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The Sociological Origin of AGW

Jack Hays

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There's no need to believe in a conspiracy to understand AGW believers. They are a sociological phenomenon.

Weak Minds Think Alike

Posted on 20 Jul 16 by GEOFF CHAMBERS 25 Comments
This article is part of an occasional series exploring the possibility (or rather the necessity) of a sociological analysis of climate catastrophism. Others can be found at https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/category/sociology-of-climate-change/ It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, …

It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, the “right on” generation – define them how you will) is university education and 2) an explanation is required of how such a weak (woolly, vague, unconvincing) idea as environmentalism (“we live on a fragile planet”; “we need to recycle/conserve/cycle to work to prevent the sixth great extinction” etc.) has conquered the world. Both ideas I have lifted from the work of Emmanuel Todd, a French historian and demographer I have often referred to in different posts. I’ve added an appendix describing Todd’s work, which is of great interest outside the narrow bounds of an analysis of climate catastrophism.
Belief in climate catastrophism is a social phenomenon, and requires an explanation in terms of the social sciences. There are a number of interesting psychological theories around – in fact every climate sceptic seems to have one. But while a psychological analysis may explain why certain people choose to be environmentalists, it can never explain how environmentalism – and in particular its most acute form, climate catastrophism – came to conquer the world; how, in other words, belief in climate catastrophism managed to attain a critical mass that permitted it to impose itself as a consensus belief, or ideology. Only a sociological explanation can do that. And a sociological explanation must account for a unique event – the rise of climate catastrophism – in terms of unique, or at least rarely repeated, social phenomena.
 

Glen Contrarian

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There's no need to believe in a conspiracy to understand AGW believers. They are a sociological phenomenon.

Weak Minds Think Alike

Posted on 20 Jul 16 by GEOFF CHAMBERS 25 Comments
This article is part of an occasional series exploring the possibility (or rather the necessity) of a sociological analysis of climate catastrophism. Others can be found at https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/category/sociology-of-climate-change/ It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, …

It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, the “right on” generation – define them how you will) is university education and 2) an explanation is required of how such a weak (woolly, vague, unconvincing) idea as environmentalism (“we live on a fragile planet”; “we need to recycle/conserve/cycle to work to prevent the sixth great extinction” etc.) has conquered the world. Both ideas I have lifted from the work of Emmanuel Todd, a French historian and demographer I have often referred to in different posts. I’ve added an appendix describing Todd’s work, which is of great interest outside the narrow bounds of an analysis of climate catastrophism.
Belief in climate catastrophism is a social phenomenon, and requires an explanation in terms of the social sciences. There are a number of interesting psychological theories around – in fact every climate sceptic seems to have one. But while a psychological analysis may explain why certain people choose to be environmentalists, it can never explain how environmentalism – and in particular its most acute form, climate catastrophism – came to conquer the world; how, in other words, belief in climate catastrophism managed to attain a critical mass that permitted it to impose itself as a consensus belief, or ideology. Only a sociological explanation can do that. And a sociological explanation must account for a unique event – the rise of climate catastrophism – in terms of unique, or at least rarely repeated, social phenomena.

Yeah, 'cause scientists with PhD's tend to have weak minds, and not a single one of them have the brain to recognize this Grand Social Phenomenon for what it is, nor does any single one of them have courage enough to expose it.

Riiiiiiiiight.
 

Jack Hays

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Yeah, 'cause scientists with PhD's tend to have weak minds, and not a single one of them have the brain to recognize this Grand Social Phenomenon for what it is, nor does any single one of them have courage enough to expose it.

Riiiiiiiiight.

I suggest you read the rest of the link.
 

Renae

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There's no need to believe in a conspiracy to understand AGW believers. They are a sociological phenomenon.

Weak Minds Think Alike

Posted on 20 Jul 16 by GEOFF CHAMBERS 25 Comments
This article is part of an occasional series exploring the possibility (or rather the necessity) of a sociological analysis of climate catastrophism. Others can be found at https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/category/sociology-of-climate-change/ It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, …

It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, the “right on” generation – define them how you will) is university education and 2) an explanation is required of how such a weak (woolly, vague, unconvincing) idea as environmentalism (“we live on a fragile planet”; “we need to recycle/conserve/cycle to work to prevent the sixth great extinction” etc.) has conquered the world. Both ideas I have lifted from the work of Emmanuel Todd, a French historian and demographer I have often referred to in different posts. I’ve added an appendix describing Todd’s work, which is of great interest outside the narrow bounds of an analysis of climate catastrophism.
Belief in climate catastrophism is a social phenomenon, and requires an explanation in terms of the social sciences. There are a number of interesting psychological theories around – in fact every climate sceptic seems to have one. But while a psychological analysis may explain why certain people choose to be environmentalists, it can never explain how environmentalism – and in particular its most acute form, climate catastrophism – came to conquer the world; how, in other words, belief in climate catastrophism managed to attain a critical mass that permitted it to impose itself as a consensus belief, or ideology. Only a sociological explanation can do that. And a sociological explanation must account for a unique event – the rise of climate catastrophism – in terms of unique, or at least rarely repeated, social phenomena.

