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Climate denial is cultural not scientific

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Those who benefit from the current system don’t want to accept that system is broken and requires radical change for us to be able to adapt to the climate change realities our pollution is creating.

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Climate change? Yeah, nah
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of climate change scepticism in the developed world, a study has revealed. Surprisingly, we have more sceptics per capita than in the US, where large numbers of right-wing media and politicians refuse to accept climate change is man-made.

A new paper from the University of Tasmania, called Scepticism in a changing climate: a cross-national study, found 13 per cent of New Zealanders were climate change sceptics.

It was third only to Norway (15 per cent) and Australia (17 per cent). The United States came in at 12 per cent.

The study, which was published in the journal, Global Environmental Change, was based on surveys taken in each of the 14 countries and was designed to be representative of adults aged over 18.

It found countries with higher levels of CO2 emissions corresponded with nations with higher rates of climate change scepticism.

According to data compiled by the US Department of Energy, New Zealand was ranked 50 out of 214 nations for CO2 emissions per capita, with each Kiwi creating about 7.8 tonnes each year.

Scepticism also increased a country’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the study said.

It found that men, political conservatives and people with low environmental concern were most likely to be sceptics.

Contrary to the authors’ expectations, education level and age were not found to be relevant predictors of scepticism.

The study supported earlier Canadian research that found that “those who value the free market system over environmental quality tend to believe that global climate change is not occurring, that the causes of global climate change are more natural than human caused and that its consequences will not be negative”.

Climate denial and climate change minimisation stopped being a scientific issue some time ago, it is a cultural wilful ignorance generated by those who refuse to believe the economic base of their privilege is under threat.

Those who benefit from the current system don’t want to accept that system is broken and requires radical change for us to be able to adapt to the climate change realities our pollution is creating.

They don’t want to see how climate change exacerbates inequality and they don’t want to hear about need for change.

These climate change minimisers and deniers are in fact putting faith in the free market that has so benefitted them to somehow find a solution to a distant problem that’s just some communist green conspiracy anyway.

The believers are faith based, not fact based.

When scientists in NZ feel ‘gagged’, we have some major problems…

More scientists complain of gagging

Late last year the association released a poll showing 40 percent of scientists surveyed felt they were not able to speak out on issues within their areas of expertise because of management policy or concern over losing funding.

Its president, Nicola Gaston, said since the survey was made public she had been approached by several scientists who have felt pressured or gagged.

Dr Gaston said the pressure on scientists was occurring in universities and Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), as pressure went on to raise more funding from industry.

She said a university scientist told her he was about to go on live television to talk about a contentious issue when the Vice Chancellor called, but he refused to take the call.

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  1. adam says:

    “The market is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”

    So say the ideological pure.

    So no we won’t get any change on climate change from this government.

  2. Simple Simon says:

    Trouble is Martyn, there are so many conflicting views out there it hard to know just what is the truth.

    Below is a link to the Sydney Morning Herald, one day last week and not being a subscriber, I could not open the link but would have loved to read what he had to say.

    By Graham Lloyd

    Environment Editor
    Graham Lloyd is a fearless reporter of all sides of the environment debate. A former night editor, chief editorial writer and deputy business editor with The Australian, Graham has held senior positions nationally. Graham is a founding director of a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to preserving the culture and environment of the Amazon region of Peru.
    Chances of ice age on rise
    Chances of ice age on rise
    0:00 AMGRAHAM LLOYD The sun’s power is weakening at its fastest rate in 9300 years, doubling the odds of ice age conditions by mid-century.

    • Richard Christie says:

      Trouble is Martyn, there are so many conflicting views out there it hard to know just what is the truth.

      Not many conflicting views from those who do the science.

      The scientific community’s consensus position on climate change and anthropogenic forcings is essentially complete: Human activity is warming the planet with unclear but very probably damaging consequences to ecosystems and our habitat.



      • iain mclean says:

        I agree with all your concerns,and rightly so,but unfortunately the
        UN/IPCC science is seriously flawed,in my opinion,and others.
        The science is NOT settled.

