The AGW Activists Exhume Joseph Goebbels

Source: SPPI

by Dennis Ambler

We are not thinking the wrong thoughts, we just don?t know how to think the right thoughts.

In a just published paper for SPPI, We Are Thinking The Wrong Thoughts, I highlighted the intensive efforts by government funded research groups, to categorise and explain away the non-acceptance by ever-increasing numbers of the general public, of the IPCC and UN creed on global warming, It is obviously very galling to some of the Lead Authors at IPCC that not everyone, including very many scientists more qualified than they, accepts their modelling claims.

One such IPCC Lead Author is Professor Andy Pitman, from the University of New South Wales, who has joined forces with psychologist Ben Newell from the School of Psychology, also at the University of New South Wales, in producing a paper which suggests that ?Insights from the psychology of judgment and decision making might help the climate community communicate global warming science to an often skeptical public.?

You would of course expect a paper on cognition to appear in a psychology journal. Wrong! Failure of cognitive thinking. It actually appears in the journal of the  American Meteorological Society with the title ?The Psychology of Global Warming – Improving the Fit between the Science and the Message?

Here is the abstract:

?The evidence in support of global warming and the lack of significant published evidence to the contrary provides an extraordinarily strong foundation for the scientific community’s call for action on greenhouse gas emissions.

However, public conviction about the threat posed by global warming appears to be on the decline. What can the scientific community do to communicate the message that global warming requires urgent action now, most likely via deep cuts in emissions?

A clear impediment to this goal is that the issues are complex and the outcomes uncertain. As a step towards achieving this goal, the authors review some psychological phenomena that illuminate how humans make judgments and decisions when faced with complex uncertain problems.

The authors suggest that an awareness of this research, combined with an indication of how lessons from it can be applied to the particular communication issues faced by climate scientists, could help in ensuring that the message of global warming is heard and heeded.?

The idea that Earth is warming partly because of the emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is one of the most certain concepts in natural science.

The peer-reviewed papers that provide the evidence that human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases over the twentieth century have led to increases in temperature and changes in rainfall, wind, humidity, sea level, ocean acidity, snow cover, etc. have been assessed rigorously through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a series of reports.

I think what we have here is a prime example of ?cognitive dissonance?on the part of Newell and Pitman because they are making statements that have been proven untrue and yet they continue to believe in the infallibility of the IPCC, as in this statement:

?Despite this near total lack of evidence to the contrary, a significant portion of the public, journalists, and politicians emphasize their serious doubts about the science of global warming. This skepticism has increased as the level of scientific certainty in global warming has increased.

An example of cognitive dissonance is described here:

?If someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know ? particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge ? they are likely to resist the new learning.

Cognitive dissonance was first given a name in 1957 by Leon Festinger and associates, arising out of a participant observation study of a cult, which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members ? particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult ? when the flood did not happen.

While fringe members were more inclined to recognise that they had made fools of themselves and to “put it down to experience”, committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).

Donna LaFramboise showed back in January that there was considerable use by the IPCC, of  newspaper and magazine articles to make its case and reliance on literature generated by activist organizations as evidence.

These are self-evident conflicts with statements made by the IPCC and its officials such as Dr Rajendra Pachauri. However, Newell and Pitman say that, ?No serious academic body, significant institution, or national government doubts the basic science.?

This is quite a tendentious statement and it is very obvious that there is a ?party line? which must be adhered to by the faithful and which is based directly on the IPCC report, with global repetition of the conclusions from the Summary for Policymakers.

?The Science? is unassailable, right, so there must be another reason why people won?t believe. Guess what? It?s the people who challenge the theory.

??if the public read or hear opinions from climate change skeptics

about 50% of the time, then this could lead to a bias in the perception of the balance of evidence in the minds of the public (i.e., that the science is only about 50% certain; Moser and Dilling 2004).?

