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Rational Ignorance

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Why It’s So hard to Convince Warmists by Matt Manos

Excerpts:

That type of smugness is almost impossible to penetrate. When a skeptic questions a warmist’s view on global warming/climate change, the warmist hears something vastly different than what the skeptic is saying. A skeptic might say, “The models don’t match the actual measured results.” What the warmist hears is how stupid deniers are because that’s what John Stewart told him he should think. If the warmist doesn’t prove that he thinks skeptics are stupid then he might be confused for a denier! And no one wants to be identified with being a denier because they’re mocked, don’t get tenure and don’t get invited to the right parties. No amount of science can penetrate the ROI the warmist has internalized in believing in CAGW.

Many of the warmist are running on pure rational ignorance. Rational ignorance is a belief that the cost/benefit to researching every issue is so low as to be a net negative in time utilization. Thus the ignorance is rational and everyone utilizes this mental process on certain topics. People who are rationally ignorant about global warming look to bellwethers that support their gut stance. Rationally ignorant warmists would look to world leaders, mockutainers and warmist scientists for guidance on how to communicate their position on global warming.

Penetrating rational ignorance is tough because the position warmists have taken isn’t based on logic. Their position is actually based on an appeal to authority. To question the rationally ignorant warmist is to question the field of science as a whole (to be a science denier) or to question the leadership of their favorite bellwether personalities. This will cause the rationally ignorant warmist to become defensive and try to stand up for their favorite bellwether. The rationally ignorant will also point to their favorite bellwethers and say, “Who am I to doubt all these intelligent people?” It’s intellectually offshoring. It’s lazy. It’s human nature.

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Asking the Right Questions

from the excellent blog, Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux posts Good Economists Ask Questions Such As These

excerpts:

As I argued in this earlier post, to do good economics is chiefly to ask the right questions.  The good economist is an incessant questioner; the good economist is neither blinded nor numbed by the popularity of familiar mantras or presumptions into accepting these mantras and presumptions as being valid.  Even if there is no specific answer to a probing question asked by a good economist, the asking of the question itself often serves to demolish the weak base of implicit assumptions and poor logic upon which arguments and assertions about the operation of the economy, and about the likely consequences of government interventions, are too often constructed.

Here’s a good example of a popular claim about the operation of the economy that is exposed as highly dubious by the asking of some very simple and straightforward questions.  The example comes from a recent New York Timeseditorial praising the Los Angeles city government’s action to raised the minimum-wage in that city eventually to $15 per hour:

Workers’ share of the economic pie has been shrinking for decades, as the gains from labor productivity have flowed increasingly to profits rather than pay.

Overlook the questionable (!) description of the economy as a “pie” (with its childishly mistaken implication that more ‘pie’ for some people necessarily means less ‘pie’ for others).  Overlook also the fact that it’s not at all a settled matter that workers’ pay has failed to keep pace with improvements in labor productivity.  Instead, ask: If it’s true that profits have been swelling for the past few decades because wages haven’t kept up with labor productivity, why are these profits not attracting even more firms in to the markets where these excess profits exist and persist?

– Or, alternatively, are there barriers that have arisen over the past few decades that prevent profit-hungry entrepreneurs and investors from diving in to try to grab some of these excess profits?

– Even if the U.S. is so bereft of new able and profit-hungry entrepreneurs, or if effective barriers to their entry into markets do exist, what’s with existing and successful entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors?  Why do they not compete amongst themselves to bid up workers’ wages, thus causing wages  to reflect workers’ improved productivity?  Are all existing entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors, while shameless at exploiting their current workers, unwilling to exploit workers even more fully by each trying to hire other firms’ underpaid workers?

HKO

The media pundits report to a narrative and either because of bias or ignorance allow false statements to escape simple scrutiny.

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The Need for CO2

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From The Heartland Institute, Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, writes Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic

Excerpts:

Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.

At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.

We have no proof increased carbon dioxide is responsible for the earth’s slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the carbon dioxide ever emitted. Carbon dioxide is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasize to our children?

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Bob Woodward on Iraq

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Natural Variations

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from Michael Bastasch at The Daily Caller, Global Warming Caused By ‘Natural Variations’ In Climate

excerpts:

Global temperature change observed over the last hundred years or so is well within the natural variability of the last 8,000 years, according to a new paper by a former Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) lead author.

Dr. Philip Lloyd, a South Africa-based physicist and climate researcher, examined ice core-based temperature data going back 8,000 years to gain perspective on the magnitude of global temperature changes over the 20th Century.

What Lloyd found was that the standard deviation of the temperature over the last 8,000 years was about 0.98 degrees Celsius– higher than the 0.85 degreesclimate scientists say the world has warmed over the last century.