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Trump’s “Attack on Climate Science” is a War on Climate Alarmism Combined With Legitimate Scepticism

 

 

Let it not be said that Trump is a canny politician. He is not. What he is, is a ruthless and committed opponent of unilateral ‘climate action’ which he passionately believes is economically disadvantaging the US to the benefit of its global competitors like China, Russia, India and other Far Eastern and Middle Eastern nations. He is also a sceptic of dangerous man-made climate change. Accordingly, he is willing to risk a bloody head on confrontation with the powerful left wing dominated global warming consensus industry which pervades US political, academic and media culture before he is assured of a second term in office. That takes balls, not stupidity, as some might claim. Politicians, as we all know, are not renowned for having large cojones.

Thus it is that Trump has decided to scale back the federal government’s role in assessing the future impacts of climate change via the increasingly alarmist roughly four-yearly National Climate Assessment. Instead of projecting climate change and impacts out to 2100, the next report will only consider projections out to 2040. Climate activists have immediately cried foul because the worst impacts won’t start to happen until the end of the century according to models. Also, there will be apparently less focus on the artificial worst case RCP8.5 emissions pathway, incorrectly labelled as the “do nothing” or “business as usual” emissions scenario. So all in all, rather less opportunity for the report to indulge in catastrophic forecasts of what might happen and concentrate instead on more likely and more realistic near term impacts.

Seems quite sensible to me but the NYT doesn’t see it that way. According to its incredibly knowledgeable journalists, it’s part of a deliberate “attack on science”:

As a result, parts of the federal government will no longer fulfill what scientists say is one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies: reporting on the future effects of a rapidly warming planet and presenting a picture of what the earth could look like by the end of the century if the global economy continues to emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels.

The attack on science is underway throughout the government. In the most recent example, the White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously.

Apparently, climate science™ is so fully representative of science in general that any curtailment of its privileges – in particular its right to scare the pants off us in order to justify economically damaging unilateral climate change mitigation policy – is deemed to be an assault upon the institution of science itself. The withdrawal of climate science’s ‘right to terrify’ is just the beginning though. Trump plans a full scale assault upon the integrity of The Science by getting expert sceptical scientists to officially question its key assumptions and conclusions:

And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.

However, the goal of political appointees in the Trump administration is not just to change the climate assessment’s methodology, which has broad scientific consensus, but also to question its conclusions by creating a new climate review panel. That effort is led by a 79-year-old physicist who had a respected career at Princeton but has become better known in recent years for attacking the science of man-made climate change and for defending the virtues of carbon dioxide — sometimes to an awkward degree.

Sacrebleu! First Paris, now this! Better get used to the sound of climate activists’ heads exploding between now and 2020. Apparently, even Steve Bannon warned Trump against going up against the climate change alarmist industry before the next elections but he’s determined to go full steam ahead.

“The very idea will start a holy war on cable before 2020,” he said. “Better to win now and introduce the study in the second inaugural address.”

But at a White House meeting on May 1, at which the skeptical advisers made their case, Mr. Trump appeared unpersuaded, people familiar with the meeting said. Mr. Happer, they said, is optimistic that the panel will go forward.

Credit to Trump, I say. Not a cowardly politician, a statesman with the best interests of the nation he leads at heart and someone who is not afraid to question scientific and political dogma when it threatens those interests.

38 thoughts on “Trump’s “Attack on Climate Science” is a War on Climate Alarmism Combined With Legitimate Scepticism

  1. Pingback: Trump’s “Attack on Climate Science” is a War on Climate Alarmism Combined With Legitimate Scepticism — Climate Scepticism – NZ Conservative Coalition

  2. I read this article two days ago but felt the second of these two paragraphs wasn’t at all clear:

    “The very idea will start a holy war on cable before 2020,” [Bannon] said. “Better to win now and introduce the study in the second inaugural address.”

    But at a White House meeting on May 1, at which the skeptical advisers made their case, Mr. Trump appeared unpersuaded, people familiar with the meeting said. Mr. Happer, they said, is optimistic that the panel will go forward.

    Trump was unpersuaded by what? The skeptical advisers? (What terrible journalism.)

    Other than that rather crucial punchline I agree that this sounds like good news. One explanation for Trump countermanding Bannon would be the result of the recent Aussie election. He may feel it’s a vote winner to be more aggressively sceptical now.

    And Dr Happer is for me a great hero for what he seems to have achieved already.

    Watching this space. Thanks for doing a post on this.

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  3. The language is the thing. There are various mantras that are constantly repeated so that they are internalised in the public consciousness.

    Familiar ones are:
    “rapidly warming planet”, “rising sea levels” “melting Arctic”, “increasing scientific evidence”, “overwhelming scientific evidence” “scientific consensus”, “attacking the science”, “the world’s top scientists”, (meaning anything from IPCC), “the latest science” [another modelling run], etc. Model outputs are no longer presented as projections but as factual predictions, these claims WILL happen. Model outputs are used as facts for the next model run, creating a circular virtual reality.

    This aproach shuts down debate and once people believe, it is difficult to counter. Trump is now challenging the language and saying “OK, prove it”. He is for science, not against it as Andrew Montford points out so well.

    The NYT is using subtle language to discredit Happer:

    “led by a 79-year-old physicist, [age] who had a respected career at Princeton but has become better known in recent years for attacking the science of man-made climate change [respected once but no longer, gone to the dark side] and for defending the virtues of carbon dioxide. [crazy ideas]

    Also, James Reilly, a former….petroleum geologist, [“guilt” by association] and “administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.” [emotive “undermine science”]

    The global propaganda was ramped up during the Blair-Brown period and Labour think tank, The Institute for Public Policy Research, 2006, produced a manual for “communicating” global warming, aka climate change, aka global heating, aka climate weirding and the like.

    https://www.ippr.org/publications/warm-wordshow-are-we-telling-the-climate-story-and-can-we-tell-it-better

    “…it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won.”

    “This means simply behaving as if man-made climate change is real, and that individual actions to prevent further change will be effective.

    The UK Government’s new climate-change slogan – ‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) – is but an example of this approach. It constructs…its own factuality.”

    Tyndall Centre 2004,
    To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.

    From The Principles of Propaganda (Institute for Propaganda Analysis 1938)

    “In summary, there are four elements to a successful fear appeal:

    1) a threat,
    2) a specific recommendation about how the audience should behave,
    3) audience perception that the recommendation will be effective in addressing the threat, and
    4) audience perception that they are capable of performing the recommended behavior.”

    Sums up AGW pretty well. Trump needs to succeed, for all our sakes.

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  4. DennisAmbler:
    ‘The language is the thing. There are various mantras that are constantly repeated so that they are internalised in the public consciousness.
    Familiar ones are:
    “rapidly warming planet”, “rising sea levels” “melting Arctic”, “increasing scientific evidence”, “overwhelming scientific evidence” “scientific consensus”, “attacking the science”, “the world’s top scientists”, (meaning anything from IPCC), “the latest science” [another modelling run], etc.’

