The Russian word in the title means “to conceal”. Let me give you a modern-day example thereof.
There is an international group of people whose purpose is to hobble the industrial capability of the advanced nations of the world, so as to “equalize” the outputs of those nations and the “emerging” nations — much as racehorses are handicapped by carrying heavier weights to compensate for their greater ability. There are all sorts of reasons for this group to exist: some members are part of the emerging nations themselves and seek to help their client countries, while other members are citizens of the advanced nations who wish to improve the chances of the emerging nations by slowing or crippling the advanced nations. The motives of the first group (the “emergents”) are obvious, unambiguous and completely understandable. Those of the second group, however, are a lot less so, unless one understands the philosophical underpinnings of their actions.
There is a socio-political philosophy that advancement of one group can only occur at the expense of another; in other words, progress, wealth, development and so on are all finite, and therefore when one group advances, it takes from the “pool” of, say, wealth which by definition will impoverish others. This philosophy is called Marxism.
So while both emergents and Marxists have different motives, their goal is the same: handicapping the progress of advanced industrial economies.
There is a third group of people who have yet another philosophy, but whose goals (at the moment) are similar to those of the emergents and the Marxists. This last group, whom I’ll call the naturalists, prefer to think of the Earth as a perfect ecosystem that is despoiled by the actions of Man, and therefore will support any initiative or action that lessens the baleful effects of human activity. (These are the people who will oppose electrification of a rural Third World community because electrification will “spoil” the traditional culture of the community, regardless of the fact that the traditional culture causes people to starve in huge numbers and have infant mortality rates six times greater than their own group.) This group is largely ineffectual because their philosophy is ignored not only by thinking people, but by the people in the Third World who believe, rightly, that things like electricity provide a greater chance of survival in their hostile environment. But the naturalists serve an important purpose in the furthering of the three groups’ common goal (handicapping advanced nations’ progress and prosperity): their philosophy can be adopted by all three groups as an umbrella.
Advanced nations are likely to reject attempts to slow them down to allow competition from emerging nations — sentiments like “we welcome competition” are utter nonsense because nobody likes competition except the beneficiaries thereof.
Advanced nations also accept the fact that Marxism is nonsense — wealth is not finite, it’s infinite — and even when advanced nations buy into Marxism slightly (e.g. most of Western Europe, all of Scandinavia and people living in coastal U.S.A.), they will acknowledge privately that Marxism fails utterly wherever it’s practiced in its purest form (e.g. Cuba, the former Soviet Union and lately, Venezuela).
Advanced nations also accept the fact that the entire ethos of human history and endeavor is the exploitation of the Earth’s resources to improve the condition of humankind. Sometimes that exploitation is excessive — the open-pit mines of Kazakhstan, the deforestation of Eastern Africa for farming, and so on — and all recognize the need for responsible and even delicate management of resource exploitation where it can be done. Needless to say, the degree of responsibility is the subject of debate.
All of which brings us to the maskirovka.
I have written extensively as to why all current climate prediction models, the basis of the maskirovka, are a load of junk. Rather than do all that again, therefore, I’ll just refer to this excellent summary.
Update: For some reason, the last part of this post did not appear, so I’ve rewritten it below. Many apologies.
The goal of the three groups cannot garner support from the broad mass of people, for the simple reason that most people (of all skills, nationality and education) will not buy into the disparate philosophies of all three groups. What is therefore needed is a overriding message which can cover and conceal these philosophies and blur the goals into a single thesis. That statement has to have some underpinning, so a set of data — climate data — has been assembled to alarm people into thinking that not only is climate change imminent and catastrophic, it is also man-made (anthropomorphic). That the data is junk is beyond debate; one test of a mathematical algorithm supporting the thesis of “CLIMATE CHANGE SOON! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” found that not only was the algorithm flawed, but it created precisely the same conclusions regardless of the data fed into it — randomly-generated numbers, in other words, had the same conclusion as actual climate data points. (And the data collection methodology of the latter was also flawed, meaning that the foundation data was junk to start off with, hence the need to jiggle the calculations to provide the required conclusions. In the data analysis business, we used to call this the “K” factor, or to use its proper term, Lies & Bullshit.)
Of course, when people (such as myself) pointed out the inherent fallacy and mendacity of the maskirovka, the hysterical name-calling and insults were bound to follow: “climate-change denier” (consciously linking the term “denier” into the same category as “Holocaust denier”) became the term, rather than the more appropriate “skeptic”. Note too that the original term for “climate change” was “global cooling” in the 1980s, then “global warming” in the early 2000s (Al Gore, call your office), and then when the contradictory terms for the same phenomenon were pointed out, the thesis was quickly renamed into the catch-all “climate change”.
None of this, however, can refute the utter fallaciousness of the climate change data (also proved by the constantly-shifting doomsday dates of global catastrophe, all of which have either been passed or else can plainly be seen to be nonsensical). Further (actual) scientific research has shown that solar activity — which cannot be controlled by human intervention — is largely responsible for the overwhelming number of climate change events. This, then, is the simple reason for the hysteria with which anthropomorphic climate change skeptics are attacked; the mathematical foundation of the thesis is fatally flawed and indefensible, actual climate change is uncontrollable, and therefore the focus has to be shifted to impugn the skeptics. Some have suggested that skeptics be treated as criminals, some in academia have been ostracized by their peers and/or forced out of their jobs, and so on.
None of this matters. The plain fact is that the maskirovka has failed, millions of climate change research dollars are imperiled, and without the figleaf of “science” to support it, the entire coalition of the emergents, Marxists and naturalists is no longer viable.
The Emperor, truly, has no clothes. Anyone claiming otherwise is either a fool, a liar or a villain. There is no other alternative.