Climate alarmists call for more groupthink

by Marlo Lewis on April 3, 2009

Nothing is more Orwellian than quoting Orwell to attack freedom of thought and discussion. Today’s ClimateWire (subscription required) provides a case in point. “Scientists need to stop doublespeak on climate, [PR] experts say,” reports Christa Marshall. By doublespeak, Orwell meant a political orthodoxy so pervasively embraced as a party line that everybody sheepishly repeats and even believes manifest falsehoods: Ignorance Is Strength, Freedom Is Slavery, War Is Peace.

But to the PR experts cited by Marshall, “doublespeak” means that the world’s scientists, journalists, and government agencies do not all speak about climate change with one voice.

Because of this “doublespeak,” say the experts, “The dangers of global warming are not getting through to the public.” I have a better explanation. Blaming SUVs for hurricane Katrina sets off the public’s B.S. detector, as do implausible scenarios of sea levels rising 20 feet and the climate “tipping” into an Ice Age in our lifetimes or those of our children.

Be that as it may, when these PR experts (who presumably would be happy to have university departments, science journals, and government agencies pay them for their services) say that scientists must do a better job of communicating with the public, what they really mean is that scientists must do a better job of scaring people.

What Orwell would resent most is their demand that every scientist, scientific organization, and agency speak in unison. Although outrageous, this attempt to collectivize scientific discourse–this campaign to turn climate science into a party line–is hardly surprising or new. In fact, it is the arguably the very purpose for which the IPCC was established in the first place.

Pierre Champagne April 4, 2009 at 6:59 am

We seem to forget that good science errs on the side of caution. We are in a big mess right now. It is not like we are guilty of acting early.

If we had heeded the calls of those alarmist, we would be in a much better position right now.

Cap-and trade is not likely to be enough. If you are interested in an environmental strategy that would be powerfu enough, you should check the following website:

A Structural Approach: Better Than Cap-and-Trade

Sam April 6, 2009 at 9:48 am

Pierre Champagne's statement is absurd. If CO2 is not the danger or culprit it is claimed to be by alarmists (as it increasingly appears not to be), it is both fantastic and beneficial that we did not listen to them.

If we had made changes based on their erroneous counsel, there would have been no impact on the climate but we would have experienced a negative opportunity cost of spending scarce resources on a phantom.

What a silly comment.

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