The politicization of science
Posted 10 August 2009 - 04:37 PM
Some of you may have followed Wikipedia's contribution to the global warming campaign at ClimateAudit and elsewhere, about which I wrote extensively in the draft manuscript of Red Hot Lies.
Wiki uses a full-blown alarmist — Hockey Stick-defending, RealClimate- and Green Party-affiliated William Connolley — as its global-warming gatekeeper, who ensures that the site remains consistently on the fringe, with skewed and even debunked claims.
In the course of my research on the topic, I learned about smear campaigns in which Connolley assisted as part of his Wiki duties (a recent Google search turned up a page on me —
This highly-referenced book details what all too many scientists know, but are afraid to speak about: the truth on global warming is not to be told, or, if it is told, the cost of telling it will be dear. I know from whence I speak, perhaps more personally than most of the people that Horner writes about. And what he says is true. If you don't think global warming is going to be the end of the world, and, especially if you can quantitatively and effectively demonstrate that in public, watch out!
On the other hand, if you are willing to wheedle data to show a foregone conclusion, or puff a kernel of reality into a cornfield of alarm, you are going to do very well.
Horner documents these truths with remarkable clarity and irrefutable evidence. I'm sure he's already received some fine email as a result.
If you want to see proof of his thesis, just watch the reactions. They will attack Horner, or where he works, but not the facts that he elucidates on global warming. This will be because Horner is pretty fair to the data. He's more in the camp that warming is quite real but quite less threatening than portrayed by likes of Al Gore, Joe Romm, or the myriad of apocalyptics feeding on public fear for personal gain. For that he will be pilloried.
What is interesting, but left for the reader to ponder, is this: Obviously there is a tremendously well-oiled and funded machine out there that portrays exaggerated climate change as fact, and this includes the political, journalistic, university communities, as well as the guardians of the so-called canon of scientific knowledge, the refereed journals. But Horner does cite a number of papers in the refereed literature that debunk hysteria. Given the overall climate of exaggeration, the fact that these papers were publshed must mean that they were absolutely compelling.
What is fearful, though, is the incident he described at the journal Climate Research, where editors resigned in "protest" of the publication of a non-alarmist paper. I had one in there a few years ago, and I saw the process first-hand. Tom Wigley and a few of his cronies demanded that the paper be withdrawn, and that the process as to how it could have been published be investigated. The message to editors is clear: if you're not with us, we're against you. That creates a scientific climate of fear.
Also touched upon is the unwillingness of scientists to open their data files to others. When Australian climatologist Warrick Hughes asked Phil Jones, the developer of the United Nations' climate history, for the raw data (he wanted to see how the error bars were calculated), Jones responded: "We have 25 years or so invested in this work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it"?
Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:48 AM
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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:48 PM
Reuters reported that the global carbon dioxide output in 2008 was 1.94 percent higher than in 2007. You can see that in 2008, the CO2 growth probably exceeded the GDP growth.
The CO2 growth seems identical to the growth before the Kyoto protocol (and it has accumulated to a 40% jump since 1990) which means that the hundreds of billions of dollars - and surely trillions if you add them up - have been completely wasted even if you were imagining that modified CO2 emissions could detectably influence the climate which they can't.
It's the carbon criminals who pocket this money. The grey carbon economy is one of the big tumors parasiting on the human society.
Edited by stocks, 11 August 2009 - 12:51 PM.
Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:21 AM
Why physicists are bitter
“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.”
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,
The system is bad, and people notice. Who leaves or is kicked out as a result? People who can’t shut up, people who can’t stand the lies, people who can’t or won’t play along. The system tolerates bitter timeservers.
Maybe it was Briffa, but one of the climategate goofs whines in an email that he will be out of a job if he does not produce grants, and that this requires doing crap work. The bitterness comes from finding out that you have to do non-science, borderline or actually dishonest bullsh*t to support your family after you have invested a decade of your life in developing your professional skills. The bitterness comes from the fact you were lied to.
