Look for more of this. Switching from Denial, to Adaptation, to “The End of Days”

September 23, 2012


We’ve seen Exxon-Mobil signal they are officially throwing in the towel on denying that greenhouse gases will warm the climate. Company CEO Rex Tillerson tells us that climate change is “an engineering problem” that we can “adapt to”. So look for that to emerge as a meme among climate deniers who may be chastened after coming elections, (or climate disasters, whichever comes first).

But, a warning – as the inevitable recognition that all is not well sets in, be on the lookout for another variety of science denial tailored to the “Left Behind” crowd. Climate Change, in this formulation,  is not a result of greenhouse gases, but rather comes from God’s anger with the gay, muslim, socialist rays emanating from the White House, New York, and Los Angeles.

And it’s not computer modeled, it’s “prophecied”.

To be precise, this comes in several flavors, including one I ran into at a recent speaking event – the new age “earth changes” the “magnetic field is changing Nasa scientists say so” brand, so look out for that one, too.

Right Wing Watch:

Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, who blamed freak bird deaths on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and predicted that the Obama
administration’s support for LGBT rights will lead to a blizzard and the exposure of a major government scandalwarned Jim Bakker last week that more disasters are coming to America thanks to President Obama’s leadership. Jacobs told Bakker that she prophesied “that God had seen decisions made from our White House that were anti-biblical and that we were going to come into the season of the greatest weather patterns and disasters that we had seen, there were going to be floods and fires and more, and it all happened.”

She claimed that 2011 “historically was the worst year for weather-related disasters in our history, and I was mocked everywhere for that because they don’t understand spiritual things.” “We are going to have more weather disasters, it’s going to come up worse and worse, it’s not going to stop,” Jacobs contended.

Advertisement

33 Responses to “Look for more of this. Switching from Denial, to Adaptation, to “The End of Days””

  1. omnologos Says:

    You are a conspiracy theorist (and a serial finder of.strange people)

    • MorinMoss Says:

      Those strange people are very, very influential.
      Did you watch the Republican debates? You do realize that any of those people could, one day, be POTUS, right?

      If you believe otherwise, you likely don’t know much about the CinC who preceded the incumbent.

      • omnologos Says:

        They lost didn’t they?

        • MorinMoss Says:

          I see you didn’t put much effort into researching this – perhaps being omnivorous isn’t working for you?

          The fact that they lost doesn’t mean they or others like them can’t run again or win.
          Some of them had very enthusiastic support and ALL of them easily trounced more qualified opponents such as Jon Huntsman.

          Despite Obama’s decisive victory over McCain, the most extreme fringe of the rightwingnuts scored the largest upset in the House of Reps since ’38 and took control.

          More importantly for the next and possibly future elections, the Republicans won a number of gubernatorial and state legislature contests and have been using that newfound leverage to undercut Democratic support by union-busting and voter suppression.
          And most of those victorious governors are clones of clowns like Rick Perry.

          Since US presidents cannot rule by decree, an Obama victory could be hollow if the Democratic losses of the 2008 – 2010 elections are not reversed.

          It would also mean that even a razor thin Romney win would be very decisive and the only weapon the Dems would have against the Teabagger agenda would be their control of the Senate – if they keep it.

    • bje Says:

      Omnologos, I recall your conspiracy theory that climate science had advanced so far as to cause the world’s climate scientists to become collectively deluded simultaneously into believing AGW is real. That was a doozer.

      • omnologos Says:

        bje: AGW as a conspiracy of the idiots? I can’t recall making such an accusation, but it’d surely be a great inspiration for a theatre play.

        • bje Says:

          Omnologos,

          Granted, it was two years ago, but to refresh your memory your conspiracy theory came under the heading: “From a purely logical point of view, AGW (and especially, catastrophic AGW) can almost certainly be disproved using the argument ad providentiam.”

          It took you making a list of 66 “implausible coincidences” to make your conspiracy theory sound plausible to those susceptical to such things. Usually, 2 – 3 items are all that are necessary to convince conspiracy theorists.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      you’re going to give me a set up like that?

  2. NevenA Says:

    I’m still expecting a swift and silent switch from denial to geoengineering. WUWT meets AMEG.

    ” (and a serial finder of.strange people)”

    And some of those come all by themselves and strangely enough, keep coming back. 😛

  3. uknowispeaksense Says:

    This was a topic of morning tea discussion at my university just last week amongst those of us in the environmental science school. More and more we expect to see the “geoengineering our way out of climate disaster” meme. I guess if it does start to emerge it’s better than straight out denial, but only just. As for the fundies, those idiots secretly pray for disaster, I’m sure of it.
    And Peter, rather than a serial seeker of strange people as claimed by the usually cryptic omno, some might argue you tend to attract a few.

