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TCF research proposal on climate change

As an establishment with a growing reputation for its social scientific research, Though Cowards Flinch (TCF) has decided to approach the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) with a view to the funding of a major inter-disciplinary research project into the socio-political and psychological aspects of the  climate change debate.  

Letters of support (and offers of matched funding) for our application are welcome.  Here, as an aid to the writing of your support letter, is our own letter to the Chief Executive of the ESRC which summarises our proposed research.

Dear Chief Executive

We do not know much about climate change.  How would we?  We’re social scientists, not real scientists with test tubes and a white coat (pictured).

However, we do have a big multi-disciplinary social science project we’d like you to give us a lot of money to do, and which we think will be helpful in further in knowledge about why a lot of people talk utter bollocks about climate change, while some other people talk comparative sense.

The research can be divided into two separate parts: statistical analysis and psychological assessment.

Statistical research

We will create a massive dataset in SPSS to examine the extent to which scepticism about climate change expressed by some ‘bloggers’ and internet-based journalists has a statistically positive correlation to a range of other belief patterns.

Further, through a range of complex regression analysis techniques we will assess whether any or all of these other belief patterns have a causal relationship with these bloggers’/journalists’ scepticism about climate change.

These beliefs, expressed as hypothesised independent variables, will be finalised at the pilot stages of the research, but are likely to include the belief that:

a) we are all taxed too much;

b) poor people are generally to blame for things because they are feckless;

c) it’s all a conspiracy by leftwingers – all of it, especially ‘multiculturalism’;

d) the BBC is full of Marxists with a big plot;

e) scientists are all part of a global conspiracy to do with green taxes, which will then be siphoned off to may for equality and diversity officers in loony left councils;

f) the Labour government should really be called ZaNuLiebour because it’s like living in Zimbabwe, what with everything;

g) Paul Krugman’s proposed extension of Godwin’s Law is not a critical comment on the state of the blogosphere, but a worthy challenge.

Psychological research

This aspect of the research will involve in-depth interviews with bloggers/journalists who  are climate change sceptics.  The main purpose of the interviews will be to examine the extent to which their view that scientists only use/reveal data which supports their existing theory of man-made climate change, is in fact a case of psychological transference, whereby they impute to the scientific community their own characteristic behaviour, of which they are secretly deeply ashamed,  of making wild generalisations based on selectively chosen data. 

The working hypothesis for this aspect of the research is that the greater the blogger/journalist’s own propensity to make massive and totally unvalid assumptions about things based on pretty well no evidence at all and without even bothering to do even the slightest background research, the more they are likely to suggest that climate change scientists do the same, in the belief that this will make them look intelligent and balanced, as opposed to the total foaming nutjobs that they really are.

Assuming you are content with our proposal, please send the research money in a big envelope, marked ‘holiday money’ for our administrative convenience.

Yours sincerely

TCF team

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Categories: General Politics
  1. November 23, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    It’ll not be for option F, Henry Porter has that angle pretty much monopolized. And he’s meant to be a lefty or something.

  2. February 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I see you are interested in statistical research. I have put one of the most comprehensive link lists for hundreds of thousands of statistical sources and indicators on my blog: Statistics Reference List (http://crisismaven.wordpress.com/references/). And what I find most fascinating is how data can be visualised nowadays with the graphical computing power of modern PCs, as in manyof the dozens of examples in these Data Visualisation References (http://crisismaven.wordpress.com/references/references-subjects-covered/data-structuring/data-visualisation-references/). If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment.

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