Roughly Half of Republicans Believe in Global Warming

We have often discussed the disconnect of the two major parties with their bases. For Democrats, it is the disgraceful record on civil liberties left by Democratic leadership, including President Obama. For Republicans, it is often the environment. Polls show a high number of Republican voters are in favor of environmental laws that are routinely undermined by GOP leaders. Now a new Pew poll shows that roughly half of Republicans say there is “solid evidence” of global warming — a remarkable jump of 37 percent jump from 2009.


The numbers are still higher in the population at large: 67 percent of all Americans and 48 percent of Republicans. However, the high numbers of Republicans accepting the science is not reflected in their party leadership or platform. The party appears captured by the most extreme elements of its members, including highly antagonistic business and lobby interest in the environmental field.

While many GOP leaders continue to deny the very notion of global warming like Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) , others are moving to a new position: it may be real but we may not be the cause or have any real power to change it. That was the view articulated recently by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) in debate with his congressional challenger Ami Bera (D):

LUNGREN: There is no doubt that there is global change, climate change. The question is who causes it and is it caused predominantly by human activity. It seems to me we ought to take reasonable steps but not steps that so put us in a disadvantageous situation economically that we will have less jobs. There’s those that cry about their concern for jobs and then support the very things that would absolutely destroy jobs. We have an example of that in the current administration that I believe is supported by my opponent to try and basically ruin the coal industry in the United States, losing us tens of thousands of jobs instead of pursuing the cleanest technology in the area of coal. […]
MODERATOR: So you’re suggesting the global warming change may not be caused by manmade sources?
LUNGREN: No, my suggestion is we don’t know to what extent it is and to what extent moves we would take on our own in the United States would have an effect. At the same time I believe it makes good common sense to try and reduce carbon emissions where possible, as I’ve done in the U.S. capitol.

That approach is more nuanced and perhaps more dangerous. It shields the politicians from any responsibility to act while allowing global warming to get worse with the potential for catastrophic impacts around the world.

Notably, this study means that more Republicans believe in global warming than evolution. Some 58% of polled Republicans believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

Source: US News

105 thoughts on “Roughly Half of Republicans Believe in Global Warming

  1. Roughly half of them believe in some schmuck who wears blue jeans. The other half only believes the guy when he wears his suit and tie. Global warming comes from the Koch Brothers and all their hot air. Half the RepulbiCons believe that we are baked by the sun in day time and cooled by the moon at night. Ninety Eight Percent of them think that they are special and sort of like the one percent. Yet when they are old and decrepit and wondering where the medicaid and social security benefits drifted off to they will blame some prior President named Obama. Only they will call him Obumbo and carryon in their walkers and wheelchairs about how he was ever elected.

  2. FairlyBalanced, It is not like the republicans are good on civil liberties or anything else. Their leadership either proposed or voted for every piece of despicable legislation that has been enacted in that area.

  3. LUNGREN: There is no doubt that there is global change, climate change. The question is who causes it and is it caused predominantly by human activity. (emphasis added)

    That is not the consensus of 98% of scientists, because it is overwhelmingly clear that it is caused by current human civilization.

  4. Before I engage anyone in any reasoned discourse of a worthy topic, I ask two “qualifying” questions:

    1. Do you believe in Darwinian evolution?

    2. Do you believe in human caused climate change?

    I just want to be sure on which side of the looking glass the discussion will occur.

  5. ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero says:

    “Paul Ryan may end up a heartbeat away from the presidency but he’ll be light years from civil liberties. Paired with Romney’s already-abysmal record on civil liberties, Ryan’s positions only take this ticket further from the vision of our founding fathers.”

  6. Oro Lee 1, October 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Before I engage anyone in any reasoned discourse of a worthy topic, I ask two “qualifying” questions:

    1. Do you believe in Darwinian evolution?

    2. Do you believe in human caused climate change?

    I just want to be sure on which side of the looking glass the discussion will occur.
    ================================================
    It is unfortunate that we do not take into consideration how much of our cognitive systems are based on belief, a substantial quantity of that is mythical beliefs.

    There is a branch of science/philosophy which seeks to perfect ways of enhancing beliefs into knowledge:

    I find myself believing all sorts of things for which I do not possess evidence: that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, that my car keeps stalling because the carburetor needs to be rebuild, that mass media threaten democracy, that slums cause emotional disorders, that my irregular heart beat is premature ventricular contraction, that students’ grades are not correlated with success in the nonacademic world, that nuclear power plants are not safe (enough) …

    The list of things I believe, though I have no evidence for the truth of them, is, if not infinite, virtually endless.

    What are we as epistemologists to say about all these beliefs? If I, without the available evidence, nevertheless believe a proposition, are my belief and I in that belief necessarily irrational or non-rational? Is my belief then mere belief (Plato’s right opinion)? If not, why not? Are there other good reasons for believing propositions, reasons which do not reduce to having evidence for the truth of those propositions? What would these reasons look like?

    In this paper I want to consider the idea of intellectual authority, particularly that of experts. I want to explore the “logic” or epistemic structure of an appeal to intellectual authority and the way in which such an appeal constitutes justification for believing and knowing.

    (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?, quoting John Hardwick, Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 82, No. 7, July. 1985). The dynamics involved in what to believe is fundamental, involving trust and faith.

    Our vast jury systems indicate that the people, not government, are the ultimate deciders on factual matters, hearing expert contradict other experts, then the jury decides which expert had the correct information.

    Still, we tend to have a mental framework that says knowledge is better than belief, even though we have to trust and have faith in others to tell us which is which.

    That is, our actual knowledge is very limited, belief being the greater part of our cognitive resources.

    As such we perform much like a religion, hanging with those of like beliefs, even in the secular domain.

