The 11 gaslighting characteristics of the climate debate

This was originally from Psychology Today by Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D. but I immediately recognized how this is wholly applicable to the climate debate. h/t to Joe Bast.

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.

1. They tell blatant lies.

You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal. 

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof. 

You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs. 

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. 

They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being. 

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it. 

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue. 

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. 

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter. article continues after advertisement

7. They know confusion weakens people. 

Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.  

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior. 

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.  

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.  

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all

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John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 9:35 am

Does Trump get an ‘A’ if he hits 100%?

Reply to  John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 10:11 am


Reply to  John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 10:19 am

He will not even score a 1 on your scale whereas the Democrats pretty much score a 90. Just look at the Russian collusion propaganda and how the Clintons vilified women who were molested by Bill.

Reply to  MR166
March 14, 2020 11:03 am

He will not even score a 1 on your scale whereas the Democrats pretty much score a 90.

From above:

5. Their actions do not match their words.

You will find many fine words from the Democrats about how they support the working people, but they threw the ‘forgotten people’ under the bus. Listen Liberal!

Curious George
Reply to  commieBob
March 14, 2020 1:45 pm

Democrats support working people, but not deplorables. Deplorables vote for Trump.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Curious George
March 14, 2020 2:17 pm

Remember, Kids, in a Worker’s Paradise you are still just a Worker.

They however are now Organisers because someone needs to impose fairness and they are clearly the best people to do that demanding role.

Reply to  Curious George
March 14, 2020 3:01 pm

There are no non deplorable working people. There are only deplorables that are not, for the moment, vilified, such as the driver or the executive chef. Just because they are not denounced or ridiculed does not make them part of the elite, they are just useful.

Reply to  Curious George
March 14, 2020 3:10 pm

The Democrats support non-workers at the expense of the workers. Open your eyes.

William Capron
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 10:21 am

Do the Democrats get an A? I mean, this is their policy right out of the handbook!

Reply to  William Capron
March 17, 2020 4:42 am

When I read this, I thought I was at one of a Trump’s rallies.

Terry Bixler
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 10:22 am

John are you attempting to be a gaslighter?

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Terry Bixler
March 14, 2020 10:31 am

John – thanks for giving us such a clear example of gaslighting on the first post.

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
March 14, 2020 12:40 pm

Yep. Gas lighter = psychopath.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
March 14, 2020 3:18 pm

Not necessarily, they could just be an ordinary sociopath.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
March 15, 2020 6:59 am

Trump is clearly a liar.

As was Obama, Clinton, Bush…

It goes with the territory.

The fact that we think Trump will damage our interests less than whomever the Dems nominate shouldn’t blind us to the man’s many character flaws.

Flight Level
Reply to  John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 10:35 am

Nice try John, Mr.Trump already scored several A+ grades for openly telling “them” what time it is.

That’s why “they” lost it and operate now in “Hippo’s tail” mode.

Reply to  John Shotsky
March 14, 2020 2:38 pm

Just because a liberal disagrees with something, doesn’t make it a lie.

PS: I love how Trump is so deeply embedded into the psyche of your average liberal, that they bring him up, no matter what the subject matter may be.

Reply to  MarkW
March 14, 2020 3:00 pm

I love how “liberal” is so deeply embedded into the psyche of your average American, that they bring it up, no matter what the subject matter may be.

Reply to  MarkW
March 16, 2020 8:14 am

Nah, only deeply imbedded in the psyche of your average useful idiot for the rest they are taking it straight out of the Democratic playbook. First president I really remember was Reagan and they were pulling this crap with him, Bush Sr., Bush Jr., and now Trump. I do believe it’s getting worse over time but that’s probably related to social media and 24hr cable news cycles. Much easier to whip up a mob and keep them angry.

Reply to  Darrin
March 16, 2020 2:09 pm

The technique is so old, they used it against Herbert Hoover. What did FDR do? He took what Hoover did and doubled down on it, prolonging things in the process.

March 14, 2020 10:00 am

This also applies to those that bought into the silly greenhouse effect.

Reply to  Zoe Phin
March 14, 2020 10:58 am

“silly greenhouse effect.”
But arguably less silly than buying humanity having the atmospheric CO2 control knob.

Reply to  Zoe Phin
March 14, 2020 2:40 pm

Actually the sky dragons are a much better fit.

