Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tales Of Climate Science As A Protected Species

The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science

"At first, the science establishment reacted sceptically and a diversity of views was aired. It’s hard to recall now just how much you were allowed to question the claims in those days. As Bernie Lewin reminds us in one chapter of a fascinating new book of essays called Climate Change: The Facts (hereafter The Facts), as late as 1995 when the second assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with its last-minute additional claim of a “discernible human influence” on climate, Nature magazine warned scientists against overheating the debate.

Since then, however, inch by inch, the huge green pressure groups have grown fat on a diet of constant but ever-changing alarm about the future. That these alarms—over population growth, pesticides, rain forests, acid rain, ozone holes, sperm counts, genetically modified crops—have often proved wildly exaggerated does not matter: the organisations that did the most exaggeration trousered the most money. In the case of climate, the alarm is always in the distant future, so can never be debunked.

These huge green multinationals, with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, have now systematically infiltrated science, as well as industry and media, with the result that many high-profile climate scientists and the journalists who cover them have become one-sided cheerleaders for alarm, while a hit squad of increasingly vicious bloggers polices the debate to ensure that anybody who steps out of line is punished. They insist on stamping out all mention of the heresy that climate change might not be lethally dangerous.

Today’s climate science, as Ian Plimer points out in his chapter in The Facts, is based on a “pre-ordained conclusion, huge bodies of evidence are ignored and analytical procedures are treated as evidence”. Funds are not available to investigate alternative theories. Those who express even the mildest doubts about dangerous climate change are ostracised, accused of being in the pay of fossil-fuel interests or starved of funds; those who take money from green pressure groups and make wildly exaggerated statements are showered with rewards and treated by the media as neutral.

Look what happened to a butterfly ecologist named Camille Parmesan when she published a paper on “Climate and Species Range” that blamed climate change for threatening the Edith checkerspot butterfly with extinction in California by driving its range northward. The paper was cited more than 500 times, she was invited to speak at the White House and she was asked to contribute to the IPCC’s third assessment report.

Unfortunately, a distinguished ecologist called Jim Steele found fault with her conclusion: there had been more local extinctions in the southern part of the butterfly’s range due to urban development than in the north, so only the statistical averages moved north, not the butterflies. There was no correlated local change in temperature anyway, and the butterflies have since recovered throughout their range. When Steele asked Parmesan for her data, she refused. Parmesan’s paper continues to be cited as evidence of climate change. Steele meanwhile is derided as a “denier”. No wonder a highly sceptical ecologist I know is very reluctant to break cover."
Of course it's not just climate science that is not science in the "self-correcting" sense. The very definition of science as the objective, empirical, testable hypotheses with test data for non-falsification, went by the wayside in the Atheist rush to declare evolution to be scientific truth. The overarching need was for a narrative, not knowledge. So wildly fantastic inference stood in for testable hypotheses and non-falsification, and that malpractice rapidly got transferred to other sciences, especially the soft sciences, where no amount of testing can generate consistent data (psychology comes to mind, as does anthropology, which now eschews the title of being a science).

Unfortunately for reputable science, evolution has a heavy demand from the ideology of Atheism. And climate science has a heavy demand from SJWs and One-world Messiahs. So the defense of these two hinges not on actual outcome data, rather it depends purely on inferential conclusions which are projected from certain observations - observations which are not of the actual effect, and possibly not even related to the stated causes.

Much modern science is not even a shadow of its former self; it is an inversion, going directly away from objective knowledge generation by observing the effect as a final product of an hypothesized cause. And much other science is bogus, being self-referencing fraud. The remaining, actual objective science is stained by all the scientific malpractice - started by Darwin.

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