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The Pop Psychology Of Climate Change

This is how it might have all started:

  1. Over the years since Illuminism and the Industrial Revolution, lots of very intelligent people with a penchant for control freakery got convinced the world was going to the dogs, due to intrinsic faults in the way humans organized their societies
  2. They thought the only solution was their own particular form of egalitarianism/socialism/communism
  3. Eventually, they all found a discharge valve for their ongoing frustrations in the existence of actual Socialist states, “Workers Paradise” and the likes
  4. Sadly for them, but happily for many people, that all collapsed around 1989 (with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall) and then 1991/1992 (with the disappearance of the USSR)
  5. But then, in their established mindset, if there is no hope for Socialism then there is no hope for humanity itself
  6. This means that for lots of very intelligent people etc etc, the world is effectively going to the dogs, or better yet to the cockroaches. But how?
  7. Cue “anthropogenic global warming” (AGW) as the “perfect storm”, including the world going to burn to cinders and people and societies too selfish to recognize their guilt
  8. This makes “global warming” a particularly leftist ideology, no matter what the science behind it actually says (and doesn’t)
  9. Some people (for obvious reasons, mostly not of a Leftist disposition) actually recognize the situation for what it is (AGW as a political attempt at reorganizing human society around the communal good as established by whomever is in charge, dressed up as a purely scientific theory even if cracks continuously need to be tapered up (see the “scientific group” called the IPCC getting the one and only political Nobel Prize, Peace’s).
  10. Those people dare express their skepticism.
  11. But if you are convinced the world is going to the dogs because of human and societal faults, therefore those skeptics are ipso facto the very representation of human and societal faults.
  12. Hence the skeptics “have” to be silenced, summarily dismissed, marginalized, described as figures of fun or evil or both

Is there any way out? Yes there is. All we need for the AGW brouhaha to get out of the way, allowing climatology to be more science than politics for the first time in 15 years or more, is for something else to keep busy those mostly Leftists with good intentions on making everybody’s life as awful as possible but in a “Workers Paradise”.

Where is a big financial crisis when one sorely needs it? 😎

0 replies on “The Pop Psychology Of Climate Change”

In the anti-neoliberalism book “The Gods That Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future”, there’s a very interesting section analysing why the left didn’t stop the madness.

It pointed out that around about 1968, the middle-class left turned its back on the workers (which it viewed as too materialistic) in favour of phoney “proletariats” – either those who could not answer back (children and animals were mentioned, though the natural environment is another obvious one) – or those whose membership could be drawn from the middle-class left itself (women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals).

The financial crisis is the next step in this whole thing and so won’t derail it at all wherever your irony lies. Gordon’s now sprinting towards a new world order through the banking crisis and taking Douglas’ point it’ll be interesting to see how I, R and C react on that front first. A global financial system will lay the foundations for many of the climate plans. World government is frequently the cry of those who couldn’t get Kyoto to work.

I don’t agree it’s a leftist thing, this is about totalitarianism in all its guises.

Your point number 7 has had a long and even overt incubation, cue:

“The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
– Club of Rome

Other interesting quotes at and I have verified the one above by buying the book off amazon.

I think there are a few other non-political bits of pop psychology

1. the natural world had harmonious stability and we’re threatening that now. This was previously bolstered by that same harmony coming from God’s design.

2. there would appear to be an element of eschatology within the perfect storm either driven by religion and the end of days, or sheer pessimism.

3. there’s a hard-wired salvationist mentality which drives people as well – I’m just reading “the god that failed” about communistic fervour and how six high profile figures relented – fascinating stuff. Gore is the bible bashing priest damning us all to hell unless we listen and act.

Geoff – the grauniad blog-commenting is hard work – you’ve clearly got more stamina than me, the level of debate is so crass that it’s nice to stretch your brain over here a bit.

Does anybody else think there is also some echo of the aftermaths of the 1960’s riots, the King and Kennedys assassinations, and of the Vietnam war?

In or about June 1968, human character changed“. Well, in the West at least…

You forgot to mention the desire for a world government and Chirac did say that Kyoto was a step in that direction. They need a worldwide problem to motivate people or scare people into accepting a worldwide solution which will then morph into a worldwide government. India, China, Russia, and others seem not to be too eager for global governance.

Who could disagree? (No irony intended).
You really do raise some important points about the psychology of climate warmers. I could reply at greater length, but I prefer to waste the finite time that is left to me on this earth in blogging at the sites of Guardian Environment (potential readership 400,000). The level of debate is pathetic, but that’s democracy for you..

Pop psychology or pop-politics? Isn’t this just the “watermelon” theory so popular among American conservatives – that greens are red on the inside – Marxists in disguise? Though I’m politically poles apart from them, I’m willing to accept that it’s probably true of many global warming activists.
The problem with linking the rise of red/green global warming with the demise of the USSR is that the global warming movement is strongest in the Anglo-Saxon countries, where communism and worship or the USSR was practically non-existent. (The reasons for this have been admirably explained by the French demographer Emmanuel Todd, who predicted the fall of the Soviet Union back in 1976).
There would certainly seem to be a statistical correlation between busybodiness/control-freakery, left-wing politics, and carbon-capping global warming hysteria. The direction of causality may be different for different people. I’d trace it back to some common psychological cause.
Climate Resistance have long argued that AGW is filling a vacuum in modern politics, but they see the vacuum on both sides of the political “divide” and argue that the green movement’s leftist credentials are spurious.
The one part of your post I really would take issue with is your apparent welcoming of the current economic crisis as something to keep Leftists occupied. OK, I know you’re being tongue-in cheek, but, however the crisis develops (and no sane person would claim to be able to predict that) its clear that the people worst affected are not going to be those responsible, or those who have benefited from the years of plenty. (First workers in useful productive industries, then pensioners …) You often hear the argument: “What we need is a good recession..” (to limit pollution, rampant consumerism, or whatever). This time I think the situation is too serious for irony.

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