‘Mediacracy’ creates consensus


"Stop telling me what to think!"

“Stop telling me what to think!”

People don’t have to think for themselves any more, because the media does it for them.

The ABC, like the BBC in the UK and the majority of mainstream media outlets in the US, parrots the same liberal-left slant on every story, including the absolute belief in the alarmist position on climate change. Daniel Greenfield writes:

A nation where governments are elected by the people is most vulnerable at the interface between the politicians and the people. The interface is where the people learn what the politicians stand for and where the politicians learn what the people want. The bigger a country gets, the harder it is to pick up on that consensus by stopping by a coffee shop or an auto repair store. That’s where the Mediacracy steps in to control the consensus.

The media is no longer informative, it is conformative. It is not interested in broadcasting events unless it can also script them. It does not want to know what you think, it wants to tell you what to think. The consensus is the voice of the people and the Mediacrats are cutting its throat, dumping its body in a back alley and turning democracy into their own puppet show.

Media bias was over decades ago. The media isn’t biased anymore, it’s a player, its goal is turn its Fourth Estate into a fourth branch of government, the one that squats below the three branches and blocks their access to the people and blocks the people’s access to them. Under the Mediacracy there will still be elections, they will even be mostly free, they just won’t matter so long as its upper ranks determine the dialogue on both sides of the media wall.

The Mediacracy isn’t playing for peanuts anymore. It’s not out to skew a few stories, it’s out to take control of the country. In military empires, the military can act as a Praetorian Guard. In political empires, it’s the people who control the political conversation who also control the succession.

The remainder of the article looks at the US angle, but from an Aussie perspective, so much of this is applicable.

We have the ABC, a conservative-free zone, which never, EVER, reports any story about climate change which challenges the accepted consensus, and which demonises and ridicules those who do, supported by liberal-left academics who claim that any media outlet which does, or which criticises their politically correct opinions, is part of an evil “hate media” which should be muzzled by legislation.

For those of the population which rely on the ABC for their news, there is no doubt about climate change, just as Tony Abbott is as wicked as John Howard, and that Julia Gillard had nothing to do with a union slush fund which was allegedly defrauded by her ex-boyfriend.

Fortunately, however, the media cannot control the direct effects of their agenda on the population, such as losing one’s job or house because the economy has slumped, or losing one’s property rights because of crazy planning laws resulting from climate change alarmism, and people wake up to realise they have been duped.

We can see this happening in Australia, as more and more people are discovering just how much of a lefty echo-chamber the ABC has become. Despite all attempts by the ABC to derail Abbott and the Coalition at the election in September, the people weren’t fooled, and for that we should be grateful.

Extreme weather deaths at lowest ever despite ‘global warming’


Rocketing downwards

Rocketing downwards

If ‘global warming’ is such a big problem, and extreme weather events are becoming more common and more intense, we should expect deaths from such events, both in absolute and specific terms, to be increasing. But they aren’t. In fact, they have plummeted in the last century, as the graphic on the right shows (click to enlarge)†.

And in case you’re wondering what happened after 2008, the figures for 2009—2013 are continuing to decline even further, with deaths per year down to under 25,000 for this most recent period.*

Why is this? It’s not because extreme weather events are decreasing – increased reporting, better communication and greater population spread in remote areas has meant such events have increased significantly. No, it’s because as global wealth has steadily increased, our ability to deal with such events has improved out of sight. Better adaptation, construction and planning, affordable thanks to economic progress, has enabled a much larger population to cut death rates from 241 per million per year to just 5.

As Fraser Nelson writes in The Spectator (and to whom the hat is duly tipped):

We tend not to hear about all this because journalists, like politicians, are in the business of identifying and drawing attention to problems. And rightly: it’s human nature to be never satisfied, to always raise the definition of success, to always strive for something better. For as long as food banks remain needed, for as long as people are sleeping rough in Britain and hungry in Asia, for as long as anyone dies of a preventable disease like Malaria then there’s still plenty to be outraged about.

