Sometimes, you don’t have to do anything but wait.

monoclonal-antibodies

I’m one of life’s simpler creatures; a minimalist lean-burn type of person. My pleasures are inexpensive and simple; a bit of free kick-ass rock and roll courtesy of YouTube, an afterburner chilli once in a while, the eternal hope my team of hapless buggers will finally win something of note, some friends coming around on occasion to share a beer and a laugh, and something decent to read of an evening, accompanied by a shot glass of something wicked within easy reach.

It’s a lifestyle and an attitude of mind which is conducive to being the minority endangered species a climate skeptic blogger is. Given a realistic assessment of your capabilities, you develop modest expectations. You’ve not got much power, no budget and you sort of know whatever ripples you manage to create will die out before they even reach the inside edge of the teacup.

I suppose they’d have to be some sort of weird Möbius strip ripples to reach the outside edge but my topology is a bit rusty. A kick aroundable idea though. Sealing the cup and somehow inducing a decent hydrostatic shock might just do the trick. Not a particularly elegant solution.

Anyway, it obliges you to be economical and precise in your efforts.

Once in a while, you spot the opportunity to actually do something active. In any seemingly impervious suit of armour, there’s always a chink, which is not some veiled reference to Shanghai Lil, who was German anyway. There’s often this innocuous overlooked area which if you can poke a finger into and make a small disturbance in the force, starts ripples which sometimes develop their own building harmonic. If nothing else, a bit of imaginative devilment gets a few alarmists running around in circles. I know, it’s juvenile and slightly norty but it can be the best fun when things are a bit slow.

Frustrating though it can be at times, most initiatives you can make as a blogger are passive. Perhaps one day Big Oil or the Koch brothers will finally send me that big fat cheque and things might change. By the way, when you do get around to it just make it payable to cash, an acronym for my campaign organisation – Climate Alarmism is Sheer Hysteria.

A large part of sceptical blog output is analysis of published science papers, with the rest being commentary on news items or other more general articles. Some blogs, like this one, tend to take more of an essayist approach since they’re aimed at a more general audience. It’s a horses for courses approach, giving a reasonable selection of blogs covering most aspects of the global warming fandango.

If you’re thinking of having a go at blogging, the one piece of advice I’d give you is to have a firm idea of who your intended audience is and stick to it. This blog is obviously about being a climate skeptic but the target audience is always what I call the persuadable personality. In a previous article, I did a thumbnail profile of what that demographic was. It was in a sense a rough experiment to test that profile and the results of it came in underneath the piece as comments.

By and large, the comments gave a reasonable amount of validation to the profile but there seemed to me to be too heavy a representation of people with hard science qualifications. That’s to be expected of course given the years of exposure to the you can’t comment unless you’re some sort of scientist propaganda, but it’d be naïve of anyone to expect that personality type to only occur in people with a college degree. My feeling is I may have inhibited some feedback by mentioning a survey that indicated four out of five climate skeptics had a degree. Perhaps just an intuition, but I think that stat is too high.

It’s because they’re persuadable personalities, with the curiosity and persistence that comes with it, they’ll tend to do well in different areas, such as business or the professions. Certainly, more than a few people commenting here either run their own business or make a living in some self-employed capacity. Once you get outside the dreaming spires of climate academia and its almost papal doctrine of infallibility, admitting you were wrong about something is a regular occurrence.

Another interesting thing that emerged from the comments was how your position on the global warming issue was to be reconciled with your personal politics, but that’s a part of a bigger topic I’d like to have a crack at in another piece.

As I said, this blog is aimed at those persuadable people but to be more accurate, it’s intended to catch them on the rebound. To explain what that means, I have to cover the process that so many of them go through after they start looking into the facts of the matter for themselves. The general pattern is they’ll have been passive believers in the threat posed by global warming but will have noticed something odd, a small discrepancy, an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny little thingy that niggles them about the global warming narrative, so they’ll hit Google to get an answer.

When you google Global Warming or Climate Change, you’ll find very few if any skeptic blogs on the first two or three pages of results. Why WUWT, with over 180 million hits to its credit isn’t number one on page one, is a question you might address to the Google board and its senior adviser, Al Gore. You won’t get an answer by the way, I’ve tried it. Anyway, they’ll consequently end up trying to find the answer in one of the uniformly alarmist sites to be found on those first few pages.

