Global Warming Zealotry: A case study in groupthink

NEW STUDY: CLIMATE GROUPTHINK LEADS TO A DEAD END

London, 21 February: A new report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) shows that both the science and policy of the climate debate are shaped and driven by an almost flawless example of classical Groupthink.

Written by one of Britain’s leading newspaper columnists Christopher Booker, the report is based on research by Professor Irving Janis, the American psychologist who is famous for his theory of “Groupthink”. But as Booker explains, Janis never looked at the application of his theory outside the policy areas he was interested in:

“Janis’s focus was on decision-making in the foreign policy arena. However, as soon as you look, you see that his ideas apply elsewhere. The climate debate is a case in point – all of the characteristic ‘rules’ of groupthink are there: warmist ideas can’t be tested against reality, and so to ensure they are upheld as the truth, they have to be elevated into a ‘consensus’ and anyone who challenges them must be crushed. These are precisely the features that Janis used to define Groupthink.”

So just as Groupthink led to the policy disasters of Pearl Harbour, the Bay of Pigs fiasco and Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam war, attempts to suppress serious debate of climate science and the policies that are being promoted as solutions are leading to irrational behaviour, costly policy blunders and corruption on an unprecedented scale. This will only end when groupthink eventually bumps up against reality.

As Booker puts it in his conclusions:

“Every South Sea Bubble ends in a crash. Every form of Groupthink eventually has its day. This is invariably what happens when human beings get carried along by the crowd, simply because they have lost the urge or ability to think for themselves.”

Christopher Booker: Global Warming – A Case Study in Groupthink (pdf)


The book Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes is available on Amazon (out of print, but used editions are available)

 

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193 thoughts on “Global Warming Zealotry: A case study in groupthink

    • “Consensus is an accurate measure of the prevailing bias”

      You’ve got a pretty good consensus here!

      • @Kristi Silber
        There maybe a consensus (or not…), but nobody ever argue here that consensus is to bind us (or anyone, for that matters) in anyway.

      • No, no, all here are calculating the appropriate numbers for themselves before coming to the same conclusion as everyone else. Wait… Oh, you didn’t. How do I know? You assume there is something like a consensus here.

      • There is a difference between “we have a consensus, so shut up about anything else” and “we have a consensus, but do you have something better?”.

      • There’s a big difference between, “I mostly agree with you”, and “Shut up, everybody else agrees with me”.

      • I think in your short tenure here, you’ve already demonstrated your susceptibility to appeals to authority. Maybe you should work on that? As with everyone here, it’s always up to the individual.

      • ‘You’ve got a pretty good consensus here!’

        That’s common empirical observation, Kristi. That’s different than a group-think, hive-mind, with no independent opinion of your own. A very common facet in collectivist ideology.

        Sigh. I’ll say this, Kristi’s a prime example of about half-a-century of presumptions based on politicized misinformation and the damage that it’s done to an entire generation.

  1. What do Pearl Harbour, Bay of Pigs, and Vietnam all have in common? Democrat Presidents. What does Global Warming, at least the greatest advancement of the meme, have in common with above? Ditto. The lesson from Vietnam, at least from the perspective of the grunts: Have a West Point officer plan your strategy, have an Officer Candidate School officer lead you on the mission, and for sure have an ROTC officer take it easy on you in basecamp. People who think of reality associated with Obama or Trump will break to either side based on above. The earth is greening due to elevated CO2. Stop complaining already!

    • Richard Milhous Nixon, CiC over the Vietnam War for 5.5 years, was a Republican, if memory serves. Yes, I’m almost certain he was.

      • Actually Dwight Eisenhower, Republican, was President at the start of the conflict. But in 1961 and again in 1962, then Democrat President John Kennedy escalated the conflict tripling the number of U.S. soldiers deployed in the region

      • RMN, Progressive. Many problems stem from Republican progressives too. Their policies take away our liberty too, albeit at a slower pace. Teddy was certainly one of the worst, but both Bushes also believed more government helps. And here we are $22 T spent on Great Society programs with nothing positive to show for the effort. Oh, but they meant well. They keep blaming Capitalism, but we haven’t had a free market for over a century.
        Our problems are clearly from expanding efforts to implement social programs that inevitably lead to dependence and destruction of communities, families, and the individual. But blame Capitalism – the greedy rich haven’t done enough! Blame Capitalism – the rich don’t care how bad things get for the people. Oh, so even though these problems are caused by socialist spending, we need to spend MORE, and even though it’s the fault of socialism, we still must blame Capitalism.
        Of course the products of govt schools don’t know any better, lap up the proclaimed “unfairness” of the system, and learn to enjoy victim status. A great excuse to fail and be taken care of. That’s all fine until the Revolution. After that, they go dig potatoes, or perform slave labor in factories, or just starve to death as they are beginning to do in Venezuela.

        Now, as you can see, I have no strong feelings on this topic.
        Полезные идиоты.

      • One of Nixon’s campaign themes was “Peace with Honor” in South Vietnam.

        And Nixon *was* the Commander-in-Chief, but he also had to contend with a Congress controlled by the Democrats. To give you an idea of who held the poltical power at that time: The “War Powers Act” was passed by Congress and was vetoed by Nixon, and his veto was overruled by the Democrat Congress.

      • Earlier this week Pelosi declared that tax cuts are unpatriotic and how evil it was that rich people weren’t giving more of their income to the government.
        One youngster in the audience interrupted her to ask what her net worth was. She got very upset and declared, “That’s not what we are talking about!”

    • It was Blair’s semi-Socialist Labour Party that got the UK involved with the second Gulf War and the mess in Afghanistan.

    • Vietnam started out of a legacy of WW II. Ho and others fought against the Japanese occupation and through the OSS the US supported them. Then in what was seen by the Vietnamese fighters as an act of betrayal Truman supported the French colonials in the effort to keep their colony including military advisors for helping to maintain the US equipment the French were being supplied with. As a side note, the French forced former SS officers and troops they still had under their control to fight for them there as a precondition for their eventual release.

      The root of the Vietnam war was a legacy of WW II and our nation supporting a traditional ally in it’s effort to maintain a colony. And that was where the mistake was made. Though with the Korean war and the cold war escalating one can certainly understand why Truman did it and Ike continued it.

      LBJ was the first president to put troops in Vietnam intended to engage in direct combat. All prior presidents sent only military personnel to be advisors.

      It actually appears, according to letters in the JFK library that JFK was leaning towards pulling the US advisors out of Vietnam during this second term. Had JFK not been assassinated there very well may not have been a US in the Vietnam war. A combat veteran understands the costs far better than an ideological school teacher.

      I lay Vietnam at LBJs feet. Not so much because he was the first to commit US troops to direct combat there but because once he did he and his “Whiz Kids” tried to play General and Admiral from the White House there by hobbling the US military and preventing any chance of winning. And so we live with the same problem today as we put our forces in fights with not pre-stated objective and not definition of what victory will be. “If you go to war, you go to win with pre-stated objectives” should be permanently displayed in large letters in the Oval office in a place where when the POTUS looks up from his desk he can’t miss them.

      • I lay Vietnam at LBJs feet. ……. by hobbling the US military and preventing any chance of winning.

        And the “word” was that Lady Bird Johnson’s shipping company had the “contract” for transporting all the cement into North Viet Nam for re-building all the infrastructure that the US SAC bombers were destroying.

      • The root of Vietnam was Roosevelt (not alone of course, there was a whole bunch of people planing this way) doing his best to kick French out of it, the Hell knows why. I guess the plan was part business, part lefties idea. “Nothing personal”: they ware doing the very same thing to UK right at the same time.

        Ho and others were armed by the US before Pearl Harbor and Japanese invasion. Officers doing this joined OSS when created, somewhat later. Japanese, as a parting gift, also helped them kick out Whites and by 1954 the improbable alliance of them with US policy makers was a success: French were indeed kicked out of Vietnam. And then some US brain discovered that the plan, whatever it was, had run afoul. They would have none of the business, an old enemy would, and if they thought French were bad, well, just have a taste of the Cong… and …you know the end.
        Does it sounds familiar? ….
        YES.
        Irak of course.
        Secretary of State is run by idiots since at least Wilson, idiots who think that, just because they can tap of the wealth of the richest country in the world, know better than countries struggling just to be alive, against all odds and strong foes, for millennia.

