Greta

Days of Thunberg: Surviving the Brontocene, Episode I

 


What have I become,
my Swedish friend?
Everyone I know
goes away in the end.

—Johnny Cash and Trent Reznor, ‘Hurt’

You can probably decompress the thesis of this post almost losslessly from a Tweet I twote a month ago, when the current geological epoch was but a few days old.

(The rude verb, got from HBO’s Deadwood movie, inferentially means ‘to shame [sbd.], esp. by denouncing them in a forum affording no immediate reply.’)

If that all makes perfect sense to you, feel free to cheat yourself of the cheap jollies of reading on.

Otherwise let me begin, as my childhood rhetoric tutor (now in hell) would have wanted, with a provocatio:

Ad puellam derision of Greta Thunberg is worse than a crime; it’s a blunder.

A week ago I would’ve thought the only possible mystery about the Tweet above was the dearth of hearts. I’ve since resigned myself to the need to explain what was on my mind as I typed it, else I fear nobody will ever—as the saying goes—Be The First To Like This.

Consider this a companion piece to a much better article by my mate Geoff Chambers, concerning—as most things do—Dr Stuart Capstick, a lecturer who epitomizes the crybaby psychiatrolatrous Zeitgeist of today’s climate-crisis scene. On a Sunday I spent salivating for the salvific smack of satire, the pseudo-silly crypto-serious sarcasm of said essay was just the salve to satiate my sickness. Should this sequel be seen as the second salvo in a site-wide symposium on the psyche of the Brontocene I could die happy, presumably in a bungie-cord failure or other Extreme Sports Event [ESE] of the kind that’s fast becoming the new normal.

But at the end of the day, pace M. le Chambres, let’s not lose sight of the 3 pairwise non-identities that obtain among {Greta Thunberg, XR, Stuart Capstick}. Plato’s Phaedrus tells us to butcher reality at the joints: so then, Greta first.

On September 23, the First Day of Thunberg, a schoolgirl stood before the UN Climate Action Summit in New York and made history (something no schoolgirl in history has ever made before).

In a viral 4-minute tirade, Greta Thunberg (/’Greht-eh Toyn’-boyalé/—like the Golgafrincham reporter) became the first climate-concerned person to call on the world for climate concern, a call normally issued only by the crypto-insouciant pseudo-concerned.


The 16-year-old activist was a quantum leap—from a rather low baseline, of course—in the sincerity of climate prophets. The brainwashed had become the brainwasher; the cycle of mental abuse had come 360º. The Circle of Lies was complete.

With our characteristic genius for public relations, we skeptics wasted no time taking the piss… out of the victim.

I understand the temptation. I myself had a draft typed up, in the torpedo tube, ready to go, under the headline ‘Meet the 16-year-old who’s already doing things most sane people can only dream of.’

But I never did hit Publish. It occurred to me at some point that I liked Greta. I had no reason to dislike her, at any rate. Sure, she was psittacizing someone else’s falsehoods. But they were her truths. There was no discernible mens rea—no tell, that I could tell, that she could tell she was telling anything but the truth. She actually seemed to mean it.

I’ve long considered George Costanza one of the most underrated epistemologists of the 1990s (second only to Donald Rumsfeld). You may remember his saying that, “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” When he expounded this philosophy, actor Jason Alexander played it for laughs, but it’s a basic analytic truth.

george costanza it's not a lie gif - Google Search 28

Greta Thunberg—like every climate celebrity who’s ever spouted anything—spouts bollocks. That’s the job description. But what if—unlike them—she’s not lying? Then she’s the last one whose bollocks we should be mocking.

Watch the attack phase of her speech (the first minute or so) again. See how closely her affect tracks the contents of her words and their emotional valence. I’ve yet to see the acting prodigy who could do that on demand. There’s always an 800-year lag ’twixt the script and the poise of the lip, which, once noticed, makes the most promising proto-thespian about as compelling as an animatronic tribute to the craft of Nicholas Cage. Granted, the technology is getting there. The calibre of underage performers is better every awards season. But they’re still on the wrong side of the uncanny valley (hand in hand with most of Hollywood’s A through C lists, in all age brackets) and I genuinely don’t expect them to be mistaken for humans in my lifetime—and if they are, it’ll be because they steer clear of monologues like Greta’s.

In short, I believe the speech she read in New York, a four-minute pangram of negative emotions, would have tripped up just about any mimic of human feeling. Especially a child. Especially a child with Asperger’s.

If you want my opinion—and you’re still reading, so I’ll assume consent—her power as a speaker comes from being young and silly enough to believe the farrago of factoids she imbibed at her mother the opera singer’s breast. It’s pretty much the same formula most Scandinavians of her generation have been on ever since they could understand the spoken word, so Greta won’t be the last of her kind. (I hope not, because we skeptics could really do with a second chance not to misfuck this opportunity.)

If Thunberg’s power threatens us, it’s because we feel her authenticity, and we project our own respect for the authentic onto the general population. Thus, we single her out for criticism for the same reason her wranglers hand-picked her in the first place: her credulity is her credibility.

Knowledge isn’t always power, after all. Once you know what you’re selling is bullmilk, you’ve lost forever the power to sell it with feeling. You then have to fall back on charm, misdirection, humor, repetition, feigned indignation, and the numberless other technologies it takes just to approximate the effortless talent of the ignorant.

The climate Pharisees who’ve come before Thunberg are hamstrung by familiarity with their own product. The cognitive dissonance to which this knowledge gives rise is the enemy of oratory, and the reason they will never touch the hem of Greta’s robe as ‘communicatiors.’ The most gifted actor among them will still fall short—because he’s acting. Even at the best of milliseconds, a mere fraction of his intracranial resources is available for the material itself, the piece. The rest of his brain is too busy:

• trying to act like he’s not acting
• trying not to act like he’s acting
• ignoring the fact that he’s asking the rest of the world to act, but never acts himself
• steering clear of the caveats and asterisks and inconvenient truths Steven Schneider said you should make no mention of
• muting that little voice we’ve all heard reproaching us, in Richard Feynman’s Brooklyn accent, whenever we betray everything science stands for (the voice primitive societies called “the conscience”)
• trying not to dwell on the depressing fact that the climate crisis is make-believe
• wondering: is this the year they finally notice we’re the only scientists who never seem to add anything to human knowledge, and demand a refund?
• will I be forced to sell the paintings? Can a judge do that?

To anyone who doubts the literal veracity of a single bullet point of the neuroscience I present above—as is your right, I suppose—I have one word to say: fMRI.

Let me expand fourfold on that remark. Functional magnetic resonance imaging.

A neuroscientist is unlikely to confuse the brain scan of someone expressing their beliefs with that of someone dissimulating them. The latter is a relatively recent triumph of evolution, and requires a more elaborate and diffuse neurological dance than anything Thunberg does. Her strength as a speaker comes from how little is going on mentally. In Emily Dickinson’s words,

The brain within its groove
Runs evenly and true.

Climate spokesmouths would never volunteer for such an experiment, of course, but it would be the ideal modality to check (and let’s face it: verify) what our shared spider-senses have been telling us ever since these people first started pitching their wares: that they’re about as sincere as L. Ron Hubbard.

Greta Thunberg is what happens when a bar bet gets out of hand. PseudoScientology is all fun and games (that is, all fun and profit) until someone actually believes in it.

Greta talks about global warming and gets upset—upset about global warming. Not about the day her dog was run over, the ending of The Notebook, the ongoing travesty that is FOI legislation, or wherever it is that your favorite climate dysangelist goes in his mind when he wants his face to look sad.

She doesn’t have to reach for associations. It isn’t necessary, in her imagination or her rhetoric, to link the idea of global warming with any number of negative emotions.

What upsets Greta—like it upsets nobody who’s ever been trotted out on the world stage to get upset about it before—is climate change itself, the Ding an sich. To Greta, AGW is ugly, it is frightening, it is going to run over her dog.

She might be called the first of the true believers, if the term ’True Believer’ weren’t already taken. Better, I think, to think of her as the prototype of a new wave of non-counterfeit alarmists. The first of the Actual Believers.


if she ever met us, Greta Thunberg’s first reaction would of course be to dispute everything we believe about the physical world.

But that’s OK. We can work with that. If we can’t, we have no business participating in a debate.

What we’ve never been able to work with is people whose salary depends on pretending (with apologies to Upton Sinclair) that they don’t even understand, let alone share, our beliefs.

You’ve probably heard it said: “It’s impossible to reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place.”

This futilitarian aphorism is easily disproven—I’m only too grateful to be reasoned out of one of the many positions I’ve adopted on gut instinct in the absence of good information, aren’t you? And yet it has an inexplicable and enduring appeal to intelligent people. Even Christopher Hitchens disappointed me by failing to reason himself out of this meme in his lifetime. (I like to picture Hitch in his own heaven now, a handsome smoking-room where the great minds can reason each other into and out of things all day without pausing to sleep or sober up.)

I see it, I see through it, and I raise you:

It’s impossible to reason someone out of a position they don’t actually hold.

That’s why no matter how foolish the professional alarmists look in their contortions to communicate everything but science, nothing will ever shame them into admitting skeptics are right.

They. Already. Know.

And they don’t care. It’s beside the point who’s right. The point is to ennoble, empower and enrich themselves by pretending it’s them.

Greta doesn’t get it, but why would she? She’s no scientist. She has no way of guessing how repugnant the argument from consensus is, how flimsy The Science™ is, or how to go about testing A Science™ for flimsiness if she wanted to. She’s just a minor who internalized the fairy tales of a critically-ill planet at her mother’s knee (and yes, I’m familiar with the transparent lie, popularized by the opera singer, that it was lil’ Gretchen who converted her parents to alarmism, and not the other way around, in between visits to developmental psychologists). Greta was raised and schooled—when she wasn’t playing truant to promote “awareness” of something or other—within the bien-pensant milieu of Sweden’s Klimakultur. And Scandinavia is not a geopolitical entity wherein the public exchange of diametrically-opposite worldviews (each caricaturing the other, both caricatures of themselves, but hey, better than nothing) is encouraged at the best of times, let alone in the climate debate, so semi-educated Swedelings can hardly be blamed for knowing even less about the argument for climate apathy than the average American, can they?


Instead of deriding Thunberg, what we should have done was nothing. Let her do her thing. Because she wasn’t such a Wunderwaffe for the climate movement after all, was she?

Problematically for the pedophrasts who’d hoped to use her for their own dirty ends, Greta’s integrity—sharpened to a monoatomic edge by the Apergerian intolerance for contradiction and inconsistency—put her in visceral conflict with their hypocrisy.

Every how dare you thundered by Thunberg was directed not at us, but at the people she was glaring at in the moment of detonation: the climatocracy. By you, she meant “you.” (Funny that.)

source (1)

Her quarrel was righteous, because her quarrel was with the very scum we ourselves are sworn to fight: the terror merchants who’ve filled the minds of the young with ideations of an imminent, two-thirds-likely atmospheric clusterfuck (and then done absolutely nothing about it).

If they ever do explain how they dare, you’ll read it here first.

Greta Thunberg is not our enemy; the innocent, incandescent homicide she harbors in her heart for those who have betrayed her generation may just make her the enemy of our enemy.

Our response to the dawning of the Days of Thunder should have been climate silence, broken only by the ping of popcorn kernels in a microwave.

(It’s like my momma taught me: never interrupt your enemy when he’s being cut to ribbons by his own genetically-modified prize Frankenchicken come home to roost. That’s a quote. If you’ve never heard of this adage then one of us had an abnormal childhood, and I’m pretty sure it’s not me.)

“[I]f you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act,” she told the World’s 2,500 Leading Virtue Signatories right to their faces, “then you would be evil.”

Yes, they would.

“And that I refuse to believe.”

So you’re in denial. I get it. At least you admit it; that’s the first step.

As painful as this may be, Greta, you’re about an inch away from the truth. What you’re going to have to accept one day is that the international climatocracy really does understand the science better than you.

(And in case it helps, that’s why they never bother acting.)

You have every right to feel betrayed on behalf of your generation—even if you weren’t betrayed in quite the way you think.

So go ahead; start feeling it.


Something you probably never noticed in Thunberg’s speech, because she didn’t say it, is what she didn’t say.

In a four-minute lament on the failure of the world to Do Anything, she never once blames global paralysis on the activities of Climate Deniers, Denialist Blog Trolls, Tobacco-stained Contrarians, Petro-lubricated Doubtmongers or any of the other faerie races. In 2018 she spoke at TED for a full ten minutes about the same impasse without scapegoating a single species of climate infidel, real or mythical:

That’s major.

Climatism needs skeptics the way interbellum Germany needed the Jews. It’s been said by me that if we didn’t exist, our opponents would have had to invent us. And in a sense that’s exactly what the skeptic-smellers pursuivant did, elevating people you and I had never heard of (let alone taken our marching orders from) to positions of superhuman influence within a fictitious ‘denial industry,’ only to tear them down in four hundred pages of libel, a.k.a. Two Minutes Densely-Footnoted Hate, a.k.a. The Protocols of The Elders of Doubt.

Nothing galvanizes a cause like the countercausal machinations of a hook-nosed, scheming, money-grubbing enemy—nor does anything explain away such an infinity of failures.

Oceania had Goldstein and his socialist handbook; climatism has the Kochs, Singer, Seitz, Nierenberg, Jastrow and their Tobacco Playbook. Because it works. It’s much easier to turn 97% of the populace against the other 3% than it is to make 100% of the populace hate a gas. (These percentages are no less fraudulent than the rest of the climate narrative, of course, but they’re no more fraudulent either.) In any case, if you’re asking the hordes to stamp on something forever, the only thing that’s going to hold their interest for long is a human face. It’s called the ‘face of climate change,’ but it’s really the face of climate skeptics, or a eugenicist’s cartoon thereof, on which the jackboot is coming down again and again.

But Greta seems to be better than this. As far as I can tell, anti-skeptical agitprop is beneath her. I never thought I’d say this about a climate celebrity of any gender but I’ll say it now: it’s almost as though she’s not a lying cunt.

Then again, cynicism might suggest that the only reason she’s thus far refrained from defaming us is that she was never aware of our existence. A quick search I ran on Greta’s oratorical corpus doesn’t return a single hit for the stem ‘s[c|k]eptic-.’ She’s obviously never sat down and talked climate with a skeptic thereabout; and who knows‚ that might be for the best, what with honor killing still being a very real danger, in 2019 AD, for a Swedish girl whose promiscuity disgraces her parents.

If she didn’t know us then, she must know us now. I doubt we left a good first impression. From the reactions to her 4 minutes of fame in New York, you’d think Thunberg Toon-Blasted us and not the climatocracy. They had the low cunning to let her stinging rebukes wash over them and keep their mouths shut, waiting for us to make the mistake of picking a fight with her—and we didn’t disappoint.

What we allowed our enemy to do next was so predictable that I sometimes wonder if we deserve to win the climate wars.


In the next episode I’ll explain the problem of, and solution to, evil.

114 thoughts on “Days of Thunberg: Surviving the Brontocene, Episode I

  1. Are you sure you’re not confusing the Brontocene with the Apatocene, or even the Diplodocene? They are very similar.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This hits the nail squarely:
    “Greta Thunberg is what happens when a bar bet gets out of hand. PseudoScientology is all fun and games (that is, all fun and profit) until someone actually believes in it.”

    Orwell said “Ignorance is Bliss,” but somehow that has morphed into Ignoranve is Rage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More to the point, if one did an fMRI on Greta you would see two throbbing amygdalae, an insular cortex in meltdown, a periaqueductal gray spinning on its axis, and a pre-frontal cortex trying its best to keep out of the way. This would be cause for concern for you or I but it is perfectly normal for an adolescent.

    We all wanted to change the world at her age – and I would have done so if I hadn’t discovered masturbation.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/
    “While Greta talks of her own idiosyncrasies being an advantage for her self-perceived role, the personal (including her courage, passion, dedication) isn’t a unique key. Without Greta there’d be a Hreta or Ireta or… to Yreta or Zreta and so on. And not necessarily young and female*. Strong cultural movements create conditions which will surface, from an immense diversity of humanity and numerous adherents, those who’ll most closely identify with the culture and most effectively wield its narrative as commands.”
    * though this is statistically more likely wrt millennial cults; they are more socially protected.

    As with all the emotively convinced, and as you imply, proselytization works far better when the narrative is truly and honestly and indeed passionately believed.

    She’s a symptom, not a cause. To attack her rather than what she represents is not just wrong but very counter-productive. However, ‘doing nothing’ is unlikely to be optimal. As some have indeed done, pointing out the examples of various historic Greta’s, and that this kind of social performance means its content is almost certainly nonsense on stilts, is much better imo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “We all wanted to change the world at her age – and I would have done so if I hadn’t discovered masturbation.”

    That was you, John? Why in God’s name didn’t you patent it? You’d be raking it in hand over fist. You’d never have to wank another day in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “To attack her rather than what she represents is not just wrong but very counter-productive.”

    You seem to agree with me—correctly, in my view—when I paraphrased Talleyrand for my provocatio. I think you’re right.

    “However, ‘doing nothing’ is unlikely to be optimal. As some have indeed done, pointing out the examples of various historic Greta’s, and that this kind of social performance means its content is almost certainly nonsense on stilts, is much better imo.”

    The reason I wish we’d said nothing—at least for a week or so—is that the moment Greta’s speech created was so painfully awkward for the climatocracy. Nothing could have improved on it. She’d asked them, to their empty faces, how they could look themselves in the mirror, a question we’ve been asking for years in vain. But they couldn’t ignore her like they ignore us. They had to answer.

    We saved them from that by providing a distraction. As soon as we opened our mouths, it gave them the excuse to change the narrative from little-girl-performs-perineotomy-on-corrupt-climate-leadership to deniers-attack-little-girl.

    We rescued our enemies from Greta. I hope we’re proud of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. But Brad she dared them, not us. That was her message and it hasn’t changed. Sceptics are so unimportant to her that we didn’t merit a mention. Our blathering has gone unnoticed. High-faluting words and rhetoric are not even pinpricks to the St. Greta worshipping brigade.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brad,

    “You’d never have to wank another day in your life.”

    You speak as though that would be a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Alan, I’m not sure what you think we disagree about. She m*therfucked them, not us—precisely. Which is why we should have sat back and enjoyed the spectacle. The climate movement was eating its young, like Uranus. Or rather: being eaten by its young.

    Like

  10. The Brontocene was not what Greta had in mind.

    “I shouldn’t be here, talking bollocks about a twenty degree hotter earth devoid of all life except for swamp-dwelling warm-blooded 100 ton lizards with nothing to eat, I should be back home, in the Brontecene, writing novels about hard done by little girls who’ve had their childhoods stolen on dark, windswept, pre-industrial, climatologically idyllic moors.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/29/emily-bronte-may-have-had-asperger-syndrome-says-biographer

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Greta is still a teenager – when she grows up, she will possibly find the world a much different place to what it used to seem, a vaster and more complex place with infinite shades of grey. To quote Philip K Dick, reality is “that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” And what will reality look like in 2040?

    On the question of winning, the forces of climate alarm look unassailable at the moment, marching across the land like HG Wells’s Martians, blasting with their heat ray of outrage those foolhardy souls who poke their heads up above the parapet.

    But, in the story, what defeated the Martians in the end? Not bullets and armies but the inexorable processes of Nature, and as the saying goes, “Mother Nature bats last” – however, she has also been known to take her sweet time!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Well Brad I disagree that we should not have attacked her message. Yes she was criticizing the climate- elite but this has played into the hands of those advocating the more extreme measures. St. Greta is now their advocating prophet. There has been, nor would there ever have been, any advantage to us sceptomaniacs from the utterances of St Greta. What we have said probably hasn’t even registered.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “You seem to agree with me…”

    Yes.

    “The reason I wish we’d said nothing…”

    I don’t think it works like that. She wasn’t preaching to the scientists, whose heads remained below the parapet, but to leadership elites who’d been primed for this for years by an emerging cultural narrative, yet whom themselves had not so far been bold enough to pitch it so hard, and as you observed wouldn’t have made anywhere near such a good job of it if they did, as their adherence isn’t generally quite so utterly blind and passionate and unknowing of reality. Most of them in UN / Parliament did not shrink from her words in embarrassment or fear, bright eyed, they fawned upon her.

    ‘Such prophets then feed back to the culturally primed (and themselves long propagating) leadership, the ‘morally irrefusable’ plus ‘popular’ grass-roots verification, required for the culture’s next level of expansion and dominance. Yet ultimately, they’re all serving an entity that does not possess agency let alone sentience; it works purely via emotive selection and the consequent engagement of long evolved behaviors.’ https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Alan, thanks. You’ve revealed to me a number of things I should have spelled out.

    Broadly, we’re witnessing a schism. Or at least internal strife that can’t end pleasantly for the climate movement.

    Our enemies are the Borgias: spiritually-bankrupt, richer than Croesus, priapic primates who hold orgies in the Vatican apartments every night, then administer a hung-over simulacrum of Mass in the morning. They’re crypto-atheist pseudo-Catholics, only in it for the power and the whores and the silk toilet paper.

    Greta is like Savonarola or Fra Dolcino. She represents the pious—the people too innocent, ignorant and ingenuous to understand how Rome, the Pope’s own seat, could possibly have turned into Gomorrah. And she demands answers.

    Borgias end up having to burn Savonarolas lest they be burned by them.

    It’s all tremendous fun to watch, if only we would shut up and enjoy it.

    “Well Brad I disagree that we should not have attacked her message. ”

    Her “scientific” (natural-world) message is preposterous, but not unique to her. It’s the same message we’ve been hearing and attacking for years.

    Her ethical message—that the classe climatique is evil, because it doesn’t act as though it believes its own schtick—is correct. She thinks their schtick is the truth, and they should live by it; they know (as we do) that it’s all bullschtick. So while she thinks their actions are inconsistent with their beliefs, we know it’s their beliefs that are inconsistent with their words. Either way, they’re evil.

