Dana1981 asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 1 decade ago

Why is it that global warming deniers think scientists are stupid?

It seems like virtually every global warming denier question requires climate scientists to be stupid and incompetent.






It always amazes me that global warming deniers will claim that volcanoes or natural cycles or the sun are causing global warming, as if scientists haven't considered these simple explanations.

Do deniers really think that climate scientists with PhDs are all morons?


Oh geez not the 'our side has scientists, too!' argument.

As has been proven time and time again, the overwhelming majority of scientists agree with the consensus. I'm not going to rehash that old argument again.

28 Answers

  • gcnp58
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's a combination of the Dunning-Kruger effect and this:


    The combination makes them unable to analyze "skeptical" arguments and find the scientific and logical flaws in them. A good example is this past question:


    On the surface, the subject of the question seems to have a point, but when analyzed in detail (as I did in my answer), he's talking nonsense and his conclusions have no direct bearing on what is going on in the atmosphere. In other words the "skeptics" here don't have a good enough handle on the underlying science (i.e., the physics of radiative transfer through inhomogeneous atmospheres), which is rock solid, to understand the complexity of Earth's climate and how certain it is that CO2 and other radiatively active trace gases are altering the longwave radiative flux of the atmosphere and that this is warming the planet and changing climate.

    There used to be this guy on the usenet group sci.environment who was skeptical of anthropogenic climate change and his tag line was "those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to talk nonsense." But that comment on his part was Freudian projection because none of the usenet climate skeptics (or the climate skeptics on Y/A for that matter) do arithmetic. If they did, you wouldn't see dumb posts about volcanos or solar cycles or CO2 in the atmosphere coming out of the ocean. Even the more astute of them come up with the stalest of objections such as the global temperature monitoring network is corrupted.

    If these people would actually focus on things that are unknowns in the science, rather than make asinine objections to things that have been proven 50 years ago, I would have a lot more respect for them. If the stakes weren't so fantastically high, their arguments would be hysterically funny because of the scientific naivety. As it is, they just sound like scared and angry children, worked into a frenzy chanting "bonk bonk mr. loveydovey, bonk bonk, on the head."

  • 4 years ago

    My take, Dana, with all honesty, is that you are not critical enough of the other scientists in your field and their theory. You must know that there is nothing wrong with denying a theory that observations don't support (AGW). You are too trusting of the theory and I sometimes wonder why you don't see that temperature today is nothing out of the ordinary, and that radical wild variation in climate is perfectly natural. I don't think scientists are stupid, in fact, quite the opposite. I think very smart people are capable of coming up with good reasons to support BAD theories, ESPECIALLY if certain outcomes mean that the funding of their research and jobs will continue. The data really, really, really does NOT support a crisis at all. In a previous post you made clear that you EXPECT ever increasing disaster (food & water shortages, etc.) I really think you should keep an open mind to what John Cristy and others are saying. All the best to you.

  • Trevor
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If a person can't win an argument using reason and intelligence then it often descends into trying to discredit the other person and their findings or the fabrication of 'evidence', failing that it descends to the level of name calling.

    It happens in schoolyards between kids when they're unable to counter a claim, it doesn't happen between intelligent people engaged in a rational debate.

    It should be taken as a compliment by climate scientists, if someone has to resort to the level of name-calling it's effectively an admission that they've lost the argument.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Just because they talk as if they believe the scientists are stupid, doesn't mean at all, that this is what they actually believe. But just think of aaaaaaall the money, money, money that a lot of people stand to lose if Global Warming is ever taken seriously enough that we feel obliged to make all of the changes in our lifestyles that we would logically have to make in order to halt it.

    Big companies are making enormous profits manufacturing and selling to the public uncountable products that pollute our environment, thus ultimately our upper atmosphere. The public wants clean air, clean environment, and beautiful healthy planet --- wonderful, if all we needed to do was push "the Easy Button". But there's no Easy Button for this one. It means once we acknowledge that we have to do something, we have to do it, and that means making some truly big changes to our lives. Those who are making big money from the Public, persuading them to use the very products that are part of the problem, are not going to raise a little finger to encourage the public to stop buying those products, now are they? Frankly, the Public is not going to do it by sheer willpower, individual by individual. Somebody is going to have to paint the Public a truly dramatic picture of the consequences on down the road, telling them "This is what life is going to be like for your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren if you don't make changes now. The Scientists are trying to do this, and that means those who stand to face heavy material losses if the Scientists succeed in getting their message across, are obviously going to do everything possible to stop them. What better way to do that than by totally discrediting those Scientists by calling them lunatics and scaremongers.

