Critical Thinking and Turning the Corner

...Critical Thinking and Turning the Corner

Is it possible we are finally turning the corner on climate change being an existential threat to mankind?

A recent Rasmussen pole showed that 60% of Americans now believe that climate change is only about power and control, not climate.

The core idea behind the book Clean Energy Crisis is contained in the first paragraph of a quote from Michael Crichton, a scientist and the author of the Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.

The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. 

I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren’t true. It isn’t that these “facts” are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all— what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false. 

So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that. 

Michael Chrichton 

Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA 

September 15, 2003 

Two years ago, however, a PEW poll, published in May, 2021, showed that a majority of Americans felt more should be done to combat climate change. It also showed it was younger Americans, i.e., Gen Z 67%, and Millennial 71%, who were most concerned about climate change. Only 57% of baby boomers and older Americans were supportive of climate action.

A lot has happened in the past two years with Covid and government lockdowns, the energy crisis in Europe, and more scientists and politicians raising questions about climate change, all of which which could be affecting how people view the government’s green energy agenda.

As time passes, there is also an increasing number of climate predictions that have failed to come true, exposing them as propaganda.
For example: 

  • Great Thunberg’s withdrawal of her June, 2018 post claiming “all humanity would be wiped out unless we stop using fossil fuels in the next five years”.
  • Gore’s prediction that Kilimanjaro would be without snow. 
  • Ehrlich’s claim in 1968, that “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. The world will undergo famines with millions starving to death,” failed to materialize.
  • And the Arctic still has ice, while Greenland’s glaciers haven’t melted.

As more and more of these predictions fail to materialize, it becomes obvious the predictions were merely fear mongering.

There is a fundamental problem exposed by the Pew poll: The differences in thinking about climate change by the younger generation.

In my view this can be attributed to the education system.

  • Students have accepted, without question, what they have been told by persons in authority, i.e., government and teachers,
  • There has been a one sided depiction of the causes of climate change taught in schools.

What has been lacking is an emphasis on critical thinking.

John Droz, a scientist, has prepared an excellent proposal on how to correct the problems with the scientific education in our schools. A key part of his proposal is an emphasis on critical thinking. He has also highlighted the failure of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

One snippet from his paper is especially relevant:

“The well-known Fordham Institute rated each state’s Science Standards, and gave the NGSS a “C”. Why would any state adopt a “C” rated set of Science standards? Worse, the Fordham rating is very generous, and when all factors are considered the NGSS should get an ‘F’.”

His proposal for correcting scientific education is available at 

Interestingly, the CO2 Coalition was forced to disband its booth and leave the National Science Teachers Association’s Annual meeting this past week because the CO2 Coalition presented material that favored science and criticized the the NSTA for relying on consensus rather than science, concerning climate change. The CO2 Coalition referred to Michael Crichton’s summary:

“If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

CO2 Coalition members led by Gregory Wrightstone, MS Geology and Executive Director of the CO2 Coalition, at the NSTA meeting

If we are to rely on science, students should be taught the scientific method where critical thinking plays an important role.

If we are to fully turn the corner on the claim made by activists that CO2 is an existential threat to mankind, rather than being a manageable problem without the need to abandon fossil fuels, or even no threat because a doubling of CO2 has little effect on temperatures, a majority of Americans, including Gen Z and Millennia’s, will need to embrace critical thinking and the scientific method.

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10 Replies to “Critical Thinking and Turning the Corner”

  1. If true, the 60% number would be the greatest news in the battle to refute CAGW in 40 years. Unfortunately, I believe the number is bogus. Either the respondents were biased, rather than random, or there was some deception by Rasmusson, who I usually trust.

    The question is poorly worded. It is worded in a way that should reduce the positive percentage, yet 60% agree?

    I personally believe that CAGW is about 90% politics and 10% science. So if I answered the question honestly, I would NOT be in the 60% because I do not believe “climate change” is COMPLETELY (100%) unrelated to science

    Is there a logical path to the 60%
    I say no.

    Assume 1/3 of the population was conservative and they all believed that climate change is 100% politics and control (33% of the total)

    Assume 1/3 of the population is neutral and half believed that
    (or 17%)

    Assume 1/3 of the population were leftists and none believed that
    (or 0%)

    I can not imagine any possible route beyond 50%, and that 50% would require people to ignore the actual question (climate change is 100% politics and contro), and interpret the question to mean climate change is “mainly” politics and control.

    I recommended an article on this 60% subject on my climate science blog, but crossed it out, with a note explaining why, the next day. That is the only time I have ever rescinded a recommendation in six years of blogging. Reason: I believe the 60% is BS, and does not represent the reality of a randomly selected sample of the US population. When something seems to good to be true, it usually is not true.

