The politicization of science
Posted 19 July 2009 - 03:14 PM
The accumulation of evidence had built a solid understanding of the mechanism of actual climate
change that most earth scientists have been comfortable with before it became politicized.
It has happened before. The French Revolution and Napoleonic era recorded particularly virulent
social experiments run by neurotic intellectuals. Everything was to be forcefully done in a new
way and as Goethe observed:
“Most men only care for science so far as they get a living by it, but they will worship error
when it affords them a subsistence.”
This has been the case with the promotion of anthropogenic warming. Those who publish
opinion that supports the party line earn grants and adulation, while those who publish evidence
contrary to the tout are vilified as "deniers".
IP: We have fads and fashions in science. There isn’t much funding for research work, and that group of scientists that can frighten us witless can actually get more research funds if they give us a catastrophist story.
DP: So you feel that a lot of scientists have sold their souls?
IP: Oh, very much so. It’s a case of following the money. It’s a case of following the fashions and the fads. It’s a case of getting the fame and the fortune which comes with something like this, and we’ve seen it before in science, and we’ve seen at times that science has made some monumental errors which have been corrected. There is a self-correcting process in science. But it’s got a lag to it, and it takes some time before you can actually get the science corrected by new science.
The Corruption of our National Academies -- John Droz
Up until a few months ago, I was a big supporter of our National Academies. No
A fact of life today is that the internet has facilitated the rapid and continuous
dissemination of misinformation and disinformation by those promoting nothing
more than self-serving interests. Lobbyists are full well of this power and have
launched an unprecedented “marketing” assault on citizens and politicians.
The motivations are simple: greed and power.
My position is that:
1 - we do have serious energy and environmental problems,
2 - we need solutions that provide consequential benefits,
3 - we need solutions that are economically prudent, and
4 - we need solutions that have a net environmental benefit.
My experience is that #2 through #4 are NOT happening. The main reason for
this is that the process has become over-run with lobbyists and political agenda
organizations (e.g. AWEA, Union of Concerned Scientists, the Sierra Club, NREL,
now the National Academies, etc.). The end result is that we are being dictated
solutions that are palliative political pablum.
Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:16 PM
For the first time, the numbers from government documents have been compiled in one place. It’s time to start talking of “Monopolistic Science”. It’s time to expose the lie that those who claim “to save the planet” are the underdogs. And it’s time to get serious about auditing science, especially when it comes to pronouncements that are used to justify giant government programs and massive movements of money. Who audits the IPCC?
The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.
Despite the billions: “audits” of the science are left to unpaid volunteers. A dedicated but largely uncoordinated grassroots movement of scientists has sprung up around the globe to test the integrity of the theory and compete with a well funded highly organized climate monopoly. They have exposed major errors.
Carbon trading worldwide reached $126 billion in 2008. Banks are calling for more carbon-trading. And experts are predicting the carbon market will reach $2 - $10 trillion making carbon the largest single commodity traded.
Meanwhile in a distracting sideshow, Exxon-Mobil Corp is repeatedly attacked for paying a grand total of $23 million to skeptics—less than a thousandth of what the US government has put in, and less than one five-thousandth of the value of carbon trading in just the single year of 2008.
The large expenditure in search of a connection between carbon and climate creates enormous momentum and a powerful set of vested interests. By pouring so much money into one theory, have we inadvertently created a self-fulfilling prophesy instead of an unbiased investigation?
Posted 23 July 2009 - 07:08 AM
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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:36 AM
Speaking of Hot Air...
Gore's hometown Nashville Breaks 1877 Cold Temp Record...
Coolest July 21 recorded in Nashville as cool wave continues in Tenn.
It was the third consecutive morning when Nashville either tied or broke a daily low temperature record.
Edited by Rogerdodger, 23 July 2009 - 09:38 AM.
BIGGEST SCIENCE SCANDAL EVER...Official records systematically 'adjusted'.
Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:36 PM
But IPCC computer climate models are chock-full of unfounded assumptions - assumptions designed to deliver the result that a miniscule amount of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is the dominant source of global warming. Everything that conflicts with this result is either left out of the computer models altogether, or minimized, by deceit if necessary. Only through such scientific dishonesty is the IPCC able to claim that the sun and other sources of natural variability have little effect on our current climate.
This book pulls apart the flawed science behind the IPCC's assertion that man-made CO2 is causing global warming. Author Ralph Alexander exposes the IPCC's deceptive manipulation of climate data, the roadblocks for the CO2 hypothesis favored by climate change alarmists, and the failed predictions of computer climate models.
Dr. Alexander goes on to examine the consequences of the erroneous, but widespread belief that CO2 emissions need to be drastically curbed for the health of the planet. His analysis shows the folly of carbon trading schemes for regulating CO2, together with common illusions about renewable energy sources. The enormous economic cost of cap-and-trade systems squanders our resources on a problem that doesn't even exist.
