CCD Editor’s note: After finally getting a chance to watch Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her last night, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and the global warming movement. I did a quick Google search and found this very germane article about the two. By Russell Cook at RedState.com:
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Rush Limbaugh regularly points out how liberals employ Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to portray conservatives as villains, and he berates GOP politicians for the combined mistakes of seeking mainstream media approval / failing to comprehend how their positions cannot take root when they allow reporters to frame the discussion – as in, ‘tea-partiers aren’t worthy of consideration because they are racist, sexist homophobes.’ GOP politicians miss the perfect opportunity to destroy that baseless accusation with demands for the reporters to prove it true or justify its relevance, choosing instead to focus on detailed criticisms perhaps out of a politically correct urge to remain polite.
The same politeness is seen in the global warming issue. Anyone daring to question it is an ignoramus getting misinformation from Rush Limbaugh, who gleans it from organizations that are paid shills of the fossil fuel industry….. but the missed opportunity here is how that last accusation is likely the weakest facet of the entire global warming issue. Turn Alinsky’s Rules against enviro-activists on that fault, and they’d be decimated.
However, skeptic climate scientists and their associates just aren’t naturally inclined to dive into trench warfare tactics to humiliate their anti-science, anti-intellectual attackers, they simply focus on hard, detailed science facts.
Case in point, a pair of attacks against skeptic climate science presentations. But within them, we clearly see the opportunity to turn the tables on enviro-activists:
Back in April, there was a Greenpeace-led attack on Dr Willie Soon of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, described by Greenpeace activist Connor Gibson at his Desmogblog page. Despite concluding his lengthy piece by saying “Dr. Soon’s work is like a joke”, Gibson never tells readers what is wrong with Dr Soon’s science-based assessments. He solely focuses on Dr Soon’s ‘corrupt funding’. Desmogblog itself was founded (as revealed just 8 seconds into this audio interview) by anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan, a person who similarly never tells us what’s wrong with skeptics’ assessments, insinuating instead on how industry funding supposedly corrupts anything skeptics say. At my own GelbspanFiles.com blog, I detail how Gelbspan has never offered evidence to support his accusation. I was also very fortunate to have Dr Soon contribute a guest comment to my blog, which was to ask the fundamental question, “Is What I Say Beyond the Boundaries of Reasonable Discussion?“
Unintentionally, Dr Soon put out a 180° flip of Rule #3 in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Think about it – the ‘joke’ in this situation is the manner in which PhD-level comprehension of the complexities regarding climate science is so far beyond Greenpeace’s or Desmogblog’s grasp.
That weakness, basically the same Alinsky Rule #3, was turned against Connor Gibson all too briefly at his own direct attack of skeptics just this past September 24th.
In Gibson’s 3-minute attack video, we see him speak with Heartland Institute officials Joe Bast and Jim Lakely (who, along with Dr Soon and Dr Robert Carter, had just made an hour-long presentation about detailed skeptic science assessments), insinuating that industry funding renders skeptic opinion worthless. Bast and Lakely respond by saying they don’t talk about funding, and Bast mildly suggested that Gibson think for himself about the science. The latter was very admirable, but Gibson still turned the responses into a victory for his agenda, conveying in his video that skeptics and organizations associated with them have something to hide about their funding sources.
With all due respect to Heartland (which has graciously accepted my criticism and suggestions in the past on such matters), they missed a golden opportunity to flip not one, but three Alinsky rules on Gibson, depriving him of getting any usable video material. Gibson could not have gleaned more than a few heavily edited words out of this pair of suggested responses:
In previous years when we disclosed our donors, your followers attacked them without having a shred of evidence to back up the accusation that the donations bought fabricated science papers, but aren’t you worried that your followers will someday turn on you for that abysmal failure?
You are aware that you cannot prove the accusation about Fred Singer getting a million dollars in order to lie about the science because you do not have any physical proof for it, correct? Because if you did, you would not just push your “Dealing in Denial” handout in such a generic way – which, by the way is barely getting a dead cat bounce now as a rehash of your 2010 version that also made the same monumental error about Dr Singer and the 1991 ICE campaign, which you are obviously clueless about – you’d hammer us with absolute evidence right there in your folder to quote directly from. So why are you setting yourself up for such a crash? Why draw attention to an accusation that can only blow up in your face if you or your followers simply try to see if the accusation is actually true?
Much as I admire the late Andrew Breitbart, I hadn’t yet read his “Righteous Indignation” book until last month. When I did, it reinforced what I’ve been innately doing for nearly four years here at RedState, and in other online articles about the baseless ‘corrupt climate skeptics’ accusation, basically shoving Alinsky’s rules #13, 5 & 3 right back into the faces of enviro-activists:
13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” — Desmog’s founder Ross Gelbspan: all accusations of corrupt skeptic funding getting media traction after 1995 stem from him alone.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” — skeptics accusers are embarrassingly clueless about Gelbspan never winning a Pulitzer and never provided a scintilla of proof for his accusation.
3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” — skeptics accusers’ expertise is nothing more than repeating simplistic talking points they’ve never actually questioned. Challenge them to support any accusation they make, and they fold up like a cheap suit.
However, skeptic scientists just aren’t the types to automatically go on offense against their attackers like that. Charmingly naive, perhaps, they assume they’ll prevail because facts always trump beliefs when enough informed people see the case has not been conclusively made for the idea that human-induced greenhouse gases are the main drivers of what little global warming there’s been over the last century.
People involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on the other hand, “took a particular set of political and philosophical beliefs about humanity’s interaction with the environment, and dressed them up as science.” Building on that, Al Gore and his followers bitterly cling to an Alinsky mindset wanting “to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be.” Beliefs never trump facts, of course, thus the need to employ Alinsky rules in order to marginalize skeptics in the eyes of the public, so that no one would see any fatal flaws in the IPCC.
The flip of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is a beautiful sight to see, as the late Andrew Breitbart classically demonstrated. Imagine this as a full frontal attack against Al Gore, his followers, and all his sycophant friends in the mainstream media.