    “this has played into the hands of those advocating the more extreme measures”

    They’re the people who aren’t in on the joke.

    And our enemies are cursing them for ruining the scam by misunderstanding it.

    And if the sincere extremists like Greta get their way, they will tear the climate movement apart. It cannot survive Acting On Climate. Its lifeblood is the perpetual angst that comes from perpetual avoidance. Screaming about a monster without doing anything about it, ever.

    “St. Greta is now their advocating prophet.”

    And that’s the problem—for our enemies. They never intended to Do Something. And for years people understood, and were content with, the arrangement: go to tropical hotels, Do Nothing, get paid. Now a famous girl is making a nuisance of herself by demanding they put their money where their mouth is. But they want to keep their money where their wallet is. So this is a very amusing spectacle, for me.

    “There has been, nor would there ever have been, any advantage to us sceptomaniacs from the utterances of St Greta.”

    She is calling our enemies’ bluff.

    Since our enemies ARE bluffing, that’s very bad for them. Since it’s bad for them, it’s (indirectly) good for us.

    “What we have said probably hasn’t even registered.”

    It has registered, which is the first thing I want to discuss in Part II. Well, not what we’ve said, as such, but the media’s distortion thereof. It’s been twisted to make us misogynistic ableist assholes, distracting the world’s attention from the schism just when we should be focusing on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brad is right that Greta is exposing the hypocracy of the elites paying lip service to climate warming/crisis/emergency/chaos/whatever turns you on. However, her (or her handlers’) intent is to cajole them into acting upon some really bad ideas, out of a badly distorted world view. And that world view should be criticized, ridiculed, satirized and flushed away, for the sake of humanity and the planet.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/its-gretas-worldview-we-disavow/

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Brad Where we disagree fundamentally is that you seem to believe many advocating action on climate change have beliefs that are inconsistent with their words. I have always believed that most advocating action really do believe there are real climate problems to solve and that we should be doing so. I don’t believe for one moment that the stance they are taking is a manufactured one nor that it will quickly dissipate. Greta may not be a leader but she is an effective exemplar.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Alan

    “I have always believed that most advocating action really do believe there are real climate problems to solve and that we should be doing so.”

    Excellent. We’re getting somewhere, thanks largely to your and Ron’s efforts to get to the crux of our disagreement.

    I’m very sure people like Tom (for example, Tom) are entirely genuine in their desire to see the supposed problem addressed as one of a number of priorities for the globe. That is, I’m persuaded of the existence of mildly alarmist/pro-action people of good faith.

    I don’t think anyone (until Greta) has believed in the *urgent* end of the spectrum of scenarios.

    I also don’t think any alarmist in the climate leadership itself is sincere.

    I also don’t think any alarmist *climate scientist* is sincere.

    How might we settle this empirically?

    Can you name some people who are examples (in your opinion) of the classes I consider empty?

    ” nor that it will quickly dissipate.”

    No, I don’t think it will *ever* dissipate until the money runs out.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jeez, what is wrong with you guys with your arguing! We are supposed to be agreeing with each other. Don’t you understand how important it is to have a consensus that 97% of us can agree on?

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Exactly. Have we no pride herd?

    When our enemies can’t tell one skeptic from another (well, they could, but only by getting close enough to risk engagement), it’s vitally important that we not contradict each other, so that Lewandowsky doesn’t accuse the world’s only skeptic of thinking Princess Di is both alive and dead.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Poor Greta.

    Little Greta mental made,
    be it all a mania,
    the context so toxic,
    the parents neurotic,
    the schooling indoctrick,
    cli-sci-apocalyptic,
    any wonder the kid’s sick?

    Liked by 2 people

  21. “She thinks their schtick is the truth, and they should live by it…”

    Yes:

    https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/
    ‘Fears inculcated by cultural entities aren’t real. We are not meant to believe them literally. Indeed, our brains appear to have a system for subconsciously knowing they’re not real, albeit we don’t yet know how it works31. As part of a ‘moral’ map, their purpose is in-group reinforcement. But sometimes the system goes wrong, producing real fear. For example, regarding: a) a new rising culture or cultural variant where equilibriums aren’t yet established, especially regarding a secular culture using the authority of science as a cloak. b) children, who lack mental experience of distinguishing between culture and reality. And c) likely for certain conditions (e.g. Asperger’s) where communication subtleties aren’t processed, such that cultural narratives not normally interpreted literally, are nevertheless perceived this way32.

    a) results in some fearful adults. a) and b) results in many fearful (neurotypical) children. c) may add to a) and b) resulting in fearful young ASD individuals, like Greta. Even where the system works, cultural fears have some impact, are still scary to an extent. But not typically enough to trigger the same intensity and type of reaction as for reality fears33. Ironically, Greta correctly identifies an apparent hypocrisy in relation to this effect, the true cause of which her literal interpretations may have obscured for her32a.”

    “…they know (as we do) that it’s all bullschtick.”

    No. Their cultural adherence is based on a deep emotive conviction that bypasses reason; they do NOT consciously know it’s a lie. ONE HALF (or one part, depending upon your chosen theory) of their brains ‘knows’, and it lies to the other half [or parts]). So, in (correctly – it’s a feature not a flaw) interpreting the narrative *culturally*, some part of them knows not to act upon it literally, but not enough of them to know consciously that the premise is a lie in the first place. Greta, by virtue of her youth and likely the literal determinations of Asperger’s too, has not interpreted normally, but indeed as though ‘their schtick is the truth’. This in no way means they are lying; they are ‘believing’, same as religious adherents. And in turn, this means that when some prophet translates the claims to literalism, most adherents will not view this as a challenge but as angelic. Because they aren’t conscious of their own brain’s workings that withhold them from the same literal interpretation, while cleaving to similar emotive conviction, but NOT resultant action (other than that which benefits the culture but not a solution – it is not in the interests of the culture to ever have a solution – hence, virtue signalling). Brains are not a uniform whole, and any model resting upon that assumption will be wrong.

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  22. “Its lifeblood is the perpetual angst that comes from perpetual avoidance. Screaming about a monster without doing anything about it, ever.”

    Absolutely. But some cultures have successfully spun this for up to a couple of millennia at least, and despite a string of Greta’s along the way. Cultures enable such prophets to emerge because, typically, their activities do more good than harm to the survival of the entity, despite it’s a higher risk strategy and on occasion, as was the case for Nongqawuse, it can bring down the whole culture and it’s supporting society too. Cultures are of course completely blind and insentient, supported via selection of emotive memes; they do not know how high risk a particular play is, they only work on the long -evolved modes that worked out best over past history.

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  23. “I also don’t think any alarmist in the climate leadership itself is sincere.”

    Wrong framing. To truly be sincere or insincere requires a *conscious* grasp of what issue one will be assessed upon. Strong cultural adherence works via emotive conviction that subverts the conscious. So people can genuinely feel perfectly sincere, while not acting accordingly. This is by degrees, so at one end of the spectrum a few could indeed be characterised as insincere (plus major cultures will carry a bunch of freeloaders too, but this is not causal). And, some people are so subconsciously and indeed passionately sincere about their high cultural cause, they will perform conscious (and perceived lesser) insincereties to progress the greater sincerity – we call this noble cause corruption.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Andy,

    I find it impossible to reconcile claims that the climate leadership is remotely sincere (by any definition of the word) with the lengths to which they go to avoid debating unbelievers. Any unfeigned belief in an idea entails, to my way of thinking, a confidence in its ability to withstand an encounter with its opposite or complement.

    You write intelligently and complexly of the conflicting levels of faith and faithlessness in the religious mind. It’s not necessary for me to take any issue with your account. It suffices to say merely that once that kind of load is placed on the mind, we’ve moved far away from my poetic criterion for sincerity….

    The brain within its groove
    Runs evenly and true.

    …and into the realm of mens rea, where, even in the closest case to a “sincere” case, the faithful is guiltily aware “in the back of his mind” of the efforts he has to go to just to maintain his own faith against the encroachment of contrary realizations. And I suspect that in many or most cases he doesn’t even bother. He knows skeptics are right. He’ll never admit it out loud, but he can’t deny it in the privacy of his own skull.

    To Greta, the basic correctness of her interpretation of The Science (which doesn’t profess to be very detailed, of course) is as effortlessly obvious as is my equal-and-opposite confidence in my own interpretation. That’s why I would be prepared to debate anyone, any time, in front of any audience. If only our opponents could muster a single champion with the same courage in their convictions.

    Remember, also, that our enemy is in almost every single case someone who not only can but does make many thousands of dollars a year contingent on professing a particular belief system. I’d like to know what reason I have to believe that a single one of them believes their own hype.

    The language they use is replete with shibboleths belying a lack of genuine, Greta-like belief in any climate crisis. I pointed this out to Andy Skuce a while back, citing several examples of the climate leadership’s words (behind closed doors, where they’re under less pressure to honor omertà) and concluding:

    And this is [the only thing] they’re afraid of:

    “What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably …”

    Finally note the difference between ardent fanaticism, which often seems to arise from a need to overcompensate for one’s own doubts, and simple, matter-of-fact belief in one’s beliefs. Sincere beliefs are quiet (or rather, they’re at normal conversational volume). Sincerity doesn’t go around crowing, but it doesn’t flee the room when a different belief enters either:

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I disagree completely with the premise of this article. The classe climatique clearly believes in the premises of its religion. It is a religion because there is no easy scientific solution to its desires and wants, which in this case is a return to the hypothetical stable climate by the casting out of the devil CO2.

    It is the same in any religion. People may want eternal life or enlightenment as a religious desire, and they believe these things exist certainly. These states are not easy to achieve however. It’s simply the case that they don’t have the cojones or abilities to follow the stricter precepts, ie go the full monty, throw away the possessions, meditate in a cave for thirty years etc, etc. You leave that to the fanatics who have the mental problems. On a societal level the religion may preach against war, but always wars exist. There’s too much money in it. Only a few fanatics protest about this unsurprisingly.

    In claiming that professors of the climate religion don’t really believe because they don’t really follow it, you can make that claim for any religion. Its a perfectly normal response of the masses to the more difficult problems that the religion may present.

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  26. Dr Electronius

    In claiming that professors of the climate religion don’t really believe because they don’t really follow it, you can make that claim for any religion.

    I would make that claim for most followers of most religions.

    And thank Ganesh! Can you imagine what a bloodstorm the world would devolve into if all the Muslims suddenly believed in Islam?

    Fortunately they don’t. They go to mosque when it’s expected of them, but most of them are normal, law-abiding non-jihadis who by and large reject those premises of Islam that are incompatible with civilization. In other words, they believe in the parts they believe in, and don’t believe in the parts they don’t believe in. In other words, they may as well never have heard of the Koran for all the deep behavioral difference it makes.

    In most cases.

    The classe climatique clearly believes in the premises of its religion.

    What’s clear about that?

    Why do they flee debate? That’s not the behavior of someone who believes in the things in which he claims to believe.

    It is a religion because there is no easy scientific solution to its desires and wants

    That doesn’t follow. Is my conviction that Alzheimers is a bad disease a “religion” because there’s no technology [yet] that can eradicate it?

    Of living in harmony with one’s professed beliefs, you write:

    You leave that to the fanatics who have the mental problems.

    Why should mental illness be necessary in order to live a life of integrity within the context of a belief system? And how could the other self-proclaimed adherents of that belief system fail to suspect something was deeply wrong with it when the only people committed to it were… well… certifiable?

    *

    Finally, it’s worth distinguishing between hypocrisy, which may indicate nothing but a moral flaw, and true behavioral inconsistency.

    As an example, let’s say I professed that Meat Was Murder, and that its harvesting was morally equivalent to person-on-person homicide. And then you saw me eating veal marsala at a fancy restaurant.

    Would that prove my profession was fake? Not necessarily. I might simply be the kind of person who doesn’t care how many people are murdered for my gustatory pleasure. In other words, I might believe it’s ethically unforgivable to eat meat, but also delicious, and since I’m a bit of a prick I do it anyway. There are people without consciences in just about every creed.

    On the other hand, if the majority of Meat Is Murderists were habitual carnivores, then you’d have to seriously question their sincerity, because you wouldn’t expect that many people to be complete bastards. The more likely explanation would be that they don’t really think it’s murder after all; they just like the T-shirts.

    Now suppose, instead, that I went on the morning chat show circuit promoting my theory that meat is carcinogenic, that its brown coloration is due to the faeces it’s covered in, and that it causes an excruciating death after an average of 2 standard servings—and its repugnant taste is just nature’s way of telling you never to eat it.

    If you caught me eating veal marsala after that performance, you’d have a pretty ironclad case for accusing me of lying (by promoting a theory I knew was BS).

    The only possible alibis I can think of would be:

    – Someone served me veal without my knowledge, and somehow the sauce masked its nauseating taste

    – I hated myself and was determined to die in horrific, disgusting circumstances.

    If neither of those check out, then I think the only conclusion is that I was being disingenuous on the Today Show.

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  27. Brad as I thought we fundamentally disagree. You believe your opponents in the climate argument are insincere. You even refer to them as the “enemy”. I believe that some indeed are (many may have started out sincere, but have subsequently smothered doubts for strategic or monetary reasons). But, they are not the majority especially the youth who don’t yet have doubts. They are bouyed up by the crowd around them, with their chants and slogans, out to save the world. This has become a formidable force, seemingly capable of moving mountains (or even more rigid governments). Amongst this mass there will be individuals who buy the whole store and become deep believers incapable of reasoned argument. Then there are others who see opportunities for financial gain or power. It is this group, Brad that are your enemies, those that you would joust with. But they are not everyone who opposes our view.
    Many also started out as environmentalists, legitimately concerned with one or more ways in which we humans are harming our surroundings. Frustrated about being unable to do anything significant about these concerns they have been absorbed into the climate concern mob. Similarly, others use climate concern as a lever to change human society. These acolyte groups only know enough about climate change to remain attached and hopefully benefit from the overspill.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. “It is this group, Brad that are your enemies, those that you would joust with. But they are not everyone who opposes our view.”

    I couldn’t disagree less. 🙂

    My enemies are those who’ve been behind the curtain, inside the sausage factory of The Science(TM), who know how factitious it is but also how lucrative it is and choose to prioritize their mortgage over their debt to Mut.

    So at most, you and I disagree about the ratio involved (true enemies over total opponents).

    We actually have had this misunderstanding before so at the risk of deja vu:

    https://cliscep.com/2017/08/21/knowing-really-knowing-your-enemy/

    Like

  29. “Amongst this mass there will be individuals who buy the whole store and become deep believers incapable of reasoned argument. ”

    I think you’re assuming a questionable dichotomy here. Why triage our opponents into insincere opportunists (pseudo-believers) vs irrational True Believers? Why couldn’t there also be people—millions of people, even—who believe in the whole package deal but are still capable of being reasoned out of it? Why does the extent of their acceptance of a bag of tenets dictate the reasonableness of their belief process? Surely we should expect to find some people tractable to, and other people beyond, reason in every possible credal category (including disbelief/rejection). Surely, to put it another way, belief as a position and reasoning as a process are orthogonal variables.

    ***

    On a more general note thank you, Alan, for reminding me once again of the importance of taking the greatest clinical care in the use of an epithet like ‘enemy’ as distinct from ‘opponent.’

    To me, the question of whether my enemy is sincere is a silly one—by definition, no, he is not.

    The only non-trivial question is how many of my opponents are sincere, because there’s no a priori answer to this.

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  30. Brad. Because most supporters of doing something about climate change don’t buy into the whole store, they are content just to gaze through the front window or merely taste what “their betters” tell them or show them (walruses plunging). People are easily led; what we need to judge is whether the leaders are honourable or not. I am not prepared to believe that all are dishonourable. That certainly was not my judgement when I used to meet many of them – they believed their science, and when they strayed into being influencers, I believe many did it with honourable intentions. I certainly don’t believe there are only two types of opponent, there is instead a complete range from complete opportunistic b*rst*ds to the 100% altruistic but mistaken. To brand all with the same mark is IMHO a mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi Alan

    How many of those leaders who you believed—at least at the time—to be honorable would today be willing to debate climate skeptics on a fair field, without the moderator/censor on their side a la The Conversation?

    Like

  32. Brad. Thank you for the reminder that you once resorted to calling me “sunshine” when you were losing an argument bigtime. Best of three?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. “How many of those leaders who you believed—at least at the time—to be hono[u]rable would today be willing to debate climate skeptics on a fair field, without the moderator/censor on their side?”

    No idea, and some have since died. Is a willingness to debate a measure of honourableness? At UEA I had many debates with some of them, often on a yearly basis in front of students. They can be a very hard audience.

    On a related tack I knew many academics who were outright sceptics or who had serious reservations, but who kept quiet. Others would link their research to climate change just in order to get funding. I have previously admitted to this “crime” when I tried to get funding to study the Nazca Lines in Peru. Do they, and I, fall into the same sh|tpan as the climate leaders you despise?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Brad,

    “I find it impossible to reconcile claims that the climate leadership is remotely sincere (by any definition of the word) with the lengths to which they go to avoid debating unbelievers.”

    The ‘climate leadership’ aren’t scientists. The culture long since (decades) escaped the inconvenient limitations of science. And ‘elite’ would be a better word, because an emergent phenomena isn’t ‘led’ exactly. You don’t get a lot of bishops or evangelical TV preachers or born again whatevers having reasoned public debate about the existence or not of their entire world-view, either. This is exactly what you’d expect, a classic feature of belief systems especially in earlier phases where they are more threatened – such people are agents of the devil anyhow – or in the climate case, ‘deniers’. The small number of climate scientists who are still near the head of the beast seem indeed to be archetypal believers, Hansen, Hayhoe etc. Vast numbers of non-climate scientists (espc ‘environmental’) end up as believers through the initial bias of ‘fraternity of science’ plus no serious knowledge of core climate science.

    “It suffices to say merely that once that kind of load is placed on the mind, we’ve moved far away from my poetic criterion for sincerity….”

    Though it may beautifully speculate, poetry provides no criteria for sincerity, unless it is also an insightful reflection of social / psychological science.

    “The brain within its groove
    Runs evenly and true.”

    …and this is not.

    “He knows skeptics are right. He’ll never admit it out loud, but he can’t deny it in the privacy of his own skull.”

    You have simply stated this, you provide no evidence. And while it’s unlikely we can persuade the climate elite specifically into psychological surveys, this flies in the face of everything we know about cultural belief and the complex / conflicted nature of the mind, not to mention academic and survey org measures of the climate domain undertaken on the public over many years. As noted above, any theory about what people think ‘inside’ regarding socially conflicted / culture war topics, which is based on an indivisible model of the brain that can only be ‘all sincere’ or all ‘insincere’, is automatically wrong, unless you want to overturn about 150 years of scientific progress in a whole raft of disciplines from neuro-science through various evolutionary studies to anthropology and social psychology and more.

    “To Greta, the basic correctness of her interpretation of The Science (which doesn’t profess to be very detailed, of course) is as effortlessly obvious as is my equal-and-opposite confidence in my own interpretation.”

    Then you should suspect your own interpretation, because confidence of that level only occurs as a result of emotive commitment, due typically to cultural belief. This is the case for Greta also, her flawed system of interpretation due to Asperger’s merely causing her to skip the usual ‘believer’ disconnect between ardent belief and tightly concomitant actions

    “Remember, also, that our enemy is in almost every single case someone who not only can but does make many thousands of dollars a year contingent on professing a particular belief system.”

    Whoever said belief systems don’t reward, if they can (sometimes rewards must be deferred – ultimately into the next world / heaven / whatever) their elites? This is extremely common, just look at the history of the church. [It’s worth noting that the bulk of the money and infra-structure is owned not by individuals (elite or not), but the culture itself, which is the true beneficiary]. This does not in any way alter all the characteristics belief systems have. And of course there will be a spectrum, and bad apples / freeloaders at one end, but they are not causal, and if there wasn’t a belief system in the first place, there would be nothing to freeload off.

    And what is it with this ‘enemy’ term?? Out-grouping those whom you disagree with to that extent is classic cultural behaviour in itself.

    “I’d like to know what reason I have to believe that a single one of them believes their own hype.”

    …about 150 years of scientific progress in a whole raft of disciplines from neuro-science through various evolutionary studies to anthropology and social psychology and more.

    “The language they use is replete with shibboleths belying a lack of genuine, Greta-like belief in any climate crisis.”

    The whole of mainstream climate science, conveniently represented by IPCC / AR5 tech chapters, contradicts Greta’s (and XR’s) certainty of imminent apocalypse. And in some cases (sadly far too few), scientists have pointed this out. But as noted above, this thing has long since escaped such inconvenient strictures, and so the vast majority of climate scientists’ opinions too. Quite apart from the problem of creating yet more inappropriate cultural belief, those who cite ‘enemies’ not infrequently cite the wrong ones, and sometimes it may be a ‘thing’ and not ‘people’ anyhow.

    “What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably …”

    Those whose less than scientific conduct originally allowed the cultural beast to slip out of the bag, and are at the conscious-enough end of the spectrum to even recognise this, ought indeed to feel very guilty. But they aren’t driving the cultural force which long since left them behind, and guilt plus fear of retribution are not likely to help them contribute to lessening that force, especially when folks are going around calling them ‘the enemy’. These few should be encouraged to follow up on such speculations in a positive way, by lending what authority they may still possess to oppose the nonsense narrative of imminent climate apocalypse. They will need the hand of friendship so to do. Newer generations of scientists not privy to the origins, of course are typically swept up in the belief system before they even start their work.

