ABC/Walt Disney, AGW, Al Gore, Climate Alarmism, Climate Doomsday, Coyote Blog, David French, ExxonMobile, False Consensus, Galileo, Heliocentrism, Inquisition, IPPC, Josh Gelernter, Judith Curry, Loretta Lynch, Natural Attribution, Rick Moran, Temperature Measurement, Warren Meyer
The reactionaries in the global warming plunderbund are revealing their philosophical bankruptcy, dishonesty, and inner fascism. Science is a continuous process of learning through empirical observation, theory and testing. Refutation is as important to the process as original research and replication. Experimental results can be confirmed, but theory can never be established as absolute fact. The term “settled science” is very nearly an oxymoron, yet we constantly hear that climate science is “settled”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We are asked by the warmists to accept sweeping conclusions on the basis of an extremely short historical record, one that is clouded by sharp disputes over measurement issues. The long-term record based on temperature proxies shows that recent trends are well within the range of natural variability. We are asked to accept conclusions based largely on models that have proven to be extremely inaccurate and that fail to account for important climate influences such as solar variation and oceanic cycles. And with essentially no historical justification, we are asked to accept assumptions about what global temperatures “should be”, and that we should make drastic sacrifices in a quixotic effort to make temperatures stay put. To do so, we are asked to divert resources on a massive scale to mitigate a risk that is speculative at best. An alternative view is that mankind should make sacrifices in order to adapt to change when it occurs, rather than taking the arrogant view that we can, with sufficient coercion and manipulation of private decisions, dominate natural forces to assure climate stability.
Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog has an excellent series of posts on climate change. The most recent of those posts is on natural attribution of climate change. It includes links to earlier parts of his series. Meyer compares today’s alarmists to a hypothetical observer predicting future temperatures in the year 1600, roughly the minimum of the “mini ice-age”. Of course, that observer would have said it would get colder based on his experience, but that would have been wrong. Today’s alarmists rest their case on a 20-year uptrend between 1978 and 1998, tying it to man-made carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, a longer-term view shows that surface temperatures had increased in similar spurts before carbon emissions were a factor of any kind.
Scoundrels tend to twist facts when the facts don’t support their view. Rick Moran reports on an academic paper concluding that it’s acceptable to lie about the threat posed by climate change. It’s not enough to present research and the full range of uncertainty surrounding forecasts, which is very wide. No, the reporting must be wrapped in a sort of Grimm’s fairy tale in order to teach the public a lesson, unschooled children that they are. Such is the manipulative nature of the warmist community.
And the dishonesty is extensive. Remember the claim that 97% of climate scientists accept the proposition of man-made global warming? It was debunked in short order, but the media seemingly can’t get enough of a disaster scenario, so the claim lives on. Famed climatologist Judith Curry has a number of posts on her blog explaining the misleading details of this bit of disinformation. Among the problems of methodology and reporting of this “survey” result is that it was not based on an actual survey of scientists. Instead, it rated abstracts of publications as to their consistency with particular views of the anthropomorphic global warming (AGW) proposition. Not only does this method double-count the views of individual scientists; the authors were highly selective about which scientists and how many of their publications were counted. Even more interestingly, the criteria were so loose that abstracts written by certain scientists known to be skeptical of AGW were counted within the 97%! In one of Curry’s posts, entitled “The Conceits of Consensus“, she discusses the weaknesses and refutations of the claim of a strong consensus, including the participation of non-scientist evaluators of research abstracts in the sample:
“Bottom line: inflating the numbers of ‘climate scientists’ in such surveys attempts to hide that there is a serious scientific debate about the detection and attribution of recent warming, and that scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus conclusion are disproportionately expert in the area of climate change detection and attribution.“
Other studies have found that a majority of surveyed meteorologists (see here and here), geoscientists and engineers are skeptical of AGW. But again, this information is essentially ignored by the media and self-interested politicos because it does not support the crisis narrative that dictates coercive action by government.
Apparently, propaganda in support of the increasingly dubious warmist position must be reinforced by more drastic measures. Prominent leftists in government are asking whether disputing climate change is punishable under the law. You read that right! Two state attorneys general have threatened to prosecute ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading investors and the public about climate change. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has proposed using RICO organized crime law to go after certain energy companies for climate change “denial”. Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, has asked the FBI to look into it. To hell with freedom of speech. To hell with the spirit of free scientific inquiry. Your authoritarian masters insist that you must fall into line with their climate change agenda or else!
Josh Gelernter opens his recent discussion of this tyrannical gambit this way:
“Four hundred years ago this week, the Inquisition met in Rome to discuss Galileo’s support for the Copernican model of the cosmos, which placed the Sun at the center of the solar system. After five days of deliberation, a commission of inquisitors ruled that heliocentrism was ‘foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of the Holy Scripture.’ Not a good moment for the Church. Two days later, Galileo was summoned to the Vatican and ordered ‘to abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it . . . to abandon it completely . . . and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing.’“
To underscore the hypocrisy of these threats of prosecution, David French observes that there are many other instances in which the public has been misled while the presumed climate mavens profited from the hysteria. Could these opportunistic ploys also be subject to prosecution?:
- Al Gore insisted ten years ago that by now we’d suffer a “climate doomsday” if we failed to take the measures he advocated;
- Perhaps ABC/Walt Disney has profited from its breathless warnings that “in 2015 milk would cost almost $13 a gallon, gas would be more than $9 a gallon, ‘flames [would] cover hundreds of square miles,’ one billion people would be malnourished, and Manhattan would be flooding — all because of climate change.“
- The Chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late….” And as French says: “The IPCC has received tens of millions of dollars while hyping the threat of global warming.“
French’s suggestions are not entirely tongue-in-cheek. These suggestions are no more outlandish than threats to prosecute anyone else over a legitimate dispute in scientific debate.
The AGW community suffers from a weak understanding of the philosophy of science, a dishonest presentation of the facts, and a tyrannical streak that should can only be tamed by stripping them of power. First, however, the voting public must wise up to the danger to our economic well being and our freedom posed by these fascist activists.