A Short History of Climatism in Google Ngrams

Guest essay by Ari Halperin

Google Books Ngrams tracks how frequently certain words and short phrases appeared in printed books from 1800 through 2008. Such data may serve as an indication of public interest in a specific topic, subject to obvious limitations, which makes Google Ngrams a useful tool for historical research. One should keep in mind that books related to a particular event are likely to appear 0.5 – 2 years after the event.

I used Google Ngrams for a short inquiry into the history of climate alarmism. The inquiry confirmed what old skeptics have been saying all the time, and provided a more solid basis to some anecdotal evidence. Here’s a summary of my findings:

1. The alarmists first declared “scientific consensus” in 1988, and have been digging their heels in, persecuting skeptics, and constantly suppressing scientific inquiry since then, just as Richard Lindzen reported in 1992. They have been repeating their mantras and persecuting all other viewpoints.

2. The term “climate change denial” entered the language in 2004 suddenly and without identifiable real-world cause. This is consistent with the existence of a centralized (like Sovinform) or semi-centralized (like al-Qaeda) body, which determines the party line and issues marching orders to writers and activists. Of course, a single phrase does not prove this, but there is multiple other evidence to that effect.

3. As the alleged “scientific consensus” has grown in the last 30 years, the national consensus has declined.

4. Before global warming hysteria, there was a global cooling hysteria.

5. “Greenhouse gases” is an Orwellian Newspeak phrase, popularized by the alarmists to confuse the public, and thus does not belong in the English language. Infrared absorbing gases might be better. On the other hand, the greenhouse effect is an old scientific term, which became misinterpreted by people who are familiar with neither agriculture nor science.

6. An even worse offender is the term “carbon pollution,” which seems silly rambling at first sight, but acquires a very ominous meaning when used by the Obama administration with John Holdren as science czar.


The phrase scientific consensus was not frequently used before the age of climate alarmism. Where actual scientific consensus exists, nobody talks about it. In the areas where no such consensus exists… scientists simply work. I have never heard of scientific consensus on the law of conservation of energy, probably the most fundamental and undisputable law of nature. There is a small group of amateurs who do not understand or dismiss it, but nobody proposes we jail them or even calls them “deniers.” As the following figure shows, less than 0.2% of all occurrences of the word consensus were in the phrase scientific consensus prior to 1988. Suddenly, since the global launch of climate alarmism at the 1988 Toronto conference, the use of this phrase surged and continued to climb until 1997 (Kyoto protocol). The next large uptick started in 2004, possibly because the leaders of the climate alarmism movement fully understood that the science was not on their side. By 2008, the frequency of scientific consensus had increased four-fold compared with the pre-alarmism days. Combining this Ngrams data with other readily available information (like the results of a Google search for the phrase “scientific consensus”) allows us to confidently attribute this increase to the alarmists’ efforts to suppress independent inquiry.



Fig. 1. Growth in the use of the term scientific consensus compared with consensus, showing steep increases in 1988-1990 and 2004-2008.

Unfortunately, as the fake scientific consensus has been growing, the phrase national consensus has been declining (Fig. 2). It is hard to write this off as merely coincidence. But I am not certain of cause–effect relations. It is possible that the spread of climate alarmism has contributed to political polarization, or that the increasing political polarization allowed climate alarmism to flourish



Fig. 2. Increase in the use of term scientific consensus in lockstep with decline in the use of term national consensus.

The term climate change denial is strange on its own: skeptics do not deny “climate change,” but rather debate its nature, definition, magnitude, causes, and consequences. But the really striking thing is how the use of this incoherent term skyrocketed after it first entered book publication in 2004. Just in 2007 alone its use increased 7 times! This term did not appear because of some real-world event. Instead, somebody made it up, then ensured that it stuck and spread. This suggests the existence of a centralized or semi-centralized body behind climate alarmism, making decisions on strategy and messaging and then passing these decisions down. Foot soldiers and even lieutenants do not need to know the process, and the marching orders might be conveyed in the form of recommendations. One small example is this Media Matters article, which provides instructions in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Media Matters is just one component of George Soros’ shadowy political empire. And Soros is not necessarily a member of the decision-making body, whatever he thinks himself.


Fig. 3. Climate change denial suddenly entered books in 2004, and then its use skyrocketed.

As Tim Ball noticed in his recent article, by 2004 the climate pseudo-scientists had noticed the lack of warming and were complaining that “global warming freezing is already a bit of a public relations problem with the media.” In response, Fenton Communications, a PR firm for ultra-left causes, created realclimate.org. The renewed popularity of the term scientific consensus also started in 2004.

Before the global warming hysteria started, there was concern about global cooling, sometimes promoted by the same individuals and organizations that later embraced global warming. Fig. 4 shows more mentions of global cooling than global warming in the literature published between 1974 and 1977.



Fig. 4. Global cooling vs. global warming, 1960-1985.

