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Psychologists were sure 'climate deniers' were selfish, but a study of 4,000 showed the experts were wrong

Mystic Art
© Mystic Art Design from Pixabay
A team of psychologists were so sure "climate deniers" deceive themselves for selfish reasons that they ran three experiments with four thousand people, only to find they were completely wrong.

The researchers figured that those who do not accept that coal makes storms and floods must be motivated by their desire to keep on polluting, or flying, or feeling warm, and so they lie to themselves about the science in order to feel OK about it. (A bit like academics must do when it turns out they get paid well, but don't know their research topic at all, maybe?)

It must have been quite the shock when they were proved wrong on every single experiment. They even tried to bribe skeptics with $20 cash rewards and it still wasn't enough.
Why are people climate change deniers? Study reveals unexpected results

Do climate change deniers bend the facts to avoid having to modify their environmentally harmful behavior? Researchers from the University of Bonn and the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) ran an online experiment involving 4,000 US adults, and found no evidence to support this idea. The authors of the study were themselves surprised by the results.

One hypothesis is that these misconceptions are rooted in a specific form of self-deception, namely that people simply find it easier to live with their own climate failings if they do not believe that things will actually get all that bad. "We call this thought process 'motivated reasoning,'...
The only thing the study showed was the dire state of psychological science. For starters, researchers were oblivious to their own prejudice and incompetent background research. They can't define a climate change denier in any scientific sense, it's not a label of a group of homo-sapiens who think the climate never changes, it's just a petty kindergarten insult designed to fool, well,... psychologists. And it works. If they had spent five minutes reading skeptical web-sites they'd know that half the population have good reason to be skeptical of unaudited and unaccountable foreign committees which rely on broken models. In fact if they were looking for "motivated reasoning" in the climate debate (and they say they were) then most of it is on the believer side, where people might be motivated by billions of dollars in government grants.

Zimmermann and his colleague Lasse Stötzer told people they could decide where a $20 donation went — they could choose which climate charity would get the cash, or they could keep it themselves. The "control" group weren't allowed to keep the cash themselves. Basically 41% to 44% of the crowd kept the money. But amazingly more than 50% still gave the cash to a climate charity. Humans are nice people, really. I mean, they could all have kept the cash, and most didn't. Presumably no one wants to look too scroogy in front of researchers, but some people know climate charities are pagan institutions designed to cheat money from the poor and give it to billionaires — so it's better to look like a scrooge than feed the machine.
At the center of the experiments was a donation worth $20. Participants were allocated at random to one of two groups. The members of the first group were able to split the $20 between two organizations, both of which were committed to combating climate change. By contrast, those in the second group could decide to keep the $20 for themselves instead of giving it away and would then actually receive the money at the end. "Anyone keeping hold of the donation needs to justify it to themselves," says Zimmermann, ... "One way to do that is to deny the existence of climate change."

Snowflake

Nova Scotia, Canada digging out after historic snowfall

Kent Peters of Dream Stables in Albert Bridge, Cape Breton, was busy clearing several feet
© Joe PembrokeKent Peters of Dream Stables in Albert Bridge, Cape Breton, was busy clearing several feet of snow from the riding facility's barn roof on Sunday. Peters and his wife, Deanna Peters, have been caring for 38 horses throughout a powerful winter storm that is currently hitting northeastern Nova Scotia
People in Nova Scotia are digging out after a historic multi-day snowfall slammed the province, with many schools across the province closed Monday and Cape Breton Regional Municipality under a local state of emergency.

Parts of Cape Breton Island had received more than 86 centimetres by Monday morning, prompting officials to ask residents to stay off the roads.

Cape Breton Regional Police Const. Gary Fraser said the force received more than 550 calls for service over the weekend, including 30 car accidents and "many many many stranded motorists and abandoned vehicles."

"So a lot of people didn't heed the warnings and stay off the roads," said Fraser, adding that road conditions were still "terrible" on Monday morning.


Snowflake

Over 566 roads blocked by heavy snow in Himachal Pradesh, India

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Moderate to heavy snowfall continued in high hills and tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday while the state capital received the first snowfall of the season bringing cheers to residents, tourists and farmers.

Shimla was wrapped in a thin blanket of snow on Thursday while the 5-km stretch between Kufri and Fagu was entirely covered in snow. Braving the cold, tourists and residents thronged the Mall Road and Ridge in the heart of the city to enjoy the snow.

Shimla was lashed by a severe hailstorm on Wednesday night followed by intermittent rains.

Over 566 roads, including six national highways, in the state have been closed for vehicular traffic following heavy snowfall and rain, said Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh, adding that 138 roads are expected to be opened by tonight.


Arrow Down

Grid on the Edge: Queensland Govt switched off thousands of home air conditioners six times in the last 8 weeks

Dystopian House
© Ari Galang Udayana from Pixabay
You will own nothing and be hot and bothered

Welcome to modern Australia where the grid is so fragile, poor people have to buy air conditioners that the government can remotely switch off . Such is the state of decay that Queensland no longer has enough electricity to allow the riff-raff to have air conditioning whenever they want it — only the rich can do that.

The state energy companies of Queensland offer customers up to $400 cashback when they buy an air conditioner, but in return they allow the government to reach into their homes and turn off the air conditioner when the grid is in trouble, which it seems is a lot lately. It was only supposed to be a "few days a year".

