Well, if nobody’s going to ask the question, I will.
By any stretch of the imagination, the climate skeptic community and the people inside it willing to express that supposedly unfashionable viewpoint in public are in terms of representation a small one. It’s invariably portrayed by an overwhelmingly hostile mass media as diminishingly small, marginalised, insane, revanchist, bigoted, reactionary, scientifically ignorant, misogynist, racist, petroleum corrupted and whatever other vile aspersions they can think of.
We’re the niggas of the twenty-first century, we’re in the search and destroy zone, a free fire zone, if you find them standing in it, you shoot them, if they run, you shoot them as well. It’s a Rules of Engagement wet dream situation. Anything can be said of us by people who feel all white and moral as they string us up in the media. All that’s missing is hooded Klansmen with burning torches in the middle of the night but on reflection, that’s already happened.
Once you voice dissent, you automatically become all of those things and worse. Those slurs are not only untrue, but in my experience of being a member of that community, the reverse of most of those accusations is usually the rule. As with any community, there are a few individuals who fit the stereotype but that’s the usual hazard of being an outlier – deranged limpets seek to relieve their isolation by affixing themselves to you, and a measure of Christian charity tends to be exercised towards them. We’re a much less judgemental bunch of desperados and I’m partial to that sort of easy-going company.
As with any small community under siege by overwhelming force, it will either crumple under the pressure or the aggression will forge a sense of comradeship and that happened. As that arschloch Nietzsche said, whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Given the gross mismatch in resources, I characterised the skeptic community a number of years ago as very much a guerrilla force which refused to be crushed by a superior foe. It was a formalisation and recognition of the real situation on the ground or should I say the internet, and it found a resonance with the community because quite simply it was true.
In a very calculated sense, that was always a reason for starting this blog and the contribution I thought I could make to the skeptic community and the voice of opposition. We were a disparate group, at one time the last best gasp of resistance but the commonalities, the patterns needed to be flagged up because that same independence of mind meant that in any practical sense of concentrating and pointing what little influence we had at anything more than passing targets of opportunity proved to be impossible. Believe me, I tried that on more than one occasion. So much of it is all couch potato yap, big fishies in little pools and no commitment to action. A much more insidious approach was required, and that’s what I do here.
The downside of surviving such a concerted assault from all sides, is that a community can easily turn inwards. That hasn’t happened and I think that’s largely because there’s a significant leadership demographic within it who have endured their own long dark night of the soul, wrestling between their conscience and their own professional self-interest. The choice was quite stark – speak up and take a kicking or just keep your gob shut like everyone else.
They thought over what they knew they’d surely lose by voicing their opposition but out of reasons of principal, ethics, pure cussedness or simply a refusal to be intimidated, made the decision to put themselves in harm’s way. People like that have a considered position, have already conceded the price they’ll pay and what that means is they simply won’t be going away anytime soon. We are fortunate to count ourselves in the company of such heroes, every one of them a warrior of conscience.
So, given we are such a minor, insular, marginalised, ignored and aberrant demographic, why are so many big guns being deployed against us? We’re irrelevant, as they never cease to tell us. Restated even more simply, why are all those big people picking on little old us?
Seriously, think about it. We’ve got at best a few spud guns and they’ve got all the tactical nukes, never mind the orbital ICBMs. Basically, there’s only us few chickens running around out here on the internet and a few survivor papers which manage to weasel it through the pal-reviewed publication process to the light of day and yet they seem OCD determined to obliterate us from the very face of the Earth.
If a decent sceptical article ever managed to see the light in an MSM publication, someone screwed up and they will be losing their job. We’ve got the mainstream media after us, nearly every scientist, nearly every politician up to and including the leader of the free world, anyone with a bulge bracket wallet who wants to sic various nutter enviro-groups on us and even Hollywood eye candy who’d have problems conjugating the verb to thunk. What the fuck did we ever do to deserve such massive attention? It’s overkill. What’s it all about Alfie?
I’ve thought about that question a lot and like most simple but basic questions, the answer is complex and layered. There’s a range of answers, like an onion with layers, so let’s start peeling that onion.
I suppose the first is that despite us all having finally evolved to moral perfection, a lot of people still have a deep psychological need for a whipping boy, someone to despise and feel superior to. Everyone is so politically correct, it’s no longer possible to vent your particular frustrations or feelings of low self-esteem on Niggers, Jews, Muslims, Homosexuals or whoever, but there’s one blessed exception. That would be us.
