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Earth Science

Bill Nye: Climate Change Denial Is 'Running Out of Steam,' Thanks To Millennials (mic.com) 837

An anonymous reader shares with us an article on Mic: Famed science educator Bill Nye has long been an outspoken critic of people who continue to doubt climate change, the main driver of freaky weather patterns, rising global temperatures and sea level rise around the globe. In an interview with Mic, Nye said that despite lingering skepticisms, there is nearly 100% scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is here to stay -- and people are becoming increasingly anxious about its effects on the planet, particularly younger generations. "Almost every person in denial about climate change is older," Nye said. "It's very hard to find a millennial-aged person that is not concerned about climate change. I think the climate denial movement is running out of steam, I guess that's a pun."
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Bill Nye: Climate Change Denial Is 'Running Out of Steam,' Thanks To Millennials

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  • Semantics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:23PM (#51862141)
    I know just being picky, but no one doubts that climate change is behind changes in climate. I don't think anyone doubts climate change. Now perhaps some doubt anthropogenic climate change, technically this summary doesn't mention that.
    • Re:Semantics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:28PM (#51862183)

      I know a number of people who don't think the climate is changing at all, anthropogenically or otherwise. "Weather changes all the time!" they exclaim. One of them is running for President.

      Never doubt the potential of human stupidity or denial.

      • Re: Semantics (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tysonedwards ( 969693 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:25PM (#51862797)
        "Scientists" say the ship is sinking. Then why is my end 200 feet in the air?
      • Re:Semantics (Score:5, Informative)

        by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:32PM (#51862845) Homepage

        At the same time there's an article in Nature indicating that the climate has varied a lot more than what we see in the reference model: http://www.nature.com/nature/j... [nature.com]

        (OK, I haven't read the full article)

        • So this situation could be worse than predicted by the science?

          And why is this a reason to do nothing again?

      • by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:38PM (#51862913) Homepage

        Umm, it seems pretty clear that with a quote like "Weather changes all the time!" that they actauly do not doubt that the climate is changing at all.

        • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @04:02PM (#51863127) Homepage Journal

          it seems pretty clear that with a quote like "Weather changes all the time!" that they actauly do not doubt that the climate is changing at all.

          Weather is not climate. For about the millionth time.

          And as stated above, yes, the climate is changing.

          How much of that is caused by man, and more importantly, how much will be caused by man in the next hundred years or so, has not been established. The models that purport to be predictive disagree with one another; disagree with the actual observed climate; offer no precursor climate event that shores up their ideas; suffer from precursor climate events that contradict their ideas; and are almost certain to be massively disrupted by technological change even if they were spot on WRT today's conditions anyway.

          Aside from that, the obvious sane path is to contribute the least that is practical to changes in atmospheric gas mix, particulate levels, and temperature change. Solar and nuclear power are the two technologies that offer the best shot at reducing all of those. Solar is growing and advancing technologically at a very high rate, storage (a required facet of really solid general solar power supply) is behind but changing fast in the right direction, and nuclear... sigh. Nuclear is still suffering various slings and arrows that have little or no actual relevance today. Never underestimate the power of fear-mongering. They ever want to put a nuke in my back yard then PIIMBY (Put It In My Back Yard), I'll bake them a cake and move all my stuff out of the way.

          • I think that in this case weather is used as a synonym to climate tho. These people do not say that the average global temp has been the same since the earth's crust solidified. They claim, rightly, that the climate has been in huge flux for as long as the earth has had an atmosphere, and that it is actually quite relatively cold relative to the distant past.

            TL;DR: The claim made is not that weather is chaos, but the climate is permanent and unchanging. The claim is the the climate is constantly changing.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The models that purport to be predictive disagree with one another; disagree with the actual observed climate; offer no precursor climate event that shores up their ideas; suffer from precursor climate events that contradict their ideas

            The problem with this argument is that it demands the impossible. We can't build a second control Earth. Expecting extremely precise predictions of such a chaotic system as a planetary atmosphere is unrealistic, and the denial camp has failed to produce anything better.

            Despite this, the basic hypothesis that human activity is causing climate change is fairly well settled now. The precise level of impact and effects are still being determined, but that it is happening is in little doubt. A great example of t

          • That human activity is responsible for most, if not all, of the observed warming of the last 100yrs is an established scientific fact.