  7. IMHO I don’t think the issue is so much knowledge v. belief, but rather between warranted belief scientifically established and unwarranted belief based on faith. Mark Twain wrote that it was a school boy who defined faith as believing in what you know ain’t so. I prefer to state it as believing in that which cannot be proven, i.e., the supra-natural — that which cannot be measured, cannot be tested, and is not subject to the laws of cause and effect. ‘Cause if something can be proven, then wherefore faith?

  8. “others are moving to a new position: it may be real but we may not be the cause or have any real power to change it.”

    The truth is that the opposition to the concept of human caused climate change has never been about the science, but about the money required to fix it and the fiscal inconvenience it would cause to those industries most to blame. As JT stated:

    “That approach is more nuanced and perhaps more dangerous. It shields the politicians from any responsibility to act while allowing global warming to get worse with the potential for catastrophic impacts around the world.”

    This is now the fallback position for those who would protect industry from the havoc cause by its excesses and as such is in my opinion definitely more dangerous.

  9. Oro Lee 1, October 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

    IMHO I don’t think the issue is so much knowledge v. belief, but rather between warranted belief scientifically established and unwarranted belief based on faith. Mark Twain wrote that it was a school boy who defined faith as believing in what you know ain’t so. I prefer to state it as believing in that which cannot be proven, i.e., the supra-natural — that which cannot be measured, cannot be tested, and is not subject to the laws of cause and effect. ‘Cause if something can be proven, then wherefore faith?
    ==============================================
    Perhaps you missed my point because I was not clear.

    You believe in what other people say through the vehicle of trust in them.

    Not being there with them when they came to their personal knowledge based on their lab experiments or other scientific endeavors, you form a belief that what they say they know is true.

    It is true as you say that some methodologies are better than others for producing evidence, however, as the scientist I quoted points out, still you believe what someone else says they know rather than having your own personal knowledge.

    And so do I.

    And so does everyone else, including scientists who have to trust other scientists to do their science properly and report it in the peer reviewed journals.

    The jury system developed as a result of observations that the people are less likely to be corrupted by power than those who are in power.

    Just like us, juries do not always get it right, but it is not an issue of who is always right, it is an issue of who is most likely not to be corrupt and there for not sufficiently accurate.

  10. Like most people, I too “believe” common sense steps should be taken. Here’s my problem w/ the chicken littles who have really hurt their own cause w/ idiotic scare stories. I stop @ the great canyons[Zion, Bryce, Arches] of southern Utah every year. They are a global treasure. The first time I was there I joined a group of tourists w/ a geologist moderator. He showed the different rock strata as we descended into Bryce. There are layers that were created when the area was an ocean, jungle, frozen tundra, forest and desert. Science proves w/o any doubt, our climate is constantly changing..that’s a given. The big question is how are we influencing this change. Being humans, we have a certain arrogance. We believe we can negatively and positively affect out climate. Here’s the problem as I see it. We horribly mismanaged a pristine enviroment known as Yellowstone National Park. We hired experts who damn near ruined the park. So, isn’t it supreme arrogance @ best, and stupidity @ worst, to think we mortals can corrall this globe. I’m in favor of common sense laws and regulations. I try and ignore the crazies on BOTH ends of the spectrum on this, and most subjects. However, those crazies are very loud, creating a cocaphony.

    Fire away folks, I apologize up front for being a party pooper.

  11. Nick, you aren’t a “party pooper”, but you’ve added nothing. In fact, you’ve done the same thing that you complain about in your post. You’ve muddied the waters with a anecdotal, non-fact-based comment that only serves to make it harder for individuals to analyze real data and make the most informed choices possible for themselves and society.

    Also, “we hired experts who damn near ruined the park” is pretty damn vague and sounds whole lot like a “chicken little”/reactionist stance.

    Step back from the “crazies…creating a cocaphony” stance, bring your facts to the table, and discuss the issue, rather than blockade yourself from the fact-based discussion.

  12. Oro Lee,

    1) There is no such thing as Darwinian evolution. Just the Theory of Evolution and its tens of thousands of collective experiments, observations, and published papers that stand as one, if not the most, supported scientific theory humans have compiled to date.

    2) Belief is not part of the equation in scientific terms. Human influenced climate change is an observation based on the increasing frequency of correlating data with respect to climate and the by-products of human industrialization. As the frequency of these correlating data points grow, so does the support and understanding for what you call ‘human caused climate change’. Bringing terms like “belief” in only serve to turn the matter into a faith-based conversation, which invokes all kinds of unnecessary baggage and may close the door of interpreting data and fact before those bits of data and fact ever get analyzed by Jane/John Doe.

    Questions like “What aspects of human caused climate change are supported/unsupported with data and what is the strength of that data in relation to other supported/unsupported aspects that humans are influencing rapid climate change?” go a lot further. Its a huge matter and must be broken down into digestible bits, instead of yes/no, thumbs up/ thumbs down.

  13. Blind, Our climate is not naturally changing all the time? Those rock formations are not real. Geology is junk science? What are you talking about?

  14. Nick,

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I haven’t made a statement about “climate changing all the time”, “rock formations”, or “geology”. Maybe re-read my post if you aren’t sure what I’m writing about and then ask me something specific relating to my actual post.

    From what you’ve written I can only assume that you’re responding to me calling your testimony “anecdotal”, which it is. Please don’t try to strawman me or attribute a projection of some other point of view that isn’t stated by me to me. Thx.

    My point is that providing anecdotal accounts(your trip to see rock strata), generalized stereotyping(people are arrogant), and unrelated analogies(Yellowstone was nearly ruined by experts) are hurting, not helping, the effort to take “common sense steps” to understand and do what is necessary with regard to climate change.

  15. “Blind, Our climate is not naturally changing all the time? Those rock formations are not real. Geology is junk science? What are you talking about?”

