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Comment by paul_ganssle on Every Cause Wants To Be A Cult · 2007-12-12T09:12:21.000Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

TGGP: Not to defend global warming denialism, but is that the entirety of your evidence that Kling is a denier? Because when I read that, I strongly got the impression that he was not rallying against people who believe that anthropogenic global warming is occuring, but rather against people preaching dogmatic versions of a nuanced science. I didn't get the impression that he was saying that global warming scientists are preaching a religion, but that global warming activists are, and I think that's completely reasonable. I mean, there's a difference between calling out science and calling out activists: One thing to note is that Al Gore has been on the global warming beat since BEFORE there was a scientific consensus about it (at least as far as he tells it). I don't want to go off on Al Gore too much, but that's certainly the sign of a dogmatist (that is, believing something to be true before the world's experts on the subject had come to a consensus about it). There were basically two dogmas on the issue, and if you picked randomly you'd have a 50% chance of being vindicated.

And I hate to have to reiterate this, but I'm afraid to be lumped in with global warming deniers because I am defending someone who is perceived to be one, but I do NOT find the denialist position compelling. I do however think that Kling makes a good point there (and a similar point to the one in this blog post, I might add) that it is important to convey how you know what you know. It might be reading too far into it, but I would say that that circles back to the point made in this post about cultishness: it's easy to say that something "good" like trying to prevent climate disasters isn't going to have those cultish aspects of attempting to suppress dissent and form in-group mentality, and it it is important (if you are interested in overcoming your biases) to work against this by quantifying how big of a cultish presence you have in your "good" cause.