We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Out: “Follow the science”. In: “Let the hate flow through you”

Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.

“Telling people to ‘follow the science’ won’t save the planet. But they will fight for justice”, writes Amy Westervelt in the Guardian:

The climate emergency has clear themes with heroes and villains. Describing it this way is how to build a movement

The biggest success of the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long campaign to push doubt about climate science is that it forced the conversation about the climate crisis to centre on science.

It’s not that we didn’t need scientific research into climate change, or that we don’t need plenty more of it. Or even that we don’t need to do a better job of explaining basic science to people, across the board (hello, Covid). But at this moment, “believe science” is too high a bar for something that demands urgent action. Believing science requires understanding it in the first place. In the US, the world’s second biggest carbon polluter, fewer than 40% of the population are college educated and in many states, schools in the public system don’t have climate science on the curriculum. So where should this belief – strong enough to push for large-scale social and behavioural change – be rooted exactly?

People don’t need to know anything at all about climate science to know that a profound injustice has occurred here that needs to be righted.

The most recommended comment was by someone called “Pilotchute”. It started by quoting Ms Westervelt’s claim that the the US entering the Second World War was an example of “social change driven by moral outrage at the power being wielded by the few over the many”.

Pilotchute responded:

OK, nothing to do with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines then.
Ironic misinterpretation really, given the underlying “ordinary folk are too stupid to understand . . .” thrust to the article.

12 comments to Out: “Follow the science”. In: “Let the hate flow through you”

  • Ah, the old ‘college educated’ snobbery. As if intelligence and intellectual qualifications are the same thing – or that you have to have one to have the other or that people without degrees are not capable of following arguments intelligently. This is the typical guardianista sneering at the ‘uneducated’ that we have come to know and love.

  • People don’t need to know anything at all about climate science to know that a profound injustice has occurred here that needs to be righted.

    While I’m sure not knowing anything at all about climate science helps, I think being a climate activist is also compatible with knowing a little, provided it is not much. (For example, it’s OK to have seen the hockey stick graph in two dimensions provided you haven’t seen it in three.) So I think Amy’s demand for no knowledge at all is a bit extreme even by XR’s standards.

  • the other rob

    @ Longrider – It is all of that, certainly but I think there’s something else as well. A message of “Fuck it, we’ve had enough, time to resort to naked power”.

    Well that’s just dandy because I’ve fucking had enough too and I’m about ready for it to kick off. Until then any members of this dumb bint’s “movement” who feel compelled to exercise some naked power are invited to come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

  • bobby b

    From the article:

    “For French, it didn’t really matter whether climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels or natural planetary force. She sidestepped the origin story of climate change and instead focused on the injustice inherent in preparing your own business for trouble while telling everyone else not to worry.”

    So it’s not merely “we can’t depend on people understanding science.”

    It’s “even if this climate change thing is complete nonsense, we ought to be fighting those bad guys just on principle.”

    This actually fits with how they present themselves. They don’t need a cause. They just need a struggle. Gives their lives meaning.

  • Paul Marks

    So people who point out that the predictions of the human emissions of C02 cause dangerous Global Warming “movement” have often been mistaken, are to be HATED.

    Well – hating such people does mean that the “movement” does not have to explain why so many of its predictions since 1989 (for example on sea level rise, or on ice in the Artic, or on snow end-of) have been wrong.

    Some things are easy to fake – for example American government temperature figures can be changed to make hot 1921 cold, and make the hot early 1930s cold. But some things are harder to fake – for example someone in Japan (or elsewhere) buried-in-snow might start to suspect that the “end of snow” prediction was wrong, and people in a ship stuck in ice in the Artic might start to doubt the doctrine that there is no ice in the Artic.

    So the response of the Guardian is DO NOT THINK – HATE!

    No doubt governments, and corporations, will rush to encourage hatred – and discourage thinking.

    Like Rousseau the Guardian pretends to love dissent – and like Rousseau dissent is exactly what they do NOT want.

    Dissenting people might start to oppose the “Law Giver” (the “educated expert”) – that would be the wicked “will of all” (individual thought and individual choice) not the noble Collectivist “General Will” – which only the elite can determine.

    Rousseau, and the Guardian, follow Thomas Hobbes and Sir Francis Bacon in holding that LAW is the will (command) of the Lawgiver – and is not a limitation on state power.

    “Scientific” tyranny? Not new either – Sir Francis Bacon was pushing that in 1610 (the New Atlantis).

    Do you believe that the Earth goes round the Sun? Sorry that is against THE SCIENCE – Sir Francis Bacon said so, and his counter argument was PUNISHMENT for any dissenter.

  • Paul Marks

    There really is not much difference between the “scientific” tyranny (with the law just being the commands of the ruler or rulers – not a limitation on state power) ravings of Sir Francis Bacon four hundred years ago, and the ravings of Dr Klaus “Stakeholder Capitalism” (read FASICSM) Schwab now.

    “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.

    The same old evils.

  • Rev. Spooner

    Well, can’t say I’m surprised to see that Pilotchute’s comment is mysteriously not an oh-so-empathic “Guardian Pick”.

    Lovely people, Lefties.

  • Stonyground

    This was covered by Tim Worstal too. I commented on this part.

    “Believing science requires understanding it in the first place.”

    Not only is this not true, it is the precise opposite of the truth. People who don’t understand science believe stuff because a scientist said it. People who do understand science require the scientist, no matter how eminent he is claimed to be, to provide credible evidence that what he is saying is correct. He also needs to competently answer the objections of his critics. Calling them deniers and then refusing to talk to them doesn’t cut it.

  • Ferox

    “Believing science requires understanding it in the first place.”

    Stonyground: this is why epistemology (presented in an age-appropriate way) should be the major part of the introduction to the scientific disciplines in every curriculum.

    Let the kids spend time memorizing the periodic table (if that is absolutely necessary) AFTER they understand why it has value in the first place, how it was derived, and that it is still a work-in-progress – like every other scientific model. The science is never settled – that’s how empirical science works.

  • lucklucky

    The climate emergency has clear themes with heroes and villains. Describing it this way is how to build a movement

    She spells the always Marxist strategy to get power: political, social classes, economic, racial, sexual.

    Marxists wants to have power to say who are THE BAD:
    :social classes
    :bad races
    :bad sexes

  • Bruce

    “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”

    ― George Orwell

  • Is it possible that this is good strategic advice that we should make use of?

    So perhaps, as an example, instead of banging on about M3 we should point out that progressive elites, who have hard assets, are stealing your savings though inflation to pay for their pet projects?