Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Warmist Robert Keyfitz is extremely puzzled: Why so many climate skeptics at the Seeking Alpha investment site? Is it because of their race or sex? Do they need to "light up new areas of their brains"?

Sense And Nonsense About Climate Change. What Do Investors Need To Know? - Seeking Alpha
What is striking about this (admittedly unscientific) poll of SA readers, is that skeptics have outnumbered believers by around 2 to 1 -- more or less the inverse of the proportions in the American public at large (Figure 1).
Why would Seeking Alpha attract so many climate change skeptics? Surely, the answer is not that SA members are less intelligent or rational, or less well informed about a subject with important economic and financial implications.
Objectively, anthropogenic climate change is virtually settled science. It may yet turn out to be a massive hoax perpetrated by the UN and an international conspiracy of scientists, but each passing year makes this seem less likely.
Climate change skepticism is rooted more in psychology than ecology, and as a result, skeptics and believers tend to talk past each other. Of course, liberal-egalitarian-communitarian males are no less prone to cognitive biases and group-think than conservative-hierarchical-individualistic ones. However, they have science on their side. Skeptics would do well to recognize that while they busy themselves with fearless attacks on the scientific consensus, the rest of the world is moving on. As Finucane et al. 2000 puts it bluntly, "Attempts to re-align risk perceptions according to the white male view of the world are likely to be unsuccessful."

Fortunately, conservative-hierarchical-individualistic investors are not condemned to remain skeptical forever, but can flip the switch from what Daniel Kahneman calls "fast" to "slow" thinking (Kahneman 2011). Lighting up new areas of the brain takes an effort, but should pay off over time in better investment returns.
Robert Keyfitz - Seeking Alpha
I have a PhD in economics and a CFA, and consult on international development.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) (TV) - Memorable quotes
He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore

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