    Indeed, all co-evolving memes under the umbrella narrative of CAGW, and in this case all within the appeal to authority sub-category. See https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/14/the-catastrophe-narrative/
    …and if you follow the link to the Footnotes File at the end, particularly footnote 18, where there’s a breakdown of these same meme variants as they appear in particular quotes from a list of authority figures and influencers. A whole raft of other important meme variants are also analysed in this post + footnotes.

    Within socially conflicted issues, the meme sets with the most emotive impact have the highest selection value regarding propagation amongst humans. And also because of extremely long gene / culture co-evolution, they then trigger in us all the familiar behaviours exhibited by adherents to strong cultures (e.g. think religion or a strong political ideology). So indeed language is key. This has all evolved as an in-group / out-group signalling and reinforcement system.

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  5. Dennis, it says much that, though they have so obviously and masterfully commandeered the language to great effect, the effect has apparently not been great enough to persuade many people or at least inspire enough people to act and/or accept the necessity of costly and disruptive climate mitigation policies. Thus it is that climate change is no longer good enough to convey the urgency of the situation – it’s now a ‘climate crisis’ and median projections are now discarded in favour of tail end worst case scenarios. And the more they hype the language, the less the public are inclined to believe the hype. Climate change communication, when what must be communicated is not a fair reflection of what actually is, inevitably comes up against the law of diminishing returns.

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  6. Jaime,
    Strictly speaking, the situation is much more akin to the (emergent) language commandeering the people, rather than the other way around. Out of millions of people and constant variation and propagation of terms, memes with more powerful impacts (urgency being just one axis), will emerge through emotive (i.e. not reasoned) selection. This works via fundamental brain architecture that bypasses reason and is turned on by strong cultural adherence. So, even if taking the mainstream / IPCC position as representing ‘reason’ (i.e. ignoring all sceptical science), most of this emotive language is sheer nonsense. Hence it’s ubiquitous presence across millions of climate catastrophe adherents would, if it did NOT occur via the above subconscious process, require constant and coordinated conscious lying upon an epic scale sustained over decades as the story has intensified. Aka the biggest conspiracy in history. Best leave the conspiracy theory to Lew, it isn’t needed. The presidents, prime ministers, UN elite, authorities, influencers, religious leaders, striking children and adult adherents, are passionately propagating what they are emotively convinced is true. And we know that similar cultural phenomena to CAGW have occurred endlessly throughout history, where no conscious lying has been required to support them. All religions, just for starters. Other secular entities too. And after some to and fro, we already agreed that great majority of supporters are neither lying nor thick nor mentally deficient (albeit we also agreed that charlatans and scammers can indeed hide under the skirts of big cultures – child abusers in the Catholic church being a good example – but this is secondary, not causal, they can’t hide if there are no skirts there in the first place). Yes, it seems masterful, incredibly masterful, super-humanly so after such a long time and across so many countries and organisations. So much so that indeed no individuals could ever consciously achieve this, in conspiracy or otherwise. But 100,000 years at least (religious practice), and likely much, much longer (apes exhibit group-think), has indeed created an incredibly masterful bio-cultural system that transcends individuals. Yet the system is ‘blind’, acquiring adherents at any cost, and also has balance mechanisms to prevent over-culturalization, so these costs build up as all those who (from initial slight leanings) tilt instead to opposition not adherence. Hence all cultures are naturally polarizing, and as you note, the more the hype ratchets up, the more cultural opposition is generated (as well as adherents). In the past such opposition can reach long-term equilibrium with a culture that matures and so moderates (as underground scepticism – widely recorded in graffiti throughout history), can cause splits (so heresy leading for example to Catholic / Protestant branches), or can extinguish the original cultural (revolution / renewal). If skeptics were only opposing some folks who were highly proficient at manipulating language, these could be easily brought down; but the phenomena is orders of magnitude more embedded and fundamental than this, and also can span generations as easily as it spans countries and organisations.

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  7. Andy, whilst I can agree with you that language and phraseology does evolve, the use of terminology is also in many instances consciously directed and very deliberate. You only have to look at the Guardian editorial’s latest absurd attempts to modify climate related language, which Paul covered here. There are numerous similar examples of deliberate attempts to alter the form of public communication re. climate change with the intent of better communicating that which is desired to be communicated. It’s called propaganda and it’s not a conspiracy theory to point it out. There is no doubt whatsoever that language has been deliberately and consciously perverted by climate alarmists with the express intent of misinforming, disinforming and deceiving the public.

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  8. Further to my comment above, right on cue, we have this in the Con:

    Though it may seem inconsequential, language choices really do matter. How we label an issue determines how we frame it. Back in 2003, Frank Luntz told the US Bush administration that it’s time to start talking about “climate change” instead of “global warming”, because the former sounds less frightening. Explaining The Guardian’s decision, editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said that “climate change” sounds “gentle” when in fact scientists are describing “a catastrophe”.

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  9. By-pass Aristotle’s Law of Identity, something ‘is it what it is and not some other thing’ – Instead, ‘How we label an issue determines how we frame it.’ ‘Climate Change, ‘ a chameleon term, means whatever Humpty Dumpty Cli-Scientists want it to mean.

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  10. Or, as Herr Goebbels of ze Ministry of Public Enlightenment at the Graun points out:

    “Ze use of ze terminology to better convey to ze masses ze need to ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ is based upon ze very commendable desire to be more scientifically precise.”

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  11. Beth,

    ‘The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate the unseen mechanisms of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our county… We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society… in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.’ (1928 ) PP 9-10.

    Utterly chilling.

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  12. Jaime, I doubt we’re far apart in underlying understanding. But looseness regarding how such things are expressed can invite incorrect assumptions. For instance that largely deliberate and directed control of language towards an end very much contradicted by mainstream science (let alone skeptic science), yet without qualifiers on the context of this, could imply conspiracy. So the qualifiers are important.

    ‘…the use of terminology is also in many instances consciously directed and very deliberate…’