Picking whichever site and not finding anything of use after reading through it, they’ll pose an almost hesitant question on whatever’s bothering them in the form of a comment. They’ll usually get some fudgy answer or dismissive links to equally propagandist and science-lite sites, so they’ll rephrase the same query. What nearly always happens next is an escalation, which always reminds me of anti-bodies ganging up on an invader by the body’s immune system.

They get attacked and it gets personal very quickly.

I covered the process in a bit more detail but in a light way in a previous piece, but the end result is that they retreat slightly shell-shocked to the links beyond page three of Google and eventually discover the skeptic blogosphere. In search of an answer, they can be quite persistent, which is a nice way of saying they’ve got a stubborn streak.

I see the same people, who fleetingly appeared on alarmist sites, turn up at the leading skeptic sites and posing the same questions. It’s one-way traffic.

At that point my feeling is that they’re reeling. They’re not so much angry at their treatment and how suddenly it all became so gutter vicious, though no doubt some of them are, but indignant that what was after all a polite query has immediately caused them to be banished to some lunatic fringe with indecent haste. They’ve been stereotyped, dehumanised and since their ability to make further comments has often been summarily withdrawn, can therefore be ignored.

The consensus has once again been robustly defended using nothing more than thuggery and censorship by the true believers.

There is no debate going on, simply because the alarmists refuse to acknowledge that there can be rational dissent from their orthodoxy. Their attitude to skeptics is reminiscent of the old Soviet Union’s attitude to dissidents; any lone individual who opposes the overwhelming power of the state must by definition be insane. The discussion and answers the questioners are looking for can only be found in the skeptic blogosphere, especially because most contributors there, having been through the exact same mauling, are open to answering awkward questions.

Over the years, I’ve watched former alarmists crossing the aisle via a lukewarmer position, to the other side of the argument, and some of those have been leading figures excommunicated for heresy. I recall a particular one some years ago patiently explaining to me like a schoolmarm about how them referring to people like me as a “denier” wasn’t a pejorative term. Yeah …

With the treatment they’ve received from their former fanboys in the years since then, I suspect they might have loosened their stays quite a bit. They really didn’t see what was coming at them. Eventually they get driven towards us by the vitriolic attacks of their once fervent supporters. The current smear campaign on the academic reputation of Richard Tol, looks to be yet another case in point. Dissent, no matter how minor or punctiliously stated, is simply not tolerated within the fundamentalist Church of Climatology. There is no middle ground. You’re with us or against us. Period.

Getting back to the persuadables, it’s after they’ve progressed to the point of engaging with the skeptic community, a blog like this becomes relevant. They’ve had their detailed answers which they’re reasonably happy with but then on the rebound, they start to ask more general questions like – how the hell could this patent hysteria have progressed so far? What I try to do here is address those more open-ended questions with analysis, assessments and some wider context.

There is a need for having that broader type of discussion because there are a number of downsides to the persuadable personality. The big one is that when it comes to Realpolitik, too many of them are innocents who’ve suddenly found themselves in the grubby bordello of establishment alarmism, where everything is up for sale.

They tend to be reasonable people and their unconscious first instinct is to assume, when discussing what they believe is a factual topic, that the other person holding an opposing view is going to be reasonable. That rarely applies when it comes to global warming. It’s a milestone on their road to becoming a skeptic of it, when they begin to realise the science is irrelevant, facts don’t actually matter and it’s all about propaganda, political influence and money.

Once they finally accept that truth, science and any semblance of academic rigour have been pimped out to the service of various parties who don’t give a rat’s ass about a single one of those three things they’ve always held in some regard, they get good and angry. Their implicit trust in all of those things has been brutally exploited and the one thing they do know from now on is they’ll never trust the alarmists again.

What is worth noting about the whole journey they go on is that after they raise those initial questions, what follows is almost inevitable. The whole thing is on automatic pilot. They will end up as climate skeptics with no help from us except towards the end of it – all we have to do is honestly discuss the facts with them.

We don’t have to fight for converts – they find their way to us all by themselves.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Climategate 2 – yes, they’ve been lying to you.

How to run a really bad infowar campaign.

En passant moves of a minor imp of Satan.

Say hello, wave goodbye.

Click for a list of other articles.

Comments
25 Responses to “Sometimes, you don’t have to do anything but wait.”
  1. Keitho says:

    We have all been there Pointman. The use of abuse seems to be their default process to gain converts which is why the world is becoming steadily more sceptical.

