The Great Delusion

by Matt Patterson on February 7, 2012

in Blog, Features

Post image for The Great Delusion

In 1841 a Scottish journalist named Charles Mackay published a landmark study of mass hysteria and sociopsychosis titled “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

Mackay painstakingly analyzed a wide variety of popular pathologies in his entertaining tome, including financial panics, medical quackery, pseudoscience like alchemy and astrology, and witch crazes.  He wanted to know why so many people choose to believe so much that is not only not true, but also potentially deadly.  His answer:

“We go out of our course to make ourselves uncomfortable; the cup of life is not bitter enough to our palate, and we distill superfluous poison to put into it, or conjure up hideous things to frighten ourselves at, which would never exist if we did not make them.”

Conjure up hideous things to frighten ourselves—I could not help but think of global warming as I was re-reading Mackay’s words.  How he would have delighted in the strange, self-flagellating notion that is anthropogenic warming.  He would have recognized it as kin to his own numerous and insidious subjects—superstition masked as science; Western guilt over having conquered the world manifesting itself as hatred for the technologies that made it possible; apocalyptic yearning in the guise of political enlightenment.

In fact, global warming is the most widespread mass hysteria in our species’ history.  The fever that these legions of warmists warn of does not grip the globe, but rather their own brains and blinkered imaginations.

And like every mass delusion, there is danger – danger that Man wil be convinced by these climate cultists to turn his back on the very political, economic, and scientific institutions that made him so powerful, so wealthy, so healthy.

Will the fever break before this happens?  I think so.  I think the fever is breaking, as more and more scientists come forward to admit their doubts about the global warming paradigm, as more and more voters become suspicious of government-mandated schemes to control their “carbon emissions”, which is a bureaucrat’s way of controlling productivity, and therefore freedom.

In centuries hence the global warming boogey man will be seen for exactly what it is – The Great Delusion.  Future generations will wonder how so many people could have believed something so suicidally ridiculous.

Unless they read Charles Mackay’s wonderful book.

Geoff Sander February 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Children around the world need schools, medicine, safe drinking water & nutrition. The AGW pushers are responsible for every life and family that is destroyed because the money that could have saved them was spent on Al Gore and more windmills. Read Kids Before Trees, download it free with coupon code KH68F

John Greenfraud February 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Spot on.

Bob Campbell February 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I read Mackay’s book maybe a decade ago (as I get older I know that what seems like a few months can turn out to be a year ago) and it was a Project Gutenberg book. It was a clumsy rendition and maybe there are better ones now but at least it was free.
I also didn’t read it with ACC in mind then but just another example of how we humans are woeful rational thinkers.
I agree with all your commemts on it.

Eric Simpson February 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken
“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.” -ibid
“We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion.” –Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalogue

Girma February 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm

In science, when the observation does not match theory, we chuck the theory.

Here is comparison of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory and observation:

IPCC AR4, 2007 =>

This comparison shows the observed global mean temperatures (GMT) are less than model projections if human CO2 emission were held constant at the 2000 level.

In addition, there has not been any change in the climate as there has been only a single GMT pattern since record begun 160 years ago. This pattern can be clearly observed in the data from NASA and the University of East Anglia as shown in the following graph.

This pattern has a unique property of a warming trend of only 0.06 deg C per decade and an oscillation of 0.5 deg C every 30 years.

This result shows, for 160 years, the GMT pattern (the climate) has not been affected by human CO2 emission, volcanoes and aerosols! These variables did not have effect because the GMT pattern before and after mid-20th century were nearly identical.

As observations do not match AGW theory, chuck the AGW theory!

BD February 12, 2012 at 6:39 am

Hmmm…. what if you’re wrong?

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