One day you wake up and your over 30 with a bunch of obligations. You realize your industry/career/organization is hopelessly corrupt and that any reasonable option for yourself at this point is bound to be roughly the same. You can’t just start over from the bottom. You’ve got a family, you want them to get the kind of advantages that will keep them from ending up like you. You don’t want to quit your job/career and then probably have your wife walk out on you (women generally don’t forgive men who choose moral ideals over family welfare).
Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:40 AM
"The Ascent of Man" is available on youtube.
No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power. … The time has come to consider how we might bring about a separation, as complete as possible, between Science and Government in all countries. I call this the disestablishment of science, in the same sense in which the churches have been disestablished and have become independent of the state.
By the worldly standards of public life, all scholars in their work are of course oddly virtuous. They do not make wild claims, they do not cheat, they do not try to persuade at any cost, they appeal neither to prejudice nor to authority, they are often frank about their ignorance, their disputes are fairly decorous, they do not confuse what is being argued with race, politics, sex or age, they listen patiently to the young and to the old who both know everything. These are the general virtues of scholarship, and they are peculiarly the virtues of science.
Posted 15 March 2013 - 11:48 PM
Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:23 PM
The so-called “climate debate” as a classic case of the breakdown of the liberal spirit, this time within the scientific community.
Putting aside the technical details about whether climate variability is or is not influenced by human activity, the manner in which this campaign has been conducted is a disgrace. Even the term “climate change” is loaded, presupposing, as it does, that the climate was once stable and is now changing; real scientists would use the phrase “climate variability”.
The polemical nature of the IPCC reports, the way in which opponents have been systematically vilified and denied access to funds and publication, the absence of any critical third party evaluation of the models, all imply an illiberal and political agenda. Certainly scientists need to seek funds and to put their best foot forward in doing so, but the way in which the climate people are using Green hysteria to attract massive funding amounts to nothing less than the prostitution of science. It is illiberal to the core.
Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:33 AM
Science supports none of your fantasies and every attempt by a person to rationalize such fantasies shows that the person lacks scientific integrity – and sometimes plain human honesty, too.
Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said data was still coming in about Monday’s massive tornado which tore through a suburb of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people.
“Could there be better preparedness in general? Yes. What could better preparedness have been? Well it’s very difficult to say at this stage,” Pachauri told reporters in Geneva.
“But one really cannot relate an event of this nature to human-induced climate change. It’s just not possible. Scientifically, that’s not valid,” he said.
Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:22 AM
1) The EPA gave an ethics award to fake employee, “Richard Windsor,” who was just an e-mail alias for the agency’s former head, Lisa P. Jackson.
As the result of the persistence of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in pursuing their Freedom of Information Act requests, we found out that Jackson had been using an epa.gov email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” and that looked an awful lot like a deliberate attempt by Jackson to fly beneath the transparency radar when communicating about costly and publicly controversial EPA ideas and initiatives. It now looks like the EPA awarded the non-existent Richard Windsor with several of the bureaucracy’s required workplace certifications
2) The EPA makes conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups.
3) EPA contractors are basically Gym, Tan, & Laundrying in new, swanky rec rooms thanks to your tax money.
4) The EPA leaked confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups.
Posted 11 July 2013 - 05:05 AM
The history of human chromosome number is a good example. Starting in the 1920s, humans were said to have 48 chromosomes. In fact, the correct number is 46. From the soon-to-be-published book The Truth in Small Doses by Clifton Leaf (copy sent me by publisher), which is about cancer research, I learned that in 1955 two Swedish scientists, Tjio and Levan, established the correct number. After their article appeared, Several researchers wrote [them] to confess that they, too, had spied only forty-six chromosomes but had thrown out the results because they were in conflict with established knowledge.
“In conflict with established knowledge” was euphemism for we were worried what would happen to us.
The Truth in Small Doses begins with this story. Leaf’s point is that cancer researchers have a similar problem: They too cannot tell the truth, which is that progress against cancer has been poor, in spite of billions of dollars spent on research.