    Good article showing a clear understanding presented in a straightforward way. I would suggest that is true of each of your articles. Thanks.

  2. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    [The persuadable] “tend to be reasonable people and their unconscious first instinct is to assume, when discussing what they believe is a factual topic, that the other person holding an opposing view is going to be reasonable. That rarely applies when it comes to global warming. It’s a milestone on their road to becoming a skeptic of it, when they begin to realise the science is irrelevant, facts don’t actually matter and it’s all about propaganda, political influence and money.”

    I’ve found the same for religion. I tend to assume the person I am talking to seeks truth and enlightenment. It is always a disappointment when I realize otherwise.

    I’ll also add that I viewed global warming alarmism as a fundamentalist religion, founded on dogma and fiat, from at least the mid-1990s. The evidence to support that analogy has grown ever since.

    Far too many people would rather be wrong than be corrected.

  3. orkneylad says:

    “We would be better advised to reflect on the regeneration of the processes of falsification in the contemporary world.

    We find ourselves faced, in the political universe and in the mass media, with a new form of falsification. Not only do we have false information, but also apocryphal documents, placed in circulation by a secret service or a government or an industrial group, and leaked to the media, in order to create social turmoil and confusion in public opinion. We speak of “false information” without appealing to epistemological considerations, because the news is bound to be discovered as false sooner or later. Indeed we might say that it is disseminated as true precisely in order for it to be revealed as false a little time later.

    Its purpose in fact is not to create a false belief but to undermine established beliefs and convictions. It serves to destabilize, to throw suspicion upon powers and counterpowers alike, to make us distrust our sources, to sow confusion.

    The people of the Middle Ages falsified in order to confirm their faith in something and to uphold an order, whereas our contemporaries falsify in order to create distrust and disorder. Our philological age can no longer permit itself falsifications that present themselves as truths because it knows they will be unveiled in no time; and it operates instead by spreading falsifications that have no fear of philological examination, because they are destined to be unmasked immediately. We are not dealing with an isolated fake that masks, hides, and confuses, and to that end endeavours to seem “true.” It is the quantity of falsifications recognizable as such that functions as a mask, because it tends to undermine the reliability of all truth.

    We do not know how the people of the Middle Ages, with their ingenious concept of authenticity, would have judged this brash and cynical concept we have of noningenious falsification. One thing is for sure: no historical period has the right to moralize about any other.”

    Umberto Eco 2014 [From the Tree to the Labyrinth: Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation]

  4. jaymam says:

    We can move the sceptic links from beyond page three of Google up to page one if we all click on them. Search for a few topical words or a phrase and click on every sceptic site found, and don’t click on any others. You want to read the sceptic articles anyway. It’s only a bit naughty if you click on them many times per week! A three word phrase that I posted five years ago in my secret place is still the second item found on page one of over three million results. And I have not clicked on it for months!

  5. mike fowle says:

    This is spot on. Personally, almost worryingly accurate.

  6. RonSin says:

    Another good article Pointman. I took your suggestion and Googled Global Warming this morning here in the Toronto area. As you said, the first two or three pages were nothing but “the gospel” lead off by Wikipedia. I did get a smile when the first contrary view today was a piece written by a Toronto writer for the Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente, who occasionally writes a Pointman-like piece on this topic. No clouds over her eyes.
    Today in the Globe she did another one. And this is in a business oriented paper with a decided liberal bent to it that tends to toe the gospel line. It’s definitely worth a read.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/dont-bash-the-global-lukewarmers/article17906081/#dashboard/follows/

  7. drjohngalan says:

    Until I retired from running my small engineering company a few years ago I had swallowed the human-caused global warming hogwash hook, line and sinker. Then I had time to look into it myself (ironically after being given a copy of Tom Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” by a green friend). It did not take long to realise that the so-called “science” is far from “settled”.

    On the one hand, it has been an eye-opening experience discovering the blatant and far-reaching corruption in science (and politics) which is at the root of all this; one expects pond-life in politics, but it is disappointing to see the scale of the deceit in science. On the other hand, it has been immensely uplifting seeing the efforts of bloggers, and those who comment, in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada slowly bearing fruit. Grown-up debate (on the whole) and forthright discussion of difficult science and the associated political manoeuvring are in the majority.

    I found my way by myself and have enjoyed every step of the journey.

  8. brennan says:

    Another good piece, and I agree with all of it except the last bit; We don’t have to fight for converts – they find their way to us all by themselves.

