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1821. Greta Thunberg is a powerful symbol within our age. She illustrates the evil of those who have fed her a pack of hypotheses posing as truths to advance a political agenda. She herself reveals the perils of youthful inexperience -- gullibility and a blindness to nuance -- an idealism combined with ignorance -- which permits the odious expression of self-righteous, messianic certainty. In a rational world, no self-respecting adult would listen to her for thirty seconds. That so many respond with uncritical fawning reveals the dangers of our instinctive tribalism -- in which the capacity for independent thought is sacrificed for the comfort -- apparently -- of bleating with the herd. Such abject surrender of common sense -- in an age which pretends to scientific sophistication -- does not augur well for the future of the human project.
1780. Two new additions to the popular lexicon: (a) thunberg, verb: 1. to
scold with self-righteous sanctimony. 2. to preach pretentiously about matters
of which your knowledge is limited or non-existent.
(b) thunberger, noun: 1. immature, ignorant, twerp. 2. one who preaches or scolds authoritatively and sanctimoniously about theories speculative and unproven. 3. phony.
1742. One of the unacknowledged attractions of climate alarmism is that it is a socially acceptable way of proclaiming moral purity; even better -- it permits unlimited contempt for "deniers."
1741. There is a powerful undercurrent of Puritanism in western culture. As religion has declined, moral disapproval is increasingly signalled through political correctness and environmental fanaticism.
1698. Once you assume that it is possible to arrange for the correct global temperature at the end of the century youve already bought a meadow of unicorns on the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
1590. The Angelical Fallacy is common to all idealists, including socialists, supporters of affirmative action, multiculturalists, and climate activists.
1534. Correlation wears the convincing cape of causation; only careful fingerprinting and an examination of blood samples will reveal the truth.
1531. Anthropogenic global warming: Take a political idea, characterize it as a mythic, uncertain quest for survival against daunting odds, give it the religious overtones of sin, expiation, and salvation, and then label the whole concoction as "science." The people will be fooled for decades -- until, finally, the facts -- the failed predictions -- become too obvious to ignore.
1411. Anthropogenic climate change is -- like all previous religions -- a useful tool for rulers. It subdues with fear, then encourages with distant rewards for immediate compliant behaviour. It is not surprising that in an era of religious skepticism, most governments have heartily endorsed a theory, which, wearing the robe of piety and the wig of science, compels assent from a gullible populace.
1381. If something looks like baloney, slices like baloney, smells like baloney, and tastes like baloney my bet is that it is baloney.
1326. The scientist with a logical and plausible hypothesis is exactly that: until the theory has been validated by predictive success -- his forecasts are no more credible than those of a medium, a witch doctor, or a fortune teller.
1158. Climate alarmism echoes the familiar narrative of religion: because of original sin -- selfishness -- there is a terrible threat of death and destruction; but salvation may be obtained -- by a degree of communal restraint and appropriate human sacrifice.
985. A theory is not validated by "scientific consensus" -- but by consistent predictive success.
840. A superstition is a popular belief in a causal link which does not, in fact, exist. The belief that mankind is the chief influence on global temperatures is a modern example.
839. A scientific theory about the interactions of things -- how the world actually works -- can only be validated by facts which are in accord with a predicted outcome. The validation may come from a short term experiment, or from a long term unfolding of events. Those studying climate have been unable to make accurate predictions; this shows that their theories do not describe the interactions of things, and must be revised.
837. As much as power corrupts -- it also seems to blind. (The
political class seems enamoured of the idea of anthropogenic global warming --
despite failed predictions, and the fact that the behaviour of alarmists is
from that of the purveyors of snake oil.)
831. If it claims to be science, but looks, swims, and quacks like religion its obviously a religious duck wearing a lab coat.
757. When someone says, "The science is settled" -- you know they are talking about religion.
743. Every totalitarian whether dictator, socialist, climate alarmist, religious leader, or upholder of political correctness is an idealist: he attempts to make humanity fit through force or persuasion -- the Procrustean bed of an ideal, conceptual world. The concept is always at odds with the facts or with the realities of the human condition, and is ultimately unattainable or unsustainable
742. Real science: an understanding of how things actually work is revealed by consistent predictive success. Climate "science:" no evidence of consistent predictive success.
658. It doesn't matter whether you are a fortune teller, a certified genius, or a highly-regarded scientist with peer-reviewed scientific papers emanating from every orifice: a failed prediction shows you don't know what you are talking about.
655. The despotic impulse is a human constant. It often appears cloaked as virtue -- protecting the sanctity of religion, the fragility of feelings, or the ideal of equality. It even pretends to a saving of the planet.
570. Facts require no special protection; it is only some beliefs that claim criticism is unfair and illegitimate.
522. Climate "science:" The wolf of politics wearing grandma's lab coat.
514. Climate alarmism benefits greatly from the human susceptibility doubtless an instinctive one to religious belief an element of tribal culture in which the need for factual evidence is overwhelmed by the perceived advantages of enthusiastic participation. The existential threats presented are of death and extinction. The accusation of human responsibility sin preys upon that reservoir of guilt consistent with and attendant upon an awareness of inherent human frailty. The glories of salvation are offered in exchange for human sacrifice. It would appear that only a drastic decline in global temperatures is likely to result in apostasy on any significant scale.
491. Surely there can be no statement more antithetical, more hostile, or more blind to the essence and spirit of scientific enquiry than: "The science is settled."
436. The persistence of religious beliefs suggests that men need myths to live by. The weakness of any myth is that it is not true, but, to be taken seriously, must pretend to be. Great assurance in the pretence inspires confidence in the believers -- but concomitantly fuels the fires of contemptuous piety, and provides holy sanction for the oppression of others.
(It may be observed that this applies to belief in catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, as well as to other, more conventional, myths.)
431. The causes of climate change are imperfectly understood, and inadequately delineated; climate alarmists have decided that leaping should precede looking.
373. Climate alarmism: When prediction in the face of reason
Then "science" yields to politics, and lies.
341. Climate change alarmism: it's always a pity when science enrolls in the seminary of ideology, and emerges with holy orders.
176. Be hesitant in accepting the claims of those who speak in the name of science; one must determine first whether that science is indeed the master, or merely the tool of self-interest, self- aggrandisement, or political agenda.
175. Scientists have not yet discovered the inoculation against hubris, or the effective incantation against self-interest; nor are they immune from the contamination of an ill-considered enthusiasm for a cause.
55. An idea does not have to be valid to be respectable; all that is required is a sufficiency of fools.
14. The belief that global warming is entirely the result of human activity betrays an extraordinary arrogance; Mars is also warming, without the benefit of an atmosphere, greenhouse gasses, or Cadillac Escalades.