Climate Change for Communists (and Sikhs)

George Marshall, roving climate psychologist, known to Dr Seuss fans as the Twat in a Hat, has a new article at Business Today in India, reprinted at Climate Outreach . Here are some extracts:

george_marshall_h300My colleagues in the environmental movement, echoed by newspapers and policy makers, persist in talking about climate change as an environmental problem, to be covered by the environmental correspondent who is reporting on a speech by the environment minister… So the first thing we have to do is to surgically remove the conjoined twins of environment and climate change. Nor can anyone afford to think that this is some distant future problem. Climate change is real and accelerating…The mechanisms of global warming are grounded in basic physics, and are as real as gravity…

I am writing this in Mumbai, and far too few of the investors here are asking whether low lying coastal buildings are going to be a safe long-term investment when we face 40 cm sea-level rise and increasingly extreme monsoons – both, incidentally, predicted to come before mid century…

There is a glimmer of hope, though. As any marketer can tell us, people’s purchasing decisions are directed by emotional forces, not data… people willingly make sacrifices if it will reinforce their values, strengthen their identity, or make them more the person they aspire to be. Above all, nothing creates a stronger motivation than following our peers who we look up to for our social cues and inspiration.

We must stop talking about climate change as if it is just one thing. We have to find multiple new ways to talk about climate change that speak to people’s distinct and different identities and values… It can be a distinctly Hindu, Muslim or Sikh issue. Or a distinctly… conservative or communist, Tamil or Bengali issue.

Business Today in India has a readership of 338,000. Comments on George’s article: 0. Likes 0. Dislikes 0.

Climate Outreach is a Limited Charitable Company, run on a shoestring about £200,000 a year from taxpayers and private foundations. For a mere quarter of a million, the European Union, the British government and the trustees of dead billionaires get two or three globetrotting Greens (Mumbai and Marrakech) flogging their book, and a blog which nobody reads. The last ten posts have a total of five comments, two of them from our own Barry Woods. Several other comments by me and Barry have been removed after posting, for example at http://climateoutreach.org/naming-challenging-breaking-climate-silence/ where the silence remains unbroken.

George Marshall’s return fare to Mumbai (unless he’s staying there, in which case it’s money well spent) must have made a hole in their budget – and all to write an article that nobody read except me. I look forward to George’s explanation of communist climate change, and how it differs from, say, Sikh climate change. I’m interested, even if no-one else is.

31 thoughts on “Climate Change for Communists (and Sikhs)

  1. Awww Geoff, what have the Indians done to deserve George?

    I sometimes wonder, if sceptics stopped reading AGW articles and stopped commenting, would the other side get bored and walk away?

    “We have to find multiple new ways to talk about climate change that speak to people’s distinct and different identities and values…” But it’s not for people who ever have any questions.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The idea of climate change acting in the interests of particular social classes is definitely intriguing. Did Marx manage to link Newtonian physics to alienation? Perhaps it is something to do with the futility of managing a giant wind farm in China that has no customers? I think I read one of those Internet stats that 1/3 of all the wind turbines in the world are in China. Unfortunately, they did not say whether they are connected to a grid.

    Re Sikhs, I am at a loss. I cannot easily see how climate change impacts the key values of Sikhism. For that matter, I struggle to come up with an Islamic take. Unless it will be too hot to go to Mecca.


  3. In me l’esprit de l’escalier is strong. I post and then think of something else. What little I know of Islam and Sikhism is that they believe in the ultimate ineffability of creation. Mankind is unable to comprehend it because a Supreme Being is at the back of it. The only chance of the supreme being making a mark on the world that we can perceive as AGW through climate change is if that person is Michael Mann. To which I roundly, in my infidel way, declare, “Fat fucking chance!”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Marshall has just seen a niche in the publicly funded AGW ecosystem that he can inhabit – working with “trades unions, scouts, women’s organisations, churches, Rotary Clubs, and many government departments and councils. We are a lead advisor to the Welsh Government.” in order to earn a crust. http://www.climateconviction.org/about.html

    If the fools in these institutions continue to pay folks such as George, then good luck to him. Its the one’s paying him that are at fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hunter says: 03 Feb 17 at 3:13 pm

    “The fungible aspects of promoting cliamte hype are always interesting to observe.”

    The fungible aspects? Why not ‘the obscene profit motive’ ? This 87% of vicious, top predictor, earthling can relate to??


  6. And what fully exchangeable aspects might they be Hunter? I must say I’ve not had the dubious pleasure of observing any fungibility. Climate hype seems to me to be almost infinitely variable and capable of spawning almost anywhere. Some days it seems all pervasive and singularly without interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand Hunter to mean that climate alarmism can be used to sell anything to anyone, as in the examples provided by Sage Vals. It makes sense to me


  8. Geoff. I don’t believe that’s what fungibility means. I believe it applies to objects that are exchangeable with their like, such as banknotes of the same denomination, but not to emeralds that vary in colour, perfection and/or value.
    The idea that climate alarmism is infinitely adaptable to achieving different ends does make sense but there is probably a better word to describe this property (adaptability?)


  9. I think Hunter is probably referring to this paragraph:

    “We must stop talking about climate change as if it is just one thing. We have to find multiple new ways to talk about climate change that speak to people’s distinct and different identities and values… It can be a distinctly Hindu, Muslim or Sikh issue. Or a distinctly… conservative or communist, Tamil or Bengali issue.”

