The Climate Couch

The Best of the Web Today is one of my favourite commentaries. James Taranto can picked apart and pretty much destroy most Leftist arguments. Here he is taking in one of my pet peeves re: climate change and the attempt by global warmists to pathologize any attempt to refute it or a refusal to accept the so-called consensus:

“Do you have a tendency to worry excessively about the weather?” Corbis

The Climate Couch

Can psychologists make global warmists of us all?


Global warmists have a problem, which they hope to solve through therapy–for others.

“If there weren’t such a stark divide between American conservatives and almost everyone else on the question of the existence and importance of climate change–a divide that can approach 40 points on some polling questions–the political situation would be very different,” writes New York magazine’s Jesse Singal. Warmists need a way of “convincing a lot of conservatives that yes, climate change is a threat to civilization.” Achieving that objective “has more to do with psychology than politics.”

How many psychologists does it take to change a conservative’s light bulb? Only one–but the conservative has to want it to change.

Our reference to therapy was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. What Singal has in mind isn’t individual treatment but mass psychology–i.e., propaganda. His argument is that “the climate activist community” has “failed to understand” that “messages targeting conservatives” should be “radically different” from those aimed at liberals. He advises warmists to draw on frameworks from social and political psychology, such as ”moral foundations theory” and “system justification.” That ought make it possible for them to develop methods to promulgate correct beliefs–or, as he puts it, “to nudge conservatives toward recognizing the issue.”

We’d say all this is unlikely to amount to anything–not because we doubt that the underlying psychological theories have some merit, but rather because Singal and the psychologists he quotes are laughably biased in their understanding of the “problem.”

Read the whole thing here.

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