Scott Adams says to Show this article to a climate change worrier and watch the cognitive dissonance happen. It will be fun. (Seriously.). The article is Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis by James Taylor.
Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.
The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.
According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”
It would appear that Adams read Taylor's article and stopped at confirmation bias. But since Taylor's article severly challenged my views, I read the original paper rather than let cognitive dissonance happen.
As for the other papers,
- http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2010/02/01/meteorologists-reject-uns-global-warming-claims no longer exists.
- Shock Poll: Meteorologists Are Global Warming Skeptics is also by James Taylor which quotes a survey which cannot be found.
In the Organization Studies paper (Lefsrud and Meyer (2012)), the abstract says:
This paper examines the framings and identity work associated with professionals’ discursive construction of climate change science, their legitimation of themselves as experts on ‘the truth’, and their attitudes towards regulatory measures. Drawing from survey responses of 1077 professional engineers and geoscientists, we reconstruct their framings of the issue and knowledge claims to position themselves within their organizational and their professional institutions. In understanding the struggle over what constitutes and legitimizes expertise, we make apparent the heterogeneity of claims, legitimation strategies, and use of emotionality and metaphor. By linking notions of the science or science fiction of climate change to the assessment of the adequacy of global and local policies and of potential organizational responses, we contribute to the understanding of ‘defensive institutional work’ by professionals within petroleum companies, related industries, government regulators, and their professional association.
The paper would then appear to be about the cognitive dissonance of those professionals within the petroleum industry as they try to reconcile their work with reality. So, Adams could be right in a way that he does not expect. Here, I equate cognitive dissonance with defensive institutional work.
Lefsrud and Meyer (2012) write about their sample:
Given our nonprobability sample, there are limitations. First, though it is not our intent to generalize to larger populations but to create theoretical generalizability, response bias is still a possible concern. However, such concern is reduced by the accessibility of the survey to all APEGA members without any systematic exclusion, the fact that members were responding to a survey by their regulator as they normally would, the respectable size of our sample, and the apparent representativeness of respondents to the membership as a whole. Second, framings are socio-historical constructions — embedded in specific worldviews, social positions, and interests that are bounded in space and time. Thus, the specific socio-economic location of our group of experts — the constellation of professional designations and industries, and the relevance of the petroleum industry for Alberta — may influence the findings, especially the frequency of frames. In addition, while these experts’ framings may have represented those of October 2007 in Alberta, Canada, the science and policy positions may have since shifted there as elsewhere.
I understand this to mean what Upton Sinclair once wrote:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
THis seems to accord with one of the conclusions to :
Third, we show that the consensus of IPCC experts meets a much larger, and again heterogenous, sceptical group of experts in the relevant industries and organizations (at least in Alberta) than is generally assumed. We find that climate science scepticism is not limited to the scientifically illiterate (per Hoffman, 2011a), but well ensconced within this group of professional experts with scientific training — who work as leaders or advisors to management in governmental, non-governmental, and corporate organizations. Following Levy and Rothenberg’s (2002) examination of the automotive industry, we find that professional experts employed in the petroleum industry are more likely to be sceptical of the IPCC and of anthropogenic climate change. Given this, the defensive institutional work of these professionals to maintain existing institutions clearly exceeds the mere maintenance of ‘routines and rituals of their reproduction’ (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006, p. 234). Marquis and Lounsbury (2007) suggest that banking professionals are more able to resist due to their stronger professional identity; Jonsson (2009) finds that professional resistance differs across firms, depending upon the relative influence of professionals and the logics associated. Our research connects and extends these findings to understand how defensive institutional work is performed in response to insider-driven challenges. We find that the heterogeneity of professionals’ framings is a function of their degree of identification/mobilization with others (as suggested by Marquis & Lounsbury, 2007) but is also a function of their degree of defensiveness against others (as suggested by Maguire & Hardy, 2009), even other insiders. Further, these professionals’ framings are also linked to their position within their firm (as suggested by Jonsson, 2009), to their industry, and to the industry’s relevance for the region (Levy & Rothenberg, 2002). We discuss this in more detail below. Hence, our findings give greater granularity in understanding which professionals are more likely to resist, why and how they will resist, and who is more likely to be successful.
In other words, the more strongly professionals identify with the petroleum industry, the more likely they are to be climate change skeptics. And the more strongly they identify with their profession, the more strongly they accept the consensus of climate science researchers. Thus, the cognitive dissonance appears to happen with the skeptics.