But what is going wrong with the world is vastly outweighed by what is going right.And the run of depressing news stories can actually blind us to the greatest story of our age: we really are on our way to making poverty history. Thanks to the way millions of people trade with each other, via a system known by its detractors as global capitalism.

It’s a story that no one organisation or government can take credit for – and a story that doesn’t particularly suit anyone’s agenda. But the story is there, for those with an eye to see it.

I don’t believe there can be a clearer message from these data – crippling the global economies with pointless carbon taxes will not change the weather, and will seriously hamper our ability to adapt to and prepare for whatever climate change may occur in the future, be it warming or cooling.

† from Goklany (2009), available here (PDF) * Data is here.

The ABC’s Charter


Leans to the Left

Leans to the Left

Pinched from Biased-BBC and tweaked remarkably little:

  1. The BBC ABC is an institution that must always be part of the public sector & funded by the licence fee taxpayer,
  2. Any criticism of the BBC ABC is simply the result of politicians attempting improper influence,
  3. High public expenditure is good: the public sector is preferable to the private sector, which by seeking the profit motive, is inherently evil,
  4. Margaret Thatcher John Howard was an evil woman man whose policies ruined Britain Australia [and Tony Abbott is likewise an evil man whose policies will ruin Australia]: BBC ABC spokesmen should, wherever possible, use the word “Thatcherite Howard Era” disparagingly and contemptuously,
  5. The Murdoch empire is inherently evil and must be shown to be such at every opportunity, The Guardian, Observer and Independent The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald are fine newspapers, whereas the others are beyond the pale.
  6. Left wing comedians such as Jeremy Marieke Hardy, Mark Steele, David Mitchell and Jo Brand Catherine Deveny, the Chaser Boys and the team from The Hamster Decides are to be hired as much as possible by the BBC ABC: the more obscene and offensive their output, the better the BBC ABC likes it,
  7. Christians who openly wear a cross are suspect (Israelis are similarly suspect) whereas Muslims must always be granted craven levels of deference,
  8. High levels of immigration are good, and anyone seeking to limit uncontrolled mass immigration is racist,
  9. The EU UN is ” A GOOD THING” and people opposing it should have their views ridiculed and disparaged,
  10. Global warming due to man’s activities is a fact: it cannot be disputed,
  11. Public and Grammar Private schools are inherently bad whereas comprehensive public schools are inherently good. Failing comprehensive public schools do so because of lack of funding, political interference or being located in areas of deprivation: however their failings can never be blamed on the teaching profession,
  12. The state must always protect all people from any harm or misfortune irrespective of cost to the taxpayer, or their behaviour.

One more added in the comments:

  • No government was in power between 2007 and 2013. All the bad things happening to Britain Australia are entirely attributable to the Tory-led coalition after 2010 Abbott government since September 2013 or to Thatcher Howard (see 4 above).

And one of my own:

  • A highly doubtful story about a conservative politician allegedly punching a wall in the 1970s (but which nobody actually saw) will be afforded widespread and continual coverage, whereas a well documented alleged fraud of union funds in which a bunch of Labor goons appear to have been in it up to their necks, and which is currently before the courts, will be suppressed as not being newsworthy.

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments!

Group-think described


Group-think rules…

Group-think rules…

Christopher Booker, writing in the UK Telegraph, points to a fascinating extract from a book entitled “The Blunders of our Governments” by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. The extract in question refers to the work of an American psychology professor in the 1960s, Irving J. Janis, who studied the cultural phenomenon of group-think.

When reading the following paragraphs, keep in the forefront of your mind the following:

  • the ABC (and its ideological twin the BBC);
  • John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli of Skeptical Science;
  • Stephan Lewandowsky and his psychology mates, and
  • the majority of the ‘consensus’ community in climate science

and see how much of it can be applied to them.

