Crop circles and contrarians

Back in the 1990s, before the Internet created the self-sustaining parallel universe now inhabited by Republicans and their sympathisers, the task of casting doubt on climate science fell to a group of thinktanks and lobby groups. The most active was the Global Climate Coalition, funded by an array of industry groups, notably including motor and oil companies. Since climate delusions never die, a large number of the factoids now circulating among those who absurdly refer to themselves as “skeptics” can be traced back to the GCC and its FUD machine.

As reported by the New York Times, a recent court case allows us a peek behind the curtain at the (now-disbanded GCC). It turns out that even as the Global Climate Coalition was promoting delusional claims, its own scientists were advising that they would not stand up to scrutiny.

You might think that a chapter-and-verse demonstration of how the trick was performed might shock some self-styled “sceptics” into the realisation that they had displayed credulous gullibility. But at this point delusionists are like believers in alien-generated crop circles. It doesn’t matter if the tricksters who made the circles confess, and even show how it was done. As George Bush might have said of these guys “Fool them once, and they stay fooled”.

82 thoughts on “Crop circles and contrarians

  1. Sean#73 says
    “Thats not science MrQ its fariy tales. Ill let you get back to your models and bell curves.”

    OK so we should all just take Jen Maro’s word for the state of the environment (which is rosy) with no research at all eh (Jen doesnt do any)? Lets just buy a subscription to the IPA and re-engineer our own minds to receive the “stream of consciousness” style which tells us to believe that all science is wrong, all peers are not experts, all peer reviewed journals are really a left wing conspiracy and all science and all scientific method is bad science.

    What an incredible relief Sean – neither you or I have to think any more. The freedom of it all!!. I can see why it appeals to libertarians. Freedom from thinking! We can just tune out, turn off and drop out of academic debates entirely! Come to think of it – a few lines of dogma from IPA will get you out of a scientific debate as well. We dont need no ejucation!

    (irony all the way).

  2. Oh someone has whipped that link out JQ!

    Oh as for Lavoisier — ewwww, money money money. One of their directors used to be at the golden table at Mayne Nickless. I used to work for them. Shame they ran MN into the ground with pipedream expansions shortly before the 91 recession, or he might still be gainfully employed. The execs at MN did expect silver service and King Island cheeses plus all afternoon in the corporate boardroom in Melbourne – must have got a bit lazy I think. Now he appears be consulting for the Lavoisier group and a bit desperate for his old lifestyle. Why else would he bother ($$ for retirement not necessary).

  3. Concerning your extended analogy to “crop circles”, it is true that two old guys “confessed” to making 1000’s of such pictures all across England, late at night while no one was looking, yet never getting caught.

    But when asked to make a crop circle of their own under media scrutiny, they were completely unable to do so. It looked like a drunk had been wandering around.

    And the very place where most crop circles appear, near Avebury and Silbury Hill, was a location they had never visited.

    “True knowledge is much easier pretended to than acquired” (John Locke, 1690).

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