Group Think is the term I prefer. Cause that's what it is.
 

Tim the plumber

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There has always been a section of society who identifies with the counter argument. Be that communism or some heresy. The difference with the CAGW thing is that it is suficently complex that it takes a few hours to understand why it's wrong, beyond most people's capacity/level of interest, and that it is an unlikely thing to expect that people who claim to be looking after nature and like all the cudely cute animals are in fact evil self seeking power grabers on a mission to kill as many as possible.

Also there is the facination with the weather, the fear of change and the wish for a doom scenario/monstr to fear.

Being paranoid is normally the safest course of action. In this case it is counter productive.
 

Jack Hays

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Advocacy instead of science . . . .

Opinion
[h=1]Climate science or climate advocacy?[/h]Students are learning energy and climate change advocacy, not climate science Guest opinion by David R. Legates For almost thirty years, I have taught climate science at three different universities. What I have observed is that students are increasingly being fed climate change advocacy as a surrogate for becoming climate science literate. This makes them…
 

Deuce

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I could write a hundred pages on the psychological realities of climate "skepticism."
 

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GC is not an automaton. He'll read it. He still won't agree.

Possibly because Chambers offers no clear connection - not even theoretical, let alone empirical or scientific - between environmentalism and the sociological phenomena discussed, instead merely attempting to piggy-back his own prejudices on a serious scholar's unrelated work.
 
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LowDown

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There's no need to believe in a conspiracy to understand AGW believers. They are a sociological phenomenon.

Weak Minds Think Alike

Posted on 20 Jul 16 by GEOFF CHAMBERS 25 Comments
This article is part of an occasional series exploring the possibility (or rather the necessity) of a sociological analysis of climate catastrophism. Others can be found at https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/category/sociology-of-climate-change/ It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, …

It argues 1) that the key criterion for identifying the social class which has propelled climate catastrophism to centre stage (the green blob; the chattering classes, Guardianistas, the “right on” generation – define them how you will) is university education and 2) an explanation is required of how such a weak (woolly, vague, unconvincing) idea as environmentalism (“we live on a fragile planet”; “we need to recycle/conserve/cycle to work to prevent the sixth great extinction” etc.) has conquered the world. Both ideas I have lifted from the work of Emmanuel Todd, a French historian and demographer I have often referred to in different posts. I’ve added an appendix describing Todd’s work, which is of great interest outside the narrow bounds of an analysis of climate catastrophism.
Belief in climate catastrophism is a social phenomenon, and requires an explanation in terms of the social sciences. There are a number of interesting psychological theories around – in fact every climate sceptic seems to have one. But while a psychological analysis may explain why certain people choose to be environmentalists, it can never explain how environmentalism – and in particular its most acute form, climate catastrophism – came to conquer the world; how, in other words, belief in climate catastrophism managed to attain a critical mass that permitted it to impose itself as a consensus belief, or ideology. Only a sociological explanation can do that. And a sociological explanation must account for a unique event – the rise of climate catastrophism – in terms of unique, or at least rarely repeated, social phenomena.

I've always said that when one starts psychologicizing one's political opponents it's a sign that one is running out of arguments. But over the years we've had one apocalyptic ideology after another float down the pipeline. All of them prove to be wrong, so obviously wrong that they loose currency eventually, but most of them still have adherents. Paul Ehrlich has been proven wrong several times over, and yet he is still revered as a prophet by these people. Where does the need to believe in this stuff come from? It certainly can't be justified with facts and logic.
 

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The connection is probably real, but trivial. Revolutionaries become much more effective when they can communicate their ideas with large numbers of potential supporters. This is much easier if the population is literate and can read pamphlets or other forms of written communication.

The dawn of written communication in a culture also has a leveling effect. Some obscure tin foil coiffed crank can then communicate with a large number of people just as well as the government can. Governments have always recognized the danger this represents to entrenched power. The first thing Erdogan in Turkey has done to solidify his increasingly tryannical power is to shut down all the publishing media except those he controls.

So, literacy connects those people who are prone to believe in catastrophe theories and apocalyptic ideologies. The real question is: why do they believe that stuff, what need does this fill for them? Because it's certainly not based in any facts or reality.

Our most ancient historical records, those of the Etruscans in Italy, showed that they, too, believed that they were facing a catastrophic end predestined by the gods. When Gallic and Roman forces threatened them toward the end of their existence as a culture they probably thought it fulfillment of this prophesy.
 

zgoldsmith23

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Yeah, 'cause scientists with PhD's tend to have weak minds, and not a single one of them have the brain to recognize this Grand Social Phenomenon for what it is, nor does any single one of them have courage enough to expose it.

