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Sceptics Are People, Too

In answer to one of my many raging, almost apoplectic, detractors, I have written this.

Since I believe that sceptics can be people, too, I’m going to respond to you, even though I think you’re being unfactual, and I feel you’re being unreasonable.

Some of the science that needs to be presented is the psychology of denial.

People who deny the science of Global Warming do so because they don’t want their life, wealth and freedom to be interfered with.

They feel they deserve liberty. But anybody who lives in any kind of community, especially in an urban environment, is not free at all, and never can be.

There are very large numbers of people living in close proximity to each other the world over, and some form of organisation is necessary.

I resist and reject false assertions of authority. I want less control and more access. I want democracy to function better. But when it comes to social organisation I accept the need for the rule of law, government, police, education, medicine, and even business enterprise (as long as it’s not rapacious).

We need socialism, a functioning society, to guarantee freedom for all, and not just a few.

To posit that liberty is somehow denied by having Climate Change regulation is tenuous.

If you care about other people, then you will accept Climate Change legislation, even if it costs a bit.

It’s not totalitarian to censor certain expression – I think that most people would agree that hate crimes should be suppressed. I also think that most people accept that public lying should be challenged.

And it is for this reason that I think we need to have the debate about whether the claims and assertions of the Climate Change sceptics are valid or not.

If the denial embedded into the expression of the sceptics is not valid, then I think it should be repudiated.

Climate Change denial is infectious, because the methods used are drawn from the tenets of propaganda – demonise the opponent, make up stuff about the opponent’s work, twist the facts to suit your own purposes.

This is what we see in the work of several key Climate Change sceptics. It has been going on for decades. It seems to me that the time has come for it to be stopped, as it is disabling critical thought, and having a “divide and rule” effect on people.

For example : whilst people are fighting each other about whether or not tree ring data is right, wrong, cherry-picked, proof, disproof or even relevant at all; whilst people are fighting there is no co-operation about what we should be doing about Climate Change.

It’s a classic piece of divide and rule, if only you would think about it for a while.

Look at where the sceptics have been, and consider where they might be going.

The “Yamal implosion” about tree ring data : it’s a sense of deja vu all over again. Steve Mcintyre used this as the basis of a former denial attack on Michael Mann about the first “Hockey Stick”.

It’s not any more right than when he tried it the last time, but it still seems to be having an impact on people, and turning them into patronising bullies (principally against me this week – see the comments on my web log and tell me who’s the bully, here).

Let’s focus on one of the key movers and shakers in denial propaganda : let’s analyse what Steve Mcintyre is likely to believe and what he might be chasing :-

“He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Toronto. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford. McIntyre has worked in hard-rock mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada. He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003. Prior to 2003 he was an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies.”

“Stephen McIntyre is the primary author of the blog Climate Audit, noted for its many articles skeptical of climate change. He is a prominent critic of scientific studies of temperature records of the past 1000 years that show increasing global temperatures. Stephen McIntyre has worked in mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. “I’ve spent most of my life in business, mostly on the stock market side of mining exploration deals,” he said in 2009″

There is over a century of science on Global Warming and Climate Change. It is sound. You should read the science, like I do, and let the facts and figures into your mind.

It will cost only about 5% of global wealth to treat and solve the causes and symptoms.

It’s not going to take away your freedom to be asked to give up Carbon Energy and Uranium Energy.

There are many, many good reasons to act on Climate Change. One of them is that you, personally, are already being affected by it, whether you realise it or not.

Your government (should you choose to accept it), is committing lots and lots of money to developing nations to create green economic progress – it’s in the news today.

Why do they do that ? Because Climate Change is threatening the opportunities of the developing nations, where a lot of our food and resources come from, so helping them helps us.

Where’s that money going to come from ? Why, us, of course. And that’s a good thing, not something to rail and moan about.

The man-made Global Warming argument has already been won : the international community accepts the need to act, and yes, spend some money to do so.

The Sustainable Development principles of the 1992 Rio convention are socialist heaven : talk of removing poverty and removing disparity, of having technological transfer. What’s not to aspire to ?

You can fight for your right to be curmudgeonly, of course. That’s all still allowed by law. But it does make you look distinctly uncharitable.

No, Climate Change scientists have not been making up data.
No, Climate Change data is not a “state secret”.
No, Global Warming isn’t finished by a long shot.
Yes, the earth’s temperature is rising, and fast, and it’s due to mankind’s activities.

A lot of what the Climate Change sceptics are saying is highly spun. The purpose ? To convince people to ignore the risks and threats of Global Warming. Why ? To try to block socialist policy.

The Climate Change sceptics think they are doing the world a favour by blocking socialist action. But, always remember : the “free” market isn’t free, and “freedom” is only for the rich.

This is not an argument about Climate Change science. This is a political argument, a fight about rights and ethics.

[ I would prefer to find some kind of non-violent, inclusive language – what word could replace “fight” ? I don’t want to contribute to the continued fighting, I want to have some co-operation going on. ]

3 replies on “Sceptics Are People, Too”

Miss Abess,

You talk of science as “proven fact”.

I see science as theory to be debated and proven by analysis of data and then one collects fresh data to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Your website seems more dedicated to showing that persons that disagree with you are “Untermenschen”.

Let us debate simple observation and interpretation of data.

But you say;

“This is not an argument about Climate Change science. This is a political argument, a fight about rights and ethics.”

So you wish to repeat World War 2 ?

What I find extraordinary is the notion that preventing or mitigating climate change necessarily entails socialism. What it seems to entail is authoritarianism, which is not at all the same thing.

If anyone wishes to present a particular political agenda, wouldn’t it be better to present it on it’s own merits, whatever those merits may be?

Conflating socialism and AGW is simply fake, and likely to further alienate people from socialism, since it’s really looking like the wheels are falling off the wagon of AGW, much loved though it apparently is by the current crop of mainly non-socialist or fake socialist politicos.

Are the people who think science is theory to be debated in the habit of debating phlogiston or the flat earth theory?

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