I'm a bit busy at the moment so I'll keep this short. What prompted me to write was the following comment by Jo Nova on her blog. She not only thinks a fake petition meant something, she seems to actually think that wacko deniers are in the majority of the population. Talk about being deluded about the deluded. Joanne Nova wrote (excerpt):
August 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm
....It is testament to how modern science is broken that volunteers collected and verified such a huge list of 31,500 scientists, including 9,000 PhDs and hundreds of professors. And they did it twice. Skeptics vastly outnumber and outrank believers. There is no list remotely close to this, despite there being $45 billion paid by the US government alone since 1989 to fund scientists to find evidence that there is a crisis with carbon.
I know Jo Nova is a crank conspiracy theorist, but even I find it hard to credit that she actually believes that fake petition. (The fakery has been widely documented, for example at Huff Post, RationalWiki, Skeptical Science, DeSmogBlog, Wikipedia and lots of other places.)
It got me thinking. You'll often read on denier blogs people protesting the fact that almost all scientists who study anything remotely relating to climate know that humans are causing global warming. I mean all it takes to confirm that is a flick through Google Scholar.
Do any fake sceptics ever check scientific publications or have they the motto "ignorance is bliss"?
The other thing Jo's comment reminded me of is the fact that fake sceptics don't like to think they are in the minority. They want to bask in the illusion that most people are as deluded as they are. That's despite the contradictory evidence all around them. Even in America, birthplace of denialism, the majority of people know that global warming is happening. Although it must be said that conservative Republicans in the USA are predominately in denial. That's different to moderate Republicans, who have a similar understanding to Democrats and know that global warming is real. (But then these days conservative Republicans in the USA probably think that God created "man" 4,000 years or so ago. The extreme right wing are extremely nutty.)
It might be time for me to read Bob Altemeyer's book again, The Authoritarians. He attempts to explain the strange psyche of people like Jo and her motley lot.