This is a summary of When Silicon Valley Went Off the Cliff focusing on connections and parallels between the short lived “ban alarmism” and climate alarmism. From January 28 through February 8, a number of Silicon Valley and Washington state corporate executives participated in an attempt to topple President Trump, orchestrated by the Left after President Trump signed the original order, Executive Order No. 13769 Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States on January 27. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson, one of the Attorneys General United for Clean Power, filed a stinky lawsuit against President Trump and succeeded to halt implementation of the Executive order. 129 corporations, who hold monopolies in internet search, “social media,” TV and movie streaming, as well as other markets for speech and press, filed an Amici Brief supporting the rogue attorney general against the president. Their reaction to the Executive order was so out of proportion that an analogy with climate alarmism immediately sprung to mind. Here, I do not recite the original Executive order because I expect that readers did not trust to the fake stream media reporting about it.
Some of the social dynamics behind this overreaction are described in the essay When Silicon Valley Went Off the Cliff. This new low looks like a development of climate alarmism compressed in time from 30 years to 10 days and happening on the scale of corporations instead of nations. Like a small scale experiment with societal instability, one might say. Richard Lindzen briefly addressed the phenomenon of societal instability in his now classic article Global Warming: The Origin and Nature of the Alleged Scientific Consensus (1992):
“What the above amounts to is a societal instability. At a particular point in history, a relatively minor suggestion or event serves to mobilize massive interests. While the proposed measures may be detrimental, resistance is largely absent or co-opted.”
The latest social experiment, performed by the Left on the executives of some of the most powerful, wealthiest, and sophisticated corporations, confirmed the power of bogus issues. CAGW narrative has developed into its present formidable form because it is a completely bogus issue. CO2 emissions present no conceivable danger. Unlike real issues and conflicts, bogus issues are one-sided. There are only two positions to be had on bogus issues: being concerned (a high degree of concern is alarm) or being unconcerned. Unconcerned people just move on. For example, a scientist who can choose a topic of research would not work on a bogus issue when he or she can work on a real one. An honest reporter cannot cover a bogus issue. The most he or she could do is write an article with a title like, “Why X Should not Interest You,” and then move on to other subjects. Therefore, promoters of a bogus issue meet no opposition. If they pitch a reporter and the reporter turns them down, they can move on to the next reporter until they find one who believes them. If they have sufficient resources, the alarmists can promote his reporting and force others to follow. That was the case with global warming in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The power of ACT NOW! is well known in marketing and advertising. Climate alarmists are not alone in using this slogan. Infomercial channels are built around act now! but they sell products well below $100. It is surprising that so many people fell for the act now! trick and were sold the climatist agenda, the agenda that threatens the existence of our civilization. Act Now, Regret Later.
Media frenzy, the well-crafted appearance of consensus, logical and statistical fallacies that would be obvious to outsiders, blindness to hidden agendas, and the echo-chamber effect are the factors that contributed to the rise of climate alarmism. These also show up in the overreaction to the Executive order.
Thanks to H.J. for collaboration in writing this article.