      • “Though with the Korean war and the cold war escalating one can certainly understand why Truman did it and Ike continued it.”

        ALL the American presidents involved favored putting U.S. troops into South Vietnam in order to stop the advance of communism.

        Those who didn’t live in this era really have no idea about how communism was spreading around the globe at this time. Communism was on a roll, not just in Asia but in Africa and South America, and people at the time were not sure it wouldn’t overwhelm the world eventually. That’s why American presidents sent U.S. troops to South Vietnam.

        Now it turns out the North Vietnamese were most interested in their own nationalism, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t have pushed their communist envelope as far as they could, and they could have pushed quite far without some other military force opposing them.

        Remember they had the full backing of the Soviet Union and communist China, all North Vietnam had to supply was the ground troops, and could have swept through all of Southeast Asia, right up to the gates of India, had they not been opposed.

        The U.S. wore the North Vietnamese down to the point that they forgot about their regional ambitions. And had the Liberal appeasers in the U.S. Democrat-controlled Congress left American troops in South Vietnam after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973, there would still be a free South Vietanm today, just like there is a free South Korea today.

        Instead, the Liberal appeasers cutoff vital military support to South Vietnam (over President Ford’s veto) and refused to come to South Vietam’s aid when North Vietnam violated the peace agreement, even though the U.S. was morally and legally obliged to do so. The Liberal appeasers in Congress (Ted Kennedy, for one) threw South Vietnam to the wolves just like our modern day appeaser Barack Obama threw Iraq to the wolves after that war was won.

    • No, not really. If I had a problem and brought together experts in many fields, and after a good debate we had consensus on how to deal with the problem, that is fine.

      • I agree, although you example is no good.
        You know it is fine only when the problem is dealt with, and you are happy with the solution. Let’s say, if challenger doesn’t explode.

    • Groupthink: when people knowing each other and sharing the same information and processing it together and up also sharing the same conclusion (“how Trump could have been elected, none of the people I know voted for him!?”)
      Consensus: when close to everybody come to the same conclusion. You don’t know why they do. could be out of groupthink. Could be just because they have different evidences, that all point in the same direction

      Similar, but different

    • If an answer is sufficiently obvious, there will be a consensus around that answer.
      For example, if I hold an apple in the air, the consensus would be that if I drop the apple it will fall to the ground.
      There may be a minority that would point out that if there was a worm hole between the apple and the ground, the apple would never reach the ground, or if there was a sufficiently strong updraft, then the apple wouldn’t fall.
      However, absent those and other unlikely events, the apple will fall.

      Consensus can be group think, but it is not necessarily so.

  2. “Consensus” is an okay word, as long as it is used properly.

    The way climate alarmists use it is plainly improper on different levels. The concept is okay. Its abuse is NOT.

    • “Was Pearl Harbor a policy disaster?”

      Seems pretty obvious that it was for the Japanese Nick, and due to their culture they were classic groupthinkers.

    • Just for the record Nick, I do not agree with the way Anthony ‘grouped’ these events together like this:

      “So just as Groupthink led to the policy disasters of Pearl Harbour, the Bay of Pigs fiasco and Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam war…”

      Pearl Harbour was very different. Indeed, they are all very different.

      • Could Bay of Pigs have succeeded? Probably not, but it had no chance once Kennedy decided to withdraw the air cover that had been promised, without bothering to tell the men who were going to attack on the ground.

      • Mark – I just can’t see that whole thing being a very good example of groupthink outside of the small group who were pushing for it. That Kennedy pulled the plug on it almost makes it an example of the opposite.

      • Extreme Hiatus – February 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm

        Just for the record Nick, I do not agree with the way Anthony ‘grouped’ these events together like this:

        Pearl Harbour was very different. Indeed, they are all very different.

        Extreme Hiatus, please explain why you think that the “differences in the above noted 3 events” …. has anything whatsoever to do with “policy disasters” that was the direct result of Groupthink?

        Just who would deny that the current status of the US’s public education system is in fact a “policy disasters” that is the direct result of Groupthink?

      • Samuel, you wrote:

        “Extreme Hiatus, please explain why you think that the “differences in the above noted 3 events” …. has anything whatsoever to do with “policy disasters” that was the direct result of Groupthink?”

        I didn’t say that so that’s not what I think. Indeed, I don’t even think the events noted are good examples of groupthink unless they are discussed in much more detail (as I presume was done in Janis’s book). They are more complicated than that.

        “Just who would deny that the current status of the US’s public education system is in fact a “policy disasters” that is the direct result of Groupthink?”

        Not me. I agree.

      • I didn’t say that so that’s not what I think. Indeed, I don’t even …

        Extreme Hiatus , the subject being discussed was …… “policy disasters” resulting from “Groupthink”, …… so what subject were you talking about (the statement I quoted) in your response to Nick Stokes” ?????

    • Stay out of history, Nick, with those sorts of questions.

      Just one (simplified) example: Imperial Japan had a highly developed military and militaristic ambitions (See their occupation of Korea and China.). America’s president-for-life and his advisers thought they could squeeze Japan through a cutoff of oil, among other punitive measures, and bring them to the negotiating table without a military confrontation. Japan’s military leaders thought America was a paper tiger and would sue for peace after a bloody nose at Pearl Harbor and destruction of its Pacific Fleet. Opposing group-think processes writ large. As for non-groupthink leader decisions, who knows? History is.

      And let’s not even get into Kennedy and Johnson’s McNamara boys.

      • Nick, when you wrote “Was Pearl Harbor a policy disaster?” and other stuff, I was forced to respond with “Stay out of history, Nick, with those sorts of questions.”

        Your “Sounds like an appeal for groupthink.” response is inane. I made a whole successful career of running against groupthink.

        Nick, I suggest you just drop this because you won’t win.

      • They were “the best and the brightest” of their time, don’t-cha know? Groupthink mental masturbation on steroids; the same socialist crap that gives us the constant failures of elite overlords.

        Groupthink is the UN’s elaborate sustainable development, fairness, equity, gender equality and social justice schemes. When one has to vote on reality, I say: “Give me Capitalism or give me death.” Catchy, what?

      • “FDR’s promise to keep America out of foreign wars…”
        So what should he have done? Just said, please don’t do that again? Declared war beforehand? What was the better option than this “policy disaster”?

      • Nick, I didn’t say anything about “FDR’s promise to keep America out of foreign wars…” You seem to be having difficulties discerning between the various commentators.

        My discussion concerned the different groupthinks by Japan and America. Japan, rightly, discounted any potential counter-actions to their Asian expansion plans by the Dutch, Britain and France because of the European war. The then-prevalent Japanese groupthink was that America was so culturally decadent that Japan’s racial and societal superiority would deter America from taking decisive action after the loss of the psychologically important battleships of its Pacific Fleet. The brilliant Admiral Yamamoto shared that groupthink, but his Harvard years purportedly led him to caution that a protracted conflict would result in America’s industrial might and intransigence of its population ultimately defeating Japan. So much for the power of groupthink.

        The thought is that America did not believe anyone would actually attack us. It is unknowable if our president-for-life and his people were only paying lip service to that groupthink. Anyway, who gives a shit?

      • History has shown that the best way to get yourself into a war is to loudly declare that no matter what happens, you won’t get into a war.

      • it is interesting that few Americans realize that Pearl Harbour was provoked by the American fleet embargo on oil exports to Japan .
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Events_leading_to_the_attack_on_Pearl_Harbor
        “Responding to Japanese occupation of key airfields in Indochina (July 24) following an agreement between Japan and Vichy France, the U.S. froze Japanese assets on July 26, 1941, and on August 1 established an embargo on oil and gasoline exports to Japan.”

      • “Responding to Japanese occupation of key airfields in Indochina (July 24) following an agreement between Japan and Vichy France, the U.S. froze Japanese assets on July 26, 1941, and on August 1 established an embargo on oil and gasoline exports to Japan.”
        Seems like a pretty reasonable response. Again, what should they have done? Said “we can’t do anything or they might bomb us”?

      • “Again, what should they have done? Said “we can’t do anything or they might bomb us”?

        I just read wikipedia’s “Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor” / Diplomatic background, and this looks like the perfect manual of NOT DO THIS, YOU FOOL. And, a contrario, a long list of reasonable things that reasonable men did proposed (like: establish a serious defense of Philippines, accept a visit from Japanese first minister to POTUS, refrain to even write the Hull Note which was nothing but unconditional surrender demand, etc. )

        “What should have been done” implies that there was a single best course of action. Not so, as far as politics goes.

