Changing Minds on Climate Change

Sunday, March 27, 2022
First Aired: 
Sunday, September 8, 2019

What Is It

There is consensus among scientists that global warming is real and that it’s caused by human activity. Despite the overwhelming evidence and the urgency to act, there are still many who are skeptical of or flat-out deny climate change. Are these climate deniers simply impervious to scientific evidence? Or have they just not been exposed to the right kind of information? When it comes to ideologically driven views, is it possible to change people’s minds by appeal to facts? Or are humans hopelessly and incorrigibly irrational? Ken and Josh don't deny talking to cognitive scientist Michael Ranney, head of the Reasoning Research Group at UC Berkeley.



Ken Taylor  
Can we ever change the minds of climate deniers?

Josh Landy  
Could the mere facts of global warming be enough to persuade them?

Ken Taylor  
Or are some humans just too irrational to be convinced by evidence?

Comments (14)

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 -- 8:09 AM

Psst: The climate IS changing

Psst: The climate IS changing---believe it, or not...'s picture


Sunday, September 8, 2019 -- 8:26 AM

This site quickly explains

This site quickly explains the mechanism of global warming and offers compelling evidence of its existence:

davidschwan's picture


Monday, September 9, 2019 -- 10:38 AM

One caller mentioned that

One caller mentioned that when they hear that climate change involves only several degrees of temperature rise they shrugged it off. In the US this might be more the norm. If we are going to talk about temperature rise in the US we should probably switch from C to F.

RepoMan05's picture


Friday, September 27, 2019 -- 2:11 PM

Why not stop calling it

Why not stop calling it climate change? Why not just call it polution? Why forsake a perfectly defendable stance and instead use a indefensible happenstance as your cause?

You do know what being "set up" is, dont you?

Know what, forget all that. Lets go back to the dixiecrat's "carbon footprint" story. Is that a great idea or what!!!

RepoMan05's picture


Thursday, October 3, 2019 -- 6:18 PM

I used to be intransigent to

I used to be an intransigent for climate change proponents until i saw children were subject to an experiment done in public schools.

The experiment, fill two bottles with different gases. Air, and methane.

Present both bottles to the same radiant light sorce, measure the speed the bottles heat up.

The methane heats in fractions of the time the other one heats.

Conclusion: global warming is real!

Wrong. The experiment proved the opposite. The class it was done for, had many more years before it had the opportunity to take chemistry 101.

Yes, the methane heats faster. It needs much less heat to raise a single degree. But you know what that means, dont you? The methane holds less heat. It cools off at a faster rate also.

The experiment never showed actual conditions or the rate the methane cooled. It was as if to say that global warming was taking your bed sheets, replacing them with sheet metal, and saying it keeps you warmer at night.

When i saw how this experiment was conducted and who it was presented to, i knew what the problem was. Authoritarianism.

Anyone that teaches children to be dumber than they were born to be is an ideology driven theist.

You want to teach children the dangers of pollution, great. But climatologists are a type of theist i like even less than pederastic romans and other types of catholics.

Manu Oquendo's picture

Manu Oquendo

Monday, November 4, 2019 -- 5:10 AM

Antropogenic CO2 warming or

Antropogenic CO2 warming or "climate change" is not substantiated –scientifically-- as a relevant force with the capacity to really influence weather patterns and changes.. Many of the links supplied in the supporting materials in this post and comments omit very basic and well known facts. For instance: where is water vapor which constitutes 95% of Greenhouse effect gases while human CO2 is just about 1% of total? Where is the Sun and axis tilts as, --by a factor of 100--, the principal engines governing Earth's climate variations through the ages? Nowhere. Where are the statisticians that dare to forecast anything when factors like those are omitted?