    Of course, in any one socially conflicted domain (of which CC is just one), there are thousands if not millions of people doing just this. But ‘who is in charge?’ as neuro-scientist Michael Gazzaniga asks. I.e. the reasoning of the individuals, or the group-think process? The answer is, in the context of strong culture / cultural conflicts, largely the latter. Think of a situation whereby you are extremely attracted to someone (albeit you don’t really know them yet). You may make body language signals towards them (semi-conscious), and later you may execute a plan to create some time alone with them (so indeed, conscious). But is your conscious in charge of your instinctive drives here? No, it is the other way around, your conscious is serving your instinctive drives as best it can. It is the same with strongly emotive memes, ‘words that think for us’. They trigger participatory behaviours a long evolved system, which means not only does our consciousness serve that system, but it is a coordinated and actively policed system (via virtue signalling, demonization and various other mechanisms) across potentially millions of individuals. None of which requires any lying, any lack of intelligence, or any mental deficiency, and indeed you note that the intelligence of individuals in word-smithing is very obviously promoting CAGW, which is exactly because it is pressed into service of the instinctive belief and the associated narratives that the adherents ‘know’ (aka, are emotively convinced) is true. The point about the evolution of the language is that this doesn’t only occur via the contribution of random processes (e.g. Chinese whispers), but the individual application of very many different intelligences as well. So our disagreement is not that individual intelligences and reasoned application are involved, they most certainly are, but that at the big picture level, they are not ‘in charge’; they are in service. To borrow from Thomas Fuller at this parish, the Gaurdianistas, BBCers, Con denizens, presidents, prime ministers, UN elite, NGOs, plus many thousands of orgs and influencers are not sitting there ‘twirling their mustachios’ as decade after decade they execute some conscious desire to lie and to deceive the entire world. They are applying all their energy and intelligence into serving an instinctive drive (which is fundamentally an in-group reinforcement and recognition system), via a passionate and honest belief that the world is doomed. The individual choices (yes!) by editors or whomever to promote certain language at an ‘official’ level, are often made in the context that such language is already in wide currency among the more zealous adherents, having been emotively selected, and thus the editors (or whomever) are (semi-consciously) very afraid of losing their status as cultural leaders by resisting such a decision (or indeed, facing the dreaded black spot as actually being seen as part of the problem). Hence they are still primarily driven by forces beyond their control, not primarily driving. And even where a particular language innovation is unique to an individual (they all must be at some point, although they tend mostly to rise up from the grass roots not come down from the top down), such innovations are generally small increments on the existing tide of language emergence. Ultimately they are still made in service of an instinctive drive and not a reasoned view of the big picture (which adherents are incapable of perceiving); their reason is only applied to the (hugely) biased picture they *can* perceive, i.e. how best to save the world from the obviously coming catastrophe. Why wouldn’t they apply all their intelligence to this? But ultimately that intelligence (strictly within the cultural domains of adherents – it’s fine operating on topics outside of such), is very much in service to culture, and the cultural backbone is an evolving set of compatible memes (narrative). Hence per up-thread, and *even with* the application of intelligence, the situation is more akin to the (emergent) language commandeering the people, rather than the other way around. None of this necessary absolves major / influential participants from responsibility from any bad outcomes; but the allocation of responsibilities for group-think adherence is fraught with difficulties. And while clear cases like outright breaking of the law *should be* easier (though even here, per extinction rebellion transgressions for instance, cultural sympathy can clearly be seen cushioning this for them), a powerful enough group think (i.e. a major culture) can change the moral landscape and associated law in its favour in any case.

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  13. Andy, again, I agree that immensely powerful cultural influences are at work in the way people behave and act and even think. But I’m a reductionist when it comes to individuals. I believe that we ourselves, the mysterious ‘I’ ego personality which in healthy persons functions as the gatekeeper with regard to how we choose to behave and act within the context of our cultural and moral upbringing, is the ultimate arbiter of ‘what goes forth’ into the world ‘out there’. The Nazis, though caught up in a web of horrifying groupthink, nevertheless, as individuals, ultimately bore the responsibilities for their actions. Thus it is for Guardian editors who consciously choose to label those with whom they disagree as ‘deniers’, deliberately and consciously conflating their difference of opinion with those people who, despite an abundance of damning evidence, flatly deny that the Nazis mass murdered Jews. By doing so, they equate the supposedly ‘overwhelming evidence’ of man-made climate change with the irrefutable physical and historically documented evidence of the Holocaust. They make that decision to use that particular terminology as individuals and thus, as individuals, they must accept the responsibility for the consequences of using that terminology. If free will exists, then there’s no such thing a a free lunch, even though there is such a thing as groupthink luncheon vouchers.

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  14. Jaime,

    ‘The Nazis, though caught up in a web of horrifying groupthink, nevertheless, as individuals, ultimately bore the responsibilities for their actions.’

    I completely agree with this, and even mentioned about responsibility along these lines, above. But where does the line of ‘Nazis’ stop; the whole German population (not to mention large swathes in various other countries)? And still cleaving to responsibility allocation according to law as best we can (it’s the only tool we have), does not alter the social psychological reality of “who’s in charge”, or indeed what happens regarding bad outcomes which *aren’t* actually illegal, or grey outcomes where the culture alters the law in ways that only much later are seen as inappropriate (so what is the status of someone who obeyed this law, and also under tremendous cultural pressure too). So…

    “They make that decision to use that particular terminology as individuals and thus, as individuals, they must accept the responsibility for the consequences of using that terminology.”

    Absolutely. But the cultural / group-think angle is still absolutely critical to knowing *why* they did this, and also combating what is happening (as otherwise the strength of the phenomenon will be hugely underestimated). Plus get right what is a lot more than nuance regarding motive, and which if incorrect invites extremely easy destruction by CC adherents. So consider your line here…

    ‘There is no doubt whatsoever that language has been deliberately and consciously perverted by climate alarmists with the express intent of misinforming, disinforming and deceiving the public.’

    Deliberately changed, yes, in line with highly emotive terms already in circulation within the climate catastrophe cultural belief circles, and with the (largely) honest express purpose of informing and persuading public regarding policy to save the world, whose imminent doom (in absence of such policy), they likewise passionately believe in (in a way that literally at brain-architecture level, bypasses their reason). Where does the belief come from? It’s an instinctive drive that is enabled and summarised by a circulating fairy tale, which fairy tale is itself actively evolving due to processes that have both random and intelligent (per above) contributions. Well over a billion Catholics allow (loosely or seriously) a complete nonsense fairy tale to guide their lives, a fairly tale that has evolved hugely via random and intelligent contributions made over 100 generations, which long-term evolved directions (sometimes even contradictory from one era to another) were not, could not be, perceived by priests or adherents at any one generation, none of whom have lived longer than a tiny fraction of the religion’s existence. Only 5 generations ago, the ‘seriously’ not ‘loosely’ proportion of adherents would be very much higher. Who is in charge? The evolving fairy tale, or any particular priests with their relatively fleeting lives and contributions? Albeit it is new and still young, this is the same for the social phenomenon of CAGW. Deliberate and conscious effort does *not* imply an express intent of disinforming and dishonesty (deceiving), notwithstanding per above scammers under the skirts of major culture; quite the reverse, at a global scale it almost always implies a passionate desire to inform and bring the critical ‘truth’, in this case about ‘climate catastrophe’, to the public who never seem (to the great puzzlement of adherents who invent all sorts of reasons / scapegoats as why), en-masse, to get it.

    I think two things are critical to decouple here. The cultural reasons why, per above, in no way imply a reduction of responsibility and your Nazi example perfectly stands. (Albeit this is an easy example via dint of extreme nature, and grey areas exist even then per many in the populace). BUT… the cultural reasons why make clear that dis-informing and dishonesty are not the main beasts that are faced (despite they can hitch a ride too), which is exactly why these phenomena are so powerful. Phenomena based mainly on individual dishonesty are weak.To say the Guardianistas et al are deliberately doing all this over decades as intentional dis-informing and dishonesty, is simply counter to all the social evidence. Along the way it will also simply rile adherents up, for being so obviously wrong plus insulting to folks who truly and honestly think they are desperately trying to save the planet. BUT… the group-think nature of the beast does *not* mean absolution from responsibility – these two things are not tightly coupled!

    So if for instance your line read as follows, this would be perfectly consistent with the social evidence, and still I think express the critical essence of what is needed:

    ‘There is no doubt whatsoever that language has been deliberately and consciously perverted by climate alarmists under the terribly misguided belief that the public must radically change their entire behaviour in order to ‘save the planet.’