        What can be told for sure is what Stalin did, and what happened. USSR told that Mongolia was a no-go for Japan, Japanese tested the seriousness of the claim with a military jab. And Stalin answered in kind (Battles of Khalkhin Gol). Of course Stalin didn’t care at all about Mongolia. He cared to show Russia was to be respected, and don’t even think about Siberia.
        And Japanese got the message. So much so that Japanese never impeded ships under Russian to make their shopping in USA. Peace prevailed (until FoolDumbRoosevelt provoked yet another useless war in 1945).
        Notice that few people even know about the conflict, despite ~50 000 casualties. That’s the price to prevent a full scaled war with much more losses against a country that obviously respect only might.

        By contrast…
        USA had talked a lot against Japanese invasion of China, but didn’t act at all, or just undercover petty actions. Enough to enrage the Japanese (AND the Chinese), not enough to be taken seriously.
        And then, doubled-down with escalating Embargo.

        Embargo? seriously? what a pussy move. Seen from Japanese clique, looked like a Ho’ telling her pimp that she would stop the business. The pimp just slap her in the face back to work, especially since he really depends on her (just like Japan depended on US oil to wage its war, and just wouldn’t stop).

      • ” The then-prevalent Japanese groupthink was that America was so culturally decadent that Japan’s racial and societal superiority would deter America from taking decisive action after the loss of the psychologically important battleships of its Pacific Fleet. The brilliant Admiral Yamamoto shared that groupthink, but his Harvard years purportedly led him to caution that a protracted conflict would result in America’s industrial might and intransigence of its population ultimately defeating Japan.”

        Admiral Yamamoto did *not* think it was a good idea for Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. He warned that such an action would “awaken a sleeping Giant”. Yamamoto spent a lot of time in the U.S. before the war and knew the American character better than most Japanese.

    • Was Pearl Harbor a policy disaster?

      From whose standpoint? It looks a lot like Japan got suckered into attacking Pearl Harbor. FDR’s promise to keep America out of foreign wars reminds me of an old adage: Q – How do you tell if a politician is lying? A – His lips are moving.

    • With regards to group think and Pearl Harbor, the group think was that the Japanese Navy wasn’t a threat and that the only thing they needed to worry about was spies and saboteurs. This is why all the ships were docked together in tight clusters. Which made them easy to defend against saboteurs, but sitting ducks for the real enemy, the Japanese air force.

      • Well, that’s a different twist, and not obviously what Booker meant. But this seems to be a matter of naval management, not US government policy. It’s not unusual to use a naval base to base warships. Maybe that is groupthink, but where else should they be?

      • As always Nick manages to read something, but is completely unable to understand what he reads.
        The options were to cluster the ships tightly, or spread them out around the harbor.
        At no time did I say anything about not basing them in the base.

      • “The options were to cluster the ships tightly…”
        So whose “groupthink” are we talking about? I’m pretty sure Booker was talking about FDR and the US government. You seem to be defining it down to a bunch of naval commanders in Hawaii and their management of ships in the harbor.

      • “These references came from Anthony not Booker”
        The relevant text is datelined “London 21 Feb”. It is from GWPF. But the example is from Booker’s “case study”.

      • Nick – My mistake. It is not from Anthony. It is in Booker’s case study and those examples are actually from the book at the core of that. Booker wrote:

        “the examples he used to illustrate his thesis were all notorious failures of US foreign policy between the1940s and the 1960s. These included the failure of America to heed intelligence warnings of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941,General McArthur’s fateful decision to advance into North Korea in 1950, President Kennedy’s backing for the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961,and President Johnson’s decision in1965 to escalate the war in Vietnam.”

        These details help explain why they were cases were used.

      • The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was most certainly perceived as a threat or Roosevelt would not have moved the Pacific fleet to Pearl and reinforced it in the first place. Both the Politicians and the US military however underestimated the capabilities of the IJN and indeed the whole Japanese war machine. Their assumption was that the first strike against US interests would be elsewhere further away from their strategic military center of gravity in the theater.

        The underestimation of the abilities of the Japanese war forces was based in part on history and in part on what we would call today racism. Despite the Japanese victories against the Russians it was a widely held belief that Armies from the Orient could only mimic the western powers in warfare and not advance beyond them in any aspect. They were viewed as followers that advanced not by their own innovations and ingenuity but by those given to them or adopted from the western powers. Thus reports of the ever increasing effectiveness of the Japanese military and the intent to use it against the west by very prescient western government agents and military on the scene observing what was going on first hand, were ignored by the National Command Authority of the US and the war planners.

      • Notice how Nick tries to de-rail the discussion by claiming that only one groups “group think” is worthy of discussion. Even when it doesn’t matter, he still does it.

      • American intelligence knew that the Japanese were planning an attack, but not where.
        Most experts assumed that the attack would be in the Philippines. Such an assumption was not unreasonable, since the fleet there was directly threatening Japanese interests.

    • An unexpected and potentially devastating (if the carriers had been caught) attack on a key base is not a policy disaster? The Group thought it wouldn’t happen. It did.

      • Nick lots of policies failed. Even after Pearl Harbor they continued to manifest their failure. The heaviest and most sustained surface engagements the US Navy ever fought were during the Guadalcanal campaign and at the battle of Savo Island the Navy got their asses handed to them DESPITE having the advantage of radar. The US Navy had failed to train their forces in night actions while the IJN trained realistically and extensively in them and were the worlds masters at the use of their outstanding torpedoes in surface and air actions. They had failed to train their commanders in the use of radar as a tactical tool. US Naval doctrine for the use of their torpedoes was far outdated and ALL of their torpedo types, no matter how delivered (surface ship, submarine, aircraft), were inferior to those being used by every other major combatant.
        All of those things could be corrected and were eventually, but addressing the torpedo problem was much delayed by the pure pig headedness of the Naval Ordinance people. It cost countless lives. Despite having to use inferior and malfunctioning right through most of 1943 US submarines sank 2/3rds of all Japanese ship tonnage lost up to the end of 1944. Had their primary weapon been reliable the war would have ended earlier than it did.

      • Correction: The last sentence should have said that the Japanese would have been defeated earlier than they were, not that the war would have ended. Being defeated and admitting defeat are two different things.

    • The Pearl Harbor attack actually broke the student-derived, groupthink pattern in the America First peace movement with its donors that included the Kennedys. History might have been radically different if it had not played out as it did. The non-groupthink leadership in the Berlin bunker would have succeeded with true mass production of super weapons just in time to overcome their other losses if the groupthink movement centered around Chicago had persisted for one extra year. Such mass production would have overcome the poor leadership and priorities coming from that bunker. The V2 and jets could have turned the immediate tide with nuclear development later. In the end both groupthink and deranged dictators were failures. We spent the last 50 years being taught the lessons of one of those sides but not the failures of the other.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_First_Committee

    • Here is a serious example from groupthink related to Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. One major concern among American commanders was sabotage, and this lead to the gathering of aircraft (and other assets) into tight groups which were then easy to destroy from the air. This continued even days after Pearl Harbor showed the folly of such thinking and led to a further disaster in the Philippines.

      • A group that thinks alike is not the same thing as groupthink. You can dissent here. That is not permitted where groupthink is practiced.

      • Dissent is allowed here. Though, some seriously ill-habited dissenters have been banned. And if you make the mistake of telling that CO2 is a greenhouse gas warming more than 1C/doubling, there is usually a chorus of people claiming it ain’t so. So dissent is allowed means people have the option to completely de GHE, or deny anthropogenic CO2 rise, or talk for the positive effects of anthropogenic CO2, or embrace adaptation over mitigation, or just take optimistic point of views, or suspect clichés of posterchild stories, etc.

        Dissent is allowed, to the extent many here speak for rather fringe views. If you compare this forum to any mainstreamy forum these days, you notice that optimistic dissent is almost completely forbidden in the mainstream. There is no talk about uncertainty if it not about things being worse than what IPCC formulated. Any fringe theory about future, let it be about Greenland collapse, runaway warming, mass extinctions, oceans turning into a poisonous soup, tenths of millions of AGW refugees in a few years, snow becoming a thing of the past, outbreaks of malaria, etc, can be published, BUT only if it’s pessimistic. Now can you finally see there’s a horrible bias?