            Some people object to that 'fact" in the same way that some people object to the fact we evolved from apes, or the fact that smoking causes cancer, or the fact that vaccines do not cause autism, etc. They simply refuse to accept the evidence because it contradicts their firmly established religious/political/financial needs and beliefs. We all do this to some degree but mo
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @08:13PM (#51864893) Homepage

            Not the best way to tackle the statement that climate changes all the time. Yes, it does but it is incremental changes, apart from major ice ages the source of which has yet to be publicly determined and accepted. However cities can not adapt and we are bound as a social societies to attempt to preserve those structures, as failure to do so will result in massive loss of life and extreme hardship. Whether natural or unnatural we are bound to attempt to stabilise the Earth's climate by what ever means is necessary and that includes undoing the harm our activities have caused to that stability of that climate.

            The biggest defence for nuclear is the requirement to maintain stability of energy supplies in the event of any catastrophic activity. Renewables tend to be very subject to environmental conditions being major permanent structures (even something like every property should require solar panel roofs, something that takes decades to develop but a major hail storm could disrupt and take years to rebuild). So to replace portable fossil fuels, portable (relatively speaking) nuclear power or extremely hardened structures to provide not just regular energy use but also reserve power. You could build a nuclear power station and have it idling for centuries, as nuclear fuel does not go off and have the power station periodically go full power should a vulnerable renewable go off line.

            Also having energy to spare, means we can use that energy to clean up the environment and make recycling far more resource affective as well as look at other forms of food production, like mutli-story metropolitan area accessible aquaponics or high energy fully bio-engineered alga (forget goofy soylent green nonsense, taking the stalks, leaves and storage pods of algae to produce low allergen high quality foods, with engineered tastes and textures, strawberry steaks, banana custard melons or sugar free vanilla milk - all equivalents of course). This to free up hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of farm so that they can return to being environment cleaning bio diverse forest and by used by the majority as recreation areas.

    • Re:Semantics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:28PM (#51862187) Homepage

      I know just being picky, but no one doubts that climate change is behind changes in climate. I don't think anyone doubts climate change. Now perhaps some doubt anthropogenic climate change, technically this summary doesn't mention that.

      Most people believe in climate change simply because it's been observable over my lifetime. The temperate zone chart has moved up something like half a zone during that time. In other words, if you used to be in the middle of zone 6 you're now at the top of zone 7. There's been a marked change in some areas.

      What Bill Nye doesn't like is that most "deniers" aren't denying actual change - they're "denying" that it's going to end in a huge catastrophe like Bill Nye, Al Gore and company like to say. Remember how the polar ice caps are supposed to be gone by now, snow is done, etc. etc.? People take notice of these things.

      And the old "Al Gore isn't a scientist" canard is wonderful, but the bottom line is that he's been leading the charge for years, and cashing in on it. And he's not the only one.

      • Not quite (Score:3, Insightful)

        by s.petry ( 762400 )

        The game has been about money, which is where people hate and label people deniers. Everyone is supposed to pay a carbon tax to some unknown entity to sustain their current standard of living. In fact, the demand has not just been for paying off some unknown entity, but wealthier countries like the US, UK, Germany, etc.. all need to pay for previous generation of carbon.

        We have massive amounts of pollution. We know it, but nobody will do anything. It's cheaper to dump and pay off people to look the othe

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I think the money and power angle is where the real trouble is, not the idea of climate change itself is or isn't occurring.

          I think the real hard questions boil down to: How much climate change is occurring? How accurately can we predict the changes in climate 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 years in the future? Is there any way of knowing what we could do that would make climate change less disruptive? Who will pay for it or have to make sacrifices for these actions?

          This is what the real struggle is about.

        • by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:16PM (#51862687)

          Six of the ten biggest companies in the world are in the Oil & Gas Industries. The costs of global warming--literally, one planet--would bankrupt them if they ever actually had to pay for the damage in a lawsuit or under a new law.

          It turns out that the dregs of those trillions of dollars buys not only protection from lawmakers, but that the lawmakers and related armies of talking heads will espouse the theories your pet "scientists" prepare as talking points, until even they no longer remember that you started those rumors. The stories about how good you are or how natural global warming is or about how government regulation of environmental protection is bad make it into the press (and your perspective jury pool) free of your fingerprints.

          As a result, plenty of good people--even intelligent people who share the political beliefs of your army of lobbied lawmakers--come to believe that it's not your fault.