    Regarding responsibility, while the culture’s star is still rising big-time, this is pretty much an academic issue; if ever it should happen that practical allocation is needed one day, the influence of group think and heavy cultural pressure has never ultimately been an excuse under law.

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  15. Andy:

    ‘There is no doubt whatsoever that language has been deliberately and consciously perverted by climate alarmists under the terribly misguided belief that the public must radically change their entire behaviour in order to ‘save the planet.’

    The public must first be convinced that the planet needs saving and for that, a compliant media is required: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/bbc-issues-new-guidelines-to-shut-down-debate-on-climate-change/

    The BBC is not alone on this, France 24 frequently leaves them standing, ABC in Australia, MSN etc in the US, all constantly reinforce the message, as discussed in this Tyndall working paper from 2004:

    “The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change” Dennis Bray and Simon Shackley, September 2004. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

    “This paper….. presents a quantitative dynamic simulation model of the social construction of a quasi-reality. By quasi-reality we mean a reality that thus far is defined by expert knowledge and is surrounded by uncertainty.

    We suggest that, in the realm of the public, forces act to maintain or denounce a perceived reality which has already been constructed. That is, an issue introduced by science (or media for that matter) needs continual expression of confirmation if it is to be maintained as an issue.

    In this paper, we explore under what conditions belief in global warming or climate change, as identified and defined by experience, science and the media, can be maintained in the public’s perception.

    As the science itself is contested, needless to say, so are the potential policy changes. So how then do people make sense or construct a reality of something that they can never experience in its totality (climate) and a reality that has not yet manifest (i.e. climate change)?

    To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.”

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/social_construction.pdf

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  16. DennisAmbler:

    “The public must first be convinced that the planet needs saving…”

    Well indeed! Which quest has been going on (with patchy success at best, and albeit for every success, i.e. adherent created, there’s probably another skeptic created too), for around thirty years, with slowly increasing efforts in academia, media, UN, govs, ngos, businesses, mainstream psychological and medical domains and tons of other orgs of all sorts, which together can only be described now as industrial scale. My brief explanations above regarding the fundamental evolutionary roots of what’s happening, and in light of many historic cases at the same scale, plausibly explain how the sheer size and power of this industry can easily be gained despite it is wholly contradicted by mainstream science, let alone anything skeptical. Plus also explaining the polarizing effects, which in addition to adherents will always produce (instinctive, not reasoned) skeptics in large quantity. Your useful links highlight a few threads in the vast and long-term tangle of these decadal efforts.

    Religions have similarly attempted to convince the public that they needed saving, with much greater success although most on a vastly larger timescale. Communism tried to convince the public they needed saving from capitalism, with limited geographical and temporal success, though now there is some common cause with big green that has mutually assisted both cultures. Fascism once tried to convince Western publics that they needed saving from a flood of lesser races, similarly to the climate change case with the ‘backing’ of ‘science’. All of these global efforts have been on an industrial scale, they have all run on the same underlying cultural mechanics, and all depend on deep emotive belief by adherents / proselytisers in fairy tale narratives that at brain architecture level, bypass our reason.

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  17. Andy, I said,

    “There is no doubt whatsoever that language has been deliberately and consciously perverted by climate alarmists with the express intent of misinforming, disinforming and deceiving the public.”

    You think that this wording would be more appropriate:

    “There is no doubt whatsoever that language has been deliberately and consciously perverted by climate alarmists under the terribly misguided belief that the public must radically change their entire behaviour in order to ‘save the planet.”

    Your version does not actually contradict my version. All you do is attribute a motive for deliberately distorting the narrative, i.e. the belief that by doing so, it will change public opinion. My version does not exclude this belief as a possible motive for deliberately misinforming the public. I do not attribute a motive. However, I am certain that in many cases, climate communicators have consciously perverted the language in the full knowledge that the terminology employed does not reflect the real situation. Thus they knowingly and deliberately deceive the public, not because they are in the grip of some subconscious cultural morass but precisely because they have made the conscious and personal decision to actively deceive their audience. However justified they think their actions are according to their sincerely held beliefs, the simple truth is that they willingly and knowingly misinform and deceive. Like I said, if free will exists – and I believe it does with regard to making everyday fairly minor decisions – then there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    A global conspiracy would be lots of people from many different countries actively conspiring to deliberately mislead the public. I do not make this claim and believe there is no evidence for such. A conspiracy would be a small group of people setting out to deliberately mislead the public on a particular issue. Climategate and other climate exposes over the years sadly hint that this might indeed be the case.

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  18. Jaime,

    “Your version does not actually contradict my version.”

    It does. Mine implies ‘only’ noble cause corruption, yours implies (and will certainly be read by adherents as) a much more fundamental dishonesty, i.e. that they don’t even believe in the cause in the first place. There’s a vast distance between these two positions. In your case the ‘active deceiving’ will be read as a much deeper deception. Some of these people must indeed know they are pushing past the edge on communication, but **they still simultaneously believe that the science says we’re doomed** – hence (wrongly) justifying the move – and yes this is to some extent contradictory, but that’s how cultural belief works (and is also why all sort of *believed* justifications of the justifications crop up, like the scientists are being too conservative because they’re nerds who hide behind numbers and are shy about impactful language, or whatever). Don’t forget, reason is short circuited, so you can’t expect reasonable function!

    ‘However justified they think their actions are according to their sincerely held beliefs…’

    Your version can be read, will generally be read, as not even allowing this (wrong) justification regarding the beliefs. And so it makes the statement (and all similar statements) trivially dismissable by adherents. Their conscious (correctly) tells them they are not being dishonest in the way implied, so they know your argument is wrong. However, dishonesty via noble cause is partially salved, so their conscious won’t necessarily pick it up, and even the public are aware of noble cause corruption and its rough features. Hence, much less ambiguously accusing them of the *right* issue, will both for adherents addressed and any third party readers, make it far less easy to dismiss the statement. And might indeed make some wonder whether noble cause corruption has indeed caused them to cross the line.

    The problem with small scale and large scale conspiracy is that you don’t get to choose the scale. The climate change phenomena is global and generational, and the minute you open up with ‘they’ are liars, this will be read regarding the larger scales, and can only imply a vast conscious conspiracy because this is the only way the conscious lies could be coordinated. There’s no need for this, and you lose on step 1. Call it for what it is, it’s not like this is any better for them. The fact that’s it’s essentially a secular religion is indeed far worse, not to mention it has the fantastic quality of being true 😊.

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  19. Andy,

    “Your version does not actually contradict my version.”

    “It does. Mine implies ‘only’ noble cause corruption, yours implies (and will certainly be read by adherents as) a much more fundamental dishonesty, i.e. that they don’t even believe in the cause in the first place. There’s a vast distance between these two positions. In your case the ‘active deceiving’ will be read as a much deeper deception.”

    It does not. Deliberate deception is deliberate deception, whether it be for a perceived ‘noble cause’ or not. Communicating falsehoods in the belief that the means justifies the end is equivalent at a personal level to communicating falsehoods for any other reason. It is the act, not the motive, which is the ‘crime’.

    “Noble cause corruption is corruption caused by the adherence to a teleological ethical system, suggesting that people will use unethical or illegal means to attain desirable goals, a result which appears to benefit the greater good. Where traditional corruption is defined by personal gain, noble cause corruptions forms when someone is convinced of their righteousness, and will do anything within their powers to achieve the desired result.”