        You and I can dissent here, but I have no way of getting an optimistic view visible to a newspaper today. They might only publish it, if it was a very stupid one, in order to crush it.

      • Pointing out that you rely on group think is evidence that one is engaging in group think.

        You can lead an alarmist to logic, but you cannot make them think.

      • “Dissent is allowed here. Though, some seriously ill-habited dissenters have been banned. And if you make the mistake of telling that CO2 is a greenhouse gas warming more than 1C/doubling, there is usually a chorus of people claiming it ain’t so.”

        The Chorus I hear and the one I am part of, is the Chorus that claims there is no evidence proving that CO2 is adding net heat to the Earth’s atmosphere.

        I can’t think of anyone who says CO2 doesn’t do something in the atmosphere, but that something might not be adding net heat to the atmosphere. That something might be offset by other factors.

        There is no evidence that CO2 is adding net heat to the atmosphere. If anyone disagrees then please provide the evidence which shows otherwise.

        For those new to WUWT, don’t expect anyone to provide any evidence for this because noone has anything evidence. Which ought to tell you something about the CAGW argument and whether it is valid or not.

      • Kristi is not yet capable of sufficient critical thinking to understand the difference. At most, she seems to be focusing on the sort of opportunistic one-liners that are more your late-night talk-show specialties. Wittingly or not (probably NOT), she’s simply trying to use the Alinsky method of trying to turn the argument back.

        This is REALLY giving her the benefit of the doubt.

  3. “warmist ideas can’t be tested against reality”

    True enough in general. But, referring to the other post here on NOAA “cooking the books” here, that can be tested, and their always convenient temperature adjustments are the basis of their whole argument.

    Once more of the public is aware of the Madoff style data supporting this Lysenkoist project it will become even more unbelievable to those still fooled by it.

    In the meantime, this groupthink will prevail among the IPCC Gang and all the so called ‘scientists’ who are now being paid to research anything and everything that can possibly be linked to ‘climate change’ because they dare not bite the hand that feeds, trains and manipulates them. They’re only human.

  4. “This is invariably what happens when human beings get carried along by the crowd, simply because they have lost the urge or ability to think for themselves.”
    I would replace “urge” with “desire”. It’s much easier to turn your “thinking” over to someone who sets himself up as a demigod than to do it yourself. And if you object to something because reality still infects you, you take the risk of becoming an outcast, ergo, you do not think for yourself. Prime examples: Jonestown, Guyana slaughter; Pol Pot’s murderous destruction in Cambodia; the Brown Shirts youth movement in Hitler’s Germany; Lynsenkoism in the USSR under Stalin, and Peoples Republic of China under Mao; the herd mentality of the current crop of people in news media.
    These people gave up their right to think for themselves long ago. Look what we have now.

    • Thinking for yourself is highly over-rated. Let the PhDs do the heavy lifting and stick to common sense and critical thinking.

    • Actually I think that is a completely different phenomenon. Groupthink is not about a leader coercing or charming followers. Nor is about cult-like behavior. It is about a group losing the ability to think independently and the ability to challenge effectively. It is about groups reinforcing the original group belief through looking only for what supports that belief and never looking for what does not.

      Groupthink is an intellectual problem, not a “faith” problem.

    • There’s N Korea, where practically everyone thinks their leader is the “DEAR LEADER” — IOW, some kind of god. Even tho he is responsible for their economic destitution.

  5. Quote from the Australia’s late great geologist, Prof Sam Carey:
    Really new trails are rarely blazed in the great academies. The confining walls of conformist dogma are too dominating. To think originally, you must go forth into the wilderness.

  6. I question the notion of ‘group think’ but would replace it with ‘group talk’. My first exposure to (leftist) group talk was at university in the early 70’s as the counter culture/ cultural revolution was well established, I sat down on the lawn with a school friend of mine and a coiuple of young women and listened to him spout this leftist drivel, what we now term PC etc. My buddy was a very smart guy but this was not an intellectual discussion this was a pitch to get into panties and the ‘group talk’ he was parrotting was his way of achieving that goal.

    I pretty much think that all the leftist or rightist schlok you hear from time to time is generally group talk and all about being accepted into a ‘tribe’. The level of ‘thinking’ is pretty elementry, its about getting invites to parties, conferences, drinks , dinner and to bed.

  7. “The climate debate is a case in point – all of the characteristic ‘rules’ of groupthink are there: warmist ideas can’t be tested against reality, ”

    too funny. The same skeptics who point to areas where the model predictions dont match reality exactly,
    are the same ones who argue that the science cant be tested.

    Testing the science is very easy. We’ve been doing it since the 1800s.

    1. yes we can test whether or not C02 and H20 and methane are GHGs. Yup they are.
    2. If the 1890s and again in the 1930s, scientists predicted that more c02 would lead to warmer
    temps. Yup, tested, and it did.

    Now if there were group think no one would think to retest what was already accepted. In the 1980s
    if there was group think, hansen would have never made his 1981 predictions about temp ( largely correct)
    and he would not have repeated the excercise in 1988. and people would not continue to try to refine the estimates. If there was group think the IPCC would not point out the great uncertainties around clouds and ECS. They would not not the rather slow progress in refining the most critical questions, like the range of ECS. If there was group think they would not note the low confidence in the science around extreme weather.

    What is the consensus: c02 is a ghg. ghgs warm the planet. our best estimate is 1.5C to 4.5C per doubling.
    The cause of most of the warming we see is human. The future risks range from low to extreme.
    That’s what you get from the science. The journalism about the science is another matter. Dont get your science from the journalists, activist scientists, or blogs, or twitter. Read the actual science. All of it.

    • “Read the actual science. All of it.”

      You mean all the pal-reviewed stuff approved by the IPCC groupthinkers?

      • “You mean all the pal-reviewed stuff approved by the IPCC groupthinkers?”

        And who told you to think that? Has it been verified, or are you trusting the group to know what’s right?

      • Well Kristi, nobody told to think that. I learned this by following this project for a long time and seeing who wrote what, and how/if/why their work was approved for publication in the official IPPC scriptures. There was an obvious pattern. And the leaked Climategate emails confirmed it. Ever read them?

        So when a ‘settled; CAGW believer recommends reading ‘all the science’ they usually mean just their pal-reviewed consensus versions.

      • This would be interesting if Kristi had ever shown any evidence that she actually understands the things she keeps spouting at us.
        Instead she just demands that we except the opinion of those who she chooses to agree with, else we are either stupid or evil.
        The belief that someone can look at the evidence and come to an alternate opinion is so foreign to her that she rejects the possibility altogether.

        And at the same time, she declares that it is others who are guilty of group think.

      • ‘And who told you to think that?’

        Now we’re seeing ‘projection’.
        Boy – we got a real case study right here.

      • Groupthink comedy gold. Monty Python – Life of Brian – You are all individuals (44 second clip)

    • Is it so hard to write grammatically correct sentences; to type CO2 and H2O, not C02 or c02 or H20?

      Anyway, within error, it might be cooler today than it was in the 1930’s, and the CO2 sensitivity “estimate” is not known within good precision.

    • Good advice Steven. I would add that a person should not get their science from a used car salemen or a bitcoin miner. Just saying…

    • Well said. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will make a difference.

      “That’s what you get from the science. The journalism about the science is another matter. Dont get your science from the journalists, activist scientists, or blogs, or twitter. Read the actual science. All of it.”
      Exactly!!!! Except it’s very hard for most laymen to read ANY of the science and get out of it what they should. It’s the terrible paradox of climate science info – scientists shouldn’t become activists, but the media are doing a poor job of things; the public never really gets the science. How many people have the faintest idea how a climate model is constructed, tuned, tested and run? Also, without contact with consensus climate scientists there is no personal interaction – they are dehumanized.

      Sigh. It really bothers me that scientists have been so unjustly vilified.

      • “Except it’s very hard for most laymen to read ANY of the science and get out of it what they should.”

        Oh? What’s so hard about the following:

        “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.”

        http://ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

      • They deserve the vilification. They know exactly what the lying journalists are doing and don’t do anything to stop it. That’s because it serves their interests.

      • “Except it’s very hard for most laymen to read ANY of the science and get out of it what they should.”