    “Finally note the difference between ardent fanaticism, which often seems to arise from a need to overcompensate for one’s own doubts, and simple, matter-of-fact belief in one’s beliefs. Sincere beliefs are quiet (or rather, they’re at normal conversational volume). Sincerity doesn’t go around crowing, but it doesn’t flee the room when a different belief enters either:”

    These simplifications are so simple they’re not even wrong. Ignores that fact that culture is a group not an individual phenomenon, ignores the fact that cultures have different phases (so time domain) and hierarchical features and structure (which means individuals believing in somewhat different ways), not to mention that personal psychology mapped onto the output of all this will produce a large spectrum anyhow. As noted in the previous post, ‘sincerity’ as normally understood in the context of the personal, i.e. outside of overwhelming factors such as a major cultural conflict, doesn’t have at all the same meaning in the latter circumstances, if it even has any meaning at all given the *internal* brain conflicts that occur. Any theory about what people think ‘inside’ regarding cultural conflicts, which is based on the brain being a single indivisible whole that is either ‘sincere’ or ‘insincere’, is wrong. This doesn’t mean we know what the correct theory is, there’s huge debate about those internal conflicts and the potential mechanisms upon which they’re founded, plus the evolutionary pressures that created them. But just because we don’t know the destination doesn’t mean we should ignore the information so arduously acquired to date.

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  35. Alan,

    “Brad. Thank you for the reminder that you once resorted to calling me “sunshine” when you were losing an argument bigtime.”

    ‘Sunshine’? That doesn’t sound like me. I’m not a character on Neighbors.

    (Is it really an epithet one *resorts* to calling another, though? That one *stoops* to using? I mean, is it an insult? I’m not asking rhetorically—it’s not a word in my lexicon, so I honestly don’t know what it connotes other than the second note in A Sound of Music.)

    ‘losing an argument bigtime’? Now I *know* you’re confusing me with someone else!

    I don’t lose arguments, for the simple reason that I only argue against people incapable of beating me. When I meet someone, like you, who’s intelligent enough to hold their own, I much prefer to have a conversation.

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  36. Andy

    And what is it with this ‘enemy’ term??

    It means foes.

    This is a bit hard to explain within the limitations of a blog comment, so perhaps a tweet will suffice:

    The culprits I name above are my enemies, and yours. They’re inimici humani generis.

    Out-grouping those whom you disagree with to that extent is classic cultural behaviour in itself.

    They out-grouped me when they called me a denier. By taking the hint that I’m not welcome in their species, am I guilty of “classic cultural behaviour”?

    confidence of that level only occurs as a result of emotive commitment, due typically to cultural belief.

    Let’s test the logical commitments of this hypothesis.

    How confident are you that the sun is going to rise tomorrow, Andy?

    (Presumably, and I’m just guessing here, you’re even MORE confident about that than I am about the lack of a climate crisis.)

    Does confidence at that level only arise “a result of emotive commitment, due typically to cultural belief”?

    Should you therefore “suspect your own interpretation” of astronomy? How much time, tonight, do you think you should allocate to subjecting your (presumably very high) confidence in the sun’s return to skeptical second-guessing?

    Come on, Andy: you must try not to fool yourself, and you’re the easiest person to fool 🙂

    Interestingly, Greta is *not* adamantly certain that civilization is going to end as a result of BAU emissions. She only puts the risk at something more than 50%, if I recall her recent speeches.

    So I’m *more* confident that BAU is *not* going to extinguish civilization than Greta is confident of the *opposite.*

    That ought to imply, within your framework, that I’m *more* irrational in my climate non-alarm than she is in her climate alarm, if I understand your level-of-confidence theory aright.

    I suspect you yourself would also come out as less rational than Greta according to the same rules.
    ____

    An ironic NB:

    on Twitter this weekend, the strong consensus of my skeptic mates has been that Greta Thunberg is just faking it; that she realizes full well that The Science(tm) is a crock of fairy tales.

    At cliscep, the consensus seems to be that even the *adults* in Greta’s movement don’t realize that.

    Vive la difference!

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  37. Andy

    ““Out-grouping those whom you disagree with to that extent is classic cultural behaviour in itself.”

    To supererogatorily hyperclarify, I would never out-group (in the sense of “make an enemy of”) somebody or some group of bodies whose only crime was to disagree with me, e.g. about climate change.

    If you think I’ve ever done that, then I wasn’t writing very well or you weren’t reading very well, or both.

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  38. Every “conservation” with yourself lost for lack of trying hard (= strenuously) enough. What a record!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Andy

    >> He knows skeptics are right. He’ll never admit it out loud, but he can’t deny it in the privacy of his own skull.

    > You have simply stated this, you provide no evidence.

    But I did provide it when asked: the fact that he refuses to debate skeptics. Such cowardice is incompatible with the hypothesis that he thinks the position he advocates is correct.

    Nobody who…

    1. believes he has all the scientific evidence on his side, and skeptics have none

    AND

    2. believes public skepticism is standing in the way of the actions and policies emergently necessary to save the Earth’s surface from a climate clusterfuck

    …would turn down the chance to discredit skeptics, once and for all, by taking on their arguments publicly on a fair playing field.

    They know that a victory in a fair contest of ideas would convince a significant chunk of the population that hasn’t been satisfied by pronouncements from the ivory tower.

    Yet they won’t step into the ring. This is as clear a piece of evidence as you could ask for in favor of my hypothesis: they’re evidentially bankrupt and they know it.

    This is too obvious for Psych 101. It’s folk psychology. Rudimentary theory of mind.

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  40. Brad:

    “The culprits I name above are my enemies, and yours. They’re inimici humani generis.”

    You speak for yourself, they are not mine. And they are merely humans with human failings to which we are all subject, not some unspeakable anti-humans. While not avoiding legal or certain other responsibilities, the task is to understand the failings (at individual and group levels), not further them via cultural amplification.

    “They out-grouped me when they called me a denier. By taking the hint that I’m not welcome in their species, am I guilty of “classic cultural behaviour”?”

    Yes. You swallowed their bating. And two wrongs don’t make a right.

    “How confident are you that the sun is going to rise tomorrow, Andy?”

    Completely false equivalence; there is not a cultural conflict raging (currently) about whether the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

    “Come on, Andy:”

    False appeal to ‘common sense of the majority’.

    “…you must try not to fool yourself, and you’re the easiest person to fool 🙂”

    Completely false appeal to internal doubt. Doubts and confidence are both context specific; you cannot appeal to either via sleight of hand equivalencing with wildly different contexts.

    “She only puts the risk at something more than 50%, if I recall her recent speeches.”

    She does not typically quantify outcome risks, she does usually quantify necessary avoidance, e.g. In her speech to the UK parliament, she states that emissions must already be down by 50% at ‘around 2030’. Consequences are generally left vague but apocalyptic, for instance from first short UN speech: ‘Our civilization is being sacrificed… Our biosphere is being sacrificed… You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes…” Her expressions follow normal existential emotional narrative forms you’d expect from a religion or extremist political vision in these respects. Larger extract: ‘You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard. Is my microphone on? Can you hear me? Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%. And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.’ Note ‘irreversible’ and ‘most likely lead to the end of our civilisation’.

    “So I’m *more* confident that BAU is *not* going to extinguish civilization than Greta is confident of the *opposite.*”

    The point remains. Greta’s confidence stems from emotive conviction, not science. To state that your conviction is even stronger therefore, is worrying in respect of the source you are drawing your confidence from. Maybe it’s right this time, but what about other strings of things you state with equal confidence? But we can maybe write this one down to inappropriate expression rather than inappropriate derivation. What on Earth is the point of having a ‘confidence competition’ regarding such things. We know already that Greta’s (and many other folks) confidence comes from emotive commitment; so just say in counter, that you believe the (mainstream AND skeptic) science which says her position is unsupported.

    “That ought to imply, within your framework, that I’m *more* irrational in my climate non-alarm than she is in her climate alarm, if I understand your level-of-confidence theory aright.”

    You appear, sadly, not to be displaying any signs of having understood any of it at all currently. Which is odd as you have before.

    “I suspect you yourself would also come out as less rational than Greta according to the same rules.”

    …as further demonstrated by the above. You still don’t seem to acknowledge, for instance, that emotive convictions bypass rationality, and certitude sourced from these different modes of the brain are entirely different (and to make things worse, sometimes mixed). Or at least not afford this due weight in the circumstance of cultural conflicts, for some reason. This plus cross-contexting appears to be leading you to some rather bizarre logic.

    “…on Twitter this weekend, the strong consensus of my skeptic mates has been that Greta Thunberg is just faking it; that she realizes full well that The Science(tm) is a crock of fairy tales.”

    Well, slap my thigh, your twitter mates must have it all bang to rights then.

    “At cliscep, the consensus seems to be that even the *adults* in Greta’s movement don’t realize that.”

    A great example that diverse input and rational discussion in a moderate forum, can surface above emotive drives and talk of ‘enemies’. But of course, we would never be without your part of the diverse.

    Like

  41. Oops, missed one…

    “But I did provide it when asked…”

    No. You are simply making an arbitrary assumption about what’s in his head, based on external behaviour. But there are many and wide internal possibilities to satisfy that behaviour.

    Your 1 & 2, once again, make the assumption that despite we are in a cultural conflict, the brain is acting as an indivisible whole, and that is not what happens regarding strong adherents (or those *instinctively* opposing) within cultural conflicts.

    “This is too obvious for Psych 101. It’s folk psychology. Rudimentary theory of mind.”

    I think this really means… it’s so simple it’s not even wrong. Cod psychology.

    Like

  42. P.S. notwithstanding which, per above, the phenomena is emergent so there is not so much a climate leadership, it isn’t ‘led’ as such, although there is a climate ‘elite’, the vast majority of whom are not climate scientists anyhow.

    Like

  43. She went into rapture when she met Jeremy Corbyn: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/27/corbyn-declares-national-climate-emergency#img-2

    She is being managed by Jennifer Morgan, one time adviser to Tony Blair and John Schellnhuber, former WWF, E3G, WRI, Climate Action Network and now Greenpeace Director. Member of the Advisory Board at the Grantham Institutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Andy,

    >> This is too obvious for Psych 101. It’s folk psychology. Rudimentary theory of mind.

    I think this really means… it’s so simple it’s not even wrong. Cod psychology.

    Yes, that’s an admirable précis.

    It’s so simple that it’s not even wrong—it’s right.

    It’s so simple, even a fish of the family Gadidae could follow the following psychological reasoning:

    you don’t spend decades inventing excuses to avoid debating someone (whose attitude is supposedly consigning the planet to an imminent thermal Holocaust, no less) unless you know you won’t win.

    I said this refusal to debate was evidence of their awareness of their own position’s falsity, and you replied:

    You are simply making an arbitrary assumption about what’s in his head, based on external behaviour

    Bingo. Also known as ‘evidence.’

    (To be pedantic, though, t’s not an ‘arbitrary’ assumption if it’s ‘based on’ something. Evidence, in this case.)

    External behavior is the best and only evidence we can ever hope for—short of our opponents’ agreeing to an fMRI study of their internal behavior.

    But there are many and wide internal possibilities to satisfy that behaviour.

    And I’ll be happy to agree with you, Andy, just as soon as you suggest a second, 3rd, 4th and 5th possible explanation.

    Or even just the second. I’d settle for a 2nd explanation.

    Until then, I’m afraid my ichthyic intellect can only think of one and the same explanation that (I dare say) occurs to the bulk of the teeming, cold-water, bottom-dwelling school of man: our opponents won’t debate us because they know their professed views won’t survive the ordeal.

    >> The culprits I name above are my enemies, and yours. They’re inimici humani generis.

    You speak for yourself, they are not mine.

    I’m reminded of Hitch’s snorting riposte to Christ: love thine own enemy.

    And they are merely humans with human failings to which we are all subject, not some unspeakable anti-humans.

    I’d say you’re speaking for yourself, Andy, but I’m quite sure (and I dearly hope) you’re not even doing that.

    For my part, NO, I’m not subject to whatever “failing” is involved in a pseudoscholar’s decision to sell the modern scientific method itself down the river in exchange for a cheap political win. Are you? I should hope not.

    I am, of course, referring here to Oreskes (and her epigones in crime). I detail the case against them in my essay at WUWT.

    You’re quite right to say they’re not unspeakable. Obviously. I have expended multiple words on them myself.

    > While not avoiding legal or certain other responsibilities, the task is to understand the failings (at individual and group levels),

    That’s one task, and it’s one I think we’ve more or less completed. I do understand their failings: they’re evil, to use Greta’s adjective.

    It’s past time we all moved onto those ‘legal responsibilities’ you allude to. The ones involving pre-oiled, pre-stretched hemp.

    not further them via cultural amplification.

    I’m hardly furthering our enemies’ failings by condemning them in plain English.

    Co-existence with the Oreskeses of the world is neither possible nor desirable (Hitchens again). Not if you value modern science, the beating heart of civilization.

    >> They out-grouped me when they called me a denier. By taking the hint that I’m not welcome in their species, am I guilty of “classic cultural behaviour”?

    Yes. You swallowed their bating.

    OMG, do I have bated breath? How bad is it, honest? Thank you for letting me know, Have you got a mint I could borrow? Tic Tac, Extra, Mentos?

    And two wrongs don’t make a right.

    No, but when someone calls me their enemy—a fairly hostile and to that extent, self-fulling act, I should have thought?—it’s hardly “wrong” of me to respect their ontology. It’s just, well, respectful.

    >> How confident are you that the sun is going to rise tomorrow, Andy?

    Completely false equivalence; there is not a cultural conflict raging (currently) about whether the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

    Well, it’s not an equivalence at all. It’s just an analogy.

    Forgive me for switching contexts, however; I must have failed to notice the context-restricting qualification inherent in the formula to which I was responding:

    Then you should suspect your own interpretation, because confidence of that level only occurs as a result of emotive commitment, due typically to cultural belief.

    Only occurs? That doesn’t sound tightly contextually-scoped to me. It sounds like a strong generality.

    [Something else plus] cross-contexting appears to be leading you to some rather bizarre logic.

    I make no apologies for being context-queer, and I find it somewhat triggering to be trans-shamed by a ciscontexual white male. Harrumph.

    Anyway, back to the last point, note what you wrote immediately afterwards:

    This is the case for Greta also, her flawed system of interpretation due to Asperger’s merely causing her to skip the usual ‘believer’ disconnect between ardent belief and tightly concomitant actions

    Flawed? Due to Asperger’s? The usual ‘believer’ disconnect? Ardent?

    But I thought you disapproved of unsubstantiated psychologizing. It’s all so confusing.

    (I don’t disapprove, FWIW: as far as I’m concerned you’re more than welcome to tell me what you think is going on inside their heads without citing chapter and verse for every adjective you elect to use. Because as far as I’m concerned, we’re having a friendly chat, not a high-stakes evidence-based debate.)

    The point remains. Greta’s confidence stems from emotive conviction, not science.

    It certainly doesn’t ‘stem from’ science, though it has something to do with someone else’s endorsement of an ideology underwritten by pseudoscience.

    But emotive conviction? I don’t think so. I have sufficient respect for Greta’s rationality to presume her ‘conviction’ (belief) ‘stems from’ (is a rational and foreseeable result of) the [mis]information she’s been exposed to without interruption from early childhood onwards.

    As far as I know, it’s ’emotive’ only in the rather trivial sense that the conclusions she’s arrived at (quite rationally, by teenage standards, albeit not as skeptically as we might like) have obviously upsetting implications to her.

    Tell me: hypothetically, if The Science(tm) were actually plausible to a science-literate grownup like yourself, wouldn’t you feel certain emotions as a corollary? Emotions like existential Angst, and fury at the rest of the world’s utter dereliction of its duty of self-preservation?

    To state that your conviction is even stronger therefore, is worrying in respect of the source you are drawing your confidence from.

    If I used the word conviction, I meant simply ‘belief; position.’ And as for its ‘strength’ perhaps you missed my reciprocal question:

    If Greta is 66% confident AGW is going to fuck up the world, are you more (or less) than 66% confident it’s not going to do so, Andy?

    My answer, to repeat, would be: More.

    And I hardly think this “level of certitude” is evidence that I’m irrational, or in thrall to cultural thinking, or possessed of an ’emotive conviction,’ or anything else remotely unflattering.

    It’s a probabilistic conclusion from the data. That’s all. The fact that the probability that emerges from the data happens to be so high is not my fault.

    It’s the data’s fault, if you really want to blame anyone.

    You want to know the source of my ‘conviction’ (belief; position) that there’s no climate crisis?

    Birth. That’s the source. That’s the moment I became a CAGW skeptic, an atheist, a vampire-denier and a vaccines-cause-autism-disbeliever.

    From that point onwards, it was up to all the ideas I didn’t believe in to provide me with a reason to change my mind. And in billions of cases, they succeeded. (I didn’t believe in cows when I was born; now I do.) But in trillions—if not an infinity—of other cases, no reason to change my mind has ever been forthcoming.

    In the case of CAGW, I’m still waiting. But it’s not as if I’m holding my breath. For all I know, evidence of an extraterrestrial armada amassed in our trans-lunar blind spot will come to light before evidence of CAGW ever does.

    Like you, Andy, I’m cursed with the knowledge it takes to tell evidence from pseudo-evidence in a scientific controversy. That’s the reason—the only reason—I’ve never been budged so much as a millimetre in the direction of carbon catastrophism.

    Knowledge.

    >> “…you must try not to fool yourself, and you’re the easiest person to fool 🙂”

    Completely false appeal to internal doubt […] sleight of hand equivalencing with wildly different contexts.

    No, “joke” is the word you were looking for there, Andy. Friendly joke.

    It was a Feynman quote, as you know. I was simply having some fun turning your “extremely-high-confidence-equals-emotive-conviction” hypothesis back at you.

    Everyone (except me) needs to lighten the fuck up. I need to get darker.

    Like

  45. Andy,

    > Well, slap my thigh, your twitter mates must have it all bang to rights then.

    I disagree with them, obviously—Greta is (uniquely, IMHO) an honest climate celebrity.

    My point was simply that I must be doing something right if everyone (within the Overton Window that is climate skepticism) objects to my post, albeit on incompatibly diverse grounds.

    Like

  46. Brad,

    In days of yore, matters of Truth and Morality would be determined under combat. The idea was that God would not let the bad guy win. The climate scientists, however, lack such faith; we sceptics have no Truth to offer but we have potions and enchantments that they fear. That, I believe, is the real reason for their reluctance to engage with the sceptics. They know they are the good guys holding the Sword of Truth, but they can’t trust God to not screw it up. So I agree with you that cowardice plays a role, but I also believe there is a great deal of arrogant self-righteousness coupled with a lack of respect for others that seems to know no bounds. I know – I’ve been on ATTP.

    Liked by 4 people

  47. BRAD KEYES

    Our enemies are the Borgias: spiritually-bankrupt, richer than Croesus, priapic primates who hold orgies in the Vatican apartments every night… crypto-atheist pseudo-Catholics, only in it for the power and the whores and the silk toilet paper.

    Life wasn’t all beer and skittles for the papal establishment. And weren’t they just as much victims of the system, just like that skinny teenager -wassname- Jane Fonda?

    Poe Pius II was sent on a papal mission to Scotland while still a teenager, and nearly got raped by a couple of slags in Durham. Apparently it was the custom to offer such comfort to visiting foreigners, (and maybe it still is, which would go some way to explaining the high proportion of male Brexiteers In the North East) while Papal Secretary Poggio Bracciolini spent long months freezing his nuncials off in draughty German monastery libraries, where he found the only surviving copy of Lucretius’s de Rerum Natura, our only complete source for Greek atomic theory.

    On whether we should keep our mouths shut, I don’t think that’s ever a good idea. (Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I?) I’ll wait for your Part Two before saying why.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Brad:

    “Or even just the second. I’d settle for a 2nd explanation.”

    Great. Then you should currently be settled with the one I already gave, several times, that for strong adherents of (and those *instinctively* opposing) cultural causes, their brains do not act as an indivisible whole, which all your assumptions all are based upon. You are of course right that for a particular individual, we can’t know what’s in their heads without an mri (and a lot more understanding of what that tells us than currently). But we do have more than cod psychology applied to basic external behaviour to tell us what’s likely to be happening within certain categories of people, for instance cultural believers. We have 150 years of progress in a range of disciplines, noted above, that have used crafted experiments and probing techniques and evolutionary studies (evolution shapes the behaviours), which can to a reasonable degree get below obvious externalities. The notion of emotional bias, for instance, is one of the first fruits of such efforts, and was even known about in classical times; https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/24/contradiction-on-emotional-bias-in-the-climate-domain/ .You seem determined nevertheless, to assert your certainty about your claims in isolation of all such progress. Nor are ‘our opponents’ (your) those whom you imagine either, it appears, for the emotional drive powering this phenomena has long since left behind climate science / scientists. And for instance, the whole of *mainstream* climate science is theoretically your ally in opposing Greta or XR, as their position does not supports these cultish claims of imminent apocalypse / your children are gonna fry, either.

    “I’d say you’re speaking for yourself, Andy”

    Yes, I am.

    “For my part, NO, I’m not subject to whatever “failing” is involved in a…”

    Goodness me, once again such stellar confidence. You claim you would never in any circumstances and whatever emotions are aroused in you by any contentious topic / argument, never even for a moment fall to any such behaviour?? Well, if so that is some steel confidence. And yet just a few paragraphs above, you are again refusing that an alternate explanation to your own about the psychology of cultural believers, and one stemming from, um… science, is even a possibility to be considered, rather than a plausible proposition which hence must be appropriately weighed against your own. After it has been presented multiple times above, still you say, “give me one argument…”, and in so doing elevate by virtue of your stellar conviction alone, your own line of argument to unchallengeable via the literal exclusion of alternatives. Well, that already seems to me like a failing in kind if not extent.

    Discussion of this ilk can make things look overly black and white, when really there’s a spectra of greys. Personally that I think your conclusions have some degree of applicability to some individuals within the greyness. But not that this forms the main and causal explanation for most of the catastrophic climate adherents (elite or otherwise), for which we have to look at the social sciences and particularly the familiar examples of strong culture as exampled by religions. A major flaw of the lying / manipulating proposition, is that it would have to be consciously coordinated over decades and across very many orgs and influencers (including presidents / prime ministers / UN elite etc etc). Aka a giant conspiracy. The cultural proposition requires no conscious coordination and hence no conspiracy; culture is *the* mechanism evolved from even before sapiens to coordinate large groups of us *subconsciously*.