The ignorant and misleading terms greenhouse gases and greenhouse gas entered the public vocabulary only around the birth of climate alarmism (Villach, 1985), and their usage has increased with the growing alarm, as shown in Fig. 5. An ordinary city dweller knows that real greenhouses contain warm air, enriched with carbon dioxide. The use of the term greenhouse gases together with global warming is intended to trick us into connecting carbon dioxide to warming. But most men know that carbon dioxide is added to a greenhouse atmosphere to facilitate plants’ growth, while the roof and the walls of the greenhouse keep it warm by preventing air convection. Carbon dioxide does not warm greenhouses. It is hard to believe, but some credentialed academics have recently come up with new variants of this trick: claiming that the glass roofs of the greenhouses trap infrared radiation or calling the infrared absorbing gases “heat-trapping”: both claims are either from ignorance or a malicious attempt to disregard heat transfer from the Earth’s surface by convection and evaporation.



Fig. 5. The terms greenhouse gases and greenhouse gas in books – they were practically unused before 1975, started to appear with global warming concerns in the late 1970, skyrocketed in usage from 1988 – 1992, and continued to grow through 2008.

An even worse offender is the term carbon pollution. It started creeping into American English simultaneously with global warming concerns. Its use has been soaring since – you guess – 2004.


Fig. 6. Use of the phrase carbon pollution

120 thoughts on “A Short History of Climatism in Google Ngrams

  1. Good analysis of the “conspiracy theory” as claimed by MSM. The trend in climate realist growth really took off in the US when carbon dioxide was declared a pollutant. Only chutzpah and ignorance by the government led them to think they could make people believe such nonsense….by decree!

  2. I remember when “scientific consensus” was a pejorative. We need to bring that back. It was an early victim of the politicization of weather and climate and the rate of invocation is probably a close match to the availability of government funding to establish global warming as a sustainable fear in the public’s mind.

    • similar graphs showing the level of funding and the increase in the number of climate scientists would explain the difference between the global cooling and global warming search hits i reckon, as a percentage of the climate scientists of the relative time periods.

    • I have never heard of scientific consensus on the law of conservation of energy, probably the most fundamental and undisputable law of nature.

      Indisputable, except in climatology where very idea of a “global mean surface temperature” denies the conservation of energy. We now have an international treaty bound to ensuring a quantity whose calculation denies the most fundamental law of physical science be controlled by reducing a radiative ‘forcing’.

      Anyone who questions that is accused of denying science or being “anti-science”.

      Nothing but projection, if we want to play are bar-room psychology.

      • https://climategrog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/are-land-sea-averages-meaningful-2/
        A typical equation for the definition of the settled change in temperature in response to a change in radiative ‘forcing’ F has the form:

        ∆F = λ * ∆T + ∆N ; where ∆N is the change in top-of-atmosphere radiation.

        λ is the reciprocal of climate sensitivity ( CS ) . A more realistic model to asses the effect of differing responses would be :

        ∆F = α * λland * ∆Tland + (1 – α) * λsea * ∆Tsea + ∆N

      • Actually, the law of Conservation of Energy was ‘disproved’ by Einstein with the famous formula E=MC2. It is now the law of conservation of Mass/Energy (Mass + Energy) since mass can convert into energy.

  3. The Progressive recipe is simple:

    1) Establish a JournoList for the selected messengers.
    2) Once they start broadcasting their coordinated message, “all right-thinking people”*) will follow.

    *) Robert Heinlein TM)

  4. This is fantastic fun.
    Can we have prizes for the one that depicts the strangest trends in scientific thought?
    Here I can demonstrate that the slow death of the concept of the luminiferous ether lead eventually to it’s replacement with the space-time continuum.
    But that nobody could cope with the transition!!! :)

  5. Now the task is: find the originators and show clearly who they are. It is the first couple of months that counts! This could be very revealing, especially if it’s the same source.

  6. “Greenhouse Gas(es)”? Really? Bit retro isn’t it? Shouldn’t it be, “Climate-Change Gases”, at this point? Come on, we’re in the Anthropocene now, dump your old 1980s pastel socks and jocks.

  7. What an interesting article. Thanks Ari.

    Tracking the arrival and growth of such bastardized phrases as “climate change denier” and “carbon pollution” is a great exercise in tracking the message. So who are the message makers ? I loved the Fenton link. They are certainly part of the roll out machine.

    Who is instructing the message makers ? Who buys their services ?
    These are the types of questions that logically roll around in a skeptics mind. For me, the easiest meandering is that top tier money is behind the movement. Where is the greatest wealth concentration in America ? Academia is a major soldier in this charade. Where are the top tier universities … the Ivys?
    The little adventure then takes me to where are the most influential NGOs?

    The Boston area keeps popping up as the hub of CAGW based on the above meanderings.
    So who are the leaders in the Boston circles of wealth and academia?
    The puppet masters.

    Is anyone aware of someone who might have taken this deeper ?

    • Ari posted a great article with great links. The Fenton story is a gripper, as was the Media Watch and Soros stories. That kept me busy all evening. So I bookmarked the link
      that hosted them all. Good God, what a wealth of info.
      There goes many more evenings.