    Corruption is corruption. Unethical behaviour is unethical, regardless. My statement did not imply that the dishonest communicator did not believe in the greater cause, only that they know that what they are communicating is not a fair or honest reflection of reality. Big difference.

    Like

  20. Jaime:

    To adhere to such black and white lines is to ignore social realities, for example the reality that example statements such as your one above will not be read to your meaning across a cultural conflict, and to phrase more in line with the underlying mechanisms provides no loss, and along the way considerably less chance of being dismissed and more chance of making an impact. Do we call all priests liars or unethical communicators / actors because they constantly tell fairy tales which are extremely far from fair and honest reflections of reality, and (still successfully in the world at large) enforce arbitrary behaviours enshrined in these fairy tales on our children. Or indeed, proselytising believers generally. No, we do not, generically speaking. If you personally do, and do so fully and equally for all religions and all political or philosophical ideologies without exception, then at least this is consistent. But to do this for catastrophic CC culture and not all other cultures, would indeed be inconsistent. Nor is your ideal in itself real either; there is no centre of reason that is invulnerable to short-circuit by culture, identically for every human, you and me included, plus all ethical standards are relative to cultural bases.

    Like

  21. Andy,

    “Do we call all priests liars or unethical communicators / actors because they constantly tell fairy tales which are extremely far from fair and honest reflections of reality, and (still successfully in the world at large) enforce arbitrary behaviours enshrined in these fairy tales on our children.”

    The comparison of CAGW with religion is useful but goes only so far. A cultural phenomenon stretching back over 2000 years is not the same thing as a culturally biased belief in man-made catastrophic global warming stretching back 40 years. The former embraces many stages of historical cultural development, the latter only really ‘modern’ technological Western culture. Priests and the general populace tacitly agree that there is no empirical basis for a belief in God, that the Holy Bible was not written by God and that the “fairy tales” disseminated by the modern representatives of a 2000 year old religion are largely allegorical. In such circumstances, it would be ludicrous for us to accuse priests of lying or engaging in unethical or immoral behaviour.

    Such is not the case with CAGW. Its adherents specifically ply their trade claiming empirically based science as their unassailable guide to policy. Thus when they make statements and pervert the natural course of language in a deliberate attempt to recruit more adherents to their cause, in the full knowledge that even consensus scientific opinion does not support their increasingly alarmist claims of imminent catastrophe, then they are liars and they are behaving unethically/immorally and I will not shrink from accusing them of such, regardless of whether such accusations may increase my chances of being dismissed. If we analyse all human behaviour using various shades of grey, we get nowhere in the end. Sometimes, you have to see things as black or white and draw the line between. The plain and simple truth is that many climate alarmists are liars and snake oil salesmen. They know that they are liars and they know that they are selling snake oil, but they do so all the same, perhaps in the sincere belief that the promised catastrophe will happen unless immediate remedial action is taken by the public (the swallow snake oil now, save the planet later philosophy), that the means thus justifies the end (noble cause corruption), but equally likely in my opinion, for other ideological or more selfish personal reasons.

    Like

  22. Jaime,
    “The comparison of CAGW with religion is useful but goes only so far.”

    Indeed there are limitations, especially wrt the specifics of cultural expression of course, because these are different for every culture. But the point is that the underlying mechanisms that support religion and CAGW (and every other strong culture) are identical, and hence our approaches to dealing with them can benefit from recognising this commonality of function. The level of technology present when specific cultures blossomed, or indeed anywhere during their life-time, does not really impact how they operate within us, only providing new vehicles for communication (which are utilised by the same mechanics for both cultural promotion and cultural resistance). The entanglement of science authority in cultural support is not new either (e.g. Eugenics supporting bad 1930s culture). Culture can and has perverted any kind of authority source. If indeed it’s ludicrous for us to accuse priests of lying or engaging in unethical or immoral behaviour regarding their promotion of fairy stories that once controlled essentially everything in society, and still have majority influence, then we have to seriously consider the same for those who are doing likewise for the CAGW fairy tale, for exactly the same reasons (i.e. the majority are not engaging in knowing dishonesty and dis-informing, but in honest passionate belief via which misinformation will get propagated).

    “Such is not the case with CAGW. Its adherents specifically ply their trade claiming empirically based science as their unassailable guide to policy.”

    Absolutely it is the case. Because the CAGW fairy tale *includes* that the fairy tale itself is fully backed by (mainstream / IPCC) science! See https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/14/the-catastrophe-narrative/

    “Thus when they make statements and pervert the natural course of language in a deliberate attempt to recruit more adherents to their cause, in the full knowledge that even consensus scientific opinion does not support their increasingly alarmist claims of imminent catastrophe, then they are liars and they are behaving unethically/immorally and I will not shrink from accusing them of such, regardless of whether such accusations may increase my chances of being dismissed.”

    But the vast majority no way no how have ‘full knowledge’ that mainstream / IPCC science does not support their claims. It is an absolute and intrinsic part of the fairy tale of CAGW that this *is* the case, and this has been true for many years. A very few will have some (varying) notion of this.

    “If we analyse all human behaviour using various shades of grey, we get nowhere in the end. Sometimes, you have to see things as black or white and draw the line between.”

    150 years of productive analysis of human behaviour has produced massive progress within a range of disciplines that also are beginning to usefully tie together. To fail to use this science in assisting our understanding of cultural entities that still, after endless sequences of them that we ought to be growing out of, can submerge us in negative waves, would be an appalling lack responsibility. If it wasn’t for the fact that the wave has submerged most of said disciplines, simply because they too fully believe the part of the fairy tale that says climate emergency is just an output of hard science, they’d already have cracked it long ago. Notwithstanding this, our *only* defence against such entities is this science, elsewise you have no more in your armoury than all our ancestors had right back to before we were even homo-sapiens-sapiens, and essentially all of those ancestors up to about the last 100 / 150 spent all of their lives under the control of cultural entities. I.e. they never threw them off. Fortunately it’s not all down-side, in fact it used to be net upside which is why they evolved, but we no longer know whether this is true; we do know of some mega down-sides.

    There are snake-oil salesmen under the skirts of catastrophic climate culture. There are those in the movement who have fallen to noble cause corruption. There are those with aligned agendas (maybe just individual greed, nice and easy to chase, or maybe the alignment of a different culture, say Marxism or whatever, which then complexifies by the alliance of two different fairy tales). All these things happen with all strong cultures. Most of these things are pursuable. But none are majority, or causal, none can happen without the main arising of the culture in the first place, which happens the same for religions or political ideologies or CAGW, whatever, and is fired by passionate belief in (evolving) emotive narrative.

    I not only agree with your position on the Nazi thing above, I think that orders of magnitude more people should have been searched out and brought to book, to give a far stronger warning that cultural pressure, even in the extreme, is not a shield to hide behind regarding grave crimes. But it’s also true of everyone that our very reason itself is sabotaged by culture, and not to acknowledge this will simply lead to more problems, not least a lengthening of the time taken to tame the cultural beasts. Distilled, your approach seems to be that we should aspire to a Vulcan code of behaviour; for this race who’ve removed all emotion (and therefore emotional bias) from their species, any transgression of law, or merely social guidelines, has to be a deliberate breaking of ethical codes / law (and if covered up, deliberate lying too), because there’s no other possibility. Such a code has the advantage of being clear and simple. But it suffers from the massive flaw that we’re not Vulcan, but human. And such an approach would eventually convict everyone, you and me included.

