The View From 1776

Psychological Profile of the Global-Warming True Believer

Bret Stephens observes the many parallels between global-warming fanaticism and the totalitarian doctrines that made the 20th century the bloodiest in human history.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/09 at 11:38 PM
  1. The similarities to Lysenkoism are obvious as well. Junk science in the service of totalitarianism has been commonplace. 'Progressives' routinely fall for it. They have a weakness for worshipping at the altar of the utopian 'experts'. They are gullible, dreamy, frightened nit-wits while the statist, confidence thugs are fully aware of it.

    How could the German National Socialists or the Bolsheviks find folks to load the cattle cars if it weren't so?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/10  at  09:28 AM
  2. Bret Stephens lists many arguments and tactics he says environmentalists are using to make their case for global warming. Interestingly, Bush&Co;. used similar procedures to justify the war in Iraq, and to deny that global warming was occurring.

    The difference is that Bush&Co;.'s arguments led to a reversal of fortune for America whereas climate concerns will lead to enhanced technologies that could reinvent America. Also, the climate debate is open-ended whereas Bush&Co;.'s was closed to debate or scrutiny.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/10  at  11:07 AM
  3. Maybe you haven't heard but the 'science' is settled. Those who disagree are 'deniers' while some vocal supporters recommend prosecution for treason or potential genocide for the sceptics. The opposite of sceptical of course, is gullible.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/10  at  11:39 AM
  4. There is a "totalitarian temptation" common among utopianists--They seek a perfect idealized world but are constantly frustrated because most of mankind understands the folly of their prescriptions. It is that frustration of their hopes and dreams that leads them to authoritarian methods--Their goals can only be realized by the forcible imposition of their "ideas" by government.

    This need to dictate explains their love of big government. Their toolkit consists of mandates, regulations, restrictions,and high taxes to pay for it all. Their mindset is tied to central planning and government programs enforced from above. Of course that is all insanity because the government produces nothing of value--all goods and services come from the common people and most mandates from above hinder real productive activity.

    That is why we can safely say that Al Gore is not only insane, but that he represents today's Lysenko. Just as Lysenko doomed Russian biological sciences for almost 100 years, Al Gore is destroying the thinking and science of the Western world.
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/10  at  12:17 PM
  5. The climate skeptics claim there is little chance that puny humans have had any effect on climate.

    But perhaps those skeptics should be governed by the Dick Cheney principle (a fellow ultra conservative traveler) who declared that even if there was a 1% chance that Iraq had WMDs, that the war was justified - because of the potential great harm of that 1% every being realized.

    Following that sterling principle, if the skeptics can agree that there is even a 1% chance that GW is actually being accelerated by the man-induced rise in CO2 in the atmosphere, then they must agree, by saint Cheney's mantra, that we MUST work to avoid a catastrophe.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/10  at  05:36 PM
  6. JJ-- I believe that everyone agrees that we should reduce or minimize all pollution, emissions, etc. of every possibly harmful type. The question is just how draconian the effort must be. In most matters a measured response is rational.

    This post is about the fanaticism of the most extreme GW alarmists--Because it has become their new religion (since their previous "God" failed)they know not a "measured" response. We are witnessing the usual psychological over-reaction by the inept who see in government mandates the cure for every problem.

    Note that Gore and his ilk are not totally insane, however--GW also gives them a chance to gain power via big government--see Roger Scruton quote below:

    "Totalitarian ideologies are adopted because they rationalize resentment. . .It is not the truth of Marxism that explains the willingness of intellectuals to believe it, but the power that it confers on intellectuals, in their attempts to control the world."

    Just substitute "GW" for "Marxism" and you will see their motives. You can also substitute "Keynsian economics," a "Stimulus Program," or "pump priming." The radical Left will hold as "Holy" anything that empowers them, makes government bigger, and lets them spend our money!
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/10  at  06:01 PM
  7. Bill,

    If you can substitute "GW" for Marxism, you can just as logically substitute any strongly held belief, left or right, in that phrase, making the analogy less than robust.

    I would argue that there have been, at least so far, few GW "fanatics" who are extreme to the point of violence. Of course they put their views forward forcefully because they believe that the issue (e.g. "saving the planet from destruction") warrants vigorous action.

    For them to say,

    "Yes, GW will make the difference between life and death for millions of people, but, what the heck, I can't be bothered right now,"

    would be a totally morally repugnant attitude.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/10  at  11:27 PM
  8. Marxism and AGW is a robust analogy, indeed. Both claim the mantle of science, both are deterministic, each employs a life and death urgency which, of course, only allows for the disregard of the lives of those with the nerve to disagree, each requires total control justified by belief that a scientific or political vanguard understands what is best for the masses whether the 'masses' agree or not. In short, marxism and AGW are both pseudo-sciences formulated by elitist utopian tyrants whose adherents are clearly intent on power for power's sake. What Iraq or Dick Cheney have to do with any of this is hard to fathom although the leftist need to constantly equivocate rather than face the issues head on is a recurring theme throughout the history of the last 50 years or so. Marxism promises heaven on earth for those who believe, AGW promises hell. The emperor, in both cases is wearing no clothes.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/11  at  09:32 AM
  9. Mr. Jay--

    You cannot substitute any strongly held belief in Scruton's quoted sentence unless the strongly held belief is held by intellectuals AND, as a by-product, gives them power to rule over others. As "Al Gore is Insane" observes, the Marxism and GW analogy is robustly in line with Scuton's comment.

    Further, because the intellectuals of which Scuton speaks, that adore Marxism and GW, are personnaly bereft of any strongly held altruistic beliefs, their only interest is in gaining power over others. That is what socialism and utopianism is all about!

    I believe some wag said that socialism is so horrible that only an intellectual could believe in it. (Of course there are the free loaders who see a way to live off the intellectuals' policies and therefore support them--but they are bought.)
    Posted by bill greene  on  12/11  at  11:58 AM
  10. There
    Posted by Peggy McGilligan  on  12/12  at  03:05 AM
  11. There is a cultish tone to all this nonsense. Like Marxism, Vulgar Keynesianism, Central Planning, what I like to call 'expertism' where the starry eyed drones hoenstly believe that bureaucrats and politicians are somehow more than human, without all of the conflicts, self-dealing and tendencies for dishonesty, cheating and theft common to human nature unchecked by morality. Unchecked government is as dangerous as unchecked human nature. Such individuals are classified as sociopaths. The typical politician, driven by the desire for power and control over others while feeling entitled to the ridiculous perks and benfits that come with office can today become immensely wealthy from the office by serving those special interests willing to pay. An incredible situation has developed where we now have the epitome of political sociopathic narcissism holding the highest office of them all.

    Matt Taibbi has an eye opening article in Rolling Stone regarding the false packaging of Obama during the last election. When one thinks about the kind of people serving in his administration (the 'safe school czar' comes to mind), the attempt to shove down the throats of an unwilling American people the crazy health care plan or the climate change idiocy speaks volumes about the guy's real agenda or his conveniant, self-serving moralilty. His cozy relationship with Wall Street and the banking system and his willingness to use freshly printed money to pay off these guys as well as folks like ACORN or syncophantic 'scientists' who push his power grabbing frauds should make it obvious just what kind of individual he is. Without the 'progressive' cult blindly supporting the rhetoric without understnding his actions he could never have gotten as far as he has.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/12  at  07:01 PM
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