Both the Chinese and Russian Academies of Science disagree and I do not really know of any strictly scientific personality specialized in this field that goes along with this western Social Power induced trend. Years ago the Indian Government created its own Scientific Panel to monitor their climate evolution out of distrust with the United Nations organizations living and growing in power thanks to their jumping on the band wagon on issues like this one.
It is true that a large number of political and bureaucratic personalities are making a good living out of it but independent climate experts are not among them.
A small sample of contrarian positions.
Princeton's William Happer rebuts myth of carbon pollution
Alan Savory on the blunders of desertification.
Greenpeace founder Dr. Patrick Moore on Climate Change and Carbon Dioxide.
Artic Refuses to melt

However, it is true that issues like this, treated in the populist manner prevailing in the West today are a fantastic lever to manipulate public opinion and force people to obey --globally-- in a manner which represents a drastic departure from the Philosophical and Scientific tradition of our culture.
Best rgds and thanks for the opportunity

Tim Smith's picture

Tim Smith

Monday, December 16, 2019 -- 3:41 AM



Suppose you are right? Where is the Dodo bird? Why are birds dinosaurs?

You won't be able to fly away from this comet.

I wish you well. You on the other hand wish.

Money is on the side of no one, certainly not the world we live in.

There is a matter of perspective that goes beyond you. If you think the internet is a repository of truth... you are mistaken. Would you listen to counter arguments? I think not.

Enjoy the coffee.

Daniel's picture


Thursday, February 10, 2022 -- 1:07 PM

On the off-chance that

On the off-chance that anthropogenic increase of mean-terrestrial temperature can be verified to the satisfaction of a majority of currently living humans and general consensus among climatologists, doesn't it make sense to ask what kind social organization would be most likely to adequately approach the problem for species-survival purposes? Are there examples from history or any in existence today?

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Tim Smith's picture

Tim Smith

Saturday, February 19, 2022 -- 8:42 AM

There are far more examples

There are far more examples of failure. The Sahara desert is the largest and the cause of our hurricane season. The desertification of the Tigris and Euphrates basin, which is still ongoing, and the American Southwest, primarily abandoned before Europeans ever came, are two others.

Here are some examples of successful social organizations. The green belt project of Kenya and Sudan, the reforestation effort in China, and the replanting of trees in western Oregon following the Tillamook burn. These projects have their issues, monoculture, small scales (with respect to the magnitude of global climate change), and administrative failures. There are success stories, however.

In the short term it is always easier to serve self interest than pay attention to the larger need.

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Daniel's picture


Monday, February 28, 2022 -- 6:46 PM

How about the Israeli

How about the Israeli Kibbutzeem, which are organized on an anarchic model of production?

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Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Friday, February 11, 2022 -- 5:57 AM

Well stated, Tim. My view on

Well stated, Tim. My view on the issue takes a pragmatist approach. Those many who choose to doubt the science behind climate change predictions have no long view. Those who doubt, because the consequences of climate remediation would affect their economic interests adversely are in the State of Denial. All of this is less helpful. Of course, pragmatism has consequences. Rorty said so. I never read his views on climate change---if he had any.

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ericsopa's picture


Saturday, April 2, 2022 -- 2:10 PM

I fear that this whole

I fear that this whole conversation mostly misses the broader point. As Hobbes made clear, science will not change people's minds if it conflicts with their interests. We're slowly descending into the madness that ruled the day before Boyle and his contemporaries invented science. Read Leviathan and the Air-pump for more details.

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Daniel's picture


Sunday, April 3, 2022 -- 2:58 PM

Isn't there a generic

Isn't there a generic interest though that is itself produced and defined by climate science? Wouldn't Hobbes agree that a general interest in a cooler climate, or at least slowing the progress towards a warmer one, necessarily conditions any particular interest which is conceived by terrestrial primates?

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Daniel's picture


Wednesday, April 13, 2022 -- 8:46 AM

And what about an office of

And what about an office of the federal government in applied climatology? It would certainly be very popular politically, and Big Oil and Coal would be hard pressed to buy political representatives to prevent it. The danger of such a move is of course subversion of its purpose, the "fox watching the hen-house", if you will. But it could assist the more progressive elements in approaching political contests.

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