Jordan Peterson Pushes Dangerous Myths About Climate Change



Jordan Peterson himself does not think about Jordan peterson as much as this blog does.

Have we moved on from Cliff Mass, and this is the new banal boogeyman?


Wow, Jordan Peterson is a colossal dumbass? No way


Petersen is the dapper Trolls troll. Like Trump he has monetized trolling and bilking dumbshits. Like #1 up there.


@3: Does he survive on dismissive internet comments or something?

I mean, he can just have them. I don't need them.


Oh. And Katie. "...and does something like this..."

Well. First of all your reputation is shit. Second, how god damned lazy are you that THIS is what turns you on Petersen? After all the stupid sexist and cray shit this guy has said THIS is thing? Have you ver read any of his dumb books? Maybe, I don't know, be a journalist and start there.


Oh for fuck's sake, just because there's some quasi-religious windbag out there that some peckerheads listen to doesn't mean you have to report it like it's news every time he farts out of his mouth. He should be thanking you for free name recognition.


Let's watch, how many dangerous myths does it take for Katie Herzog to notice that's what this guy does?

Will it happen before she moves on to another alt right windbag?


The foundations laid out in the video are sound, groups 1, 2, and 3. It's group 3 that's creating so much noise that hinders groups 1 and 2 from completing the scientific discussion.


You mean to tell me this peterson character is just a troll who thinks — let’s see which nouns and adjectives we’re plugging into the mad lib* today... climate change believers hate capitalism? How could anyone have known?

[*pun not intended but worth noting]


" the next time you're tempted to throw in your two cents on climate change, maybe check with a reputable source, and consider the consequences, before you do it."

It's rather amazing that you are still giving him the benefit of the doubt as if it could be an honest mistake this late in the game to give a platform to Lindzen and free marketeers on climate. I do appreciate your writing about climate change and soliciting great people like Michael Mann (a personal science hero of mine) for comments when media ignore by and large the context for extreme weather events taking place all over the world but it's unfortunate it has to be when discussing irrelevant self-help grifters like Peterson.


@9 -- The video ignored group #4, which are well paid by industry. So well paid, that they stopped the U. S. from doing anything about global warming when there was a bi-partisan attempt to do address it. Those people have way more influence on the public than group #3, and in fact group #3 would love to just disappear, and go back to worrying about other, somewhat unrelated issues (like habitat destruction or pollution). But instead group #3 has to spend much of its time simply trying to counteract group #4. GreenPeace would be thrilled if the whole issue was decided by scientists -- but that can't happen as long as group #4 dominates the discussion. Blaming group #3 for the lack of action on climate change is like blaming Black Lives Matter for police misconduct.


@9 Untrue as the video is pure propaganda. With respect to "sound foundations", Lindzen doesn't mention one of the major player in this fight, the fossil fuel corporations that have spent lots of money to muddle the debate and buy politicians, and pay him for his services too. He also doesn't say that the main difference between scientists group 1 and 2 is size, productivity and contribution to science. There are essentially no publications raising the specter of a scientific debate along the lines pushed by "skeptics".


The video made several misleading claims. It is correct in that no one knows the extent to which the climate will change because of an increase in Carbon Dioxide. But we do know that Carbon Dioxide has increased, and that the increase was due to man made sources. This much was predicted quite some time ago -- just as the relatively minor increase in global temperatures we've seen.

But there is a big difference between "we don't know exactly how bad it will get" and "we aren't sure if it will be bad". If I swing a baseball bat at your head, things will be bad. You won't just walk away, whistling a happy tune. You may end up in a coma, and then recover. You may die before the paramedics get there. Either way, it is bad, which is why I have no interest in swinging that bat.

The other problem with the video is that "the climate will tell us" when things have gone bad. The problem is, when that happens it will be too late. There is, as of yet, no way to get rid of lots of CO2 in the atmosphere. Some of it gets converted naturally, but nothing to reduce the levels that are building at unprecedented rates (or at least unprecedented in recorded history). If, as the models all show, this rise in CO2 results in major climate change, we are all fucked. The only way out of it will be to take drastic, unprecedented geo-engineering action (which would likely have their own risks).

It is like a smoker who has been smoking heavily for forty years, despite warnings by his doctor. He developed a cough a while ago. The lungs didn't look good last time they checked, and chances are, they will be worse next time. Pretty soon, it is likely the patient will develop lung cancer, and have to undergo chemotherapy. It may not work, but that will be the only course of action. At that point, stopping smoking (by itself) won't do it. He should have stopped smoking a long time ago, but the tobacco people all said the studies were inconclusive, so he doubted his doctor. Chances are he will die fairly soon from smoking.

That isn't a perfect analogy. We all die, and the earth won't really "die", because of climate change. But lots of people will. It really isn't about the polar bears, or the mass extinction of various species that could benefit mankind. It isn't really about the flooding of Florida, or parts of other wealthy countries. It is about the mass disruption of less well to do countries, and the instability that comes from it. This will make Syria look like a picnic, while various religious and ethnic groups fight over limited resources. Mass migration will occur, which will put pressure on relatively peaceful countries, making them unstable as well. Not only poor countries (of course) but rich ones as well. We've already seen what can happen in Europe when a relatively small number of people want to leave their homeland. Again, that will seem like a picnic, and we will an increase in fascism as well other forms of radical ideologies in much of Europe. That is why folks in the military, for example, are scared as shit about global warming. They aren't that worried about the polar bears (OK, some are, of course, but not as a profession) they are worried about another world war (or something just as bad).


