Posted by MataHarley on 9 July, 2008 at 3:31 am. 64 comments already!


Flopping Aces threads on global warming invariably strike the debate chord. They are a study in one-upmanship, chock full of quotes from supporting links, studies and articles. But our debate always suffers from one fatal flaw… that is the starting point of our respective opinions.

Our commonality is we all believe the climate is, and always has, changed. The disagreement begins when we discuss whether that change is significantly connected, or caused by man releasing gaseous emissions into the atmosphere.

In this respect, I felt it a worthy post to dedicate a thread to the so-called “consensus” on AWG (or Anthropogenic Global Warming)… or also oft put as “settled science”. And for this, I give a big H/T to Mike’s FA thread, Another Global Warming Lie Bites the Dust”, which has endured days of lively and, for the most part, civil debate.

Also, H/T’s to both commenters Dave Noble and Aye Chi, inspiring me while trading good-humored barbs about “consensus”. Or perhaps best summarized by Dave on that thread as:

Your closing statement is a dogmatic assertion because it is unsupported by facts. Similarly, it is now up to you to provide supporting facts, or to knowingly fail to do so. Otherwise our conversation degenerates into a meaningless (and boring) do-loop of:

“There is a scientific consensus”
“No, there isn’t”
“Yes, there is”
“No, there isn’t”

That was post #17, and by the time post #88 (as of this composition) had been completed, the challenges were met, more made, and arguments arose based on which source was deemed more expert, and thereby more credible.

Voila… da lightbulb appears – and not the compact fluorescent version. Just why is it none of us can agree on this simple starting point for debate? I’m going to use many of Dave’s cogent points because they bring up some of the base points of contention. Not pickin’ on ya, guy.

i.e. Dave Noble exudes great confidence in this “consensus” belief by saying:

The Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society all agree that that anthropogenic (man-made) climate change is a reality.

Please provide an example of a scientific institute of comparable repute that takes a contrary position.

I’m not sure what standards Dave has for these institutions over another. But if it’s supposed to be based on unbiased conjecture, or where they derive their funding, then that’s where I’m going to battle. I’ve learned enough over time on what institutions do to placate those who deliver grants. Bias, when it comes to financial survival of institutions, runs both ways.

And as you can see by my post’s title, I not only believe there is NO “consensus” or “settling” of the science, but I’m extremely un’settled that a premature decision has been made… signed, sealed, delivered – case closed. Darken the theatres and run the trailers. No late comers are allowed entry…

Indeed, there is a very disturbing pattern that shows any debate on previous data is being deliberately thwarted and/or quashed, and nothing new is allowed to be added.

My brief mention of this censorship was, perhaps, misunderstood… construed by Dave as “conspiracy”. First off, I’m not speaking of our own lay debates, but public disclosure of the ongoing battles between the experts even now. And conspiracy isn’t the word I would use. The lack of credibility given to opposing views is boldy overt and deliberate – far from conspiratorial. They can afford to be bold, because they have orchestrated a very successful propaganda and intimidation campaign which allows them, obviously, to be above question.

Dave does say he will “trust the scientific community to police itself through the peer review process. Science knows no ideology, only the scientific method.” It is from this old school belief in the separation of science, ideology and politics that I begin an ugly tale of intimidation and censorship. Or perhaps better put, the morphing of the science community into political and policy activists.

Robert M. Carter of James Cook University in Australia wrote the best one-stop-shopping article on this intimidation campaign in March 2007. So I’ll use this as the focal point, and add supporting data from there.

And our first jumping off point will be the obvious… Yes, I am anticipating the cry of “foul” by using a man who’s expertise as a palaeontologist, stratigrapher and marine geologist also happens to be invaluable in research for oil exploration and extraction.

So first up is the intimidation/McCarthyism campaign: vilifying the naysayers as biased sources.

For the treatment of global warming “skeptics” has long been characterized by attempts to discredit their views and challenge their integrity using ad hominem attacks. In particular, there is an absolute obsession with allegations that industries or interest groups may be paying or offering non-monetary inducements to climate skeptics.


Mr. Mooney, the AGU, and bedfellows like George Monbiot and Ross Gelbspan, completely miss the point that truth in science does not depend upon who pays for it. The key question is not “where is the money coming from” but “is the science sound”.

George Monbiot, author of the novel, Heat, runs an activist campaign using both website and internet media against what he calls “climate criminals”. One such example of his accusations includes his 8 minutes YouTube video, assailing advertisements or studies who benefited from Exxon funding.

Again, Mr. Carter’s statement bears repeating:

…. truth in science does not depend upon who pays for it. The key question is not “where is the money coming from” but “is the science sound”.