March 14, 2020 10:13 am

The social class called “Politicians” are stellar examples of gaslighting. Trump is a rank amateur because of his lack of subtlety. His version of gaslighting is rather refreshing. He does not have the smooth, clear-eyed delivery of, say, President Obama. You almost believe Obama. I think that is worse, personally.

Reply to  Ken
March 14, 2020 1:05 pm

How is Trump lying? If Dems really are lying, and he points that out, it doesn’t mean he’s gaslighting. He’s helping voters resist the gaslighters by validating truth for the victims. When one side acts based on facts, not lies, the fact-based faction are not gaslighting. When victims can’t tell fact from fiction, they have a hard time getting free of the gaslighter.

Dem voters are deep victims of gaslighting, and don’t realize how dysfunctional they are. Dems are generally weak and dependent on the Dem gaslighters in government. They feel strong only in the company of the gaslighter. That’s the whole point – so the Left gain control over the voter.

It’s not hard to ID who are the gaslighting victims in the posts we are reading.

Dr Deanster
Reply to  Hoser
March 14, 2020 4:03 pm

Agreed. It is the number one thing I love about the guy. He is not a politician and gets in the face of the MSM when they start their “story telling”. That’s why they hate him and at the same time don’t know what to do with him. Republicans are supposed to cringe and cower to corners when the MSM attack them. Trump responds like a true New Yorker.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Hoser
March 14, 2020 5:17 pm

If you want to know how Trump is lying look at

It currently list over 16000 lies made by Trump since he became president.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 14, 2020 6:45 pm

Did they do any comparable counts for Adam Schiff, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clintion, Ocasio Cortez?

No. The post was lying to you.

Pointing up only one side of an argument is always lying in one fashion or another.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Philo
March 14, 2020 8:42 pm

Hoser asked “how is Trump lying?” and I replied with a list showing how and when he lies. Whether or not another politician lies is irrelevant to the question that Hoser posed.

And if you want to look at others, perhaps you could compare Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump on PolitFact. It says Hilary Clinton was “true” 23% compared to 4% for Donald Trump. Adam Schiff has a true rating of 50% and Bill Clinton “true rating” is 20%. Ocasio Cortez has not been checked. All of which suggests that Trump lies
significantly more frequently than any politician in recent memory. Which should be a matter of concern no matter which political party you support.

Reply to  Philo
March 15, 2020 9:08 am


The very first statement shows how the looney tunes think. Trump said we have never had an economy like this. The fact checker implies a lie. So, let’s see what he said. Have we had a $20 Trillion economy before? No. So he is not lying.
It might not be the standard way of measuring the economy. But there is a difference between laying it on and lying.
I’ve checked dozens of other so called lies. Maybe they were exaggerations or somehow ambiguous or maybe his staff screwed it up or maybe he interpreted what was told to him wrong but that is different than intentionally lying.

Let me give 3 examples of lies by Bernie and Hillary.

In 2016 Hillary said Income Inequality EXPLODED when Bush cut taxes.
The truth? Income inequality EXPLODED under Clinton between 1992 and 2000. The number of millionaires went up from 66,000 to 240,000 during that period. More importantly, Income of Millionaires went from $176 Billion to $817 Billion. That was much more than under Bush when the numbers were 240,000 to 320,000 and Income went from $817 Billion to $1.07 Trillion.

In 2016, Bernie said Corporate Taxes were 30% of Federal Revenue in 1953 and in 2016 they were 10%. What he didn’t say was Social Security Taxes on Corporations and Businesses were $3 Billion in 1953 and $600 Billion in 2016. Plus, those persons incorporated under Chapter S had their income under Corporate taxes and after 1986 they could be picked up under Individuals Incomes. So, actually the Corporate share of Federal Tav Revenue was very close to 1953.
Bernie more recently said the average American makes $9 to $10 per hour. There are 6 statistics that could be considered “correct” but none is $9 to $10 per hour.
Per Census Bureau. Mean Family Income $106K. Mean Household Income $93K. Median Family Income $78K. Median Household Income $63K. Per Bureau of Labor Statistics Average Wage $54K. Per IRS midpoint of all Tax Filers $40K.

