Points of Divergence.
Like most people, I’m diplomatic in my everyday dealings with others since it’s only common politeness and makes obvious sense after all. You say whatever but sometimes what you’re actually thinking might be slightly different. Their bum may actually look a bit bigger in that new outfit but you can see they’re really chuffed with it and they’re looking pretty fetching anyway. Once in a blue moon, you’re obliged to be more direct because the particular circumstances won’t allow the latitude for any dissembling.
One of the few luxuries of writing a blog anonymously, but also one that’s temptingly easy to abuse, is that you can speak your mind. Some of the articles here are a bit too full on for some people’s tastes and for a variety of reasons. Possibly they don’t agree with my take on things, the manner in which it’s being expressed or they simply find me an objectionable character on general principles – all of which are fair enough as far as I’m concerned. Blogging on the skeptic side is after all an unpaid and voluntary activity, despite what the alarmist propagandists say, so don’t start bitching on about it when you start taking some flak. Just lash it back and anyway, you always know where the exit door is.
I started blogging a number of years ago and in that noble skeptic tradition of upsetting people, no doubt upset people. The sensitivities of the alarmists, I couldn’t give a damn about not only because they’re on a permanent victimhood hair-trigger but also they’re irrelevant to why I blog. As they’re impervious to reason or appeals to any vague notion of simple human compassion, I have no interest in interacting with them publically because quite simply it would be a waste of effort. The only use I have for them is ruthlessly utilising their excesses to the detriment of the “cause”. Degüello will always be the bugle call in any of my dealings with them.
They are not and have never been the target demographic of this blog. That has always been what I categorised as persuadable people. I’m looking to snag the passive believers who always assumed the science was as legitimate as one would expect, but have of late begun to entertain some doubts for whatever reason. By the time they might get to here, they’ve usually found the more technical sites and are perhaps looking for a bit more context.
It’s a peculiarity of the climate wars that the road to Damascus and a conversion to climate skepticism appears to be one-way. All the conversions appear to be from passive belief to some degree of climate scepticism, and seemingly never the other way around. Look around the bios of the major skeptics – every man Jack, and every woman Jane as well, all travelled that road. That’s why aiming at that particular audience demographic is a reasonable use of blogging effort.
If you’re going to be a blogger, and a campaigning one on an issue that isn’t feather weight, you need to think about two things before ever putting quill to parchment; who you’re talking to and why are you talking to them. The first one is your target audience. Get a clear image in your head of who they are and then talk to them. Talking to people who already share your viewpoint has a certain egomania about it, so why bother. The reality cold shower is that almost nobody reads blogs except people with very specialist interests, so you gotta aim to snag the ones you’ve decided to go after – anything else is vanity blogging.
The second one, the why, means you feel you’ve something to say to them that all the other two hundred bloggers of a sort of similar attitude aren’t, otherwise why are you doing it? They are what I call the points of divergence. Depending on how far those points are from the mainstream or the centre of the little fishy pool you’re dealing with, it’s going to be a solitary business. You’ll be on your own with lots of people standing around watching you and doing nothing. A few pals may help out but it can be a lot to ask of any friendship, so you try not to. It’s a long game.
This blog is designed, written and aimed at that ordinary person looking for a plain English discussion of not so much the science, but the politics and I say it unashamedly, the ethics over the very real human impact involved in changing our primary allegiance from humanity to some new-age Earth goddess.
In the beginning I feel I made some sections of the skeptic community uneasy, because I was addressing aspects of the thing they were not really comfortable with. Five years ago, making the moral argument for a realistic approach to environmentalism that didn’t involve killing the poor was too alien an argument that nobody wanted to touch. People were happy as Larry with their evening hobby of squabbling over science papers. The murderous collateral damage of environmental politics on the developing world – which the alarmists would never acknowledge – was also out of the skeptic comfort zone. It was all a bit too close to real-world for the skeptics hygienically ensconced behind their keyboards. There’s never any blood spray on a keyboard.
If you’ve read the about me here, you’ll know it’s why I blog and I also happen to think it’s by far the most powerful argument we can make to the ordinary person, because it’s all about real people suffering preventable hardship and death this very day, not some nebulous century in the future. Anybody can relate to that. However, I soon decided to steer clear of any such arguments for a variety of very practical reasons.
The first one was that at the time nobody was actually interested in it, because it was an obsessively inward-looking community. You may disagree with that assessment but that was the reality at the time. The second one is that the community was comfortable with the quantitative arguments against environmentalism in the form of bickering over the science, but the qualitative arguments, no matter at what level they were pitched, had absolutely no traction. The third reason was it’d be too easy to get pigeon-holed as some moral supremacist pontificating from atop his blogging holier-than-thou pulpit, and that’s a suit of clothes a Rufus Roughcut like myself wouldn’t get away with for very long.