        I am NOT saying the climate change happening before our eyes
        may not be man made.
        The question is just who may be the major contributor.

        From a highly respected website originating from a Canadian university.
        Here is some evidence.

        Just reading headlines is enough. Read on.


        • In what manner if the “science seriously flawed”, Iain? Can you quote any reputable research organisations? And by that, I don’t mean conspiracy theorist websites and oddball you-tube vids.

          • iain mclean says:

            Hello Frank; Been expecting you.

            The last time I raised the subject on your blog you
            told me that geoengineering only took place on a
            place like mars!
            With such a silly statement I did not respond.

            GlobalResearch is certainly NOT a conspiracy website
            as most thinking people can see.
            There are plenty of scientist’s and professor’s entries
            with resource index of documents and scientific papers. Read the ‘about’ section.

            Richard(above) keeps dragging out the IPCC and NASA.
            The very organizations in question.

            The information you require is contained in those
            five pages.
            If this is not suffice search climate change/warming
            on the site.

            1 hour to reach your conclusion?

            Start with the entry at bottom of 1st page that
            shows the Royal Society admits geoengineering is
            taking place.
            Then view the documentary “Why are they Spraying” contained in the entry immediately above
            titled “CIA is funding Gvt…….”
            This is a must view to everyone with an interest.
            Let people make their own judgement and conclusions.

            Otherwise your reply seems like Diversion to me.


            • Iain, I refer you to your comment;

              “Start with the entry at bottom of 1st page that
              shows the Royal Society admits geoengineering is
              taking place
              . ”

              Well, I took a look at the link you provided and read the article. (http://www.globalresearch.ca/elite-think-tank-admits-to-ongoing-climate-engineering-experiments/5418879)

              It states, in part;

              “Case in point is an admission from The Royal Society that geoengineering experiments are being debated for full rollout even in the absence of policy restrictions.”

              “If we look at the recommendations from this report, then look at what is being discussed today as something supposedly novel, an agenda emerges. ”

              “The Royal Society, in collaboration with international science partners, should develop a code of practice for geoengineering research and provide recommendations to the international scientific community for a voluntary research governance framework.”

              “However, there is additional vague language similar to the section above which leaves uncertainty about what exactly has been modeled by computers and what might have already been tested in the open. What cannot be doubted, however, is that the volume of scientific articles now published indicates a real agenda with massive scope, a massive budget and massive consequences.”

              That’s a lot of speculative what-if’s, Iain, but nothing else is actually “taking place”.

              You’ve conflated conjecture with events taking place, and nothing in the article you’ve linked to makes that claim.

              Far from your assertion that the “Royal Society admits geoengineering is
              taking place
              “, there seems to be debate and discussion and not much more.

              • iain mclean says:

                Jeeez,couple of days away and I miss all the
                bun fights.(below) Probably just as well.

                Thank you for spending the time (and
                posting the 1st article for others) for your
                analysis. (And in a civil manner)

                I am sure you would agree it is about what
                is explicit and what is implicit.

                The last two bullet points of the report:

                “Relevant UK government departments, in association with the UK Research Councils, should together fund a 10 year geoengineering research programme at a level of the order of £10M per annum.
                The Royal Society, in collaboration with international science partners, should develop a code of practice for geoengineering research and provide recommendations to the international scientific community for a voluntary research governance framework.”

                “This was 2009, of course; so when we read their latest press release:
                Indeed, here we see that what is bullet-pointed above – and discussed within the study – as a non-preferable, potentially dangerous tinkering with global systems is underway.
                It’s already well known that injecting aerosols into low clouds over the warm ocean can, in some circumstances, reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the surface. The concept, untested over the Arctic until now,….”

                What is not said,however, is that no proper research is ever carried out without doing real empirical experiments.
                Not just computer modeling,as is implied

                The other point (I’ve read) is that when
                technology and subjects as big as this is
                introduced into the MSM,historically, it
                usually means that it has been already going on a number of years. (eg;Mass Surveillance)

                He concludes:
                “What cannot be doubted, however, is that the volume of scientific articles now published indicates a real agenda with massive scope,…”

                Historical evidence of Environmental
                Modification Techniques (ENMOD) from
                the Professor himself;

                Military/Gvt document;”Owning the Weather
                in 2025″

                For other documents and patents, search author’s articles on site.