    If you think any of this means an absolving of responsibilities for those failing systemically and long, this is not so.

    “I’m hardly furthering our enemies’ failings by condemning them in plain English.”

    You are furthering cultural conflict by using ‘enemies’ in a clarion call, and throwing in terms like ‘evil’ (a term derived in religious cultures to oppose anything they like).

    “No, but when someone calls me their enemy—a fairly hostile and to that extent, self-fulling act, I should have thought?—it’s hardly “wrong” of me to respect their ontology. It’s just, well, respectful.”

    Nonsense. Your response has nothing to do with respect; your enormous disrespect is adequately demonstrated. Please don’t distract with jokes. Nor is any kind of respect required, of course; it’s self-evident that their behaviour is hostile. Nevertheless, returning this behaviour in kind only makes things worse, and helps craft an opposition built in the same image as the original problem – instinctive, reacting with emotion and not rationality to ‘the enemy’, who likely will also then be mis-identified sometimes.

    “Well, it’s not an equivalence at all. It’s just an analogy.”

    No. It was not ‘an analogy’. It was ‘a false analogy’.

    “Flawed? Due to Asperger’s? The usual ‘believer’ disconnect? Ardent? But I thought you disapproved of unsubstantiated psychologizing.”

    Due to youth’s immaturity mostly. Asperger’s may well contribute. It’s not unsubstantiated. I have provided in thread already this link below, in which several papers and other references to child psychology and asperger’s characteristics (plus from their community) are included in relation to these issues (they are mostly within the footnotes file). https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/

    “It certainly doesn’t ‘stem from’ science, though it has something to do with someone else’s endorsement of an ideology…”

    Absolutely. And there has been ~150 years of research on how that ‘something to do with’, actually works.

    “But emotive conviction? I don’t think so. I have sufficient respect for Greta’s rationality to presume her ‘conviction’ (belief) ‘stems from’ (is a rational and foreseeable result of) the [mis]information she’s been exposed to without interruption from early childhood onwards.”

    This is contradictory. See the refs above. Systemically subjecting children to emotive [mis]information throughout their development, will exactly produce (in the great majority of cases) an emotively based conviction. This is the main mode of religious transmission.

    “Tell me: hypothetically, if The Science(tm)…”

    Both skeptic science and orthodox / mainstream science do not support the narrative of certain imminent climate apocalypse. If it did, our entire situation would have been different stretching back decades and possibly even to my own childhood. There is a powerful culture based upon this narrative nevertheless, which dominates public perception and events. Greta’s angst and anger is inculcated via that narrative, per above applied systemically throughout her development, and so is highly understandable. But your question appears to be (unless I have it wrong) labouring under the misapprehension that emotions are relatively trivial things; ‘heat of the moment’ maybe, or not fundamental driving factors at any rate. But this is not so, emotions run far deeper than this, can completely (or partially) subvert reason, and most of the time wouldn’t necessarily result in an obvious reflection of something we more familiarly associate with the fleeting expressions at the surface caused by more immediate events such as a family argument or whatever.

    Re belief / conviction: Certitude from emotive conviction, is qualitatively different to that from rational consideration of evidence. For strong adherents of a culture, the former brooks no argument against, and defines those who attempt same as non-people in some fashion (spawn of the devil to deniers etc). It has no real connection to science / reason or proper assessment of evidence, albeit it may often weld together a case that *looks* like this has occurred (bias undermines the process), although typically stressing conformance (hence the 97%, or the inquisition, or whatever depending on the particular culture). Even for an immature science tangled within a cultural conflict, assessment of data / evidence is the road to such confidence as exists for whatever sub-theory. But qualitatively this is always open to question, especially so in the CC case as we are in a domain of immature science (cuts both ways). And quantitively it may often seem ‘less’ because emotive conviction is always stressed so powerfully (e.g. ‘your children will die because…’). However, there is no real relative measure of the quantitive because it’s apples and oranges. The sources of certitude are from completely different modes of the brain, one of which is ultimately impervious to evidence (despite appearances, or mixed modes). This whole aspect is probably a giant distraction and just an odd way you’ve chosen to say things. But to insist that you are ‘more certain than Greta’ about any main output from the immature domain of climate science, gives entirely the wrong impression about where your confidence therefore comes from. I think it would be far better to ditch any such comparison, and stick to your rational addendum, i.e. your confidence simply comes from an assessment of the data / evidence.

    “Like you, Andy, I’m cursed with the knowledge it takes to tell evidence from pseudo-evidence in a scientific controversy.”

    Well, if you mean *always*, then that’s ahead of me. I can’t always tell.

    “No, “joke” is the word you were looking for there, Andy”

    It wasn’t. A joke isn’t a joke when it is tightly integrated into a false appeal or such. It is just another rhetoric device that deploys humour instead of other emotive plays. Which doesn’t mean I think that’s deliberate, and of course most of your jokes aren’t deployed this way. But I believe it’d be more productive if you dropped those which are too entangled with your lines of argument.

    Like

  49. For me, XR/St. Greta is in effect the tiny Bolshevik group of opportunistic parasites seeking to come in and hijack any attempt at moderation. That XR is a non-rational contrivance of word salad scary bs is ignored by the corrupt media and politicians and academics who have ridden the climate social scam so far. Look at the local occasional visitor who is an academic actually signed on the XR)St. Greta bullshit. Anyone in their right mind knows that nihilists led by mentally disturbed children can’t actually end well. Yet media, religious leaders, politicians, academics and our own ATTP signed up for the dangerous nonsense voluntarily. Those who’ve tried to be “moderates” and use the IPCC as a caution light to try and wake the enablers of XR/St. Greta forget that it is the IPCC, by hiding the science and pimping climate extremism, that got us to this pathetic situation in the first place. The IPCC will likely be brought into alignment with the irrational nihilism of XR and St. Greta soon enough. When the obvious organized deception of climate scientists was divulged in plain sight by Climategate, and the response was to either ignore it or blame the skeptics, it was clear we were in trouble. Climate madness is a manifestation of something deeper.

    Like

  50. Speaking of Greta…

    At a recent rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, Greta addressed her audience thus:

    “While we young may not be able to vote or make decisions today, we have something just as powerful. And that is our voices. And we need to use them.”

    Taking her at face value, one of the audience chose this moment to ‘heckle’ her, to which she responded:

    “I think if you want to speak with me personally, maybe you can do it later.”

    According to Yahoo, “the crowd erupted, chanting her first name.”

    She’s a fast learner, our Greta, I’ll give her that.

    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/greta-thunberg-shuts-down-heckler-061300354.html

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Andy

    A major flaw of the lying / manipulating proposition, is that it would have to be consciously coordinated over decades and across very many orgs and influencers (including presidents / prime ministers / UN elite etc etc).

    1. No it wouldn’t. The individual participants merely need to know on which side their bread is buttered, something that isn’t difficult to figure out. Priests don’t need to be told that if they become atheists, they should keep it to themselves. Alan’s colleagues at the UEA didn’t need to be told that if they became, or simply remained, climate skeptics, they should keep it to themselves.

    2. Presidents and prime ministers are not part of the climate leadership, they’re scientifically-illiterate dupes. They’re civilians (or tribunes thereof) for all climatic purposes. The process of tricking elected leaders into shoveling shovelful after shovelful of taxpayers’ money into the climate-industrial furnace—to the tune of literally trillions of dollars, in the case of the current crop of Democrat Presidential hopefuls—is no harder than, or indeed different from, that of tricking taxpayers into forgiving their elected leaders for doing so.

    Great. Then you should currently be settled with the one I already gave, several times, that for strong adherents of (and those *instinctively* opposing) cultural causes, their brains do not act as an indivisible whole, which all your assumptions all are based upon.

    Why do you qualify this by restricting it to particular credal classes (“for strong adherents… ” etc.)?

    I would have thought that for *any organism with a brain,* its brain does not act as an indivisible whole. We didn’t need Michael Gazzaniga to teach us this, although it was nice to have a reminder.

    Are you suggesting that the sulci and gyri and nuclei of my brain would act in perfect unison if I refrained from both:

    1. adhering to the relevant cultural cause (CAGWism?)
    and
    2. opposing it *instinctively*

    ?

    I don’t understand why you think anything I’ve argued presupposes an atomic cerebrum.

    Could you explain—pretending, solo ad argumentum, that I’m the kind of retarded ten-year-old who doesn’t have the concentration to read all the way through your posts at Judy’s blog, which of course is ridiculous because obviously I had no difficulty doing so—how the quintessentially asynchronous, fuzzily-modular, distributed and parallelized operating strategy of the vertebrate brain has any bearing on the validity or otherwise of the inference I’ve repeatedly claimed is self-evident?

    That inference, to repeat, is that if members of a particular credal class believe that….

    – what they’re preaching is true
    – and has the corroboration of nature, a.k.a. “scientific evidence,” in its favor
    – and is likely to be of salvific importance to the human species and untold others, provided it’s acted upon in time to avert a planet-wide ecocaust
    – whereas the opposition to their preaching is incorrect
    – and evidentially bankrupt
    – but nevertheless appeals to broad enough swathes of the electorate so as to impede the democratically-mandated changes that can Literally Save The Planet if they’re enacted in time to Literally Save The Planet
    – and that time is fast running out
    – and unless this opposition is discredited and defenestrated (in an Overtonian sense) in time, it will be too late to Literally Save The Planet

    all of which is stock-standard climate-movement doctrine….

    then it follows that, whenever invited to debate their opponents in a fair fight, they will leap at the chance to do so. Because they have every motivation—both altruistic and self-interested—to do so, and no motivation—whether altruistic or self-interested—to refuse.

    At the risk of being accused of submarine psychology yet again, I wonder what a court would make of this.

    If a man on trial for making dishonest representations—in the commission of fraud, libel or somesuch—is shown to have run away, time after time after time, from opportunities to debate his doubters, I can just see a prosecutor asking the jury:

    “Are THESE the actions of someone who believes that….

    — what they’re preaching is true
    — and has the corroboration of evidence
    — [etc. etc.]

    … I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury??”

    Somehow it is much harder, by contrast, to imagine counsel for the defense rising to his feet and urging the alibi that the human brain is composed of more than one lobe. Or that the accused is an advocate of a “cultural cause.”

    And for instance, the whole of *mainstream* climate science is theoretically your ally in opposing Greta or XR, as their position does not supports these cultish claims of imminent apocalypse / your children are gonna fry, either.

    Oh, believe me, I know.

    Isn’t it interesting, then, that the Days of Thunberg roll on regardless, when an official statement of disavowal on behalf of “the whole of *mainstream* climate science” would terminate the Brontocene, and assuage Greta’s anxieties, in a single corrective act.

    (And it’s not as if climate scientists don’t have contacts in the media or don’t know how to sign a petition, is it?)

    The silence of the “mainstream” climate science community—the good Germans, as I call them—is telling, don’t you think? What does it tell you? It tells me something, but you tell me what it tells you first, then I’ll tell you what it tells me.

    Systemically subjecting children to emotive [mis]information throughout their development, will exactly produce (in the great majority of cases) an emotively based conviction.

    But the information presented doesn’t have to be ’emotive’ in the least. You could maintain the blankest, most neutral, most matter-of-fact facial expression while informing a child that “97 out of 100 geophysicians say the planet has cancer,” and that child will generate all the emotions on his or her own.

    Sure, you’re deceiving the child, but the child is not guilty of irrationality for believing you. Certainly not if every schoolteacher they have repeats the falsehood—and even if they repeat it in the same flat tone of voice—and if no schoolteacher mentions the now-unfashionable axiom that consensus is meaningless in scientific matters.

    The resulting (false) “conviction” implanted in the child’s brain need in no functional way differ from the “conviction,” hypothetically imparted by all the child’s Geography teachers, that Lagos is the capital of Nigeria, save for the fact that the latter (false) “conviction” is less likely to excite much emotion in response in a rational child.

    In fact I don’t see any justification for calling it a conviction when the perfectly serviceable, and less loaded, word “belief” is available to us.

    Like

  52. Andy,

    you might find it helpful, in terms of getting your point across, to remind me what you mean by ‘cultural.’

    I know what the word means, of course, but I’ve forgotten what you mean when you use it.

    Like

  53. Andy,

    >> Tell me: hypothetically, if The Science(tm)…

    Both skeptic science and orthodox / mainstream science do not support the narrative of certain imminent climate apocalypse.

    1. There is only one science, as a consequence of the methodological unity of the scientific process.

    “There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.” (Asimov)

    2. Yes, I’m aware that the results of scientific inquiry don’t imply the apocalyptic narrative. (That’s why I referred to the narrative as The Science™, not science.)

    3. If you and I know enough about climate science to know this, then nobody working in “the climate and related sciences” has any excuse for not knowing it.

    From which it follows that if any say otherwise, they are being dishonest. And yet such dishonest “scientists” not only make up a percentage of the climate leadership, but bear collective guilt for what the rest of the climate leadership does, since by collectively disavowing the false narrative they could terminate the climate movement in its tracks.

    Like

  54. Andy

    “Like you, Andy, I’m cursed with the knowledge it takes to tell evidence from pseudo-evidence in a scientific controversy.”

    Well, if you mean *always*, then that’s ahead of me. I can’t always tell.

    I probably can’t always tell, either, if what we mean is that a sufficiently slick pseudoscientist could very well bamboozle us with pseudoevidence.

    But that’s academic (so to speak), because the pseudo-evidence presented in the climate debate thus far hasn’t even approached plausibility, and wouldn’t fool anyone who’d taken Scientific Reasoning 101 for a week.

    “No, “joke” is the word you were looking for there, Andy”

    It wasn’t. A joke isn’t a joke when it is tightly integrated into a false appeal or such.

    Fascinating as it is to be told whether X is or isn’t a joke by someone who didn’t tell X, I must plead innocent to the charge of “tightly integrating” said joke (and it was a joke) into my appeal to the analogy you consider to have been false (which in any case wasn’t intentionally false, I can tell you that much).

    It was purely decorative. If the analogy it rested on was false—as you believe it was—then the Feynman quote was rhetorically ineffectual.

    It is just another rhetoric device that deploys humour instead of other emotive plays.

    Right. Like I said: a joke.

    Which doesn’t mean I think that’s deliberate, and of course most of your jokes aren’t deployed this way. But I believe it’d be more productive if you dropped those which are too entangled with your lines of argument.

    You mean: …if I dropped those jokes which are too entangled with my lines of argument?

    So you agree: it was a joke? Great.

    Progress!

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  55. Andy,

    You seem determined nevertheless, to assert your certainty about your claims in isolation of all such progress.

    No, I’m merely explaining that my 99.9% confidence in the lack of a capnogenic warming crisis is almost precisely of a piece with your 99.9% confidence in the lack of vampires. If evidence ever emerges of either of these things being real, I’m sure we’ll both be amenable to changing our minds. What does (what you call) “culture” have to do with it?

    And what “progress” am I supposed to be bearing in mind that would modify my argument in any way?

    For what it’s worth I have gone to university, then gone back, more than once. In the course of my struggle with university addiction I did study psychology. I did study neuropsychology. I did study neurology. I never came across the notion of “cultural convictions,” “cultural” [as opposed to not-cultural] “beliefs” or whatever, however, wherever or in whatever degree I was enrolled. So you’ll have to bear with me.

    If your links to your articles at Judith’s blog were intended to lead me ultimately to footnotes leading, in turn, to the literature of these new (to me) fields of inquiry, then you’ll have to grant me more time to slog through to the bottom of the aforelinked posts, I’m afraid. Rest assured that I wasn’t being deliberately obtuse in my choice of the word “unsubstantiated.”

    Anyway, as I was saying, my position of climate insouciance preceded the “culturalization,” I guess you would call it, of the question of whether there’s a climate rapestorm gathering on the horizon.

    It started at birth. It continued through childhood. It remains to this day.

    Nor are ‘our opponents’ (your) those whom you imagine either, it appears, for the emotional drive powering this phenomena has long since left behind climate science / scientists.

    What do any of those clauses mean?

    Like

  56. Hi Brad

    just to clarify, i’m dfhunter, not hunterson7 or hunter (seems hunters are attracted to the climate debate/wars – https://thebulletin.org/2015/01/the-serengeti-strategy-how-special-interests-try-to-intimidate-scientists-and-how-best-to-fight-back/)

    anyway, liked your johnny cash – pain vid – you could write a post on that alone!!

    found the Blind Melon – darker version “no rain” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_hWJ3SyWHI

    same words, but the message can be happy or sad depending on the delivery (glass half empty/full).

    will we ever see a happy Greta I wonder?

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  57. Got in late, missed the lift and had to run up the stairs. At about the first turn, I thought “thank god Brad is on our side”. Then I thought (mebbe prompted by Andy) “why are there sides? There should not be sides.” We are not agin the alarmists, at war with them; this ought to be a friendly debate about an idea.

    There is something religious about climate catastrophe, and I know saying so is cheap & pointless & has been done many times. But there is a certain irony that many catastrophists are atheists, “rationalists”, folk who profess to overcome emotion in their approach to evaluating ideas (Andy has Vulcan-degree emotional detachment in his analysis, by-the-by).

    I used to frequent an atheistic forum (Julia Sweeney’s). At the time I could not understand a resurgence of religion: Darwin had led us to a godless world, but it seemed that many had turned back on the threshold of that world; somehow the god meme was proof even against obvious fact. Now atheists have themselves suckered onto a meme that does not benefit from being a fact. They have gone 180 degrees. Many have swallowed the idea that increasing CO2 from 280ppm to 560 → catastrophe. Somehow they recognise in rednecks a blind adherence to an evidence-free idea, but adhere themselves to something equally (& obviously) wrong.

    To me this seems evidence that none of us are proof against ideas that are appealing. And it seems that apocalyptic ideas are particularly appealing. I was lucky enough to be educated in an era before this particular meme took hold. I was educated in an era when there were daily prayers and hymns and sermons were held. I managed to throw off that particular meme. How many of today’s schoolkids will do the same re: CO2? They will grow up not needing to believe in the climate emergency – it will be a given.

    The catastrophists need no excuse to avoid debate. They are winning without having to debate sceptics, & to most, sceptics are little more than swivel-eyed loons. Why would you debate with Brad, for e.g., who could tie you in rhetorical knots even if he was wrong? You wouldn’t. I doubt many scientists would care to debate a flat earther, even armed with Eratosthenes.

    @Alan you speak of environmentalists hitching their horses to the climate bandwagon. But this is actually counterproductive. Obsessing with CO2 has the effect of diverting attention away from the direct problems humanity is causing in the biosphere: hunting, fishing, deforestation, “real” pollution, introduced species…

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  58. I recommend reading carefully the debate between Brad and Andy above, trying to evaluate the strength of each one’s argument while also trying not to award points.

    The fox has many cunning plans
    The hedgehog just one, but it’s a good ‘un

    as the man said. Andy is a hedgehog, and they don’t get much foxier than Brad.

    Andy, as I understand him, thinks culture in society behaves like culture in a Petri dish. It’s an enlightening idea, but it has no consequences for our decisions as to what to do about it, since we are neither microbes nor the Great Experimenter.

    An all-encompassing theory like this is only useful because it has implications at a more concrete level. For example, Andy’s insistence that the actors in the climate system are not hypocrites – they don’t “know” that they’re wrong and they can’t be made to know – makes sense of the otherwise baffling fact of the appalling stupidity of those at the summit. The Bob Watsons, Paul Nurses, Chris Rapleys, and I imagine Kevin Anderson, didn’t get where they are in spite of being extraordinarily thick. Their pigheaded certainty is precisely what makes them suitable to head large bureaucracies like the Science Museum, the Royal Society, or the IPCC, and quite unsuitable to pronounce on science. I might have spotted that if I’d read Weber, but I haven’t. I’ve read Andy West, and it’s done me no harm.

    I suppose some people might read Andy and conclude that there’s no way out of the Petri dish so you might as well get used to it. Brad isn’t one of them:

    BRAD (to ALAN):

    Why triage our opponents into insincere opportunists (pseudo-believers) vs irrational True Believers? Why couldn’t there also be people—millions of people, even—who believe in the whole package deal but are still capable of being reasoned out of it? Why does the extent of their acceptance of a bag of tenets dictate the reasonableness of their belief process? Surely we should expect to find some people tractable to, and other people beyond, reason in every possible credal category (including disbelief/rejection). Surely, to put it another way, belief as a position and reasoning as a process are orthogonal variables.

    No doubt Andy could explain Brad’s belief (faith) in the existence of millions of people capable of reasoning as a mere symptom of his own cultural world view, and he may be right. But the job of reasoning with those millions is a job which requires a lot of manpower, whereas what Andy does can be done by a much smaller number. So I’m with Brad on this one.

    …and congratulations to everyone on the high level of debate. Has anyone ever seen a comment thread of this quality on an academic thread?

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  59. Jit,

    I’m offended by the idea of scientists lying, or conniving in the lies others tell on their behalf, and that’s a “side” I take without apology.

    Saying that there *shouldn’t* be sides isn’t going to alter the fact that there *are.*

    I don’t go out looking for enemies. The moment somebody (to take a trivial example, the Guardian-dwelling yapper called GPWayne) seeks to “win” a conversation with me at his blog by deleting my comments, he becomes my enemy whether I like it or not (and I don’t particularly).

    The moment a pseudoscholar like Oreskes lies to students at Harvard—the cradle of American leadership—and says scientific knowledge is demonstrated, and constituted, by majority expert agreement, she becomes everyone’s enemy who values science.

    You may have noticed that I hardly ever debate about the climate. I know rather little, and care much less, about the climate.

