Sunday, January 10, 2010

Denialism on the Couch

Another debate on Bristol Indymedia seems to have come and gone and again follows the same pattern of denialists throwing a hodge-podge of disinformation at the site and it getting refuted point by point. It is the same debate we had in 2005. However this time around, as well as refuting the same of tired talking points, I'm interested in looking at the psychology of denailism (past posts part 1 and part 2). Put simply denailism says much more about the people who expound it that it does about the climate. I want to pick apart a couple of examples...put the comments on the couch...

In the recent debate one of the commentators put forward the ideas that warming might not be so bad and suggested that the Arctic could be a new breadbowl and I replied that the Arctic was a frozen ocean, then another (or possibly the same) poster responded that I was wrong because the original poster was talking about the Arctic tundra, the ring of land that connects to the Arctic ice. Anyway the whole thread (mine included) got hidden - but the thread is not the interesting bit, it is the response of the commenter in question:

One of the "chosen" ones drops a huge bollock and look what happens.
The slate is wiped clean.
You know BIM as a real source of debate discussion and news really sucks.
But you know that anyway don't you.
That is why this will get hidden.

What is being alleged (which is complete crap) is that the Bristol Indymedia's comment policy has been trashed by a volunteer to protect me from the alleged 'huge bollock'. I was going to rant about how crazy a conspiracy this is - but then I realised - when you think that ten of thousands of scientists are engaged in a huge conspiracy over global warming, believing in a mini-conspiracy over on Bristol Indymedia is pretty minor. Bristol Indymedia was subject to the same allegations over the email hack where denialists claimed their view point was being denied. It reminds me of a very interesting point about conspiracy theories;

Conspiracy authors almost never concede even the hypothetical possibility that their paradigm might be flawed in some fundamental respect. Furthermore, conspiracy authors/researchers don't simply allege that a critic or skeptic is mistaken in their viewpoint. Instead, they almost always assert that critics or skeptics facilitate the success of evil cabals who consciously are working to destroy our way of life.

Is that not what we've got here? Myself and the volunteer who his the comments, indeed Bristol Indymedia itself is part of the New World Order! How cool is that! When do I get to meet the lizard-overlords?

Now on to another commenter from the same thread. He popped to to suggest that a NASA press-release about the cooling of the troposphere showed the climate was cooling. The staggering thing is that he posted a doctored press release that cut out a paragraph that pointed out the cooling of the troposphere was predicted by the theory of global warming and does in no way mean cooling of the climate - quite the opposite. So I pointed this out to him. The response of the poster? Very rant and attack (under a different name, but clearly the same man) directed at me;

Accept the word of governments whilst making out you are an Anarchist?
Create your own modern day Inquisition to decry anyone who challenges you views to be akin to holocaust deniers or in the pay of an oil company!
It’s a good game almost as good as bingo – you just have to leave you moral compass at home.

So for pointing out the missing bit of information, by debating I become 'modern day Inquisition'? Very interesting. Has echoes of the point above but reminded me of this; a US christian group posted a list of the top 10 anti-christian attacks of 2009 - and one of those is a bit odd to say the least...

7. The overt homosexual participation in Obama’s presidential inaugural events by “Bishop” Vickie Eugene Robinson, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D. C., and a homosexual marching band.

Interesting - simply the presence of people you don't agree with is somehow a form of oppression. This also seems to be what our denialist poster is saysing; by pointing out where I am wrong you are repressing me.

How odd is that? But when you think that ten of thousands of scientists are engaged in a huge conspiracy over global warming, this is all minor shit...


Anonymous said...

To quote some brilliant men...

"Help, help! I'm being repressed! Did you see it? Can you see the violence inherent in the system?!"

(Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, in case you didn't recognize it)

anarchist said...

I did. Amazing film!