Janis became intrigued by a sequence of unfortunate episodes in modern American history that seemed to him to display a number of common characteristics: the Roosevelt administration’s faiure in 1941 to prepare for a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; the Truman administration’s rash decision in late 1950 to invade North Korea; the launching of President John F. Kennedy’s clownish Bay of Pigs expedition in 1961; and Lyndon B. Johnson’s escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War during the mid-1960s. To that original list, he later added President Richard M. Nixon’s attempt to cover up his own and his henchmen’s complicity in the notorious Watergate break-in of 1972.

According to Janis, whose views are now almost universally accepted, group-think is liable to occur when the members of any face-to-face group feel under pressure to maintain the group’s cohesion or are anyway inclined to want to do that. It is also liable to occur when the group in question feels threatened by an outside group or comes, for whatever reason, to regard one or more outside individuals or groups as alien or hostile. Group-think need not always, but often does, manifest itself in pathological ways. A majority of the group’s members may become intolerant of dissenting voices within the group and find way, subtle or overt, of silencing them. Individual group members may begin to engage in self-censorship, suppressing any doubts they harbour about courses of action that the group seems intent on adopting. Latent disagreements may thus fail to surface, one result being that the members of the group come to believe they are unanimous when in reality they may not be. Meanwhile, the group is likely to become increasingly reluctant to engage with outsiders and to seek out information that might run counter to any emerging consensus. If unwelcome information does happen to come the group’s way, it is likely to be discounted or disregarded. Warning signs are ignored. The group at the same time fails to engage in rigorous reality-testing, with possible alternative courses of action not being realistically appraised.

And the following paragraph could have been written for our friend Professor Lewandowsky:

Group-think is also, in Janis’s view, liable to create “an illusion of invulnerability, shared by most or all the members, which creates excessive optimism and encourages taking extreme risks”. Not least, those indulging in group-think are liable to persuade themselves that the majority of their opponents and critics are, if not actually wicked, then at least stupid, misguided and probably self-interested.

Denial, conspiracy ideation, extreme free-market adherents – add those to the list and we’re done! It continues:

Irving Janis’s own conception of group-think is tightly bounded. It refers only to situations in which members of a face-to-face group feel, consciously or subconsciously, a need to maintain the internal cohesion of the group. It is, in that sense, a purely psychological concept. But of course the notion of group-think can be extended and used more widely to refer to a variety of situations in which there exists such widespread agreement among the members of a group about the desirability of a given course of action that no threats to the group’s internal cohesion ever arise. Because there really are no dissenters in the group, no one in the group ever expresses dissent. There are no nay-sayers. Everyone is agreed. But such situations can be just as dangerous as the ones Janis describes. The decision-making processes associated with unforced agreement may be just as defective as the ones associated with suppressed dissent.

As Booker concludes:

[Janis's] account of “the illusion of unanimity”, and how group-thinkers regard anyone daring to question their belief-system as an “enemy” to be discredited, superbly characterises the mentality of that small group of “climate scientists” at the heart of driving the warming scare. This was never more clearly brought home than by those Climategate emails, showing how they were ready to fiddle their data to promote what they themselves called “the cause”, and to suppress the views of any scientists they saw as a threat to their illusory “consensus”. We all casually use the term “group-think”, but I had not known how comprehensively Janis explains so much that is puzzling about this world we live in.

Perhaps Cook, Lew, Nuccitelli and the rest of the “consensus” crew should take a good, long, hard look in the mirror now and again, instead of applying pseudo-psychology to their critics.

ACM’s Bah Humbug Awards 2013


Inaugural 2013 Awards

Inaugural 2013 Awards

“Deck the halls with howls of folly, fa la la la la laa, la la la laa!”

There’s no better way to get the hysteria across than attacking Christmas, so the first two inaugural ACM Bah Humbug Awards go to…

Sarah Zielinsky – Smithsonian Blogs – for her piece entitled: “Six Ways Climate Change Is Waging War on Christmas

Sarah channels the spirit of Scrooge by explaining how all our favourite elements of Christmas are slowly being destroyed by “global warming” – reindeer, white Christmas, hot cocoa, maple syrup, Christmas trees and, of course, Santa’s home at the North Pole:

If Santa really lived at the North Pole, he would have drowned long ago. But any fantasies we have about him making a home on floating sea ice will surely die within the century. The extent of summer sea ice in the Arctic has been shrinking, and it could be gone entirely within decades. The U.S. Navy predicts an ice-free summer Arctic as early as 2016.

“We really are heading towards an ice-free Arctic in the summer,” Andreas Münchow, an Arctic scientist at the University of Delaware, told the Guardian. “It just takes a freak event eventually, in the next five or 10 or even 20 years…. The long-term trend is that the ice is disappearing in the summer in the Arctic.”

Unfortunately, she carefully avoids the fact that Al Gore predicted the end of Arctic ice by, er, 2013.

Greenpeace UK and Jim Carter for “An Urgent Message from Santa”

I am sure the character Jim Carter plays in Downton Abbey, Charlie Carson the butler, wouldn’t have any time for environmental hippies, for as he says in Series 3, Episode 8:

“I’ve never been called a liberal in my life and I don’t intend to start now.” (source)

Please send your suggestions via the comments for further worthy recipients.

And the environmentalists accuse sceptics of “misinformation”…!


UPDATE: The original image (here) now has over 12,000 shares on Facebook. and increasing rapidly. The ignorance of social media knows no bounds…

A friend alerted me to this image, allegedly showing the plundering of the Great Barrier Reef by the evil capitalists now in charge in Canberra:

Fake, very fake

Fake, very fake

Gosh, if that really were true… Alas it is half a world away from the GBR. It actually shows the creation of the Palm Island in Dubai:

Context

Context

But hey, who cares about facts when we’re spreading green hysteria? Lacking the capacity for any critical thought, mawkish emotion trumps anything.

Thanks Nick.

Bush fires not a result of climate change


Natural processes?

Natural processes?

Some common sense from the normally moonbat state of California, in an analysis that would apply equally well in Australia:

For purposes of analysis, the history of wildfire in California can be loosely categorized into pre-European settlement fire regimes and post-European settlement fire regimes, especially the last fifty years where rigorous fire suppression efforts have been undertaken.

Natural fire regimes that existed prior to European settlement in California (pre-1700) involved a wide range of fire frequencies and effects on ecosystems; roughly one-third of the State supported frequent fire regimes of 35 years or less. Some areas likely burned on an almost annual basis. Pre-European settlement fire patterns resulted in many millions of acres burning each year, with fire acting as a major ecological force maintaining ecosystem vigor and ranges in habitat conditions. The pre-settlement period is often viewed as the period under which the “natural” fire regime standard for assessing the ecological role of fire developed.

In the suppression (modern) era, statewide fire frequency is much lower than before the period of European settlement. Between 1950 and 2008, California averaged 320,000 acres burned annually, only a fraction of the several millions of acres that burned under the pre-settlement regimes. Land uses such as agriculture and urbanization have reduced the amount of burnable landscape, and most wildland fires are effectively suppressed to protect resources, commodities, and people.

Before the twentieth century, many forests within California were generally open and park like due to the thinning effects of recurrent fire. Decades of fire suppression and other forest management have left a legacy of increased fuel loads and ecosystems dense with an understory of shade-tolerant, late-succession plant species. The widespread level of dangerous fuel conditions is a result of highly productive vegetative systems accumulating fuels and/or reductions in fire frequency from fire suppression. In the absence of fire, these plant communities accrue biomass, and alter the arrangement of it in ways that significantly increase fuel availability and expected fire intensity. (link - PDF)

Paul Homewood (h/t) summarises thus:

  • Large and frequent wildfires were the norm before European settlement.
  • Regular wildfires provide an essential ecological function and increase forest health and diversity.
  • Acreage burnt reduced drastically during the 20thC, as fire suppression methods took effect.
  • This fire suppression, though, had the calamitous effect of allowing a dangerous build up of biomass, that now makes fires larger and more intense.

Perhaps somebody might tell Obama.

Perhaps somebody might tell Flannery.

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