    • omnologos Says:

      I am learning more here about funny Americans with very strange beliefs than from anywhere else. This reminds me of that “parents” organization that decided to protect children and combat sexual depravity in TV programmes by making a (freely available to all) video that was…a combination of sexual depravity in TV programmes (IOW the children were put at even greater “risk” of literally seeing it all).

      Anyway…I have been finding skeptics in favor of adaptation for a long time on the ‘net (at least five years) so it would be doubtful if the discourse were piloted that way by Exxon.

      OTOH I still have to find anybody crazy enough to be skeptical AND a supporter of climate change geoengineering. But I may be wrong.

  4. rayduray Says:

    Susan Jacobs: “…claimed that 2011 “historically was the worst year for weather-related disasters in our history, and I was mocked everywhere for that because they don’t understand spiritual things.” “We are going to have more weather disasters, it’s going to come up worse and worse, it’s not going to stop,” Jacobs contended.”

    Ms. Jacobs is half-right. 2011 was a record setting year for the number and the cost of weather related disasters.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/noaa-2011-sets-record-for-billion-dollar-weather-disasters/2011/12/07/gIQAjD9kcO_blog.html

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html?entrynum=1981

    Proof for Ms. Jacobs claim that a sky god is angry with earthly sinners remains in short supply.

  5. Martin Lack Says:

    Leon Festinger would be spining in his grave. Is anyone going to write the sequel to When Prophecy Fails…? Unfortunately, correlation is not proof of causation; and any similarity between prophecy and reality is purely co-incidence (and/or devilish blame-shifting).

    Someone once said that to Err is human but to screw-up completely you need a computer. However, this is clearly nonsense because – God is not judging the World – this SNAFU is entirely caused by humans.

  6. Nick Carter Says:

    I called the number they showed for the stainless steel bottles and it’s disconnected. I’m Pissed!

  7. rayduray Says:

    Those who enjoy Peter Sinclair’s sendup to the naked climate denier might also enjoy this sendup to the Creationist who took on the Science Guy:

  8. skeptictmac57 Says:

    I especially am fascinated by those who simultaneously think that there is no way that humans could possibly cause changes in Earth’s climate,and that we can easily modify it if anything does go wrong.

    • rayduray Says:

      Bravo! You’ve got my vote for best comment of the week. 🙂

      For these folks, hypocrisy is a feature, not an annoyance.

    • Martin Lack Says:

      I find myself agreeing with rayduray once again; that was an excellent observation, skepticmac57.

      I think the most-stupid thing about claiming that humans cannot have an impact on the Earth’s climate is that we almost certainly started to do just that when we invented deforestation 16k years ago.

      • rayduray Says:

        Martin,

        Perhaps this is a good moment to interject that the hole in the ozone was discovered during Reagan’s right wing reign. What did they do? Certainly not what the Heartland Institute or WUWT are doing today. No, Reagan fixed the problem (or at least set us on a course so things wouldn’t get worse).

        I’m in complete astonishment that the Republicans have gone from moderately greedy yet intelligent adults thirty years ago to utterly greedy, anti-science yet cunning kindergartners today. Evolution isn’t supposed to work this way. Oh, wait. Bad example. They reject evolution, too. 😦

  9. skeptictmac57 Says:

    “Evolution isn’t supposed to work this way.”
    Ray,I know that you were teasing a bit with your comment,but in fact you have touched on something useful.
    Evolution,of course,doesn’t move in a linear direction from something “worse” to something “better” in human terms,but instead follows a pattern of what succeeds over what fails.This is an important distinction, and what AGW opponents have made good use of, is strategies that,while they may be completely and utterly lacking in reality,they are none the less successful.
    This has been a hard lesson for the ‘reality based community’ to swallow,but now that we are beginning to grasp that concept,we need to find methods to deal with it while not compromising ourselves,and I think that this website and Peter are on the right track.

    • rayduray Says:

      Re: “I think that this website and Peter are on the right track.”