    I can remember - I don't know if you're old enough to - back when Scientists were first trying to raise awareness of the newly discovered, very clear direct link between smoking tobacco products and cancer, particularly lung cancer. The big Tobacco Companies banded together in a ferocious "anti-science" campaign.... putting out alleged results of research studies of their own which on the face of it refuted everything the Scientists were trying to tell us.

    But in time some startling facts began to leak out from whistleblowers who had worked in these tobacco processing plants and produced evidence that the Companies were engaged in the most blatant and atrocious cover-up of things they already had known for a long time about the very real dangers of tobacco.

    But it would be a very long road, and the Scientists could do little more than keep on plugging away, producing their own evidence and attempting to get serious recognition of a situation that w as leading to the health damage and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Meanwhile, the Tobacco Companies were continuing to do what Big Business is doing today in another arena. Trying to completely discredit the Scientists, calling them loonies and their researches "Junk Science"

    The battle lines have been drawn now on the Global Warming issue, and for years to come we are going to be seeing the exact same thing as we did in the time of the Tobacco "Wars".... A battle between Industrial Giants and Scientists for the attention and the trust of the Public. I know the scientists will win in the end, by the same process of atrition. But it will be a long battle and an exhausting one. It will take a sudden dramatic, glaring piece of clear, undeniable, irrefutable, incontrovertible, unarguable proof supporting one side or the other, to cut that war short, and cause the public to declare that side the winner.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A lot o fpeople judge others by themselves! :)

    Seriously, its what sociologists call a "claimsmaking" rhetoric. The basic idea is that in the public discourse, various actors attempt to, among oter things, discredit opposition by devaluing their credintials, expertise, etc.

    And--bear this in mind--this kind of strategy does work sometimes. On a much smaller scale, a similar campaign was mounted to get marijuana declared illegal in th e1930s. Whether or not one thinks that's wise, the arguements made then to justify it were completely without scientific support. You can find dozens of other examples of this sort of thing--and some of those were also successful. There's actually an amazing amount of national policy--and law--based on demonstrably false "junk" science.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They don't think they're all stupid, just the ones that disagree with them. Apparently they feel that reading a few blogs and disjointed facts puts them on the same plane as someone who's devoted years to the field through education and their work.

    Some can be converted. Most won't until climate change is designated as irrefutable fact, not theory.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm reminded of Einstein saying:

    "To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself."

    Most great scientists reason from first principles and don't really pay that much attention to what other scientists say.

    We can all look at the temperature charts and judge for ourselves. Pick many places at random and only count stations that have reported from the 1920s to today, and you will find a spike in the 30s, a dip in the 70s and a spike lately.

    Google 'Medieval warming period' and 'Little Ice Age'. Read a little wider than the press.

  • Bob
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Darn. They won't let me give the question more than one star.

    EDIT - Mike, Mr Jello, Larry

    "The fact that the community overwhelmingly supports the consensus is evidenced by picking up any copy of Journal of Climate or similar, any scientific program at the meetings, or simply going to talk to scientists. I challenge you, if you think there is some un-reported division, show me the hundreds of abstracts that support your view - you won't be able to. You can argue whether the consensus is correct, or what it really implies, but you can't credibly argue it doesn't exist."

    Dr. James Baker - NOAA

  • 1 decade ago

    OK, I was reading the responses to this question and some of the deniers where dishing out "Junk Science" like it was fact, and I couldn't contain myself anymore.

    James69sk82001, just because the predominant species back in the dinosaur era were reptiles DOES NOT MEAN that the earth was warmer just because they need the warmth. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT WE HAVE REPTILES CURRENTLY ON EARTH!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    They don't think every climate scientist is a moron. You forgot about the conspiracy theory. We all believe in global warming because of the money we can make from it lol.

    I think it's convenient for them. It also amazes me to see how they seem to think that EVERYTHING is about America and Americans and that Al Gore actually invented this Global Warming thing (and since he is a hypocrite global warming must be a hoax). They really must be ignorant and have low expectations of the intelligence of the leaders and people in the rest of the world if they believe that Al Gore can persuade all the world leaders about this "hoax"?

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