                I agree entirely that there is plenty of
                misinformation on the open source You Tube if you do not know your subject.
                You have not made comment on the
                Here is the original.

                Note; you are encouraged to down load,
                make copies and pass them on.


                PS; Nearly forgot your original question.
                Will dig out the definitive article and keep you posted.

        • Richard Christie says:

          The science is NOT settled.

          This statement reveals that its writer suffers profound confusion about science.

          Science is never settled – or it would cease to exist.

          It’s about consensus Iain.

          Pay attention:

          -c o n s e n s u s –

          The consensual agreement of the current state of knowledge.

          There is scientific consensus on evolution
          There is scientific consensus on plate tectonics
          There is scientific consensus on germ theory
          There is scientific consensus on gravity

          Science progresses through research and informs us via consensus.

          And so we have a scientific consensus that human activity is changing the Earth’s climate, warming it with likely adverse consequences.

          Richard(above) keeps dragging out the IPCC and NASA.
          The very organizations in question.

          Of course I do. My methodology is sound. I don’t rely on blogs or activist websites for my science information. I go to the organisations that do the science or represent those scientists that engage in science.

          NASA does the hard work. NASA spends billions of dollars on climate research, employing thousands of the world’s top minds engaged in state of the art research into atmospheric and earth sciences.

          You don’t like NASA? then you don’t like science. You don’t like the IPCC? then you simply don’t like the scientific consensus.

          Finally Iain, Frank correctly highlights your idiocy “[climate] science seriously flawed”.

          I note you didn’t answer his question.

          • iain mclean says:

            Richard; For you,the record and any that follow.

            “The science is not settled”

            Your reply;
            Line 1, slight belittlement.(Can assure you there is
            nothing wrong with my scientific understanding)

            Line 2, you confirm my initial statement!!

            Line 3, it’s all about consensus Iain.

            Line 4 Pay attention. (pattern emerging?)

            About consensus Richard.
            Look what happened to Capernicus and Galileo who
            went against ‘Consensus’ to say the earth went
            around the sun. Validated after how many centuries?
            How many other scientist’s (from then to present day) have been censored,ridiculed,harassed and
            their career’s destroyed only to be vindicated later?
            Killed even.

            Recent news on RNZ and Martyn(above) about
            scientists being gagged. Missed?

            A comment in Martyn’s article “Extreme Whanganui
            Flooding….” June 24
            GettingOn says:
            June 25, 2015 at 4:04 pm

            “One of the other problems is when scientists produce results that are in line with commercial interests (e.g eat more cereal), the PR companies for the corporations (who have funded the scientist or university and so have access to the data) write the summaries to ensure the correct message is portrayed and push the ‘news’ out to the media. When a scientist uncovers something that is conflict with commercial interests, it doesn’t see the light of day, except perhaps in pub med.

            Most science you see in the media is put there by vested interests.
            – See more at: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/06/24/extreme-whanganui-flooding-a-glimpse-of-our-global-warming-future/#sthash.cntCIzwc.dpuf

            Now please pay attention.

            Consensus = Ideological Dogma (Galileo) that is still
            happening right up to this present day.
            It is more political than scientific.

            Your whole list can still be debated.
            eg; Did you know that gravity is NOT a constant,that it varies from place to place on earth?

            And you have not said one word about geoengineering.
            Did you know that NASA’s website has a link?
            Read my replies to Frank you may have missed.

            We are living in a time when Consensus Science is
            about to be rocked to it’s very foundations.

            ‘The Electric Universe Hypothesis’ will be/is the ‘new tomorrow’ that will need the revising of most
            of the sciences.
            ‘Consensus science’ refuses to admit that there are
            electromagnetic currents in space even though they have been observed,measured and recorded
            by our technology and satellites for over 30yrs or
            eg; earth’s electrical connection to the sun.
            Even though every E.U. theory prediction(comets,
            Heliosphere) has been validated!