    But that’s the locus of infection whereat science is pustulating. So as tedious as I find the particular choice of battleground, I have to roll up my sleeves, pinch my nose and get my hands dirty. Or pussy, as the case may be.

    Through it all, however, I try not to think of my “side” as being climate skepticism, nor do I identify my “enemy” with climate alarmism. Those are just accidents of history: the people perverting, subverting and inverting everything science stands for just happen to be doing so in furtherance of a climate scare campaign.

    Like

  60. Thanks Geoff. I hope I answered your question (why is Brad of all people advocating climate silence??) in the reply I posted here.

    You mentioned that Andy’s theory explained the seemingly gravity-defying bouyancy of the cognitive dregs, bilge and slag of the climate movement. But there are other possible solutions to this precipitation paradox (or at least I think there are, not being 100% sure I know what Andy’s answer actually is). The people you mentioned—including Nobel laureate Paul Nurse—may have fifth-rate minds, but in the land of the sixth-rate the fifth-rate is king. Are you sure the colleagues they floated past on their way to forming a skin of scum on the surface really are any smarter or more deserving of academic preferment or leadership than them?

    Another possibility is that a certain hebetude of mind may be adaptive, or even a prerequisite, when you’re on the front lines of the war against science (and decency and life and beauty and music). Perhaps the top echelons of such a scam are self-selecting in so far as the reality of their atrocities would be too much for an equally-bad, but more-intelligent actor to bear. Perhaps such people stick to driving the getaway car and leave their less-reflective accomplices to do the bloody (or pussy) work, since they’re too dumb to be haunted by it. Not too dumb to know what they’re doing is wrong, mind you.

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  61. BRAD 09 Nov 2019 4.55pm

    They know that a victory in a fair contest of ideas would convince a significant chunk of the population that hasn’t been satisfied by pronouncements from the ivory tower. Yet they won’t step into the ring. This is as clear a piece of evidence as you could ask for in favor of my hypothesis: they’re evidentially bankrupt and they know it.

    The best evidence for their knowledge of their own bankruptcy is the clip of Gavin Schmidt walking out of the studio rather than debate with a sceptic. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hCRafyV0zI

    I misremembered the opponent Gavin refused to debate with as being Mark Morano, and I was going to compose a number of possible thoughts which might have flashed through Gavin’s mind, based on pride, status, disdain, mistrust etc., which would have given weight to Andy’s contention that it might not be hypocrisy and cowardice based on knowledge that they’re wrong, but cultural factors working independently of rational thought. But it wasn’t Morano, it was Roy Spencer, who enjoys precisely the same status and prestige as Gavin, so my theory was wrong. I’m not sure what this shows except that I’m one of the millions of people capable of changing their mind that Brad is looking for.

    BRAD 10 Nov 2019 2.02am

    you don’t spend decades inventing excuses to avoid debating someone (whose attitude is supposedly consigning the planet to an imminent thermal Holocaust, no less) unless you know you won’t win.

    For Gavin it began in 2004 with the invention of Realclimate to counter McIntyre’s suspicions about Mann.
    I know from personal experience how energy consuming the effort not to do something can be. No wonder climate science has difficulty advancing, with Gavin with his finger in one dyke, Connolley’s finger in another, and Mann – the wounded beast in the Serengeti of climate science – doomed to die and be resurrected every year like the sacrificial god-king that he is. Or at least (since our rituals are bloodless nowadays) doomed to ritual humiliation every time he opens his mouth. Kingship is no fun, but at least being insulted and despised by rational folk is better than being stoned to death at the end of the agricultural year.

    [That’s my spot of cod anthropology, designed to show that Andy’s overarching (and enlightening) theory can be used on both sides of the argument.]

    It’s odd that the political argument about truth and hypocrisy, conducted several notches down on the intelligence scale from the argument on this thread, has little trouble accepting that Trump, Johnson or anyone you care to mention, may be deliberately lying, or feigning hypocrisy for a purpose, and no-one on their side thinks any the worse of them for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. BRAD 10 Nov 2019 11.11pm

    Are you sure the colleagues they floated past on their way to forming a skin of scum on the surface really are any smarter or more deserving of academic preferment or leadership than them?

    Yes. They include the likes of Alan Kendall and Potentilla and no doubt many other commenters here. Maybe “float” is not the right term to describe the struggle for the survival of the fittest.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. BRAD KEYES 10 Nov 19 10.31pm

    I don’t go out looking for enemies. The moment somebody (to take a trivial example, the Guardian-dwelling yapper called GPWayne) seeks to “win” a conversation with me at his blog by deleting my comments, he becomes my enemy whether I like it or not (and I don’t particularly).

    You’ve been to his blog? I’d be careful if I were you. He once (on a Guardian thread) expressed the desire to bend me over a table and roger me. And that was after having, in a separate comment, accused me of having a small penis. He’s a man of parts, having been awarded the Guardian commenter badge of C-for-Contributor on the strength of an interview he conducted with John Cook about his religious beliefs. It’s a small world, as I’m sure Andy West would be the first to admit.

    GP Wayne once confessed to being in the process of writing an opera, which made me rather warm to the fellow. Stockholm Syndrome, or what?

    Liked by 1 person

  64. At the risk of turning this octagon of mixed martial argumentation into an echo chamber, I echo Mr Chambers’ citation of the Stossel Event as a crucial ‘tell.’ (Since independent minds think alike, Geoff, it won’t surprise you that I’d already linked to the same footage upthread.) To schmidt your pants is now a figure of teen vernacular meaning, roughly, to panic at the impending public exposure of your wrongness by someone who actually knows their schmidt.

    Interestingly, though, evasive manoeuvres like Gavin’s are invariably dressed up as mere acts of condescending pomposity—why, debating a climate skeptic would be like faeco-Roman wrestling with a pig! why give those bacteria the oxygen of publicity? etc.—an excuse which is sure to make the skeptical lurker wonder how embarrassing the REAL reason for the flight-not-fight response is.

    The history books (here, here and here) have fun at the expense of this rationalization:

    2013
    Stossel Event averted

    ◦ Dr Gavin Schmidt is praised for running away from a critic on national television, thus preserving the dignity of science.
    ◦ Early reports suggest the scientist to whose scientific arguments Schmidt narrowly escaped exposure was a science denier.
    ◦ Colleagues agree that if not for Schmidt’s quick fleeing there might have been a full-blown “climate debate”—the theoretical state in which (scientists fear) it might look as if there were two viable “sides.”

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  65. Geoff, I didn’t realize GPWayne’s loathsomeness had been made widely felt.

    When debating about climate change, I tend to think rape threats are an admission that one’s argument doesn’t really hold water.

    As every lawyer knows, when the facts are on your side you pound the facts. When they’re not, you pound the table. When that doesn’t work, you pound the man over a chair.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Geoff, Alan Kendall wasn’t on the leadership ladder. His heresy disqualified him, so comparing his IQ to that of the floaters is comparing apples and skeptics. I’ll have to figure out who this Michael Portillo fellow is and get back to you on that counterexample.

    Like

  67. Brad:

    It isn’t about the buttered side of the bread. This is a secondary issue, see later.

    “Presidents and prime ministers are not part of the climate leadership, they’re scientifically-illiterate dupes…”

    So you are seriously suggesting that practically the entire world leadership are ‘dupes’ (minus Trump)? And while indeed having been simply duped, this has occurred on the most monstrous and comprehensive scale in terms of impact? Not to mention rafts of other orgs and businesses and religious leaders and authorities and such; also just… duped? And you imply that to be scientifically illiterate (even if they all are) automatically means people are dupes? Wow, quite something. I guess we were just lucky our world has lasted so long with such dupes always in charge; or does this only apply to the current crop of leaders / authorities during the last 30 years or so? If so, why are leaders suddenly more gullible and simple in this period? As noted above, once again you mistake who is who. This thing has long since left climate science behind, it is emergent and its chief narrative is way beyond any support from mainstream science. There is not a climate leadership as cultures are not ‘led’ as such, although very old ones have more stable heirarchies. There is a climate elite, and many of these leaders plus many other authorities high and low, are part of it. The ultimate motive is not ‘tricking’ for $; via emotive narrative it is felt to be existential, but is actually about identity. Largely, cultures drives $ not the other way around (look at the church in dominant times). That cultures (where they can) reward their elites is a given; this doesn’t remove the prime motivation, and indeed that same motivation drives the grass roots support of millions who not only don’t benefit from their membership / efforts (typically) but generally face sacrifices for it. Or are all these millions of people just ‘dupes’ too? How anyhow does being duped, lead to such an amazing global co-ordination, for grass-roots or authority types and everyone in-between? Does this proposition mean that everyone supporting CAGW is just a puppet / simpleton? That’s an awful lot of simple people. How did they get to be so simple, especially those in authority positions, including the highest? Um… I guess you need some dupers too… so who set out with a 50 year plan to drive the whole world into trillions and vast social change in the name of CAGW, and during the incredibly successful implementation duped the entire world leadership and millions and millions of others? There’d need to be quite a few of them; ah, they’d need to coordinate, indeed communicate the unfolding plan for decades, to thousands and thousands of duped authority individuals and orgs. This is a giant conspiracy theory.

    “Why do you qualify this by restricting it to particular credal classes (“for strong adherents… ” etc.)?”

    Because (within whichever culture they belong to, climate culture being our case in point) these are the ones in whom the particular cultural narratives will subvert reason. (Though indeed, a class of those instinctively resisting a culture, likewise).

    “I would have thought that for *any organism with a brain,* its brain does not act as an indivisible whole.”

    Correctish. Except, it’s worse for higher organisms. Brains increase in complexity, and for sentients such as ourselves some of the main issues arise between rational processing and older algorithms of sophisticated emotive processing. And for most people, those different parts will act in some ways at some time to produce the kind of contradictory / hypocritical behaviours that you have pointed to. However, this occurs most strongly / systemically and sustained, for those who are strong adherents of a culture (and we can also be members of, or oppose, several at once). Plus, these characteristics are not a ‘flaw’; they developed this way for an evolutionary reason.

    “Are you suggesting that the sulci and gyri and nuclei of my brain would act in perfect unison if I refrained from both: 1. adhering to the relevant cultural cause (CAGWism?) and 2. opposing it *instinctively*?”

    I doubt that even for those of us aspiring to membership of no cultures (nationalism, stronger / partisan end of politics, CAGW, religions, cults, football hooligan groups, etc) ’perfect unison’ would be a result. However, rationality would not then be systemically subverted by any of those cultural memberships. A snag may also be that we do not know that we can live without cultures – they evolved because they were a (group) advantage. Evolving out of them again because we might theoretically have better methods, is likely to be a long and arduous process. Not least because some of the ‘better’ propositions have manifestly been worse, and indeed end up being hi-jacked by culture.

    “I don’t understand why you think anything I’ve argued presupposes an atomic cerebrum.”

    Because the foundation stone of all your argument throughout, is that someone (hence someone’s brain), is either ‘sincere’, or ‘not sincere’, and that determining which of these binary choices applies to that someone, is merely a matter of assessing quite simple external behaviours for relevant hypocrisy / contradiction. However, for adherents of strong culture, this is NOT so (for issues relevant to that culture). The rational part of their brain is subverted by long reinforced emotive algorithms; they literally can’t process stuff that doesn’t support their case (i.e. evidence), via a whole sequence of behaviours whose main power emerges at group level (group coherence is what the system is for, and is very deeply embedded in us and much that we produce). Hence, aggressive consensus policing. Critically, this is all invisible to the individual. Most cultures enable feelings of nobility / reward and good feeling when these behaviours take place, and bad feelings when out-groupers challenge. In short one part (or more accurately parts), of the brain are lying to various other parts, but the rational section of the individual *does not know this*. So, consciously they generally feel they are being scrupulously honest (AND noble and saving the world etc). In any way that counts; they are not ‘themselves’ lying. A tentative analogy not to be taken too far, is that they are hypnotised. You can’t accuse a hypnotised person of lying or doing bad things, if they are hypnotised to do them (and further are told not to be conscious of what they do). A critical part of this equation is that (because it is a group cohesion system), the cultural narratives (e.g. religious) are *not meant to be taken literally*. The propagators think they are being truthful and noble in said propagation, but some parts of their brain within, ‘know’ that they don’t have to act (seriously) upon these narratives (a little of this is in the footnotes I referred to upstream). In fact, it benefits the culture (which has its own, non-sentient, vector in this) that the actions would be endless virtue-signalling that never solve the problem, hence giving the culture life immortal. Some young folks, and indeed those whose ability even within ordinary communication (e.g. metaphors) to correctly discard the literal, may not process properly that the actions are indeed only meant to be virtue signalling, a group flag of identity. Greta has spotted the hypocrisy here, but she went the wrong way regarding the conclusion. I guess it’s just way too hard for her to believe that all this stuff is just a cultural construction and never meant to be real. Everyone around her tells her it’s real and they *aren’t lying*; they just have the correct machinery internally to decode subconsciously that they don’t actually have to do much. You can substitute other characteristics as well as ‘sincere’ into this model. Your atomicity comes from thinking that (more or less) everything a brain does must be known to the brain owner, and as such that owner remains responsible for understanding themselves and also for any resultant actions. They either did or didn’t think / do something, and know what they thought / did. But this is not so; in the above circumstances the brain owner is neither in charge, nor knows what is going on; in fact is specifically fooled.

    “…then it follows that, whenever invited to debate their opponents in a fair fight, they will leap at the chance to do so. Because they have every motivation (both altruistic and self-interested) to do so, and no motivation (whether altruistic or self-interested) to refuse.”

    Most ‘debates’ are *not* scientific, and indeed adherents *do* leap to them, but what follows (as has been seen in the UN, Parliaments, TV programs and endless forums and uni debates and local groups etc etc) is an outbidding of each other (more or less) on who virtue-signals the most, and true opposition is rarely raised. When it is, this is typically crushed by the enormous weight of numbers and emotive conviction working for the culture. A good rule of thumb is that, if it’s good for the *culture*, things will occur in spades; if it’s bad for the *culture*, everything and the kitchen sink will be thrown at trying to close it down. While individuals may buck this trend, on average not, and they don’t matter regarding whether they’re personally advantaged or not (cultures are quite happy, so to speak, to sacrifice their individuals in droves). Climate scientists (apart from a tiny few still near the head of the beast) have long since been left behind in the cultural emergence. But indeed genuine debate on say uncertainties or whatever would for sure be damaging to a culture based on (a strangely hung time horizon of always…) imminent apocalypse. BUT the group acts together to close these things down (heavy peer pressure etc but spread over hundreds of people involved), and even where the rubber meets the road at certain individuals who would be taking part, then generically (one can’t say for any actual person of course), their motive to absence is that they were only going to be bait for some ambushing / attack force of evil fossil fuel deniers who would use every lie and rhetoric trick in the book to embarrass or smear them. Not to mention the good old ‘give them credibility’ standby. The reason the Merchants of Doubt and other memes of this kind are so strong and ubiquitous is precisely to keep the lid on this angle (a certain mann for instance is soaked in same). And in so thinking, they get lots of endorphin reward and actually think they’re ‘doing the right thing’, all of which is sufficient to overcome the doubts that at least some must surely have.

    “At the risk of being accused of submarine psychology yet again, I wonder what a court would make of this.”

    These issues are huge for the legal profession, albeit I think it has only been trying to grapple with them recently (reluctantly, I guess) starting maybe after WWII and your beloved Nuremburg trials (I’m not very familiar with this area). When has a strong culture ‘hypnotised’ someone to do something that they thus felt was ‘right’ and even ‘noble’, and when were they taking their own responsibility? Much hinges on what the psychologists say regarding the definition of lying wrt to different parts of the brain doing different things. But they’re still all over the place even on issues of self-deceit (so largely an individual context), which is also a significant thing, let alone the bigger issue of group deceits (where there is much less research even to make progress with). Personally, I think the law is the law, and you can’t relax it because a strong culture pushed someone over the line (for adults). There may be some mitigation, and especially for indeed very ‘hypnotic’ cults. But the law is partly there to protect our benign culture from the rise of less benign ones, hence holding that line is crucial. A bigger problem arises when a new and rising culture, even if not benign or better, bends or batters or simply changes all the laws in its favour. This has happened many times in history, included 1930s Germany. At that point, holding up the law is not the issue, it’s breaking the law to oppose the culture. CAGW is changing laws all over the place in its favours – strong culture can change the very moral foundations upon which laws stand.

    “Somehow it is much harder, by contrast, to imagine counsel for the defense rising to his feet and making the excuse that the human brain is composed of lobes. Or that the accused is an advocate of a “cultural cause.””

    But per above, albeit in the more extreme cases of cults or strict religions, this does occur. Interestingly, if I ever make it down there, you argue the opposite side of this issue further below. The big problem of a culture that everyone still thinks is ‘science’, is that it has carte blanche anyhow. Even with XR doing their cultish best, I think it’ll be a very long time before the cultural nature of the bigger show is properly recognised.

    “Oh, believe me, I know.”

    😊

    “Isn’t it interesting, then, that the Days of Thunberg roll on regardless, when an official statement of disavowal on behalf of “the whole of *mainstream* climate science” would terminate the Brontocene, and assuage Greta’s anxieties, in a single corrective act.”

    Such is the power of a culture. Amazing, yet ordinary too, as this has occurred an endless number of times throughout our entire history. You don’t get this amount of long-lasting and robust social steamrolling from duping a few folks or hiving off a measly few trillion. And in this case (I guess some others too), it does rest upon the silence of a certain few.

    “The silence of the “mainstream” climate science community—the good Germans, as I call them—is telling, don’t you think? What does it tell you? It tells me something, but you tell me what it tells you first, then I’ll tell you what it tells me.”

    In using that name, ‘the good Germans’, as I’ve observed before, you acknowledge that the primary effects here are cultural. The good Germans were indeed caught up in a massive cultural wave that included all the effects above. Meaning too that a sizeable proportion of them were true believers, and of course thought that they were being honest and true and noble in their support (and denunciations – see later). Whereas I presume with this name, you refer to the larger portion who didn’t really believe, but kept silent, largely through fear.

    In the climate case, they triggered it, long ago. Before it slipped into the public domain and grew to the beast it now is. But many of those have retired or died, and I guess of the (hugely expanded, I presume) field, the originals remain only a small minority. Notwithstanding that AR5 still holds the line and does *not* support the apocalypse, I also guess many of the younger scientists in the field are pretty biased by beliefs they acquired before formally taking up the work. It seems likely that the tense gap between cultural narrative and reality will be harder to stretch across in AR6. However, I agree overall that the field en-masse could stand up and refute this false narrative, with (I presume) devastating effect on the culture. And they aren’t about to get killed for speaking up, but in many ways their position is like that of the good Germans.

    It was assumed for a long time that the Gestapo in Germany had a big hierarchy and a legion of agents, to keep the population under tight control. As most of the evidence was burned and people went to ground, no-one could say otherwise. And although the records of one main office for a region of several million in the south were captured, through initial higher priorities and later bureaucratic error (misplaced for decades), the assumption was not formerly confirmed. When research finally happened in the 1970s, they realised the situation was completely opposite to the assumption. It wasn’t top-down, but bottom-up control. The office had a tiny staff. Letters of denunciation poured in every day; the few officers just picked the cream of the crop and drove around to pick up the offenders.

    The Germans policed themselves, and I think the climate science community is doing the same. Money is secondary in such situations; cultural conformance is about identity. And while job = status in the community, means the two are linked, and no-one knows who to trust upon the inside, the heaviest pressure comes from the outside these days. It’s bad enough to be outed as a denier on the inside, but for your wife or brother or son or daughter or friends to see transform from planet saving hero(ine) to denier, and indeed maybe call you one themselves, this is too much. And the stigma would be applied merely for speaking up against the apocalypse based on mainstream theory. A very few have risked it, yet their objections still genuflect to the culture or slide off a full confrontation in some way, and yet still they face the onslaught of the outraged. And as you observed earlier, this thing is so huge / global now, with the catastrophe narrative outside their control for a very long time, plus a few ultra-believing Hayhoes and Hansens and such adding fuel, I doubt any dare truly confront the false narrative of imminent apocalypse, and increasingly more of them are believing it. For the former, and despite bias, I assume they *do* know XR and Greta are wrong. But they are a vanishing proportion now of the immense set of believers who are enormously weighted to authority (excepting in the US where authorities are also polarised) within larger society – and that is the ultimate source of pressure. They would have to stand up to ‘the whole world’ and call out that which is now seen as the ultimate top of the virtue tree and has unimaginably large amounts of money and action attached. And of course, once that ball starts rolling the other way, it could crush orthodoxy too from the backlash – handing an unlikely victory to skeptics.

    “But the information presented doesn’t have to be ’emotive’ in the least. You could maintain the blankest, most neutral, most matter-of-fact facial expression while informing a child that “97 out of 100 geophysicians say the planet has cancer,” and that child will generate all the emotions on his or her own.”

    No. They would grow out of inappropriate programming as soon as they left the nest. Probably much sooner through outside contact. The cultural narratives and the brain’s architecture *co-evolved* over a very long time, and even in certain ways before full language. The child is primed for *emotive* cultural absorption that fits the maturing (i.e. getting configured) emotive pathways in the brain, which will become associated with the evolved to be hand-in-glove strongly *emotive* narrative forms held consciously in memory. The narratives themselves form particular emotive couplings / cocktails (hope and fear being very common). The system all formed together, and while, clearly, newer cultures can leverage the system, they take very similar generic forms and produce even more similar behaviours. Having said that, this still leaves quite a range of religions / secular cultures / cults that express variants, because it is in the end configurable, but being linked to brain architecture, not hugely configurable. We’ve had about 100,000 religions to train homo-sapiens-sapiens in the past before the secular cultures came along; it’s not a coincidence that folks see religion in Communism or Fascism or CAGW. Not to mention that cancer has the star for being our most heinous medical enemy at the moment, and there is no way to sustain a narrative over years of child development (and obvious questions / subsidiary narrative etc) that is unemotive. ‘The planet has cancer’ in complete isolation of everything else is still highly emotive. As mentioned elsewhere, you seem to have a notion that emotions are some trivial level thing – but emotions developed long before the rational stuff, and a great deal of deep and long-term and fundamental character and world-view is based on them – little to do with the laughs or frowny anger or suspicious eyes that pass across our faces due to everyday events. *As part of a full cultural package*, phrases such as this repeated throughout a child’s development will (in most cases) cause emotive conviction in planetary doom that will bypass rationality, whatever contradictory evidence later appears. And for sure propagating believers are not going to be too concerned about minimising emotive presentation – see the examples on religion in the link I included upstream.