        So that’s your excuse for not being able to understand the science.
        You just go with whatever those you agree with say is the truth, without ever checking into it for yourself.
        And to think, you accuse us of groupthink.

      • ‘Sigh. It really bothers me that scientists have been so unjustly vilified.’

        They haven’t. Everything that has been asserted by skeptics is in the public record. Mosher himself in his own book about Climategate said the scandal was ‘pretty close’ to criminal. Of course, he’s been an apologist ever since. He also said in the same book all those implicated were ‘victims’ (love that word) of ‘group-think.’

      • I will also add that ANY warmist – or any Progressive for that matter – that has the sheer GALL to use the phrase ‘unjustly vilified’ is hypocrisy so absolute it defies description.

        Hey Anthony – you ever been ‘unjustly vilified’? Can you think of anyone you know who has been ‘unjustly vilified’?

    • “too funny. The same skeptics who point to areas where the model predictions dont (sic) match reality exactly,”

      LOL they don’t match reality at all, they never have and they never will — not even close.

      The Earth is coming out of the Little Ice Age. To say that climate models predicted (some) warming is not science. Climate models have never accurately predicted anything. This means the CAGW theory has been falsified. Group Thinkers like you will never accept this.

    • Mr. Mosher, I love it when the Weeds wack you in your eyes while your are Wandering. One of the fine examples is your: “What is the consensus: c02 is a ghg. ghgs warm the planet. our best estimate is 1.5C to 4.5C per doubling.”

      1. CO2 is a ‘minor’ GHG.
      2. GHGs warm the planet, along with many other warming and cooling processes, mostly moderated by the water cycle.
      3. The old swag of 1.5C to 4.5C per doubling has never been confirmed and the IPCC AR5 was unable to establish a central estimate. The assumed 3X water vapor impact has been disproved by the drying of the upper atmosphere.
      4. IPCC climate models provide such a huge range of possible future outcomes that a real planner would fire everyone involved. It is telling that a Russian model is the only one coming even close to predicting what has evolved.

    • Really too funny. There is not a single climate scientist trying to disprove the original and basic claim.That;s Groupthink. People in the group finding evidence for the idea? Groupthink? People refining the idea? Groupthink. Pointing out where more work needs to be done on the idea? Groupthink. Dragging in new observations and trying to see if they fit the idea? Groupthink.

      You simply describe Groupthink EXACTLY. show us where there is a significant part of the Group that is disputing the fundamental ideas – oh but you can’t.

      As for observations that cold have many causes proving one cause…really, try and udnerstand the BASIC point ratehr than making assertions that your claims are proven by assertions.

    • “If there was group think the IPCC would not point out the great uncertainties around clouds and ECS.”

      They did say that, didn’t they. Thanks for pointing that out.

      To repeat: The IPCC says there is great uncertainty with regard to clouds and ESC, when trying to determine if humans are affecting the Earth’s climate by burning fossil fuels and adding net heat to the atmosphere.

      So when you hear someone claim human-caused CO2 is responsible for “X” percentage of the heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, you know they are just blowing smoke because they can’t possibly know, they are just guessing/speculating. The ECS number appears to be limited to the upside, but the ECS number goes lower every time a new study comes out and we may not have seen the lowest number yet.

      We may get to a point where it’s not pure speculation any more, but we are not there yet.

    • @Steven Mosher

      “1. yes we can test whether or not C02 and H20 and methane are GHGs. Yup they are.”
      No, you don’t “test” whether or not C02 and H20 and methane are GHGs. You CALL them GHG, after you define GHG so that this name-calling have some appearance of truth.
      You could just not call them at all, as you don’t call water DHMO (unless you do?).

      “2. If the 1890s and again in the 1930s, scientists predicted that more c02 would lead to warmer
      temps. Yup, tested, and it did.”

      They predicted it on the basis of a faulty explanation of the working of a greenhouse. Hence the faulty name “greenhouse gas”. So they were wrong, period. Besides, you call that prediction? Random chance of warmer temperature were 50%, and if you restrict yourself to a 30year period, then random chance are closer to 100% that such period will appear in a century. You need better prediction to claim some understanding. You need Something big, hard to predict. You need more than a “hot spot” (even that failed to materialize…)

      “scientists” also predicted colder temperatures, so no matter what, one of them fell right, you just have to select it afterward. You could do it with blind monkeys just as well.

      The CO2 graph is a nice upward pseudo-sinusoid (when smoothed to get rid of the influence of those pesky living things…). Anomaly temperature graph is just a jerk. So you have to add a lot of unexplainium and assumptions about the inner working of climate blackbox to link the two. In science that is called “epicycles”, and it is wrong.


      I don’t like the concept of groupthink. It surely exist, but is impossible to prove, and people in a groupthink attitude nevertheless have some reason to stick to it, and these reasons will be the one they put forward,

      “What is the consensus: c02 is a ghg. ghgs warm the planet. our best estimate is 1.5C to 4.5C per doubling.
      The cause of most of the warming we see is human. The future risks range from low to extreme.”

      This is pretty good sum-up, except the part you assign it to “science”.
      Here’s what you really get from science:

      c02 is a ghg. ghgs keep the planet warmer, as a multilayer insulator (not as a greenhouse). This first order effect CAN be calculated, our good estimate is at most 1K per doubling, before any feedback. These feedback are strong negative, so the aforementioned 1K is a maximum. Natural variations are much higher, so there is just no way to see a 1K rise in a temperature graph, or in any weather phenomenon. Don’t expect any proof, we cannot provide. If you see any, you are p-hacking. The future risks lie in weather, not climate. No climate action whatsoever will prevent weather to happen. The present risks are just the same.

      Pretty different.

  8. On the issue of ‘groupthink’ military disasters mentioned I must disagree regarding Johnson and Vietnam in particular. Re Pearl Harbour I gather the strategic game playing was a bit more high level but perhaps groupthink is applicable to the Japanese decision making as other here note.

    Re Johnson, I gather he was taking his advice from Westmoreland when granting more troops etc from say 64/65 to 67 who reasoned that he was grinding his opponent ( Giap) down given the casualty count although being of the nature it was and of the empty headed arrogance of much of the media that was difficult to evidence. The US had little experience in insurgencies and were learning on the job at the same time as introducing helicopters on a wide scale for the first time and with an officer class steeped in WW2 and Korea.

    Tet of course was taken by the media as the ultimate ‘proof’ that Westmoreland was losing because (besides having such an uncool ‘jarhead’ haircut), shock horror, the VC got into the US embassy compound!!! DoomDoomDoom!! The reality was of course that the insurgents were slaughtered as many rational heads in the North, including their CinC Giap, feared and even expected they would be. The ARVN held together and performed above expectations, 10s of thousdands on NV and VC were killed and similar numbers subsequently lost their lives at Khe Sanh. Conveniently not reported or at least very sotto voce mentioned in passing was the fact that the VC set about systematically murdering members of the military, police and public service and their families as part of their attempted coup in what were straight up and down war crimes.

    The groupthink/talk was on the part of the (even by then) leftard dominated, arrogant and utterly incompetent media intoxicated on the new capabilities of TV and easy recording technology together with rapid air transport of film back to the US.

    A picture really is worth a thousand words and when the pictures are composed, framed and edited to be materially false that requires an impossible number of words to counter.

    A bit off topic from climate but fabricated evidence grouptalk/think is the common denominator. And leftards of course.

    • not to mention of course that the entire war was illegal, immoral and based upon multiple falsehoods
      such as the bay of tonkin incident. If there was groupthink involved it was the collective delusion that appears to assert that Americans can invade any country they wish for whatever reasons they want
      and that the conquered will be appropriately grateful.

      • Germ,

        My first reaction to your post was to suggest that you remove your head from your ass. However, on second thought, I realized that the world would be better if you just left it there.

      • Ray in SC – You need to be more specific in your criticism of Germonio. Are you saying that the U.S. does not get involved in unnecessary wars in its misguided attempt to spread democracy around the world? Do you know anything about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident?

        There was a sea battle in the Gulf of Tonkin on 2 August 1964. Then there was the “Incident” two nights later that LBJ used as an excuse to order bombing raids on North Vietnamese military targets. James Bond Stockdale was present overhead on both nights. He says the “Incident” of 4 August never happened. I believe him.

