Friday, April 17, 2009

Denail Watch: Magical Denialism

It struck me as odd today that there is a strong running thread within global warming denailism that is happy to use magicians as evidence. Now I don't mean theatre magic, pulling bunnies out of hats, as much fun as it is. No I mean that there are people who's methodologies are in the same vein as Alchemy, Demonology or Sorcery - who are used as 'evidence'. Sounds odd, but here's the evidence;

Example one - recently the right-wing Cato Institute published a series of ads in prominent media outlets, signed by 100 'scientists' who claim that the science of global warming are not yet set. The word 'scientists' is in 'inverted' commas became of the 100, only 3 were climate scientists and many were, well a bit odd - take for example one of the signatories - Dr. James DeMeo. Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab. Orgone? Well it's;

"Orgone energy is a hypothetical extrapolation of the Freudian concept of libido first proposed and promoted in the 1930s by psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich."

Wtf? An 'expert' in mystic sexy energy that can't be proved is a 'scientist' who knows about global warming. Sounds like Sorcery to me!

Example Two: Now check this little bit of denailism;

Last year, the Government of the Maldives warned that rising sea levels would swamp the country and the entire population needed a new home. The global-warming faithful immediately announced it was all the fault of rich countries, which had to help. The stunt was spoiled by Swedish scientists, who had the data to demonstrate that the sea level around the Maldives was the same now as 4000 years ago and showed no signs of change. Certainly the Maldives have a problem but a major cause is much more mundane - mining coral for building material has removed reefs that provide a barrier against the ocean.

Sounds credible but is full of rubbish, but who are the 'Swedish scientists' who 'spoiled' all this? Turns out it it not a team of 'scientists' but a single person who is a dowser. What is dowsing?

Dowsing, sometimes called divining, doodlebugging (in the US), or (when searching specifically for water) water finding or water witching, is a practice that attempts to locate hidden water wells, buried metals or ores, gemstones, or other objects as well as currents of earth radiation without the use of scientific apparatus.

Yes, more magik! More Alchemy! Super-psychik witch energy being used to predict sea levels. It is also not at the fringe of denialism - it is central - the Cato ads being major propaganda pushes featuring a whos-who of denailism and the second quote is from major newspaper, the Australian.

This is typical of the double standards of denialism, imagine if the IPCC report was based on the work of some Demonology? They would (rightly) go mentalist - but it is not it si based or boring science and there is now so much evidence supporting the consensus, indeed saying the consensus is too conservative, that Occultism is all denailism has left.

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