    Nick,

    You really are begging the question. Remember the Beijing Olympics, where there was worry that the toxic air pollution caused by industrialization, would be unhealthy to the athletes? How about Los Angeles smog problem and the smog problems cause all over the world in major cities due to human caused air pollution? Do you deny these? As I previously said the whole denial issue is about money, not science. As far as the National Park System goes I’ve visited and camped in many of them in my life and while Yellowstone is badly run, due to its popularity, most of them are admirably run. That includes Grand Tetons National Park and Forest which is relatively down the road from Yellowstone.

  16. Blind, Rock strata is not anecdotal except that I chose one example. Do you doubt there is geological evidence virtually everywhere on this planet that we have gone through constant climate change? For chrissake, man, do you understand what anecdotal means? If you won’t concede the settled science that our climate has constantly changed then we can end our discussion right now.

    Believe it or not Blind, I am an enviromentalist for a long time. Before the kool aid drinkers took over. I have discussed previously in this forum how the movement has been taken over. One of the founders of Greenpeace[of which I was a member decades past] is Patrick Moore. After the Viet Nam war ended those radicals needed some place to use their testosterone. They took over Greenpeace and radicalized it. Moore has spoken and written eloquently on the subject. The Yellowstone fiasco was taught to me by a professor of ecology. When I went back to college in 1999 to get my history teaching certification I took a couple ecology course. One professor was a former Forest Service director. He told us how we have mismanaged out National Parks for a myriad of reasons. He had us read Playing God in Yellowstone: The Destruction of America’s First National Park by Alston Chase. It’s a fascinating read.

  17. MikeS, Please read what I’m saying. I knew I was going to run into this. I don’t deny there’s pollution and that we need laws and regulations to control it. I just don’t want draconian laws that halt our civilization to save a frog.

  18. “I just don’t want draconian laws that halt our civilization to save a frog.”

    Nick,

    Draconian is in the eyes of the beholder. I’m sure to a coal operator laws that prevent him from blowing up West Virginian mountaintops are draconian. The way you’re expressing yourself I’m not sure what exactly “halting civilization” means. I do know for instance that may Republicans favor allowing private industry to exploit our National Parks for resources and vacation spas. Is that “halting civilization” to you. I’ll accept at face value that you care about conservation, but you do have a peculiar way of expressing it that is strikingly similar to those who would exploit our environment. Seriously Nick, you know from our past discussions that I do read your words and consider them fairly, however, I do think that perhaps you have conveyed meanings that are consistent with those who are against environmental regulations of any sort.

  19. Mike,
    You are right that the denial of climate science isn’t related to facts. It is all about money and the corporate interests that might make less of it! The fact that only 1/2 of any group believes science and their own eyes is telling.

  20. MikeS, I’ll always answer your specific questions. I detest strip mining, having gone to college in northeast PA. and seeing the results. I want our National Parks to remain the same. I discussed this on Elaine’s Big Bird thread yesterday. In a different forum awhile back we discussed my derision for political correctness and you expressed a similar concern. You acknowleged how ludicrous and tortured pc can be, but you had trepidations about me because of the origins of the term pc, being in the conservative realm. Mike, I lay it all out there. My liberal friends and conservative fiends have equal “problems” w/ me. I have no secrets or hidden agenda. Ask me any question you like, I respect you as much as anyone else here. Although we do disagree on things..”That’s a Good Thing.” Martha Stewart

  21. Oro Lee1, October 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

    IMHO I don’t think the issue is so much knowledge v. belief, but rather between warranted belief scientifically established and unwarranted belief based on faith. …. ‘Cause if something can be proven, then wherefore faith?

    “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice.” I think this is often the mantra of the republicans regarding many of their disbeliefs of fact..

  22. Nick,
    Is this discussion about whether rock strata, fossil evidence, ice cores, and other evidence shows that the climate is in continual flux? I didn’t realize that you think I’m denying that climate has continuously changed over the 4+ billions years since Earth’s formation. Let me assure you that I’m aware of this fact without question, but why you’re trying to apply an argument/denial to me that I never made is baffling.

    I responded to your post and its contents. Why the strawmen? This thread, as far as I can tell, is about the public’s perception. That is the theme of your first post too(with lots of unnecessary judgement and unproductive reaction IMO), so I am trying to stay with the theme of the thread(ie public perception) and discuss how the public’s perception is created and changes. Its really unclear to me what you’re going on about.

    And, yes, I know what anecdotal means. Your personal accounts as evidence are the definition of anecdotal. Just because its anecdotal doesn’t mean that its untrue or that I’m claiming its untrue, but single instance personal accounts are…anecdotal. Maybe you can’t take critical review of your statements, even though you wrote “fire away”. If you don’t like me calling it what it is then stop giving us personal accounts as evidence. Surely someone that took science courses realizes this, no?

    Anecdotal claims are part of the reason that climate change discussions and perceptions embody such a wide spectrum of understanding and agreements(eg. “It was cold this winter. Climate change is bunk.” or “It was hot this summer. Climate change will kill us all.”)

    So, do you want to continue the discussion or would you rather keep giving us your academic and vacation histories?

  23. The timing of this piece is interesting to me because yesterday I read that there has been no warming for the last 15 years. Mr. Spinelli’s comments are on point as to why people may not believe that we face catastrophic man-made global warming (or even non-catastrophic): the climate is always changing.

    In terms of people’s opinions and how much weight I can give these, I think it important to understand the basis for the opinion. How much of the anticipated warming (in say the next 100 years) is due directly to carbon emissions and how much is due to positive feedbacks in the models? How much less will that warming be if we cut carbon emissions by 10%? Or 50%?

  24. Mike,

    Absolutely it’s tied to money:

    “It seems to me we ought to take reasonable steps but not steps that so put us in a disadvantageous situation economically that we will have less jobs”

    “I just don’t want draconian laws that halt our civilization to save a frog.”

  25. nick spinelli 1, October 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

    … I just don’t want draconian laws that halt our civilization to save a frog.
    =============================================
    It is just as bad to underestimate and diminish a problem as it is to use hype to exaggerate a problem.

