WtD has embarked on studying and writing about Paranoia. I have addressed some points of his first post here, briefly. (My answers in bold.)
This is my response to several of the points made:
Exploring the question of “How did we come to this”?
Humanity will agonise for millenia over the question of how we failed to address climate change, despite the fact the evidence was so certain and the anticipated impacts well understood decades before being felt.
Or celebrate that people woke up in time before we wasted billions more on useless “solutions” to a non-existent problem.
The campaign of deceit funded by the fossil fuel industry explains some of this, but not all of it. The free-market ideology and libertarian “faith” of conservative politicians and mining billionaires explains some of this failure, but not all of it.
Sure—blame people who had nothing to do with this. It’s easier than saying the science was flawed from the start.
Likewise the difficulty of explaining complex scientific concepts to the general public has contributed to the challenge. However we can’t attribute the present situation to this challenge alone.
No, you can’t.
I have long argued that the idea that fossil fuel companies have prevented action on climate change is simplistic and only tells part of the story.
And you are most correct. Fossil fuel companies love climate change stuff—they know all the alternative energy subsidies are fun to get and that there is no alternative to fossil fuels. They have nothing whatsoever to fear and much to gain.
It is broader than that: culture, economics, historical forces, politics and vested interest have all played a part to greater or lesser degrees.
Or maybe the science was BAD.
In examining the claims climate sceptic movement I was stunned to see the same claims made again and again in nearly every decade going back to the French Revolution. At times of financial crisis, war and profound societal change the same identical claims about conspiracies have been made.
Yet, warmists just love conspiracy theories—like the one about the oil industries, or the Koch brothers, or secret funding of skeptics. You just don’t recognize your own behaviours.
One could simply dismiss this as a few paranoid types recycling old conspiracy theories.
And one should. Though I’m sure you won’t.
But the question of why such beliefs remain persistent continued to rattle around in the back of my brain.
Comment censored lest I not be able to comment on my own blog.
But how could a world view, considered both fringe and inconsequential, have any impact? Consider the climate change debate.
Seriously, it was flawed science. How hard is that to understand?
Ask yourself just how central have claims of conspiracies been to arguments put forward by climate sceptics?
Very little. You would know that if you actually studied skeptics and their ideas.
I want to step back from the news cycle and the buzz of social media. WtD will be for those readers hoping to explore issues in-depth, and comment on them in an intelligent way.
Which means every comment had better agree with you or you’ll delete us? Now who’s likely to display some paranoia?
Perhaps Watching those Who watch the Deniers should study blame shifting as WtD studies paranoia?
At this point, I will not be following WtD as I did before. I consider dealing with the idea of paranoid conspiracies to be fascinating but not really valuable in a discussion of science. Unless we’re discussing psychology. Which we only do if someone tries to blame paranoia for people recognizing bad science.