Via The Corner, something I always knew deep down, but never had succinctly coalesced into a single paragraph.
In 1999, Cass Sunstein wrote an article in the Harvard Law Review entitled “The Law of Group Polarization.” Its thesis was simple:
In a striking empirical regularity, deliberation tends to move groups, and the individuals who compose them, toward a more extreme point in the direction indicated by their own predeliberation judgments. For example, people who are opposed to the minimum wage are likely, after talking to each other, to be still more opposed; people who tend to support gun control are likely, after discussion, to support gun control with considerable enthusiasm; people who believe that global warming is a serious problem are likely, after discussion, to insist on severe measures to prevent global warming. This general phenomenon — group polarization – has many implications for economic, political, and legal institutions. It helps to explain extremism, “radicalization,” cultural shifts, and the behavior of political parties and religious organizations; it is closely connected to current concerns about the consequences of the Internet; it also helps account for feuds, ethnic antagonism, and tribalism.
I suppose this explains why extreme measures such as erecting thousands of expensive and sometimes operating windmills that blight the landscape, are often attractive to the global warming movement.
Imagine the howling if somebody wanted thousands of natural gas well derricks on the same plot of land in California, yet they would produce far more energy and help far more people, at a lower cost.