          Poof, the anthropogenic nature of global warming and the needs for action and environmental regulation start going up in smoke. And you can keep burning your oil.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by s.petry ( 762400 )
            Some friendly advice. Stop believing that people care about the world the same way you do. The ultra wealthy didn't become ultra wealthy because of their high moral standards. They became ultra wealthy at the expense of everyone else in society. Trying to threaten the 200 or so people that hold 99% of the worlds wealth with bankruptcy is a laughable tactic.
          • It's not fair to place the blame solely on those companies. We're all complicit in it. I like being able to drive in my nice heated car when it's cold out or the weather is too nasty to walk to work and I don't want to stand around waiting for a bus either. I like the other nice things that I have and all of the other creature comforts that were made possible from industrialization. Modern society and all its material wealth wouldn't exist without those fossil fuels. It's not really a matter of fault and I
          • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseer.earthlink@net> on Thursday April 07, 2016 @08:03PM (#51864817)

            Do you realize how easy it would be to bankrupt the oil and gas companies? I mean these companies are in business because people buy their products. They'd go bankrupt almost over night if people just stopped buying their stuff.

            But why do people buy their stuff? Don't they know the damage they are doing to the environment? I'm quite certain that they do. Or at least I'm quite certain that they've been told numerous times by now, unless they live under a rock. I don't place the blame on the oil and gas companies, I place the blame on the people that buy their stuff. Did you buy and oil or gas lately? I'm quite certain you did since about 1/4th of the electricity in the USA comes from natural gas, and almost half comes from coal. If you drive a car, take a bus, ride a train, or fly in an airplane then you've burned oil.

            Unless you heat your house with corn cobs and light it with beeswax candles then this is your fault. Unless you walk or pedal to wherever you go this is your fault. If you buy food at a grocery store instead of grow it yourself then this is your fault.

            Instead of placing the blame on the oil and gas companies then I suggest you lead by example. Show me how to live a better life free from petroleum products.

            You are a hypocrite. You lecture to everyone about how oil and gas companies are ruining the world while sitting in a home heated with natural gas, lit by coal, and eating food brought to you with petroleum. It is because of oil, gas, and coal you are living the life you live. If you want people to stop buying oil and gas then show them a better path. But a better path is not easy.

            We've tried wind power but the wind doesn't always blow. We tried sun but it costs four times what electricity from natural gas, coal, or nuclear would cost. We tried bio-fuels but it became apparent very quickly that we don't have enough land to both fill our bellies and our fuel tanks. Algae fuels, wave power, fusion reactors, and so on are just theories right now. If we had those figured out then we'd see them as more than just science fair exhibitions.

            Where can we turn? What do we have that can light our homes but not foul the air? Nuclear fission? Yes, nuclear fission. I guess you don't like anything "nukular", do you?

            When I bring up nuclear power I get people that talk about Fukushima and Chernobyl while ignoring the dozens (hundreds?) of nuclear power plants that are operating safely on Earth right now. Nuclear power is the cleanest, safest, and most reliable energy source we have today. It's also one of the cheapest. Even with a reactor that blows it's top every 30 or 40 years the number of people that dies from nuclear power is orders of magnitude less than those that die from wind and sun on a per kWh basis. As safe as it is now we can make it safer. We can make it cheaper. Why don't we have more of it?

            I suspect we have not solved this problem of burning oil and gas because we have hypocrites like you that demand they eat cake and have it too.

        • Follow the money! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:38PM (#51862909) Journal

          Exactly! Best reply I've read on Slashdot this week, s.petry.

          The problem most people have with the climate change issue is that people with expensive agendas are found swirling all around it. There's lots of money on the table, waiting to be swept up by anyone proposing "environmentally Green energy alternatives" their business can supposedly provide. If you want to make sure that gravy train doesn't end, you've got to keep everyone fearful about the future and believing your solutions will save them.

          The "carbon tax" thing isn't actually an inherently terrible idea. It falls apart in practice, though, because we simply don't have an equitable way to collect an appropriate amount of tax from everyone polluting and then spending it again on things that actually work to remove that much pollution again. All it does is help a few rich people get richer the more they can encourage people to continue contributing to the problem and then paying them to compensate for it.

          The elephant in the room that many people choose to ignore is the fact that we've all collectively gotten so much benefit from the energy produced by the fossil fuels that are so despised. I don't know that it's remotely fair to make the oil, coal or gas company the "bad guy" who must pay for all the environmental damage the use of their fuels caused, when it was all of us willingly buying them or the energy produced by them, the whole time. There needs to be more recognition that fossil fuels helped advance society for everyone on this planet who could take advantage of them. And yes, it looks like that caused downsides we need to examine more closely and start addressing. But doing so may just involve accepting we're in for a slightly warmer climate, and relocating some people and buildings would be a good idea over the next 100 years.