    Both are false.

    The amphibians, including frogs, are headed toward becoming extinct worldwide.

    Worse in some places than in others, but a worldwide concern for biologists and ecologists.

    About 200 species per day (includes all species not just amphibians), which is 73,000 per year, face extinction now in this era scientists call The Sixth Mass Extinction, caused by human “civilization”:

    Humanity may soon be approaching the boundaries for global freshwater use, change in land use, ocean acidification and interference with the global phosphorous cycle (see Fig. 1). Our analysis suggests that three of the Earth-system processes — climate change, rate of biodiversity loss and interference with the nitrogen cycle — have already transgressed their boundaries. For the latter two of these, the control variables are the rate of species loss and the rate at which N2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to reactive nitrogen for human use, respectively. These are rates of change that cannot continue without significantly eroding the resilience of major components of Earth-system functioning. Here we describe these three processes.

    … biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene has accelerated massively. Species are becoming extinct at a rate that has not been seen since the last global mass-extinction event.

    Modern agriculture is a major cause of environmental pollution, including large-scale nitrogen- and phosphorus-induced environmental change. At the planetary scale, the additional amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus activated by humans are now so large that they significantly perturb the global cycles of these two important elements.

    (The Damage Cannot Be Undone?, quoting Journal Nature). There is ample evidence that we are on a path to make ourselves extinct on another front as well (The Most Dangerous Moment in Recorded History). Both the nuclear threat and the ecological threat are real enough to be considered.

    Mature people can handle danger with appropriate response rather than irresponsible denial or hype.

    We are currently in the process of defining ourselves in that regard in the minds our posterity.

  26. The problem I see with this is what has happened to politiciize the environmental issue.

    I believe the core of the problem happened about 35 or so years ago when the environmental protection movement began to become more mainstream. While I believe this had obvious merit, unfortunately for whatever reason many elements within this movement began to politicise it until it morphed into a stereotype that many average persons do not identify with. It continues to this day.

    Many conservatives, who are typically reactionary against those they view as being left wing, have a mental image of an Environmentalist as a Tree Hugging Liberal. And because they do not like the politics of the left, they associate environmentalism as a political threat to them. Environmentalists view conservatives as a threat to their beliefs in the environment and attack them politically. And the conflict continues. The environmentalists tend to alienate people in the middle by being countercultural.

    I had dinner a couple months ago with a candidate running for governor in our state. I pointed out to him the party could do much better with voters and more importantly the world if we strove to make environmental stewardship a party platform. I said the bickering between the two parties was polluting not only the political arena but literally the environment as well. I hoped at least to seed in him the notion that a party can be good to the natural world and not be labelled as something bad politically. He seemed to be in agreement with me. Most people I talked with later thought it was a good start but lamented there were too many others in the party who would not accept it and the idea would die.

    I guess we have to all start somewhere. Protecting the environment is costly? Well, how can you run a business or an industry when the world is ruined. Not a very profitable venture I would say.

  27. Dredd’s comment on mass extinction is instructive. Accepting it as true, the blame goes to humans, but not necessarily man-made global warming. The, dare I call it hyperbole related to global warming is interfering with efforts to solve other problems.

  28. Blind, How would I know what you know and what you don’t know, I’m not Kreskin. There was nothing in your previous comment that indicated what you believed vis a vis climate change over the milleniums. Now I know, and we agree. We obviously disagree on what steps should or should not be taken. It’s simply curious to me that the people who espouse science regarding the climate have set up a religous model w/ beliefs, taboos, a God, etc. You were nice enough to ridicule my” academic and vacation history.” Why not wow me all w/ your credentials. Tell us about your expertise, your experience, etc. Then maybe we can discuss further.

  29. No thanks, Nick. My time will be spent better somewhere else.

    With statements like “We obviously disagree on what steps should or should not be taken.” I have to question your integrity and ability to not apply your own biases to others.

    I haven’t stated a single step that should or should not be taken in this thread or any other, so again you have chosen to assign your own misconceptions to me. Why you would jump to these conclusions is a mystery that I’m not interested in unraveling.

    ===========

    Darren,

    Great points. I think that’s a good summary of why it’s so difficult to even begin a productive dialogue. Entrenched, hard-line positions are difficult to overcome. When politics become ideologies and ideologies become cultural dogma the opportunity for effective, societal course correction is often lost.

  30. “unfortunately for whatever reason many elements within this movement began to politicise it until it morphed into a stereotype that many average persons do not identify with.”

    Darren,

    Your points are indeed well-taken. There are some on the Left that do not have the capacity to forge alliances with people unless those people TOTALLY agree with them. I first met the type when I was active in the “Movement” in the 60’s. Some were captive of dogma and party line such as communists and some were mainly authoritarian types egotistically in love with themselves. While political purity tests are rife on all parts of the political spectrum, the politicization performed by many in the environmentalist movement was self-destructive. Saving our environment is not an issue of politics, it is one of existence

  31. Blind, You’re apparently a paper tiger. I have given observations, lectures from geologists, books, etc. You have just given up, albeit haughtily. Dredd knows his stuff.

  32. “How much less will that warming be if we cut carbon emissions by 10%? Or 50%?”

    Mahtso,

    Even if it has no effect on climate change, are carbon emissions a good thing? Is the Los Angeles Smog merely a minor effect on visibility, nothing to worry about?

  33. MikeS, LA smog has improved dramatically over the past 3 decades thanks to sensible laws and regulations on auto emmisions and fuel formulation. The improvement is quite visible and that helps keep people willing to pay more for autos and gas in Ca. Although the $5.45/gallon of late is pushing the envelope.

  34. Nah, Nick. We were just talking about different topics, I think.

    I’m interested in thoughts about how people perceive and interpret topical issues, especially issues that cross from academics and science to the mainstream public. I don’t touch the “global warming is real or not real” subject in public. It too easily turns in to nonsense, politics and ideologies.