Riiiiiiiiight.

Well duh, I have to line my pockets with all the grant money we don't have right now.

I could write a hundred pages on the psychological realities of climate "skepticism."

I'd probably read that if you wrote it, tbh.
 

Glen Contrarian

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Well duh, I have to line my pockets with all the grant money we don't have right now.



I'd probably read that if you wrote it, tbh.

Ah. So every single one of those scientists - PhD's every one - is unable to provide for their families without government grants???? Dude. Every single one of them, if they have to, can EASILY go teach. Hell, "Liberty University" would be more than happy to hire the first climatologist to blow the whistle on this great and grand conspiracy you're pushing.

What's more, you're assuming that money is always more important to people than standing up for what's right...but if you knew people half as well as you assume, you'd know that (1) MOST people simply refuse to lie in order to make money, and (2) the more educated said people are, the less willing they are to lie...because they know damn well they can always make enough money to provide for their families.

But you can go ahead and ignore all that, 'cause somehow the right-wing echo chamber has convinced you that ALL left-wingers do is lie, that ALL academia are hide-bound to the Left, and that ALL academia are willing to sell their souls to suck at the government teat.

The one thing you can't possibly allow yourself to consider, however, is that maybe, just maybe the scientists are telling you exactly what they see...and that they honestly wish they were wrong.
 

zgoldsmith23

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Ah. So every single one of those scientists - PhD's every one - is unable to provide for their families without government grants???? Dude. Every single one of them, if they have to, can EASILY go teach. Hell, "Liberty University" would be more than happy to hire the first climatologist to blow the whistle on this great and grand conspiracy you're pushing.

What's more, you're assuming that money is always more important to people than standing up for what's right...but if you knew people half as well as you assume, you'd know that (1) MOST people simply refuse to lie in order to make money, and (2) the more educated said people are, the less willing they are to lie...because they know damn well they can always make enough money to provide for their families.

But you can go ahead and ignore all that, 'cause somehow the right-wing echo chamber has convinced you that ALL left-wingers do is lie, that ALL academia are hide-bound to the Left, and that ALL academia are willing to sell their souls to suck at the government teat.

The one thing you can't possibly allow yourself to consider, however, is that maybe, just maybe the scientists are telling you exactly what they see...and that they honestly wish they were wrong.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

KLATTU

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Ah. So every single one of those scientists - PhD's every one - is unable to provide for their families without government grants???? Dude. Every single one of them, if they have to, can EASILY go teach. Hell, "Liberty University" would be more than happy to hire the first climatologist to blow the whistle on this great and grand conspiracy you're pushing.

What's more, you're assuming that money is always more important to people than standing up for what's right...but if you knew people half as well as you assume, you'd know that (1) MOST people simply refuse to lie in order to make money, and (2) the more educated said people are, the less willing they are to lie...because they know damn well they can always make enough money to provide for their families.

But you can go ahead and ignore all that, 'cause somehow the right-wing echo chamber has convinced you that ALL left-wingers do is lie, that ALL academia are hide-bound to the Left, and that ALL academia are willing to sell their souls to suck at the government teat.

The one thing you can't possibly allow yourself to consider, however, is that maybe, just maybe the scientists are telling you exactly what they see...and that they honestly wish they were wrong.

Just put almost in front of those all and you pretty much have it.

And then your last sentence exposes you for pretty completely out of touch , especially with regard to academia( ie' the scientists") {pssssst they're almost all liberals}
 

Glen Contrarian

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Just put almost in front of those all and you pretty much have it.

And then your last sentence exposes you for pretty completely out of touch , especially with regard to academia( ie' the scientists") {pssssst they're almost all liberals}

I guess you don't want your kids to ever get a PhD. (except maybe from Trump University), 'cause then they might become *gasp* liberals!!!!

'Cause education turns people into liberals, I guess....
 

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I've always said that when one starts psychologicizing one's political opponents it's a sign that one is running out of arguments. But over the years we've had one apocalyptic ideology after another float down the pipeline. All of them prove to be wrong, so obviously wrong that they loose currency eventually, but most of them still have adherents.

Hah, yes, like Jesus is coming back, interracial marriage will destroy America, Saddam Hussein is the antichrist so Jesus is REALLY coming back now, gay marriage will destroy America, 9/11 fulfills biblical prophecy and marks the start of the End Times so now Jesus is gonna come back, Obama wants to destroy America; oh and let's not forget that 'leftists' all want to destroy America, depopulate the planet and start a New World Order (which will mean Jesus is coming back soon).