It's a way to manage the grid — think of it as 170,000 mini blackouts instead of one big one:
Energex remotely cuts power to 170,000 air conditioners six times in a month

ABC News

Queensland's state-owned power grid remotely turned down almost 170,000 air conditioners six times in the past two months as part of a scheme to protect the electricity network.
So this is where someone owns a Hi-Tech instrument designed to keep them cool, that they can't use on the hottest days of the year. They call this the PeakSmart scheme (so you know it's stupid). Gone are the luxury days when consumers could control their own appliances, get cheap reliable electricity, and not need invasive, complicated schemes in order to keep some of their own money.

It also allows the energy companies to send people into your home to "visit" for afternoon tea, or rather, to check you haven't ripped out the PeakSmart controller boxes. They will give you five days notice. Nice of them, eh?

Snowflake

Cyprus turned into winter wonderland amidst heavy rain and snow

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Cyprus has been enveloped in a wintry embrace as heavy rainfall and snow have transformed various parts of the island into picturesque landscapes, particularly in the mountains.

A video capturing the beauty of Troodos, shared by the "Weather Enthusiasts of Cyprus" Facebook page, showcases the snow cover that has delighted locals and visitors alike.


Snowflake

Anchorage, Alaska hits 100-inch winter snow total at earliest date on record

Russ DuBrock shovels his roof on Turnagain Parkway in Anchorage after a heavy snowfall on January 29, 2024.
© Marc Lester / ADNRuss DuBrock shovels his roof on Turnagain Parkway in Anchorage after a heavy snowfall on January 29, 2024.
Over 104 inches of snow has fallen so far this winter in Anchorage as of Monday, marking this season as the earliest on record to surpass the 100-inch milestone.

A storm that started Sunday and largely tailed off by Monday afternoon had dropped nearly 17 inches on the city by evening to establish the new seasonal snowfall total, according to the National Weather Service. The storm closed schools in Anchorage and Mat-Su on Monday, and contributed to a fatal collision on the Parks Highway.

This is the second season in a row that Anchorage has seen more than 100 inches of snow. In the 2022-23 season, the weather service recorded nearly 108 inches. The snowiest season on record was the 2011-12 winter with 134.5 inches, according to agency data.


Snowflake

Heavy snow blankets several provinces of Iran

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The height of snow in some villages of Khalkhal in Ardabil province has reached more than 2 meters.

Snowfall has started in Lorestan this morning and the communication routes of 160 villages of this province have been blocked in Aligudarz and Borujerd cities.

Different areas of Gilan province were covered with heavy snow, especially in Astara, Masuleh, and Shanderman, creating eye-pleasing scenes.


Comment: Meanwhile in an adjacent country:


Snowflake Cold

Severe weather conditions grips Greece

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Greece has been experiencing a severe wave of inclement weather since Sunday, characterized by a rapid drop in temperature, frost, gusty winds, and snowfall even in low-altitude regions. This adverse weather pattern is expected to reach its peak on Monday and Tuesday.

As a precautionary measure, the state apparatus has been put on standby, and the Civil Protection Committee will convene at noon on Monday to assess the situation and potentially implement teleworking measures in both the private and public sectors, if deemed necessary.

The arrival of the first snowfall has already been observed in the mountainous regions of Evia and Crete. Today, snow is expected to continue falling in mountainous and semi-mountainous areas of Thessaly, the Sporades, central and eastern Sterea, Evia, northern and eastern Peloponnese, and as the day progresses, it will also reach lower-altitude areas. Additionally, snowfall is anticipated in the mountainous regions of the Aegean islands and Crete.


Snowflake

Heavy snowfall blankets southeastern Turkey, cutting off 1,414 villages

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In Turkey's Kurdish southeast, heavy snow and cold temperatures have brought life to a standstill. Hundreds of villages are snowed in.

"All the roads are closed and the people are stuck," said Hakkari (Colemerg) resident Silhedin Haznedar. "There is no place for us to go due to snow."

Serhat Oguz, another local, said that they have taken matters into their own hands to clear paths to their shops so their customers can return to the market to buy essentials.

"I clear the doorsteps of the shop so people can enter the shops. We clear the roads of snow," Oguz said.

Roads to 1,414 villages have been closed in Hakkari, Bitlis, Mus, and Van.


Comment: Related: The snow is up to 7 meters (23 FEET) high in Hakkari, Turkey


Ice Cube

Ice jam flooding causes evacuations in Wilmington, Illinois

An ice jam has flooded homes in Wilmington,
© Chicago & Midwest Storm ChasersAn ice jam has flooded homes in Wilmington, Illinois on the morning of Jan. 26, 2024.
River ice and rain are causing flooding on the Kankakee River in Wilmington, Illinois, about 50 miles southwest of Chicago, according to ABC7 Chicago's Stephanie Wade.

Police told residents to be prepared to take action, including evacuation if necessary, after the river rose at least 3 feet overnight. More than a dozen people were evacuated Friday morning.

"The ice jam on the river has not fully broken, and there is the potential for flooding throughout the day as ice begins breaking apart at a rapid pace," Will County Emergency Management Agency said.