      • When in doubt follow the money. When you need to double check your investigation, follow the money.

        CAGW would be nothing more than a failed charade if it wasn’t for the orchestrated support of organizations like MM. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just a fact that they offered an central hub for wealthy “investors” to promote their own brand of priorities.

        The power of the skeptics position is noted. Despite the fact that their opponent is well funded and organized, skepticism has gained ground among the masses.

        The flaw in the MM approach is they assumed the public really is that stupid. They aren’t, but it does take time for them to wade thru the nonsense. The art to the battle is holding off the well organized puppet masters while they do so.

        Great link. Thanks for it.

  8. Well done, Ari. These talking points are all the average science-illiterate citizen alarmist have to use in their arsenal. Perhaps one could research “muzzled scientists” and “science deniers” amongst the dross, terms popular in Canada during 2015, and trotted out at every opportunity by the meme-infested left wingnuts who took over Alberta and Ottawa.

    • I’ve been formally labeled a “Science Denier” since 2012, even though both of my kids attended one of CBE’s 2 Science schools for several years. Those science denying kids of mine are fortunately honors students who confided to me more than once that the majority of thier peers are also science deniers. I have hope for our future.

      • My kids and their peers had it worked out too – and without any input from me. The whole thing looks pretty stupid to anyone with an independent brain anyway but the screechy Inquisition-style ‘denier/heretic’ meme is just pure comedy to any normal kid who hasn’t been brainwashed by lefty-green parents.

  9. I think that I’ve hit the jackpot. Climate change and global warming are responsible for …wait for it…attention hyperactivity deficit disorder.
    And a tipping point has been reached – such that ADHD has decoupled and is accelerating independently.
    Nobody could conceivably argue with this evidence:

      • All of our kids had one speed, ahead full. One was ADHD. While boxing his ears got his attention we found just touching his shoulder before giving an instruction was all that was needed to get him to behave.

        Our youngest benefited the most of parenting classes needed for dealing with ADHD. He got in trouble the last week of fifth grade. It had been so long since he had needed a good scolding. I remembered that I used to have that skill. Then I remembered the training and made write an essay describing his plan to stay out of trouble.

        His older brother witnessed the even in school. The problems was zero tolerance mentality of school administrators not bad behavior. Unfortunately, that is the system that our kids have to cope with.

  10. The renewed attempt to explain real greenhouses in terms of glass trapping IR simply returns the Greenhouse effect theory back to its roots with Arrhenius and musings over hot boxes. The 1909 Woods experiment clearly showing that heating doesn’t occur through “back radiation” has not stopped believers from selling their snake oil.

    • wickedwenchfan February 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      … The 1909 Woods experiment clearly showing that heating doesn’t occur through “back radiation” has not stopped believers from selling their snake oil.

      Nor should it have stopped them. See my post called The R. W. Wood Experiment for the reasons why.


  11. Can’t wait for Naiomi Oreskes to claim this proves her point.After all she is THE historian of climate change.

  12. It’s so simple. Micheal Mann was busy looking to fit his tree-ring density graph with the late twentieth century emissions.
    But, in fact, the perfect hockey stick can be derived from his own name searched in Google books.
    To be honest, this only took me five minutes.
    And it’s a “perfect fit” with “industrial pollutants” and “climate warming”.
    Who can argue with that? Forget Muller and his “perfect fit” this is even better than BEST.
    And that, folks, is what we call science:

    • Ahhh, so MM is responsible for ‘climate warming’ and ‘industrial emissions’?
      Perhaps he should keep his mouth closed more.

      • Don’t worry, we’ll just snip that section of the graph off. And then replace it with a graph produced using some other figures derived from a totally different methodology.
        And if we join the two together by doing a tidy little curve fit where they meet, and hide any mention of the “trick” which we have performed – THEN – I expect that nobody will ever notice… :)

  13. The skyrocketing rise in the use of the expression ‘carbon pollution’ in recent years is far and away the biggest issue to me. Carbon dioxide is not carbon, and it is not a pollutant. And the increase is tiny, less than 1 percent of the atmosphere. Yet it is being constantly publicized as a problem greater than ISIS, a problem that threatens to end our civilization. I will fight this till I die.

    • Good for you, John!

      For the science illiterate masses, CO2 is a compound. Carbon is an element. The difference is night and day.

      We exhale CO2 ‘pollution’, at about 40,000 ppm (the air is about 400 ppm). We’re polluting machines! Including the EPA, which should lead by example, and eliminate themselves. Damn polluters!

    • We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
      And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.
      – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, “Woodstock” (written by Joni Mitchell).
      So Carbon is a good as gold!
      But there’s a lot more carbon than gold, and that “pollutant” is the 4th most abundant element in the universe.

      As for us humans, we are 18% carbon (stardust indeed; most of it is made by fusion in sun-like stars). So if the EPA gets to remove that nasty pollutant, what’s left is mostly Hydrogen and Oxygen.
      Which makes us….