    I thought your first post was interesting and your “fire away” line at the end seemed to be an invitation for a critical review. That’s all.

    ========

    Thanks, Gene. LOL

  35. Giving up and dismissing an opponent for using dishonest tactics and ergo not being worthy of address are not equivalences, nick. What Dredd does or does not know on this topic (IYO) is irrelevant to BF’s statements concerning yours being accurate, nick. Even Mike pointed to you begging the question (yet another in a long line of logical fallacies). You argue poorly using inherently dishonest tactics and your defense in having that pointed out is to call BF a “paper tiger” and appeal to your anecdotal evidence again (yet another logical fallacy) and to Dredd’s authority (doop! It’s another one!). Tsk tsk tsk. Overall, a pitiful performance in logic and reasoning.

  36. we are all going to be burned to a crisp.

    Sterilize the poor in developing countries and limit births to a lottery so we can save the earth. No more than 10 million people per year can be born.

    And we can also do what George Bernard Shaw suggested: gas people who dont contribute to society so we can reduce humanities carbon footprint.

    Nothing is off the table to save the earth from humans.

  37. I know some old fart RepubliCons who live in Florida and they have strong opinions on global warming and believe that it is happening. They cite their air conditioning bills going higher each year in the summer. They believe the main cause to be too many paved areas such as parking lots and roads. These guys all drive big Fords and Cadillacs and keep the gas guzzling and the fumes a spewing. Each month when the electric bills come in the mail we get an earful.

  38. “Are carbon emissions a good thing?” Yes, but only for those of us who enjoy living.”

    Mahtso,

    Childish, but expected.

  39. Gene, Blind didn’t answer my question about his expertise after sarcastically deriding what I said I thought on the subject. I don’t purport to be anything close to an expert but I provided my reasons for what I said. In that regard, the “paper tiger” comment was legit as Blind chose to not answer. Now, I can not call on someone being sarcastic because I am also. As Blind pointed out, I knew what I said would initially would draw fire. I was asked specific questions by Blind and others and I answered those questions. Gene, you’re a broken record. This “logic” charge you throw around wants me to nickname you, Spock. However, I would like to end on a positive note. At least you’re civil today.

  40. Actually, nick, BF pointed out the logical flaws and inconsistency in what you said and indicated that such flaws meant your statements were not worthy of further address. Criticising your form is just as valid as criticising your content. Which he did, by the way, when he noted that your evidence was anecdotal. Again, if you don’t like being called illogical? And make no mistake, you were being called illogical by BF in so many words. Then I suggest you don’t be illogical.

    You’ve demonstrated your depth of understanding regarding logic (and other topics) to be about the equivalent depth of a saucer. You are free to say what you like and I’m free to criticize it however I like. It’s that pesky free speech getting in the way of your bluster again. And I don’t give a damn if you think I’m civil or not. I don’t value the opinions of the illogical and irrational or the trollish. Just as you are free to say what you wish, you are entitled to your opinions. I’m not obligated to respect them. Or you for that matter. And I’m not required to hold my tongue to “just get along”. Your bruised ego is not my concern and when you get lumps from dealing with people smarter than you (which BF – a long time contributor I’ve had many more than one interaction with – clearly is)? That is entirely your problem. That his valid criticism goes to the quality and integrity of your rhetorical choices (as do many of mine) is merely coincidence? No. If more than one person sees the same problem in another’s rhetoric then chances are it’s a real problem. Sink or swim, the choice is yours. But don’t expect any slack for your illogic around here. Logic and evidence are king. It’s tradition here. Everything else is just along for the ride.

    I suggest you learn to deal with it or go back to watching your sports.

    Live long and prosper.

  41. Mike,

    Technically speaking, Mahtso’s comment is neither but rather an accurate reflection of biology. All fauna excrete carbon in the form of the respiratory by-product of carbon dioxide (in humans that’s typically somewhere between 4-5% by exhaled volume).

  42. Gene, It just seems you’re more civil during the day. What could cause you to get angry and uncivil starting in the evening? You and Fairly don’t answer questions. He backed down w/ the pretext of “you’re not worthy.” You just keep playing the same tune..a one trick pony. And what’s w/ this troll paranoia. You’re the only one who calls me that. Are you seeing black helicopters w/ trolls? What the hell is a troll? The town of Mount Horeb, Wi. has a troll as it’s mascot. I think it’s a Norwegian thing. Did a troll sexually abuse you when you couldn’t “pay the toll” and he wanted more than a “kiss?”

  43. “Mike,
    Technically speaking, Mahtso’s comment is neither but rather an accurate reflection of biology. All fauna excrete carbon in the form of the respiratory by-product of carbon dioxide (in humans that’s typically somewhere between 4-5% by exhaled volume).”

    It was (also) intended to be a humorous response to a loaded question. I am reminded of the politician who was asked his position on alcohol. The response was: If you mean the scourge that takes food from children’s mouths and ruins lives, I am against it. If you mean the elixir that puts a spring in an old man’s step on a cold day and fosters lively conversation, I am for it.

    Carbon emissions created when people fly to global warming conferences? These are bad. Carbon emissions created for life-saving medical procedures? These are good.

  44. mahtso, With the hypocritical spotter Gold Medal! What national anthem would you like to be played? Who would you like to sing it?

  45. Gene,

    Seriously, you didn’t think I knew that down to the claim that cow farts cause more problems re: carbon emissions than man made emissions? Mahtso, though was evading my question and trying to set me up to use that kind of argument. While all fauna excrete carbon, the problemmatic emissions are created by man. To me the issue is less about climate change than it is about environment pollution. The unchecked destruction of our environment from industrial polluters alone, is more than reason enough to regulate it and reduce it. I do believe that climate change is destroying our planet’s viability for human and mammalian habitation, but even if it weren’t there is ample reason to control it. The objection to such control is based on profits and I could care less about the profits of those who choose to exercize their rights over those of countless others.

