Groupthink in climate scienceby Jonathan DuHamel on May. 01, 2012, under Climate change
“Madness is the exception in individuals but the rule in groups.” – Nietzsche.
There is an interesting post at WUWT by Paul MacRae which examines why the climate debate is so polarized: “Why climate science is a textbook example of groupthink.” It examines the question of why even “the best and the brightest” can be so wrong. There are many examples in history such as the Vietnam war, Watergate, the Bay of Pigs, the Edsel, New Coke.
There are three main categories of symptoms in the “Groupthink syndrome:”
1. Overestimate of the group’s power and morality, including “an unquestioned belief in the group’s inherent morality, inclining the members to ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their actions.”
2. Closed-mindedness, including a refusal to consider alternative explanations and stereotyped negative views of those who aren’t part of the group’s consensus. The group takes on a “win-lose fighting stance” toward alternative views.
3. Pressure toward uniformity, including “a shared illusion of unanimity concerning judgments conforming to the majority view”; “direct pressure on any member who expresses strong arguments against any of the group’s stereotypes”; and “the emergence of self-appointed mind-guards … who protect the group from adverse information that might shatter their shared complacency about the effectiveness and morality of their decisions.”
It’s obvious that alarmist climate science—as explicitly and extensively revealed in the Climatic Research Unit’s “Climategate” emails—shares all of these defects of groupthink, including a huge emphasis on maintaining consensus, a sense that because they are saving the world, alarmist climate scientists are beyond the normal moral constraints of scientific honesty (“overestimation of the group’s power and morality”), and vilification of those (“deniers”) who don’t share the consensus.
Read the entire article here.
The comments on that post are interesting also.