All of those “Averages” are above $9 to $10 per hour.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 14, 2020 8:10 pm

That posts lists differences of opinion as lies. In other words, it is itself more gaslighting.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 15, 2020 6:30 am

WaPo has been “gaslight central” for decades. In any event, no single “lie” or set of “lies” listed has had the policy impact of:
1.”If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
2.”If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.”
3.”ACA will save the average family $2500 per year.”
and Gruber laughed as he told us they knew these were lies at the time.

March 14, 2020 10:34 am

Give him a A+, gotta fight fire with fire…

Joel O'Bryan
March 14, 2020 11:00 am

From a recent Psychological Science journal article:
author: Effron, D. A., & Raj, M. (in press).
title: Misinformation and morality: Encountering fake-news headlines makes them seem less unethical to publish and share.
“Seeing a fake-news headline one or four times reduced how unethical participants thought it was to publish and share that headline when they saw it again – even when it was clearly labelled false and participants disbelieved it, and even after statistically accounting for judgments of how likeable and popular it was. In turn, perceiving it as less unethical predicted stronger inclinations to express approval of it online. People were also more likely to actually share repeated (vs. new) headlines in an experimental setting. We speculate that repeating blatant misinformation may reduce the moral condemnation it receives by making it feel intuitively true, and we discuss other potential mechanisms.”

source and link to full text here:

This is how “Climate Communications” programs of various universities and media outlets like CNN, NYTimes, LATimes, and The Guardian are simply running propaganda campaigns. They are getting people to believe the “Fake News” of Climate Alarmism by just keep repeating the same lies and get it pushed out on social media feeds. And such as continuing to let St. Greta repeat the same lies, that most people know are false, yet it beegins to seem “moral.”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 14, 2020 3:12 pm

The global warming (CAGW) / climate change scam is promoted using Lenin’s propaganda tactics. The fit is perfect.

The Lenin’s, Stalin’s, Hitler’s and Mao’s are already out there – wolves in sheep’s clothing, just waiting to seize power. Then you will see their true brutality.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that these 20th Century killers all pretended to be human until they seized absolute power and terminated their opposition, real and imagined? Do you think Pol Pot of Cambodia was an anomaly? He is the norm.

The Canadian Liberals’ and the American Democratic Party’s current policies are straight out the quotes of Vladimir Lenin.

“Truth is the most precious thing. That’s why we should ration it.”

“We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

“Free speech is a bourgeois prejudice.”

“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”

“People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics.”

“It is, of course, much easier to shout, abuse, and howl than to attempt to relate, to explain.”
“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

“Trust is good, but control is better.”

“As an ultimate objective, “peace” simply means communist world control.”

“One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers Communist and the disarming of the bourgeoisie the middle class.”

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

“Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

Russ Wood
March 15, 2020 8:59 am

And, as a last resort: “We know where your dog goes to school!”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 14, 2020 4:02 pm

“We speculate that repeating blatant misinformation may reduce the moral condemnation it receives by making it feel intuitively true,”

That is the whole purpose of “blatant misinformation”. It’s deliberate brainwashing. Like the man said: Tell a lie often enough, and people will start believing it. It’s true. Lying works.

Unfortunately, many human beings are easily fooled into believing things that are not so. Fortunately, not everyone is so credulous. We don’t know the percentages of each right now, but I bet we’ll know after the November 3, US presidential elections. We’ll see whether a free people can govern themselves properly in the face of daily, unrelenting political propaganda and distortions of reality from one political side, or whether we go down the Democrat/Socialist/Authoritarian “Road to Ruin” path because too many people were fooled by the propaganda put out by the Left and the Leftwing Media.

I think there are a lot of people in the US who can see through this leftist BS we are bombarded with every day. We’ll know soon.

Rhys Jaggar
March 14, 2020 11:04 am

There are no political colours to gaslighting. The left and the right do it. They may do it about different subjects, but both sides have their gaslighting arenas.

the right do it if you ever question whether capitalism is the only way of organising a society. They do it if you question overseas military adventurism. They do it if you stand up for sensible rights for gay people. They do it if you challenge the universal goodness of ‘Christianity’. They do it if you say that not every Israeli citizen is perfect, nor is any Israeli government. They do it if you ask why billionaires get bailed out but poor folks are left to rot.