Note that Monbiot doesn’t dispute the actual information, but merely casts sinister shadow over the source of funding.

Instead of addressing the science itself, believers merely cause a diversion, playing on the int’l sport of “hate big oil” – passing the suspicion buck to deflect from the science presented…

Mr. Carter rightly points out:

They remain oblivious to the obvious fact that their own motives are suspect in proportion to the estimated US $50 billion of public research money that has been allocated to “global warming” investigations since about 1990, not to mention the additional hundreds of millions that have been spent on climate lobbying by NGOs. Why should it be supposed that the directors of supercomputer laboratories and environmental NGOs do not have motives every bit as venal as the senior managers of big business?

Approx 2:30 minutes into the video, Monbiot speaks with a member of the Royal Society of London, who mentions a letter they sent to Exxon requesting them to cease and desist funding of organizations that:

“…misrepresented the science of climate change, by outright denial of
the evidence …., or by overstating the amount and significance of uncertainty in knowledge, or by conveying a misleading impression of the potential impacts of anthropogenic climate change”.

This letter, written by Bob Ward, Communications Director for the Royal Society, was not well reported to the lay persons via the MSM. But it certainly sparked worldwide protests amongst the professional community for their attempts at censorship, as noted in a comment by another demonized entity, the Marshall Institute.

That such a call comes from such a venerable scientific society is disturbing and should raise concerns worldwide about the intentions of those seeking to silence honest debate and discussion of our most challenging environmental issue – climate change”.

From Mr. Carter’s paper:

Bob Ward explained it was never the Society’s intention to shut down legitimate debate, but rather to ensure that public discussion be conducted solely on the basis of published and peer-reviewed scientific papers. Coming from a primary gatekeeper to that literature, this is lese majeste of the first order, peer-reviewing being more of an editorial quality control procedure than it is a guarantee of scientific correctness. Witness the repeated failures by journals as prestigious as Science24 and Nature25 to conduct rudimentary data checking for papers that they publish, or to detect conflict of interest26 or outright fraud. They also maintain a rigid politically correct bias in their editorials28, and in the choice of comments and criticisms that they publish on climate change. Therefore, an insistence on the use of peer-reviewed literature only does indeed shut down necessary debate.

Not getting the message that intimidation by authority is an abhorrent form of censorship, US Senators Rockefeller and Snowe composed a similar letter to Exxon in Oct of that year, aping the Royal Society’s mockery of liberty. And Australia’s Labor Shadow Minister for Public Accounting embarked on his own witch hunt, writing a letter to leading Australian companies stating:

“global warming is happening, it is man-made, and it is not good for us”. He continued “I am writing to ask whether your company has donated any money to the Institute for Public Affairs, the International Policy Network, the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the European Science and Environment Forums or any other body which spreads misinformation or undermines the scientific consensus concerning global warming. If your company has donated such money in the past, is it continuing to do so? If so, I request that your company cease such financial support”.

Our Oregon climatologist, George Taylor, was stripped of his title last year by Gov. Kulongoski… refusing him to be allowed to be called the “State Climatologist” because of his status as a skeptic. He quietly retired this year, but not without rumors of him being publicly scorned and mocked.

When powerful political authority figures start applying such intimidation to private enterprise and the opposing scientific community – and the media isn’t atop it screaming about censorship at the top of their collective voices – even businesses and experts not in their cross hairs have to think twice if they are able to withstand such pressure and financially survive. After all, by school yard rules, if you can beat up the bully in the ‘hood, the most vulnerable are apt to fall in line for you without so much as a whimper.

Up to the 1950s, the Royal Society of London used to advertise in its Philosophical
Transactions that “it is an established rule of the Royal Society … never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject, either of Nature or Art, that comes before them”. Leaving such old-fashioned integrity behind them, the modern involvement of national science academies in the policy-setting process has led, quite inevitably, to their political corruption.

Times truly have changed when science academics gain such political involvement and power.
And those that oppose? Fall in line they will, for they know the butter for their bread in the form of grants or government funding can – and will – be withheld. [UPDATE: Otherwise where will they get their grant money to study cow farts and their effect on global warming?] It becomes the height of irony to know one of the lone hold outs demanding further debate is the Russian Academy of Science.

One also cannot discount the power and influence of advocates with personal financial interests in AGW… never better exemplified than by Al Gore’s mega bucks enterprise, along side of a plethora of other green businesses cropping up to take advance of the “settled science”.

For every accusation of “biased sources” leveled by believers, none can be a more powerful counter than the IPCC and the UN as the consummate benefactors – for it is they who have the most to gain. With the implementation of their stated goal of integrating “the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources” comes centralized, one world governing power over the world’s economy and energy demands.