There's no shortage of doom and gloom in any group but - credit where credit's due - at least the concerns of your political opponents usually centre on overconsumption (food crises, environmental crises, peak oil etc.), based on the constantly proven scientific fact that disproportionately successful (usually introduced) species tend to wreck havoc with their ecosystems, usually followed by large population declines when resources run low.
 

LowDown

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Ah. So every single one of those scientists - PhD's every one - is unable to provide for their families without government grants???? Dude. Every single one of them, if they have to, can EASILY go teach. Hell, "Liberty University" would be more than happy to hire the first climatologist to blow the whistle on this great and grand conspiracy you're pushing.

What's more, you're assuming that money is always more important to people than standing up for what's right...but if you knew people half as well as you assume, you'd know that (1) MOST people simply refuse to lie in order to make money, and (2) the more educated said people are, the less willing they are to lie...because they know damn well they can always make enough money to provide for their families.

But you can go ahead and ignore all that, 'cause somehow the right-wing echo chamber has convinced you that ALL left-wingers do is lie, that ALL academia are hide-bound to the Left, and that ALL academia are willing to sell their souls to suck at the government teat.

The one thing you can't possibly allow yourself to consider, however, is that maybe, just maybe the scientists are telling you exactly what they see...and that they honestly wish they were wrong.

You'd probably be interested in reading about the problem of scientific reproducibility. In brief, when the results published in scientific journals in various fields are checked it turns out they can't be reproduced a startlingly high percentage of the time. Something like half of them are bogus in some cases.

So, yeah, there is a problem in science. I blame it in part on they way science is funded. When it's publish or perish then some people will publish something even if it's made up crap. Scientists have all the faults other human beings do.

The other big problem I see is a lack of understanding of proper statistical analysis. The investigators don't know it and neither do the peer reviewers.

Here is a common scenario: Investigators design an experiment and repeat it on 100 samples. The experiment seems to have problems, and so the results of 80 of the samples are rejected, and they report the results of the 20 left that come out like they were expecting. But if you look at all the data it's clear what they really have is crap -- nothing can be concluded from it. But you can't publish that. You really should be able to publish an experiment even if the results are negative or inconclusive, but that's nearly impossible. So there is a very strong bias toward positive results.
 

The Vincer

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You'd probably be interested in reading about the problem of scientific reproducibility. In brief, when the results published in scientific journals in various fields are checked it turns out they can't be reproduced a startlingly high percentage of the time. Something like half of them are bogus in some cases.

So, yeah, there is a problem in science. I blame it in part on they way science is funded. When it's publish or perish then some people will publish something even if it's made up crap. Scientists have all the faults other human beings do.

The other big problem I see is a lack of understanding of proper statistical analysis. The investigators don't know it and neither do the peer reviewers.

Here is a common scenario: Investigators design an experiment and repeat it on 100 samples. The experiment seems to have problems, and so the results of 80 of the samples are rejected, and they report the results of the 20 left that come out like they were expecting. But if you look at all the data it's clear what they really have is crap -- nothing can be concluded from it. But you can't publish that. You really should be able to publish an experiment even if the results are negative or inconclusive, but that's nearly impossible. So there is a very strong bias toward positive results.

Well said.
 

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I could write a hundred pages on the psychological realities of climate "skepticism."

I can see it now.

A pundits viewpoint of others, without even knowing why they believe what they do. Just your own arrogant beliefs.
 

Tim the plumber

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Ah. So every single one of those scientists - PhD's every one - is unable to provide for their families without government grants???? Dude. Every single one of them, if they have to, can EASILY go teach. Hell, "Liberty University" would be more than happy to hire the first climatologist to blow the whistle on this great and grand conspiracy you're pushing.

When professors of climate change are quoted here saying that there is nothing to worry about there is the cry of "denier!!".
 

LowDown

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Hah, yes, like Jesus is coming back, interracial marriage will destroy America, Saddam Hussein is the antichrist so Jesus is REALLY coming back now, gay marriage will destroy America, 9/11 fulfills biblical prophecy and marks the start of the End Times so now Jesus is gonna come back, Obama wants to destroy America; oh and let's not forget that 'leftists' all want to destroy America, depopulate the planet and start a New World Order (which will mean Jesus is coming back soon).

There's no shortage of doom and gloom in any group but - credit where credit's due - at least the concerns of your political opponents usually centre on overconsumption (food crises, environmental crises, peak oil etc.), based on the constantly proven scientific fact that disproportionately successful (usually introduced) species tend to wreck havoc with their ecosystems, usually followed by large population declines when resources run low.

If your assumptions are wrong then your conclusions will be wrong. The assumption that we will eventually run out of vital resources is most likely wrong. The reason for this is that population growth is declining and is the world population is trending to level off at 10 billion. Woe betides the doom and gloom crowd, this is a sustainable number. We will have enough food, shelter, energy, etc., practically speaking, forever.

If you reject this scenario, then I would ask why. Why do you need to believe in doom?
 
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