Climate Sensitivity: the Victimization Game

Climate sensitivity continues to be a crucial factor in science-based attempts to predict the warming or cooling of the atmosphere in response to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Eighteen plus years of real world data indicate a much lower level of sensitivity than assumed by climate modelers and climate alarmists. That is not the type of climate sensitivity to be discussed here. Rather, it is the sensitivity to discussing climate issues that has expressed itself in the general press as a threat to logical and open discourse. This is manifested by the post-normal science invocation of the precautionary principle blended with political correctness and imputed psychological harm.

Sensitivity and victimization claims have become tools to muzzle a variety of free-speech activities. With a specifically attuned mindset it is not difficult to imagine topics whose free and open discussion might offend the sensitivities of selected groups. Within the current universe of sensitivity and victimization, there await carefully laid minefields ready to trap the unwary. One current virulent manifestation that has infected universities is the concept of potential offense and harm that selected “triggers” might cause to some subgroup, were they not put on alert beforehand. Possible mention of the offending topic, word, or phrase is grounds for its carrying a warning label. Dealing with traumatic issues may well be a medical problem for a specific patient. Arbitrarily expanding the universe of those potentially traumatized by words to include others not undergoing some form of event-related therapy, gives freedom of speech an unbounded gag order. 

Much like the arbitrary invocation of “Sustainability” to thwart any activity targeted by the ruling class -- if it is not “Sustainable,” it is not permitted -- if a topic is deemed to be a “trigger” it is not open to unfettered debate/discussion.

The continuing  seventeen plus year satellite record of atmospheric global temperature has not shown the “97 percent consensus’ cabal” prediction of a rise in temperature commensurate with their assumed climate sensitivity to a near ten percent rise in carbon dioxide. Satellite temperatures are statistically flatlined over this time period. To admit that their science-is-settled dogma might be faulty would be an act of apostasy to the true believers. Author Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth) showed how myth is part of our social being; author Leon Festinger (When Prophecies Fail) documented what members of a group invested in the truth of a myth do, when the myth is shown to be false. No one wants the uncomfortable responsibility to tell a child that Santa Claus is really just a nice story.

Nature itself appears to have shown that the claim of man-made, catastrophic climate change is a myth, and the disillusioned believers of such dire predictions are acting out in ways that clinical psychologist Festinger documented in a group devastated by the failure of the predicted arrival of an alien spaceship in December 1954. He coined the term “cognitive dissonance” to describe the coping mechanisms used by the members of this group. In layman’s terms, the “Say It Isn't So" song title by Daryl Hall & John Oates, describes the response by group members.

Sixty years later, cognitive dissonance is expressed via more vituperative mechanisms. Simple denial is displaced by vicious counter attack. The rage of the queen in Alice in Wonderland (“off with their heads”) is vocalized by leaders of the manmade, climate change cult. Former vice president Al Gore at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas March 2015: “The former vice president focused on the need to ‘punish climate-change deniers,’ saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting ‘accepted science,' said the Chicago Tribune.”

Grist Magazine’s staff writer David Roberts called for the Nuremberg-style trials for the “bastards” who were members of what he termed the global warming “denial industry.” September 19, 2006: "When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

As for actual beheading to settle climate debate issues, there is the Breitbart report: "Greenpeace Activist Calls for Climate Change 'Deniers' to be Beheaded": “A climate change advocate, believed to be a Greenpeace activist and Guardian contributor, has called for the beheading of so-called ‘climate change deniers’, arguing the world would be a better place without them.”

Whatever happened to all that “sensitivity” training and avoidance of “trigger” terms so in fashion with the college elite and defenders of victimization? Climate itself has been turned into a “trigger,” and there seem to be many willing to pull the trigger on those willing to speak up and challenge the myth with fact. Climate has become victimized; we dare not speak its name.

Charles G. Battig, M.D., Piedmont Chapter president, VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE). His website is