The Truth Is What Helps You!



In spite of a scientific consensus, many continue to resist or ignore the message of climate communicators – but why? What are the social and emotional explanations for this reaction?

Remember when the good comrades of the Soviet Union used to deal with their inconvenient political opponents or troublesome intellectuals by denouncing them as insane and locking them up safely out of the way in deepest Siberia?

The BBC has reinvented that technique in an attempt to discredit and silence climate change sceptics and force them out into the ‘cold‘…one of the first out of the blocks with this Kafkaesque solution was of course the now defunct Richard Black making an allusion that sceptics were abused in their childhood:

‘Why are virtually all climate “sceptics” men?…all proud possessors of a Y-chromosome….….climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads “climate hell”.
As one ex-scientist and now climate action advocate put it to me rather caustically a while back: “I’ve been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn’t be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood”.

…And the BBC continues with repeated claims from its journalists that sceptics are ignorant, unqualified and driven by a political or industrial agenda…..and note the recent use of ‘Blogger’ as a description of all sceptics.

The latest smear is yet another attempt to label  sceptics as ‘in denial’, in need of psychoanalysis and treatment to remedy this ‘perverse state of mind’

In Thinking Aloud (16 mins in) (Via Bishop Hill) the BBC bring in Sally Weintrobe, a psychoanalyst,  and Paul Hoggett, to add the weight of  academic qualifications to their smear.   Weintrobe tells us that psychological techniques are used by people to deny or rebel against Society’s impress…ie climate change is real but scepticism is merely a childish response pushing against authority.

It does look likely that Weintrobe is not merely looking at climate change from a psychoanalyst’s view but is in fact a ‘campaigner’.

The programme began by the presenter telling us that sceptics indulge in ‘The security of ignorance’……so no doubt the angle he is coming from then.

Weintrobe tells us that it is increasingly clear that understanding people’s responses to climate change is more important than understanding climate change.

Where have we heard that before?

Now if you have been having a roam around the blogosphere reading the various articles by climate change advocates you will have noticed the change in emphasis….forget the science, that’s settled….it is now all about communicating the ‘reality’ to the ignorant masses…we must persuade them to believe.

I just wonder who has been talking to Weintrobe…both her and her fellow psychoanalyst on the programme, Paul Hoggett, seem remarkably up to date with the latest ‘narrative’ in climate change politics.

Has Harrabin or Dr Joe Smith been in touch to guide their thinking…or have they been soliciting her advice on how to deal with those who don’t have the Faith yet?

[Interesting link from a comment on ‘Bishop Hill‘ which highlights a comment from the very same Joe Smith on a YouTube video featuring…‘Speeches given at the book launch of ‘Engaging With Climate Change: Psychoanalytic and Interdisciplinary Perspectives’, edited by Sally Weintrobe. October 2012′  Smith says….’The discussion and the book are really welcome: this is a long-neglected corner of the conversation about how we cope with the emergence of new understandings of global environmental change. Joe’]

The question Weintrobe says is most important is ‘Why is knowledge of climate change reality so resisted?’

Possibly because the ‘reality’…that man made CO2 is the main driver of  global warming is as yet unproven.
The major fault with the programme, and which makes the programme kind of redundant, is that it avoids the inconvenient fact that most climate sceptics acknowledge that the planet has warmed…..they just disagree on the cause….therefore they are not ‘in denial’ about a fact….they just question the conclusions drawn by scientists, politicians, green pressure groups and others with deep vested interests that CO2 is the main driver.

The programme begins by saying ‘We take it as a given that climate change is happening’ (the unspoken part being…caused by man)…..‘our lack of concern can only be explained by unconscious factors.

Apparently people are too scared and anxious about the consequences of climate change to admit it is happening…they cannot cope with reality…don’t worry….psychoanalysis has a lot to offer we are told.

Our grief at the death of the planet is too great so we deflect our grief as the landscape cries tears….the guilt, anxiety and worry will just build up… need to engage with climate change before it is too late.

The Truth is what helps you!

Your fantasies, feelings and sense of identity can conflict with the reality…they can be treated.

