Truth never follows a straight line.
“A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence.” Richard Dawkins.
Yesterday, I started down the road of determining how one gets to the truth of a complex issue. I called the post Doggedly seeking the truth. My proposition was effectively saying that just because a person believes in argument ‘a’ or argument ‘b’ that doesn’t of itself make ‘a’ or ‘b’ the truth.
Unwittingly, Martin Lack of the blog Lack of Environment reinforced that point in spades. He wrote in a comment to yesterday’s post:
The deliberate spreading of misinformation is a fundamental part of the industry-led movement to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate disruption. Alex Rawls is just part of this campaign and I therefore do wish that you would consult me before deciding to help publicise and/or lend credence to such nonsense.
Now I have every sympathy for Martin’s outpourings of feelings; his blog is based on the conviction of his own beliefs. A position of integrity.
But taken literally, Martin’s words, “consult me before deciding to help publicise” mean that he wishes to influence what I choose to write. Of course he didn’t mean to convey that.
Back to yesterday’s post. With Dan’s permission, I reproduced the personal email that he sent me with those two articles. Dan isn’t on the payroll of the Koch brothers or blindly following an “industry-led movement to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate disruption“, he is a thinking human who is yet to be convinced that AGW is as rational a process as, say, gravity!
Humans are not fundamentally rational; we are emotional beings who even in this 21st century have little real understanding of what a human being is. (Must be honest and say that this last sentence is a tickler for a mind-opening video on the nature of human consciousness coming out on Friday.)
So if Dan is not convinced about the effects that mankind is having on Planet Earth, then spare a moment to ponder about the millions of others around the world who are far less capable, even if they had the time and inclination, to adopt a rational, open-minded view of the complexity of AGW.
It gets even more convoluted. In Professor McPherson’s video that was presented yesterday, this gets said, “If we act as if it’s too late, then we becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy”. On the face of it, that’s obvious. But on Guy McPherson’s blog Nature Bats Last the video has it’s own post and includes a comment left by Daniel, from which I quote:
There are so many insoluble dilemmas concerning industrial civilization, it’s almost impossible for anyone to attempt to propose a “solution”, or attempt to describe the work that now needs to be done, without becoming a hypocrite.
At this stage, hypocrisy is unavoidable. Beyond the point of overshoot, at least in our culture, all that’s required to be a hypocrite, is to be alive.
I have watched your presentation evolve over the last few months, and with this latest one, something struck me as peculiar. You’ve added this line:
“If we act as if it’s too late, then we becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy”.
Basically, implying that we shouldn’t accept that it’s too late. Yes?
The evidence that now exists, has established an immovable catastrophe, which is now, well outside human agency ( aside from the looming boondoggle of geo-engineering). This is what the evidence shows. We have effectively already become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The most dire warnings of the last three decades, have now become prophetic. What are eight non-reversible feedbacks if not a physical manifestation of a self-fulfilling prophesy?
To which Guy replies:
Daniel, you’re asking the same questions many others have been asking lately. I’ll try to respond with my next essay, which I’ll complete and post in a couple days.
(I’m pretty sure that next essay is this one: Playing court jester.)
Seems to reinforce the message. That we really shouldn’t be surprised at the delusions, games and power interplays going on, especially in the corridors of power, so to speak.
Right! Time for me to show my hand!
I am totally convinced that we humans are responsible for the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and that this accounts for the majority of the abnormal weather events being experienced in so many parts of the planet.
I think I’m right. Therefore I give more weight to the evidence that supports my view that, guess what, reinforces me thinking I’m right.
Is that scientific? Of course not! Science is about producing reproducible outcomes. With, say gravity, that’s a piece of cake.
I’m not a scientist, far from it. Therefore the following statement may be unreliable. That the problem with producing an uncontroversial, hard-wired proof that man is screwing up (you see, I did say that I wasn’t a scientist) our planet is that we don’t have other planets with which to test the thesis. When it surely is an uncontroversial, hard-wired proof it will be too late!
Having said all that, tomorrow I will present the best evidence that I can find to support the notion that Dan’s beliefs are wrong.
Back to Casey and that scent:
We can never be as rational as dogs. But maybe if we learnt to live more in the present, as dogs do so well, the world would be a much simpler and sustainable place.
Last words from Guy McPherson from Playing Court Jester,
On the road, there’s little possibility to develop a lasting relationship. I throw a Molotov cocktail into the conversation, and then I leave the area.
On the road, I describe how we live at the mud hut. I describe the importance of living for today. [my emphasis]