      • Oh, sorry, that was the original carbon-free quote from Joni Mitchell.
        Here’s the chemically correct version

      • ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, they took paradise, and put a parking lot.’ More Joni comes to mind.

    • John, the attributable increase to date is one molecule of CO2 for each 10,000 molecules of air.
      One hundredth of one percent.

    • Yep. This bugs me too. As an industrial chemist, I have worked in many mining environments. To hear the lazy swapping of carbon dioxide gas for carbon sticks in my craw.

    • The “increase” that you mention is a key to the hysteria and is the result of the work of the Keelings, father and son, who set up a minoring station high up on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii. Virtually no ne has challenged this site as the most appropriate spot to represent the entire atmosphere of the earth. No one has challenged their methodology. No one has asked why their findings do not correlate with previous measures of CO2 using different methods (some showing over 400 ppm way back in 1940).
      No one has noted that their “curve” appears to be more linear than curvilinear but barely an uptick from fist half to second half. No one has suggested that there might be confounding from the substantial development and CO2 spewing activity surrounding the big island since they began their measurements in the 1950’s. If the Keeling data could be unravelled, it might go a long way toward bursting the scare balloon of “climate change.”
      Four facts about CO2 are in the mix here. First is the presumed “fact” that CO2 as an element in the earth’s atmosphere (measured at 10,000 feet in the middle of the Pacific Ocean) is rising at what seems like an alarming rate. Second, that global development with its associated increase in human-generated CO2 output to the atmosphere is not only increasing but accelerating (with China as the most visible manifestation), usually expressed in thousands of metric tons, which sound scary. The third fact is that the only fully understandable and demonstrable consequence of greatly increasing CO2 is accelerated plant growth.
      Fourth is the fact that, even if contributed by human activity, the increase in CO2 as a contributing proportion of the atmosphere is so tiny as to be laughable. Skeptics should not give a free pass to the Keelings as the originators of the data that warmism so heavily rests it case on.

      • ronhave February 18, 2016 at 8:35 am

        The “increase” that you mention is a key to the hysteria and is the result of the work of the Keelings, father and son, who set up a minoring station high up on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii. Virtually no ne has challenged this site as the most appropriate spot to represent the entire atmosphere of the earth. No one has challenged their methodology. No one has asked why their findings do not correlate with previous measures of CO2 using different methods (some showing over 400 ppm way back in 1940).

        Dear heavens, Ron, please do your homework first. What you call the “minoring station” is actually on Mauna Loa, not Mauna Kea. And lots of people have “challenged this site as the most appropriate spot”, and have “challenged their methodology” and have “asked why their findings do not correlate” with earlier measurements.

        Not only that, but I wrote an entire article on these exact questions, explaining why scientists all over the world use the Mauna Loa data despite folks like you claiming endlessly that it’s no good.

        In that post I also discussed why the Mauna Loa measurements don’t agree with those collected by Beck that you allude to above … and the crowning jewel was when Beck himself showed up and said no, the earlier measurements he collected were NOT directly comparable to Mauna Loa because they were ground-level measurements.

        Read that post, and then come back if you have questions, I’m glad to answer them.

        Best regards,


    • 8-)
      The only way to get rid of “carbon pollution” fears would be to shoot a few choice collections of carbon into the Sun.

  14. Another milestone was Lord Lawson persevering ( i think re-asking 7 times in parliament ) until the British BOM admitted that they were using the wrong stats distribution to calculate the probability that current temps were outside natural variation. After Mann et al, Marcott et al, and Gergis et al went down in flames, the IPCC started to use the terms “high confidence” and “very likely ” and told us to rely on their “expert judgement”. Don’t forget that Al G is spending a lot of money on the best of Madison Ave. This is the result. It is not happening accidentally.

  15. Mmm … interesting post, Art. However, I don’t believe there was necessarily any conspiracy necessary to explain the sudden explosion of a particular term. You say of the term “climate denial”:

    This term did not appear because of some real-world event. Instead, somebody made it up, then ensured that it stuck and spread. This suggests the existence of a centralized or semi-centralized body behind climate alarmism, making decisions on strategy and messaging and then passing these decisions down. Foot soldiers and even lieutenants do not need to know the process, and the marching orders might be conveyed in the form of recommendations.

    You are not looking at the context, which is that the term took off in 2007, well into the Internet era. Consider that a single post on Youtube can get a million views within a few days of posting. This process is called “going viral”. And it seems to happen in a variety of contexts these days—new ideas, new fashions, new words and phrases, new images and videos, any given one can go viral these days and become quite popular almost immediately after introduction.

    I would suggest that’s what happened with the term “climate denier”. It filled a niche so well for assigning guilt to your enemies that it went viral. I see the speed of acceptance as a measure of the weakness of the alarmists, that they were desperate to reverse their ongoing losses.

    In any case, the existence of the phenomena we call “going viral” certainly proves that you don’t need any “centralized or semi-centralized body” of any kind for something to become hugely popular overnight.

    Thanks for all your work, a good post.