The left do it about climate change, about LGBTQI issues, about the trans agenda, about ethnicity (try telling a leftie that some of the biggest financial criminals are Black Africans lol), about whether collectivism is always better than entrepreneurialism.

Those are just the ones I have experienced.

Of course, not all active political people behave that way. But enough do to make engaging in politics a very unpleasant activity.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 16, 2020 8:41 am

Um…don’t confuse “gaslighting” with “defending”. Although the examples you provide are caricatures of right-wing positions by leftists. But whatever.

I’m sure you’re correct that people on both sides of the political spectrum can argue in bad faith, and practice reprehensible tactics like gaslighting. I suppose the best one can do is be aware of the characteristics so as to know when they’re being used, and thus avoid falling into the traps they set.


March 14, 2020 11:33 am

I think John fails to distinguish between “trolling” (a la Trump) and “gaslighting” (a la Gore or Mann). Gaslighting has an agenda, purpose, motive etc. But true trolling in its purest form is like a dog chasing a car, it’s purely for the lulz.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Clutz
March 14, 2020 4:14 pm

Yes, Trump does like to jerk the chains of the morons on the Left.

My favorite is still his “offer” to put solar panels on the Southern Border Wall, in an effort to sell the Wall to the Democrats. You should have heard the Democrats when he said that! 🙂

Nancy Pelosi thinks the country will be lost if Trump gets re-elected. She says we are gong to lose America if he wins. What she is really saying is the socialist agenda will be lost if Trump wins and the socialists will lose their gains if he wins re-election.

Democrats always presume their thinking represents the thinking of the majority of Americans. The Democrats think they are the majority in the nation. They think this because the News Media carries their political water with the voice of authority, which is their one and only advatage over their political opposition, albeit a formidable advantage considering the numbers of credulous people across the nation.

Nancy, the only way we will lose the nation is if we American voters are stupid enough to put people like you in charge of our lives. I don’t think we are that stupid, especially after seeing you idiots put the nations through hell for partisan, political purposes. You have really done damage to the United States with your partisan, selfish stupidity. I look forward to seeing all of you voted out of office, while simultaneously finding out your really are not the majority thinking in the good ole USA. The Silent, Commonsense Majority is getting ready to be heard..

Malcolm andrew bryer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 14, 2020 11:58 pm

I think this is the most rational response I have read to the Trump hysteria of the Democrats. May the Common Sense majority continue to put the pretentious snobs on the back foot.

Whenever the intellectuals get excited about a theory of everything, like socialism, communism, fascism, esperanto, vegetarianism, veganism,environmentalism, uthenasia, eugenics, and so on, —BEWARE!

There is no man-made theory of how to fix the world that is the answer to all the world’s problems. Anyoner who thinks so is delusional, and dangerous. Anyone propagandising such a theory is offering you a journey down the road to tyranny.

March 14, 2020 11:35 am

Here is an example of trolling:
comment image

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Ron Clutz
March 14, 2020 12:18 pm

Curse you Clutz, you got me!

March 14, 2020 11:37 am

At least, the greenhouse gaslight effect may be real.

John Robertson
March 14, 2020 11:56 am

Damn nice description of our Media Party and the political UniParty they are employed by.
“How’s your work”being the simple answer to the chattering class,who are mostly useless except as entertainment.
Actions speak louder than empty talk.
The end result is not that I doubt my sanity,it is to be amused and amazed by our stupidity.
The Old Wive’s Tales were all built around this behaviour and how to counter it.
These Empty Emperors are naked,fat and ugly.
The latest counter for their exposed action is,”But our intentions were pure”.
Parasites never let go,voluntarily.

Tim Spence
March 14, 2020 12:06 pm

Indeed, the whole environmental movement is a giant steamroller. It doesn’t exist to debate or consult, it is BORG and squishes everything in its path as it inches ahead.

The only countermeasure is to cut off its fuel supply (your money) because as with Socialism and Communism it ends when they run out of other peoples money.

J Mac
Reply to  Tim Spence
March 14, 2020 12:26 pm

We have a winner! +10!

March 14, 2020 12:24 pm

John Shotsky in the first reply above illustrates characteristic #12; deflection aka “whataboutism.” We here at WUWT are truly blessed to have such excellent teachers.

March 14, 2020 12:59 pm

Gaslighting has worked pretty well for environmentalists. When you get into a detailed discussion with regular folks you can see the confusion in their eyes. They simply don’t understand how you have all of these facts that refute much of what they’ve heard.

