I came across a comment by Louis Hissink under Joanne Nova's post about the Australian Acadamy of Science's recent propaganda effort -
http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/head-of-australian-science-academy-issues-decree-from-pagan-chieftans-of-science/comment-page-2 (# 64)
AGW/MMCC/MMGW proponents are platonists suffering from cognitive dissonance.
Here's the comment. Perceptive hardly does it justice:
I came across a related topic some days ago (I think it was on John Ray’s Greeniewatch site) or American Thinker, or Lew Rockwell/Mises or DissectLeft) about the role Platonic philosophy and the role of Philosopher Kings determining what is done in governing a country.
Ah, I start to recall – in the US there is the tea-party movement that is essentially leaderless, and better described by Hayek’s indentification as a self organising society etc.
I’ll have to search for this op-ed in the above blogs before I comment further here as it was a thing-to-do when I got back to Perth this week.
That said, AGW is fundamentally a Platonic mindset phenomenon where authority on high decides what is, whether in science, politics, or religion. In this sense opposition to AGW is fundamentally a political one by the non-Platonists, and ought to be discussed under this light.
Notice that the discussion here about climate sensitivity and CO2 etc is essentially rhetorical and not based on data produced by physical experiment and measurement.
Indeed the very fact that the argument is over the behaviour of CO2 specifically, (it does not exist physically as a separate gas in air whose properties might be measured), makes the whole effort scientifically nonsensical – it’s air of a specific chemical composition that is the object understudy – and in terms of Brownian motion, the thermal behaviour of air per se, and CO2 are not necessarily the same thing. Water ice with dissolved CO2 behaves physically as ice, and varying it’s chemistry, within obvious limits, doesn’t really affect its physical behaviour in a practical sense.
But when the debate is limited to theoretical considerations, in the absence of physical experiment, then that activity is simply a Platonic dialog and consensus arrived at by artful persuasion rather than from compulsion by experiment.
AGW is therefore a creature of the political left’s mindset, one which, never having to have to confirm it’s conclusion in reality, displays extreme congnitive dissonance when things go awry and fundamental beliefs are challenged. That this group control most of government, the education systems and the universities, means that no amount of scientifically valid contradictory evidence will ever persuade them that their ideas are, in the first place, wrong.
That’s why sceptics, or climate realists, have such a hard time making headway in this debate.
And history seems to show that the Platonists never learn from experience, so that fact makes it doubly hard to counter the AGW belief.