The hard sell of global warming explained
The cargo cult is a system of belief based around the expected arrival of ancestral spirits in ships bringing cargoes of food and other goods, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Sophisticated people also fall prey to such confusion.
Consider global warming, which connects the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide to any and all hot days.
On Friday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its fifth report finally admitted the climate is not working the way their computer models predicted.
There has been no hockey stick spike in world temperatures since 1998.
Instead we are experiencing global samening, even as carbon dioxide has risen to a whopping 0.04 percent of the atmosphere.
"Many governments are demanding a clearer explanation of the slowdown in temperature increases since 1998," reported the BBC ahead of the official release of this report.
Skeptics laughed, most notably Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence," Lindzen wrote.
"They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase."
Physicist Richard Feynman predicted this nonsense nearly 40 years ago in a commencement speech at Cal Tech.
"We've learned from experience that the truth will come out," Feynman said.
"Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory.
"And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in this kind of work.
"And it's this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in Cargo Cult Science."
However, global warming has never been about science but always about politics, which is why an economist and not a scientist heads the IPCC.
The tactics of proponents of this junk science are straight from the Rules for Radicals outlined by Saul Alinsky more than 40 years ago.
Alinsky inspired fellow Chicagoan, Bill Ayers, the terrorist who later became a tenured professor who launched the political career of a community organizer named Barack Obama.
All 12 rules apply, but most applicable are Rules No. 3 ("Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy") and No. 5 ("Ridicule is man's most potent weapon").
Rule No. 3 is why radicals selected global warming as the vehicle to bully the world into adopting their changes.
Schools have eased on their requirements for science decades ago, obviously dropping instruction on photosynthesis, which is how plants convert water and carbon dioxide into the carbohydrates that are the basis of all but a fraction of a percent of life on this planet.
Under Rule No. 5, proponents label skeptics as deniers, and heap scorn upon any skeptic who dares go public with his doubts.
But as Feynman said, the truth will come out; one after another, the predictions of the Al Gore crowd have fallen.
Three record snowstorms in Washington alone have undermined the prediction that snow will disappear.
Also, hurricanes are becoming less frequent and less powerful.
Polar bears are growing in number and now show the classic signs of overpopulation, including smaller bodies and moving outside of their usual habitat as the competition for food intensifies.
Which explains why the IPCC released its fifth assessment report late Friday, when officials dump cargoes of bad news.
Surber may be emailed at email@example.com