    • Tru dat … I had a blast watching ClimateGate explode on Google search hits, then mysteriously disappear for a while from the autosuggest. The interwebz works in weird and wonderful ways :) Question is… does the truth eventually win out? Like central bankers mucking around with economies, these charades can go on for quite a while. At least with economics we know the markets will eventually, and probably violently, readjust back to some semblance of normality. I am not as confident that the climate shenanigans will dissipate as easily.

    • It’s only a printed book search stopping at 2008 and has to be in at least 40 books, so that puts a dampener on net searches.
      Still, “tipping point”takes off in 2000 http://bit.ly/1oLLWe7

      This gives us something to play with !

    • I don’t believe there was necessarily any conspiracy necessary to explain the sudden explosion of a particular term.

      You are absolutely correct. In a couple of books on Indochina, Noam Chomsky* showed that explicit collusion (or government intervention) is not necessary to achieve a coherent propaganda campaign. It happens organically.

      *His political opinions are pretty hard to stomach, even for me, but his research on the media is exemplary.

      • Have you ever checked Chomsky’s statements against his references, commiebob? I have done across many of his books, and found that he lies consistently. Most of his lies make America/Americans look like racist heartless SOBs. Character assassination is a sport for him. I’ll now not take anything he says at face value.

      • Pat Frank says:
        February 18, 2016 at 8:41 am

        Have you ever checked Chomsky’s statements against his references,

        No I haven’t. I just googled on Chomsky lies. There were half a million hits. This one is interesting, it explains a lot.

        In fairness to Chomsky, I first heard about East Timor in one of his books. It took years for the information to come out in the mainstream media. In fact, I have never found that he was factually wrong about anything I actually cared about.

        Notwithstanding the above, I have always discounted many/most of Chomsky’s opinions. Just because someone can supply facts and perform logic, that doesn’t mean the result is accurate. A decent scholar should be able to prove that black is white but we should still have the confidence to know that black is still black and white is still white.

      • Chomsky’s lies about East Timor would involve making the American actors seem like hard-hearted racists with a callous disregard for suffering.

        Indonesia’s interest, by the way, was jihad. The East Timorese are Christian and speak Portuguese.

        If you’d like to see a couple of examples of Chomsky’s technique, I’ve just had an article accepted at The New English Review. It’ll come out around March 1.

        Here’s the title and abstract:
        Title: Progressivism is Hostile to Humanism

        Abstract: Ethical Humanism honors the individual and is the basis of classical liberalism, modern libertarianism. Progressives advertise their program as humanely compassionate, asserting compatibility with Humanism. However, Progressives allied themselves to every single totalitarian state of the 20th century, including Nazi Germany. They have moralized mass murder on the grounds of utopian necessity. Progressive intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn have falsified history and assassinated character to compose politically expedient morality tales. Progressivism’s social justice has censored speech and its educational justice has produced uneducated children and a nation-wide scandal of cheating teachers. Progressive law imposes secular purity, and its economic justice is enforced egalitarianism. These programs are no more than disguised attacks on individual freedom, the eradication of which is primary and necessary to Progressive communal ideology. Its polemics lubricate the slide into tyranny by making unfreedom seem normal and desirable. The belief that Progressivism is compatible with Humanism is a conceptual aberration that grants a soothing delusion of personal virtue while enabling a murderous ideology. Progressivism is mortally hostile to Humanism.

        [Beautiful ideas, looking forward tot he article itself. But “unfreedom” ?? Why not slavery, serfdom, or tribalism? .mod]

      • Thanks, mod. :-)

        Re. your question, people think of their life in terms of freedom. Unfreedom is its negation. I believe that word will resonate more deeply.

        Example: legislation against hate-speech is unfreedom made to seem normal and desirable. That tendency is not covered by concepts of tribalism, slavery, or serfdom.

        Hope you like the article.

      • Pat Frank says:
        February 20, 2016 at 10:17 am

        … Hope you like the article.

        I’m looking forward to reading the article. (My browser’s paranoid security settings aren’t getting along with newenglishreview.org, I may have to boot from a CD to access the content.)

        Chomsky wasn’t wrong all the time. :-) (few people are wrong all the time)

        What I remember getting (back in 1979) from Chomsky’s writings about East Timor was that there was a near genocide going on. It wasn’t getting covered in the MSM because Indonesia was our friend and the-powers-that-be didn’t want to embarass Indonesia. I took it as just another example of realpolitik (I may have been born cynical).

      • Commiebob, thanks, I hope you enjoy it too. :-)

        I’ve set my browser to never remember history but to accept cookies and allow pop-up windows. That has avoided a lot of site problems.

        You’re right, Chomsky isn’t wrong all the time. He’s just malignant all the time.

        It’s not that he mis-relates the facts. He adjusts their meaning by juxtaposing them speciously. He falsely manufactures attitudes by docking or extracting quotes and/or misrepresenting their meaning. His targets end up looking deliberately vile rather than, say, the much more likely negligent or foolish.

