Popular Delusions… and Climate Alarmism

In 1841 Charles Mackay first published ‘Memoirs of Historical Popular Delusions.’

It has been re-published many times since, and the title changed to “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”
Here is an excerpt from the Foreward:

All economic movements, by their very nature, are motivated by crowd psychology. Graphs and business ratios are, of course, indespensable in our groping efforts to find dependable rules to guide us in our present world of alarms.   Yet I never see a brilliant economic thesis expounding, as though they were geometrical theorems, the mathematics of price movements, that I do not recall Schiller’s dictum: ” Anyone taken as an individual, is tolerably sensible and reasonable–as a member of a crowd, he at once becomes a blockhead,” …

Were this book written today, a whole chapter would have to be added that would be devoted to climate alarmism. And most specifically to the recent (late 20thC to now)  alarmism of the Global Warming variety. Though, to be fair and honest the 20th C. saw from time to time, alarmism of both the Warming, and Cooling varieties, of late, it is the Global Warming variety that has captured the fancy of the crowd much more so than the idea that Earth could be just around the corner from some prolonged cooling event. Indeed, Global Warming/AGW[anthropogenic global warming] terms have been replaced by the current popular term of ‘Climate Change’, which would seem to be a catch-all for whichever way the climate may swing.

Now, you may be thinking that climate change isn’t an economic movement, but you will have a tough time reconciliing that with President Obama’s war on Coal and his statement that electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket under his plan. If Obama actually cared about the economically disadvantaged , he would not be engaged in such an endeavor as a war on coal, or petroleum, or natural gas.  In addition to hurting the poor, Obama’s policy has had the unpleasant side effect of further politicizing science.  Frederick Colbourne has written a guest post at the Ice-Age Now blog that puts the magnifying glass to this more recent Popular Delusion of  Climate Alarmism.

Climate Alarmism an Extraordinary Popular Delusion

by Frederick Colbourne

In my opinion, climate alarmism would be just another example of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” rather than a ‘hustle’.  Except that climate alarmism is supported by governments that have aligned on the side of the promoters of the delusion and in so doing have politicized the science. State power is what makes climate alarmism a ‘hustle’, corrupting science in the process.Recently, the US lent its immense power to a global climate treaty intended to reverse global economic development by reducing access to cheap energy. The EU and Britain have signed on to promote and enforce what seems to me a cultish form of Luddism. While there have been Luddite movements since the early days of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, these movements were never popular in America, until now.

The nostalgia for pristine Nature that inspired Thoreau’s Walden and now inspires an influential minority of Americans was not popular in the past, but has become a pillar of the modern cult and delusion. The cult of Nature as Mother Earth is about as remote from Earth science as it is possible to get, which probably accounts for the number of Hollywood celebrities who act as acolytes.  The root of the delusion is that Nature is benign. Three days in the wild without the products of agriculture and industry would convince most True Believers that Nature is hostile, when in reality, Nature is indifferent to Mankind. (Perhaps Thoreau was able…  Continue reading

The Anti-science of Consensus: What Everyone Should Understand About the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [UNIPCC]

“We live in a world in which people are suspicious of politicians, but still respect scientists. Politicians are therefore eager to borrow the prestige of science, to camouflage their own agenda with a veneer of scientific authority.”

1. IPCC is Political, not Scientific.
Since it’s founding in 1945, the UN has been solely a political entity.
So it should be no surprise that the IPCC is not a scientific organization despite their claims that they are.

2. Scientists are not in charge.
“Now if scientists were in charge at the IPCC, at the end of the process these summaries would be written up by a small group, released into the world, and we’d all read these scientists’ unadorned words. But that’s not what happens.” Sure they take input and reports by scientists, but then subject those reports to marathon political sessions of highly detailed, paragraph by paragraph redaction, deletions, and insertions. During these Intergovernmental meetings, they tailor the reports created by scientists to suit the IPCC and by extension, the UN agenda.

3. The IPCC is a template that gets duplicated elsewhere.
The UN uses this same template to deal with other issues they deem globally significant.
“Between 2003 and 2008, the UN sponsored the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology (IAAST). Described as an “IPCC for agriculture,” this effort was led by Robert Watson – who had just wrapped up five years as IPCC chairman.”
“And then there’s the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – aka the IPBES. In the words of the Guardian newspaper, this is an “IPCC for nature.” Robert Watson is involved here, too. At the moment, he’s a Vice Chair. And, what do you, know? This IPCC clone is linked to yet another UN treaty called the Convention on Biological Diversity.”

One has to wonder about what gets ignored and left out of the scientific reports that the IPCC summaries are based upon. You can be sure it feeds the unscientific, so-called ‘climate consensus’ viewpoint.

“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” ― Michael Crichton

All quotes except Crichton, Donna Laframboise, Sep. 1, 2015
Donna is an investigative journalist who has spent the past 6 years examining the climate debate. Read her full presentation to the World Federation of Scientists, August 2015, Erice, Italy at the following link:

3 Things Scientists Need to Know About the IPCC