This paper, from 2013, is making the rounds again: “Meet the Money Behind The Climate Denial Movement” at, and I’m sure you’ll believe it, the Smithsonian Magazine.
There’s nothing remarkable about either the story, which is one of a legion, nor the “official” source of it. And there’s nothing unexpected in the paper’s opening:
The overwhelming majority of climate scientists, international governmental bodies, relevant research institutes and scientific societies are in unison in saying that climate change is real, that it’s a problem, and that we should probably do something about it now, not later. And yet, for some reason, the idea persists in some peoples’ minds that climate change is up for debate, or that climate change is no big deal.
Accepting the extreme flexibility of the term “climate scientist”, e.g. even psychologists count when it’s necessary to these stories, it is true a great many scientists do hold the opinions stated.
Yet, as even this paper admits, some do not. Which means they are disputes among scientists. Logically—this is a point of elementary logic—the scientific and other debates are not over, and the science is not settled. If it were, then there would be no disagreements.
Slightly curious, therefore, is the expectation that skeptical scientists, finding themselves in the minority, should keep their mouths shut—so as not to offend the sensibilities of magazine writers and other such inconsequential creatures.
The implication is that because skeptical scientists sometimes take funding for their work, that their work is therefore a lie, and meant only to obfuscate. And it is only sometimes, and even rarely, because being a skeptic embedded in this Regime does not pay. On the other hand, it is never mentioned that the scientists who support Regime views are paid thousands, nay millions and millions, of times more. Why is their work, which is so well remunerated, not tainted? If anything, given what we have seen from the Regime, the opposite implication makes a lot more sense.
Anyway, no science is ever discussed in these screeds. No plus or minuses are given, no strengths and weaknesses of positions weighed. The sides have long been drawn.
Clearly every story like this is used to support the writers’ friend side of the friend-enemy distinction. They have zero to do with science. The people hersterically shouting “Denier!” could not, even if you threatened to take away their entire Funko Pop! woman scientists collection, tell you what “cloud parameterization” means.
So the spillages about funding is always a canard. Something else is happening.
What interests us are the terms “denier” and its inescapable companion “raising awareness.” You cannot get one without the other, because if you are denying you are denying what awareness is bring raised about, and vice versa.
When a woke says she is “raising awareness” of some topic, like what new imagined devastation “climate change” will cause when it hits, no discussion is expected. No debate. The speaker might expect disagreement, but she also expects, like in a Marvel movie with a superheroine, all opposition to instantly crumble by the mere presence of the Raising Awareness words.
Again, the Raising Awarenesser might even expect that her words will fail to convince some of her audience. But, in her mind, there can be only two reasons for this: ignorance and malevolence.
Some will have never had their awareness raised on whatever topic, but only because some have never heard what was expected of them on this topic. Once they do hear, they must not disagree. There is no opposition position to take, no shade or nuance. Either your awareness is raised, or you are the enemy. You hear and believe, or you have dark reasons for your actions.
And you a denier. You have denied because you are a bad person. Only bad people do not allow their awarenesses raised. Because the awareness raiser holds the belief whose awareness needs raising, the belief is part of the being of the awareness raiser. So that when you deny, you are denying, as they say (and we should listen to them), their existence.
In a democracy, all opinions or only good or bad, and when you deny what those in power believe, you are bad. That is all that “Denier!” ever means. It means you have accused them of being bad people. And if there is anything the work are convinced of, it is that they are on the side of the good.
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