There are three types of denial….industrial and politically driven denial, personal negation (which is merely the first step on the road to acceptance of the truth) and the very worst kind…as indulged in by climate sceptics…..DISAVOWAL, where we know the truth but turn a blind eye to it.

Criminal madmen?

It is unfortunate that we are in a culture of denial…..a ‘perverse state of mind’.

We are increasingly aware of ‘weird weather’ (heard that before?) and so must minimise reality and disavow it to protect ourselves from dealing with it.

Have no fear though…we can move beyond this….by understanding our own depression and getting treatment.

So that’s clear….anyone who expresses doubt about climate change is in denial, disavowal in fact, is depressed and in a perverse state of mind.

Well, all good fun….but it was a serious point I opened this post with…this is nothing less than an attempt by the BBC to label anyone who has doubts about climate change as psychologically disturbed and in need of treatment.

It is surely the BBC that has lost hold of its senses in propagating this nonsense which is no more than politically inspired mud flinging aimed at silencing and discrediting climate sceptics…and as made clear…this is not an isolated incidence…it is part of a concerted campaign by BBC journalists to undermine and stigmatise sceptics.

Keep paying the license fee.


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23 Responses to The Truth Is What Helps You!

  1. pah says:

    So sceptics were abused as children eh?

    By someone at the BBC perhaps? They, after all, have form. Is that why they are so sure of this? Were they there at the time?

    Surely someone should investigate; maybe an ex-Beeboid just to ensure balance?


  2. Old Goat says:

    The BBC busy lying in 2007

    Then this (I posted in the Telegraph):

    Marc Morano versus an idiot (Michael Brune) on the television show of another idiot (Piers Morgan):

    and Lubos Motl’s very intelligent take on it:


  3. Sceptical scientist says:

    A psychoanalyst discussing climate change deniers? Karl Popper would have loved that. Had he still been around I am sure that he would have added the “settled science” of global warming theory to Marxism and Freud’s psychoanalysis as non-scientific theories. Proponents of all these views will come up with endless “verifications” as justification, but a scientific theory is never “settled” and must be falsifiable. Good summary of Popper here:


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Thanks for this link. I’d never read it in the man’s own words before. All I can do now is quote this amazingly prescient bit:

      I found that those of my friends who were admirers of Marx, Freud, and Adler, were impressed by a number of points common to these theories, and especially by their apparent explanatory power. These theories appear to be able to explain practically everything that happened within the fields to which they referred. The study of any of them seemed to have the effect of an intellectual conversion or revelation, open your eyes to a new truth hidden from those not yet initiated. Once your eyes were thus opened you saw confirmed instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory. Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the manifest truth; who refuse to see it, either because it was against their class interest, or because of their repressions which were still “un-analyzed” and crying aloud for treatment.

      Watermelons and the BBC in a nutshell. And not exactly unlike extreme religious devotion. This is exactly what so many of us have been saying for years.


    • johnnythefish says:

      Very interesting – thanks for the link.

      ‘As for Adler, I was much impressed by a personal experience. Once, in 1919, I reported to him a case which to me did not seem particularly Adlerian, but which he found no difficulty in analyzing in terms of his theory of inferiority feelings, Although he had not even seen the child. Slightly shocked, I asked him how he could be so sure. “Because of my thousandfold experience,” he replied; whereupon I could not help saying: “And with this new case, I suppose, your experience has become thousand-and-one-fold.”

      What I had in mind was that his previous observations may not have been much sounder than this new one; that each in its turn had been interpreted in the light of “previous experience,” and at the same time counted as additional confirmation….’

      Floods! Blizzards! Bushfires! Must be caused by climate change! (And while we’re at it, let’s call it ‘extreme weather’….)


  4. Idiotboy says:

    Black, Harrabin and the like can believe in any old bollocks they like, it is after all a free country (so far), and if it makes them feel good about themselves, so much the better. What I object to is that they are pushing their own particular brand of testicle soup at me by virtue of being publicly funded, in part by my own hard-gotten annual contribution to BBC coffers, a compulsory tax from which I am unable to opt out without attracting the attention of the uniformed branch of the revenue service.
    The BBC should not hold a “position” on anything at all if it lived according to its charter, let alone a much disputed and contentious branch of atmospheric physics.
    Shootings too good for them.


