The Left’s Lack of Independent Thought – And They Don’t Believe in Science

I’ve recently been engaging in climate science, the settled nature of it and the implications it has on politics.

For me, my take remains the same:

CO2 is a green house gas
Man contributes to increasing levels of CO2
Green house gases contribute to a warming world

Man has warmed the world more than it otherwise would have.

I am not convinced of catastrophic global warming.   Neither are 97% of the world’s scientists.  In fact, the IPCC itself states:

The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

Most skeptics I know and read are of the same position.  We agree that the world is warming, that man is contributing but doubt the degree and future catastrophic consequences – the science isn’t in.

You would think such a position could easily be mainstream.  Admitting past actions and waiting for the science to come in on future actions.  But we’re dealing with the Left here, a group of people completely unhinged from reality.  For evidence, ask yourself, given that climate science  is complex and that we admit to not knowing all there is to know, look at two groups of people.

One group is made up of a population totally and completely in lock step.  Not one member of the group doubts the group thought and not one member votes against this group thought.

The second group is made up of diverse opinions.  There is debate.  There is an element of open mindedness.  Politicians in this second group do not vote in a block.

The first group are made up of folks on the left – they claim they believe in science.  They don’t.  They believe in the near religion of man made catastrophic global warming.  The second group is made up of those on the right.

We believe in science.

As evidence of this fact, we were given a demonstration this week:

In the latest sign of what some see as growing rigidity of thought among American liberals, new New York Times columnist Bret Stephens has been skewered online by readers of the paper for his first column. The subject of that column was a growing rigidity of thought among American liberals.

In a recognition of how serious the situation had become, executive editor Dean Baquet appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, asking host Brian Stelter, “Didn’t we learn from this past election that our goal should be to understand different views?”

Apparently not. It’s unclear how many people have dropped their subscriptions over Stephens column, and how much of the outrage was amplified by social media. Either way, the anger is a sign of a deeper struggle on the American left over what, exactly, are the core values of the Democratic Party. There are many competitors: identity politics, wage equality, reproductive choice, renewable energy. Which are central, and which can be treated as ancillary concerns? Liberals are painfully, publicly asking themselves that question.

Liberals are cancelling their subscription to the New York Times becuase they are forced to share ideas in their safe space.

Tolerant left indeed.

10 responses to “The Left’s Lack of Independent Thought – And They Don’t Believe in Science

  1. Most conservatives world wide are concerned with global warming. Only a small group in the US, for political reasons, reject the science. They try to make it about politics because they’ve bought into the “politics as sport” theme, and look at it as “us vs. them,” rather than a pragmatic effort to explore differences. This is NOT a right-left issue.

    97% of climate scientists believe what you do – climate change is real, and humans are a major cause.

    The science is in. Only by setting an impossible standard – exact predictions – can you try to claim it’s not. And, of course, the claim that given the potential calamity that becomes likely if scientists are right, it is prudent and rational to do what we can to prevent it. If the scientists are wrong, we’ve lost little or nothing – the EU improved their economies by reaching the Kyoto targets and are voluntarily setting even more ambitious goals – supported by right and left alike.

    So what you’re arguing is that it’s worth it to gamble the future of our children’s quality of life and risk major crisis because science can’t give you an exact completely certain statement. But that’s not what science does! We’re dealing with probability and risk. I think it’s irrational and in defiance of reason and logic to refuse to do things to avoid such a huge risk – when the cost of trying to make sure it doesn’t happen is low.

    It’s like this – Johnny smokes two packs a day and drinks a fifth of vodka. His doctors tell him that these are bad habits and will risk his life. He asks them, “what day exactly will I get sick or die from this.”

    The doctor looks at him, “The body is very complex, I can’t tell you exactly when, and some people live a long time drinking and smoking. But we know it’s dangerous and you are at risk.”

    Johnny laughs. Then at age 57 he’s diagnosed with severe cancer of the lung and liver problems. Now he stops smoking and drinking, but alas, it was too late. All because he refused to believe the science since it couldn’t be precise.

    • This is NOT a right-left issue.

      We’ve been over this. Of course it’s left-right thing. There is no other explanation to describe the phenomenon that liberals ALL believe in global warming while on the right this is not true.

      For liberals, global warming is more religion than science.