        Read about it here:

        http://www.fampeople.com/cat-james-stockdale

      • The actions of the NV regime was just as illegal, immoral and based on all manner of BS. he facts were that both NV and SV were independent of the French colonials at the material time, i.e. post Bien Din Phu etc so their original struggle for self determination had been materially achieved. What the post French colonial period war was about was a communist takeover as part of the Cold War playing out in exactly the same way that the Korean War was.

        Don’t give me that high moral ground crap and as for precipitating incidents, well these things are murky just like Syria is or Iraq was. Do you get involved in the blood and gore of the fighting or do you speak nobly about ‘lines in the sand’ and then squib it and pass the buck to posterity only to have it written in Russian?

        In other words do you sit back, enjoy the wine and the grouptalk conversation while ‘peacing on our time’?

      • How did the US “invade” South Vietnam? And at what point did the majority of the South Vietnamese express a desire to be ruled by a totalitarian communist regime? South Vietnam may have been a flawed democracy but compared with the dictatorship that ruled the North it was a paradise.

        How is defending something better from something worse immoral?

      • Kamrade Kuma – If your “high moral ground” comment is aimed at me, you missed the mark. I am a Naval Academy graduate who served as a Surface Warfare Officer for 6.5 years of active duty with three deployments, including a four-day tour of the Black Sea with Soviet fire-control systems locked on us the entire time. (This annual cruise was accomplished to show that the Black Sea was international waters, not a Soviet lake.) I served in the reserves with additional sea time after leaving active duty. I also was a civilian employee of DoD at a joint agency involved in the so-called “Global War on Terror.” (Has a familiar ring.) I had an inside view of these things, so to speak.

        With experience comes a certain degree of wisdom. Our national interests are not being served by all of our foreign adventures.

      • “including a four-day tour of the Black Sea with Soviet fire-control systems locked on us the entire time.”

        That will make the back of your neck itch. :)

      • The war was not illegal, but did involve “interpretation” of the SEATO alliance to justify it. Unfortunately the interpretation was a bit of groupthink.

      • One at a time:

        sy computing – Thank You.

        TA – Yes, it made for a thrilling trip. However, I was more concerned by the large black raven that sat on a king post right at eye level outside a bridge window during the evening watches. The red lights used at night to protect night vision reflected in the raven’s eyes giving them an eerie glow. Real spooky. (Maybe it was a spy raven made by the Soviets.)

        MarkW – we do not agree about much. Apparently you think one opinion is worth as much as any other opinion. Of course, as Thomas Aquinas said, understanding is based on level of being. There are many intelligent people who agree with me. What do you think? What is your opinion?

    • Johnson found himself in a no-win situation. He personally didn’t believe the war was winnable when he took office. He also believed that if he decided to scale down the war and withdraw US forces he most likely would lose office at the next election. His only option was to escalate the war in the hope of prevailing.
      Nixon understood that a solution to the war would not be found without China being involved. His decision to visit China would be one of his acts that would define his presidency if it wasn’t for groupthink.

      • NIxon was inaugurated about a year after Tet and the entire presidential campaign pretty much run in its aftermath by which time the media had long since declared defeat. As I saw Giap say in an interview ‘we couldn’t believe our luck’.
        Nixon had no choice but to slip a little more ketchup and onions on his turdburger

      • PS The ARVN did pretty well and were holding the NV at bay as the US withdrew but it all collapsed after Nixon’s resignation in 74 and the Democrats treacherous and precipitate withdrawal of all support funds to SV. That was the moment of actual defeat and it was just pure partisan politics to put the boot into Nixon and try to blame him for everything. Pretty bizarre stuff frankly when it was Kennedy and Johnson who got involved. But that’s your leftard grouptalker for you. I reckon a lot of them got laid after boasting about their treachery to the hivemind.

    • No, Vietnam was classic Groupthink. The group advising the president was chosen to present a single view and membership of that group was determined by whether you held that view and only looked for evidence to support that view. And you describe the Groupthink in the officer class but then say it was not Groupthink!

      • It wasn’t any groupthink on the part of American generals. They knew what it took to win the war: Go to Hanoi. The groupthink came into the equation from the anti-war Left in Congress and in the News Media who insisted on hamstringing the generals in what they could do in Vietnam.

        For instance, they prevented U.S. military forces from entering North Vietnam and finishing the war quickly and once and for all. Instead, they allowed the North Vietnamese a safe haven from which to attack the American military and the South Vietnamese and the war went on for many years as a result.

        If you allow your enemy a sanctuary, it will take a very long time to defeat him, if at all. (We’ve been allowing the Taliban a sanctuary in Pakistan for all these years and surprise! the war is still going on. Trump says he is going to change Obama’s policy and go after these safe havens.)

        The American anti-war Left is not psychologically suited to prosecute wars. Their first instinct is to appease. They have no stomach for confrontation, except for their domestic political opponents, then, they are as confrontational as anyone. So they run away every chance they get from foreign confrontation and it doesn’t matter how many innocent people suffer as a result. Millions died and were displaced in South Vietnam and Iraq as a result of this immoral behavior prompted by fear.

        The anti-war Left of the 1970’s threw South Vietnam to the wolves after that war had been won and American troops had gone home, and the modern-day anti-war Leftists of today, in this case, Barack Obama, threw Iraq to the Islamic terrorist wolves after that war had been won.

        That’s what Leftists do: Bail out. They are fair-weather friends. You cannot count on them.

  9. An important aspect of the climate group think is the fact they are saving the world.
    Makes for a stronger group when being a member means you are one of the select who is saving all of humanity from an horrible fate.

    • “An important aspect of the climate group think is the fact they are saving the world.”

      The Messiah complex. Gore, Brown, Rudd, Trumbull, Trudeau, Macron, Francis, Hansen, McKibben, etc.

    • Another factor is the impact of having been brainwashed at an impressionable age. The fear factor and the depression in a young mind sets up a level of desperation that makes one vulnerable to quick fixes.

  10. A good example of scientific groupthink is the animal fat scare. My understanding is that it was based of one group of studies that were never tested or verified. How far back was that – 30 years? Recently an intensive study indicated that they were no more a health risk than polyunsaturated fats. The groupthink has essentially collapsed. The International market price for butter has recently risen sharply.

    The group included 90% + (a guesstimate) of all practicing doctors. Right through some of us from high red meat and dairy product consumption societies had our doubts and took no notice. We observed that most active people with high animal fat diets had a same life expectancy and general health (on average) as those that followed the group think narrative.

    This does not mean one may pig out daily on anything and not pay a price. Common sense still has a place in establishing truth.

    Common sense suggest to me that climate is always changing and that there is a great thermostat of feedbacks that keeps things within a livable range. There is nothing new under the sun.

    Regards

    M

  11. Skeptics can’t stand the fact that scientists agree because they decide to do so based on the evidence.

    There is no serious debate because no one has offered any compelling evidence or arguments to challenge the consensus. It’s been 50 years and no one has come up with a better theory or better way of trying to assess the probable impact. There have been ideas, they’ve been explored, and they don’t hold water.

    Or is there some trove of unpublished research that has been suppressed that has the right answer, and can prove it? GW is not from the sun. It’s not from any of the climatic oscillations or land use change. The only forcing agent that will make the models fit the record is CO2. The relationship between CO2 and temperature is no longer in question for a reason. And our CO2 levels are higher than they have been in 4 million years, and the rise is accelerating. This is despite the fact that vegetation and the ocean have been “soaking it up.” Is this not something to consider?

    You all say we are adaptable. Well, we are also adaptable to not using so much coal and oil. Exercise efficiency. Grow trees. Take the bus. Eat meat 4 nights a week rather than 7. Plant veggies. Buy EnergyStar appliances. Be responsible. There would be no need for regulation if people were interested in doing a few things differently, but the price of energy is cheap, so people use a lot of it. The Market is the American religion, though it has no ethic. (I am a capitalist!)

    • I can’t stand the fact that “average global temperature” has NO PHYSICAL MEANING for a coupled, chaotic, non-equilibrium dynamical system.

      (Let’s not even get into signal to noise ratios.)

    • “There is no serious debate because no one has offered any compelling evidence or arguments to challenge the consensus. It’s been 50 years and no one has come up with a better theory or better way of trying to assess the probable impact. There have been ideas, they’ve been explored, and they don’t hold water.”