  5. Quentin Thunderpants says:

    Is “Climate Change” a new religion? Most rational people, not just men, think so. If this were the middle ages there is no doubt that Deniers would be burnt at the stake. As it is Deniers are abused, undermined, ridiculed and when finally trashed, they are simply ignored. Job done!

    So the theory is proven; Climate Change is a religion. For those in any doubt there was a secret conference, at a secret place and at a secret time, that I not allowed to tell you about, that has settled the science. The conclusions were of course unanimous. You have my word on it!

    So why is the BBC promoting this new religion you may ask? The answer is also simple. Like any all-powerful organisation, and as we know the BBC is all powerful as no government dare take it on, the first thing to do is establish complete control over the minds of your subjects They must be made to bow down before their betters, there can be no debate, no opposition and those that disagree must be done in. Exterminated without mercy!

    The BBC cannot conform to, or promote any existing religion so a new one has to be invented and Climate Change fits the bill very nicely thank you very much. However, just like any other religion it cannot allow facts to get in the way of its own perceived truth and authority and, as we well know, the proclamations of the New Order of High Priests at the BBC are supreme and must not be challenged.

    You will believe.
    You will pay your licence fee.
    You will be given no choice.

    However, for the moment, you will be allowed to grumble because as yet you are not a threat.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Climate Change science is the Brontosaurus. The BBC is trying to infuse all programming with the Brontosaurus science consensus from the year 1900 because Brontosaurus advocates told them that the man over there holding an Apatosaurus skull is evil.


  7. JimS says:

    Could it be that we just don’t believe any of them anymore, too much crying wolf?

    In the 1970’s the BBC told us that we were in for a new ice age, in the 2000’s it’s global warming. Then we are told there will be no more snowy winters; the present one is ‘extreme weather’.

    At the start of the 2012 we are in for drought, a sign of things to come, we will never make up the deficit, the summer sun will evaporate anything that does fall. At the end of 2012 we are flooded out, the most rain ever, well in England anyway and only since the start of the 20th century and only a few millimetres more than average. Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!

    As for Sally Weintrobe, the poor dear, she was actually worried that the media made more fuss over the fake Beyonce singing than the Obama mish-mash of a speech plagiarising those of Republicans Lincoln and King. Empty rhetoric from the most ineffective US president of our time. She must be in denial! All of a sudden she is a ‘climate scientist’ too, citing Hurricane Sandy as ‘extreme’. The only thing special about Sandy was where it made landfall; a few go west, most hit Florida and a few go north; big deal.


  8. DJ says:

    But wait… didn’t Comrade Paul Mason tell us that it was good to ‘deny or rebel against Society’s impress’?

    Besides, I can’t help noticing that it was Fortnum & Masons that got trashed and not the UEA’s Climate Fraud Centre.

    Ironically enough, all this just proves exactly what us naughty old skeptics have been saying. Once you accept AGW as a serious scientific theory, even though it claims the weather will get warmer, or colder, or possibly stay the same (or all at once) then all bets are off. Once theories are no longer required to make actual, testable, predictions, what isn’t science?

    Of course these people are claiming to be able to psychoanalyze millions of people who they’ve never actually met. Why not? These guys long ago abandoned squaresville concepts like logic and reason in favour of developing new and more exotic ways to say ‘conservatives suck’.


  9. johnnythefish says:

    More shenanigans from the IPCC covered here (it’s science, Jim, but not as we know it):

    I’m sure Harrabin will be hosting a discussion on it soon (not).


  10. johnnythefish says:

    ‘Why are virtually all climate “sceptics” men?…’

    Well if the BBC for once looked outside of its CO2-filled echo chamber, it would find this very capable lady:

    So, BBC get her in the studio, live, with Ms Weintrobe. What have you got to fear?