    Clearly, the author thinks that climate change is not just one thing which we all understand and interpret in the same way; it is many, many things to many different people; it is commutable, substitutable. Which is total nonsense of course, but that’s the way these weirdos who study ‘climate psychology’ think.


  10. “+
    Looks as if we’re going to have to wait, at least for four more years, to see whether our climate reveals its intentions.”

    No intentions! This universe is scrambling like hell for ‘any’ sense\meaning. Kick back with cold beer and popcorn. Enjoy all the fun of this ‘is’!


  11. ALAN KENDALL (03 Feb 17 at 5:09 pm)

    You’re right about the original, economic meaning, but it’s used nowadays to mean something like “chameleon-like” “infinitely adapatable.” So I’m with Hunter’s interpretation.

    Remember the terrifying List of Things Caused By Global Warming? http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm George is following COIN’s policy of accentuating the positive by giving us a list of different ways of learning to love mitigation. Sikhs don’t smoke and communists don’t drive 4X4s, so that’s a start.


  12. Geoff. I’ll take your word for it, but checking with my (admittedly old) copy of OED and with Wikipedia gives no support for your contention. My Roget’s Thesaurus does not help at all, not listing the word. Why not use “adaptable”?


  13. Hunter, Geoff, Jaime. My apologies for beating this tiny drumlet once again but it is something my mind will.let go of – use of the word “fungible” to mean something infinitely adaptable. I have now consulted 9 dictionaries and not one remotely suggests this meaning. In no dictionary that I consulted is “fungibility” listed as a synonym of “adaptability”. I am aware that words do change their meaning but invariably they are words in common use, which “fungible” certainly never has been (although one site I visited indicates a recent rise in usage). So can someone direct me to a source where it is correctly identified as a synonym of “adaptable”.

    In fact using the word as an synonym of “adaptable” destroys its original meaning, as I realized whilst watching England almost lose to France yesterday at rugby. A newcomer to the sport might, falsely, conclude that forwards when in a pack, being of similar build and neck size, are adaptable, capable of playing in any position (“fungible” in the new revised definition). Anyone who has played the game (I played on the wing) knows they are not fungible (original meaning) at all, each playing a highly specialized role within the pack. They would be better described as non-fungible.


  14. “They (rugby forwards) would be better described as non-fungible”. But probably not to their face!


  15. ALAN

    It’s a word that’s recently become fashionable and therefore to be avoided, in my opinion.

    From here http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fungible I found two recent uses which show how its meaning has been degraded to mean simply “adaptable” or “variable.”

    “Words are tools in an information war and facts are fungible.”

    “So while expectations are optimistic, any dates, at least for the time being, should be fungible and are not set in stone.”


  16. Geoff. Those uses seem to me to be synonyms of “exchangeable” not of “adaptable”. It suggests to me that people misusing “fungible” are also using “exchangeable” and “adaptable” as synonyms, which they are not. The whole language is going to pot – a view that shows my age.

    Thank you for replying to an old “stuck in the mud”.


  17. “The whole language is going to pot – a view that shows my age.”

    Quite! I also dislike intensely the use of “likely” as an incorrect synonym for “probably.” No doubt that’s also down to my age. Sorry to be off topic!


  18. Alan, I must admit, I’d never come across fungible until it was used here and I had to look it up. I wasn’t suggesting that it was used to mean adaptable. I said in my comment: ‘commutable, substitutable’, which seemed applicable to the paragraph I quoted.

    I think we all probably have pet hates re. the use (abuse) of the English language. One of mine is the word rent incorrectly used in place of let. Drives me bonkers when I hear people saying they’re going to rent their property. I’m tempted to ask them loudly why on earth they would want to pay rent to themselves to live in a house they already own/pay a mortgage on!


  19. What have I done? This site has gone fungible crazy. Now we move onto “rent” – a word that also causes me pain since I learned a smattering of mineral economics.

    I suspect that anyone who uses language for a living or for pleasure has certain betes noir. Mine is the misuse of “fewer than” and “less than”, whereas my wife pours scorn on “greengrocers’ apostrophes, finding them everywhere.

    Now I must research “adobe” used as an insult (?).


  20. Alan,

    “I must say I’ve not had the dubious pleasure of observing any fungibility. Climate hype seems to me to be almost infinitely variable and capable of spawning almost anywhere.”

    Right. Exactly. Like mushrooms. Where’s the confusion?


  21. It’s not fair Brad to comment on a conversation held almost a year ago. In that time, along with everyone else, I will have lost one seventh of my cells to decay and replenishment. Amongst them would have been some good ones. Furthermore some of the replacements would not have been one hundred percent fungible.


  22. See, even more cells for evaluating duration have gone awol. It is nearly TWO years not one since the fungible conversation, and potentially two sevenths of good cells will have gone forever.


  23. Beware dismissing this strategy or it’s apparent failure.
    To do do is to look at the short horizon. The climate obsessed are playing the far horizon.
    The history of missionary evangelism is replete with stories of years of frustration rewarded by conversion of a prince, chief, elder, king who influenced their circle to convert.
    This miserable cretin is an evangelist of climate fear, and will keep at it until he gets some weakinded gullible fool to buy into his climate gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

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