          • I've never been one to say that fossil fuels are bad and we should have never used them but, now they are causing significant damage to our health and environment and we have the ability to replace them with much more environmentally friendly options now. The arguments against changing are always FUD based. Either along the lines of we can't say for sure exactly how much of the damage is being caused by the fossil fuel industry or exactly how much impact it is having on our health and environment and they

        • Re:Not quite (Score:5, Insightful)

          by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @05:38PM (#51863887)

          The game has been about money, which is where people hate and label people deniers. ...

          If you're worried about the money before you determine the validity of the science you're already behind the game. If the scientists are right and you are wrong it's going to cost you a whole lot more money and possible cost you other things as well than they are asking of you now. You're just betting the scientists are wrong and that's probably a poor bet to make.

        • Re:Not quite (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @06:59PM (#51864463) Journal

          And what is wrong with pricing any commodity to reflect it's true cost? If fossil fuels are not priced to take into account the real costs to society, and ultimately to the national and global economies, then what is effectively happening is a classical example of privatizing profits and socializing risk.

          This is like complaining about cigarette taxes. Why should anyone have to pay an artificially hiked price for tobacco? Well, that's because tobacco products cost society a huge amount of money in health care costs, and by not building that cost into the price of tobacco profits, all that's happening is that society ends up footing the bill as tobacco companies count their profits. We have insulated them from the harm their product does, not to mention encouraging smokers to partake of a habit that not only harms themselves, but will end up costing everyone around them a great deal of money.

      • Re:Semantics (Score:4, Insightful)

        by guises ( 2423402 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:59PM (#51862495)

        most "deniers" aren't denying actual change anymore

        You missed a pretty important part of that sentence there, deniers have been and continue to deny whatever they can get away with when it comes to climate change. In the face of a lot of publicity from the likes of the people you mention, what they can get away with has changed rapidly in recent years from "It doesn't exist." to "It's not our fault." to "Well so what if it is our fault, it's not such a big deal anyway."

        Eventually, eventually, they will run out of excuses and actually make some changes. Very small ones at first, no doubt, coupled with a lot of fan-fare saying "This is surely enough to placate those crazy environmentalist pinheads." I'm too much of a cynic to believe that things will progress beyond that, but that doesn't I'm just going to give up and roll with it.

      • Changes in rain belts is going to have massive effects, and not just with brown skinned people with funny names in parts of the world many in the West don't know much about and care even less about. Try to ponder North American rain belts shifting a few degrees northward. That means large part of the Great Plains could become far less productive, and meanwhile the grain belt shifts northward in Canada. While that seems okay, that means a tipping of the agricultural balance of power in North America, and wha

      • Re:Semantics (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Hylandr ( 813770 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:24PM (#51862781)

        This could not have been said more eloquently.

        Now if everyone could realize Bill Nye is an *entertainer* and stop taking their science from the entertainment industry.

      • Re:Semantics (Score:4, Interesting)

        by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:37PM (#51862903) Journal

        The point isn't "Is the Climate Changing" because the climate is always changing, the points are
        1. is the change due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, (probably a little bit)
        2. if the change is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, will the rate of change accelerate, decelerate or stay linear as CO2 increases,
        3. if we reduce CO2 levels, will the Earth actually cool
        4. can we reduce CO2 levels without killing off billions of people
        5. is the change due to land use changes, (probably a fair bit?)
        6. have you really seen any climate change over your lifetime, even the alarmist are saying it's less than a degree
        7. if the denialists are in thrall to "Big Oil", why do you assume the Alarmists aren't in the other sides pocket
        Bill Nye is an engineer by training, a professional Entertainer by trade and not afraid to commit scientific fraud [wattsupwiththat.com] for "dramatic effect".
        OBTW "It's very hard to find a millennial-aged person that is not concerned about climate change. I think the climate denial movement is running out of steam, I guess that's a pun." is a manipulative sales technique known as social validation, it's rather effective on persons with narcissistic tendencies; it strongly appeals to the hive-mind drive to be "one of the cool kids".

      • Thomas Jefferson was also convinced there was something wrong with the climate, due to observable changes over his lifetime. And now that I re-read that, I'm not quite sure what my point is.
    • Re:Semantics (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:44PM (#51862357)

      All of these things happen, and it's easy to find them all over the Internet:

      - People saying the climate didn't change.
      - People saying the climate does change, but it doesn't matter.
      - People saying the climate does change, and it does matter, but it's not human's fault.
      - People saying the climate does change, and it does matter, and it's (at least in part) human's fault, but we can't fix it.
      - People saying the climate does change, and it does matter, and it's (at least in part) human's fault, and maybe we can fix it, but it's not worth it to try.
      - People saying the climate does change, and it does matter, and it's (at least in part) human's fault, and maybe we can fix it, but it's actually a good thing.

