Monday, August 25, 2014

Time to Turn the Tables

There are whole university "centers" for studying how to convince the public and scientists like me that global warming is an immediate, catastrophic threat. So, I thought it would be fun to turn the tables and link to a psychological study that helps explain why, for example, the global warming cult gets more 'confident' as the science gets less definite. The entire story is here.

A reasonable reading of these results is that a lot of environmentalists experience many aspects of the modern world as chaotic and thus seek to compensate for their perceptions of disorder by engaging in ritual behaviors that make them feel like they are exerting more personal control. It is not much of a leap to conclude that by imposing those rituals on others, some environmentalists seek to reduce their dread of disorder even more.
Why call them rituals? Because it is not all that clear that they actually do anything much for the natural environment. For example, the costs of curbside recycling often outweigh purported benefits, and lower organic crop yields mean more land taken from nature.

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