are also those who understand the Constitution the least?

-- frank

David B. Benson said...

RPJr. is utterly ignorable.

Don't understand all the attention which is paid to his mutterings.

Anonymous said...

John,

I have been agreeing with you. The only precedent for changing the Senate rules by a simple majority is when a new session starts. I know the Senate rules are not in the Constitution and I never said otherwise.

Jeez


Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Frank brings nothing to the table other than his opinion of other commentors?



Celery Eater

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Bullshit Eater, when you replied to Jeffrey Davis's points about the filibuster and the ruling on Citizens United with "BUT THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!!!" it's clear that you weren't understanding the Constitution, but merely using it for name-dropping -- just as I said. It's not an "opinion"; it's a clear fact.

-- frank

Steve Bloom said...

David, RP Jr. is damned effective at working the press. Part of that is that he puts the effort into working it via a steady stream of communiques, another part is that he promptly responds to requests for comment and is happy to produce op-eds on deadline, and the third is that he positions himself in a way that appeals to journalists (i.e., we're all good centrists here, standing in judgement of the "debate"). In a sane world the fact that his views are mostly bullshit would be taken into account, but a quick look at coverage of national politics tells us that we don't live in such a world. The fact that it's very rare for science journalists to end up in editorial positions doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

Frank,

You make no sense whatsoever. Jeffery Davis said there was no point to the Senate. The Senate is established by the Constitution, is it not?

Get it?


You must be a blast after a few beers, though you probably do not drink in public as your face would more than likely get some "modifications". You are rather hot and hyper.


I see Steve Bloom is in the same "I don't get it" camp that Eli frequents.

Celery Eater

Brian Schmidt said...

I think it's interesting that the Republican Party leadership with their desire to amend in multiple ways the Constitution they profess to love, have no interest in making it more democratic/republican, like fixing the demographics of the Senate that Jeff pointed out, or a popular vote for president.

As for not getting our way recently, the Senate is up for grabs next year. I think both sides should commit in advance to majoritarian rules, and then let the people decide who wins.

And Steve supplied an explanation for why RPJr gets attention that I think is correct - the press is too lazy to find reasonable alternative perspectives, many of them also realize the denialists are off-base, and so they default to R as their alternative.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Bullshit Eater says,

"Jeffery Davis said there was no point to the Senate"

You forgot the rest of his sentence. Probably because that doesn't fit into your "BUT THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!!!!" narrative?

"You must be a blast after a few beers, though you probably do not drink in public as your face would more than likely get some "modifications". You are rather hot and hyper."

Ah, when logic fails, use bullshit. That's the strategy of Bullshit Eater.

* * *

"In a sane world the fact that his views are mostly bullshit would be taken into account, but a quick look at coverage of national politics tells us that we don't live in such a world."

Word.

-- frank

Anonymous said...

And still nothing of substance from Frank.



Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Jeffery Davis said "There's no point to the Senate."

Frank said I should read the rest of the sentence, that looks like a complette sentence to me. Perhaps Frank drinks 24/7 tht would explain a lot.

What's the matter Frank? Divorced? Lose a job lately? Or just pretty much hate yourself?



Celery Eater

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Bullshit Eater, if you want to play quote-mining games, there are a lot of things you said which look like complete sentences.

Here's one: "your face would more than likely get some 'modifications'."

Hmm, that certainly sounds like a threat of violence. Why is Bullshit Eater so prone to violence? In the face of such a threat, should I be screaming oppression, I wonder?

Here's another complete sentence you said: "I don't get it." A refreshingly frank admission.

And the best part? You said, "there is not much purpose in having a Senate." Hey look, you actually agree with Jeffrey Davis!

If you want to play silly quote-mining games, well, I can play quote-mining games with you all day long.

Alternatively, you can discuss the facts of climate science. But I know you won't, because Bullshit Eater is your name.

-- frank

J Bowers said...

Celery Eater confuses Frank with Motl.

Anonymous said...

Frank,

Stop embarrassing yourself. Not one of those quotes is a complete sentence. The one from Jeffrey was a complete sentence. If you are going to quote a portion of sentence you need to use "..." as in

"...your face would more than likely get some "modifications".


This alerts the reader that something came before those words to complete the sentence.

"You must be a blast after a few beers, though you probably do not drink in public as your face would more than likely get some "modifications".

You said I needed to read the rest of the sentence for this:

"There's no point to the Senate."


Perhaps you meant to say the rest of the paragraph, understandable with your inability to know what a complete sentence is and how to properly quote people. So lets's look at the very next sentence.

"Particularly a Senate which permits 16% of the country to veto needed legislation."


So the writer, Jeffrey, is conveying the point that there is no point to a Senate, particularly this one or one that has the following components. So as to the meaning of the first sentence the rest of the paragraph does not modify or explain lack of need of a Senate, in fact it reinforces the statement, that the Senate has no point.


Another epic fail from Frank, more derangement soon to follow.



Celery Eater

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

"Perhaps you meant to say the rest of the paragraph"

Great, Bullshit Eater! You caught one mistake in one word!

Now explain to us how that proves climate science to be a fraud. Extra paper is provided for your detailed working.

kthxbai

-- frank

Anonymous said...

Frank,

Another Strawman, does he come with a blue or green coat? I am guessing green. I do not recall stating that climate science is a fraud so why I would need to explain that it is a fraud? I understand your desire to change the subject after experiencing such a thorough thrashing in front of all to see.

I do look forward to more derangement and all that bold font, it makes you look really important! lol

Thanks for the chuckles Frank, I truly do mean that!



Celery Eater

Brian said...

Should I welcome Celery Eater into the arms of climate realism? Not sure he said that either, though.

Also not sure where this thread's going at this point, it seems to have left our dear RPJr. behind.

I'll just note that I have the keys to the blogging kingdom here at Rabett's, but not to comment moderation. I just suggest we return to the subject or move on to the latest and greatest.

EliRabett said...

a. Eli thought you did?
b. We don't do that.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Bullshit Eater says "I do not recall stating that climate science is a fraud", and then happily cheers on Congressgoons who state outright that climate science is a fraud, and he claims it's all OK because their "public relations" is good. But he's Bullshit Eater after all.

Anyway, back to RPJr's fatuous bullshit: the real reason for the disconnect between public opinion and policy is that, well, there's a sentient being standing between the two.

The flow isn't public opinion → policy; it's public opinion → Congressgoons (← lobbyists, blackmailers, ...) → policy.

Add to that the fact that Congressgoons aren't really elected according to whether people like their proposed policies, but by how well their vague Rorschach-Test-like speeches can strike just the right chords in vastly diverse audiences.

I think Brian sort of hinted at this in the blog post, so I'm just making the argument more explicit.

-- frank

Anonymous said...

"Congressgoons" haha funny what are you 17?

Where did I cheer Congressgoons that deny Climate change? Another strawman. Frank you are the most dishonest immature poster I have come across in awhile. You are a joke.


Celery Eater

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Bullshit Eater, you said:

"If your side [climate activism] was not a total public relation disaster, you would not be in such a predicament."

So you weren't cheering on the Congressgoons who claim that climate science is a fraud? You were just concern trolling? Good to know!

-- frank

EliRabett said...

Folks, cool it.

Anonymous said...

Eli,

OK



Celery Eater