Here is an all too familiar ‘bait and switch’ tactic for pushing political propaganda on social media. A handle starts out by being dedicated to something that everyone loves. Such as good food or good sex. People begin sharing it widely and they manage to gather millions of followers. Then, one fine morning, the handle name changes. A page which used to be dedicated to say kittens is now suddenly called “We support XYZ politician.” Now that they have built a huge reach among people of all possible political beliefs, they can use the system to deliver their propaganda. If they had started out by declaring their political affiliations, chances are that they would have been left preaching to the converted. The manipulative ‘bait and switch’ approach is much more effective.
By now, you must have heard about the so called farmers’ protest, Greta’s toolkit and the Indian climate activists who may or may not have helped her. Perhaps you are out there, vigorously debating the issue along familiar partisan lines. If you are doing that, stop for a second and think about what just happened!
Climate activists? What are they doing here?
I thought the matter of farm laws was an economic policy matter. Whether you like the government’s view or not, this much was always clear. How did the climate activists get involved in opposing these laws?
If anything, you would expect the climate activists to take the side of the government here. One of the key demands of the so called farmers’ protest was to allow crop stubble burning. What kind of climate activist is in favor of creating toxic smog over Delhi and the rest of northern India? Also, the current agricultural framework in Punjab and Haryana has created incentives for causing massive environmental damage and water table depletion. Simply not sustainable.
Whatever the economic rationale for or against the laws, the climate science on this issue is completely clear. Stubble burning bad. Water table depletion bad.
So why are the climate activists on the wrong side of this? It suggests that the alleged activism never had anything to do with science. It was a bait and switch tactic for pushing politics. Which scientific study ever concluded that breathing crop stubble is good for us? Show me.
Now, I am not saying that a climate activist cannot be interested in other causes. Sometimes, we need to have trade-offs. Such as having to cut down a forest to build a factory that employs thousands of people. But in that case, the trade-off must be publicly acknowledged. That’s not what is happening here.
Did you notice? They don’t acknowledge the trade-off. They are claiming that these protests are part of climate activism agenda! In other words, climate activism can mean whatever political or social elites want it to mean. The classic bait and switch. The science is not even in the picture any more.
This tweet from a UK parliamentarian makes the scam even more obvious.
Look closely at the list. I see climate science at the top, which is a real science. But the other items on the list? Human rights? Class protest? Which branch of science is that?
I’m not saying the others are not worthwhile issues. I am saying they belong in a separate discussion. There is no branch of science that studies “class protests.”
But the mixing of issues appears to be deliberate. The strategy seems simple. Put climate science on top because everyone loves that. Once you have gained followers, you make them sign up for whatever view you have on the political agendas in the rest of the list.
Oh, excuse me there! Did I say they put climate science on top? Apparently, I didn’t look closely enough. The first item on the list is not ‘climate science’ but ‘climate justice.’ What exactly is that? Is it part of the natural sciences or the humanities?
It’s a carefully chosen weasel word. Climate change is a real problem. Scientists have confirmed it beyond all reasonable doubt. We all need to sign up and support climate science. But if you look carefully at the sign up sheet, you will notice that it reads ‘climate justice’ and not ‘climate science.’ You are signing up for politics, not science!
It’s a genius marketing tactic, really. The climate activists have gained access to schools, colleges and numerous other forums because they claim to be doing the work of science. Because science is amazing, they have gained an aura of moral authority like no other. Because everyone loves to support science, they have managed to raise enormous amounts of money. But the money won’t go to science. It will go to whatever they consider to be worthy political causes.
Have you ever wondered why Greta Thunberg, the world’s greatest ambassador of climate science, does not care about finishing high school? Think about it. Why would a science nerd not want to open even a Class 12 level science textbook?
Because she isn’t a science nerd. She couldn’t care less about science. She works for whatever political cause that she considers to be justice. And she affixes the word “climate” before everything to make you think she is all about the science.
How would you like to support some Quantumgravity human rights issues? How about Supercomputing socialism? It’s the cutting edge of science. Believe me, I’m starting a fund.