Dr Pitman is so trapped in his belief that there is no alternative to the IPCC conclusions, that when defending the IPCC in January after the revelations about the errors in AR4, he said in an interview:

?Oh, my personal view is that climate scientists are losing the fight with the sceptics. That the sceptics are so well funded, so well organised, have nothing else to do. They kind of don?t have day jobs. They can put all of their efforts into mis-informing and mis-communicating climate science to the general public whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and this actually isn?t one of them.

All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily for no funding and no pay whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full-scale misinformation campaigns and are doing a damn good job I think.?

In reality, Pitman has had access to over AUD$7million in funding since 1991, over five million of that on projects which would directly relate to his IPCC modelling work and 1.8 million for ?infrastructure?, almost one million of which was on computer systems. The funding also included $63,400 ?for costs incurred as lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?

Joanne Nova took him to task at the time, pointing out that he is paid some AUD$190,000 in his position at UNSW and rebutting the now familiar claims of ?denier funding by Big Oil?:

?Think Climate, Think Fraud?, oh that?s right ?  that was Kevin Rudd: ?Think Climate, Think Change? (give us your money).  That cost Australian taxpayers $13.9 million dollars.?

?Pitman cries poor while his scare campaign team includes the major western governments, the UN, the banks, big oil (they always funded alarmism more, and now don?t fund skeptics), the green movement, the alternative energy suppliers, the reinsurance industry, and many businesses.?

Professor Pitman says Australia should give up Mining and Agriculture

In a 2006 article by Sarah Wotherspoon in the Herald Sun Professor Pitman, then based at Macquarie University’s Environmental and Life Sciences institute, warned that ?Australia’s reliance on fossil fuels could have major economic impacts in the future.?

“The Government should invest in alternative energy, not because it’s economic now but because we have to re-engineer the economy of Australia to not be based on agriculture and mining fossil fuels,he said.


Mining in Australia is a significant primary industry and contributor to the Australian economy. Mineral exports contribute around 35% of Australia’s exports. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal (35% of international trade), iron ore, lead, diamonds, rutile, zinc and zirconium, second largest of gold and uranium, and third largest of aluminium.


Australia is currently the world?s largest exporter of black coal, ranking first in steaming (= thermal) coal, which is mainly used for the production of electricity, and first in coking (= metallurgical) coal, which is converted to coke and mainly used in blast furnaces to produce iron and steel.

With extensive coal reserves concentrated along the nation?s eastern seaboard in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia has more than 76 billion tonnes of identified black coal reserves, which will last for over 200 years at current rates of production.

Agriculture is an important sector for the Australian economy, generating around $35 billion in gross value each year and employing around 412,000 people.

It is easy to see why Australians would have cognitive difficulties with throwing away their livelihoods and that of their children on the say so of Dr Pitman and his friends.

Dr Pitman was a prime mover of the Bali Declaration:

UNSW climatologists are leading a consortium of more than 200 leading climate scientists who have warned the United Nations Climate Conference of the need to act immediately to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with a window of 10-15 years for global emissions to peak and decline, and a goal of at least a 50 percent reduction by 2050.

The scientists warn that if immediate action is not taken, many millions of people will be at risk from extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, floods and storms, with coasts and cities threatened by rising sea levels, and many ecosystems, plants and animal species in serious danger of extinction.

The Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists was organised under the auspices of the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at UNSW, Sydney, Australia.

This initiative was launched and managed by a small group of climate experts that includes Professor Matthew England, Professor Andrew Pitman, Professor Richard Somerville, Dr Michael Molitor and Professor Stefan Rahmstorf (Germany).

Professor Andy Pitman, UNSW Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) co-director and leader of the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, has received the NSW Office of Science and Medical Research (OSMR) NSW Scientist of the Year 2010 Award in the Environment, Water and Climate Change Sciences category. The award carries a AUD$5000 dollar prize.

SPPI Note:

The left continues its new propaganda offensive on global warming while openly asserting it is the job of state-financed ?scientists? to embrace and press the state?s political agenda.

The desperate narrative about the phantom ?funding imbalance,? is simply fabricated from whole cloth.  See these papers:

And as the Climategate emails demonstrate, sitting around fabricating data and pushing the AGW political agenda IS their full time day job.