Over Christmas I got around to reading 1984 by George Orwell again. I had not read it for years, but wondered if it had parallels with the climate “debate”.
Interestingly, I found that if you substitute the War in 1984 for the climate, then the mindest and tactics of the “warmists” at the extreme end of the scale are scarily aligned. I urge you to read 1984 and in your mind, subsitute the war in the book with a climate war and make the party/big brother the warmists. It works in a way that disturbed me quite frankly.
One of the terms in the book is “doublethink”, which is the ability to accept two conflicting viewpoints as correct simultaneously. This has led to another phrase being coined by social scientists, “Groupthink”.
This is the Wiki description of the traits of Groupthink. I think the parallels with the “science is settled” gang are quite striking:
Type I: Overestimations of the group—its power and morality
- Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
- Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
Type II: Closed-mindedness
- Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions.
- Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
Type III: Pressures toward uniformity
- Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
- Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
- Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”
- Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
Groupthink, resulting from the symptoms listed above, results in defective decision-making. That is, consensus-driven decisions are the result of the following practices of groupthinking
- Incomplete survey of alternatives
- Incomplete survey of objectives
- Failure to examine risks of preferred choice
- Failure to reevaluate previously rejected alternatives
- Poor information search
- Selection bias in collecting information
- Failure to work out contingency plans.
I’m still fact-finding for my piece to be called “Richard Black: International Man Of Mystery”. Just a few loose ends to tie up……