      Isn’t this a prime example of at least argumentum ad ignorantiam and probably argumentum ad populum but almost surely argumentum ad antiquitatem?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

      Consider the similar argument proposed for some 3 millennia regarding the science of bloodletting

      “The history of bloodletting. With a history spanning at least 3000 years, bloodletting has only recently—in the late 19th century—been discredited as a treatment for most ailments.”

      http://www.bcmj.org/premise/history-bloodletting

    • “The only forcing agent that will make the models fit the record is CO2″

      But the models have been wrong! As time goes by they are diverging further and further away (hotter) from the measured reality – and – an increase in temp of even 1.5 C over the last century is well within the natural variability envelope as shown over and again withing the geological record. Global temp NEVER stays static on a century scale. It is just as likely to start cooling again throughout the rest of this century.

      Its interesting that skeptics can happily accommodate a continued warming but for alarmists the prospect of a cooling Earth is inconceivable: It JUST CANNOT HAPPEN!

      But of late some prominent alarmists have come out and stated that there may be periods of cooling – Ha!: a buck each way. They value their jobs apparently. What they need to be saying is ” I may be wrong” That’s all it would take. That is how a dedicated scientist thinks and there is only one goal: the truth. We are far from establishing that as yet. Anyone with half a brain can see that.

      Regards

      M

    • “Skeptics can’t stand the fact that scientists agree because they decide to do so based on the evidence.”

      Incorrect. That’s the groupthink, echo chamber narrative. What skeptics can’t stand is that scientists who disagree aren’t allowed to participate in the science process (excluded from funding, attacks on their person rather than their ideas, reprimanded and dismissed, papers aren’t published, etc, etc). If dissenting climate scientists were allowed to play on a level field, the science would be very different.

      • They exclude all scientists who don’t agree with them.
        Then they turn around and declare that since there are no scientists who disagree with them, they must be correct.

    • Classic groupthink. You are merely repeating standard Alarmist pre-digested pablum. I’d suggest reading outside of your warmunist ideology, but you’ve obviously lost the ability and/or desire to think for yourself.

    • Kristi, I can’t tell if you are serious or trying to be provocative.

      Your comment could have been copied from the NYTimes “All You Need To Know About Climate Change”.

      • ‘Your comment could have been copied from the NYTimes “All You Need To Know About Climate Change”.’

        Mark, I think you’ve got it nailed.
        She’s a walking Rorschach test.

    • OF course the claim that scientists agree is nothing more than group think on steroids. The fact is that scientists don’t agree. Unless you do like Kristi and declare that only those people who agree with you are scientists.

      I also love the way she uses argument from ignorance.
      IE, you must accept my theory as true because I don’t accept any other theory as being better.
      Reality, over the 300 million year history of complex life on this planet, CO2 levels have ranged from 7000ppm to 250 ppm. The current increase to around 400ppm is nothing.
      Reality, in the last 200 years, temperatures have gone both up and down while CO2 didn’t change. At other times temperatures have gone both up and down while CO2 was increasing.
      This single minded devotion to the notion that CO2 must be the controlling factor is really cute, even if it isn’t based in any actual science. (And no, computer models aren’t science.)

      Fascinating, since only CO2 will make the models fit reality, then it must be CO2.
      1) Even using CO2 and hundreds of other variables, the models still don’t match reality.
      2) The models were written using the assumption that CO2 was the master gas, so it’s harldly surprising that they have found that CO2 was the master gas.
      3) The reality is that there are dozens to hundreds of fudge factors that the models use. Not just CO2.

      Oh boy, the totalitarian just has to declare her right to dictate how others live their lives.

    • @Kristi Silber: Sadly Kristi, you come to this website with the same problem as others before you have (Ivankinsman and Griff for example). Your comment above demonstrates that you simply don’t understand the nature of science and how scientific discourse works.

      If you did understand, you would know there is no such thing as the infallibile and unquestionable nature of so-call “consensus” in science. Why? Because science has a history of demonstrating its fallibility and how it gets things wrong initially, even when there is a consensus. The status of the (now dwarf) planet Pluto and the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates are just two examples. Whether we humans need to worry more about carbs rather than fats in our diets is another.

      Your treatment of the the CO2-induced anthropogenic climate change theory as unquestionable and infallible shows that, like with so many others, it has somehow become muddled and confused with religion in your head. Groupthink, and the demands for conformity and unquestioning belief that it engenders, is characteristic of religions and politics, not science. That is why, contrary to what you believe, the anthropogenic climate change theory is supposed to be questioned and debated in science, regardless of the so-called “consensus” or groupthink at the foundation of AGW.

      I am losing count of the number of times I have had to explain this to people like you at this website, and it is getting tiring. This argument can probably be applied to politics as well, but doing so no doubt generates as much contempt for the questioner as it does with AGW.

      I consider myself politically independent and do not wholeheartedly support any politician, political party or political ideology. I learned a long time ago that political nonalignment is the best way to go. Those who fail to demonstrate an ability of think independently for themselves only serve to show that they still have some intellectual growth and maturity that they need to work on. The day you stop treating AGW like a religion and understand how science works, the better off you will be.

    • “There is no serious debate because no one has offered any compelling evidence or arguments to challenge the consensus.”

      Haven’t you been reading this thread?

      How about that argument I made where I said Alarmists cannot produce any proof that human-caused CO2 is adding any net heat to the Earth’s atmosphere?

      Do you have any of that evidence you claim scientists have that proves humans are heating up the atmosphere with their fossil fuel burning?

      I didn’t think so. I say that because I ask that question a lot and never get any evidence supplied to me so I assume it will be that way this time, too.

    • Kristi says:
      Grow trees.

      Fine — I’ve planted over 60 of ’em on my lot. And what makes trees & all plants grow?

  12. All cultures have doomsday cults.

    All cultures have original-sin / humans-are-tainted cults.

    Put them together, and you have the current incarnation: “The world is ending because of the evil sin of CO2.”

    • Exactly. Especially SuperEvil Capitalist CO2. With carbon taxes, offsets, etc., etc., etc. to pay for our sins.

      This version of Hell is also hot, with a Great Flood (according to NOAA this time), Pestilence, Plagues galore and of course Famine (as soon as CO2-fertilized food crops stop increasing).

      Praise be to the IPCC for saving us. Or something like that.

    • Interesting trivia (speaking of doomsday cults); a large testimonial dinner in September 1977 for Jim Jones was attended by Governor Jerry Brown.

  13. Booker’s paper is excellent. Clear, easy to follow, specific. Its astonishing to read such a clear summary of the events we have lived through, because when one sees them as a whole, you see the colossal absurdity of the whole thing. He is wonderful on Paris and the UK Climate Change Act.

    The fact is, the most ferocious and die-hard advocates of climate disaster show no signs of believing in it in the measures they advocate. And this comes out clearly from the narrative.

    There is a fundamental disconnect, and this is the thing that must in the end sink it. If you really believe rising CO2 levels spell doom for civilization, you should be advocating measures which will reduce them. But no-one is.

    If you believe your own country needs to reduce its own emissions, then you will advocate policies and measures which will do so, and you will have some kind of plan for implementation. No-one is doing it. In the UK in particular, they have adopted hugely ambitious targets in law, and then gone back to sleep without having the slightest intention of doing anything to get to them. Without even doing any serious work on what it would take to get to them.

    Future historians will find this the most extraordinary aspect of this extraordinary episode in intellectual history.

    The only way you can explain this is that people are agreeing and asserting belief in the coming disaster not because they believe it in any usual sense, which would imply accepting and regulating action accordingly. No, they do it to certify and proclaim their membership of the right tribe. Its saying, we are people like you. And that is all it is.

    Its not exactly hypocrisy. Its more post-modern politics, where passing a law does not show any interest in following it, it just shows your tribal position.

    • It took me the best part of two days to read Chris Bookers article.
      Your comments lack the local groupspeak, and are considered enough for me to believe you have actually read the article. Thanks.
      Now will the rest of you do as the article urges, stick to the science, not the politics…_

  14. Sort of off topic. Joe Bastardi and the guys at Weatherbell are saying March is going to be colder and wetter than average and both the US and European models now agree. But what Joe is saying is that the weather patterns forecast for March this year are pretty much identical to those that occurred in March of 1962. In early March of 1962 the mid Atlantic states suffered the worst winter storm to hit there during that century. It was a dozy, as bad as a major hurricane strike.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday_Storm_of_1962

    So you folks along the east coast keep your ears to the ground because that was the kind of storm you get out of the way of.