    Like

  23. From the viewpoint of supporters of Climate “Science”, President Trump’s attack does not make any rational sense. However, the “Green New Deal”, which has been endorsed by a number of Democrats campaigning for the Presidential nomination, provides fertile ground for someone who likes to make their opponents look ridiculous, or working against the interests of ordinary Americans. For instance, the GND aims by 2030
    – to eliminate fossil fuel production. US is now No.1 in oil and gas producer.
    – to eliminate nuclear power
    – to eliminate air travel within the USA
    – eliminate fossil fuel cars
    – eliminate farting cows, hence beef and dairy.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/02/07/ten-most-insane-requirements-green-new-deal/

    Trump will have a great time. He will be openly calling out any democratic nominee to repudiate the crazy job-destroying policies. The GND, underpinned by climate hysteria, may have inadvertently paved the way for a two-term Trump Presidency.

    Like

  24. Andy,

    “But the vast majority no way no how have ‘full knowledge’ that mainstream / IPCC science does not support their claims. It is an absolute and intrinsic part of the fairy tale of CAGW that this *is* the case, and this has been true for many years. A very few will have some (varying) notion of this.”

    Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that the “vast majority” of those people propagating climate alarmism do so under the spell of the prevailing cultural bias, that they know very little about what mainstream science actually has to say as regards climate projections and impacts and that they are largely bereft of reason when communicating said projections and impacts to the general public?

    Also, I’m afraid that your theory of an all-pervasive cultural belief doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when measured against the populace as a whole. It might hold the climate alarmist community firmly in its groupthink grip, but it does not seem to have exerted the same powerful spell over the general public who, on the evidence of the recent elections in Australia, appear to have firmly rejected the ‘climate crisis’ narrative. In that sense, it is much like religion – a cultural influence but one which is severely limited in its scope and embrace.

    The bone of contention between us is the degree of personal culpability of climate alarmists who spread lies and misinformation, which hinges substantially upon their awareness of the inaccuracy of the information they are putting out and the inappropriateness of the language they consciously choose to use. You maintain that the vast majority are subconscious dupes in the grip of culturally induced mania and thus have diminished responsibility for their actions. I maintain that is not the case and *many* (not a tiny minority) are ethically and morally at fault. I do not think we are going to close the gap on our differing opinions and my Spock-like logic tells me that our views on this are essentially irreconcilable and that we should not squander further precious mental energy attempting to try!

    What I will do though is leave you with two examples of climate alarmists very recently who I personally consider are culpable for knowingly spreading falsehoods. First, US Senator Bernie Sanders who has said on Facebook:

    “The science is clear, climate change is making extreme weather events, including tornadoes, worse. We must prepare for the impacts of climate change that we know are coming. The full resources of the federal government must be provided to these families. Our thoughts are with the people of the Midwest and their families.”

    Sanders is a US senator who has made climate change one of his major campaign issues. It beggars belief that he could not know that there is no convincing evidence or scientific research linking climate change with increasing frequency/severity of tornadoes. Even if he didn’t know that, a very quick check would confirm that fact. Yet he uses the opportunity of thousands of lives disrupted and homes and businesses destroyed by the recent tornadoes in the mid West to plug the severe weather climate catastrophe narrative.

    Then there’s Ed Davey, previous holder of the title of Politician Negotiating the Worst Deal Ever (Hinckley C) until Treason May came along and tried to sign the country over to the EU as a colony. He’s in the running to become leader of the Limp Dems (great, their poll ratings will tank) and besides campaigning to abolish democracy (reverse Brexit), he also intends to campaign on the climate change ticket. He says:

    “The science is showing it far worse than we thought when I was in government,”

    Davey was Energy Secretary when the IPCC Fifth report was released. The science hasn’t changed an awful lot since then and it certainly does not show that the situation is “far worse”. Again, is he plain stupid, ignorant, gripped by subconscious culturally biased irrationality or is he fully aware that the science does not support his alarmist statement? As a Vulcan, I would have to conclude that he is guilty of ethical transgressions; as a human, I would have to conclude that he’s a lying git. Same with Sanders. Two examples, not isolated, in my opinion.

    Like

  25. Jaime,

    “Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that the “vast majority” of those people propagating climate alarmism do so under the spell of the prevailing cultural bias, that they know very little about what mainstream science actually has to say as regards climate projections and impacts and that they are largely bereft of reason when communicating said projections and impacts to the general public?”

    Yes, there’s a fair amount from different threads. Carry on first as the answers provide some, and also help with understanding the landscape, then I’ll return to this at the end.

    “Also, I’m afraid that your theory of an all-pervasive cultural belief doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when measured against the populace as a whole.”

    You’re probably not too familiar with my theory, indeed there’s no reason why you should be. But it most certainly does *not* propose that CAGW is an ‘all pervasive’ belief. And indeed as briefly mentioned above, it predicts that (against the expectations of many of the orthodox, who typically think that if they just keep trying harder and harder they’ll eventually capture everyone) the continuing course as currently pursued will not only produce more opposition (i.e. simultaneously with more adherents), the polarizing effect of all strong cultures is the principle explanation for the existing vast swathe of skeptics in the current populace in most countries, where there is enough data available to be able to see this (e.g. say the US and UK). This skepticism is *not* born out of appreciable knowledge of climate change (except for a very small fraction), the public have no real depth of knowledge on the topic (see later). It stems from innate scepticism aka cultural resistance, which comes from the same mechanics that support cultures anyhow (so, to have an in-group, automatically means that an out-group will be created too, plus in addition it’s in part a balance mechanism against over-dominance of local culture – as noted above if you want to take a trip through mass scepticism in historic times, look at graffiti). In other words, we all have an innate cultural bullshit detector, but the snag with it is that a) the detector itself is cultural-value dependent, so doesn’t fire for things we already lean to unless they get screamingly decadent, and b) it can sometimes be mis-triggered by the promotion of absolutely genuine science conclusions. There’s a lot more about all this here: https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/20/innate-skepticism/

    “It might hold the climate alarmist community firmly in its groupthink grip…”

    Well of course, they are by definition adherents.

    “…but it does not seem to have exerted the same powerful spell over the general public who, on the evidence of the recent elections in Australia, appear to have firmly rejected the ‘climate crisis’ narrative.”

    Absolutely. And nor would we expect this, unless things had gotten so bad that like Nazi Germany or Stalinist USSR, dominance was imposed rather than naturally arrived at (so then would be an ‘iron fist’, not a ‘spell’ anyway).

