Friday, December 22, 2017

Confirmation bias affects visual perception at WUWT - on carbon trading in China and the LA Times

Sou | 7:45 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has posted an article by a bloke called Larry Hamlin, which is a stark example of how confirmation bias affects visual perception. Larry is a climate science denying conspiracy theorist who has the occasional "essay" at WUWT.

He wrote about something he read in the LA Times. It was a recent announcement from the Chinese government that it is preparing to set up what will eventually be a nationwide carbon trading program. The article was by Jonathan Kaiman reporting, from Beijing, a news conference of the National Development and Reform Commission in China.

The article set out the timetable, which stated that it would be three years before transactions begin (my emphasis):
China’s carbon market will initially apply only to the power-generation industry but will later expand to cover seven other sectors, including petrochemicals, chemicals, building materials, and iron and steel.

The Chinese government will spend a year building a nationwide registration system covering all companies participating in the market, the state-run China Daily reported. It will spend another year testing the system, and actual transactions will begin in about three years.

One doesn't need to be a psychologist to realise that Larry is suffering from denier blindness and conspiracy ideation, because he wrote:
Completely missing from the L A Times article was the rather critical point that the market isn’t actually starting and no ones [sic] when it will start ....
I'm aware that it is not recommended that one label deniers "nuts" or "stupid". However in my view that caution should be reserved for friends, relatives and real life acquaintances, not the crazed denialati in cyberspace :)

Incidentally, scientists have done research to better understand the visual perception problem brought about by confirmation bias.

From the WUWT comments

I also noticed that so far, not one person expressing their "thoughts" under the WUWT article has picked up on Larry's blindness. Either they didn't read the LA Times article, or this visual perception problem is widespread among the denialati or, as likely, both.

This comment from Alan Tomalty is not atypical of the twisted thinking encouraged at WUWT:
December 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm
Jerry Brown should be arrested for treason by signing a document with a foreign country that has as its stated goal to subvert every democracy in the world.


  1. Alan Tomalty sez:

    Jerry Brown should be arrested for treason by signing a document with a foreign country that has as its stated goal to subvert every democracy in the world.

    Funny, I thought that was Trump's goal, starting with the U.S.

  2. That's odd: the WUWTers were full of praise for the Chinese govt., when the WUWTers thought the Chinese Academy of Science was endorsing Heartland's NIPCC drivel.

  3. Sou,
    Lots of people are a bit geographically challenged. I am sure we should not pick on Larry just because he does not know the difference between China and Guangzhou. It is a bit disappointed that none of his readers noticed this.

    If I remember Heartland had a list of people for some project that listed one woman as being from the University of Victoria, Victoria Australia.

    On the other hand we may not want to hire Larry as tour guide for the annual HotWhopper bus tour.

  4. Hilarious - emission trading to start just as China's 3 year plan to increase coal by 20% (200GW) is realised.

    The Hill: China to increase coal fired power capacity by 20 percent

    At 101kg CO2 / GJ (see Volker Quaschning), 200GW has the potential to release 20 tons of CO2 per second, 1.7 million tons of CO2 per day at peak capacity.

    Plenty of CO2 to trade then.

  5. Eric's latest standup routine seems to involve him living in 2016.


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