      97% of climate scientists believe what you do – climate change is real, and humans are a major cause.

      Nope.

      But to your credit, you ARE getting closer.

      I think it’s irrational and in defiance of reason and logic to refuse to do things to avoid such a huge risk – when the cost of trying to make sure it doesn’t happen is low.

      This may be the most rational thing I’ve seen you say on the topic so far.

      We must measure the risks vs. the costs.

      If the risk were near certain, no expense would be spared. Or, if the risk were 50-50, the same expenses could be justified. But if the risk is but 1%, or one tenth of 1%, how much spending is justified?

      And none of this explains the sheer head explosion seen by the left as a result of Stephens article.

  2. Again, you’re wrong about the left-right thing. I’ve explained this to you and you seem to want your fingers in your ears. Globally most conservatives believe global warming. In the US many Republicans are working to get global warming issues taken seriously (that’s been heartening to my scientist friends – some of whom are Republican and very concerned about global warming). You are getting your false information from the kind of partisan blogs and media that poison the discourse and are being manipulated by people with big money.

    On to risk – it’s not just a percentage. If I had a 50-50 chance of getting a ticket, I still might speed. If I had two sandwiches and one was poison, I wouldn’t risk it. It’s not the percentages, it’s the possible consequences vs. the cost of acting. Indeed, if I had a 1 in 100 chance of getting caught speeding, I’m not slowing down. If I had a 1 in 1000 chance of getting a bad sandwhich from a vending machine that could kill me, I’d not risk it.

    The logic here is that the consequences of doing nothing are so dire – and have so much agreement – the 97% of climate scientist figure is accurate, that only a fool would ignore them. Add to that the fact the cost of doing what’s necessary to avoid it is relatively minor – and for that we have proof, the EU did reach the Kyoto accord goals, and it helped their energy sectors – that it’s simple. You can spend very little and avoid a possible, and many scientists are near certain, calamity. Or you can beat the quality of life of the next generation on a hope that scientists are wrong.

    • Again, you’re wrong about the left-right thing.

      Watch this:

      Again, you’re wrong about the left-right thing.

      Scott, one one side you have a religious attachment to dogma. On the other you have vigorous debate. You continue to make my point.

      you seem to want your fingers in your ears

      You literally stole that visual from this post. Are you kidding me?

      In the US many Republicans are working to get global warming issues taken seriously (that’s been heartening to my scientist friends – some of whom are Republican and very concerned about global warming).

      Are you arguing for my side on this or yours?The only debate is among the right. Leftists are 100% lock step in their dogma. It is simply irrational.

      The logic here is that the consequences of doing nothing are so dire – and have so much agreement – the 97% of climate scientist figure is accurate, that only a fool would ignore them.

      You have lost touch with reality Scott. You have no credibility here on this topic.

  3. You’re the one attached to dogma, you’re the one with the right-left fetish going, wanting to see the world through a two-dimensional political partisan lens.

    I’ve given you the reason why conservatives world wide accept the science. The only ones who don’t are a small pocket of well financed skeptics who use marketing gimicks to try to obstruct reality. It’s like when cigarette companies tried to deny the link to cancer. You’ve bought into it hook, line and sinker. It plays to your emotion-driven desire to see the world in left-right terms, and to find an easy answer that doesn’t require you to look at the facts and dig into the science, and not confront the possibility that maybe your ideology that government action is bad might in this case be wrong. You are protecting your ideology by using a partisan attack smokescreen to rationalize not looking at the science. You are letting dogma replace critical thinking.

    I looked into the science to be sure – especially since I teach about this, I want to make sure the facts are right. I’ve checked out the science, I’ve gone through the arguments skeptics make, I take it as my duty to investigate these things before I bring them into the classroom. I’ve also looked at the global discussion – where conservatives almost everywhere are just as concerned as liberals, since it’s a science issue, not a left-right issue.

    You haven’t answered the argument at all – that speaks volumes. I made a number of points you’ve ignored. How reaching the Kyoto targets helped the EU economies. You’ve ignored the argument that not only are climate scientists in tremendous agreement here, but if they’re wrong and we act, we lose little. If they are right and we don’t act, you’ve just condemned your children and grandchildren to a much lower quality of life. Rationally, one tries to avoid the worst possible outcome, especially when it’s so severe. You’ve ignored the metaphors about a doctor, or the ones involving relative risks. Why do you ignore arguments and instead go back into the silly partisan left-right stuff? It’s easy. It doesn’t require you to think. You can posit it as two dimensional, ignore reality and dismiss arguments. Very convenient.

