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Why do people believe it?

How credible is Andrew Bolt?

Andrew Bolt is an Australian columnist who has long been vocal in attempting to discredit the reality of anthropogenic climate change (ACC: climate change caused by Mankind).

Written 2014/12/20, modified 2016/11/21
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David Clarke) – ©
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Does Andrew himself believe what he writes to be true?

Andrew has written in 2016 that the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are involved in some elaborate fraud aimed at deceiving the Australian public about climate change. Of course, if there was such a fraud, not only would it have to involve the CSIRO and BoM in Australia, but also the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Organisation (NOAO) and NASA in the USA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, the UK Meteorological Office and many other highly respected organisations around the world. How could anyone in their right minds believe such twaddle? No fiction writer would put such a conspiracy in a novel, because it is a perfectly laughable proposition.

 

Obscuring the truth

Newspapers have been used for centuries to inform people; their intentional use to spread disinformation probably goes back almost as far.

The willingness to use any media to mislead and spread lies requires a frightening contempt for ethical standards.

How could organisations such as these, with long traditions of scientific accuracy and academic independence make all their scientific staff take part in the lies? Can you imagine it: the boss gets all the scientists together and tells them, "in the past you have followed the evidence wherever it lead you, but in the future you are going to have to put aside all your scientific training, all your professional ethics, and the proud tradition of centuries of scientific advance that you have previously been a part of, and take part in a hoax the like of which the world has never before seen."

You might ask, why would Andrew Bold write this if he didn't believe it to be true? The answer seems to be, because he believes it to be good for his career. His boss, Rupert Murdoch is a notorious climate science denier, so it would keep Andrew in Rupert's good books. Sensational stories that much of the readership of a newspaper like to read, because it suits their own preconceptions, irrespective of the credibility of those stories, helps to sell newspapers. Being sensational and controversial is what Andrew does to keep himself in the public eye.

To believe that all the scientists in the CSIRO, BoM and many other scientific organisations around the world are colluding in a conspiracy, and that not one of them is willing to speak out and expose the conspiracy, would require monumental stupidity (or gullibility); Mr Bolt is far from stupid, so the only logical conclusion is that he has taken this stance dishonestly to misinform those more foolish and gullible (but perhaps also more honest) than himself.






Why do people believe what Andrew Bolt writes?

 
'New Age' books in a book shop in Mandurah, Western Australia
New Age books
There were only a half dozen or so books on philosophy (including ethics: moral philosophy) in this section!
The fact that book shop managers place philosophy in with this non-evidence-based material is bad enough, but the small proportion devoted to philosophy is an indication of the poor critical thinking interests and abilities of the general public.
People believe Mr Bolt's nonsence about climate change because they want to believe it; what Andrew Bolt writes is accepted because it suits many people's preconceptions. As Al Gore has said, climate change is an inconvenient truth. If we ignore it, or deny it, perhaps it will go away.

People have always had a strong tendency to believe what they chose to believe rather than what the evidence tells them they should believe; consider religion, the belief that there is a god or gods, in the total absence of any evidence for their existence.

In some hypothetical world in which the majority of people were well informed and critical thinkers very few would be interested in the opinions of people like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones.

In a world in which philosophy books and books on ethics must be looked for among the superstitious mumbo-jumbo of the "New Age" section of a book shop people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt can flourish.

Why should we believe that anthropogenic climate change is a fact? First, the science:

  • About 99% of papers published in peer-reviewed climate journals accept the fact of ACC;
  • The vast majority of climate scientists accept the reality of ACC;
  • I doubt that there any scientific organisation that has any interest in climate, anywhere in the world, that does not accept ACC.
In addition:
  • Almost every national government in the world accepts the reality of ACC;
  • I doubt that there is any respectable university anywhere in the world that teaches that ACC is not true;
  • The world's mainstream churches are pushing for serious action to slow climate change.
A fuller listing of these arguments is given on Why accept climate science?


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