The compact, readable book is written for both the layman and the scientist, at a level that anyone with a high-school education including some basic science will be able to understand. Most of the technical material is contained in two appendices and 330 endnotes at the back of the book.
Ralph B. Alexander is currently a senior market analyst in environmentally friendly materials and industrial processes, at a small Midwest consulting firm. With a PhD in physics from Oxford University, Dr. Alexander has been a researcher at laboratories in Europe and Australia, a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, and the co-founder of a small high-tech materials company. Author of numerous scientific research papers and reports on complex technical issues
Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:06 AM
The history of science is rife with examples of political, social and moral fashions which not simply influence, but pervert the scientific method and corrupt the conduct of scientists. Einstein faced off the political and moral fashions of Nazism and eugenics but plenty of his colleagues happily incorporated those twin systems into their own research. Eugenics also laid the foundations for the moral crusade against alcohol in early 20th Century America which was again a supposedly scientific assessment delivered as a moral panic which must be addressed immediately lest America fall into a deep pit of moral degeneration.
The example of Trofim Lysenko and the political outlawing of Mendelian genetics in Stalinist Russia is a particularly scary example of a political fashion given to be a moral and political imperative by a dangerously unstable man who became President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The parallels with the modern global warming scare are obvious.
Another example would be neo-Malthusianism as popularized in the 20th Century repeatedly by Paul Erlich first in the 1960s and more recently by the scarily named "Optimum Population Trust" which includes such luminaries as Dir David Attenborough calling for mandatory limits on family size to prevent near future overpopulation and mass starvation. Once again, a supposed scientific analysis is communicated as a moral imperative.
John Holdren, now President Obama's Climate Czar, co-wrote several books with Paul Erlich in the 1970s at least one of which argued argued for forced abortions, forced adoptions of illegitimate children or from mothers "who contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children" and the introduction of chemicals into water and food that rendered people sterile. All of this to forestall a crisis of overpopulation by the year 2000! See here for the original citations.
Carl Sagan, Erlich and others began and propagated the Nuclear Winter story of the 1980s, together with scary scenarios about likely darkening of the skies due to dust from burning cities rising into the stratosphere and blocking out the Sun. All with the aid of computer models with extremely rubbery parameters and dubious simplifications. A moral imperative against nuclear weapons? You betcha. Even Richard Feynman, iconoclast as he was, while averring that the underlying theory was nonsense, could not raise his voice too loud lest people think he was in favour of nuclear proliferation. Moral panics do that to the best of scientists.
There are lots more examples, but you get the idea. These scientific fashions all in their own time held great sway in academia and mainstream media. They divided scientists into those who were credible and those who were so morally and intellectually corrupt as to actually oppose these ideas.
Modern environmentalism has most, if not all of the above ideas incorporated into the unholy fusion of science and Marxist political theory now called "ecology", but is really a manifestation of what David Henderson memorably called "Global Salvationism".
The most interesting thing about all of this is that I, as a classical liberal, can find common cause with people from a wide spectrum of political and philosophical beliefs that the lessons of history are that moral fashions in science are endemic, cyclical and a constant menace to the real business of scientists to understand how the Universe works.
Scientists don't live in a fashion-free vacuum. They dress themselves in the fashions of the day, read the latest scare stories of the day, follow the latest celebrity soap operas of the day and most of all abide by rules to not upset the funding apple-cart from which their work is done, whatever their personal and moral qualms, at least until retirement.
An email from John A [email@example.com]
Edited by stocks, 25 July 2009 - 10:10 AM.
Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:38 AM
“Academics, like teenagers, sometimes don’t have any sense regarding the degree to which they are conformists.”
So says Thomas Bouchard, the Minnesota psychologist known for his study of twins raised apart, in a retirement interview with Constance Holden in the journal Science.
A remarkable first-hand description of this phenomenon was provided a few months ago by the economist Robert Shiller, co-inventor of the Case-Shiller house price index. Dr. Shiller was concerned about what he saw as an impending house price bubble when he served as an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York up until 2004.
So why didn’t he burst his lungs warning about the impending collapse of the housing market? “In my position on the panel, I felt the need to use restraint,” he relates. “While I warned about the bubbles I believed were developing in the stock and housing markets, I did so very gently, and felt vulnerable expressing such quirky views. Deviating too far from consensus leaves one feeling potentially ostracized from the group, with the risk that one may be terminated.”
If the brightest minds on Wall Street got suckered by group-think into believing house prices would never fall, what other policies founded on consensus wisdom could be waiting to come unraveled? Global warming, you say? You mean it might be harder to model climate change 20 years ahead than house prices 5 years ahead? Surely not – how could so many climatologists be wrong?
What’s wrong with consensuses is not the establishment of a majority view, which is necessary and legitimate, but the silencing of skeptics. “We still have whole domains we can’t talk about,” Dr. Bouchard said, referring to the psychology of differences between races and sexes.