            TV1’s coverage of the recent Aurora’s is an example of all MSM reports that exclude all mention
            of electrical currents and keep repeating ‘magnetic
            It is 4th form physics that you cannot have one
            without the other.

            For that scientific brain of yours that can be
            understood in layman’s terms. 4th-5th physics.


            The SAFIRE Project documentary shown at the conference June 27th 2015 will not be far away.

            How long will it take to change our textbooks?
            We are living in exciting times.


            • About consensus Richard.
              Look what happened to Capernicus and Galileo who
              went against ‘Consensus’ to say the earth went
              around the sun. Validated after how many centuries?

              Iain, I hardly think that constitutes validation of any unproven theory that pops out of peopls’ imagination? You might as well use that to try to validate Edmond Halley’s Hollow Earth Theory. Or anything else lacking evidence.

              • iain mclean says:

                Oh sigh.

                And I really thought that you,of all people,
                would be interested in the ‘Electric Universe.’ model.
                At least going by your introduction at
                the beginning of your column.

                At least spend some time to read the information!
                Donald Scott’s (PhD) “The Electric Sky’ I found the easiest introduction.

                Otherwise it looks like the ‘willfully blind.’

                ‘Consensus’ science on this subject is at
                huge odds with the observed and recorded data.
                Note;All predictions by E.U. have been
                validated! As well as experiments in the
                late 1800’s to early 1900’s (before Einstien’s maths that are now proven
                NOT to work)

                The E.U. model has been accepted by
                the Electrical Engineers Ass.-global.

                Look out for the SAFIRE Project doco.
                An experiment that could have only taken place recently due to lack of
                the right measuring tools.
                You should not be left in any doubt.

                The evidence is there,Frank,just not in
                any MSM or ‘consensus’ reports/papers.

                From a student that had a IQ just short
                of Menza entry (119.6 – average of 3),
                I have never been so sure of something
                in all my life.
                Physics and maths were my major’s.

                You just have to prepare for that paradigm shift and honestly read the
                Otherwise………? I think you know what
                I mean.

                And then wonder what other huge deceptions are taking place?


                PS:Again,like Richard,you have not made any comment about geoengineering.

      • contravert says:

        Bollocks. If the best you have is NASA (who have tampered with the climate records) and the corrupt IPCC, no wonder no-one believes it. There is plenty of disagreement within the scientific community about the causes of climate change, look it up for goodness sake.

    • Lara says:

      It’s not hard.

      He’s not a scientist.

      Don’t listen to his opinion. It’s less likely to be informed.

  3. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Here’s an interesting thing that everyone concerned about “global warming” should take a look at and get some actual measured data from the many thousands of weather stations across the world: http://my-climate-data.com/
    No further comment is really necessary.

    • Iceberg says:

      There is a depressing lack of warming in that data.

    • TheCynic says:

      A “science” site with links to thaimatches.com? Not something I’d be basing an scientific argument on….

      • contravert says:

        Do you know how advertising arrives on websites? Get some intellectual integrity and check out the actual evidence posted.

  4. e-clectic says:

    Global warming is problematic for proponents of right-wing philosophies.
    Essentially, right-wing politics enshrines the rights of the individual. If individuals are given their freedom then everything will work itself out as everyone has equal opportunity to make their living how they choose and governments should intervene as little as possible in our lives.
    Unfortunately, what global warming shows us is that individual actions do have consequences on everyone, not just the individual actor.
    This is bad news for the right as the physical evidence of AGW very inconveniently invalidates the idea of individualism. Major cognitive dissonance follows – their political philosophy is unshakable so therefore global warming isn’t happening in their view.

  5. Saint Nick says:

    Right on Martyn, we need to have an 80% reduction in CO2 by 2030 according to Professor Kevin Anderson (Director of Tyndall Centre – Climate Change Research).