  11. Richard Pinder says:

    I am a denier of the assumptions because the fact is that the Unified Theory of Climate calibrates CO2 warming in the Earths atmosphere using thermodynamics, as far too small to be detected, as well as pointing to Cosmoclimatology as having the answer to Global Warming in the 20th Century. But as someone with one of the highest IQ’s in British Mensa, I have no idea how too talk to the inferior ape type morons at the BBC about this. I suppose I could tell the BBC psychiatrist that I used the Scientific Method (“Once you make an assumption, you then try to prove the assumption right or wrong“). Which prevented me from joining the consensus of ignorance. I assume the reason why Atmospheric Physicist do not appear on the BBC is because the Psychiatrists do not agree with them on Climate Science. Bloody Hell, where will this end I wonder. This shows the problem is not the scientists, it comes from the left-wing green activists influence on Public Relations, Journalists and Editors especially at the BBC, as has recently been revealed by the identities of the people invited to the BBC‘s Climate Change Seminar. These groups are almost exclusively qualified in the Arts and Humanities and seem to be morons who worship science as though it was a religion. I suppose we can only look to what happened in the Soviet Union as to how this insanity is going to end.


  12. London Calling says:

    “The rise in drug resistant infections is comparable to the threat of global warming, according to the chief medical officer for England.”

    So no threat at all really.

    If ever there was a topic for study by psychiatrists it is individual’s addiction to threat, and the consequent need to “save the planet” . Its called Munchausens.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘So no threat at all really’
      That claim really backfired, not only serving to help dismiss the former but also drag it down whilst putting the boot into the anchor that is the latter.
      Which is a pity, as the infection resistance does strike me as a concern.
      Having been away for a wee while it also gave me pause to ponder the metaphor of viral infections and the dangers between no treatment and too much treatment.
      Certainly the Flokker spores do not appear to have been suppressed by being mostly ignored, though rather hilarious demands of blog site owners to atone for independent posters was quaintly hilarious, especially in comparison to a paid medium that addresses errant employees with paid leave or promotion. And to find two gaily discussing their mutual travails over the lips of their respective petri dishes as they propagated was irony too far.
      ‘What are the social and emotional explanations for this reaction?’
      A very odd route to go unless they have decided that science is not just settled, but also doesn’t now suit.
      I was educated in the sciences and graduated as an engineer.
      I am a committed environmentalist, at least in terms of increasing efficiencies and reducing waste.
      That has not prevented my looking critically at a lot spouted in the name of green and finding it wanting, especially in simple terms of adding up.


  13. Ian Hills says:

    Was Black abused as a child by politically-correct teachers? That might have led to him “identifying with the aggressor”, to use a psychoanalytical expression.

    Or is he just lacking a Y chromosome (ie not enough b*lls to face down the warmists)?


  14. Steve Jones says:

    Was watching a programme last night called ‘Genius of Invention’. It was very good for the most part as it celebrated people like Watt and showed how important power stations like Drax were to the UK and the importance of a reliable source of electricity for modern, comfortable, living. All good stuff I thought and a bit off message compared to the usual AGW agenda driven output we are so used to from the modern BBC. Then, in the last 5 minutes they went amd spoiled it. Out came the blatant lie that CO2 is a pollutant and the importance of converting Drax to biomass. At that point I hit the off switch.


    • Beeboidal says:

      I watched that too, and with that mountain of stored coal on view, I knew what would come…eventually. But if the people at Drax are thinking of replacing coal with biomass (primarily wood), they can forget it. The RSPB, Greenpiss and Fiends of the Earth don’t like biomass.

      “Dirtier than coal” – says RSPB, Greenpiss and FotE


    • Old Goat says:

      I started to watch it, then saw the patronising format, thought “Blue Peter”, and watched something more interesting. Wise choice, by the sounds of it.


  15. The PrangWizard says:

    I watched the programme in which Kate Humble and another woman who I think has some qualification or other, follows the sun round the world. I think it was on the BBC. She was covering the issue of expansion and contraction of ice in the Actic and stated without qualification that we were causing climate change. The programme then switched to the other woman who was diving into the ‘blue hole’ in the sea off Belize to see the stalagtites at around 40metres depth. They can only be created ‘above ground’ she said. After it was expained that it was all ‘above ground’ once because of the ice age 40 odd thousand years ago, Kate Humble then stated that humans are now messing things up so much that we are capable of bringing on the next one.
    The BBC has no shame.