Sunday, 11 September 2022

When we’ve seen it all before

This is not a post about chess, but there is a strikingly useful analogy to be found in the difference between amateur and professional chess players.

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has said he generally plays chess intuitively rather than analytically. Professional players quickly recognise patterns which turn out well and those which do not without necessarily having to work out why. They have seen similar patterns many times before. Carlsen sees this as a key difference between top level players and lesser players who have to rely on step-by-step analysis of most positions.

A more well-known example of intuitive pattern-recognition might be driving a car, where we recognise road situations and respond to them without needing to analyse why we respond one way rather than another. We recognise patterns we have seen many times before. It is even possible to drive the daily commute without being able to remember the journey afterwards.

Similarly, many sceptics do not have to analyse the climate change narrative scientifically. Long experience of real life allows them to recognise patterns of human behaviour instead. People don’t glue themselves to the M25 in support of a scientific theory. They don’t demonstrate, wave placards and refer to sceptics as ‘deniers’ because a scientific theory cannot be wrong. 

The behaviour of the climate faithful does not fit patterns of behaviour we recognise as open scientific enquiry. It does fit patterns of behaviour we recognise as strong and even fanatical political allegiance. We recognise the behaviour patterns without a need to analyse them because we have seen them so often before. On that basis we may conclude that climate science is window dressing for something which is not science, and we know what that something is.

It’s not rocket science. It isn’t science at all and even more interesting – it’s obvious.


Sam Vega said...

Spot on. Due to my noncommittal responses when people start channelling their climate-parrot, I sometimes get asked whether I'm a climate sceptic. My response is that I'm not sceptical about the science, which is beyond my understanding. What I'm sceptical about is the fact that they believe any of it as fervently as they claim

A K Haart said...

Sam - you are right, the climate faithful clearly don't believe any of it as fervently as they claim. I maintain a casual interest in the science, but I've come to the conclusion that the behaviour of believers is the real giveaway.

dearieme said...

Prince Charles (as he then was) jumped into a chopper to fly to Balmoral. I assume the chopper had first to fly some non-negligible distance to get to Ayrshire, where he was. Then it presumably dropped him off and then had further to fly to return to base. Not terribly green.

As for Prince Harry, he flew to Aberdeen in a separate plane from the rest of the family.

johnd2008 said...

Climate Bollocks is the "Protest du Jour". Before it became really fashionable, Nuclear protests were the place to be seen and heard . I also believe that people now seem to have more free time to indulge themselves and the rise of Social Media helps bring their little tantrums before the public. It won't be too long before something else comes along to excite the simple minded.

Tammly said...

I think you're all spot on. Climate 'doom' is 'science' driven by a political narrative, and therefore not science at all.

Tammly BSc Physics 1976

A K Haart said...

dearieme - I don't really understand that level of hypocrisy. It's so public, they must go through some tangled justifications and knowing that makes it worse.

John - and there are those who argue that the suffragettes did more harm than good. Middle class ladies wanting a cause to pursue.

Tammly - it makes more sense too. It links the climate game to other political causes and what seems to be a genuine desire to pursue a noble cause even if it makes no sense and is far from noble.