    “Sure, you’re MISLEADING the child, but the child is not guilty of irrationality for believing you. Certainly not if every schoolteacher they have repeats the falsehood (and even if they repeat it in the same flat tone of voice).”

    I agree. Greta is not ‘guilty’. This says nothing about the emotive nature of the misinformation fed to her (per above this is inherent both in all cultural [mis]information by definition, and her brain parts too that are activated by its constant reinforcement). For a child to be irrational because of cultural programming, which *is* emotive whether you like it or not, is not a matter of guilt; she had no choice. But she’s still irrational via the emotive bypassing of reason. And bear in mind that if you still think she’s not guilty after reaching adulthood, and ends up in court for doing something bad in the name of that cultural irrationality, then you are now on the opposite side of the argument you made above. i.e. you would have to let her off because she’s ‘not guilty’ by virtue of cultural adherence. In practice, one has to get responsible in adulthood, or clashes there will be. For most people in most eras, this wasn’t an issue because they grew up in a culture that *makes* the laws within their neighbourhood, unless they moved, or got conquered.

    “The resulting (false) “conviction” implanted in the child’s brain need in no functional way differ from the “conviction,” hypothetically imparted by all the child’s Geography teachers, that Lagos is the capital of Nigeria…”

    These two examples are different in practically every way imaginable. Hopefully if you’ve made it down here, you now know why.

    “…save for the fact that the latter (false) “conviction” is less likely to excite much emotion in response in a rational child.”

    Well your caveat is incredibly weak, but at least you made one. The former is a complete package of emotive programming (individual items don’t work, must be a whole cultural caboodle satisfying certain conditions), to which the brain architecture is evolved plus ‘expecting’ if you will a configuration experience executed over years, via which to form the whole bio-cultural human. The latter is a random fact, which no matter how many times reiterated, will just remain a random fact and not affect generic main behaviours (albeit maybe a bit harder to correct this bit of misinformation in later life).

    “In fact I don’t see any need to call it a conviction at all, when the perfectly serviceable, and less loaded, word “belief” is available to us.”

    Belief tends to be used for the whole culture. Convictions tend to be on particular issues within a belief system. I think they’re relatively interchangeable, but the important thing distinguishing them both in a cultural context, is that they’re a product of emotive programming, and not rationality.

    There are more than 300 definitions of culture / cultural. Saw a list somewhere but didn’t save a link, at least can’t find it. I mean by ‘a culture’, a bounded social entity such as a religion, which is based upon co-evolving narratives under an ‘umbrella theme’, which engages machinery in our brains evolved specifically to support cultural groups, which has its own overall evolutionary (i.e. cultural not biological) trajectory, in which there is typically structure, and which has typically behaviours resulting from the brain and narrative combo operation, e.g. consensus policing demonization of outgroups. They can be writ large (mainstream religion), writ very small (out of control company culture at Enron, say), or in-between.

    1,2,3: there is only 1 method of science. There may be many theoretical camps competing with different theories via this same method, whether or not one suspects some of those camps to be falling short of the true method. It is merely convenience to call these camps Lukerwarmer or Skeptic or Orthodox or Catastrophist ‘science’. Really they are camps for specific theories all using true science, and sometimes I actually use the word camps. Of course you may indeed suspect the methodology of some of these camps, but whether you are right or not, 3 of the 4 don’t support the cultural narrative of imminent climate apocalypse. See above regarding the role of silence and knowledge, in which I don’t wholly disagree with you.

    “…which in any case wasn’t intentionally false, I can tell you that much…”

    I didn’t say it was. Such is the lure of rhetoric, which we are all subject to. Stuffing humour and inuendo and 7th level irony everywhere, makes it far easier to make an accidental slip in this direction. Better to (mostly) separate entertainment and serious debate.

    “No, I’m merely explaining that my 99.9% confidence in the lack of a capnogenic warming crisis is almost precisely of a piece with your 99.9% confidence in the lack of vampires.”

    This is a false analogy, unintentionally no doubt, but anyhow the progress I referred to that in the relevant social science disciplines which provide much theory and evidence that your proposition for what adherents were thinking, was incorrect. However, there is much on this above now anyhow, and indeed you did ask for further detail on same this time around.

    It’s a great problem that all the different disciplines describe effects in different ways, and as my own view is culled from a wide range over many years, I use my own anyway. But it seems from your list you would have come across world-views, with consequent aligned convictions, maybe the term ‘affect’ which more or less translates to emotion. Though culture is sometimes used to describe some similar effects to above in the context of religions, this is sometimes not the case for secular ideologies (e.g. communism), and anyhow culture is more often used as the generic whole characteristics of a society (which for a small tribe may translate to a similar thing, but is wholly different for a big society supporting say several main religions and secular ideologies, and ideologies is often used for political movements from mid-nineteenth century onwards!) My angle comes from memetics, so a better term for ‘a culture’ as I mean it, is ‘a memeplex’. I guess that doesn’t help any. But as very partisan political ideologies, religions, cults and other similar entities all work on broadly the same rules, I just use ‘a culture’ for all of them. A world-view that includes say Republicanism, Catholicism and gun ownership as the dominant characteristics, this just means the associated convictions will align stronger to the former 2 ‘cultures’, while the last is not a self-contained culture as such, but will typically feature some cultural bias.

    Like

  68. Geoff,

    yes, I tracked GPWayne to his home blog to correct some of his more egregious misconstructions of the scientific method. It was like cutting the hair off one of the hydra’s heads.

    The following comments didn’t even see the light of day (although he clearly took on board my objection to his misrepresentation of my earlier comment about dilution, quietly changing his own comment without crediting me for the correction):

    Brad Keyes PERMALINK
    November 6, 2019 2:01 pm
    Please Note: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    as you’re the poster who claimed here that good science increases misinformation

    No I didn’t. My comment is plainly visible and, as anyone who visits this page can verify for themselves, I didn’t make anything tantamount to that silly claim.

    You’ve obviously misread “dilutes” as “increases.” I can’t imagine how—maybe you haven’t done much chemistry; suffice it to say they aren’t synonyms.

    To dilute is to ‘water down,’ in layman’s terms.

    Suppose I wrote a dodgy paper, using fallacious statistical processes, which concluded that there was an x% consensus.

    Suppose you didn’t like this paper because it was methodologically bankrupt.

    But imagine I responded to your criticism of my mathematical reasoning by demanding that you do your own consensus paper if you didn’t like mine.

    Would I be behaving reasonably? Of course not. You have every right to criticize my math without wasting your own time doing your own research.

    But let’s imagine you did your own study anyway, and you performed it impeccably and found with very high confidence that there was a y% consensus.

    Now there would be two papers, not one—my dodgy one, plus your non-dodgy one. The dodginess of the literature would now have been ‘watered down.’ Not increased; watered down.

    Unfortunately, anyone wanting to know the true percentage would have no choice but to assume it was halfway between x and y, because those were the two answers in the literature.

    But that’s not how the system works, thankfully. In science, my dodgy paper is supposed to be torn up. Not because your paper got a different answer (what does that prove about my methodology? nothing), but because my methodology was dodgy.

    Even if your paper got EXACTLY THE SAME answer (y = x), my dodgy paper should still have been torn up, because it was dodgy.

    Geddit now?

    Brad Keyes PERMALINK
    November 6, 2019 6:58 pm
    Please Note: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Graham,

    I just wanted to let you know I don’t blame you for deleting my last comment.

    I would have too, if I were a cowardly liar. It certainly didn’t make you look good, misrepresenting my earlier remarks so egregiously, did it?

    You should also suppress this comment because I’m about to embarrass you further.

    Classical science (e.g. climate change) is a black and white matter

    Climate change is not an example of classical science. You might argue (wrongly) that climate science is a classical science, but climate CHANGE is not even close—you’re making a category error.

    it’s right, or utterly wrong, and the wrong is disproved by only one means

    Climate change is right or it’s utterly wrong?

    What does this even mean, in your brain?

    The wrong is only disproved…

    huh?

    Listen, [the theory of] climate change will only be falsified if the climate stops changing for the first time in 4.5bn years. It’s falsifiable in principle, but only in the sense that [the theories of] water wetness, rose redness and violet blueness could be falsified if they happened to be false.

    It’s correspondingly utterly banal.

    “Who Fears The Consensus? Climate Change Deniers”

    How revealing.

    Firstly, if you were remotely sincere in your calls for climate action, you should fear the consensus, because that’s what [supposedly] tells you there’s a [supposed] process called AGW [supposedly] threatening our fragile existence on this planet. By imagining that the “other side”—the people who disagree with your belief—are afraid of the consensus you’re accidentally betraying the utter moral frivolity of your commitments.

    The lack of fear on “your side,” where all the fear should be, is discussed in depth in the following article, so I wouldn’t suggest reading it. It also embarrasses Andy [Skuce]:

    https://cliscep.com/2016/04/28/skuce-cooks-own-goose-in-skuces-gooses-own-juices/

    Secondly, the “other side” is obviously untroubled by the consensus, because (unlike you) we understand the rules of science, the zeroth of which states that consensus is literally meaningless.

    Thirdly, there is no such thing as climate change deniers so you might as well say that elves or faeries are afraid of the consensus. When John Cook—who literally *wrote the book* on climate change deniers, before teaching an online course about them—admits they don’t exist, and you perseverate in your belief that they do, it makes you look like one of Brian’s retinue in the Monty Python film. You know, the ones who follow him more fervently the more he denies his Messianicness. Laughable.

    https://theconversation.com/there-is-no-such-thing-as-climate-change-denial-11763

    Like

  69. ANDY WEST 10 Nov2019 1.38 pm

    A major flaw of the lying / manipulating proposition, is that it would have to be consciously coordinated over decades and across very many orgs and influencers (including presidents / prime ministers / UN elite etc etc). Aka a giant conspiracy. The cultural proposition requires no conscious coordination and hence no conspiracy; culture is *the* mechanism evolved from even before sapiens to coordinate large groups of us *subconsciously*.

    Why’s that a flaw? It worked for the deification of Roman Emperors. It worked for 9/11. “I’ll lie if you’ll lie, and if we can be sure that they’ll lie” is the normal conjugation of the future tense of the verb “to lie.” The fact that “the cultural proposition requires no conscious coordination and hence no conspiracy” doesn’t mean that no conspiracy is taking place.

    I’m no academic who’s devoted a lifetime to the thorough dispassionate study of a particular subject, but each time I’ve spent a dozen hours looking at a subject about which I previously knew nothing (attitudes to slavery in the 19th century; French media treatment of the Great War in the twenties; Trump and the Democrats in Ukraine…) I’ve found clear evidence of thousands of people conspiring together to lie. According to your own theories of cultural determinism it seems to me that there’s nothing surprising about this. If 30 million Frenchmen will lie about their financial status in private in order to reduce their tax burden, fully aware that 29,999,999 of their compatriots are doing the same thing, why shouldn’t they lie in a concerted fashion in order to increase the reparations to be paid by their enemy? It was indeed “consciously coordinated over decades and across very many orgs and influencers, including presidents / prime ministers..” and was only not a conspiracy because it was conducted in the full light of day. Your evocation of the subconscious is redundant, since the subconscious (unlike the unconscious) is readily available to conscious reflection.

    Brad’s assertion that the climate élite (and I adopt your term because it captures something important) are consciously lying needs empirical support, I grant you. And this would entail detailed sociological analysis of the who and why, which would take the lifetimes of scores of experts in the social sciences, which isn’t going to happen, for obvious reasons.

    And here we touch the real dispute between you and Brad, I think. Your overarching theory of cultural evolution has a firm base in neurology and evolutionary theory, as well as in the social sciences. To which Brad replies – with the intellectual modesty which is his trademark – with a couplet from Emily Dickinson.

    My gut sympathy is with Emily and against overarching theories. But I’m open to being persuade otherwise, as I am sure most people here are. We’re not utter Schmidts, after all.

    Like

  70. Per 10:24 Geoff & quoting Brad and Alan:

    Only skipped this passage very briefly, but for sure people can be pulled out of (irrational) cultural beliefs. I hesitate to say ‘reasoned out of’ exactly, because to start with it may not be standard reasoning as such, but essentially more like cult de-programming techniques. However, the end result will be a restoration of reasoning. And many can make it under their own steam, triggered for instance by the culture taking too many liberties, which first invokes (instinctive) innate skeptism, which can then sometimes lead to reasoned skepticism. There are other routes out. The fact that strong cultural adherence is irrational, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s permanent even when the culture continues to be successful, though (e.g. for religions) this is indeed often the case. For a culture that hitched it’s wagon to science, there should in theory be a point where it simply can’t sustain the false narrative anymore, which could collapse the bubble. But in practice it may morph rather than collapse (there are already many sub-narrative variants and these give plenty of scope for sideways evolution).

    Like

  71. Geoff;

    The world is indeed awash with real conspiracies. But the more people and organisations they encompass, and the more years they must run, and the more countries they must cover, the less likely it is that the phenomena in question is in fact a (by this time monstrous, and monstrously planned and organise) conspiracy, rather than instead a natural process, of which a culture is the primary type. The Roman emperors leveraged existing religious culture to their end, which had been evolving in that direction for some time, and had plenty of precedent from smaller and Eastern societies practically / actually worshipping leaders and vast pre-cursor from ancestor worship. The 911 terrorist event does not have any of the characteristics of a major culture such as Catholicism or CAGW, I don’t understand why you could hold this up as any kind of comparison. That the entire CAGW is a conspiracy would indeed need monstrous sized organisation and multi-decadal planning of which there is not evidence. Cultures can achieve all this via subconscious co-ordination, and have done so endlessly throughout history – no conspiracy is needed to explain it – and that option not only lacks evidence, it would be incredibly hard to achieve, and nor would the output characteristics (e.g. demonisation and emotive bias and all the rest) happen to so closely match everything that a culture produces!

    Like

  72. “My gut sympathy is with Emily and against overarching theories.”

    heh 😉

    Then don’t view it as so overarching. It is over-arching *only* regarding the fundamental drivers. The further you get from the core, the more frazzled and innaccurate and subject to all sorts of secondary processes it also gets. So that, for instance, *some* people are no doubt acting just like Brad says. And this has always been my point; the theory is the floor and the most basic understanding, without which we can never map the complexity, extricate ourselves from emotion or conspiracy theory, or basically have a clue what’s going on. BUT… it is *only* the base map, on which much else must be built, and of which much will be say political understanding a la yourself and Ben Pile say, and indeed some parts of nearly everyone’s understanding here. This floor also helps distinguish among the many things going on, which ones are causal and which ones acrued later as consequences. E.g. freeloading is common, but you can’t have free-loading without the immense drive of the culture first upon which the freeloading can latch. The freeloading couldn’t be sufficient motive in itself, it simply doesn’t match at all what all the neurology and evolutionary theory and social sciences etc say.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. JOHN RIDGWAY

    At a recent rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, Greta addressed her audience thus: “While we young may not be able to vote or make decisions today, we have something just as powerful. And that is our voices. And we need to use them.”

    Sounds sensible. Except that Greta, I seem to remember, refused to speak for a whole year.Hypocrite, or what? “It wasn’t her fault, it was the Asperger’s”? So what is her fault? For what can she be held responsible?

    I think I once compared her to the deformed oracular infant in Fellini’s Satyricon, who is consulted by the hero in order to cure his impotence. (Monbiot and all the Guardian’s journalists are faithful devotees, but let’s not go there.) Luckily no-one picked up on my cultural comment, or else we’d all be tarred with the brush of my sexist quasi-paedophilic comment. Brad can rest assured that if this were a classic war, like that of 1914-18, I would obey central command. But it isn’t, so I won’t, and will continue to believe that Greta is a worm that needs to be squashed in the bud, or wherever else she rears her ugly head

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Let’s talk about Al Gore. If the climate movement is a church, then Gore is its St Peter. And his infomercial An Inconvenient Truth is replete with falsehoods.

    One audacious example is his statement about low-lying Pacific Islands in Scene 20.

    That’s why the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand.

    Let’s assume that the average person who’s engaged full-time with the climate issue is not an absolutely encyclopedic ignoramus. They must therefore be perfectly aware that no such evacuations have taken place; no such modern Atlantides ever existed; no such wet, huddled masses ever turned up on New Zealand’s shores. Gore has simply invented two or more entire countries out of whole cloth.

    If the climate world took measures to distance itself from this masterpiece of the Große Lüge form I must have missed it. I guess I was too busy watching them pose for photos with Gore, his hemiNobel and their 1 milliNobel apiece.

    Absent a collective disavowal on the part of the climate movement, it becomes a matter of historical fact that a conspiracy of silence about this gobsmacking lie has been in continuous effect for 13 years and counting, even as cohort after cohort of school children have been sat in darkened classrooms and had this fiction force-fed through their smacked gobs.

    I’m open to an occidento-cultural explanation, even if it invokes the existence of a folie a plusieurs on a psychiatrically-unprecedented scale.

    But in the meantime I have a pretty satisfactory one of my own, as follows.

    Richard Muller is one of the few scientists in the climate establishment who had the ethical testes to condemn Hide the Decline. So he represents just about the highest standards of honesty you’ll find within climate alarmism. With few exceptions, we can presume the rest have less integrity than Muller.

    Here’s what Muller said about An Inconvenient Truth:

    If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion – which he does, but he’s very effective at it – then let him fly any plane he wants.

    And remember, this guy is a paragon of probity by climate-movement standards.

    Like

  75. Andy,

    as Geoff and I are intimately aware, there is an unequivocal, throbbing falsehood perpetrated on the audiences of Naomi Oreskes’ 2014 film Merchants of Doubt.

    I won’t expect you to read my WUWT essay again, but suffice it to summarize as follows: these two graphs, produced by the same author, Oreskes, purport to refer to the same pseudoscholarly stool of a study, Oreskes2004, which coded 928 papers according to the authors’ presumed attitude towards a particular claim made by the UN.

    Look at the “Endorse/Agree” rectangles.

    This is a Grosse Luege if ever there was one: far from a subtle massaging of numbers, it’s the maximal possible distortion of the most important finding Oreskes has ever made in her career.

    Think about how many people must have had to kept their mouths shut about this just to enable it to get to the big screen.

    Then think about the fact that in the five years since the film was released, Geoff and I seem to be the only people to object to this lie.

    Think about the fact that 12 months have passed since we alerted 5 different Research Integrity Compliance Officers at Harvard University about this flagrant example of academic misconduct, and that they promised to get back to us on the results of their investigation into it, and that not one of them has kept that promise.

    You express incredulity at the notion that a diffuse conspiracy of deception could be sustained for many years across many continents.

    Fair enough. If I didn’t know better, I’d find it pretty far-fetched myself.

    Eppur si muove.

    Like

  76. Andy,

    So you are seriously suggesting that practically the entire world leadership are ‘dupes’ (minus Trump)?

    Only to the extent that they believe there is a climate crisis. We can infer that this extent is less than an overwhelming majority, however, because if every nation but the US were led by a genuine climate-concerner, there would’ve been the political will to Do Something by now, yet nobody has Done Anything yet. Many leaders are presumably making a calculated decision to pay lip service to carbon austerity as long as it doesn’t cost them anything (and so far it doesn’t) rather than incur the wrath of the McKibbenite smear machine. Few PMs and Presidents these days have a big enough electoral majority to assume lightly the risk of being outed as ‘anti-science.’ Because American politics is special, Trump thrives on his image as a disruptor, and presumably gains votes by such actions as pulling out of Paris; the US is lucky to be in a position that allows him to do that. Lucky, not smart.

    And it’s unlucky to be in a position where the Anti-Trump Party candidates, at the 2019 ATP primary debates, competed for the dubious honor of pledging the most criminally insane hecatomb of “measly trillions” of US dollars (as you put it) to be wasted on non-solutions to the climate non-problem, with Bernie Sanders winning on sixteen point three if I recall correctly. US politics seems to be in tension right now between equal and opposite cretinisms.

    I’m seriously suggesting that most politicians have a law or business background, not a working fluency in scientific reasoning. This is obviously the case, and it equally obviously makes them ripe for the plucking by a pseudoscientific movement.

    Trump’s climate contrarianism is not principled. It is not founded in having a better grasp of scientific reasoning than his international counterparts’.

    Like the majority of non-believers, Trump may be on the correct side of the debate, but if you put a gun to his head he couldn’t give you a scientifically satisfactory justification for the side he chose.

    Most climate skeptics are climate skeptics for reasons which are every bit as fallacious as the reasons for which climate-concerners are climate-concerned. They’re just luckier.

    And while indeed having been simply duped, this has occurred on the most monstrous and comprehensive scale in terms of impact?

    Yes. I’m not sure why you characterize the duping as being “simply” done—it’s non-trivially slick—but yes.

    Not to mention rafts of other orgs and businesses and religious leaders and authorities and such; also just… duped?

    Orgs and businesses aren’t susceptible to dupage as such, only people are. People, with their dupable brains.

    I don’t know what you mean by “just” duped, but yes. The sincere ones have been duped; the expedient ones are passing for duped because it’s more salonfähig to appear climate-gullible than to be libeled as anti-science.

    And you imply that to be scientifically illiterate (even if they all are) automatically means people are dupes?

    No. As we’ve both noted, Trump didn’t get duped.