    Different things happen in different countries though, depending upon the cultural alliances that are locally in operation (such alliances themselves are emergent too, so opportunistic on local conditions). So in the US, Dem / Lib culture formed some common cause with CAGW, which pulled in their opponents, i.e. Rep / Cons, in on the side of skepticism. As this arrangement deepened over the years (and in conjunction with increasing Dem versus Rep conflict also over many other issues), the polarization on CC deepened and hardened to what we see now. As Dan Kahan shows in his excellent surveys / analyses, regarding *both* sides of the conflict, peoples’ support is *not* based upon ‘what they know’, but on ‘who they are’, where ‘who they are’ equates to cultural loyalty. Because of the really strong Dem / Rep alignment of the conflict in the US, ‘who they are’ is easily measurable using standard tests that have existed for a long time.

    In the UK, the conflict has not strongly aligned to left / right or any other pre-existing cultural conflict lines. Albeit there is some lean, all the mainstream parties (except I presume for the brand new Brexit party, which considering their achievement must now be regarded as mainstream) support climate policy based on alarm. Yet despite this obvious big difference to the US, there are very likely just as many skeptics in the UK as the US. This surprises many people, who expect a rough 50 / 50 split in the US exactly because of the Rep / Cons versus Dem / Libs aspect. But there’s about 50% here too. How do we know? Because there have been a bunch of surveys over the years – on which the figures vary dramatically depending on how you ask the questions, what other questions or surveys are associated, what commitments are or aren’t associated with questions, etc etc. (Among other things, this allows both sides to constantly claim victory). So, you have to look across all the surveys, which in fact tell you very interesting things about what aspirations / beliefs are likely behind some of the variance, and to cut a long story short (plus unfortunately having to ‘average’ figures not harvested in the same way), the best guess one can make to a round figure that might be reasonably representative, is also 50 / 50. The lack of strong political alignment means an easy test of ‘what they know’ versus who ‘who they are’ cannot be done here like in the US, and there’s also way less on ‘what they know’ in an absolute sense anyhow (I’ll return to tests including climate literacy later). But there’s no strong reason to suspect that the UK public are significantly more knowledgeable in the climate domain than the US public. Hence per above their lack of being taken in by the catastrophe narrative is not via any significant level of knowledge of climate science, but via standard cultural resistance / innate scepticism (again, see the link above for a full explanation of this behaviour).

    Incidentally, the same ‘who they are’ not ‘what they know’ situation occurs with creationism in the US, except that the Rep/Cons and Dem/Libs are the other way about, and this is a fantastic verification of the test, because we know for absolute sure and definite that the creationism position is sponsored entirely by a culture – i.e. religion. This provides an easy 3 step way of using some of the above academic work and a raft of public surveys, to show that belief in climate catastrophe is cultural. The 3 steps are identical for the climate domain and the creationism domain, so if you don’t like them for the former, you have to say why they’re wrong for the latter too. See https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/who-is-who-aux-file.docx .

    In Germany, the initial local alliance formed not with the left but with a right-of-centre party, and Merkel was known as the ‘climate chancellor’. Like in the UK there was no strong resistance for years from other parties, but as the energiewende is going tits up folks are moving on alliances and polarisation because there’s been more resistance in recent times from both the left and the far right (albeit still modest). I’m not familiar with the underlying situation on OZ, haven’t looked at any social data and I’m not sure there is a great deal of it. But purely on observing the politics they seem to be somewhere between the UK and the US, with their main break-point of conflict not occurring ‘conveniently’ between left and right parties, but actually inside the right. Hence the back and forth warfare on the issue inside Libs / Nationals, ejection of a PM one way, then ejection of a PM back the other way, with the latter finally winning them the election as you note. One can say anecdotally that a new up-and-coming culture (of which CAGW still is), tends to support much more virtue signalling than older established cultures, and this would likely have helped to blindside the pollsters and disguise the innate scepticism clearly burning in so many of the public until the final crunch point of the vote – but while compatible with the theory, this is really just speculation. Yet as you imply, given this was billed as the climate change election by those who thought this would help them win it, the result certainly suggests a similar level of sceptical feeling in Oz as per above in the US and UK (albeit of course despite this billing, climate will be far from the only issue at stake).

    “In that sense, it is much like religion…”

    Exactly!! Just as I said above; this is because it is driven by identical mechanisms underneath 🙂

    “– a cultural influence but one which is severely limited in its scope and embrace.”

    But like a religion that scope and embrace will not necessarily stay as limited as now. It has already grown enormously over the last 3 decades, in fact to the extent that I’d hesitate to use the term ‘severely’ limited any more, and may grow considerably further (or may not, or may collapse). This growth can and does happen with religions too; in the West only a century or so ago, not far out of living memory, Christianity controlled virtually every aspect of society. But obviously, once long prior, this was not true and it had a long fight to establish such dominance. It is highly unlikely CAGW will get into the kind of dominance that Christianity enjoyed, because it hooked its wagon to a science topic, and eventually that science will out (and per the above thread, only a realisation by mass adherents that even the *mainstream* science doesn’t support climate emergency, will be enough to kill-off the culture, no sceptical position is even needed). Note: as already implied, even a very dominant culture does not kill off (bulk) innate scepticism aka cultural resistance in the relevant population(s), this just goes underground. That’s why in history you can’t see it in official records, you have to look at back channels and graffiti, which of course there is unfortunately far less record of.

    “The bone of contention between us is the degree of personal culpability of climate alarmists… …and my Spock-like logic tells me that our views on this are essentially irreconcilable and that we should not squander further precious mental energy attempting to try!”

    Okay Spock. But it’s fair to point out that my views come from a theoretical platform that is also backed by at least by various sources of data and study, and from which a raft of other expected features match most of the characteristics we see. And per previous agreements, in a barrel as huge as CAGW has now gotten to be, even a small minority will make for a lot of bad apples. For a list of some of the other features, look in the search box at Climate Etc for my post ‘Climate Culture’.

    “What I will do though is leave you with two examples of climate alarmists very recently who I personally consider are culpable for knowingly spreading falsehoods….”

    I can do much, much better than that. The companion posts at Climate Etc called ‘The Catastrophe Narrative’ and ‘CAGW: a snarl word?’ cover among other issues a breakdown and simple analysis of the emotive meme content in about 180 catastrophe narrative quotes, all categorized and explained as to their emotive leverage, and including a whole bunch of quotes of the kind you provide, showing features such as the ‘underwriting by science’ and extreme weather invocation as you have below, but in a multiplicity of ways, plus tons more issues likewise so treated. These are also split by authority sources (presidents, prime ministers, high ministers, UN elite, economists, religious leaders, medical authorities, NGOs, economists, influencers, with also half devoted to scientists who are split to ‘climate science’ and ‘environmental + other’). Your two example folks, Davey and Sanders, are included, as are a raft of the highest world authorities in the 21st century. To save on the word-count in the two main posts, all the principle quote lists and the detailed look at emotive meme action is covered in the footnotes file (its BIG, and is linked at the bottom of both main posts). I think you’ll find this file a very useful reference anyhow just for the quotes, but to get what it’s saying overall you’ll unfortunately need to read all three elements (i.e. both posts plus the footnotes). This gives, from a bottom-up perspective, the front-line of the actual narrative as it were, some idea of how these things work and indeed that no lies are needed regarding their propagation and persuasive power. I recommend reading them all right through, despite the size (you may well need some sick pills during the 180 quotes). Per your Spock observation this will not alone persuade you of (majority) presence of powerful belief as prime mover, rather than (majority) lying. But it’s a great precursor to really get more familiar with generically how these texts are structured, and why these structures emerge. But there is much more that may or may not move you, some of which I have in other posts, however I think that particular journey would be interesting anyhow.