    That reality isn’t compatible with our current model of infinite growth and economic expansion every year. Nor is it compatible with driving petrol/diesel vehicles at all, or our mass-producing industrialised world working the way it does. Vast change is required.

  6. Kevin says:

    So long as there is even one credible scientist out there who has the relevant expertise and doesn’t believe that catastrophic man-mad global warming is happening, then the science isn’t settled.

    It isn’t a popularity contest.

  7. Lara says:

    But see, here’s the thing. You don’t even NEED to argue with those who insist our planet isn’t warming / it’s not caused by humans / it won’t be a problem.

    Just don’t argue.

    Just point out this very simple fact.

    Anthropogenic global warming.

    Either it’s true, or it’s false.

    And either we do nothing, or we do something.

    Create a grid. You have four squares. This is what they say:

    False + do nothing = no loss, life goes on as before. Yay!

    False + do something = loss of fossil fuel technology, replaced by something else, at worst economic global depression.

    True + do something = disaster averted.

    True + do nothing = potentially end of our civilisation.

    Look at the last option. That is the one you MUST avoid.

    Simple game theory. Very simple.

    And then when you factor in that a huge majority of scientists who work in relevant scientific fields have been warning us for a very long time and they have some pretty good data to back them up… and you also understand that the multi trillion dollar fossil fuel industry is fighting literally for it’s life (and the end of ours) and pumping millions into propaganda and misinformation….

    It’s pretty clear what we need to do. Stop arguing and DO SOMETHING.


    • Kevin says:

      I could use the same argument to say that the Mayans were out by ten years and that in 2022 the world will experience massive flooding and earthquakes and we need to build enormous arks costing trillions of dollars.

      No floods + do nothing = things stay the same
      No floods + build arks = costs money but at least we have some arks.
      Floods + build arks = humanity saved! Yay!
      Floods + no arks = humanity doomed!

      So why aren’t we building arks?

    • Kevin says:

      Or a more common version:

      Either there is a god or there is not.

      If there is a god and if you go to church you get rewarded in heaven. If there is a god and you don’t go to church you get punished in hell for eternity when you die.

      No god + don’t go to church – nothing happens when I die
      No god + go to church – big waste of time but I’m dead anyway.
      God + go to church – heaven when I die! Yay!
      God + don’t go to church – hell for all eternity when I die! Oh no!

      So shouldn’t I be going to church?

      • cliff says:

        The cognitive dissonance required for this kind of ridiculous argument is astounding.

        • Kevin says:

          Which one? The original global warming argument? The Mayan 2022 argument? Or the why we should go to church argument? They all use the same reasoning.

        • Kevin says:

          And the one about going to church is known as Pascal’s Wager.

  8. Samwise says:

    I wonder if most sceptics are opposed to climate change science because they can’t understand the data, and bizarre conspiracy theories like chemtrails are easier for their uneducated minds to digest? Just a thought.

  9. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Thank you Lara. Very succinct.

  10. Gilbo says:

    Hello, my first time here. Just read through all the posts thus far. I have a friend just like CONTRAVERT and Kevin. He is the kind of climate denier who cannot be reasoned with.
    After years of discussion (and argument) and hundreds of hours of study I became quite well educated on the subject of climate change. I was very concerned to learn there may be some kind of conspiracy for real so I did my utmost best to learn how to research, about strawman arguments, cognitive dissonance, logical fallacies, etc. I lived some distance from my friend and so much of my research was emailed to him with links for his perusal. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t be swayed by the overwhelming evidence I accumulated showing all of his arguments were flawed.
    Eventually I found out the truth. After his girlfriend left him she revealed to me that he had never followed up a single link I sent him. He would go “Oh no, there he goes again thinking he knows better” or words to that effect and ceremoniously arch his finger over his keyboard and press Delete.
    I believe her because I already had my suspicions. Some of his answers were too fast for him to have read the large amount of information I was sending. I haven’t really spoken to him much since and haven’t visited him in 3 years. Oh, and I did discover a conspiracy; by the oil and coal industries and Koch Industries. Talk about follow the money!!!!!!

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