    • Re:Semantics (Score:5, Informative)

      by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:45PM (#51862377)

      I don't think anyone doubts climate change.

      Ted Cruz does. He's arguing that the global temperature hasn't gone up in the last 2 decades, for example.

    • I think the context is pretty bloody clear.

    • Precisely. A dozen different subjects and doubts are attributed to "climate change deniers."

      Climate on earth is not static and never has been. The polar caps have melted and come back many times. Extinction has always happened.

      The discussion of "anthropocentric climate change" needs to change into the argument that we need to actively engineer the worlds climate and how to do it and how we can agree on what the climate should be. A warmer earth will actually be beneficial to some.

      All that exists now are doo

    • Re:Semantics (Score:5, Informative)

      by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:23PM (#51862769)

      I know just being picky, but no one doubts that climate change is behind changes in climate. I don't think anyone doubts climate change. Now perhaps some doubt anthropogenic climate change, technically this summary doesn't mention that.

      Well... As recently as Feb 2015, Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, with jurisdiction over climate issues, brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to offer persuasive evidence climate change was a hoax. This would just be funny, if he weren't (a) a US Senator, (b) chairman of an Environment committee.

      Links: Google [google.com] (About 198,000 results)

      • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/02/26/jim-inhofes-snowball-has-disproven-climate-change-once-and-for-all/
      • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/06/jim-inhofe-genesis_n_6815270.html
      • yada, yada, yada
      • Re:Semantics (Score:4, Insightful)

        by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseer.earthlink@net> on Friday April 08, 2016 @01:07AM (#51865917)

        He brought the snowball inside because he noted that it was not that long ago that another senator that I do not recall said that if trends continued that we would not see snow in DC by that date. Time passed, the snow fell, and the other senator was proven wrong. Senator Inhofe showed that the climate models used to predict climate change did not predict correctly.

        While past performance does not assure future results that is the wise way to bet. If the climate models predicted no snow, and snow fell, then how much faith can we put in future predictions of this kind?

  • Millenials (Score:5, Funny)

    by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:24PM (#51862149)
    That's not actually a ringing endorsement.
    • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:27PM (#51862175) Journal

      Hi Socrates, is the youth of today still terrible?

    • Well they are not as screwed up as those damn baby boomers.

      • Well they are not as screwed up as those damn baby boomers.

        No, they are just the offspring of the Baby Boomers...

    • Re:Millenials (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:39PM (#51862289) Homepage Journal

      I'm more irked by the claim that it's right because of consensus. It's *probably* right because of consensus; the current understanding seems to suggest correctness; and we've got an open dialogue about the scientific community's consensus about fat, salt, and heart disease being totally backwards.

      Massive, highly-publicized scientific consensus has been shown wrong plenty of times--probably because it's such an important political dialogue as to only be right by chance. The harmfulness of saturated fat and salt are the basis of many school lunch campaigns, USDA campaigns, CDC campaigns, and AHA campaigns, right up to the freaking President of the United States and his wife making and publicly speaking on the gravity of such policies. Not simply the fact, but the *extent* of human-induced climate change is a matter of international politics. We're to believe the scientific consensus on one of these was wrong, and the other can't be wrong?

      Correctness of consensus about fat and salt failed *because* of its political importance; and correctness and consensus of climate change seems to have succeeded *in spite of* this political dialogue. Even then, an objective observer can't deny that the *extent* claimed seems to be all over the place, and--perhaps to the credit of the climate-change consensus in general--hasn't exactly reached stable scientific consensus. It's not hard to see how someone could be skeptical of the consensus argument; and it's *easy* to see how someone might be skeptical when, in 2007, the IPCC claimed global warming was occurring at 1/4 the speed they previously claimed, and then in 2010 claimed it was happening 10 times faster than they previously claimed--noting they intentionally shaved down the numbers because "nobody would believe the truth"--and then claimed it was just happening 10 times faster than previously predicted.

      I want to hear about evidence and models, not "people are dumb for not believing this because me and my nerd friends believe it and you should trust us because we went to school for this stuff and rich people believe us." You and your nerd friends have been wrong *many* times; I believe a lot of the things you say because you insist on explaining *why* you're right in more robust terms than "I take computer science 3; I know what I'm talking about!"

