Below the fold I’ll summarize Cockburn’s arguments and how they use the denialist tactics, George Monbiot’s responses (including his amazing crank-fu!) and discuss why in the future we may start seeing global warming denialism from the left as well as the right.
It’s important to remember both the left and the right have anti-scientific tendencies, the left’s just tend to be less religious, less world-threatening and more woo-based. My brother recently told me about moving to California, “they don’t believe in Jesus here, just bullshit” in reference to the woo-based beliefs of large portions of the population. The risk of unscientific tendencies is when people with potential to become cranks see a scientific theory as a threat to some overvalued idea they hold dear. Sometimes the over-valued idea isn’t even a bad quality, it can be compassion – but taken to an extreme. If the left starts to see global warming policy as a money-grab by the elites, expect to see more left wing crankery and climate denial based on conspiratorial beliefs about carbon markets.
I suspect this is what has happened to Alexander Cockburn, a lefty who has gone over the deep end, on what appears to be suspicions of a conspiracy to further defraud and hurt poor countries using global warming science.
Basically, I was saying that the origins of anti-scientific arguments are based on certain overvalued ideas that the left has as well as the right. Neither is completely free of unscientific movements. How does Tim Blair read my statements?
That this means there is no consensus on global warming science!
CONSENSUS LESS CONSENSY
Mark Hoofnagle predicts:
In the future we may start seeing global warming denialism from the left as well as the right.
But … but … the debate is over! And it’s been over for 15 years, according to Al the Colder:
I actually can’t figure out exactly what his reasoning was here. Does it mean that left wing crankery somehow disproves science? That Alexander Cockburn, a political writer, disagreeing with global warming science is proof of no consensus? This is classic crank logic here though. A single sentence out of context proves they’re right! There is no consensus! If any left-wingers think something stupid the science is untrue!
Sadly, he doesn’t allow comments without registering (and he isn’t registering anyone new). Basically, they all sit around in a circle-jerk making fun of my last name (I’m being persecuted!) and acting like it’s some great coup that Tim Blair could take half of a sentence out of an essay saying something completely different, and warp it into something absurd.
**Update** Blair has suggested that I’m made unhappy by the attention I’ve gotten from his blog and the Blairites. Quite the opposite. The thing about running a blog on denialists and cranks is that you’re going to be attacked. I’m mostly amused when it happens. And besides, the Blairites don’t troll like others have – the 9/11 truthers come to mind. If anything they’re very polite, if a little touchy. I don’t mind having them around at all and am not so afraid of trolling (or just dissent) that I create a gated community of people who agree with me.