    Whether or not you read the above, the much longer list of quotes I provide (themselves only a small sample of what’s out there), show that the 2 examples you provided above are not at all unusual. In fact these expressions are practically ubiquitous, which leads to some very interesting suggestions regarding the gap between us. Also, I need to return to the evidential and climate science literacy and such, but this post is already somewhat long and a break is in order. So stay tuned for part two later…

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  26. Andy,

    I asked:

    “Do you have any evidence to back up the claim that the “vast majority” of those people propagating climate alarmism do so under the spell of the prevailing cultural bias, that they know very little about what mainstream science actually has to say as regards climate projections and impacts and that they are largely bereft of reason when communicating said projections and impacts to the general public?”

    You replied:

    “Yes, there’s a fair amount from different threads. Carry on first as the answers provide some, and also help with understanding the landscape, then I’ll return to this at the end.”

    Your very long and verbose comment, as far as I can tell, did not provide the very specific evidence I requested, or link to it. Therefore I must presume that the ‘evidence’ exists only in the form of opinion.

    I said:

    “The bone of contention between us is the degree of personal culpability of climate alarmists . . . . . and my Spock-like logic tells me that our views on this are essentially irreconcilable and that we should not squander further precious mental energy attempting to try!”

    You replied:

    “Okay Spock. But it’s fair to point out that my views come from a theoretical platform that is also backed by at least by various sources of data and study, and from which a raft of other expected features match most of the characteristics we see.”

    So basically, in my response to an appeal for very specific evidence, you have responded with an overwhelmingly long and verbose post which did not provide the evidence I specifically requested and instead was an appeal to authority.

    I understand this is your ‘thing’ Andy and that you like to explain it to people in sometimes exhausting detail, but I am left with the impression that you actually have no more hard evidence of your claim that cultural bias is largely responsible for climate alarmists behaving badly than I have regarding my opinion that many alarmists are morally, ethically and personally responsible for their conscious decision to knowingly communicate climate change bullshit to the general public. So I think we should leave it there and call it an interesting but unresolved discussion.

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  27. Jaime,

    “Your very long and verbose comment, as far as I can tell, did not provide the very specific evidence I requested, or link to it. Therefore I must presume that the ‘evidence’ exists only in the form of opinion.”

    Well, also I said I wasn’t finished and stay tuned. Plus there is a load of support linked / referenced, via my Climate Etc posts, which fan out to a very large set of further support from a range of disciplines, public and academic surveys and analyses. Do you expect the evidence to be in the form of a magic questionnaire to all the politicians et al who simply said, oh yeah, right we were all lying after all 😉

    Of course not. The necessary evidence is naturally all indirect, and has to be assembled from a large range of threads. People and their societies are also more complex than climate, for instance, so understanding is non-trivial (but has been big progress over 150 years). Yet you want to understand in three paragraphs?? It is no way no how an appeal to authority to provide entry points and summary explanations of many of such threads, all backed by a large range of sources which are not me. It is an appeal to read and understand and then make your own conclusions. Isn’t putting your hands over your eyes and saying ‘this is only opinion’, what skeptics rightly point out that the orthodox do all the time? I get that this world is not familiar to you; I also get that you passionately believe a whole bunch of people are systemically and consciously lying to you. But passion can betray, as indeed the passion of the climate emergency-mongers has betrayed them. I was halfway though setting out the landscape and threads, which it seems you have no interest in after all. Not much point in part two if you are never even going to read / follow-up part 1, and likewise will dismiss part 2 in the same manner. Among other things, this means you won’t have much idea what I am saying anyhow! Your prior comment had a completely gross misunderstanding that you were working with right from the off, which would wildly put everything else out. I corrected this, if you read it. And indeed this is fine given you wouldn’t necessarily know. But you used that inappropriately as ‘evidence’ I must be wrong compared to what was actually happening in (Oz) society. And what you’re saying now is that you don’t want to know, and you don’t want to follow threads that incorporate stacks of evidence about how populations behave and incorporating public and academic surveys / analyses of the CC domain (and other domains for comparison), which all contribute to our understanding of what’s actually going on.

    “So I think we should leave it there and call it an interesting but unresolved discussion.”

    As you wish. Any time you’d like to present structured evidence strongly backing your PoV on conscious lying, including academic and public surveys, analyses, theoretical support from social psychology or similar, lessons / examples from other contested science domains where the same thing is happening, anything like the theory of group lies versus individual lies, far more backup regarding the vast array of catastrophe narrative quotes such as I have pointed to, or any other support in similar veins, or indeed signed en-masse confessions that would conveniently avoid all of the above, then I’d be happy to read it and comment on same 🙂

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  28. “Do you expect the evidence to be in the form of a magic questionnaire to all the politicians et al who simply said, oh yeah, right we were all lying after all 😉”

    Bother, evidence under torture that we were truly being honest. The above is what you need for your PoV support. Good luck with it!

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  29. P.S. even better would be lie-detector tests, perhaps you can arrange a few thousand to top authority persons to get us kicked off!

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  30. Andy, maybe you could hook up all your test alarmist subjects and demonstrate that 97% of them show areas of theirs brains specifically involved in cultural learning behaviours lighting up when they tell lies about climate change! That should do it.

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  31. Probably would. And early / tentative work on deep brain scanning during strong religious belief, very interestingly appears to show that one of the areas of the brain invoked during an episode of strong belief (while watching a revered TV prophet type guy, I think it was), is that which hypnotists leverage. Vast work to do yet, but one can’t help speculate this (i.e. enforcing cultural behaviour) is why that area of the brain evolved in the first place. Wouldn’t surprise me if the hypnosis centre lit up bright red for adherents during a Greta showing or climate strike or whatever. How to get them all into the scanner is probably the tricky issue, especially the ones who consider themselves important. Free sweets for policy wonks and politicians probably won’t cut it.

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  32. It is an interesting thread discussing how the fear of climate is propagated and why it is adopted by so many. But it should also be noted that the meme serves a power play and takes advantage of people’s naive trust in government to solve their problems. James L. Payne writes on this aspect of the delusion. “If in coming years we hope to curb the naive governmental interventions that bring so much ruin to the world, we need to address this belief in the efficacy of government.” My synopsis is
    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/06/01/from-climate-change-holy-government-deliver-us/

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  33. Ron,

    ‘The activists do not base their position on reasoning and calculations. The Climate Kids don’t come to their demonstrations pushing wheelbarrows full of cost-benefit analyses. Most of them don’t even know what cost-benefit analysis is.’

    Indeed. Yet likewise for rafts of presidents, prime ministers, high minsters, UN elite, religious leaders, business leaders, NGOs, academics, medical authorities, teachers, and even economists (who should know what a cost-benefit analysis is). Along with too many other influencers and orgs to count. All who express an urgency to act both immediately and dramatically, in a last chance to prevent (perceived) otherwise certain imminent catastrophe. Essentially, even the ‘higher powers’, as cited, are trusting to magic for a solution.

    Like

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