March 14, 2020 2:15 pm

The reason given for #1 is wrong. The reason why politicians tell obvious lies is that it is the one method left to display power.

We all live too much the same to display it with conspicuous wealth; a cell phone is a cell phone, a luxury car looks pretty much like a KIA, designer clothes look like off the rack, even philanthropy has become cluttered with an excessive number of foundations. And there are so many mechanism for delivering subsidies, tax exemptions, and other government goodies from the city, county, state and Federal government, that even this sort of largess doesn’t effectively display power.

When a politician tells a lie straight into the camera and the reporter does not call them on it the politician has displayed his/her power. Unless you are going to jail or execute your opponents, telling obvious lies are pretty much the only means left to display power.

March 14, 2020 2:17 pm

Here in New Zealand our media both News Papers and TV News are constantly gas lighting, repeating lies from overseas sources such as The Guardian , New York Times , and CNN.
There is no attempt to air any alternate perspective and the result is straight out propaganda pushing climate change ,anti Trump ,and anti Brexit.
The latest is the Corona Virus ,and the news media has jumped on board to tell us that it will delay climate change as we will use less fossil fuel as people around the world restrict travel .
In the next day the news media are screaming because governments have imposed travel bans to try and slow the spread of the virus .
Here is an example of gas-lighting that has become accepted as a “fact” in most mainstream news outlets.
I see that the advice from these news agencies is to eat less meat to save the world from climate change and this is constantly repeated.
This is one of the biggest lies spread by all news outlets through out the world and if they repeat a lie enough times it becomes a fact with no one questioning it.
The truth is that farmed animals add no additional atoms of carbon or molecules containing carbon such as CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere over any time period as the process is a closed cycle.
The facts that are not in dispute is that all fodder eaten by farmed animals has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows.
A small amount of Methane CH4 is expelled as the animals digest the cellulose content with the aid of methode microbes in their stomachs .The microbes rapidly multiply and become a food source for the animals as they pass through the digestive tract .
The methane is broken down in the upper atmosphere into water vapour and CO2 in 6 to 10 years and the cycle continues with no increase in GHG levels as it is a cycle with nothing being added .
This is an indisputable fact and no one has put forward any reasons why biogenic methane was ever included as an emission in any countries emissions profile.
The only response is” methane is bad and will heat the world ”
Every other emission is extracted from below the earths surface where they have been locked up for millions of years.
A cycle that adds nothing to the atmosphere over time can never be a problem except in peoples minds because the lie is constantly repeated .
Proud to be farming to feed the world with carbon neutral cows .

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gwan
March 14, 2020 4:22 pm

“Proud to be farming to feed the world with carbon neutral cows .”

That’s right! The way I read it, cows are good for the climate and some people have suggested that farmers should be subsidized to raise more cattle. There was an article on WUWT some time ago suggesting just that.

Alarmists should stay away from our cows! And everything else for that matter.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 15, 2020 11:54 am

This is an assault on a sector that is in essence a pure capitalist part of the world and that is universal even in the USSR they never cracked the private farming sector and drive.
You correctly pick the closed cycle reality of farming and the position could be made that you pay for the residence time of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere but that would demand the same discussion for wood chip, ethanol, and all the other socialized plays including solar panels and wind farms.

That would not appeal to the ruling class would it!

March 14, 2020 3:41 pm

“5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.”

I immediately was reminded of Obama and his henchman here. Eight years of that.

March 14, 2020 3:48 pm

What is this term supposed to come from. Are we talking about lighting gas ie. igniting gasoline or illuminating something with a 19th century gas powered street light, or theatre lights around the edge of the stage?

Or maybe it a reference to striking a match to light your farts.

None of this seems to be even vaguely linked to behaviour described above.

Interested Observer
Reply to  Greg
March 14, 2020 7:46 pm

“Gaslight” is an old movie about a philandering man who tries to convince his wife that she’s insane, to deflect her attention away from his cheating and to destroy her credibility within their social circle. It’s pretty much: “Who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes?”

The original term probably comes from the fact that gas lights emitted a fair amount of carbon monoxide, which is alright for street lighting but can be very bad indoors. In low concentrations, carbon monoxide can make people feel dazed and confused. Over an extended period, a person experiencing these symptoms would indeed begin to question their sanity – hence the term “gas-lighting”.

