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Picasso Brain Syndrome


Picasso-Brain-Strikes-the-Climate-Debate: Can’t think. Can’t reason.

Stephan Lewandowsky’s ABC article on climate change was headlined “Opinion Versus Evidence“. Then with dead-pan delivery, he lists the “evidence” but it’s all … opinions.

The question of “delusion” is looming. I mean really, is this a cry for help? There are not many laws of reason that Stephan leaves unbroken. He appeals to authority, attacks the “man”, and talks about everything bar the evidence on climate change.  Is he serious? “Trust me” he says, the world is warming because AIDS is real, mass-murderer Ivan Milat was guilty, Lord Monckton is only a non-voting member of the House of Lords, a few skeptics are burko, 97% of paid climate scientists agree that we ought to be worried and keep paying them,  and someone has discussed the actual money that climate scientists earn (how could they) and to top it off, the IPCC report is 3000 pages long (!).

Not to mention that Google Scholar (“I’m so technical”) finds lots of hits (thanks to Vice President Al Gore who arranged for the US Government to pay billions of dollars to his favorite researchers, and who also is on the Google advisory team), plus the world has got warmer in the last 150 years. So carbon must have done it then eh?

Shock me. This is science by smear, confusion, obtuse topic, and irrelevant points. Not that we haven’t seen that before, but it’s coming from a professor. He’s really going a long long way out on a limb with baseless, unsubstantiated bluster, and lit up in a neon sign that says–“Reason Free Zone”.

Apparently all the skeptic’s arguments have been falsified multiple times:

“Instead, the very fact that many of the roughly 100 falsified “sceptic” talking points are continually reiterated in public draws a clear dividing line between healthy scepticism and arrogant denialism”.

Lewandowsky lists exactly no specific examples (who needs examples when you just “know”?). Oh, but he must be right, because an editor at what was once a notable journal has been channelling the giant Rotarex in the sky, and has “seen” the true label on the foreheads of the critics, and they are not people:

The world’s pre-eminent scientific journal, Nature, therefore refers to those who cling to long-debunked pseudo-scientific conspiracy theories while dismissing the findings of thousands of peer-reviewed studies by their true label — denialists.

The Picasso-Brain-Syndrome is when a cortex has all the semblance of “normal” in that especially Picasso style– two eyes, two ears, four higher degrees, and no continuity. Massive one sided funding has created an entirely predictable consensus, and it’s creating a mental implosion in some cerebrums — people are simply unable to cope with following the evidence against the opinion. Some people are born to follow authority. It’s a shame when it happens to professors.

Make no mistake, Lewandowsky thinks he’s writing science, and he thinks he knows what evidence is–it’s headlined. So what is the evidence to convince the 40% of the nation’s unconvinced souls? It’s not thermometers, ocean sediments, ice cores, boreholes, or even crop migration of bananas–it’s a pile of brains (or rather emissions from those brains).

Stephan Lewandowsky thinks that opinion IS evidence. We want to know if the climate is going to warm due to anthropogenic emission of a trace gas. Lewandowsky thinks that if he piles up enough brain-discharges in one spot that tells us something about the climate. His graphs (if he had any) would record a rise in brains aligned with the hypothesis of man-made global warming.

But those graphs are eerily reminiscent of all the other times similar graphs appeared. Not so long ago, the opinions of many rich, smart people thought “DOW 14,000” was an accurate portrayal of reality.

He’s not just going down in flames, but he’s advertised, invited a crowd. The tenets of science are being publicly carbonised (pardon the pun) in supposedly professorial “informed” writing that embarrasses both our taxpayer funded mass media and our taxpayer funded universities. This is my former faculty of science. I cringe. The whole crowd winces. The taxi drivers are laughing. Then they realize they pay for this man, this online “forum”, and they cry like the rest of us. Blind children in Eritrea could have been cured…

Lewandowsky almost discusses some evidence in one paragraph, but gets confused.

It must be of concern when segments of the media echo the meme that “global warming stopped in 1998” when in fact all years since 2000 — that is 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 — are among the 10 hottest years ever recorded since 1880. The probability of this happening by chance is small.

Actually they’re both true at the same time, and the probability of this is highly likely. Not only is the chance of this happening not small, this is the most ordinary outcome of all. When a rising line flattens off (like the summit of a hill) all the points at the top are.. um.. at the top. Not to state the bleeding obvious, but things have been so flat lately that even Phil Jones (head of Britain’s main climate research unit and leading alarmist scientist) admitted that there’s been no statistical rise since 1995, and every graph (except fraudulent hockey sticks) shows temperatures have been rising uphill  for 200 years. Hence we are right now sitting at the top of a 200 year hill, and so unless temperatures fell shocking fast (like, off a cliff) average days now must be “records” in the bigger scheme — because the first point on the summit was a record, and the rest are all…not that different.

Climate Science is testing some human brains to their limits. Not because it’s a multi-variable, unsolvable, non-controllable-experiment with no do-overs, but because some humans appear to be hardwired to follow a leader, and therein lies the story of the impossible dilemma for the born-believer-of-consensus.  What does a brain do when it has to follow the evidence and follow the leader, and the two are going in different directions? In Lewandowsky’s case… just pretend the “leaders” ARE the evidence.


*No disrespect intended to a ground-breaking artist.

Post-hoc: Brad helpfully suggested that cerebrum is more appropriate than cerebellum. I think there was an extra pointed barb there, but perhaps it’s too much.

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