In short, the time just wasn’t ripe to advance that type of argument. In the last year, I’ve seen the emergence from obscurity of the ethical arguments against environmentalism become mainstream in the sceptic blogosphere. I think that’s a sign of several things; its growing maturity, its wider base of representation and the community’s readiness to engage with the real world rather than stay safely embedded in the cyber one.
A very subtle factor that’s concentrated people’s mind on the damage being done to vulnerable people is the growing scourge of fuel poverty on our own poor. Nobody saw that one coming but looking back, it was inevitable. Finding an elderly person fully clothed in bed for the winter in a house they can no longer afford to heat is a real bloody attitude adjuster. All those people raking in their wind farm and solar panel subsidies are freezing the very life blood out of our most vulnerable. I can only hope they one day end up in the same situation.
I bitterly resented being forced off that ball, especially as the skeptic community seemed to have thrown up their hands and ceded without even a decent fight any moral authority to the alarmists, who to my mind were the ones actually rearranging the macro-economics in such a way as to bring about the slowmo genocide in the developing world, which would pander to their Malthusian over-population concerns. I’d bite it back, do my best to keep my powder dry but by Christ the day would come when I’d just come back harder.
A less controversial argument was that the climate wars had little or nothing to do with science – it was all about politics, which is to say power and money. That was never a minority viewpoint but I think it’s a journey that a lot of newly converted skeptics go on. Some skeptics are welded to the “point out the flaws in the science” approach and they’ll do a few mea culpas and amend their ways, as well as retracting all those crap papers. That’s never once happened. Not once, not ever, and it never will either. Yes, they’ve occasionally been forced to do it but it was always against their will.
There is obviously a place for keeping the science honest but by now most skeptics have noticed the slightly OCD aspects of a lot of skeptic activity. Yes, it’s great ripping the ass out of the weird paper by that rather obscure Prof. Okie from the University of Muskogee, or Dr. Oongo of U of Wallawoora or Phil Witless of the University of Easy Access, but seriously, how many years of that loop are we going to do? Like Richard Lindzen said, they’re all third raters – easy meat. Occasionally I do get the feeling that they’re just cannon fodder being fed to the skeptic blogosphere just to keep it busy, rather than doing something effective in the real world.
The last point of divergence, and the one I think hasn’t really budged in the last five years, is the opinion that alarmist climate science is essentially a criminal enterprise.
Now that I’ve got your attention, just hang on to that adjective “alarmist”.
Every time the make some doom-laden claim, they get given more money. As each prediction fails, it gets pushed on twenty years and nobody cares, because everyone knows you can’t go up against the la cosa nostra verdi. Every time they get caught out saying one thing in public but exactly the opposite in private, they weasel out of it. They do a criminal things like identity theft, and appear to be above the law. They intimidate anyone who stands up to them and get away with it too, and if they can’t get you, they’ll go after your family.
Attempt to speak out about them in the media, all the strings get pulled and whatever platform you were silly enough to imagine you had just disappears beneath your feet. You can kiss goodbye to ever getting anything published again. Stand up to them, you’ll lose not only your reputation and career, but also your livelihood.
Every time we find a flaw in the science, it somehow always seems to err towards a warmer Earth. That could be an honest error but seriously Boys and Girls, we don’t need to be experts in the bell curve to realise something is up. On any reasonable balance of probability, you’d expect something a bit roughly fifty-fifty. You don’t need to be Descartes to see that one. You sit down at a poker table with someone who is crushing all opposition with every hand all night and there’s one thing you know for sure – they’re cheating.
It’s premeditated, deliberate and totally cynical. Science is their whore, they’ll ride her as they see fit.
We’re into end of days with climate science and a few incidents of late should have disabused you of any lingering hope of any fig-leaf attempt at practising anything vaguely recognisable as serious science. The Karl et al paper was quite frankly a reversion to pulling the entrails out of some small animal and reading the portents for the planet.
It’s the new paradigm, theory now mugs the facts.
How anyone could have put their name to such an abomination is beyond me. Just to top that depth of degradation, the Royal Society on being challenged on why no global warming for nearly two decades, finally conceded that fact but smugly replied the pause would have to extend to fifty years before they started to entertain a doubt.
Get your head straight about these people, they’re nothing better than just cheap street-corner hoods in thousand dollar suits pretending to be respectable.
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