Regardless of what you think of Peterson, the criticisms that Katie defended previously were, in fact, essentially baseless. Those previous defenses of non climate-change topics don't lock anyone into an opinion here, there's no cognitive dissonance here.


Without open and free debate it's no longer science.


@16: FTW


@16 the goal of any scientific discipline is to reach a point where enough evidence in support of a hypothesis has been accrued that there is no longer any debate, or at least there is sufficient agreement amongst experts that any dissenting viewpoint can be disregarded


if a stern look or two doesn't work, peterson (a psychologist who has research published on child-rearing) advises parents to gradually increase beatings until their child no longer does stuff they "dislike" (which is defendable to herzog) but uh, disreputable, uh, thinkers, are uh, well he won't be listening to them anymore thanks to this heterodox herzog haurang.



Actually, without falsifiability, it's not science. It's easy to debate, but if you're debating something that has been proven through repeated replication of experimentation, observation, and analysis, you're not doing science.


Jordan preaches an extreme form of individualism, stipulating that the individual is the fundamental unit of society and rejecting group membership as a meaningful component of identity. Peterson's boogeymen of "cultural Marxism" and "collectivism" reflect this -- his rejection of Greater Good arguments is a more genteel echo of Ayn Rand's Church of Me First. Because so much of the current Left's ideology revolves around group membership, Peterson has found a receptive audience among people turned off by the Left's unrelenting bullying groupthink.

In the extreme individualist view, what is good for a single person scales perfectly to what is good for society. If everybody had a Cadillac, that would be a good society, because look at all these people happy with their Cadillacs! If only ten percent of the people have Cadillacs, well that's still way more Cadillacs than any other society in history, so still pretty good. But if somebody comes along and points out that there might be problems associated with everybody having Cadillacs that have nothing to do with whether each individual person enjoys their Cadillac -- problems like, say, finite resources for making more Cadillacs, or pollution generated by all those Cadillacs, or the end of a human-habitable Earth, or some other negative externality -- then the whole worldview collapses. Suddenly individual liberty and contentment must be balanced against some kind of Greater Good, and that is not a conclusion that people of this ideological bent are prepared to reach.

Easier to pretend that the billions of people freaking out about environmental collapse are just people who hate Cadillacs. Probably they don't have one and they're jealous!


@16 You are putting the cart before the horse. To have a debate one needs opposing stories supported by evidence. It's simply not a debate because so-called skeptics don't produce science supporting the claims they make in the media and as we know it's not for lack of resource or access.


"After I repeatedly and at some cost to my own stellar reputation defended controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson, he goes and does something like this:"

You could try not defending these 4chan trolls from the start?

This is always who they've been. In all sincerity, you should question why you kneejerk defend the Alt-right whenever you get the opportunity in your columns.

I know the Stranger enjoys a little trolling locally and otherwise, and I absolutely adore Mudede. But winking approval of this sort of Reddit/4chan regressive culture is just bizarre.

Your support of them is not ironic, not even in the "ha ha only serious" sense.

At what point is your just-asking-questions reflecting on your actual beliefs? If you're trying to get people to think, how and what are you trying to get them to think with these appeals to accept the regressive narratives of Jordan Peterson and others?


@8: "Let's watch, how many dangerous myths does it take for Katie Herzog to notice that's what this guy does?

Will it happen before she moves on to another alt right windbag?"

I just don't get it. She loves the "Intellectual Darkweb" for their contrarian-ness with the political left. It's the continued, driving narrative of her articles, and a strong enough voice where I know within the first few lines that it's Herzog. Always about how so-and-so "political correctness" is ruining society, and look at this shiny new social conservative defender of "free speech"! Isn't he just marvelous for the reactions he's getting?

In this time of difficulty monetizing journalism I understand the need for sensationalistic topics and ledes but do we really need to court the Gamergate set?


@20: You're correct. And in regard to @18 as well.

I think there are various levels of conclusions. The earth is warming. Check. CO2 emissions are raising temperatures. Check. Fossil fuels raise CO2 emissions. Check.

But the political, business, and social ramifications are inherently not conclusive. I think that's the area where we're setting our hair on fire.


Sounds like Peterson has succumbed to a common disease among academics and similar professionals (see Carson, Ben), especially those who get notice from the outside world: the idea that excellence in your own narrow field translates outside of that field.


Katie has taken a topic and written about it compellingly. All these snippy quibbles (like @5, @24) are really just tangential nuances. Don't let them get to you, Katie dear.


@6 In theory yes, but we're talking about a very popular public figure, and when it comes to denying him popularity, that barn door was left open a long, long time ago.
You gotta confront this stuff.


