Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:23 PM
This video is a very useful contribution to the discussion of “Great Global Warming Scam” in that it illustrates the use of propaganda and misrepresentation in the advancement of a political cause.
It shows how the skillful misrepresentation of the facts can serve to protect vested interests; in this case it is protecting the gravy train of “climate science”.
While I am not interested in performing a detailed dissection of this piece of propaganda, I will draw attention to some highlights which illustrate some of the tactics used. These tactics were perfected by the Nazis, and are currently being used by the “climate science” scammers to great effect.
The first point to note is that the speaker, Eugenie Scott, is a paid lobbyist, and her role in life is to ensure that public funding continues to flow unimpeded into the “climate science” industry. She is paid to attack and discredit anyone who threatens this flow of funding.
This presentation should be viewed as a very slick and masterful piece of propaganda delivered by a professional and polished paid lobbyist, delivered with a specific political and business objective: protect the gravy train.
Recall that “science” is supposed to be a debate between dissenting views based on the varying interpretations of the objective data. However, “climate science” has long since been reduced to ideology and cash flow; with the unraveling of the scam, the cash flow has come under threat. Therefore, the tactics have shifted from the debate of the science, to that of direct attack on those who would rock the boat.
Having learned from the Nazis, Scott applies many of their methods:
1 Demonize your opponent.
When the available facts don’t support your argument, attack your opponent. This attack is most effective if you can both demonize your opponent, and convert the issue from a debate on the facts to an issue of morality.
Scott, by using the term “deniers” applies this tactic by linking those skeptical of the AGW hypothesis with one of the most evil acts ever perpetrated by man: the holocaust.
In establishing this link, the issue has been transformed to one of a conflict between good and evil, not one of a scientific debate over the interpretation of data.
Scott’s objective here is to brand the skeptics as immoral and “evil”, and therefore anything they say is below contempt, and can be disregarded and dismissed.
2 Ridicule your opponent
Having demonized your opponents, the second step is to ridicule them.
This is most effectively done by linking them to something that is already perceived as ridiculous.
In this case, Scott has linked the AGW opponents to the creationist movement. Regardless of the merits of the creationist argument, the creationist movement is seen as a subject of ridicule by most of the scientific community. Therefore, they provide a convenient and practical mirror to reflect the skeptics.
The general perception therefore becomes one in which the AGW skeptics are seen as really no more than rebadged creationists. The perception cultivated by Scott is: the creationists are ridiculous, therefore the AGW skeptics are equally ridiculous.
3 Undermine the credibility of your opponent
Having exposed your opponents to ridicule, the next step is to undermine their credibility by denigrating their qualifications to speak on the subject.
In Scott’s case, she makes a point of referring to “climate scientists” as the only authorities on climate, and denigrates those with “general science” qualifications. By this means, she hopes to convey the impression that only “climate scientists” can be relied on to speak authoritatively on the subject.
The fallacy of her argument is the fact that there is no such thing as a “climate scientist”.
The study of climate is a multi-disciplinary endeavor, involving all of the scientific disciplines from Astro-physics to Zoology. It is a physical impossibility for any one person to have expertise in all of the disciplines that have relevance to climate; and it is the multi-disciplinary nature of climate studies that contributes most to the misinterpretation of, and debate around, climate data.
On the one hand, Scott denigrates those with “general science” qualifications, while she herself has only a qualification in anthropology; yet, this does not prevent her from presenting herself as an authority on climate.
4 Tell a big lie; and tell it often.
Joseph Goebbels is famously quoted as saying that if you are going to tell a lie, then make it a big one; and keep repeating it.
In the case of AGW, the “big lie” is that human generated carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming. Almost all of the objective scientific evidence shows that there is no cause and effect relationship between human generated carbon dioxide and global warming; however the ”big lie” has been repeated often enough that most people believe it.
Scott continues in this tradition, and perpetuates the big lie. The motivation for this is obvious: so long as people believe the big lie, money will continue to flow to her clients.
5. Make up lies to support your “big lie”
The Nazis were aware that most people defer to authority figures; and few people actually check “the facts”.
They assume that when an authority figure makes an assertion, it is true. Furthermore, if that figure’s assertions are supported by the statements of another authoritative figure, then this is viewed as confirmation of the truthfulness of the original assertion.
Scott makes a number of assertions in relation to AGW; then moves to substantiate these assertions by reference to other authority figures: Peter Gleick and Michael Mann.
In reference to Gleick, Scott fails to mention that, due to his reprehensible dishonesty, he was forced out of his job as Chairman of the AGU ethics committee. Of course, she also fails to ask why the scientific establishment requires a committee on ethics in the first place.
In reference to Michael Mann, Scott fails to mention that his work has been thoroughly discredited, and been shown to be fraudulent.
She also fails to note that Michal Mann is using the courts to suppress the details of his work, and thereby keep them from peer review. Of course, she also overlooks the fact such action is in direct conflict with the scientific method, and undermines the entire “Global Warming” thesis; however, it is consistent with the ideological and fraudulent basis of the entire “Great Global Warming Scam”.
6 Conflate the big lie with the truth
People are more likely to believe a big lie if it is associated with other similar, but different, issues; and those parallel issues are known to be true.
The psychological effect is that all of the issues meld, and become interchangeable in the minds of the uninformed. In this conflation process, the lie is perceived as being true.
This tactic is used by Scott through her free interchange of the terms “climate change”, “global warming” and “anthropogenic global warming”. The deliberate and calculated interchange of these three concepts, despite the fact that they are three separate and distinct issues, is aimed at confusing the uninformed listener; and this confusion conflates the three issues.
This conflation provides her arguments for AGW with false credibility.