  15. Per the Pearl Harbor discussion up page: I recommend the reading of Admiral Tommy Layton’s “And I was There” book. It Outlines the intelligence failures and the systemic causes. As well as the dysfunctionality of the USN bureaucracy and officers corps pre war, particularly their inability to properly analyze evidence. As in any military (and academic for that matter) bureaucracy, contrarians were punished and discredited and syncopates were rewarded.

    • It takes time to separate the wheat from the chaff in the military high command when war comes. Despite outstanding efforts by George Marshal to do a lot of the separating even before the war for the Army (Marshall kept a black book throughout his career outlining his impressions of the strengths and the weakness of the officers he met and kicked a lot of the old guard to the curb when he became Chief of Staff) there was still plenty of Generals and Admirals that had to be pushed to the wayside after the rubber met the road and several that cost the US in combat. Such replacements tend to occur with alacrity and despite old friendships when the superior has all his chips are on the table.

      Examples?
      The defeat of US forces on defense under Lloyd Fredendall at Kasserine Pass occurred Feb. 19th, 1943. The victory of the same US forces in defense at the battle of El Guettar under George Patton occurred on March 23rd, 1943. Less than 6 weeks between the battles with opposite results.

      Halsey ordered by Nimitz with no advanced notice to take command of US forces in the S. Pacific during the Guadalcanal campaign from Ghormley despite the fact that Ghormley was a good friend of Nimitz.

  16. groupthink: when consensus is taken as evidence of correctness, in place of the evidence that led to consensus.

    this leads to a shielding of the underlying evidence from examination. instead the consensus is taken as evidence that the underlying evidence must be correct. in effect it is circular reasoning where the conclusion is taken as evidence that the conclusion must be correct.

    the problem is human ego. people hate to admit they are wrong. so when a consensus is wrong it is very hard to correct. safety in numbers protects the conclusion from further examination.

  17. This whole groupthink/echo chamber thing is insidious and frustrating to deal with.

    Since retiring I have spent many hours studying climate change and global warming. I’ve dug into IPCC reports and read numerous books and papers. I am a skeptic.

    I have 2 degrees in Oceanography and Meteorology and 40 yrs. industry work experience in Marine and Ocean engineering.

    I have 2 grown sons that are very successful in business, 4 very bright grandkids in University and 2 in High School. All of them buy the groupthink. None of them have spent anytime trying to understand the science and policy issues. When I try to engage them in discussion on climate change they turn off and are dismissive. I send them books and articles and videos and they don’t even look at them. They think their dimwitted teachers know it all and I am just old and irrelevant. Makes me want to scream.

    • Mark –

      Maybe we have had to lived through an experience of groupthink and have had to witnessed its consequences to recognise it.

      My own learning experience involved the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand. It was awful. Many of my age group in NZ learnt a lot from that.

      Regards

      M

    • I think the True Believers hang on to their beliefs very hard. Even very intelligent people can get caught up in groupthink. I think human beings have a natural tendency to go along with the group and society/politics puts pressure on them to do so. Skeptics are the exception to the rule.

      • Yes – I would agree that a goodly number of skeptics are influenced by an atmosphere of groupthink which shows in political bias. Not all here care about the fascinating science addressing the topic, as it unfolds

        Regards

        M

      • If it is true that the majority of those of us who read this blog is to partake (in some fashion) in its scientific approach to the question at hand, what do you suppose then is the reason for most of us to be here?

  18. A fascinating and well conceived essay. Mr. Booker has certainly presented a masterful case for the insanity found in the climate debate.
    I must point out that the author himself is not immune to the affliction he so wonderfully fleshes out. He refers to the communist furor of the 1950s in the US and continues the group think that Joseph McCarthy somehow created a witch hunt mentality that was unfounded in reality. He refers to the Senate Un-American Activities Committee and Mr. McCarthy’s involvement. It was actually the House UAC that was active before McCarthy was elected to the Senate, and Sen. McCarthy focused on a limited list of individuals in the US State Department, Department of the Treasury and the Pentagon. That list of some 80 persons has proven to be correct and history has vindicated his claims as presented. Yet groupthink still associates him with the larger hysteria that originated before he began his investigations.
    This should serve as notice that none of us are beyond the effects of mob mentality.

    • “This should serve as notice that none of us are beyond the effects of mob mentality.”

      That’s right. I actually got caught up in mob mentality and a riot outside a music arena in Honolulu one night, and noone was more surprised about it than me. It came right out of the blue.

      I always considered myself objective and in control but when this riot started up I found myself physically and mentally caught up in it. Not to the point that I did anything stupid, but enough to demonstrate to me that “mob mentality” is a very real thing and can sweep you along with it before you know it. A place where emotions can easily get out of control, especially if you think you have the moral highground (whether you do or not).

      My one and only riot was a very strange experience.

    • It took me the best part of two days to read Chris Bookers article.
      Your comments lack the local groupspeak, and are considered enough for me to believe you have actually read the article. Thanks.
      Now will the rest of you do as the article urges, stick to the science, not the politics…_

  19. I suggest that the large consensus supporting the invasion of Iraq is a better example of group think than Pearl Harbour. A number of wise men with extensive foreign policy experience were saying “Don’t do this”. They were ignored

    Regards

    M

    • The reference to Pearl Harbor refers to the smaller group of policy makers that permitted the attack on Pearl, indeed set the stage for it.

  20. Coincidentally, I posted this just yesterday. Charles Mackay said it 177 years ago in 1841.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/19/climate-alarmism-is-still-bizarre-dogmatic-intolerant/comment-page-1/#comment-2748200

    [excerpt]

    Some reading material is included below for those who are worried about very-scary global warming.

    The hypothesis of “catastrophic manmade global warming” is already disproved by actual earth-scale data since ~1940, where atmospheric CO2 has increased while temperature has gone down, up and sideways.

    The hypothesis of “catastrophic manmade climate change” is so vague it is unscientific – it is the hypo that increasing CO2 causes everything – warmer, colder, wetter, drier, windier, etc. etc. It is drivel.

    CO2, “the miracle molecule”, aka “the destroyer of worlds” – actually the basis for life on Earth.

    Regards to all, Allan

    THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD OF SIR KARL POPPER
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-85729-950-5_18

    Sir Karl Popper was one of the most influential philosophers of science in the twentieth century and probably of all time. He proposed that a scientific theory could not be proved but could be disproved or falsified. He claimed that ‘It must be possible for a scientific system to be refuted by experience. A theory that is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Every “good” scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is’ (Popper 1963).

    RICHARD FEYNMAN ON THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD (1964)

    at 0:39/9:58: ”If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.”
    At 4:01/9:58: “You can always prove any definite theory wrong.”
    At 6:09/9:58: “By having a vague theory, it’s possible to get either result.”
    __________________________________________________________________________

    “EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS AND THE MADNESS OF CROWDS” Charles Mackay (1841)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds

    Quotations

    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

    “Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome.”

    “How flattering to the pride of man to think that the stars on their courses watch over him, and typify, by their movements and aspects, the joys or the sorrows that await him! He, in less proportion to the universe than the all-but invisible insects that feed in myriads on a summer’s leaf are to this great globe itself, fondly imagines that eternal worlds were chiefly created to prognosticate his fate.”

    “We go out of our course to make ourselves uncomfortable; the cup of life is not bitter enough to our palate, and we distill superfluous poison to put into it, or conjure up hideous things to frighten ourselves at, which would never exist if we did not make them.”

    “We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

    • Digger – above is the science that you ask us to “stick to” and you choose to ignore:

      The hypothesis of “catastrophic manmade global warming” is already disproved by actual earth-scale data since ~1940, where atmospheric CO2 has increased while temperature has gone down, up and sideways.

      The upper-bound estimate of Transient Climate Sensitivity of ~1C/(2xCO2) by Christy and McNider (2017) is highly credible for the satellite period from ~1979 to mid-2017. This maximum climate sensitivity is so low that there is NO credible global warming crisis.
      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

      The hypothesis of “catastrophic man-made climate change” is so vague it is unscientific – it is the hypo that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes everything – warmer, colder, wetter, drier, windier, etc. etc. It falsely alleges that CO2 is the “miracle molecule” that can cause everything that frightens the chronically fearful. In summary, it is utter drivel.

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