        The prejudiced behavior of the MSM during the whole AGW charade makes it hard to suppose that they’d collude with the powers-that-be to cover up a genocide. Indonesia certainly was not the friend of the press, no matter what its relations with the sundry administrations.

        One might even suppose that with Indonesia friendly with both Ford/Kissinger (Republican) through Clinton (Democratic), at one time or another the MSM should have found itself reason to light some partisan fire, no matter which its political view.

        If they ignored the East TImorese holocaust throughout, no matter the partisan opportunity, then the likely culprit is their amoral disinterest not their immoral collusion.

        Your cynicism seems fine to me. It just needs to be extended further, to encompass the willful misrepresentations of irrationally partisan intellectuals.

        Have you ever read Paul Gross and Norman Levitt: “Higher Superstition: the academic left and its quarrels with science”? here

        Or the book of monographs they edited with Martin Lewis, “The Flight from Science and Reason”? here

        If not, your cynical immune response can be thoroughly vaccinated against educated academic idiocy.

        Higher Superstition was the most intensely enjoyable intellectual read, ever.

        I’ve checked the work of ibn Warraq and Christopher Hitchens, too, by the way. I found them to always accurately represent their sources.

    • 1) Not “conspiracy”. Conspiracy implies secrecy, but Climatism has at least two open coordinating centers: IPCC and Climate Action Network. They are strongly interlinked. Analysis of the command and control structure of Climatism is beyond the scope of the article.

      2) Google Ngrams shows the use of phrases in printed books, not on the Internet. But even on the Internet, very few things go viral without a strong marketing effort behind them. Making viral messages is a central theme in the today’s web marketing. But even the most carefully crafted “viral messages” stay on top for only short time, then fade. “Climate denial” and many other alarmist buzzwords had appeared from nowhere and stay.

      There is a lot to think about.

    • On going “viral”–I am reminded of an old (circa 2000) Rush Limbaugh clip of various broadcasters all using the word “gravitas” to describe the selection of Dick Cheney as VP nominee. They were all obviously citing some third party source that they did not mention.

    • I often want to ask people who apparently believe “conspiracy” is some sort of rarity; What in the world makes them think that? It appears to me to be the result of the single most successful brainwashing campaign of our time . .

      • Perfect timing JK. I’ve begun to look at really big lies as a communications strategy where the lie is so big, the questioning of it immediately is assumed to be conspiratorial.

        Slapping a counter argument with the conspiracy label always pauses me … it’s hard to recover credibility if associated with that type of “person”.

        I’m working on observing what I do when I’m “paused” in that fashion.

  16. This suggests the existence of a centralized or semi-centralized body behind climate alarmism, making decisions on strategy and messaging and then passing these decisions down.

    Maybe, maybe not.
    Then, there is this:

    Nope, no behind the scenes media coordination there at all. Nope, none whatsoever.

  17. Interesting article with explorations that may be called computational linguistic. Some suggestions may be found on that terrain. Perhaps the most interesting in this post are ideas about a central agency. I got the strong impression of orchestrated neologisms in the sequence ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’, ‘climate disruption’. To get them above the level of conspiracy, we should compare several ways how neologisms could spread. I would make a comparison between the spread of neologisms in the climate arena, marketing of specific products, and innovative technology. An introduction may be a study by Eisenstein:

    View story at Medium.com

    Whereas the spread of neologisms in a natural context seems to follow cultural fault-lines, I would expect that they don’t with a central agency.

  18. …This suggests the existence of a centralized or semi-centralized body behind climate alarmism, making decisions on strategy and messaging and then passing these decisions down….

    No, it does not. It suggests that humans are social animals, and follow and repeat simple ideas and messages until they become self-reinforcing. All advertising is based on this idea. Charles MacKay wrote about this phenomena extensively in his book on the ‘Madness of Crowds’ – he documented popular slang and ‘street cries’ in London and showed them growing, spreading and then diminishing.

    There is no need to propose an intentional strategy. Someone makes up a simple catch-phrase, and then the rest of the world copies them….

    • This is not what computational linguistic studies reveal. An introduction may be a recent study by Eisenstein:

      View story at Medium.com

      Note how Eisenstein proceeds, using the occurrence of neologisms on Twitter as a function of time and geography (within the USA). The spread of neologisms in a natural context seems to follow cultural fault-lines. If a central climate agency exists, the climate neologisms should spread on each occasion with the same temporal-geographical pattern, following the same pipe lines, so to say. Besides suggesting that Halperin may use the spatial dimensions, I would also suggest a comparison with less propaganda-laden neologisms. We may suspect that these propagate through the climate communities in a more natural way. An example would be LIA to be compared with ‘climate disruption’. So we may compare rather neutral words with emotion words like, disruption, pollution, denial, hottest-ever, etc. This was good work by Halperin, anyhow.

      • Mindert Eiting,

        I find it borderline crazy to speak of the existence of any “natural” spreading of neologisms as precluding in any sense the intentional injection of neologisms designed/intended to propagandize. I ma having difficulty even imagining how an intelligent person could “miss” the [potential of both sorts of things existing at the same time . . On a par with saying that because people die naturally, there’s prolly no such thing as murder.

