Any sceptic knows the non-sense about conspiracy ideation from the links of Lewandowsky and other climate extremists. As someone who is actually qualified in this area through my MBA I am very sure this shows a lack of understanding of how real organisations behave, both in theory and practice. In contrast, sceptics seem to intuitively understand the complexity of organisations and have little problem separating the behaviour of the whole group from that of individuals. But climate extremists appear to be incapable of seeing the individuals within an organisation as separate identities to the whole organisations, which I think makes them extremely gullible as to how organisations actually function.
But I wasn’t sure where this gullibility stems from until recently when I was having a discussion regarding evidence from a Roman Latin texts with some other academics. The text is a statement about British identity supposedly made by a Briton and recorded in a Latin text. That much everyone agrees with. But then the academic argument ran thus: “we know the Romans are untrustworthy, therefore because this statement is contrary to our belief it is clearly just made up and false. Therefore the statement about British identity is false”.
In contrast, what I argued was this: “even if it was made up, the Roman writer would not have made up a speech with something so easily known to be false as the identity of the Britons” (In every major Roman city there would be people who had been to Britain and who knew the Britons considered themselves to be distinct from those in Gaul). Therefore even if made up, because even fiction has to be logically consistent, then they would not have had the British speaker saying things that were knowingly untrue”.
However, they just didn’t seem to understand this argument. I was saying that those statements that were common knowledge (so easily verified) would be true, irrespective of whether a Briton had said them or a Roman had made them up. Their view of “truth” was utterly simplistic: they would decide whether or not they trusted the writer. Then having decided whether to trust the writer – they would then declare everything they said as “true” or “false” respectively. And usually this is stated with a lot of references to others in their belief group: “prof so and so says and this prof says and they all agree that this writer made it all up – so …”. But in essence, it was a very black and white view stemming from their group without any nuance at all.
In contrast, every sceptic knows that even the best intentioned people sometimes say things that are untrue and even the most disreputable liar tells the truth. And a big organisation like NASA will be full of real people who have their own political views and who like every else are sometimes lazy and cut corners, sometimes biased, sometimes just stupid or even purposefully play tricks.
Not everything coming out of NASA is false, nor even is everything said by the likes of Hansen, Mann nor even dare I say it Lewandowsky is a complete tissue of lies. It is just that they are far more likely to say untruths than for example Anthony Watts who sets himself a very high standard. But even Watts can come up with utter bollocks!
But to the global warming believers, there seem to be only two kinds of organisations: those that are utterly completely trustworthy – and those which are not. Their world is utterly black and white with no nuances. And so anyone who suggests that their “utterly trustworthy” organisations might behave like real organisations and not always be “utterly trustworthy” are deemed by them to be mad “conspiracy theorists”.
So, it seems that many sceptics have a far better understanding of organisational behaviour. And at times it appears that climate extremists (and some other academics) lack the mental capability to understand the complexity & nuances of real organisations and instead see the world only in two colours.
Is this why climate extremists need the concept of “conspiracy ideation”. They don’t understand group behaviour, so when groups in their black and white “we trust” category are criticised, they need a very simplistic explanation. On that gives them a nice simple to understand label which provides them with a simple barrier or smokescreen to hide behind. This them allows them to avoid the detailed nuanced discussion which they lack the mental capability to engage in and which is necessary to have a meaningful conversation about those organisations.
Perhaps this is why they have to be part of a “consensus”. They don’t themselves have the mental capability of understanding groups themselves; so they seek protection within a group where they do not need to understand how other groups behave, and as a result much of what they do and say is merely mimicing the behaviour of others in their group?