Saul Alinsky, Climate Scientist

Ring of Fire

Written by Anthony J. Sadar and JoAnn Truchan

In his 1971 handbook, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, the godfather of community organizers, Saul D. Alinsky, asserted that the “basic requirement for the politics of change is to reorganize the world as it is.”

To Alinsky, the world and its history were all about revolution.

Saul Alinsky radicals who are all about revolutionary change (“we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” kind of change) have now seized control of an issue that can more quickly bring about that change – “climate disruption,” as expressed in community-organizer lingo.

If Alinsky were alive today, he would likely fit right in with the current activist climate scientists.  Alinsky would probably see that the challenge is to convince enough of the “Have-Nots” that their privation stems not just from racism, sexism, classism, and all the other social -isms used to divide people, but also from what some have called “climatism.”

Ensconced in political power, today’s Alinsky-style radical elites running roughshod over pure scientific practice can force societal change predicated on unfounded predictions of climate doom.  They seem willing to use any means necessary to realize their society-remaking goal.  After all, to such radicals, the ends justify the means.

And it looks as though, in their struggle to amass more control over the masses, climate activists are using tactics straight out of the Alinsky playbook.

Take the first rule for radicals: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”  The simple fact is that the evidence touted in favor of harmful man-made climate change is inconclusive at best.  But you wouldn’t know this if you follow climate activists’ unsubstantiated, arrogant assertions.  The activists make believe that their conclusions are incontrovertible; they want people to simply “trust them, they’re scientists.”

Whereas the second rule cautions, “Never go outside the experience of your people” in order to avoid your own cohorts’ “confusion, fear, and retreat,” the third rule advises: “Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy,” to cause “confusion, fear, and retreat” in your opponents.   Climate activists, along with their shills in the media, are doing just this to prominent politicians who dare to question human’s substantial contribution to climate change.  And, unfortunately, some of these politicians, because of their own ignorance, are doing nothing to help their cause.  Which eventually leads to…

Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon,” apparently a favorite tactic of climate activists.  It’s far easier to submit a barrage of ridicule or to sling labels like “denier” at people than to engage in thoughtful scientific debate – especially if the facts are not in your favor.

Skipping along to the seventh rule, Alinsky notes that “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag“…or, in the case of “global warming,” it gets proven wrong.  Climate activists started with hyping dire predictions about global warming and had plenty of computer models to back them up.  When real life showed those models to be spectacularly wrong, the activists embraced the term “climate change,” to continue hoodwinking the unwary public.

Real trouble for the truth is found in execution of the ninth rule: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”  For example, there has been a lot of reporting recently on Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva – in his own words, “a Saul Alinsky guy” – and his recent attempt to collect damaging information on several professors and climatologists who don’t toe the leftist line on climate change.  How many other scientists, interested only in actual non-political climate research, are now going to be more acquiescent to the climate activist position out of fear of similar attacks?  Or how many advancements will go undiscovered because good scientists don’t want to get caught accepting funding from politically incorrect sources?

In the thirteenth and final rule – probably Alinsky’s most well-known and well-worn rule – radicals are directed to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”  Climate activists, especially when confronted with inconvenient facts, like to target the messenger rather than prove their own guarded hypotheses.  Assaults are carried out with ad hominem attacks on legitimate challengers (aka, “deniers”).  Then they are linked to some perceived hobgoblin like “big oil” or “the Koch brothers.”

Alinsky would have been proud of climate scientists operating essentially as social activists.  Not only do the activists get to liberally spout their ideas, but they also get to force them on others.  Activism can be used to mask intolerance, in this case intolerance to dissenting voices in atmospheric science.

So the real challenge is for reasonable dissenting scientists and engineers to convince ordinary, good, decent Americans that, since the publication of Rules for Radicals in 1971, their misery stems largely not from racism, sexism, classism, or even climatism, but from the execution of the most pernicious -ism of all: socialism.


Anthony J. Sadar, a certified consulting meteorologist, is author of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretic’s Guide to Climate Science (Telescope Books).  JoAnn Truchan, a professional engineer, specializes in chemical engineering and air pollution control.

This article was originally posted at the American Thinker website.