Posted 29 July 2009 - 09:52 PM
An outpouring of skeptical scientists who are members of the American Chemical Society (ACS) are revolting against the group's editor-in-chief -- with some demanding he be removed -- after an editorial appeared claiming “the science of anthropogenic climate change is becoming increasingly well established.”
The editorial claimed the "consensus" view was growing "increasingly difficult to challenge, despite the efforts of diehard climate-change deniers.” The editor now admits he is "startled" by the negative reaction from the group's scientific members.
The June 22, 2009 editorial in Chemical and Engineering News by editor in chief Rudy Baum, is facing widespread blowback and condemnation from American Chemical Society member scientists. Baum concluded his editorial by stating that “deniers” are attempting to “derail meaningful efforts to respond to global climate change.”
Dozens of letters were published on July 27, 2009 castigating Baum, with some scientists calling for his replacement as editor-in-chief.
The editorial was met with a swift, passionate and scientific rebuke from Baum's colleagues. Virtually all of the letters published on July 27 in castigated Baum's climate science views. Scientists rebuked Baum's use of the word “deniers” because of the terms “association with Holocaust deniers.” In addition, the scientists called Baum's editorial: “disgusting”; “a disgrace”; “filled with misinformation”; “unworthy of a scientific periodical” and “pap.”
Selected Excerpts of Skeptical Scientists:
“I think it's time to find a new editor,” ACS member Thomas E. D'Ambra wrote.
Geochemist Everett Langford wrote: “I am appalled at the condescending attitude of Rudy Baum, Al Gore, President Barack Obama, et al., who essentially tell us that there is no need for further research—that the matter is solved.”
ACS scientist Dennis Malpass wrote: “Your editorial was a disgrace. It was filled with misinformation, half-truths, and ad hominem attacks on those who dare disagree with you. Shameful!”
ACS member scientist Dr. Howard Hayden, a Physics Professor Emeritus from the University of Connecticut: “Baum's remarks are particularly disquieting because of his hostility toward skepticism, which is part of every scientist's soul. Let's cut to the chase with some questions for Baum: Which of the 20-odd major climate models has settled the science, such that all of the rest are now discarded? [...] Do you refer to 'climate change' instead of 'global warming' because the claim of anthropogenic global warming has become increasingly contrary to fact?"
Edward H. Gleason wrote: “Baum's attempt to close out debate goes against all my scientific training, and to hear this from my ACS is certainly alarming to me...his use of 'climate-change deniers' to pillory scientists who do not believe climate change is a crisis is disingenuous and unscientific.”
Atmospheric Chemist Roger L. Tanner: "I have very little in common with the philosophy of the Heartland Institute and other 'free-market fanatics,' and I consider myself a progressive Democrat. Nevertheless, we scientists should know better than to propound scientific truth by consensus and to excoriate skeptics with purple prose."
William Tolley: "I take great offense that Baum would use Chemical and Engineering News, for which I pay dearly each year in membership dues, to purvey his personal views and so glibly ignore contrary information and scold those of us who honestly find these views to be a hoax."
William E. Keller wrote: “However bitter you (Baum) personally may feel about CCDs (climate change deniers), it is not your place as editor to accuse them—falsely—of nonscientific behavior by using insultingly inappropriate language. [...] The growing body of scientists, whom you abuse as sowing doubt, making up statistics, and claiming to be ignored by the media, are, in the main, highly competent professionals, experts in their fields, completely honorable, and highly versed in the scientific method—characteristics that apparently do not apply to you.”
ACS member Wallace Embry: “I would like to see the American Chemical Society Board 'cap' Baum's political pen and 'trade' him to either the New York Times or Washington Post."
Edited by stocks, 29 July 2009 - 09:55 PM.
Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:09 AM
To the attention of the Honorable Madam Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany…
History tells us time and again that political leaders often have made poor decisions because they followed the advice of advisors who were incompetent or ideologues and failed to recognize it in time....
A real comprehensive study, whose value would have been absolutely essential, would have shown, even before the IPCC was founded, that humans have had no measurable effect on global warming through CO2 emissions. Instead the temperature fluctuations have been within normal ranges and are due to natural cycles. Indeed the atmosphere has not warmed since 1998 – more than 10 years, and the global temperature has even dropped significantly since 2003.... According to the IPCC, it was supposed to have gotten steadily warmer, but just the opposite has occurred.
More importantly, there’s a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role. Indeed CO2’s capability to absorb radiation is already exhausted by today’s atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree…
In the meantime, the belief of climate change, and that it is manmade, has become a pseudo-religion… The German media has sadly taken a leading position in refusing to publicize views that are critical of anthropogenic global warming… It is indeed unfortunate how our media have developed - under earlier dictatorships the media were told what was not worth reporting. But today they know it without getting instructions.