- Motivations and narrative emergence
Notwithstanding that any human enterprise large enough will have a few bad apples regarding dishonesty or greed or whatever, belief in climate catastrophe and propagation of catastrophe narrative in any of its above forms, inclusive of all their contradictions and issues, in no way implies deliberate manipulation is in play. Terms above such as ‘inappropriate’ or ‘illegitimate’ do not imply culpability. The catastrophe narrative variants are emergent, and this emergence is via subconscious selection of the most engaging variants, which consequently will be propagated. There is no implication of illness or dishonesty or any other dysfunction, and it’s worth bearing in mind that we are all subject to the influence of emotive cultural narratives, though it works within domains (can be free of major influence in one domain, but not in another). In the great majority of cases adherents fully, indeed passionately, believe the narrative they propagate, albeit being emotively not reasonably convinced. Indeed, this is the great power of such narratives. There may be a minority of cases where very fervent belief leads to noble cause corruption.
Note: in the narrative soup of the public domain, variants may combine and meanings are not by any means black and white. Some quotes within footnote 2 show local or specific issues beginning to color the global context of the catastrophe narrative. This aspect can proceed to such an emphasis on the local / specific issue that the context may no longer really be global catastrophe. This doesn’t necessarily translate to any mainstream scientific support for the profiled issue, yet can make science / narrative contradictions more ambiguous. Likewise, some narrative variants dilute a ‘full on’ global catastrophe message. Yet similarly this doesn’t typically mean they will merit any backing from mainstream science. Variants generally arise independently of the mainstream scientific community, or exaggerate or take out of context snippets from that community, so are much more often misaligned than aligned. So even this subset are highly emotive pitches of the same ilk, that typically aren’t backed by mainstream climate science.
7. Companion post and common footnotes
While everyone is likely familiar with at least common / A-list catastrophe narratives, I nevertheless recommend reading all the footnotes file. Although a long slog through ~180 quotes, digesting a large variety of categorized variants plus contextual notes all together, gives deeper insight on the forms and subtleties via which it most efficiently propagates through engaging emotive responses. A category I haven’t addressed is journalistic / columnist contributions, i.e. their own content not just a reflection of politician / influencer embedded quotes; this is a vast area and beyond my time at the moment.
This post only looks at the main catastrophe narrative forms and spread via different authority sources. A companion post to be published here at Climate Etc soon, addresses misunderstandings (on both sides of the conflicted domain) about the applicability of the label ‘CAGW’, which happens also to be a great vehicle to explore the deeper issues associated with the authoritative presence of the catastrophe narrative, as the same kind of misunderstandings in the wider domain mask the critical significance of this narrative. Note: the footnotes file is common to both posts, so if you come across any unexplained nuggets, hold fire and your curiosity will hopefully soon be satisfied.