    For a small percentage of people this may be true, but for those who’ve taken it as an article of faith that CAGW is real, it is almost impossible for them to see an alternative, let alone head towards it. The larger number are those who simply don’t care about CAGW at all and are typically for more absorbed in simply making their way through life and paying bills etc.

    What truly horrifies me though, is the large number of people I come across who have no idea what the scientific method is and how to apply it. You first need to spend time to explain what it is before the discussion can go further.

    I was a soft warmie for a while, but I simply didn’t care much. Then I read a piece by Freeman Dyson explaining his reasons for scepticism towards CAGW and that was like a slap in the face with a cold fish. Here was someone I respected greatly saying that the consensus was wrong. How could that be?

    Shortly after I read Burt Rutan’s thoughts on CAGW and that convinced me to do some digging. Burt is a personal hero (brilliant engineer). That was several years ago and my position now is not sceptical; if you want to claim CAGW is real, damn well prove it empirically. I don’t even bother to talk about it socially much because I feel it is a dead issue.

    A couple of years ago at a dinner someone tried to mock my scepticism on the subject. It took about 20 mins because of the interjections but I won some converts that night as I simply used logic and facts to smash the counter arguments. Discussion of scientific method, consensus (smashed with 100 authors against Einstein) and finally with Burt. Suggestion of his ideas were similarly mocked because he was not a climate scientist, but I asked a simple question; if you had all the climate scientists with their poor record for results and Burt with his strong engineering record both design a plane, which one would you fly in?

  9. beththeserf says:

    Nice essay, again, Pointman. Persuadable, yes, but not pushovers, we’re
    a cautious lot, I’d say, when pressured. Something I posted @ Climate Etc.

    Ubiquitous arrows, one way streets,
    highway, low way, misnomered free-way,
    go right, go left, look up, look down.
    And if I come to a fork in the road,
    would I, like Frost, take the one
    less travelled? Oh, would I dare and
    could I dare when the arrow said ‘no?’
    And would we, like lemmings, take the leap
    off the cliff if the arrow says ‘go?’
    And shall we, at the last great summons,
    that makes us rather wish to bear those ills
    we have than fly to others that we know not of,
    standing before the elevator’s dark portals,
    obey the requirement to step inside,
    go up
    …or go down?

  10. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    The biggest shock for many believers-turned-sceptics has been the dawning realisation of the level of corruption CAGW has exposed throughout our most trusted institutions and elected governments.

    The white-coat syndrome has long been recognised within the advertising/marketing industry – put an actor in a white coat to advertise everything from toothpaste to haemorrhoid cream and the general public immediately accepts the message as credible, such has been the faith in our most qualified graduates.

    The exposure of these trusted scientific research organisations and universities as money-grubbing harlots more interested in their tenure while jockeying for massive taxpayer grants has been a sobering revelation. If such crass greed and downright lies dominate the Climate Industry, what else is suspect?

    There must be many who support the CAGW Industry, not because they understand the ‘science’ or believe in the doctrine, but simply because they can’t contemplate the fact that every institution they’ve been brought up to respect is part of the culture of collusion and betrayal; from Kings and Queens to Presidents and Prime Ministers – all have their sticky fingers in the yummy saccharine pie of Climate Catastrophe, and the truth is a bitter pill to have forced down one’s throat.

    To be a sceptic is akin to being the only sober guest at a Bacchanalian party of eminent guests drunk on the frothing flow of cash, kudos and most of all … power.

    For those of us who prefer to be the designated drivers of our own lives, the CAGW adherents (whatever their motives) will never induce us to clamber aboard their lurching Gravy Train – it is doomed to come to grief … eventually.

  11. hoppers says:

    Computer Programmer/Own Business Owner/No Degree – Close to your profile.

    Never really thought about it – maybe worried about AGW a bit, but really just accepted the science as presented until a life altering evening here in Oz, some years back now.(2007?)

    They showed Martin Durkin’s ‘Great Warming Swindle’, (on the ABC I think), over here, and followed it with an utterly unbalanced panel discussion by some of the most unpleasant individuals I have ever witnessed in one place, eminent people apparently.

    They launched ad-hominem attacks, sneered at anyone who disagreed with them and generally behaved like know it all bores. One of them even mentioned Lindzen smoked, as though that was relevant. – This was the level of discourse.

