Wednesday, October 03, 2007


An off topic discussion at Climate Audit was considering Fenton/Soros and their relationship to the AGW (man made global warming) movement and how Soros intended to profit from his rent-a-mobs:

If I was a savvy investor with inside connections I wouldn’t place my bets until my objective was nearly a sure thing.

First generate a “popular” demand. Await political developments. Invest.

The job of Fenton is to create political rent-a-mobs.

It has to do with human nature - (how far off topic can you get?). It seems humans want a belief structure that gives order to knowledge. Living with uncertainty is not satisfying for the vast majority. For most folks rationality is hard. Very hard. People want certainty. It is why astrologers still exist at this late date. I used to dabble in those “sciences”. Got rather good at it. It was never about reading the cards. It was about reading the people asking the questions. Obviously this is very prone to manipulation. Since I never got a lot of satisfaction out of manipulating people, I gave it up. There are others who find such manipulations satisfying and profitable.

To understand what is going on a study of human nature would be much better than studying CO2.

So let me start with the main driver. In humans fear of loss is a much stronger driver than hope of gain. It explains why newspapers focus on bad news despite the fact that for most of us most of the time the news is good. If AGW was proven today to be bad science, there would be a new scare tomorrow.

There also seems a propensity to magnify the opposition. We need devils. No one is immune. For many here (myself included) it is the AGW folks. For the AGWists it is the deniers and the oil companies. We all want our devils, because devils is a “better” explanation than error coupled with self interest. Evil intent is much more satisfying than human bias towards the stupidity of the day.

Let me add another biasing mechanism. Youth likes novelty and change. Age likes stability. The dividing line seems to be around age 20 or 25. One of our most famous modern poets put it to music in a song called “My Back Pages” - you can look it up.

With all this going on it is a wonder we manage any rationality at all.

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