    Yes, as even Nick agreed, they are controlling the LA smog somewhat. However, what are they doing about the hog excretion into the rivers in Arkansas, etc.etc.etc.? That’s organic too. When you then get to the chemical, nuclear and molecular pollution by industry and by our motor powered toys, this once pristine planet has become a toxic junkyard.

    Now when you get to the fact of the artic melt, we could have a return to the planet of eleven thousand years ago where the sea level was a hundred feet higher. Our eastern seaboard and my Florida home would be underwater. One way or another humanity has to take this all seriously, or face possible extinction.

  46. Mike, “Even Nick” how well…sanctimonious I guess is the word. I never care about folks who have property near the ocean except for the poor folk in New Orleans. I grew up near the ocean and know you don’t f@ck w/ her unless you are arrogant enough to believe you can control her. “Even blue collar fishermen” know that. You respect Mother Nature but only the self absorbed think they can control her. The cards are being laid on the table. I like it! So in essence Mike, we need to take steps so your vacation home is saved.

  47. nick,

    Again, you mistake what I say as being angry when what I am is simply a sarcastic b@stard to people I don’t like. Sometimes I’m a sarcastic b@stard to people I do like. Basically I’m a sarcastic b@stard. You have as much chance of changing that as you do changing the orbit of the Earth.

    You seem to lack a clue 24/7.

    I’m not the only one who calls you a troll, nick. There are others here who find you as useless as I do. They mostly roll their eyes and snicker rather than jump into the fray all the while saying in private, “I really wish he’d just go away.” But, despite being truthful, it is merely hearsay until they decide to speak on the matter themselves, ergo of little or no probative value. I’m the only one doing it to your face because trolls often use logical fallacies to hide that what they are saying is bullshit. It give their message a wrongful patina of sense where there is no logic (a true troll pushing a known false agenda) or simply bad logic (the merely dense). I am indeed a master of logic. I cut no slack to those who misuse or abuse logic because they are usually trying to hide either an ulterior motive or their true ignorance. For someone who seems to think I hate Italians, I certainly do quote one an awful lot. Marcus Aurelius said, among many great things that stoic thinker said, “If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.” I’m trained to apply it to rhetoric in ways you have no way of understanding, all geared at reaching the truth of matters asserted. That I use it to disassemble your illogical statements by pointing out fallacies you commit is simply your misfortune. A misfortune you can do nothing about other than to stop making the same logical fallacies over and over again.

    Just like Marcus, you can change my mind. People here have done it in the past. Elaine, Mike, mespo, OS and gyges just to name a few. But you must first prove I am wrong or that there is some evidence I have overlooked. Not opine. Prove. You, nick, have so far demonstrated you are capable of proving very little let alone meeting the threshold of convincing me of anything other than you’re the same kind of jackass I’d find sitting on the corner of almost any bar in the country – always certain, never wrong, always talking. You take every challenge to your statements and worldview as a personal insult and usually respond in kind instead of presenting a cogent counterargument. An odious habit and part and parcel of why I don’t like you. You’ve been called on it by several others here too. They’re just nicer and less direct about stating it than I am. I originally tried nice with you and you demonstrated that you don’t understand nice. No carrot? Fine. Your choice. I’m using the stick instead.

    As to you being a true troll? In all truthfulness, I find that most unlikely. You unravel to easily. I’ve dealt with pros and you are not a pro (and that’s a good thing). I consider you trollish, i.e. you behavior is similar but not because of a sinister hidden agenda but rather because you simply don’t know you’re being illogical when you are being illogical and you can’t differentiate between a cogent defense or rebuttal and your own unfounded and/or unproven opinions so you state them as if they were facts when they are not (merely your opinions).

    You aren’t a paid propagandist. You actually think the stuff you say makes logical sense when often it really doesn’t when critical scrutiny is applied. A true believer, in the infallibility of your own opinion if nothing else. You do this because your ego is bound within your argumentation. People who use their opinions as the basis of argument often make this mistake because they have so much invested in their opinions, they mistake them for facts. That and they’ve never been trained to argue dispassionately. Not devoid of passion, to be clear, but to make sure their arguments are not based in emotion or anything else other than logic and evidence. This is also why you think I get angry. You do ergo you project your reaction upon me. That would be a mistake. If you didn’t get angry, you’d know when to walk away, but clearly you don’t.

    I don’t get angry arguing. Mespo’s known me a long time and he’s seen me argue many times. I’m sure he’d testify that he can count the times I’ve gotten angry on less than on hand excluding the thumb. And I can say the same of him. Why? It’s what we were both trained to do. Do I tweak my opponents? You bet. Angry people make mistakes. Much like you are doing in trying to think I’m angry. Then again, it doesn’t take much to tweak you.

    You also like to bust other people’s balls but when they give it back you cry like a baby about them being mean or uncivil. And for that I consider you a lightweight candyass, which has nothing to do with your being trollish. It’s coincidence.

    Also, there is no Scandinavian blood anywhere in my genealogy other than perhaps some trace from Viking raids amongst the Irish. I’ve never been to Norway.

    And I fear Internet trolls like a cat fears mice.

    Alas, I still don’t value your opinions. I defend your right to have and express them, but not to do so unchallenged by others. I don’t respect your argumentation skills because you don’t have any. I don’t respect you because respect is earned, not due.

  48. “So in essence Mike, we need to take steps so your vacation home is saved.”

    For someone who comments on other people’s civility, you sure are lacking any of your own.

  49. Mike,

    You did say “Childish, but expected.” So perhaps I did over state the case. Mahtso does have a tendency to think money first so your “expected” language was fine in retrospect. In saying “neither”, I erred. However, I still didn’t take his initial comment as such until his clarification and ergo not childish but a simple statement of biological fact. Used to an economic rational, it’s not only childish but short-sighted.

