Competition in the meme pool

Climate change activism has relied heavily on memes to spread its message – ‘the greenhouse effect’; ‘Polar Bears are in peril’; ‘Global warming will reach a tipping point then were doomed’.  As well as direct climate memes there are also counter-opponent memes –  ‘Skeptics are extensively and generously funded by evil big oil’.

A meme is an idea or belief that is spread through society.  This is a concept analogous to the inheritance of genes, except that memes are ‘units of information’ spread by cultural contact.  Memes are the sagas, folktales and nursery rhyme-hand-me-down dos and don’ts of our age, the sound-bite age.  Often they are close cousins to spin.

Climate memes now have rivals in skeptic memes. Intentionally or not, skeptics have successfully planted a number of memes that have fallen on the fertile ground of public minds and have germinated and started to thrive and grow.  This has resulted in the Tipping Point Reached I noted from social media reactions to articles on climate last week.

Skeptical memes are taking hold because they make sense to people – good old common sense.  It makes sense that clouds are very important to the climate and should not be overlooked in climate models. That’s why Svensmark’s theory is so appealing and the world is willing science to find out that it, or a variation of it, is supported by empirical evidence.  Joe Public doesn’t care – it makes sense to him “Well, stands to reason don’t it mate?”.

Likewise we’ve always known that the sun is our source of light and heat and we know in our bones that we should worry if old Sol is heading for a rest phase. Did not our ancestors worry annually such that we find elaborate seasonal calendars like Stonehenge across the world tied with sun- and nature-worship?  With Mother Nature providing plenty of snow and cold it’s easy for the average person to brush off complex arguments about positive feedbacks from increases of a trace gas and go with what seems to be self-evident. And if doubt remains, they can drag up the vestiges of a half-remembered history of frost fairs and the lack-of-sunspots-little-ice-age.

Ultimately we may not need to worry about the scientific consensus contrived by the climate cartel. It may be sufficient to put our trust in nature, common sense and democracy. I do hope we’re not too late (here anyway) for that last one still to win out over the Eurocrats.

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10 Responses to Competition in the meme pool

  1. Another Ian says:

    To misquote

    “Meme, Meme – – ”

    [Reply – oh very good – LOL, Verity]

  2. catweazle666 says:

    I think we’ll find that the final arbiter will be Mother Nature herself.

    The ecofascist Watermelons are going to find that she can’t be bought off with other peoples’ money.

    In fact, it’s happening right now, you can already observe CYA strategy being invoked at all levels, amongst both the scientists and the politicians.

    It will be some trick explaining just precisely how they managed to be so monstrously mistaken about such a critical aspect of Global policy, with the concomitant massive waste of treasure – and not a little blood, too.

    • Verity Jones says:

      Two type of climate scientist (I reckon):
      1. Those who bought it wholesale and (maybe) still do. They will argue to the bitter end and twist everything to their narrative and advantage. They will do anything. They’re not yet looking for a CYA strategy. They will need one, but it will be CMA one. Wait for the finger pointing and back biting.
      2. True scientists – yes there are many – who argued the science in scientific circles but allowed themselves to be persuaded to back the political consensus for the greater good. They’re probably feeling a bit sick right now, but the best of them (I hope) will come right out and say “We were wrong to let this happen and I was wrong to be part of it.” Most of them will always have seen the weaknesses in the AGW argument but were happy to debate the science. They will quitely drop the climate memes and revert to allowing the theories to be debated and the science to evolve – as it should.

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  4. Tonyb says:

    I think the prime category in every walk of life, and that trumps everything, are those who have painted themselves into a corner and cannot admit they may be wrong as they would lose face, prestige and in the case of scientists, funding.

    There is no better example of this than dr Mann whose representation of history filled a need at the time and who subsequently had to continually justify himself with studies demonstrating his accuracy.. Ditto newspapers such as the guardian and the bbc. I don’t know what it will need before personal tipping points are reached and such people recant, but I suspect we are a long way from that when people can invent supporting hypothesis such as extreme cold is caused by global warming.

    The emperor has no clothes but that simple story is perhaps not taught these days so hype continues to overcome reality

  5. Verity said;

    ‘I need to check something you said in a recent email and I might have an idea for a post.’

    Just bear in mind that its probably copyrighted and you might need to pay me lots of royalties 🙂

    [Reply – Tony you can have half of whatever I get – how does that sound? Of course half of nothing is still nothing 😉 , Verity]

  6. Tonyb says:


    I demand two thirds of nothing or I will have to involve my crack legal team. 🙂


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