Given that carbon monoxide can also kill people quickly and without any warning, it’s easy to understand why gas lighting was so quickly replaced by electric lighting.

Reply to  Greg
March 14, 2020 10:27 pm

Go to

March 14, 2020 3:55 pm

Thanks, Anthony, for a valuable checklist on gaslighting techniques and how they are a perfect fit for the alarmist advocates of the Climate Debate.

March 14, 2020 4:13 pm

Here is the original , harrowing :
Interesting MGM wanted the negatives destroyed without success.

March 14, 2020 4:38 pm

Reply to Greg.
You sure show your lack of education so I will try an enlighten you but I doubt that you will understand .
Gaslighting came from the Film “Gaslight” released in 1944 about a husband manipulating his wife to think that she was loosing her mind .The husband turned gas lights on and off and the result was that his wife came to believe that she was insane .
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sow the seeds of doubt ,making their target or targets question their own memory.perception or judgement .
When lies are circulated and quoted as facts and any one questioning the liars is vilified that is when the term gaslighting comes into play .
Read my post above.
You should wary of a naked light near your rear end as methane burns with a blue flame .

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gwan
March 14, 2020 7:09 pm

Everybody is ignorant …. only on different subjects. – Will Rogers

Not knowing “Gaslighting” refers to what happened in an old Hollywood movie does not show one’s lack of education anymore than not knowing the origin of the saying “the whole nine yards” or a “hog on ice” or the name and designation of the only US battleship not named after a State and it’s use and designation after it was decommissioned.

Everybody is ignorant …. only on different subjects. – Will Rogers

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 15, 2020 3:11 am

Thanks to Gwen for filling my inexcusable ignorance of 1940s US hollywood movies.

Thanks to Gunda Din for saving me the time ripping into her inexcusable attitude.

BTW Gwen, I will try an enlighten you but I doubt that you will understand, methane only burns with a blue light when fed with oxygen, when not pre-mixed it burns with a yellow flame. I know, I’ve tried. You apparently are talking from ignorance. Also while you were watching antiquated movies, I was studying physics, we learnt this in high school with our bunsen burners. You sure show your lack of (useful) education.

Obligatory Safety warning:
The main safety requirement of lighting farts is to ensure there are no holes in your jeans which would allow the flame to travel back to source and cause a blow back. The speed of the flame front is much faster than the speed of expulsion of the gas. Darwin award to anyone who tries this game without clothes.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gwan
March 14, 2020 7:14 pm

PS Do you know the name of the main figure of speech I used in my other reply?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
March 15, 2020 2:25 pm

Answers: (The best I know. Feel free to further my education.)
The figure of speech is a form of epanadiplosis, repeating the same word or words at the beginning and end of a sentence.
(I know, I didn’t repeat the words at the beginning and end of a sentence. I repeated them at the beginning and end of an “argument”. That might make it a different figure. But you got the point, which is the point of a figure of speech, to call attention to something so that you get the point. (Please don’t ask me to figure out the name of that last figure!))

“the whole nine yards”:
I used to think that it was a reference to US football but it’s not. It’s most likely origin dates back to WW2. The ammo belts loaded into the machine guns on US fighters were typically 9 yards long.
So if a pilot returned with no ammo left, it was said he gave them “the whole nine yards.”
He gave it all he had.

“hog on ice”:
I had never heard the phrase before I read of it’s origin.
It refers to winter sport of “curling”. (Anybody remember the opening of “ABC’s Wide World of Sports? Those guys with the brooms on the ice were playing “curling.”)
Sort like shuffleboard on ice. Someone launches a large stone (called a hog) with a handle on it across the ice aiming for a bulls-eye like target. The closer the hog is to the bulls-eye, the more points are scored at the end of the round. A strategy is to place a hog in a position so that your opponent has no clear shot at the bulls-eye, sitting there like “a hog on ice”.
An obstacle to the goal.

The USS Kearsarge, BB5, was named after the Union’s Civil War vessel.
She was a pre-dreadnought battleship.
Decommissioned in May of 1920, she converted into a crane ship, AB-1. (Later renamed “Crane Ship No.1 which freed up the name to be used for other ships.)
In WW2 she helped build aircraft carriers. She was scrapped in 1955.