    Wow, quite something. I guess we were just lucky our world has lasted so long with such dupes always in charge;

    It’s not just luck. There’s also a sanity-checking feedback loop called representative democracy whereby ordinary people let their officials know (as several Australian Labor Party leaders have discovered the hard way) how much, or rather how little, they actually give a shit about climate change. Suffice it to say the average person is no Greta Thunberg.

    or does this only apply to the current crop of leaders / authorities during the last 30 years or so? If so, why are leaders suddenly more gullible and simple in this period?

    Well, pseudoscience pandemics have broken out in the past (eugenics comes to mind).

    But there does seem to be something uniquely hebephrenic about an age in which we’ve come to tolerate the existence of consensus science (to take just one example of the once-taboo thresholds crossed by the climate movement). This might just be misplaced nostalgia for a time in which I never lived, but I’m pretty sure the society whose idea of entertainment was to watch William Jennings Bryan debate would have ridden a low-rent anti-science demagogue like Oreskes out of town on an anal pear by now.

    Like

  77. Andy,

    The rational part of their brain is subverted by long reinforced emotive algorithms; they literally can’t process stuff that doesn’t support their case (i.e. evidence), via a whole sequence of behaviours whose main power emerges at group level (group coherence is what the system is for, and is very deeply embedded in us and much that we produce).

    Are you suggesting that people in the climate movement are literally incapable of processing the fact that no Pacific nations have ever had to evacuate their populations (in rapidly rising seas) to New Zealand, given that that fact would constitute evidence that Al Gore lied and that they had all acquiesced or at best connived in his lie for over a decade?

    Are you suggesting that people in the climate movement are literally incapable of seeing the irreconcilable difference between the two graphs relating to Oreskes04, which I posted upthread?

    Because that’s psychosis. You’re describing specific, shared, refractory delusions. I always thought of these people as sane, if dishonest; have I been wrong all these years? Have I failed to notice an unprecedented plague of mental illness unfolding in front of my eyes?

    I belong to several cultures myself. Am I to expect that I “literally can’t process stuff that doesn’t support [my] case (i.e. evidence),” and that if I listed all the cultures I belong to, you could come up with a bit of evidence I was fundamentally unable to integrate into my idea of reality? That I would go into fulminant denial if presented therewith? If so, this is intriguing—could we please do an experiment like this? I want to know what batshit insanity feels like.

    Let me tweak the statement of equivalence you consider false:

    My disbelief (to 99.9% certainty) in CAGW is almost precisely of a piece with your my disbelief (to 99.9% certainty) in vampires.

    By default, I have never believed in either of those extraordinary premises. But given commensurately clear evidence that those premises were in fact true, I would seriously reconsider my denial thereof. As it is, though, no evidence has been forthcoming for either idea.

    This I assert to be a compleat and trewe account of the history of my climatological and vampirological attitudes, on the authority of my own introspection (fallible as it necessarily is), and I dare say I’m well placed to assert it.

    If, as a logical extension of your culture-analytic praxes, this conversation ultimately arrives at the impasse whereby you tell me, by implication, that you know my mind better than I do, it will probably reduce my confidence in said praxes.

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  78. Brad:

    I’m aware of your writing on Oreskes, including your recent comments at WUWT, although I’m not a scholar of this deep resource.

    “Only to the extent that they believe there is a climate crisis. We can infer that this extent is less than an overwhelming majority, however, because if every nation but the US were led by a genuine climate-concerner, there would’ve been the political will to Do Something by now, yet nobody has Done Anything yet.”

    There wouldn’t, there isn’t, because a major point of the existence of a Culture is that the action remains as near as possible NOT something which would do anything genuinely useful to solve the purported issue. From the culture’s PoV (it is not sentient or even agential, this is just an insightful angle), it is far better if there is massive infra-structure and social change that co-opts more and more of society into its fancy and expanding church, but that *none* of this ever produces any realistic solution. And from completely meaningless virtue signalling, to almost meaningless (and very expensive) virtue signalling such as trying to replace world energy by environment damaging renewables, that’s exactly what we’re getting. And the more leaders are in the church, the *more* of Not Achieving Anything useful we will get, because that’s exactly where the whole show is steering (a feature not a bug of cultures). As explained above, this is exactly the hypocrisy that Greta has spotted, but she took the wrong fork in assuming the cause.

    “And it’s unlucky to be in a position where the Anti-Trump Party candidates, at the 2019 ATP primary debates, competed for the dubious honor of pledging the most criminally insane hecatomb of “measly trillions” of US dollars (as you put it) to be wasted on non-solutions to the climate non-problem, with Bernie Sanders winning on sixteen point three if I recall correctly. US politics seems to be in tension right now between equal and opposite cretinisms.”

    No this is not unlucky. It’s exactly part of the same cultural feature set as noted above, assuming that the great majority of GND plans are indeed ‘non-solutions’. And the ‘measly trillions’ are those attributed to the lining of pockets (and hence mistakenly leading to conspiracy as prime motive), a vastly bigger sum will be invested in entirely useless infra-structure and processes, from which the former is hived off. This is similar to the production of gold lined cathedrals all over Europe; and similarly there are some spin-off benefits, but this vast wealth tied up has no impact on the supposed problem and is mainly just a cultural feature.

    “I’m seriously suggesting that most politicians have a law or business background, not a working fluency in scientific reasoning.”

    This has long been almost nothing to do with science. And indeed as we agreed the narrative of imminent apocalypse is not supported by the mainstream camp let alone the skeptic camp. And there are vast numbers of authority individuals and orgs who you are claiming to be ‘duped’, not just politicians specifically. It is not an explanation that they are all so easily duped because they don’t know science, when the narrative long since left science behind anyhow. The catastrophe narrative variants propagating in the public domain and by authority sources, left the science behind decades ago. Nor is it the case that scientific knowledge, if they did have it, is a useful defence. Vast numbers of scientists buy into the catastrophic climate narrative; without a global unbiased survey (not much chance of that) we can’t know the proportions of who does / doesn’t or to what degree, but for sure legions of them buy a great deal of the story or indeed the whole thing (and belief can be in degrees depending on experience, it is not digital). I do recall some modest surveys, I’ll have to find a moment to see if I can dig them up. It’s also the case in the US, where by far the greatest polarization occurs due to the alignment of climate cultural belief with political partisanship, that the more cognitively capable and science literate folks are, the *more* polarized they are. I.e. they constitute the stronger believers in the believer group, but also the stronger opposers in the opposition group (per Kahan’s work). Features like this are an expectation of cultural belief, but NOT of simply being duped by a conscious plan to dominate the world using climate change as the issue.

    “Trump’s climate contrarianism is not principled. It is not founded in having a better grasp of scientific reasoning than his international counterparts’.”

    Of course. The entire US public’s view on climate change is nothing to do with scientific understanding. Per Kahan’s work above it is everything to do with ‘who they are’ and not ‘what they know’, and even more so for the cognitively capable and science literate. The same is true in all other countries where CC is big, but *not* via the same polarization equation, because different cultural relationships develop locally ad-hoc, and it just so happens that the huge polarization alignment in the US is almost unique.

    “Like the majority of non-believers, Trump may be on the correct side of the debate, but if you put a gun to his head he couldn’t give you a scientifically satisfactory justification for the side he chose.”

    Of course. Neither could 99.99% of supporters or opposition in the US public or indeed elsewhere. It’s not about science.

    “Most climate skeptics are climate skeptics for reasons which are every bit as fallacious as the reasons for which climate-concerners are climate-concerned. They’re just luckier.”

    But, in bulk (which is to say not necessarily on typical climate blogs which are a vanishing small %tage and very unrepresentative regarding climate literacy), we know what drives this, and albeit variable in different countries due to the ad-hoc arrangements noted above, the drives are nevertheless all due to cultural mechanics – adherence, alliance, opposition, innate scepticism (nothing to do with reasoned scepticism).

    “Orgs and businesses aren’t susceptible to dupage as such, only people are. People, with their dupable brains.”

    But this is not so. Orgs and businesses have processes that protect them from the being as dupable as individuals, and are greater than the sum of their parts in this respect. Businesses particularly wouldn’t survive without this. That doesn’t mean they’re invulnerable, but it does mean that enacting some conscious co-ordinated lie throughout vast numbers of orgs all over the world is unfeasibly hard, and still requires vast numbers of people who are incredibly gullible. Occam’s razor alone suggests this is wrong, when there is a *subconscious* mechanism that’s being driving phenomena of this sort endlessly throughout our entire history, and in every way the characteristics of this current CC phenomena line up with all those of the past.

    “”And you imply that to be scientifically illiterate (even if they all are) automatically means people are dupes?”” “No. As we’ve both noted, Trump didn’t get duped.”

    But he’s notable (and indeed I noted above) as the only high leader standing against this. And vast numbers of authority sources and orgs along with practically all the rest of the world leadership are not standing against. So you’re implying that to be scientifically illiterate, automatically means all but a tiny minority of people will be dupes.

    “Well, pseudoscience pandemics have broken out in the past (eugenics comes to mind).”

    Yes! YES! Eugenics hooked to national socialism and anti-semitism in a new combo of circulating forever emotive memes (there are many repainted older ones in the climate domain too), to form *a culture*, and this is exactly how the pandemic occurred!

    Music practice time…

    Liked by 1 person

  79. Brad I’ve looked again at the premise of your post – that sceptics were unwise to rush to criticize St. Greta after her tongue-lashing of the entire international classe climatique. Perhaps you are correct, but having set out your premise, I wonder why you needed to expand upon the theme. The ICC are surely unlikely to make the same mistake again are they? In which case your admonitions would seem to be wasted.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. ah… music is good for the soul…

    Brad:

    “Are you suggesting that people in the climate movement are literally incapable of processing the fact that no Pacific nations have ever had to evacuate their populations… are literally incapable of seeing the irreconcilable difference between the two graphs relating to Oreskes04, which I posted upthread?”

    How can you even ask this question, when every day it is clear that millions of CC adherents do not process exactly such things however obviously presented. Is this not one of the hugest problems that skeptics have perceived themselves to be fighting all along? And you already know many of the mechanisms via which this works and have even written on same – including to start with a refusal to even look at data presented by ‘evil deniers’, unless absolutely forced. And of course: ‘but the timescale is just a bit further out’ (and yet, when it does happen it will [always] ‘be worse than we thought’). And 100 other gross mechanisms down to subtle biases, following on behind. Long before they get anywhere near the 100, the evidence will be completely discounted, and the vast majority of folks will have conspired to never even see it, as rumour of its falseness and contamination will spread before it like a plague. Even of those who see it, for some it will only be seconds as their eyes start to itch with discomfort at the evilness of the source, and they flick elsewhere with assurances of ‘must be nonsense’ in their heads. The few left who’s task it is to challenge the works of Satan will smear and undermine and cherry pick and endless whatever technique until the data is dead, dead, dead, to the enlightened adherents at any rate. (And bear in mind that because there are [much more diverse] cultural interests on the skeptic side of CC, e.g. Rep culture, this can happen on both sides of the debate too). Assuming you have some familiarity with religions, and for instance the crazy religiously inspired wars constantly wracking the Middle East where no way no how can any of the sides see any sense, or the still huge support for creationism in the US despite ‘blindingly obvious’ evidence, why would you think this effect cannot occur in secular cultures just the same as for religious ones? A big feature of cultures is that they encourage their own communication networks which censor and / or re-frame data within the context of their values sets – this leads to the curious situation of identical data consistently being read to mean very different things by 2 sides (say) of a strong cultural conflict.

    “Because that’s psychosis. You’re describing specific, shared, refractory delusions. I always thought of these people as sane, if dishonest; have I been wrong all these years? Have I failed to notice an unprecedented plague of mental illness unfolding in front of my eyes?”

    It is not psychosis. But you can call it the madness of crowds, and many do, because it *is* a group phenomenon. It would be psychosis if, for a particular individual, this behaviour occurred in all domains and irrespective of whether those are controversial / culturally-conflicted or not. But this is not how it works at all. Someone can seem perfectly ‘normal’ and balanced on all topics *except* the one which happens to contradict the main culture they ardently support. Someone else can be perfectly objective on climate change (as judged by future history), yet hugely biased and even blind regarding issues related to Catholic dogma. Or vice versa. Or biased on both, especially if say the religion and CC had a strong alliance, or neither. This is not a bug, it’s a feature, and the feature is intended to support (policed) cultural consensuses, which throughout our evolutionary history were the only way of keeping large groups singing tightly off the same hymn-sheet (a saying that comes exactly from part of one specific culture’s co-ordination mechanisms). Plus, ‘a mental disorder’ cannot by definition apply to the *correctly working* cultural equipment that *all* of us posses, whether or not it happens to be the case that for a minority of people it may happen not to be very enabled.

    “…if I listed all the cultures I belong to, you could come up with a bit of evidence I was fundamentally unable to integrate into my idea of reality?”

    Do you think I’m some kind of cultural guru? I don’t even know the critical values in most brands of Christianity, let alone rafts of lesser cultures (I’m not religious at all). So due to unfamiliarity, I won’t have a clue what to ask regarding contradictions related to the relevant value sets. And unless you’re an ardent adherent too, the effect won’t be strong enough for such primitive tests as I might fashion to pick up much. While this phenomenon abounds in the real world, in artificial setups people are typically very (subconsciously) evasive about revealing their contradictions in this respect, and unless in a culturally supportive forum (some blogs fit that bill) their inner guard is raised high and they’re essentially highly suspicious of questioning attempts that get too near to the truth. They are ways and means though, and a good one is to ask essentially the same question but in ways that both invoke, and don’t invoke, identity defence. Crafted social psychological surveys aim for such subtleties, but I doubt I could do that. The attempt is to capture enough of that real world effect to get some objective quantitative and qualitative grip, but it is challenging. However, it is done, and cultural bias on a vast range of topics has been unearthed, at the extreme end indeed amounting to severe contradictions or blindness of reality. (The biggest research is in the US, where the polarization on practically everything makes measurement rather easier). Dan Kahan works in this area and via such surveys captured the higher polarization of the more cognitively capable and science literate.

    “Let me tweak the statement of equivalence you consider false: My disbelief (to 99.9% certainty) in CAGW is almost precisely of a piece with your my disbelief (to 99.9% certainty) in vampires.”

    It’s still false. There is no serious cultural conflict relating to the existence of vampires.

    “If, as a logical extension of your culture-analytic praxes, this conversation ultimately arrives at the impasse whereby you tell me, by implication, that you know my mind better than I do, it will probably reduce my confidence in said praxes.”

    No danger there; your mind is clearly labyrinthine 😉.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. P.S. “…will smear and undermine and cherry pick and endless whatever technique until the data is dead, dead, dead…” Yet all the time think they are doing noble work and challenging despicable people.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. P.P.S. re testing for cultural bias, this only makes sense too for a large group of people, which helps some regarding the artificial environment problems and individual quirks regarding particular questions, by simply scaling up the size and reaping the statistical results.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Brendan O’Neill in Spiked today, on XR and the climate change / env movement…

    “Censorship is the midwife of stupidity, and more importantly of dogmatism. When religious or political or moral ideologies are insulated from critique, they become dogmas. They become belief systems that are cleaved to, not because they have been tested and discussed in the public sphere, but because their adherents just *know* that they are right. These are the perfect conditions in which arrogance and intellectual hollowness can flourish, and in which defensiveness and fury become the default responses to any challenge from outside.”

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Andy,

    The rational part of their brain is subverted by long reinforced emotive algorithms; they literally can’t process stuff that doesn’t support their case (i.e. evidence), via a whole sequence of behaviours whose main power emerges at group level (group coherence is what the system is for, and is very deeply embedded in us and much that we produce).

    You’ve yet to mention any phenomenon in the climate wars, or any behavior of the climate leadership/elite, that isn’t more simply and more satisfactorily explained, and even predicted, by my theory.

    Which is the theory of evil—a theory that doesn’t require anyone in the debate to be mentally ill or even irrational, though it allows for the possibility that they sometimes are, as in any other context.

    >> Are you suggesting that people in the climate movement are literally incapable of processing the fact that no Pacific nations have ever had to evacuate their populations… are literally incapable of seeing the irreconcilable difference between the two graphs relating to Oreskes04, which I posted upthread?

    How can you even ask this question, when every day it is clear that millions of CC adherents do not process exactly such things however obviously presented.

    That’s not clear at all. I’ve never met anybody, to my knowledge, who couldn’t “process exactly such things” when “obviously presented.”

    The SkSJugend have no difficulty processing threatening information. It’s just that they don’t process it the way a non-evil person would. They process it by banning the accounts of commenters who mention it, then deleting their comments.

    They censor such information because they know the brains of “millions of CC adherents” (or the dozens who actually visit SkS, at least) WOULD be capable of processing such information if they were exposed to it. Hence the supreme importance, to the dishonest climate elite, of ensuring the information never reaches the dozens.

    A literal inability to process the information—of the kind you allege adherents suffer from neurologically—would result not in the panicked, systematic suppression of said information by the corrupt elite, but in its unfettered and ubiquitous availability. Any commenter could post anything on any thread at any alarmist blog, no matter how embarrassing to the narrative, and the charlatans who run those sites wouldn’t lift a finger to zamboni said thread because

    a) they themselves would literally be blind to the embarrassing information—a mental scotoma would float over it like a cloud of black highlighter, FBI-style

    b) even if they somehow perceived the information, they could rest assured that the dozens wouldn’t be able to process it

    Is this not one of the hugest problems that skeptics have perceived themselves to be fighting all along?

    No, one of the biggest problems we’re fighting is the suppression / redaction / censorship / gatekeeping / zambonification / removal of the information the minute we attempt to put it out there.

    And you already know many of the mechanisms via which this works and have even written on same – including to start with a refusal to even look at data presented by ‘evil deniers’, unless absolutely forced.

    The refusal to look at the information is due, precisely, to the refuser’s fear of his or her own ability to process it if he or she looked at it.

    If they really were immune to reason, they wouldn’t go so far out of their way to avoid exposure to it, would they?

    Have you ever tried presenting the inconvenient truth to one of the hapless “millions of CC adherents”? Not one of the elite, but one of the rank-and-file dupes?

    I have. They’re gratifyingly capable of grasping it.

    That’s why The Conversation forbids conversation.

    That’s why the Data Haram anti-West terror cell is headed by a climate psychologist.

    That’s why the elite writes things like this (behind closed doors):

    Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

    Like

  85. Andy mentions creationists as an example of a culture or memeplex that is resistant to invasion by “correct” memes. How do creationist memes protect themselves against replacement? It seems that the greater part of creationists must have been exposed to compelling evidence that their culture, memeplex, is not an accurate model of the world. But they bat it off. How?

    Two possible ways: one, the memeplex really is resistant to all comers; two, the memeplex being invaded is not the creationist memeplex at all but a shadow memeplex that sits above it. You might call it a utilitarian memeplex: maybe it exists to protect the host. Friends and family believe; if you change your mind, you will likely suffer socially. Perhaps, on the other hand, you believe you should maintain the memeplex “for the greater good.” Maybe you’ve seen through the story, but play along for your benefit, or as a role model, to keep others in line.

    Question: what is the functional difference between a “truth” memeplex and a “utilitarian” memeplex that is just bolted onto the top for some practical reason?

    The one presumably represents sincere belief, the other hypocrisy. Their appearance is similar.

    Why would a climate apocalyptic not exaggerate? Being honest and debating the nuance does nothing for your cause. Why do extremist parties do better in proportional elections? (Do they? I think they do.) If they do, it could be because if you happen to tilt a little to the right, you place your token as far right as you can tolerate, for the ol’ product moment coefficient. Put it in the middle, where you want the beam to settle? No. There are gonna be a lot of slightly-left people putting their chips as far left as they can bear to, so you have to put yours as far right as you can bear…

    At the moment we’re in a curious situation where you can be at the low end of the IPCC’s ECS and still be a denier.

    Thanks for the discussion, it has been thought-provoking, although mebbe too much to take on board in one sitting.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. Andy

    “I don’t understand why you think anything I’ve argued presupposes an atomic cerebrum.”

    Because the foundation stone of all your argument throughout, is that someone (hence someone’s brain), is either ‘sincere’, or ‘not sincere’, and that determining which of these binary choices applies to that someone, is merely a matter of assessing quite simple external behaviours for relevant hypocrisy / contradiction.

    1. I don’t presuppose that anyone is globally insincere—they may just be lobally insincere, for all I know, because all I know is that they’re pathologically dishonest on the topic of [C[A[G[W]]]].

    All I’m saying is that the neural tract which, in normal people, relates the honesty lobe to the primary cambioclimatic cortex is, in the climate elite, either congenitally absent or at best atrophied.

    2. Would I be surprised if they were “climate honest” in other aspects of their lives too? Not terribly, because falsum in uno, falsum in omne.

    3. The fact remains that some people are more conscientious than others, some lie with more facility and less remorse than others, and that this is a personality trait, not a momentary feature of their behavior. To triage them into Honest and Dishonest categories of person is then as simple as deciding on a threshold. That threshold may vary with the subject (e.g. I probably expect even more honesty of scientists than of others) and with the rater (e.g. I might expect more, or less, honesty of people than most people would).

    4. I never said it was always “simple” to tell if someone was a climate charlatan. And even in the simplest cases, you do need to look for the signs and know what you’re looking for (which is one reason why 99% of the population hasn’t noticed them).

    5. Then again, there are some people—who seem to be overrepresented in the climate movement for reasons you can probably guess—whose dishonesty is so audacious as to be all but uncontroversial. I consider Al Gore dishonest, but so does Richard Muller, for example, and he’s no skeptic. We just don’t agree on whether dishonesty is a bad thing.

    Like

  87. Brad:

    “you’ve yet to mention any phenomenon in the climate wars, or behavior of the climate leadership/elite, that isn’t more simply and more satisfactorily explained, and even predicted, by my theory.”