      Well, I could make a crack about Peter being more of a car guy than a track guy here. I’ll just point out that since the 1980s, Portland Oregon has made the decision to become well-adapted to the 21st Century when long strings of automobiles burning up $10/gal. gasoline in stalled traffic jams will seem in equal parts quaint and idiotic. No matter how many electric vehicles are also in the queue. Because it will still be a traffic jam when all that nonsense could be ended. Portland’s light rail metro system is now so advanced that they’re actually permitting high rise residential construction in the urban core, with no provision for the parking of individually owned automobiles. This must have the car culture crazies going even more mad than usual. Visit the city of the future:

    • rayduray Says:

      Re: “…strategies that,while they may be completely and utterly lacking in reality,they are none the less successful.
      This has been a hard lesson for the ‘reality based community’ to swallow”

      As a certified member of the reality-based comm… ies, I found this current New Yorker article about “The Lie Factory” to be absolutely fascinating and marvelously comprehensive about how morally ambiguous cheerleaders have taken over our once respectable nation and turned the U.S. into the world’s leading laughingstock:

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/24/120924fa_fact_lepore

      Here’s my favorite passage from the article:

      [COPY]

      Subtlety is your enemy. “Words that lean on the mind are no good,” according to Baxter. “They must dent it.” Simplify, simplify, simplify. “A wall goes up,” Whitaker warned, “when you try to make Mr. and Mrs. Average American Citizen work or think.”

      Fan flames. “We need more partisanship in this country,” Whitaker said. Never shy from controversy; instead, win the controversy. “The average American doesn’t want to be educated; he doesn’t want to improve his mind; he doesn’t even want to work, consciously, at being a good citizen,” Whitaker advised. “But there are two ways you can interest him in a campaign, and only two that we have ever found successful.” You can put on a fight (“he likes a good hot battle, with no punches pulled”), or you can put on a show (“he likes the movies; he likes mysteries; he likes fireworks and parades”): “So if you can’t fight, PUT ON A SHOW! And if you put on a good show, Mr. and Mrs. America will turn out to see it.”

      Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/24/120924fa_fact_lepore#ixzz27WU4qqai

      • skeptictmac57 Says:

        Ray,
        Thanks for pointing me to that article,it was truly eye opening.I had never heard of Whitaker and Baxter,but it seems as though they wrote the playbook that has, in large part, distorted the real democratic process in our country.
        So much of that could have been written referring to the last 4 years,rather than 60 years ago.
        I kept thinking “This story needs the full ‘Ken Burns treatment’. I can just imagine the old photos and news reels with Peter Coyote’s narration laying out the sordid details in full measure for all to ponder and draw comparisons to what we have witnessed in the last couple of decades.Sad…
        The last paragraph really grabbed me,where they interviewed Leone Baxter in the 1960’s :

        She was also asked, “Does political public relations actually transfer political power into the hands of those who exercise it?”
        “It certainly could and has in some instances,” she said, carefully. “In this profession of leading men’s minds, this is the reason I feel it must be in the hands of the most ethical, principled people—people with real concern for the world around them, for people around them—or else it will erode into the hands of people who have no regard for the world around them. It could be a very, very destructive thing.”

  10. rayduray Says:

    My dear Mr. 57,

    Re: “I had never heard of Whitaker and Baxter,but it seems as though they wrote the playbook that has, in large part, distorted the real democratic process in our country. ”

    Similarly, I had not known about Campaigns, Inc. until I read the Jill Lepore article.

    They were part of a much larger world of persuasion, propaganda and pandering to the public’s worst instincts that included such self-promoting and prominent scoundrels as Edward Bernays. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays His book “Propaganda” written in 1928 was credited by the Nazi propaganda minister as a model for their rise to power and control of the German psyche. So much for Leone Baxter’s 1960 claim about how the so called ‘right people’ need to be in charge of the propaganda. I’m certain that Leone Baxter and Cliff Whitaker would have been quite comfortable in Germany in the 1930s. The Nazis’ enemies there were Whitaker and Baxter’s enemies here.

    There’s a couple of other books and documentaries you might want to be sure to be aware of. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman wrote “Manufacturing Consent” in 1988 about the persuasion industry. There’s a Canadian documentary based on the book:

    More to follow.

    • rayduray Says:

      To continue…

      Another Canadian documentary worth noting with regard to the mendacity and self-serving nature of public relations and the corporate structure is Mark Achbar’s “The Corporation”. This film is where I learned that the Nazis had employed IBM to provide the punch card technology used to register and keep track of the prisoners at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and other concentration camps. IBM was perfectly happy that its punch cards and equipment were used in this fashion. In fact, IBM sued in a U.S. court for final payment for this equipment and services rendered at the end of WW II. IBM was awarded full payment, including profit in 1947.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: