Waiter, There's a Fly in my Agitprop

A Fly in the Global Warming SoupTo the dismay of green-oriented psychologists, seeing and hearing a lone skeptic for as little as 45 seconds in a “balanced” news story on global warming is enough to erode viewers’ confidence in the anthropogenic global warming theory. The solution? No more dissenting views. They are far too powerful, evidently. Hence, the common phrases “global warming deniers,” “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.” These are all attempts to stifle or dismiss even a peep from a questioning voice, because just 45 seconds of questioning can upset the tenuous belief some hold in man-made global warming alarmism.

The American Psychological Association wants Congress to give them tax-dollars to work with other organizations in developing media messages targeting behavior changes. Specifically they want to get people to reduce their “carbon footprint.” Keeping the other side of the debate out of sight looks to be a critical piece of their psychological puzzle.

According to a recent story in USA Today, 16,000 members of the American Psychological Association are just wrapping up a four-day conference in Boston. Hot topics include changing what America eats and how to produce better agitprop to bolster belief in global warming, and foster carbon-targeted behavior changes. One proposed strategy is encouraging students to rebuke fellows they observe engaging in “non-sustainable” behavior, like failing to recycle. Psychologists observe that people are more likely to actively disapprove of such behavior if it is perceived as more harmful. This is an old, time-tested strategy. Researchers at the conference are calling it “increasing sensitivity to the natural world.” It’s more commonly known as demonizing.

By far, the most telling piece of research presented at the conference was put together by Stanford social psychologist, Jon Krosnik. He concludes that news stories presenting a “balanced” view of global warming reduced viewers’ belief that humans are at fault and also reduced the number of people who thought climate change would be bad.

Details on the experiment from the USA Today story: “By editing CNN and PBS news stories so that some saw a skeptic included in the report, others saw a story in which the skeptic was edited out and another group saw no video, Krosnick found that adding 45 seconds of a skeptic to one news story caused 11% of Americans to shift their opinions about the scientific consensus. Rather than 58% believing a perceived scientific agreement, inclusion of the skeptic caused the perceived amount of agreement to drop to 47%.”

Every day, Americans are bombarded with the message of global-warming alarmism. From the TV news casts, car and light bulb commercials, newspaper articles and editorials, radio announcements to sitcoms and films, America is deluged with thousands of hours of anthropogenic global warming propaganda. Going by Krosnik’s research, 45 seconds of skepticism is all it takes to shatter majority status for global warming believers. Truth is indeed a powerful thing.

4 Responses to Waiter, There's a Fly in my Agitprop

  1. Terry August 19, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    The approach of the American Psychological Association and the supporting media saturation of the global warming scare fit the principles of propaganda used by that esteemed humanitarian, Joseph Goebbels, as he crafted the German psyche for Hitler.

  2. Jeff August 19, 2008 at 6:47 pm #

    Wow! In the absence of open public debate on the global warming issue, Americans aren’t accepting the one-sided alarmism of GW believers.

    Now, the American Psychological Association has found a way to claim THEIR piece of the GW action. In exchange for taxpayer funding, they will devise ways to more effectively brainwash the American people into becoming believers. In exchange for our tax dollars, the APA will advise the GW believers on how best to employ propaganda techniques against their fellow countrymen. GW orthodoxy has now entered the psychological warfare stage. The majority of Americans have become the enemy of GW.

    Here’s the problem facing the belivers of GW: They cannot allow open public debate on the issue because flaws in the underlying science are too easy to reveal. They would lose the GW war. But by not allowing open debate, the people will not become believers in numbers sufficient to embolden the law makers. What a dilemma! Without a huge army of believers, politicians are reluctant to pass GW laws that inflict economic hardship on people who see no resulting benefit from the hardship. Perhaps the believers can hang their hats on the brainwashing and propagandizing of the American people. Alarmist rhetoric, cries of doom and gloom, have become so common place that most people are turned off by it. It’s clearly time to twist the screws of persuasion, and the APA is just the ticket. Right?

    I would like to believe that Americans are not lemmings that GW believers would take them for. Time will tell. I hope I am right.

  3. Rob N. Hood August 22, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    So the tin hats come on under certain circumstances, but not under others. Rather than come to immediate semi-paranoid conclusions that coincide with existing belief systems, that only serve to make one feel comfortable, why not remain more open to possibilities? Do you know for CERTAIN global warming isn’t happening or may happen? I sure don’t. Both sides of the issue can be accused of “alarmist rhetoric.” But most people simply choose the one that they feel more comfortable with. For all I know it may be all part of a new conspriacy- but if so who does it benefit. I will only believe it if all those nasty commie environmental groups and evil scientists are backed by and controlled by the monied elite. But I’m sorry, all current information does not indicate that to be the case. Truly it doesn’t. The real monied interests are Big Oil, Pharma, Chemical, and all those ver very rich shady characters who perfer to remain in the background. Are environmentalists sneaky commies trying to Socialize Amerika? C’mon, really now- that idea is extremely paranoid, and sorry, but gullible too. There’s plenty to be paranoid about, to be sure. But there are many scapegoats out there which are easy distractions from the true enemies of democracy and freedoms. And basically, my friends, these evil-doers are in plain sight… After all, isn’t that the best place to hide?

  4. Dan McGrath August 22, 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    Personally, I *do* know for certain that global warming has been happening. It’s always happened since the dawn of the earth’s creation. Climate warms. Climate cools. Been happening for millennia. Nothing we can do to stop it, so enjoy the ride. Better warm than another ice age.

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