Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What if Political Ridiculousness is True?

I read as part of my regular research routine regarding climate change. Some stuff there is great, some is interesting and some of it can be opinionated or wrong.  Today there is an article, resulting from a survey to point to the ridiculousness of a study performed by Lewandowski on climate skeptics.  In the original survey Lewandowski tried to use statistics on a small sample size to prove that climate skeptics tended to fall into other conspiracy theory categories.  It was ridiculous and though it was published there was some controversy surrounding it which frankly I lost interest in and don't feel like looking up.

For those that don't feel like reading the article, the author of the survey, Brandon Shollenberger, cited a paragraph by James Hansen, former NASA climatologist and generally a bit of a nutty left wing guy. It mentioned burning down cities and other extreme ridiculousness in response to global warming. Shollenberger's survey produced some interesting results that similarly look ridiculous. Essentially for those that believe in global warming, and that it is a threat there is a statistically significant chance increase in the belief the respondent is infallible. It further goes on to mention that these individuals statistically find genocide more palatable than the rest of us.

I apologize this space was supposed to be filled with underwear gnomes but it failed to load

Again the purpose of the study is to prove the ridiculous nature of such nonsensical approaches to categorization. However I left a comment based on actual research that explains these results, and I felt it might be worth sharing.

While I'm sure this is meant to be nonsensical there are likely some inferences that can be drawn here. First and foremost the bulk of the populace sampled will tend to support or deny AGW and CAGW based on their political leanings.  Those on left tend to be in favor while those on the right opposed.  

In response to a study regarding right vs. left politics there was an article written in mother jones about why liberals  tend to less accurately portray their political counterparts. 

The most interesting part of the self analysis comes in part 4 of the potential explanation or hypothesis. 
"a fourth possibility is simply that liberals are wrong. We interact very little with conservative institutions (churches, business groups, etc.) and therefore don't understand them, while conservatives have no choice but to interact with liberal institutions (Hollywood, academia, etc.)."

this tracks well with a 2010 study regarding political ideology and the willingness to discriminate against opposing views. The findings of the study were 1 in 6 would discriminate in presentation or review, 1 in 4 for grant applications and 1 in 3 for for hiring. This corroborates the climategate emails and sentiments of conservatives (note recent IRS scandal).

Not only is the left self segregated and inundated in personal media, but at work, and potentially at home as well. With liberals having a strong tendency to cluster together according to a UMichigan study. (I couldn't get it to work but ths is the purported link.

So if climate alarmism tracks with politics (it does) and if the politics it tracks with is essentially self segregated and isolated, then it stands to reason that the individuals within this category would never hear a critique of their belief structure. If they did there would be plenty of others affirming the beliefs and mitigating the psychological disruption. If you were constantly surrounded with people that agreed with you, the strength of your belief in the infallibility of yourself and those around you would be bolstered. The resultant moral authority, particularly when an individual who subscribes to the ideology is in power, makes even the most heinous actions justifiable.

Thus the result of this survey, ridiculous as it may be, could be factual. The study simply reflects widespread, undisturbed group think. There are indeed many other ridiculous things you might be able to find assuming that the hypothesis is true. This also explains the climatological debate, US politics (its winner take all after all) and the fundamental disregard for proven alternatives (such as nuclear or molten salt nuclear) to alleviate the problems ascribed in the ideology, if the solutions (and faults) aren't part of the rhetorical structure they cannot be true.  

As always insert grammar and punctuation where you feel it is appropriate.