    It was an over the top demolition of Durkin’s work, and every person/fact/opinion that appeared in that film.

    Anyone who has lived a little knows that there is only one thing that drives this kind of fanatical behaviour. – There has to be something wrong with the cause they defend.

    That night I went on line and found ‘Greenie Watch’, then Jo Nova (who I was pleased to help with a code formatting problem) and then blog after blog, arriving at this place some years later, a hardened and confirmed skeptic.

    I have no doubt at all that it was the sheer (and continuing) fanaticism and unpleasantness of the proponents of the AGW cause that set me, and doubtless others, on this path.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, you are losing the argument because you’re horrible.

    • Blackswan says:

      “Ladies and Gentlemen, you are losing the argument because you’re horrible.”

      Hoppers – I just loved your observation – so succinct, so funny, so true.

      • hoppers says:

        Then I have partly repaid a debt I owe you Blackswan. I would not know of this place that I enjoy very much, were it not for a link to your Michael Smith story some time last year.

    • Mindert Eiting says:

      Living in a country, once called the United Netherlands, fighting for freedom and tolerance in an eighty-years war, I had the dubious privilege to read in 2009 that the science editor of my newspaper made a call for censorship. Then I realized that this AGW thing must be something very sick.

  12. PaleoSapiens says:

    Here are 3 sources for a budding skeptic:
    1) “Limits to Growth” by Meadows, et al. (1972) – It was required reading for a Geology course taken in 1974. Its predictions of multiple resources being depleted by 2000 were not even close. The same faulty arguments and methods, in the book, are still used today…

    2) YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw
    Richard Feynman discusses the Scientific Method. It’s one of the best uses of 10 (9:58) minutes possible.

    3) “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. Look up the reviews on Amazon.com for further details.

    The intended target audience, for this comment, are those that enjoy reading and viewing youtube videos (especially informative/documentary videos).

  13. Sarah Conner says:

    The journey is mine…exactly. I watched a Bob Carter you tube video about 2.5 yrs ago. I then read The Hockey Stick Illusion. Went to SS to ask a simple question and the vitriol built up and up. I simply asked if anybody had read the book and warmed them it had some powerful arguments. I suggested their responses sounded like some common room argument and was told to watch the door doesnt hit me in the ass as I went out. Never been back.
    I have a degree in Applied Biology and 4 years post grad work in Environmental Impact Assessment Studies. My input was as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.

  14. ossqss says:

    Nice read, thanks for the sharing of such.

    As an integrator of technologies, precision and accuracy are paramount to success.

    The straw that broke the proverbial back of the CAGW meme for me was this offering I stumbled upon years back. It became quite obvious there was an agenda, not science, driving the school bus. Once this curtain was pulled back, the other curtains easily fell to the ground upon closer inspection, without being touched. Just like rotting fruit, the once desirable, became vile and upalletable.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/9/29/the-yamal-implosion.html

  15. Very much to the point Pointman: From the book Propaganda(1928) by E.Benays: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democracy. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute aninvisible government which is the true ruling power of our countries” Plural added by me.

  16. durango12 says:

    The observation about Google’s algorithm stacking the deck in favor of alarmists reminds me that the alarmists really do control all of the major organs of information, including what is left of the print media, the mainstream TV outlets, the various prestigious periodicals, and of course the science societies and academies. It is therefore amazing that they haven’t won the argument long ago; indeed they continue to lose it. Their reaction to failure is universally, “We have a failure to communicate,” never a self examination of how the message itself and its underlying science scam have been distorted and geared for deception. Thus the conclusion is always to redouble efforts to convince the great unwashed. So we are about to be bombarded once again with scarey drama, courtesy of David Cameron and crowd http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com/ Yes, the all-court press is in full swing once again.

  17. Stonyground says:

    I find the observation that most people are simply indifferent to Climate Change interesting. Given the horrific nature of the natural disasters that are being predicted to happen because of it, doesn’t being indifferent equate to being skeptical? Don’t these people care that the climate is going to become too dry/wet/hot/cold for human inhabitation? Don’t they care that they or at least their grandchildren are going to die horribly? Maybe they have casually noticed that none of the disasters so far predicted have actually happened and don’t expect the rest to either.

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  1. […] and looked into it for themselves, became skeptics.” He followed this up with a second post, Sometimes you don’t have to anything but wait, where he talks of people crossing the aisle to the sceptic side, ending with “We don’t […]



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