      • Re:Millenials (Score:5, Insightful)

        by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:50PM (#51862427)

        I want to hear about evidence and models

        So, what's stopping you ? You can start with the IPCC reports and all of its references to supporting literature. You can download source code of the models, and raw temperature data. If you don't believe in consensus, that's your right, but don't claim there's no evidence provided, and that it's all based on trust.

        • Re:Millenials (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:44PM (#51862969) Homepage Journal

          It's argument behavior. Whenever I have economics discussions, I cite particular things I've studied and analyzed. I don't just state that other people believe me and so that's good enough. Sometimes I deal with annoying people who want that by pointing out Robert Solow's theories are close to mine (Solow won a Nobel Prize of Economic Sciences for his work, and modern economics uses his models to separate labor force growth from technological growth), and then go back to explaining *why* the things I'm claiming are correct, backed up by economic history.

          Nobody points out broadly-studied theories and models and historical behaviors when arguing climate change; they just claim arbitrary consensus. They bring nothing to the table but "I have met with the Council and they have rendered their decision!"

          It's no good to just tell people they can believe you or go look for themselves. That's not a strong argument point; it's a position that suggests you don't actually understand why you're taking a position, other than that it seemed like the one everyone else was taking.

          • Re:Millenials (Score:5, Insightful)

            by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @08:09PM (#51864867)

            Nobody points out broadly-studied theories and models and historical behaviors when arguing climate change; they just claim arbitrary consensus. They bring nothing to the table but "I have met with the Council and they have rendered their decision!"

            Actually, plenty of people have offered this information. Most of us are tired of doing so.

            At some point, when the 300th idiot claims, "Einstein's relativity doesn't make sense, and here's my crazy theory about why!" you just want to say, "Hey, go read a textbook." This often comes up around evolutionary theory too among the "skeptics." There are thousand-page long college textbooks on evolutionary theory, but you'll still get morons claiming that "there's no consensus" and "WHERE'S THE PROOF?!?!?"

            It's no good to just tell people they can believe you or go look for themselves. That's not a strong argument point; it's a position that suggests you don't actually understand why you're taking a position, other than that it seemed like the one everyone else was taking.

            Except we've reached the point now where the evidence has stacked up so much that it's no longer rationally sustainable to argue against climate change. Yes, if you're arguing about a particular theory or a particular model, of course you should cite details, just as in your economics examples

            But 90% of the public "debate" for climate change is over whether it exists AT ALL. We can argue about the magnitude of the change or how much various factors contribute to its cause, but for those people who deny it's happening at all, it's really not up for debate anymore.

            And that's the problem. At some point you just turn to the lunatic young-earth creationist and say, "Go reader the freakin' college textbook on evolutionary theory. When you've digested it, and you feel like you still can refute all of it point-by-point, maybe come back and we can have a discussion."

            But they won't do that. Just like the climate-change denier won't do that. They don't want to have rational debate anymore. They've decided their position a priori, and they'll seek out whatever evidence will support that a priori argument.

            At that point, it's no good to debate AT ALL. And that's why many of us stop citing stuff. We're just tired... it's not that we don't understand. It's that the other side is a bunch of people who aren't interested in rational discourse anymore.

        • What's the point? I have convening proof that the Global Warming claims are wrong. I've provided source code, and detailed analysis. All that happens is the Global Warming advocates call me the equivalent of a Holocaust denier. Just go download the Global Historical Climatology Network dataset. Pull out the Evaporation Rate data for yourself. Then calculate the change in evaporation rate for all the stations that have data over the last 30 years or from 1950 to present if you're game. You won't find any mea
    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      That's not actually a ringing endorsement.

      That really just happens to be the label that currently applies to "people old enough to be aware of the problem, and young enough that they'll be around to deal with the effects."

      I'm guessing that the reason older people can still deny it is that they don't really care - they'll probably be gone by then, so why would they make themselves worse off now.

  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:24PM (#51862153) Homepage

    ran out of steam 20 years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:25PM (#51862163)

    Now we just have to wait 30 more years for millennials to get into positions where they can do something about it.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:28PM (#51862191)

      Now we just have to wait 30 more years for millennials to get into positions where they can do something about it.

      At which time they will act like people who are 30 years older than they are now.

      Young people like to get behind causes to save the world, but burn out after a few decades of reality. News at 11.

      • > At which time they will act like people who are 30 years older than they are now.

        Amazing what happens when one grows up and has to start paying their own way through life eh?