        Please explain your (to me) utterly irrational implication that only one or the other can exist in the same world . . It sure looks like typical mass media BS propaganda to me . .

    • Hmmmm

      Do large multi million dollar donations to an organization whose sole directive is to get a consistent message out make you reconsider your perspective that this is not a centralized and orchestrated information campaign ?

    • Hmmm….some of us alive today communicated with each other before there was a “google” or an “internet”. Anybody in the US remember when there were only 3 TV networks? Not even PBS.
      There’s always been “politics”.
      Words are chosen by some, not to communicate the reality of what they intend to do to reach a goal but to sound like it’s same as the crowds to they’ll agree with their actions. Those who see it as a way to achieve their own goal, repeat the misleading words.
      Those refereed to as “useful idiots” as those whose goals have been used by those who put out the words to gain power for their ideas.
      (Power to enforce.)

    • Mackay’s book documents many examples of collusion, e.g.:

      The Mississippi Scheme
      The South-Sea Bubble
      The Crusades
      The Witch Mania
      The Slow Poisoners

      You mention only those “harmless follies and whimsies of the poor” described in the chapter “Popular Follies of Great Cities”.

      Here’s a relevant quote from “the witch mania” preceding a description of the extermination of the Stedinger by the church and the nobility:

      “The following account, from Dr. Kortum’s interesting history of the republican confederacies of the Middle Ages, will show the horrible convenience of imputations of witchcraft, when royal or priestly wolves wanted a pretext for a quarrel with the sheep.

      “Noble cause corruption” is a tautology.

  19. Global Warming and the Irrelevance of Science

    Guest essay by Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences (Emeritus) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is the text of a lecture delivered on August 20, 2015 to the 48th Session: Erice International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies
    Of course, scientists are hardly the main beneficiaries. The current issue of global warming/climate change is extreme in terms of the number of special interests that opportunistically have strong motivations for believing in the claims of catastrophe despite the lack of evidence. In no particular order, there are the

    * Leftist economists for whom global warming represents a supreme example of market failure (as well as a wonderful opportunity to suggest correctives),
    * UN apparatchiks for whom global warming is the route to global governance,
    * Third world dictators who see guilt over global warming as providing a convenient claim on aid (ie, the transfer of wealth from the poor in rich countries to the wealthy in poor countries),
    * Environmental activists who love any issue that has the capacity to frighten the gullible into making hefty contributions to their numerous NGOs,
    * Crony capitalists who see the immense sums being made available for ‘sustainable’ energy,
    * Government regulators for whom the control of a natural product of breathing is a dream come true,
    * Newly minted billionaires who find the issue of ‘saving the planet’ appropriately suitable to their grandiose pretensions,
    * Politicians who can fasten on to CAGW as a signature issue where they can act as demagogues without fear of contradiction from reality or complaint from the purported beneficiaries of their actions. (The wildly successful London run of “Yes, Prime Minister” dealt with this.) etc., etc.

    • A succinct summary from Professor Lindzen as always.
      About Eugenics and Lysenkoism as a precedents for CAGW; in a YouTube presentation Professor Lindzen points out that even after it was thoroughly discredited by the Nazis eugenics-based sterilisations continued to be carried out in USA, Sweden etc. and the reason Lysenkoism was eventually abandoned in the Soviet Union was because even after Stalin’s death Lysenko and his cronies retained their positions in spite of evidence, i.e. they had no need to defend their ground.
      I think the message is: don’t expect the CAGW dogma to be affected let alone collapse due to contrary evidence, it will probably simply gradually be abandoned and the proponents to quietly carry on in their cosy academic jobs regardless.

  20. What is really sad to watch is how the elites in the EU and Commonwealth nations and the US are all committing economic suicide while China laughs.

  21. I was born in 1949 and the first ‘sky is falling’ event was the end of humankind from radiation. I could feel my gonads tingle the first time I walked near my first navy reactor. Irrational fear trumped training. However, by 1980 I was the radiation safety officer. Training and experience erased irrational fear.

    Not only do fear mongers always get the science wrong, often the tell an organized lie. Mercury, DDT, PCB, and acid rain are examples. An organized lie is where scientist present information in such a way that someone without an understanding of science will spread the lie.

    For example, PCBs are not toxic. TV shows like 60 Minutes will show dead fish floating on water near where PCBs were produced as evidence of toxicity. To confirm this a scientist in a white lab coat is interviewed.

    One of the more recent fearmongering examples is ocean acidification about 2000. The scientist know that the ocean is alkaline.

  22. Public relations.
    Mass advertising and the spreading of memes.
    We have a great love for tales of doom and gloom.
    While the rise of use of certain phrases is interesting and revealing, the money is a more certain guide.
    The choice of undefined terms and pseudoscience phrases are deliberate.
    CAGW is and has been a campaign of disinformation.
    Orchestrated by our bureaucracies.

