Words matter, when we use words incorrectly we paint a skewed picture. i'm talking about the word denial. Denial, according to Yahoo is: "refusal to acknowledge existence of something: a refusal to believe in something or admit that something exists". Here the crucial word is admit. A person can only admit what they believe to be true. The opponents of Global Warming Theory aren't 'denying' anything, they embrace their reality just as avidly as the proponents embrace theirs.
As DeSmog.ca says in their mission statement, "There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness."
As i see it, there are deceivers - those who know the truth and actively misinform others to advance their own financial or political positions. Then there are believers - those who, for whatever reason, including everything from self-interest to divinely granted dominion, honestly believe the deceiver's message.
This isn't trivial, the fact is all people reject those truths that inconveniently don't mesh well with their worldview. It's often referred to as the theory of cognitive dissonance. As Goethe once put it, “the world is not logical; it is psycho-logical.” The post 'Believing is Seeing' explains how our view of events is always experienced through the veil of our individual beliefs. That veil is of our own making, we start construction of it from our first breath. Throughout life there are just too many inputs to deal with as they arrive from our senses seeking our attention, we use our veils defensively.
Medicine has the placebo effect and the white coat effect. Both are aspects of the 'psycho-logical' nature of our judgement of what's 'true'. These two, like all the others, are based on accepted authority. When a person is told by a doctor that the pills work they often do regardless of their real effects. When a person in a white coat takes your blood pressure it always jumps. In the old days when a fast talking well dressed salesman rode into town he was usually granted authority by the townspeople because of his bearing and worldliness. When he told them his 'snake oil' worked it often did.
When a person goes to church, synagogue, mosque or whatever they are confronted with garb and jargon, with culturally accepted authority and, like in medicine, a basic fear factor. Nothing works better than fear of the unknown to hobble an inquisitive mind before the throne of authority. Politics, economics, religion, medicine, global warming, whatever it is, when there are unknowns to be feared there are snake oil salesman ready to use their authoritative voice to advance their own self-interests - Deceivers
When will the Believers finally wake up? As Eric Hoffer explained in his book 'The True Believer', the horrible and terribly dangerous answer is never. For instance, using the global warming rift again, we see one group who believes that the scientists are peddling doom to serve their own interests and another who sees the fossil fuel industry purposefully mis-informing the debate in service of their interests. True Believers from either camp find justification for their worldview and support from those they consider authorities everywhere. The article 'The Climate Change Debate, One Side Denies the Science, the Other Denies the Cost of Change' tries to use this insight to build a bridge between the human caused global warming encampments
As Naomi Klein in her article 'Capitalism vs. the Climate', says, "The [climate science] deniers did not decide that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy by uncovering some covert socialist plot. They arrived at this analysis by taking a hard look at what it would take to lower global emissions as drastically and as rapidly as climate science demands." and, "...if we are not on a radically different energy path by the end of this decade, we are in for a world of pain. But when it comes to the real-world consequences of those scientific findings, specifically the kind of deep changes required not just to our energy consumption but to the underlying logic of our economic system the crowd gathered at the Marriott Hotel [for the Heartland Institute Convention] may be in considerably less denial than a lot of professional environmentalists."
More tomorrow on how the veil of our beliefs, as comforting as they may be, actually blind us and how easily manipulated we are by the deceivers who use our fears and existing worldview combined with the authority we voluntarily grant them to do it.