        Placing a monetary value on "save the world" causes tends to put things in perspective.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:31PM (#51862233) Homepage Journal

    "It's very hard to find a millennial-aged person that is not concerned about climate change."

    Is this because Millennials are better at Science, or simply because they believe, what public school teachers told them?

  • Max Planck... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:34PM (#51862257)

    ... explained this as "Science advances one funeral at a time." The longer version is more like, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

  • Concerned in that they will attend rallies and post on Facebook about it. But not concerned enough to stop driving automobiles or using Facebook. Everyone is so "concerned" about climate change, but the EU keeps emitting more and more CO2 every year. Why is that? They all claim to be "concerned" about it.
    • Why is that? They all claim to be "concerned" about it.

      It's called the Tragedy of the Commons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] Even if you know and understand the concept, and you want to fix the problem, it's pointless to do it by yourself, because somebody else will pick up your slack. The only effective solution is to impose mandatory controls for everybody.

  • The mass bulk of humanity, regardless of age, gives fuck all about 'climate change.'

    It's what you concern yourself with when you have nothing real to be concerned about, and it's what you advocate sacrificing for when your aren't doing any actual sacrificing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:49PM (#51862419)

    Deniers don't give a shit whether climate change is happening and don't care whether the science is correct. What 'deniers' are angry about, and what they are objecting to, is the obscene waste of public funds, the use of climate change as a justification for social engineering projects, and the utterly incompetent handling of the situation by governments. The term 'denier' is essentially used as a condescending replacement for 'objector'.

    Climate change could have been addressed decades ago had we invested heavily in nuclear power, but the people who are frothing at the mouth ranting about climate change are the same people who have prevented the expansion of nuclear power. The very people who have created the climate change issue are chastising us telling us we need to destroy our economy and society by spending countless billions on inefficient, inconsistent and obscenely expensive renewable. 'Deniers' are sick of the idiocy, the hypocrisy and the waste, and rather than denying climate change, we're just not listening and we don't care.

    The situation we have is basically this:

    Environmentalist: Climate change is going to destroy the world! We must reduce our carbon output!!!
    'Denier': How about we build some carbon neutral nuclear power plants? They're cheap, consistent and will solve the problem.
    Environmentalist: No! We won't tolerate those filthy things! We'd rather burn coal and gas than have the satanic nuclear power!
    'Denier': Fuck off then. If you're not going to be reasonable about this I just don't care any more.

    For politicians and environmental groups aren't interested in solving the problem but instead just want to push forward their ideology. They want renewable energy, not because it will be effective at reducing climate change or because it's cheap, but for idealogical reasons. Politicians, particularly in the EU, want to use it as an excuse to bring tens of millions of people from Africa and the Middle East to Europe because they say that land will be unusable. Politicians want to use climate change as an excuse to raise taxes, because they believe in high taxation.

    'Deniers' are sick of the whole situation. We're sick of effective solutions being rejected. We're sick of the abuse in the name of climate change. We're sick of your endless ranting about climate change but total inaction. We've reach a point where we're simply not listening. You've abused this situation to such an extent that we don't want to hear anything you have to say and we certainty won't do anything to help with your stupidity.

    If you want to build nuclear power stations to resolve the problem, I'm all for it. With them in place we could take our time to develop efficient, cost effective renewable sources of energy. However, if you want to generate energy by hugging trees, if you want to tax the life out of us, if you want to destroy our lifestyle, if you want to destroy our nations by bringing "victims of climate change" into the country by the boat load, then fuck you! We will actively oppose anything you say or do!

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @02:50PM (#51862423) Homepage

    ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH!

    Sick of making the same tired old post.

    WE GET IT.
    WE BELIEVE YOU.

    Now what the FUCK would you like us to do about it that we're a) not already doing, b) will provably (or probably) make a measurable difference within a reason time, c) doesn't cost the (non-literal) Earth, d) that will get approval from those parties that need to do it?

    Ignore all the name-calling and shit, let's assume we ALL agree it's happening. I'm of scientific mind, I can do that for any subject that I agree with or not.

    But... Now what?

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      >> c) doesn't cost the (non-literal) Earth

      So we should only do something to save the planet if its affordable?
      You crazy Americans seem to think literally everything should come down to a dollar consideration, even the survival of the whole planet and all life on it.