    Ultimately a losing strategy, but enough short term gain to sway the fools and bandits amongst us.
    This attempt at international propaganda will be a lesson in history and politics classes, if we reset our institutions of education.

  23. I’m sure Hillary would blame all this on “the vast right-wing conspiracy”….if she wasn’t left-wing.
    (I hate politics.)

  24. There are conspiracies, and then there are Conspiracies. One type is organized (think: Mann, Jones, and the Climategate email dump, the President, Soros, etc.). The other is ‘follow the leader’. Those followers understand clearly when the Narrative has changed. Less than one year ago the IPCC and people on every side of the ‘climate change’ debate were trying to explain the reason that global warming had stopped. Dozens of reasons were offered. No one disputed that global warming had stopped.

    But now the Narrative changed. It says that global warming never stopped, and the lemming contingent is on-board with that talking point. The Narrative also changed, and now says that satellite measurements are no good; surface stations are the best. Every alarmist in the crowd is on-board with that one, too.

    None of the facts changed, only the Narrative shifted. Those are the small ‘c’ conspiracists. Then there are the well paid Conspiracists. They’re more organized.

    They are a relatively small clique, who make a lot of money promoting the evidence-free assertion of ‘dangerous AGW’.

    The lemming masses who made their initial decision based on scant evidence won’t back down now, just because global warming stopped. They’re committed. Russian author Leo Tolstoy explained it:

    I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth, if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

    They’re digging their hole deeper because they cannot admit that the hated skeptics were right all along. They can’t admit that all available evidence shows that the rise in CO2 has been completely harmless, and very beneficial to the biosphere.

    In 1920 Scientific American (when it was American-owned) had an article extolling the benefits of CO2:


    Finally, it is all the money — the grant loot — that keeps the ‘dangerous AGW’ scare alive. More than $1 billion in federal grant money is handed out every year, and don’t bother to apply for those grants if you tell the truth; that the rise in CO2 is a non-problem.

    Scientists have been trained with grant funds the way Pavlov’s dogs were trained with dog biscuits. If the money was eliminated from the issue, the scare would fizzle out overnight. But how do we stop the government from handing out $billions to scientists and universities, in return for their saying what the gov’t wants to hear? It’s a quid-pro-quo, and the money doesn’t talk. It screams.

    • It takes untold patience to sharpen your skills while the lie runs rampant. At first, the lie doesn’t feel like a lie because it’s covered in half truth and wrapped in an emotional appeal.

      So I had dinner tonite with an old friend. Successful MD and teacher of her craft. Blah blah moved onto CAGW and I was stunned that her response to my initial skeptical pitch was “ya know, I’m so busy that I really don’t have time to delve into the science … besides it’s not my field”.

      I also discussed with her the revolution in access to previously firewalled articles. This is being done by a gal in Russia. Homewood discussed it in a post yesterday.

      Tonite I wonder if a revolution in demanding all the raw data for publically funded science is a potentially successful tactic in sending shock thru the science fields.

      It’s there for the taking. It belongs to any American who requests it. In fact, if you don’t get it, a nice letter to an elected official coupled with a request to the inspector general of the funding organization creates a scenario where they have to respond.

      Perhaps a small minority of people would actually use that raw data and most wouldn’t but who cares. Them knowing that it is available for the taking could create a substantial ripple of “oh, we are being watched”. Perhaps it creates a clarion call for transparency.

      And perhaps the wine is talking.

      • “ya know, I’m so busy that I really don’t have time to delve into the science … besides it’s not my field”.

        A number of people have looked at the various aspects of “alarmist’s climate science” conclusions from their own “fields” and found it wanting. (Statistics, computer programming, meteorology, etc.)
        Add all those “wantings” up and the “alarmist’s climate science” conclusions should be delegated to the science of wastewater treatment. (So as not to harm the environment, of course.)
        Tell her to, “Trust less, think more.” Especially when somebody proposes to do something to protect a projected future that will cost you now. And I’m not just talking about money.

  25. Ross Gelbspan, In his Harper’s December, 1995 article “The Heat is On: The warming of the world’s climate sparks a blaze of denial,” said the industry had engaged “a small band of skeptics” to confuse public opinion in a “persistent and well-funded campaign of denial”. Expanded on in his book “The Heat is On” (1997): “pervasive denial of global warming” in a “persistent campaign of denial and suppression” involving “undisclosed funding of these ‘greenhouse skeptics’ with “the climate skeptics” confusing the public and influencing decision makers.”

    • Was there ever any evidence for that claim?

      Only one article/editorial/accusation by one writer (in the 19 years that temperatures have been not increased) since 1997 This must be the worst well-funded campaign ever. (Excepting Jeb Bush’s 120 million losing effort in 1/2 year to gain only 4% of a political party that is itself only 47% of the voters.) Thus, if 120 million dollars in 1/2 year is not effective in counteracting the ” lie” that pretends Jeb Bush is an articulate, compenet campaigner deserving to be president, then how can $25,000.00 in one year counter the government propaganda spewed by 150 billion in climate change funds in the 28 years since 1988?

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