Orwell 2.0: Anti-Science Forces Using Tactics They Denounce
The climate change Deniers have pulled a rather clever feat by invoking Orwell in order to hoodwink the public in the very manner which they claim to be trying to expose. All in all it’s fairly impressive to be using the very technique you claim to be warning people against in order to con them.
In Orwell’s novel 1984 the government keeps the populace obedient with the threat of an undoubtedly fictitious “Brotherhood”, a supposed terrorist/resistance organization. Everything that goes wrong is blamed on the Brotherhood, and every repressive measure is deemed to be necessary because of the Brotherhood. The threat of the “Brotherhood” justifies total control and the frightened populace mindlessly cooperates.
In the Denier narrative “climate change” is a fiction created by progressives as an excuse for creating one world government. We use this supposedly fictional threat as a means to frighten people into cooperating with creating the institutions and mechanisms we need for world dominance. To them, climate change is our metaphoric ‘brotherhood.’
Of course it is this conspiracy theory itself that is the fiction, and the Deniers are using it to frighten that part of the populace who are so afraid of big government that they will reflexively reject anything deemed to be associated with it, including scientific facts.
Of course conspiracy theories are a critical part of anti-science denialism. The various climate change Denier conspiracy theories have been mapped by Frankbi. The network of organized and funded Denierism that promoted this narrative is well documented in a recent 185 pg report Two Decades of Climate Anti-Science by John Mashey, and parts of the network are mapped by Frankbi and Greenpeace.
But then here I am alleging a conspiracy to explain their claims of a conspiracy … who should one believe? Aye, there’s the rub. Of course there is the fact that the Denier network is well documented and a matter of record, whereas the Denier’s claims of conspiracy consist of speculation, innuendo and fantasy.
However, other than the climate obsessed like myself, who is going to read Mashey’s report and the other documentation? Even if you are willing to take it on faith that the world government conspiracy is a fiction, how can you convince others who sincerely do not know who or what to believe? Certainly they don’t have time to wade through all of the documentation, much less double check that it is indeed accurate.
To the extent that the Denier claims are credible, they are so because they take advantage of peoples naivete about science generally, and climate science in particular. Thanks to our appalling education system, and even more appalling mass media, there is a perception that climate change is a relatively new idea advanced by a small handful of scientists, mostly US based.
In fact the basic science is almost two centuries old, much work has been done throughout the last century by many different groups of scientists from all over the world. Our current understanding of climate change is based on tens of thousands of studies by scientists from almost every nation on earth.
Which leaves people with one of two possibilities, and they can decide which they believe
As Mashey’s report documents:
- that certain powerful interests fund lobbyists and shills to pose as think tanks and scientists who push the same kinds of disinformation and confusion that they learned when trying to undermine the science behind tobacco and health;
- These fables are picked up and propagated by a network of frightened, and frankly unbelievably gullible people who also make up the teabagger and evolution denier crowd
- In order to create the perception of controversy and for other reasons the popular media frequently portrays these people and ideas as credible;
- tens of thousands of scientists from many nations have been falsifying their work for almost 150 yrs to create the illusion of global climate change;
- This conspiracy necessarily involves the millions of scientists from 110 nations who are part of, or review the work of those who did the research. In addition there are the many bureaucrats, administrators, science journal publishers, etc who obviously have to be part of the cover-up; many millions of people in all.
Which seems the more credible?
Seen in this light the Denier claim is exposed as ridiculous in the extreme, but that has not prevented it from being effective. The conspiracy to create the impression of a non-existent conspiracy is a neat double bind. How does one talk about this fraud without seeming as paranoid and delusional as the Deniers are?
Which is not to suggest that the Deniers have an agenda for world domination, at least with respect to the issue of climate change. They will be satisfied if their use of Orwell 2.0 succeeds in preventing, or at least delaying any meaningful action on climate.
Unfortunately if they succeed the world will not be worth dominating.