    On the contrary. I have put forward a proposition, plus examples and explanation regarding a wide range of phenomena in the climate domain, including all those that you have put forward and more besides, all of which are supported by various underlying theories / references / sources from a number of social science disciplines (yes, practically all of this is not original work by me, a little integration only, albeit the relevant disciplines are generally hooked themselves on climate culture so they do not apply their principles to this domain) that I have also mentioned and / or linked. You have have chosen not to provide any structured critique of this stuff whatsoever, in fact hardly any critique at all, and say essentially in return; ‘my theory is better’, which…

    “Which is the theory of evil.”

    …and for which you have provided no science backup or references or supportive surveys, nor any significant references at all outside of Brad Ltd. and the behaviours of some of the particular climate adherent subjects, or indeed any kind of measurement supporting your claim that your theory is ‘better’. A ‘simpler’ theory is one which, while being at least no less well-founded, explains a wider range of the relevant characteristics with less complication. And as pointed out in detail above, mine has a strong candidate mapping to each of a large range of behaviours, all stemming ultimately from a single and historically well demonstrated phenomenon (a culture); i.e. well-founded. Plus some behaviours of which are directly sampled such as the Kahan stuff noted above, and also some I doubt you even knew existed plus some you are just passing over.

    Well, I guess your theory of ‘evil’ allows you to *simply* bag all the characteristics into a thing you may as well call ‘magic, because unless you can explain the components and processes of evil, then indeed this is just code for magic. So: how it spreads, why some have it and some don’t, can you have it in degrees? Why it’s domain dependent (or strong evidence that it isn’t). What are the evolutionary pressures that caused evil to evolve? Is it mainly a group or individual evolutionary output? At what stage of evolution did it become significant? Or did it spring into existence randomly and not via evolution? Is it an illness? If so covered by what medical research? What are its fundamental defining features? The term evil stems from a religious context – does that mean connections with religion here? So how do religion and climate change relate globally (I happen to have insight on that 😊)? How are the features of evil evidenced in the context of current social psychological (or theological) or medical or other theory? Or, if this is a new breaking-ground theory not yet covered, how is this compatible with, or evidentially superior to, existing theories? Does evil have biological roots, or is it purely a thing of the mind? If the latter, how and when does it get programmed? Is evil only an adult thing, or occurring also in childhood? In the latter case, how does this gel with existing child psychology? Can you grow out of it? In normal vernacular the presence of ‘evil’ implies opposing ‘good’; is this part of your formal theory of evil and how do all the mirror opposition functions work; what is symmetric and what isn’t? And many more questions of this ilk…

    So, your theory is simple alright, but as per the quote credited to Einstein, ‘everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler”, I think you have undershot pretty damn seriously here. A one word theory can win a prize for ‘apparent’ simplicity, but unless you can provide all of the above and more, *as well* as some genuinely explanatory specifics in say the climate domain, which all can be done for ‘culture’, then simple just means simply wrong, or ‘magic’. You present no foundation at all for your ‘theory of evil’. If you have such, bring it on.

    Along the way you have made no significant comment upon any of the references / backup that I provided, or why you think these are weak or inappropriate or are outbid within the bigger picture by something else, or maybe are countered by alternate research I’m unaware of, or whatever other reason for ruling out consideration. I can’t do for the same for your references and theoretical backup, because you don’t have any to speak of. Nor do you have any significant logic chain other than: all the world leadership (bar Trump) and thousands of other authorities high and low plus very many millions of ordinary folks have been ‘duped’, by a ‘climate leadership’, and this is largely because of the former’s lack of scientific ability, plus we now see, the latter’s ultimate motivation of ‘evil’. Well there isn’t much to work with here, and as noted further above this is off to a pretty bad start because legions of scientists (who one presumes have scientific ability) support the CAGW cause, plus the evidence for the huge / decadal conspiracy necessary for the duping is, as Geoff points out, missing in action.

    “That’s not clear at all. I’ve never met anybody, to my knowledge, who couldn’t “process exactly such things” when “obviously presented.””

    What has meeting anyone got to do with anything? I never met any of the climate elite, or any religious elite come to that, or any political partisan elite either. I know some ordinary people who believe in the catastrophic climate thing (expressed to lesser or fuller degree, they are usually vague about how far their belief stretches and I don’t question them). For sure they aren’t exposing to me what they do or don’t process, and nor would I have any means to find out without subjecting them to the 3rd degree (whence they’d go defensive anyway). Are you only going to judge cultural concepts admissible if you actually see them in action with your own eyes? How many of the world’s scientific theories have you seen working with your own eyes, and do you disbelieve all the ones where this has not occurred?

    “The SkSJugend have no difficulty processing threatening information. It’s just that they don’t process it the way a non-evil person would. They process it by banning the accounts of commenters who mention it, then deleting their comments.”

    So I have pointed out above that this is a classic *part* of cultural behaviours and one of a variety of ways in which adherents are shielded from info that is (ironically) considered ‘evil’ to the cause, as does Brendan O’ Neill likewise, over a period of time leading exactly to a situation among the whole group where they just ‘know’ any challenging stuff is wrong (and evil). As it happens, their concept of evil is just as unfounded as yours.

    “They censor such information because they know the brains of “millions of CC adherents” (or the dozens who actually visit SkS, at least) WOULD be capable of processing such information if they were exposed to it. Hence the supreme importance, to the dishonest climate elite, of ensuring the information never reaches the dozens.”

    Of course they are shielding the faithful from challenging information! Again, note Brendan above, and the long-term effect of so doing. You have not placed yourself in the cultural shoes. They are doing this (for the majority of players across all such groups within the cause) because they ‘know’, and absolutely, that the information *must* be wrong, even if in some cases even after massively blind bias applied to its context or references, or cherry-picking / amplifying weaknesses or dismissing ‘known’ evil sources that contributed to the data and a host of similar moves, they still don’t quite know ‘yet’, *why* it is wrong. In the worst case, it “won’t matter” somehow within the bigger picture (how many thousands of times have you heard that?) whether or not the culture, via the effort of many of its adherents contributions, has yet managed to evolve the ‘appropriate’ bigger picture or not. This is partly why cultural narratives that adherents claim to be constant, in fact evolve all the time. In such cases, meanwhile, it is their duty to protect the faithful from ‘evil’ data, as noted an ironic justification in light of your unsupported assumption that it is they who must be evil.

    “A literal inability to process the information—of the kind you allege adherents suffer from neurologically—”

    It is not nuerological in the sense of any kind of illness or mental disorder, it is the normal functioning of the brain in the circumstances of strong cultural adherence…

    “…would result not in the panicked, systematic suppression of said information by the corrupt elite, but in its unfettered and ubiquitous availability.”

    Cultures defend themselves vigorously, and where the rubber meets the road of adherents in the firing line, all emotion are brought into play, including as Brendan notes arrogance, defensiveness and fury, and indeed more including panic.

    “Any commenter could post anything on any thread at any alarmist blog, no matter how embarrassing to the narrative, and the charlatans who run those sites wouldn’t lift a finger to zamboni said thread because a) they themselves would literally be blind to the embarrassing information—a mental scotoma would float over it like a cloud of black highlighter, FBI-style…”

    Of course not. Once again, you base your assumption on the atomicity of the person’s brain – which DOES NOT apply here. For strong cultural adherents considering information very challenging to their core cultural narratives, parts of their brain will lie to others parts – the conscious part of them is not in charge and the *will not know this*.

    “b) even if they somehow perceived the information, they could rest assured that the dozens wouldn’t be able to process it…”

    Of course they can’t rest assured in this way! Even if they’re aware of generic cultural characteristics (seems highly unlikely for the vast majority), no way no how do they perceive themselves to be in a culture even as they act out all its behaviours. Such as the need to fight those (in the CC case) propagating sophisticated fossil-fuel backed / Koch bro funded misinformation and smear for the evil purposes of profit at the expense of the masses and the planet. The culture will have them protect other adherents. Plus, once again you assume atomicity of the brain because b) assumes that the relevant adherents are applying logic in this situation, but for a culturally critical issue like this the adherent isn’t applying logic, because his/her logic is subverted!

    “No, one of the biggest problems we’re fighting is the suppression / redaction / censorship / gatekeeping / zambonification / removal of the information the minute we attempt to put it out there.”

    And this is a significant part of why (over the long term) adherents eventually can’t process anything, as Brenda astutely observes. Because they’re all censoring smaller parts of the picture all over the place from each other, in what is after all a very large domain considering all aspects, they all become blind together. As noted, it is an instinctive and group phenomenon. There is not some evil chief manipulator behind the scenes who can see all while stroking his/her cat and cackling.

    “If they really were immune to reason, they wouldn’t go so far out of their way to avoid exposure to it, would they?”

    Again, see above. It’s a *group* phenomenon, they all contribute to each other’s blindness. So a part of how they become immune is habitual censorship. And nor can they apply that logic because a) they don’t perceive themselves to be in a culture and b) their brains are subverted from applying logical in cultural critical circumstances anyhow, precisely so that all these mechanisms can work without their knowledge.

    “I have. They’re gratifyingly capable of grasping it.”

    As with all cults / religions / partisan politics etc, de-programming techniques work. Especially if they weren’t full-on / ardent in the first place. Or they only conveniently believed (they are very many millions in this state) because others are perceived too (so, not true adherents). The first step in all such cases is isolating folks from the cultural information / support. Personal trust is huge, if personal bonds (family, friends, work colleagues) oppose the cultural bonds, you have far more chance that challenges to the latter will start to stick, especially if you can exchange in an environment that is completely free of cultural / emotive comments / actions by others (who may be stronger believers) trying to prevent the escape. This can be done with religions too, of course, but ultimately outside or strange cults or whatever, religion has the big advantage that it’s always impossible to disprove god / gods.

    “That’s why The Conversation forbids conversation.”

    Per above, this is entirely an expectation of the cultural hypothesis, and common to other cultures, though of course such things progress to be worse and worse as (or if) the culture makes more and more progress, so one can’t say when censorship screws will tighten or cover other orgs without predicting that cultural advance’s timescale, which is beyond us to do. While you may also claim likewise, to date you have presented no hypothesis. You have speculation on a grand conspiracy that duped world leadership and many thousands of other authorities / orgs and hundreds of millions of people and along the way many scientists, for which you have no evidence, plus a so far completely unfounded notion about evil, which unless you *can* found it (so please do), amounts to ‘magic’. As noted, some strong adherents describe skeptics in similar terms, occasionally with the same actual word, ‘evil’. Assuming your own notion does have some relationship with the word as it is oft deployed for historic baddies such as Joe S or Adolf H, how much of it does the typical climate elitist possess compared to such figures, and what is the scaling framework for how this amount is derived?

    Like

  88. Brad:

    “I don’t presuppose that anyone is globally insincere—they may just be lobally insincere, for all I know, because all I know is that they’re pathologically dishonest on the topic of [C[A[G[W]]]]. All I’m saying is that the neural tract which, in normal people, relates the honesty lobe to the primary cambioclimatic cortex is, in the climate elite, either congenitally absent or at best atrophied.”

    People do behave differently in cultural / non-cultural contexts (or for different cultures). There is data for this. So you imply that indeed not being globally insincere, the biological organisation of the brain is therefore different for different subject matter, e.g. CAGW as one subject, and as compared to say Catholicism for another, or politics for another, or say the study of geography for another. Or are there different brains for different politics too, e.g. Labour versus Conservative (Liberal)? Even disregarding domain differences, how does this biological brain link sit within your overall theory of evil? Has evil caused an actual atrophy of part of physical brain, and if so what are the physical mechanisms via which this occurs? If by ‘atrophy’ you only meant this as a metaphor and not ‘physical atrophy’, what mental process are you actually talking about here and what pressures cause it to occur? What can you point to that provides backing for these unusual speculations? How did evolution lead us to this? Or did it?

    “2. Would I be surprised if they were “climate honest” in other aspects of their lives too? Not terribly, because falsum in uno, falsum in omne.”

    Because: ‘old latin phrase’ not derived from science and not mandatory in law for a couple of centuries. Whether you would be surprised or not, you don’t appear to have any evidence upon which to comment. But this is a red herring anyway, because (for the majority) as pointed out frequently above, they are not dishonest in the first place even within domain, because parts of their brain are lying to other parts and their consciousness *does not know this is happening*. As you do throughout, you once more revert to your default assumption underlying all your writing here, that the brain works as a single atomic (and self-conscious) whole in circumstances of strong cultural adherence. It does not.

    “3. The fact remains that some people are more conscientious than others, some lie with more facility and less remorse than others, and that this is a personality trait, not a momentary feature of their behavior.”

    Of course people have personality traits. As I noted a long way above these map onto cultural behaviours to create a large spectrum – not black ad white as I noted nearly at the start. What has ’momentary’ got to do with anything?

    “ To triage them into Honest and Dishonest categories of person is then as simple as deciding on a threshold.”

    And I’ve explicitly pointed out the last couple of times you went through this loop, that you *cannot* do this. Because the assumption of such a self-conscious boundary of ‘honest’ assumes an atomic brain whose owner is both in rational control and is also aware of everything his brain does (so can self-measure wrt honesty). But this is *not* so for strong cultural adherents in culturally challenging scenarios. Their consciousness is subverted, and further they don’t know this is happening. Are you not reading any of my responses? It is absolutely fine not to agree, but rather than simple restating the same point, you need to say why you believe the alternative (with all its support) is inappropriate or whatever.

    “4. I never said it was always “simple” to tell if someone was a climate charlatan. And even in the simplest cases, you do need to look for the signs and know what you’re looking for (which is one reason why 99% of the population hasn’t noticed them).”

    But you implied so. You said you have a simple theory of ‘evil’ that explains these phenomena. But you have yet to explain anything in turn about what your theory of evil actually is or how it explains all these things. If you have some tests for ‘evil’, what are they? The word in generic usage tends to mean a characteristic that is exceptionally potent, shouldn’t this potency be easily detectable? If it is not so potent after all, why does your theory adopt such an evocative word?

    “5. Then again, there are some people—who seem to be over-represented in the climate movement for reasons you can probably guess—whose dishonesty is so audacious as to be all but uncontroversial. I consider Al Gore dishonest, but so does Richard Muller, for example, and he’s no skeptic. We just don’t agree on whether dishonesty is a bad thing.”

    We have no means to measure inside particular persons’ heads, as we both agreed. Per all my above, there will be some freeloaders and liars and cheats and whatever drawn to the opportunities presented by any major culture, but they are not the prime cause and they are not in the majority. Plus, they are split too. So some adherents will be so incredibly passionate and sincere regarding the main cultural cause (so they are not people who disbelieve the cause, hence are *not* dishonest purely in this sense), that they then commit (what they consider lesser) insincerities to support the ‘greater’ sincerity of the cause. We know this as ‘noble cause corruption’, and ultimately it is another consequence of the non-atomic brain in strong cultural circumstances. All this noted previously and explicitly. All these questions are already answered, if you don’t like the answers, you need to make some progress in structured critique as to why they might be wrong.

    Like

  89. JIT:

    “How do creationist memes protect themselves against replacement?”

    Good question. Mainly, because they do not stand alone. They are just one part of a vast religious memeplex that has built up huge social inertia over a couple of millennia, and continues to surprisingly well defend many of its positions despite multiple challenges from science in a modern world. The techniques evolved to do this include all the stuff I’ve noted in this thread and much more, but I guess the biggest single thing is that emotive memes propagated by cultures are able to subvert reason right down at brain architecture level, so ultimately rational arguments against religious propositions are already working a very uphill battle against such a powerful mechanism. Which is not to say that creationism is the best defended of religious propositions, being much more in conflict with science than many others, and large swathes of religious believers have bailed out to ‘God-guided evolution’. But the proposition wouldn’t stand for a moment in isolation – it is coupled to long traditions and stacks or arcane writing that folks believe rules their world and so on and so on down to how their daughter gets married and what they think about a whole range of values, because they’re all interlinked.

    “Two possible ways:”

    I don’t think either of these are particularly valid, because there is no such thing as a stand-alone creationist memeplex in the first place. The memes relating to same are only valid / active within a much larger memeplex of the host religion. But absolutely part of that larger context and reinforcement are things like this:

    “Friends and family believe; if you change your mind, you will likely suffer socially.”

    But this will not (typically) occur consciously. So though this…

    “Maybe you’ve seen through the story, but play along for your benefit, or as a role model, to keep others in line.”

    …will sometimes apply, more often due to the non-atomic-brain stuff discussed in detail in this thread, there will not be a *conscious* weighing of these factors.

    “Question: what is the functional difference between a “truth” memeplex and a “utilitarian” memeplex that is just bolted onto the top for some practical reason?”

    If by ‘truth’ you mean ‘a reflection of reality’, there are not memeplexes built on this. As a rough analog, memes are to individuals as a memeplex is to a species. They have very different characteristics. One of those for the latter is that for a memeplex to arise (and in so doing leverage brain architecture evolved for the purpose), it must be built on emotive memes, which among other characteristics cannot ultimately be true.

    “At the moment we’re in a curious situation where you can be at the low end of the IPCC’s ECS and still be a denier.”

    Exactly, yes, the phenomenon of CAGW left science behind a long time ago, i.e. even orthodox science. But as it muscles further and further into society and gets to dominate more people and infra-structure, this is becoming more obvious. Cultures are polarising devices (they create an in-group, so there must be an out-group).

    “Thanks for the discussion, it has been thought-provoking, although mebbe too much to take on board in one sitting.”

    Thank you for reading 😊.

    Like

  90. Andy,

    you’re clearly frustrated. I understand and I apologize for the offending statement:

    you’ve yet to mention any phenomenon in the climate wars, or behavior of the climate leadership/elite, that isn’t more simply and more satisfactorily explained, and even predicted, by my theory.

    I shouldn’t have put it that way. Apparently I don’t understand your theory, so for all I know it’s possible that if I did, it would do just as good a job at explaining and predicting the relevant phenomena as my own theory (even if, frankly, it does seem to multiply entities praeter necessitatem).

    Not better than, but as well as, my current theory. (If I understood it.)

    Why not better than? Because my own theory works just fine. Now that I’ve developed it, I’m no longer surprised by anything in the climate wars. Nothing my enemies do perplexes me and most of what they do I expected them to do in advance.

    You don’t understand my theory and more than I do yours, but that’s OK. If yours works for you, then a salud.

    And this is a significant part of why (over the long term) adherents eventually can’t process anything, as Brenda astutely observes. Because they’re all censoring smaller parts of the picture all over the place from each other, in what is after all a very large domain considering all aspects, they all become blind together. As noted, it is an instinctive and group phenomenon. There is not some evil chief manipulator behind the scenes who can see all while stroking his/her cat and cackling.

    That’s all rather obvious (leaving aside the supposed inability to “process anything”) to me. Brendan may be astute, but he doesn’t have to be in order to make any of these observations (other than the supposed inability to “process anything”).

    If you think my theory requires a chief manipulator, you don’t understand it. But then, we’ve established this already.

    What has meeting anyone got to do with anything?

    It’s what separates mankind from the lower species, such as punitive psychologists.

    Meeting people—”engagement”—is not “a tremendous waste of time,” as Lewandowsky would have it, but the solution.

    Of course I’ve never met Oreskes in person, hence my lack of petrification. But she blocked me on twitter before I ever spoke a word to her—an act which surprised me only in its efficiency, not its ethics.

    Of course I’ve never met John Cook in person, but I’ve met him online, and he seems perfectly capable of processing threatening information (by inventing spurious excuses to delete it).

    So to put it another way, the relevant fact is not that I’ve never met someone incapable of processing threatening information (although it’s true—I haven’t), but rather that I’ve met several of the climate elite online and they did demonstrate a capacity to process threatening information—that’s why it’s impossible for me to agree with you when you say they’re “literally incapable” of doing so.

    (How would they know it was threatening if they couldn’t process it, by the way? Or does this take us back to Multiple Brain Theory: one part processes the information, then tells the other parts not to do so because it’s threatening, or something like that?)

    As noted, some strong adherents describe skeptics in similar terms, occasionally with the same actual word, ‘evil’.

    And?

    Al Gore calls us ‘Merchants of Poison.” That’s the title of a Rolling Stone article he wrote about us. It doesn’t erase the fact that he spent half his life selling tobacco, and continued to do so for two years after watching his sister die of emphysema, and only left the cigarette industry at a moment that just so happened to work out nicely for his aspirations to federal political office.

    And as a non-spade I’m not going to refrain from (correctly) calling a spade a spade just because the spade might (incorrectly) call me a spade.

    That they weaponized the word ‘evil’ long before I ever did should, if anything, give you a prima facie hint that the adjective probably applies to them. Every other insult they throw at us came from the bathroom mirror, so why not ‘evil’ too?

    Like

  91. Andy,

    We have no means to measure inside particular persons’ heads, as we both agreed.

    No, I didn’t agree to that, though what I will agree to is that we can agree to disagree.

    I may have said that for certain people acting in certain ways, it’s impossible to know for sure whether they’re doing so with good or bad intentions, but I didn’t mean to suggest it’s never possible for anyone.

    There used to be an urban myth (among non-doctors the world over, it seemed) that you could only “diagnose” Alzheimer’s on autopsy. This appears to have morphed at some point into: you can only diagnose Alzheimer’s either on autopsy or by [insert expensive radiographic modality e.g. MRI].

    The truth is that Alzheimer’s is almost always a clinical diagnosis, i.e. a diagnosis arrived at through non-invasive observations of, and interviews and interactions with, the patient.

    You can see where this analogy is headed, nut I’m going out for a while so I’ll leave you to it. Thanks for the vigorous conversation. Vive la conversation vigoreuse!

    Like

  92. Andy, I belatedly noticed:

    “Per all my above, there will be some freeloaders and liars and cheats and whatever drawn to the opportunities presented by any major culture, but they are not the prime cause and they are not in the majority.”

    So you get to refer to people as “liars” but I can’t call them “insincere,” because that presupposes the brain functions as a monolithic unit?

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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