The Coming Season of Teflon Fools

An eye over the planetJames Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, has begun a backtrack on anthropogenic global warming alarmism. See here and here.

There is too much to say about intellectual and political failures on climate over the past 25 years, so I’ll have to confine myself to a single point:

The next five years are going to see the greatest mass application of Teflon in human history.

All those grandiose, world-historical claims from sci-activists, activo-journalists, and badge-wearing fellow travellers are going to disappear – almost. There won’t be a record – almost. There won’t be a single person who admits to applying smear-and-jeer tactics against those who had the temerity to disagree. Or to apply basic argumentative logic. Or to apply scientific method, or to understand the concept of the null hypothesis.

As a commenter at sceptic site WattsUpWithThat put it:

I have a particular disdain for individuals who make grandiose statements of absolute certainty, like “billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable”, and then later will say things like “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.”

Basically it admits to saying that the original statements were made without sufficient evidence, and then later when the evidence came in, they feel they can backtrack with little consequence.

It shows the complete absence of humility. It shows the complete absence of responsibility. And of course, such individuals should be ignored, but the sad thing is, they will not be ignored because they will instead be paraded as examples to others.

My great concern is over accountability for reporters and correspondents, not sci-activists. The media is very good at disappearing evidence of its foolishness and faddishness. And it’s not enviro-reporters at issue, because their failure is so obvious. It’s those correspondents and commentators who, through narrative-setting, implication, selective quotation, adjective choice, debate control and snide humour made clear their support for the fad, and their dismissive contempt for those who disagreed.

Despite their ‘disappearing’ skills, all those grandiose pontificators will still be up front and centre in public debate. They’ll still have their profiles and influence. But in an entirely different way.

Bad luck for them, we have the internet. We have screen shots. We have YouTube. No matter how vigorously  they apply  the Teflon, a little piece of foolish is going to stick. Or, in some cases, a large piece of knavish.

It’s metaphorically appropriate that it is coming up to Anzac Day. In this case, as in others, we won’t forget.

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