"CLI-FI" – FAITH OR SCIENCE?


From: Dan Bloom [mailto:danbloom@gmail.com]
Sent: 19 February 2014 11:09
To: Noel Hodson
Subject: Re: Thames Floods – Dutch Solutions
Journalist and visionary Dan Bloom sent this extract from an article in the New Yorker:

(Visit Dan’s CLI FI CENTRAL: ‘Cli-fi’ – a new literary genre http://pcillu101.blogspot.com/ )

“O LORD – NOW WE BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING”
BUT WE AIN’T GOIN’ TO CHANGE ANYTHING!
EXTREME WEATHER STRIKES THE US – AGAIN.

…Americans’ beliefs about climate change fall along a broad spectrum, argues Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication, who has been studying perceptions of global warming since the late nineteen-nineties. He groups people into six categories. At one end of the spectrum are the “alarmed,” who think that global warming is both urgent and caused by humans. At the other end are the “dismissive,” who don’t believe in the phenomenon or the risks it may pose. These two groups make up roughly twenty-two per cent of the population, according to Leiserowitz’s most recent survey data. They are “deeply committed to their views,” he told me, and that makes them much more likely to engage in what’s known as motivated reasoning: when an event conforms to their prior beliefs, they use it as a data point in support of their views; if an event doesn’t, they simply disregard it. In one of Leiserowitz’s studies, for instance, people dismissive of climate change denied that they had experienced a heat wave that had objectively occurred.


Members of the groups in the middle, however—the vast majority of people—are likely to adjust their views on global warming based on irrelevant, subjective factors like the current temperature. These are the “concerned,” who believe that global warming is a threat, but only in the long term; the “cautious,” who follow the debate but are generally uncertain; the “disengaged,” who know little about global warming, apart from its name; and the “doubtful,” who think that climate change is probably not happening and that, even if it is, that humans can do little about it. “The cautious and disengaged in particular,” Leiserowitz said, “are most likely to change their views based on their recent experience of the weather.” In a recent study, which tracked people’s views on global warming in the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2011, Leiserowitz and a colleague found that people who weren’t strongly engaged with the issue were significantly affected by their personal experiences of the weather, while people more invested in the topic retained their initial beliefs no matter what happened. In other words, they simply interpreted the weather in light of their prior assumptions.

A slight change in presentation, however, may shift attitudes in the direction of climate science and away from the vicissitudes of local weather. A study out this month, from the Cardiff University psychologists Stuart Capstick and Nicholas Pidgeon, found that periods of exceptionally cold weather in the United Kingdom had the opposite effect as they did in the United States: more people believed in the truth of climate change.

International Journalist and Commentator Dan Bloom is pioneering and promoting a new genre of futurist novels, Cli-Fi, to inform the public about the development and effects of Climate Change.


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