    • You’re the one attached to dogma, you’re the one with the right-left fetish going, wanting to see the world through a two-dimensional political partisan lens.

      On one side of the aisle there is debate. Rigorous open minded debate. On the other there is lock step agreement.

      I’ll leave it up to you. But one side is clearly political – the other driven by a desire to understand the facts.

      You haven’t answered the argument at all – that speaks volumes. I made a number of points you’ve ignored. How reaching the Kyoto targets helped the EU economies.

      Kyoto targets have nothing to do with the science being right or wrong.

      if they’re wrong and we act, we lose little. If they are right and we don’t act, you’ve just condemned your children and grandchildren to a much lower quality of life. Rationally, one tries to avoid the worst possible outcome, especially when it’s so severe.

      This is the only rational aspect of your argument. What cost do we bear for an eventuality that likely won’t manifest.

      If you are starving and are offered a choice of two sandwiches – one being poisoned – you may decline the offer. If you are starving and are offered 100 sandwiches – one being poisoned – you likely eat a sandwich. 10,000 such sandwiches? No doubt you eat the sandwich.

      You’ve ignored the metaphors about a doctor, or the ones involving relative risks.

      Your doctor metaphors are not serious attempts at debate.

  4. Almost all climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming to some extent (probably a large extent) and that the consequences are likely to be devastating. We’re already seeing those consequences. There is no “debate” between left and right world wide because the science is so clear. Conservatives as well as liberals recognize that. Even China has come on board once their scientists provided clear evidence many Chinese coastal cities are at risk.

    The only reason there is “debate” in the US is because a small well financed group are using propaganda to question reality – without countering the scientific evidence. It isn’t serious – it’s propaganda that is increasingly rejected even by Republicans.

    We’re putting future generations at a huge risk gambling that the vast majority of scientists are mistaken. You made the claim that since science couldn’t say exactly what the temperature increase would be, then science is making no predictions. I countered that with the doctor example – a doctor can’t tell you when your two packs of cigarettes and liter of vodka a day will cause health problems, but that doesn’t mean his warning should be ignored! Then it may be too late to regain health.

    If we believe science, the dangers are probable, even very likely. But the science might be wrong. Just like the doctor. So do we pay a small cost to avoid a huge disaster, or do we gamble the quality of life of future generations? Rationally, we avoid the horrific outcome and pay the relatively small price of preparation – a price that may actually be a benefit! That was the point of the EU/Kyoto example – a real world case that proves that preparation for global warming need not be an economic burden. That’s a big deal – it falsifies a lot of scare tactics used to try to say shifting to sustainable energy would harm the economy.

    • Almost all climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming to some extent

      So do I.

      (probably a large extent) and that the consequences are likely to be devastating

      No they don’t believe it regards to the extent. And they admit they have no way to predict the future as it relates to warming. In fact, all predictions have been wrong.

  5. You’re wrong. They are confident about their predictions, just like a doctor is confident that if you smoke two packs of cigarettes a day you’re likely to have health problems. But they can’t say the exact amount – but not being exact is NOT the same as not predicting.

    You’re also wrong in claiming all the predictions have been wrong. That is absurd – their predictions have been very accurate and in fact reality is following the trends the models predict. You aren’t following the science! And you can’t answer the strongest argument: the consequences are so dire if we do nothing and the scientists are right that it is rationale to take this seriously. The consequences of doing something in the unlikely possibility the scientists are wrong are miniscule or non-existent. Your position is not only irrational, but it ignores science and rests on completely false claims.

  6. I’ll not reply again – you can have the last word. I have a request. Please put aside all the ideology and politics and take a fresh look at the issue. Go to the science, avoid the biased sources on either side of the issue. Remember: you and I are probably fine, we’re old enough that we won’t suffer the worst consequences. Our kids, on the other hand, could suffer. Please take that seriously and look at the evidence with a clear mind. Ideology and politics should be irrelevant to the issue – and are for me.

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