Now that we all know about “cooking with gas” and battleships and sealing wax, none of us are ignorant of anything and so there is no further need for “education” or learning.

Or maybe we should follow the advice of that old guy selling a Mexican beer, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

Reply to  Gunga Din
March 15, 2020 4:58 pm

Another possible source for “the whole nine yards” is from construction. A standard cement truck transports enough concrete mixture to cover roughly nine square yards.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  drednicolson
March 21, 2020 11:57 am

I’d heard it was something to do with sailing ships.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Gwan
March 14, 2020 11:38 pm

“manipulating his wife to think that she was loosing her mind”

hoo boy.

March 14, 2020 5:42 pm

Just be a person immune to manipulation. Know what is right, true and honourable. Have integrity. Surround yourself with good, worthy people. Ignore those addicted to drama, those who have empty hearts, without conscience, those who use and discard others. Be compassionate but not gullible. Be kind. Have a backbone of principle.

March 14, 2020 8:35 pm

Maybe gaslighting explains what appears to be an inexplicable weakness in statistics and what appears to be an inexplicable atmosphere bias such that climate science insists on explaining all surface phenomena on earth in terms of atmospheric composition and to explain atmospheric composition in terms of emissions as a way of justifying climate action against the use of fossil fuels.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  chaamjamal
March 14, 2020 11:40 pm

“Maybe gaslighting explains what appears to be an inexplicable weakness in statistics”

There is no weakness in statistics. There is only willful fraud on the part of certain climate scientists.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
March 15, 2020 6:08 am

Yes sir. Thank you Jeff Alberts. I thought about it some more and decided to construct a hypothetical gaslighting scenario.

Leo Smith
March 14, 2020 10:20 pm

Mmm. That’s my Ex. Narcissistic personality disorder. A very expensive mistake.

March 15, 2020 3:41 am

Nobody wants to ban guns!

Nobody is taking anyone’s gun!

Australia shows the way forward!

We should copy Australia!

You don’t need an AR-14!

Repeal or rewrite 2A!

Gunga Din
Reply to  niceguy
March 15, 2020 6:18 am

Good example.

Aaron Watters
March 15, 2020 6:25 am

I agree that climate alarmist use these methods. Trump does too. Here is a useful resource

Reply to  Aaron Watters
March 15, 2020 12:23 pm

Why do Dems hysterically oppose voter ID laws?
Why don’t they cooperate with investigations of vote fraud?

What suggests that vote fraud by Dems isn’t hyper massive?

Chris Hoff
March 15, 2020 7:57 am

A lot of what I saw on the list could be called the tools used by sales people, depending on how you frame them. So if a salesman persuaded a customer to buy the latest product and abandon their old one, you might argue he’s just being a good salesman. It could be said that when desktop computers first came out a lot of people were sold a product they didn’t need, couldn’t use, were able to get by just fine without. Now you wouldn’t think of running a business without some degree of computer technology in place. If they hadn’t been tricked into buying them in the first place they would get stuck on a steep learning curve trying to modernize. Very fine line between persuasion and deception.

March 15, 2020 12:43 pm

Russia is an enemy. The enemy. Publishing (sometimes silly) political ads is literally an act of war.

Selling controlling shares of an uranium extracting corporation to Russia was non controversial, non political, the consensus position, so obviously State Sec had nothing to do with such an inconsequential move.

March 15, 2020 6:21 pm

There were two films called Gaslight, the first was Anton Walbroiok as the villiaan, it is a British film and very good. Then a few years later was the Hollywood version staring Charles Boyer and Ingred Bergman, and with a very young Angela Lansbury. in her first film as the maid.

The gaslight seen by Bergmn dimmed as Boyer was in the attic searching for the jewels of the previous owner who he had murdered.

The final scene where Bergman turns the tables on Boyer is brilliant.


He wanted Bergman committ ed s he could continue searching for ther jewels.


Bill Treuren
March 15, 2020 9:57 pm

Gas lighting must have a greenhouse gas content ban it!!

Christopher Paino
March 16, 2020 2:31 pm

Just remember… you can’t gaslight a gaslighter!

Farmer Steve
March 17, 2020 8:48 am

Narcissism learn it know it. Avoid it.

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