- Whatever is happening in society now will be due mainly to cultural effects, and not due to what will emerge regarding the physical climate (whether that’s good, bad, or indifferent).
- There will be a socially enforced consensus serving a cultural narrative.
- The above will include statements that are presented as all-explaining and/or indisputable.
- The consensus will be actively policed via a range of mechanisms including status control and emotive pressure.
- There will be uncritical acceptance of an authority or authority figures, possibly even adoration.
- There will likely be some rights or privileges granted to only a few.
- There will likely be some vision of catastrophe, and yet also an expectation of salvation / rebirth / renewal that is conditional upon catastrophe avoidance.
- Anxieties, fears, guilt, hopes and inspiration will all be culturally steered via the above visions and consensus, causing immense bias within all areas of endeavor connected with the culture.
- There will be double standards concerning many matters within the cultural domain, the creation of a feeling of threat, a shifting moral landscape and likely large changes to the law (if the culture has been active long enough).
- The core narrative promoted by the cultural consensus will be spread into many areas of society as justification for all sorts of changes that benefit the culture, independent of their true usefulness to the human condition and in fact even if some are damaging.
- There will be organizations acting as aggressively advocate wings who are still more emotive and still more convinced. Orgs like this contribute to the policing of internal ranks in a culture, plus also get the job of missionaries and recruitment agents (think Jesuits).
- Many adherents especially in the advocate wings, will self-identify with the culture. This produces instinctive and emotional (rather than reasoned) support.
- While conspiracies can latch onto any sufficiently large human endeavor, the phenomenon is not driven by conspiracy as root cause. Cultures are emergent phenomena, driven as much or more from the convinced at all levels of society and grass roots passion, as from top down command.
- Dissenters will be demonized, and possibly persecuted if the culture has gained enough moral penetration.
- Notwithstanding above, unless the culture has achieved a clean sweep of elites already, the domain-knowledgeable will be highly polarized.
- The 30+ years since the professor was stranded is not enough to get the multi-generational penetration needed to overcome ‘innate skepticism’ in the wider population. Hence there will still be a large rump of the public, possibly a majority, who are unconvinced.
- The culture will attempt to form cross-coalitions with other cultures (religious, or political or other secular).
- If as the sailors say this is already a global phenomenon, then likely whole governments and various other authorities will have bought into it.
- Huge resources will be going into infra-structure that benefits / promotes the culture and its ideals, yet doesn’t necessarily help with the renewal / salvation advertised by the core narrative.
- Despite an avidly promoted certainty of an apparently static position, the core cultural narrative will in fact slowly evolve.
- There will be icons. The evolution in 20 means that some icons will be set aside for new ones, having lost their usefulness for some reason.
- Cultures are by no means all bad, and not only that, without the mechanisms on which cultural consensus are founded, human civilization wouldn’t have arisen in the first place. Though some cultures can be net very negative, there will likely be positive elements to this culture.
And more too. Well not all relevant professors would suppose all of this, for instance there is still strong (even bitter) resistance in some social sciences to anything seen to be verging on reductionism. And some would be happy categorizing dead cultures this way, yet apprehensive about doing the same for living ones. Others would be perfectly happy categorizing living religions this way, for instance Blackmore, and I doubt Dawkins would have any problem here too, yet be horrified by applying the same system to the social aspects of climate change. However they’d all recognize the approach, and the point here is that these differences reflect more the different biases of the academics involved than they do the validity of the characteristics. And the Crusoe professor is by his long absence extracted from any bias regarding the climate domain at least. He would see it with new eyes.
The list reflects much about the climate consensus, and at this point our Crusoe knows a great deal more than the sailors. Our Crusoe would also guess that the relevant science must be highly uncertain, because otherwise there would be too much constraint for the emotive memes that power mainline cultures to have arisen and gotten such a grip. He doesn’t know about funding bias or what Climategate revealed about 4), or that the authorities in 5) include the IPCC or adoration of Gore and Hansen. Per 6) he doesn’t know about the reluctance of scientists to let data out of the privileged circle, or that the WWF and Greenpeace and others fulfill 11). He doesn’t know about particular skeptics who claim ‘hoax’ and ‘conspiracy’ per 13), or about the ‘denier’ term per 14), or the Democrat-climate coalition in the US per 17), or the bio-fuels debacle, or wind turbines that would disappear without trace without large subsidy, per 19). Or that per 21) the once prominent icon of the hockey stick had to be de-emphasized because of ‘the pause’. He just knows that these kind of things happen in strong cultures.
Regarding 8), this previous post at Climate Etc looks at emotional bias in the Consensus, and footnote 5 links to detail on more relevant bias mechanisms. There’s just room left in this post to briefly look a bit deeper at the important topics in 2) and 9).
Next page for more…