New Science can happen. Darwin would be the first to say, you got a better idea, let's hear it. So would Einstein. Science does not close with current scientific consensus or public opinion, nor should it. It should always be open.
Climate is a very young Science. Everyone seems to think they know it all.


Peterson is a extreme right wing quack with sexist, racist, homophobic and classist overtones. @28 is right. Expose and confront his phony crap. That should be the work here. You are welcome.


@30, your conclusion is enough for you I'm sure, it's just his Scientific findings you ignored to debate of consider.


Nowhere in this video did anyone deny that climate change is real. The video just states that we're unsure of the size of impact that each of the factors have on climate change. Of course climate change is real - the reason why people are worried so much about CO2 emissions is because this is a factor that we can somewhat control. People harp on so much about burning of fossil fuels (which is obviously not good for the environment alone so should be moved away from) but what about Cattle farming? Methane has a much worse acute greenhouse gas effect. Why don't we talk more about that? DO NOT just buy into what anyone is posting online or writing in the mainstream media. Look at the literature yourself, look at the sources, make your own mind up.


@29, No really, that’s not how science works. It’s not just constant, directionless, open-ended questions; it’s a massive collaborative effort where the whole point is to push towards certainty through the slow and steady accumulation of evidence. The overwhelming consensus after decades of research by thousands upon thousands of dedicated researchers across multiple disciplines is that human activity is responsible for climate change.


Mr Lion - Well, how else is she ever going to get to replace Mr Rubin?

Ms Wallingford - Whatever adverb I'd have used there, "compellingly" would not have made the top fifty.


Again, JBP exposes himself as a bought and paid for huckster. There's not much to debate when his ideas are obviously laughable fluff. Maybe he'll tweet something about how the Earth is actually flat next.


@27: Her tireless advocation of MRA/InCel/alt-right leaders as a gimmick is hardly nuanced, you can see similar demonizing on Breitbart, Fox, Reddit, 4chan, and any local paper’s comment board section.

I don’t need The Stranger to expose me to the social conservative ideology, nor do I need the kneejerk defenses of them in the interest of “destroying political correctness” (or whatever rationale.)

I can’t avoid these assholes on social media or the wider internet, why is it so vital to humor and support them here?

I mean, of course you enjoy these posts considering your general tut-tutting at anything remotely center-left. It’s your shtick.


@34: It’s compelling because Phoebe enjoys and agrees with these hucksters.


This was posted yesterday ... it should be up to a 100 comments or so by now. Where's the JBP fan club brigade?

no fun



Perhaps Tumblr would be more your speed.


@38, Guess they don't read this rag.



Maybe not, but they usually appear in droves. They must not have been tipped off this time.


"Historically the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way of avoiding debate by claiming that the matter is already settled." Michael Crichton

The 97% consensus is the most beloved claim of global warming alarmists. Yet they never spell out what the organization they derive it from. The IPCC stands for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Inter-governmental. Government appointed scientists, meaning anyone with a bachelor's of science, who were told by politically motivated government officials that there is money on the table if you can prove climageddon. Is it a surprise that a government organized panel with the name "climate change" in it is claiming that climate change is a danger that requires policy changing, taxation and more government?


the 97% consensus was from a survey of the literature in 2013, not an organization. "Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW [anthropogenic global warming], 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming."

which is to say, the reason jp fannies aren't showing up here is because they won't bother to look up basic facts, let alone want to "debate" them, which addressing his tweet requires.


The consensus was the earth was flat, consensus was earth was the center of the solar system, consensus was that home sapiens were only 100 million years old. The consensus is that.....

With out open and free debate, it's no longer science.


This isn't surprising, as Peterson is also an overpopulation-denier with anthropocentric biases.

It's too bad, since he's realistic about many aspects of human nature that others won't face, hence his popularity. Can't he see that individual psychoses can add up to mass denial of evidence?


jackkay wrote: "The consensus was the earth was flat, consensus was earth was the center of the solar system, consensus was that home sapiens were only 100 million years old. The consensus is that..... With out open and free debate, it's no longer science."

You've got the context backwards and don't seem to understand the scientific method. Those falsehoods were believed by the same types of people who now DENY climate change.

It reminds me of 2011 when Gov. Rick Perry tried that ruse with his Galileo comparison, as if he was an honest rebel against dogma. After enough historical fog passes, many conservatives align themselves with people they'd be fighting nowadays. The Jesus story is a perfect example (if he ever existed). They'd be calling Jesus a dirty hippie if he was pushing his values of fairness on Amurrica today.


After reading through these comments, it is painfully clear that none you imbecils have actually listened to Jordan Peterson for more than 5 minutes, if at all. "Sexists, racicsts, climate change denier" blah, blah blah. Some of you actually calling him dumb. He is one of the top intellectuals in the West, and one of the top psychologists in the world. "But global warming, boo hoo". Lol.
Carry on libtards, enjoy your bubble.


@47 -- By what measure is Jordon Peterson even one of the top intellectuals IN TORONTO, much less the West? Top psychologists? What the fuck does that even mean? His field is about as "scientific" as phrenology. You are a complete imbecile.