  50. Says the guy who has never won an argument here against me or anyone else. Don’t you have some Ayn Rand books to eat, Bron?

  51. Gene H:

    I just never declared victory. I didnt have to, events and outcomes proved my points.

    Just like your post to Nick above, that could have been handled in one or two sentences. You really should learn that brevity is the measure of wit.

  52. I had a good friend whose Dad was a nasty drunk. This assh@ole would beat him. The guy was a teacher and thought he was always the smartest guy in the room. He would start drinking vodka as soon as he got home from work. He didn’t have any friends, too bad he didn’t decide to not have kids also, although the no friends wasn’t a choice..just a byproduct of thinking he was better than everyone.My friend would come over to our house until his Dad passed out. My parents told my buddy he was always welcome @ our house and many nights he would just sleep on our couch. That’s the household in which I was raised.

  53. Bron,

    Really? Events and outcomes have proven you’re a fool among fools worshipping the pseudo-philosophy of a dead crazy woman to rationalize your personal selfishness and greed. And you once declared your victories all the time. You finally stopped because every time you tried you got your ass handed to you on a plate. Just like you did in your arguments proper.

    Seriously, you must think no one here has a memory. Are all of the trollish memory impaired? Or just you two? (Those were rhetorical questions.)

  54. Psssst! Your intellectual insecurity is showing, Mr. Tough Guy. Speaking of one trick pony, you got something else to offer in defense other than insults, nick? I didn’t think so.

  55. Gene, That wasalmost longer than The Gettysburg Address. The difference being Lincoln SAID a lot. Remember, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” You use a lot of words to say the same thing over and over again. I welcome anyone here to step up and tell me I should go away. I would be interested in corroboration because unfortunately, I can’t see eye rolls. Understand, Gene is one of the biggest reasons I will stay, but I would like to know where folks stand. I always let folks know what I honestly think, and hope that others will also.

  56. nick,

    I did say a lot and I didn’t repeat myself. However, since your reading comprehension is manifestly flawed, I did try to use small words. Apparently it wasn’t enough.

    And to be clear, I’m not nor was I telling you you should go anywhere. I said other people said they wished you’d just go away as they have indicated to me privately. I have not stated my position on the matter publicly one way or the other, so you can put that straw man away (a logical fallacy by the way).

    I’m telling you that if you want to continue to make logical fallacies instead of cogent counterarguments, you’re simply going to get called on it every time.

    I don’t care whether you stay or not.

    You can not go wrong overestimating my indifference to your decision in that regard.

    What I said and what you obviously didn’t read or understand was why I refer to you as a troll.

    You aren’t very good with maintaining any kind of focus, are you, nick? (That too was a rhetorical question.)

  57. Bron,

    Again, tell it to people with no memories. Better yet, come back when you’ve won an argument against anyone. It doesn’t have to be me. And children or other Objectivists don’t count.

  58. Bron,

    FWIW, unlike your new buddy, you truthfully actually do have some limited argumentation skills. You just historically pick really crap positions to argue from. A totally different problem than not having any skills at all.

  59. Gene, Your lengthy comments is not really consistent w/ someone who is “indifferent.” You would make a poor witness. I could spend hours prepping w/ you but you would still be a horrible witness. The plaintiff and defense counsel, the judge, the jury would see it. But you would walk off the stand proud as a peacock. Remember, I’ll always give you the last word, because that is like Viagra for you. I’m just not done yet this evening.

  60. nick,

    You’ve mistaken yourself as someone who’s opinion matters to me. I said I’m indifferent to your presence and that’s exactly what I meant no matter how bad you want to build a straw man saying otherwise. I’m perfectly able and willing to speak for myself.

    If your proof is wordiness in an explanation of why I think you’re a troll, that’s not a persuasive argument. Hell, it’s not even a related argument. My dislike for you has nothing to do with whether I want you gone or not. I dislike almost everything about Bron and he’s practically the blog’s pet troll. I’d probably even have a drink with him. You? Probably not.

    But I am as indifferent to what you choose to do vis a vis staying as I am at what he chooses to do. I like giving trolls and the trollish the smack down. I think its fun.

    But you are as welcome here as anyone except the banned. And sometimes, even they get a second chance. Isn’t that right, Bron? It was mespo and BIL who stepped up and spoke for letting you back in the forum when you got banned for hijacking another user’s identity, wasn’t it?

    The only people who leave are those who find the kitchen of critical thought and analysis too hot for them to bear or those who simply move on. That is their choice. The banned? There aren’t many of them and it’s not their choice to leave but our host’s that they leave.

    Also, prep witnesses? And just when did PI’s start prepping witnesses? That’s an attorney’s job. At minimum a paralegal. Because the attorneys are the ones asking the questions in court, not you. Having a PI prep a witness is like having your mail man perform anaesthesiology for a surgeon.

    Also, you’re penile insecurity is showing.

    Do please go on.

  61. Prepped thousands of witnesses, both working for the prosecutor’s office and as a PI. Attorneys with real world experience knew I was very good @ it. I have superb people skills. I would not only prep them but evaluate them..letting the attorney know their strengths and weaknesses. That would be both our witnesses as well as the opposing witnesses. Evaluating the opposing witnesses was usually done prior to a deposition but sometimes a trial. You’re getting more and more wordy and just a little bit nastier. Tried a lot of cases there, Gene?

  62. nick,

    All that tells me is that some prosecutor’s office was understaffed like so very many of them. However, it is rare for a prosecutor’s office to rely so heavily on a PI when they generally have an entire police department to do their bidding.

    And you have superb people skills, eh? Is that why you respond to criticism of your arguments with insults instead of cogent rebuttals? You have the people skills of a dead marmot, sport. Also, don’t think because some overworked public servant let you do grunt work means you’ve tried any case let alone a lot of them. You can’t argue your way out of a paper bag here. You’d get eaten alive in a courtroom.

