How to Win Without Having to Prove Your Case

Ok, here are the goals:  Surrender of individual freedom; more power grab for the government; and radical change in energy use.  Now how to get there?

Step one:   Stake out your position.  Be audacious.  The more alarming, the better.  Retain some malleability, however.  If you’re going to call it “global warming,” be alert to the possibility that there might not actually be any warming.  Long-term warming and cooling trends don’t actually have anything to do with human activity, so you might guess wrong.  And the data only go back so far.  Go with “Climate change,” so that you’re right either way.  If you start off on the wrong foot, don’t be discouraged.  Just change the name of the threat and move forward.  Always move forward.

Step two:  Claim that science supports your position.  Science is our god, now.  So if you say science supports global warming, it will have the same effect as that charming story about the tablets and the “commandments” brought down from the mountain.  Never acknowledge that science might yield a conclusion other than that we are on a man-made brink of destruction.  We don’t want what we call “science” questioned.   We want obedience.

Step three:  Embed in every discussion of the subject (which must take place often—remember the sky is falling) the implicit assumption that government must intervene, to save us.  Don’t explain why.  Remember that energy policy is only one goal, and not even the primary one.  We want collective and coercive decision-making.  There’s still too much freedom out there.

Step four:  When questioned, call the doubters rubes.  Well, you might be a little more subtle than that, but be just as audacious.  Call them “climate change skeptics.”  That has about the right ring to it.  It suggests that climate change is a given, and that those who are skeptical should be classed with kooks like holocaust and moon-landing deniers.

Once you get to stage four, you can (and should be) progressively more dismissive of the opposition.  We’re all about marginalizing the remnant, now.  Here’s an advanced tutorial on how it’s done.  Look at the March, 2015 National Geographic cover story.  “Less than half of all Americans believe the Earth is warming because humans are burning fossil fuels,” we read.  The author doesn’t back down just because most Americans think the global warming scare is bogus.  He spins it 180 degrees!  How?  By making this statement itself seem alarming.  It’s part of a larger and even more audacious thesis:  that there is an active war between irrationality and science, so much so that the irrational (viz., the opposition) are content to fiddle while the earth burns.

This technique is truly magical.  Er, truly scientific.  If large numbers of people are unconvinced, we just take it up a notch.  We’re rational; they disagree; therefore they’re irrational!  Get it?  Don’t worry, they’ll never see this coming.  Like the author of the National Geographic piece, we just smooth it over with a little pseudo-science psychobabble about why someone can know something is true and yet adopt a skeptical stance anyway.

The lesson:  if the plan doesn’t work, don’t back down.  Instead, kick it up a notch.  Be audacious.

3/1/15

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