  • by kick6 ( 1081615 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:04PM (#51862561) Homepage
    Social and financial pressure to agree (or at least pretend to agree). Everyone is now too concerned about "getting Eich'ed" to take a stand against any of the typical left-liberal talking points. So, of course, the same left-liberals are going to harp on the consensus that they willed into existence through terror to defend their righteousness. In the end, they might be right...maybe. But undoubtedly the way the treated people on that road makes them pieces of shit.
  • OK, there's 100% consensus that climate change is happening. It's a fucking dynamic system, how can it be static?
    HOWEVER, there is ZERO consensus that it is caused by human activity.
    The sum total of human activity on this planet takes place in the lower 37,000 feet of the atmosphere, to a depth of about a thousand feet beneath the surface.
    THERE IS MUCH MORE in the Universe than that seven and a half miles. A LOT more that directly affects this planet, to much larger extent than even our entire nuclear arsen

  • by davide marney ( 231845 ) <davide.marney@netmedia . o rg> on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:12PM (#51862649) Journal

    Bill Nye is an entertainer, not a scientist. Millennials are, by definition, young, inexperienced people. That young people believe what a TV personality tells them is not exactly a news flash.

  • by Notorious G ( 4223193 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @03:34PM (#51862871)

    Bill Nye (along with Al Gore) got caught faking a experiment to "prove" climate change - the results were totally not reproducible in any way and the footage he had was cut to make it look like it proved his claim (google "bill nye fake experiment" to see it exposed). Since then, I don't see why anyone listens to the guy. He's Bill Nye The Propaganda Guy

    It seems every time there's 'proof' of man made global warming, the data is cooked, the experiments are not reproducible, the predictions don't materialize. Not sure how that state of affairs became the standard of "science".

  • What troubles me is the suddenness at which that phrase seemed to have been dropped by the media and "believers" in favour of the more generic term "climate change" that does not, somewhat conveniently, attribute a possible cause.

    Do I believe "climate change" is happening? Yes, according to geological evidence it's happened at least four times before during planetary Ice Ages, we're probably about due a fifth Ice Age.

    Do I believe man is the cause? Unsure, I don't think we've been able to measure our potential impact on the planet over a long enough period to make too many assumptions - we'd probably need to compare temperature measurements over the century before industrialisation to temperature measurements after industrialisation to make any reasonable assumptions. But we don't have that data.

    Do I think burning less fossil fuels, recycling more and being green are worthwhile? Not everyone who smokes gets cancer but not smoking reduces the risk of cancer. I don't smoke because I want to minimise my risk of cancer, in the same way I am happy to be greener *in case* my carbon emissions are having a big impact on climate.

    I don't see the above as being a doubter, I am happy to proceed with caution until empirical evidence proves things either way - and I don't think the proof exists for either way except that we are very confident that this planet went through at least four cooling/warming cycles before man was ever here. Therefore my opinion at the moment is climate change is more than likely natural, whilst keeping an open mind.

  • It's very hard to find a millennial-aged person that is not concerned about climate change.

    Of course Millennials are concerned about it. Modern school systems and society have basically indoctrinated Millennials in the belief of man-made climate change. Society often considers them to be fools or ignorant for even questioning the belief, instead of encouraging them to ask "why" and search for truths and data that supports or refutes climate change theories. Furthermore, Millennials have never been taught or seen the things that make some of the older people doubt the validity of claims related to global climate change.

    The fact that Millennials believe in things related to climate change really has nothing to do with greater acceptance of scientific research. It is just a product of their upbringing.

  • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseer.earthlink@net> on Thursday April 07, 2016 @08:21PM (#51864935)

    Instead of pointing out the problem I suggest we start pointing out solutions.

    Why are coal miners even in business? I mean if global warming is a problem, and burning coal makes it worse, then shouldn't we see coal miners find something else to do? We see coal miners in business because people want cheap electricity. Without something that can provide electricity as cheap as coal we will burn coal.

    We don't burn coal because we want global warming. We burn coal because we like hot pizza in the winter, ice cream in the summer, air conditioned movie theaters, computers, cell phones, and all the other things that cheap electricity can bring us. What alternatives do we have? Wind is cheap but we can't rely on the wind to blow. Solar power costs double or quadruple what coal power costs. If we burned wood for electricity then we'd have made the land barren long ago.

    Bill Nye is an engineer, he's studied this stuff in school and for his job. For a product to sell it must be on time, on budget, meet fit/form/function, and be better than the other guys' products. Do we have anything that can do that? Yes, nuclear fission.

    Instead of saying the same thing over and over again about how climate change is "undeniable" I say we start talking about how to fix this. Barring some leap in technology the only solution we have is nuclear fission. So I say we need to talk about how we are going to build nuclear power plants at a rate sufficient to replace coal and meet future demand.

"Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion." -- Harlan Ellison

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