You Need to Understand Twisted but Clever Logic Used to Drive Political Exploitation of Climate and Environment.
In 2003, the late Michael Crichton gave one of the most germane speeches about the challenges we face today. His opening explains the issue.
I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
Crichton’s observations were a result of a diverse modern career. He trained as a medical doctor at Harvard with post-doctoral work at Oxford, England. He became famous as a writer of science fiction including Jurassic Park. His most perceptive book about sorting truth from fiction was about the environment and global warming titled the State of Fear. He understood how environmentalists exploited human-caused global warming (AGW) and lay out the method with accurate climate science. Notice that his phrase “the disinformation age” anticipated the term for ‘fake news.’
Ironically and sadly, two parallel changes occurred to aggravate what Crichton identifies, both making people more vulnerable to exploitation. 1. Most governments decided to reduce and downplay the importance of reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. The word ‘discriminate’ changed from the ability to make positive, logical judgments, to only making negative ones, so the skill was virtually eliminated. 2. The Internet that caused the remarkable increase in the amount of information and disinformation, created another effect. People who are readers, not writers are unaware of the range of ways of communicating ideas. Electronic communication and the need for brevity dramatically reduces the clarity express an idea or a message; witness the pressures and change of Twitter. This is a classic example of what Marshall McLuhan meant when he said, the medium is the message. I became fully aware of what he meant when a TV producer asked for ideas to illustrate a program on climate environment. She rejected almost half from the list of 20 as, “not lending themselves to television.”This means that your view and understanding is the result of the distorted and limited information. For example, how would you illustrate pollution on television? You are usually reduced to the standard video image of ‘pollution’ belching from smokestacks (Figure 1). In fact, today, in almost all cases across the developed world, what they omit is water in the form of steam….. Read More