YOU FATHEAD, YOU
Via Planet Gore, Martin Cohen:
Is belief in global-warming science another example of the “madness of crowds”? That strange but powerful social phenomenon, first described by Charles Mackay in 1841, turns a widely shared prejudice into an irresistible “authority”. Could it indeed represent the final triumph of irrationality?
After all, how rational is it to pass laws banning one kind of light bulb (and insisting on their replacement by ones filled with poisonous mercury vapour) in order to “save electricity”, while ploughing money into schemes to run cars on … electricity? How rational is it to pay the Russians once for fossil fuels, and a second time for permission (via carbon credits) to burn them? And how rational is it to suppose that the effects of increased CO2 in the atmosphere take between 200 and 1,000 years to be felt, but that solutions can take effect almost instantaneously? …
How this situation came about says much about how science is co-opted to sway public opinion. The case is built, deliberately or not, on misleading images and interpretations that have been perpetuated by parties with a vested interest. It morphs into a tool for governments to intimidate their populations into passive acceptance of very real changes: from the tiny, such as accepting miserable fluorescent light instead of the incandescent light we’ve been used to; to the major, like welcoming nuclear power plants and obliging rainforest tribes to make way for biofuel plantations.
Indeed, much of what is presented as hard scientific evidence for the theory of global warming is false.
Mr. Cohen then explains the Cascade Theory, how information flows down from experts to everyday citizens who don’t have the ability or government funding to set up their own phony computer modeling
bunco scams research units like the boys at CRU. This theory works well when the experts are right. But when they’re wrong, the result can be a propagandized and ignorant society, spinning its wheels and making bad decisions:
One of the best examples of cascade theory is that of the entirely false consensus that built up in the 1970s around the danger of “fatty foods”. In fact, this consensus still exists, even though it has never had any scientific basis.
The theory can be traced back to a single researcher, Ancel Keys, who published a paper saying that Americans were suffering from “an epidemic” of heart disease because their diet was more fatty than their bodies were used to after thousands of years of evolution.
In 1953, Keys added additional evidence from a comparative study of the US, Japan and four other countries. Country by country, this showed that a high-fat diet coincided with high rates of heart disease.
Unfortunately for this theory, it turned out that prehistoric “traditional diets” were not especially low-fat after all – indeed, even the hunter-gatherers of yore, if they relied on eating their prey, would have had more fat in their diet than most people do today. As Science magazine pointed out, in the most relevant period of 100 years before the supposed “epidemic” of heart disease, Americans were actually consuming large amounts of fatty meat, so the epidemic followed a reduction in the amount of dietary fat Americans consumed – not an increase.
Keys’ country-by-country comparison had also been skewed, with countries that did not fit the theory (such as France and Italy with their oily, fatty cuisines) being excluded. The American Heart Association (AHA), considered to be the voice of experts, issued a report in 1957 stating plainly that the fats-cause-heart-disease claims did not “stand up to critical examination”. The case for there being any such epidemic was dubious, too – the obvious cause of higher rates of heart disease was that people were living longer, long enough to develop heart disease. But it was too late: the cascade had started.
Three years later, the AHA issued a new statement, reversing its view. It had no new evidence but it did have some new members writing the report, in the form of Keys himself and one of his friends. The new report made the cover of Time magazine and was picked up by non-specialists at the US Department of Agriculture, who then asked a supporter of the theory to draw up “health guidelines” for them. Soon, scarcely a doctor could be found prepared to speak out against such an overwhelming “consensus”, even if a few specialised researchers still protested. And all this was good enough for the highest medical officer in the US, the Surgeon General, in 1988 to issue a doom-laden warning about fat in foods, and claiming that ice-cream was a health menace on a par with tobacco smoking.
It was a pretty silly theory, and certainly not one based on good evidence. In fact, in recent years, in large-scale studies in which comparable groups have been put on controlled diets (low fat and high fat) a correlation has at last been found. It turns out that the low-fat diet seems to be unhealthy. But no one is quite sure why.
And no one is quite sure why our climate fluctuates. But the reasons why they want to sell you on “Global Warming” are very clear.
For some, it is a substitute religion. Once it moves beyond a reasonable concern, it becomes a Mother Earth cult, somehow promising immortality and spiritual freedom if we only eat enough organic fair-trade, cage-free, steroid-free, antibiotic-free, gluten-free, perfume-free, free-range bran muffins.
For others, it is a way to wealth. Those Three-Card “scientists” have governments and corporations tripping over each other to hand them money and grants.
If a Halliburton exec bragged about making a billion dollars off of Warmening, Al Gore would take that as axiomatic proof of unbridled greed. Yet Gore can boast of becoming the World’s First Carbon Billionaire (through government-coerced purchases, no less!)… and he takes it as proof of his own goodness and altruism!
But for others, the real impetus for Global Warming is Global Governing.
Almost all “liberal” policies today are designed to expand the size and scope of the State. But Socialized Weather in particular is designed to usher in Transnational Government. After all, the Environment, like Savoir Fare, ees everywhere!
So for some people, it’s superstition; for others, it’s greed. And for yet others, it’s power, a plan to enact Super-Statism.
It’s the worst of all worlds: a confused society tossing trillions of much-needed dollars down an anti-productive rathole, a science forged on phony “consensus” and an unaccountable World Gumment based on phony “Consent”. Phony, phony, phony.
Everybody knows that.