Mark Landsbaum: Global warming and corruption of science
By MARK LANDSBAUM / Register columnist
The Church of Global Warming is well-established in government.
“Global Warming has become a religion,” says Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT’s Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology. “A surprisingly large number of people seem to have concluded that all that gives meaning to their lives is the belief that they are saving the planet by paying attention to their carbon footprint.”
The well-established religion of global warming demands converts, insists on hefty tithing and virtually excommunicates unbelievers. These are serious problems when combined with the government’s power to coerce. You can run, but you can’t hide, from the Church of Global Warming’s enforcers.
Another problem is that science is corrupted by circumventing the scientific method and demonizing dissent. The faddish denomination Church of Global Warming recently was reborn as the Church of Climate Change. The original name became too difficult for even true believers to utter without embarrassment since global warming has been undetectable for 17 years.
C.S. Lewis, author of “Narnia” and Christian-themed books, noted the corruption of science nearly 70 years ago.
“Lewis pointed out that, in the modern world, people will believe almost anything if it’s dressed up in the name of science,” says Dr. John West, associate director at the Center for Science and Culture and editor of “The Magician’s Twin,” a collection of Lewis’ essays (and a film) on corruption of science. Lewis’ book, “The Hideous Strength,” explored twisting of science to advance horrors such as sterilization of the “unfit” and selective breeding.
Science, done properly, helps understand reality. But even then, science doesn’t tell us what should be done once we understand. Contemporary pressure groups largely have co-opted science to advance political agendas, foremost among them today, climate change.
Where once scientific findings were offered for debate, the contemporary model dictates findings and demands its advice be followed. Be wary when someone says, “Science says we must.”
Real science doesn’t do that. Science split the atom. Science didn’t dictate dropping the bomb.
With Congress soon to reconvene, and President Barack Obama likely soon to turn his attention from Syria to domestic issues, beware of policies supposedly mandated by scientific “consensus.” Any honest scientist should be able – and willing – to point to any number of “consensus” beliefs later proven to be poppycock.
Beware when scientists insist that debate must end because the science is settled. They should be saying, “Here’s what our research shows. Test it to see if it’s true.”
Corruption of the scientific process has spread to highest levels. In 2010, the United States National Academy of Sciences dropped all pretense and revealed itself to be a shameless advocacy group, urging the government “to take drastic action to raise the cost of using coal and oil to slow global warming,” the New York Times reported.
“It’s not an opinion,” said a NAS chairman, “it’s what the science tells you.” In other words, drop that bomb.
Some advocating such diktats may recall President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning about the growing power of the military-industrial complex. They should re-read his 1961 farewell address. He also warned of, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations and the power of money,” something he said is “gravely to be regarded.”
“[P]ublic policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite,” were Eisenhower’s prescient words.
All of this would be disturbing enough, if scientists were getting things right. But because of the motive of “project allocations and the power of money,” so-called science no longer can be trusted.
A recent paper made headlines in claiming a 97 percent “consensus” in scientific studies on global warming. But the Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Andrew Montford’s review of the survey’s methods showed the alleged consensus “is so broad that it incorporates the views of most prominent climate skeptics.”
“The consensus as described by the survey is virtually meaningless and tells us nothing about the current state of scientific opinion beyond the trivial observation that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that human activities have warmed the planet to some unspecified extent,” Montford said.
Bjorn Lomborg, author of “Cool it – The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming,” says the 97 percent finding got just about everything wrong. Of 12,000 papers surveyed from the past 25 years, only 1.6 percent explicitly endorsed global warming with numbers. “[N]obody said anything about dangerous global warming; this meme simply got attached afterwards (by Obama and many others),” said Lomborg.
Here’s some news real scientists should welcome. An article in Nature Climate Change compared actual temperatures over the past 20 years to 37 of the climate models used to project future temperature increase. Real temperatures rose at half the rate claimed by global warming priests.
True science says, “Test our conclusions.” Don’t expect global warming believers to welcome such a real-world test.