Saturday, January 11, 2014

From Pareidolia to Idiolalia

Why do so many happy climate warriors rejoice in making mincemeat of language ? The more disagreeable advocates of climate change cleave to the concept of the Party Line, treating climate projections through the year 2100 as as much of a done deal as an exit poll, and maledicting any who question their received policy wisdom. 

Not to be outdone semi-pro PR operatives like Watts cover the opposite sides retreat from reality by tacking comparative terms like  'catastrophic' on to phenomena whose un-exaggerated existence nobody can deny.  As this continues, the gap between the two climate cultures can onlywiden, for once opponents in a policy debate succumb to idiolalia, substantive discussion gives way yo semantic agression, and the stage is set for confrontations as symbolic as professional wrestling or dueling stump preachers.

Left to feed on themselves, the sort of revival meetings conducted in the name of environmental journalism  on the left and 'Sound Science ' on the right give rise to a cross between Idiolalia and Pareidolia in which the faithful of all parties see signs and wonders in the scientific noise - no matter how absurdly climate data are stretched to fit an agenda of belief, there is always some true believer prepared to discount the undistorted data.  If no one can gainsay a Welsh father of three from Danygrig, Ystrad who sees the face of salvation in a marmite lid, who in the name of dimensional analysis can deal with folk who contend underwater volcanoes justify the photoshopped reversal of all measured long term climate trends : idiolalia's  more advanced stages overlap the dyslexic's ability to insist that up and sideways mean down:- like this offering from Viscount Monckton:

In idiolalia's wake the climate wars have regressed to the intellectual level of the Thirty Years War, when the reigning theological praxis, as opposed to principle was cuius Regio, cuius Religio- whatever the boss says goes. This time round opposing views of social engineering, not the Diety, divide Republicans and UKIP Tories, from Democrats and Greens.

Though the Teaparty's dozen-odd op-ed stalwarts chant the  Science Is Religion  mantra, it is they who currently lead in the creation and manipulation of symbols.  While the left has shown some sense of decency  in letting stale memes die natural deaths-polar bears are passe',  the more zombified neocons lead the climate ignoring classes in addiction to emblems.

Waving climategate icons and hockey sticks above the heads of their flocks like the leaders of an imagined peasant's revolt, they exhort them to march out to burn the scientific windmill du jour, in yack TV scenes less reminiscent of Calvinist Dominies in the days of Melancthon and Zwingli than the last remake of Frankenstein- as bad as  The Day After Tomorrow, or Vice-presidential potboilers may be, this is dystopic SciFi of an even lower ordAs some think the climate stakes astronomically high, it is cautionary that NASA has just ignited an pareidolic firestorm by imaging this 17,000 light year distant supernova remnant: You can guess the title the tabloids have hit on.

But before moving to shake this extended celestial hand as an homage to Ursula Le Guin's eponymous film, the theologically prudent will recall that while Christ is supposed to be seated at the right hand of the Father, the subject of this emblem is clearly a lefty, and missing his ring finger to boot-- even the Hollywood version of Tolkien's works points to the folly of obsession.