Everybody is in role. We have no way, no mechanism to reply and they can say pretty much anything with impunity. It’s been open season on us for a number of years. There’ve been various campaigns or calls for us to be fired from our professions, put in re-education camps, be criminilised for our dissent and even have denier tattooed on our forehead. It gets a bit worse though, climate skeptics tend to have read a few books and quite a few of them actually know stuff about business, engineering and science, and most Neanderthals like kicking the shit out of the brighter smaller kids anyway. It makes them feel better about themselves.
Thing is though – everybody knows that smartie kid is finding whacking great bloody holes in the supposedly “settled” science.
That leads us nicely on to the next layer. We’ve had at least two decades of what can only be described as bantam-weight thinking. The admittedly ivory towered intelligentsia of a bygone academia have by now been replaced by the chatterati, with the only difference being the former figuring out ways to prove angels actually did dance on pin heads and the latter just assuming it was so and going from there. It’s the triumph of needing things to be true over the real facts and people like us saying hang on a moment, can you prove that? Nobody appears to like that question.
Money of course is the next layer. There’s so many people making so much money and at the same time kidding everyone they’re doing something noble and good. I’ve written about them several times but in a deep tired sense, I’m really ended when it comes to writing anything more about them. I find it exhausting and depressing. They take the lives of our most vulnerable, and it’s done inch by inch, day by day, week by week, month by month through a brutal and freezing northern hemisphere winter. They’ll all get away with it too. I really hate them. Dante had no circle of hell for such creatures. Let’s move on before I lose it completely.
The next layer is frustration at what the establishment see as guerrilla warfare against big government. Everywhere around the world, government is getting bigger, getting more controlling and getting more prescriptive about what is a permissible viewpoint. And all of it for the best possible reasons. There are trends in the style of governance in democracies. We’ve slipped back into a 1970’s era of somehow believing more government is the solution to all of our problems, rather than the problem itself, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan.
Look around the real democracies and what becomes apparent is there is not much difference in the policies of incumbent administrations and the opposition. It’d be tough to slip a fag paper between the competing policies on offer. It’s a tired game of flicking a coin. Okay Mr Voter, place your bet, heads I win, tails you lose, okay? There are no real choices, the mainstream media has been brought to heel like a beaten cur and any resistance to climate dogma only occurs out here in the bad lands of the internet.
We are articulating opposition to what is taken to be so many consensual truisms by a world-wide political class who basically run things without anyone saying hang on a moment. They all come from the same well-heeled class, on a personal level talk only to each other and are used to people doing and believing as they say. They’ve never in their entire life done the week’s grocery shop or looked at a utility bill, never mind one they knew they didn’t have the money to cover.
The truth is that most administrations of the western democracies are either centrist or leftish of it, and I include in that cluster nominally right-wing parties because they’re by now too intimidated by an overwhelmingly liberal media to flex their muscles. Given that political consensus, the policies being pursued to combat global warming are essentially the same failed socialist ones of the dysfunctional 1970s, but now they’re being enacted under a cloak of saving the Earth.
Those policies didn’t work then and indeed their abject failure led to the politics of the right wing sweeping across the world in the 1980s. As soon as those socialist policies started to bite, the common person in desperation broke class ranks and the old demographic of always voting as your granddaddy did rapidly became a memory. Any appeal to vote along class lines is nowadays met only with blank stares. The whole idea of using the scare of Global Warming is essentially a pragmatic acknowledgement of the neo-con social engineering of the 1980s, which destroyed that automatic alignment of the proletariat’s voting patterns with Marxist theology.
Global Warming is the maskirovka, as the Soviets used to say. It’s a second bite of the cherry but once you strip the glitter and tits off it is seen as the same old decayed fruit, and suffers from that same fatal flaw and assumption that came with it in the 1970s. The chances of propagandising the unpolitised centre, the Moms and Dads with a passel of kids, into becoming ardent socialists is no better than persuading them to become enthusiastic fascists. They pay the bills, they know better.
I suppose the innermost layer of the onion in the climate wars are the colours, just a part of a wider struggle. If they lose it, they’re gone and looking at the latest Gallup poll, they’ve lost it. Going forward, you might as well be warned, it’s going to get a lot uglier as they go down.
Once upon a time there was a guy called Bill Shankly. What crappy statistics WordPress gives me, assures me that 75% of the readership will have no idea of him. However, and overcoming my natural antipathy to Liverpool FC, he said something germane to the climate wars. “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
In a very similar sense, we’re in the ring fighting for a lot more than cone head science, and that’s why all the big guns are aimed at poor little us.
And we’re winning.