    The 60% result contradicts every climate change poll I have read in the past few decades, so I can not take it seriously.

    An example of a climate change poll is here

    • I can’t disagree with you. I’m always suspicious of such a small poll, event hough I have used sampling myself for observing work participation.
      I have watched these other polls, such as PEW, for the past decade or so, and they have always shown strong support for the, climate is an existential threat, narrative.
      Looking inside the polls have also shown some interesting data. In the past, Democrats have been largely supportive of the climate narrative, while Republicans have generally been against it.
      Young people have been much more in favor than baby boomers and older people.
      Even so, the Rasmussen poll was the first that showed any glimmer that the tide could be changing. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but we need to get the narrative based on science, not consensus.
      Many thanks.

  2. In most climate polls people can easily virtue signal against “climate change” because it costs them nothing. Support for the “climate change religion” seems to be a mile wide.

    When people are asked about how much of their money they would be willing to contribute to the “climate change religion”, the support drops off a cliff. Support for fighting climate change is a mile wide and one inch thick, in my opinion.

    Another subject I’ve been writing about lately, and I hope other writers will mention it:

    A +1 degree warmer than today climate was called the Holocene Climate Optimum, in the past. An Optimum means the climate was wonderful. Even the IPCC agrees this period, from 5,00, to 9,000 years ago, was warmer than today. And the CO2 level in the atmosphere was at least 25% lower than today.

    Today, +1 degree warmer than today’s climate in the future is predicted to be Climate Emergency.

    But +1 degree C. warmer in the past was a Climate Optimum?

    How did a Climate Optimum morph into a Climate Emergency?

    That can only make sense to leftists, because leftists have no sense.

    Full climate rap:

    • Thanks. Great point about the climate optimum.
      I hope that you are correct that it’s easy to virtue signal, but then not be willing to put the money where the mouth was.

      • I’ve read every climate change poll I could find in the past decade. I had a list of them in my old Apple laptop computer that suddenly refused to turn on. Not everything was backed up on a flash drive, buI do remember the important points:

        The poll results were very consistent.
        They were all biased in favor of “fighting global warming”, and it was obvious to me that the support for “fighting climate change” (FCC) was a mile wide and an inch deep.

        The polls are biased because they are an opportunity for people to virtue signal about FCC, and that virtue signalling does not cost them a penny.

        A minority of polls have asked about how much money people would contribute voluntarily, or through higher taxes for FCC. I can only remember two specific amounts now: $1 a day, and $10 a month. But I do remember the numbers were never very large, especially compared with the proposed spending for Nut Zero. Most of the polls were done before people heard about Nut Zero.

        Every time question about spending money to FCC was asked, the respondents were much less likely to spend their own money, compared with the earlier control question of whether something (in general) should be done to fight climate change.

        I have never seen any results other than a sharp decline of support when money is mentioned. This is very revealing for two reasons:

        (1) The quantity of money mentioned in the questions was always small, and should be affordable for most people, and

        (2) These are just polls: People do not have to give up any of their money. They are free to virtue signal about paying to fight climate change with no cost for them. IT’S EASY TO ACT LIKE A BIG SPENDER WHEN NO MONEY IS INVOLVED.

        The bottom line is clear: Few people are willing to spend much of their own money on FCC. But Nut Zero is all about spending a huge amount of money on FCC.

        Nut Zero spending can not be hidden for long. There will eventually be a showdown between most people, who don’t want to spend much of their own money on FCC, and governments, that want to spend a huge amount of money on FCC. Hopefully the showdown will not end with a civil war, but I fear that it will.

        Ye Editor
        Richad Greene
        Bingham Farms, Michigan
        (where we love global warming)

        • No question support is thin, but we are spending real money now on green energy programs to cut CO2 emissions.
          And the administration issues executive orders and rules and regulations to cut CO2 emissions.
          I’m wondering when we will see the electorate do something about he issue.

  3. Donn, again well done. 

    A couple of years ago the British medical journal, The Lancet, conducted a study on how climate change impact young people age 16 to 25. The alarmist like Thunberg and others have so oversold the alleged impact of climate change that it has impacted the lives of young people making them sad, anxious, angry, powerless and guilty. Forty-five percent said their feelings about climate change negatively affect their daily lives. This demonstrates how people have been indoctrinated that will have long term impacts.

  4. It’s obvious to anybody capable of critical thinking, with basic science study can see the evidence is not present. this post clearly demonstrates that. Unfortunately secondary to intense propaganda Andy sociopathic tendencies of government. We must be controlled and frightened. Well, sorry.