  63. Wow! I wasn’t a “private” investigator for the prosecutor’s office, I was a “public” investigator. I filled in the gap from the amount of evidence needed to make an arrest to the amount of evidence needed to convict. Sometimes there were no gaps, sometimes big gaps. I guess you know a lot about prosecutor’s offices since you’re so free w/ an opinion. The prep work I did as a PI was on almost exclusively civil litigation, up to 8 figures. Again, what kind of litigation have you worked? Just what kind of real world experience @ all do you have? You talk about law school, where did you go? Do you even practice? Have you ever practiced? I’ve answered all your questions civilly and taken your nastiness. Why are you so evasive?

  64. Wow! All I’ve heard you say is you were a PI. As to the rest of my life? That’s simply none of your business.

    Come on, try to make your inability to argue without resorting to logical fallacies about me some more.

    It’s really funny.

  65. By the way, your fallacy there was ad hominem.

    Come on. Demonstrate some more that your style of argumentation is dishonest and illogical.

    Prove my (and BF’s) point some more.

  66. Well Dr. Spock, to be accurate you’ve never “heard” me say anything. I can tell you I’ve spoken many times about working for the prosecutor’s office and I remember explaining that to you later one evening a couple months back
    when we were discussing rape on an Elaine post. Remember, you were particularly nasty that night..well that might not narrow it down.

    Good game on and it’s getting to the late inning. Plus, as is often the case, this passed tedious about an hour ago. Good night and God bless, Gene. I look forward to future discussions. You may now have the last word.

  67. I can tell you you haven’t explained anything to me, ever, nick. I recall you bleating about being a PI as if that was supposed to impress me. Public, private. No difference other than who pays the bill. You’re still not anyone I’d ever have prep a witness. Then again, I’d never work for the prosecution either.

    Also, I know you like sports, but really, verbal combat (or swords for that matter) simply aren’t your forte.

    Now, there you can think you’ve made a point about me having the last word.

    Call it a gift.

    Maybe in our later conversations, you’ll learn to how to argue better and without logical fallacies. Learn to differentiate your opinions from evidentiary fact and logic. Learn that your people skills really aren’t as great as you think they are. Learn that respect is earned, not due. Learn that the Golden Rule is a reciprocal relationship and you get what you give. Learn that if you’re going to bust balls you sure as Hell better be able to take it. Maybe you’ll learn . . . something. Anything.

    Or maybe not and you’ll continue to be trollish.

    If even Bron can kind of learn, there’s hope for you.

    Also, you can save your “God bless”. I don’t believe in bronze age fairy tales. I find that those who usually say “God bless” are the same kind of people as Southern women who start or end a phrase with “bless her heart”.

  68. I’d like to see roughly half of one particular Republican. Without the other roughly half, that is. Any temperature would do.

  69. Thanks, raff, but aren’t all Monty Python clips great? ;)

    They were, however, my inspiration on how to deal with nick. I’m building a bridge out him. Whether it is a bridge of stone or wood remains to be seen.

  70. raff,
    Gene never needs any backup in an argument. His approach to argumentation is as eloquent as Churchill, as logical as Mr. Spock, and the temperament of the Honey Badger.

    I just like to give him plenty of elbow room and watch. Flensing comes to mind.

  71. Nick,

    My Florida home is not a vacation home, it’s where I live. BTW its not near the ocean but about 30 feet above sea level. Since its basically all I ‘ve got fincially I do have a desire to save it and also a wish npt to see a tidal wave on the horizon. More importantly a raise in the ses level would inundate the etire East Coast, from Miami to Boston and I think that might be considered a disaster for the country.

  72. Mike Spindell:

    dont worry, you wont see a tidal wave unless there is some sort of earthquake in the Atlantic or the Caribbean. The sea level rise, if any, due to global warming would take years as the ice caps would melt slowly, you will probably be long gone [may you live another 50 years]. And finally, I am pretty sure if there was some sort of immediate ice melt the federal government would pay you for any loses you may suffer. They do it for rich folk who live on the ocean so I would hope they would extend that benefit to anyone who lost property as a result of a coastal storm/flood.

    No one ever seems to reflect on the fact that humans have a very precarious position with respect to the earth, some catastrophic event and we are all toast or at least most of us. A meteor, a huge volcanic explosion, a problem with the sun, the loss of our magnetic field, an untreatable, virulent epidemic, etc.

    Man made global warming is the least of our worries as is a 100′ rise in sea level.

  73. Bron,

    I have children and grandchildren who live in NY. So while I might not see it, they will. As difficult too as you may find the concept, I also am concerned about the untold millions in the future that will be affected by it. Call me irrational but I do care about the future of the human race.

    Also I’m not just talking about Coastal NY, but also about the entire Eastern Seaboard, the entire Western Seaboard and Mexico and the Southern States bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. That isn’t even getting to the effect upon Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the major islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Global catastrophe, destruction of governments and yes the rise of vigilante societies that Ayn Rand would find attractive.
    But then, you live in the Mid West don’t you……so in that case….never mind.

  74. Mike Spindell that seems to be the response, by mostly republicans it seems. I don’t care about anything but me, but my time.

  75. Mike Spindell:

    I live close to the shore or close enough that a 100′ rise in sea level would be a problem.

    I just think there are more important things to worry about.

    Rand is not for vigilante societies. Think the 2nd Treatise of Government.

    You guys have pretty much shown me that Rand integrated the ideas of a number of great thinkers to come up with her philosophy.

    So I am reading those great thinkers instead of having their ideas synthesized by Rand.

    Thanks.

  76. If you take eggs, flour, milk and sugar and mix them one way you get a tasty cake.

    If you take the same ingredients and mix them another way, you get a brick.

    Ayn Rand’s cake is one of the worst ever made.

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