Now that the “settled science” is blessed by the one world power, an overhaul of global mandates is required as the cure. The believers pursue that agenda with a vengence, mowing down any who get in the way of the path by using legal intimidation, harassment, censorship, bias in the media, and some ol’ fashioned McCarthyism. Thus the debate, for all intents and purposes, must now be halted at all costs.

Media Bias

Mr. Carter’s report is filled with instances where media has refused to run articles by skeptics, only to surplant those still using older, debunked data – even the flawed Hockey Stick curve. Even smaller towns have the censorship and bias. The editor of the Middlebury VT community network, James A. Peden, experienced the same rejection by his local paper, the Addison Independent in Dec 2007…. Two weeks later the paper opted to publish a believer version from another novice who’s report was considerably less complete. (Mr. Peden has quite the article and graphics at the link above.) You will find letters and emails from scientists all over the world, complementing him on packaging the data:

Even for scientists your article is more convincing than many of the truly peer-reviewed science papers, and I have sent it to a number of my meteorologist and climatologist friends….”

John Brosnahan
Retired Physicist
( Whose past affiliations include the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, the Univ of CO, Department of Astrogeophysics, Tycho Technology, and the UCLA Physics Department. He was also NOAA’s public face for Technology Transfer, giving testimony to the U.S. Senate Science and Technology Committee. )

Documentaries prepared for cable are better labeled “crock-umentaries”, or “disaster porn” by Chuck Doswell – a weather scientists who has aided production companies on severe weather subjects, saying they:

“have the story written before their research even begins. They’ve decided the “angle” the story is going to follow, and nothing I say or do seems capable of swaying their determination to produce the story that way. The goal of the production crew’s “research” ….. is to film soundbites … they can use to back up the story as it has been written. They are definitely and consistently not seeking to understand the story first on the basis of what they learn by interviewing me. I’m simply there to give credibility to their story”.

Hollywood is, of course, an entity unto it’s own. As the adage goes, alarmism sells. And this simple economic factor makes skepticism highly unattractive as any media story line. Read more of the media bias, all of which starts on pg 6 of Carter’s paper.

Legal Intimidation

California AG, Bill Lockyer’s – along with the Sierra Club and the Nat’l Resources Defense Council – lodges a lawsuit against the six largest US/Japanese auto makers for damages to the envirornment. California Bill wants cash for sundry AGW sins, such as reduced winter snows, coastal erosions, ozone pollution, etal… then files for pre trial discovery for *all* communications between the auto makers and 18 high profile skeptics.

The intent is clearly twofold. First, a fishing expedition for material that might be useful for the state in pursuing its case. And second, a warning shot across the bows of all climate skeptics that they speak on this issue, in private let alone in public, at their own peril.

The lawsuits are not stopping there. That shot over the bow is causing many a business and scientist to pay close attention to the repercussions of speaking out.

Intimidatory legal threats of the Lockyer type have started to mount against the oil, electric power, auto and other companies whose emissions can be alleged to be linked to “global warming”, with at least 16 cases pending in U.S. federal and state courts. In Mississippi, a class action has been mounted against literally dozens of companies for damages for destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the power of which is alleged to have resulted from these companies pumping the atmosphere full of greenhouse gases.

Science Academics as Policy Advisors

As Dave Nobel said above, he trusts “the scientific community to police itself through the peer review process. Science knows no ideology, only the scientific method.”

Perhaps that was so in the past. But today’s reality is the Royal Society keeps a tight grip on the publications and peer review process, and even steps boldly into the fray, not hesitating to attempt censorship. This quasi-scientific “consensus” is achieved not by ongoing, open and public vetting by experts, but instead is politically orchestrated thru the IPCC.

Instead of maintaining their professional distance from ideology and the politics of policy, the science academies have turned into activists – jumping headfirst into helping form political policy at national and international levels:

By giving false assurances that a “consensus” exists on human-caused global warming, or indeed on any other disputed science issue, and by attempting to inhibit public debate, these bodies betray the very foundations of their existence.

Besides the attempts at intimidation and censorship by the Royal Society, the US Senators, and Australia’s Public Accounting minister, two recent US studies by science academies (The Nat’l Academy of Sciences and the Climate Change Science Program) issued Executive Summaries that contained “egregious” disparities between what was issued to the press, and what was contained as scientific evidence in the study’s text. Mr. Carter deems this “Frisbee science” becoming “public reality”.

This 39 page published (and ignored) paper contains much much more than I can cover here. The “new religion” with churches jumping on the bandwagon. The blatant campaign to orchestrate “behavioral change”. How much of the effects are indistinguishable from human “noise”. And why is the largest contributor of greehouse gases, water vapor, not included in IPCC’s neatly packaged facts. So many other places the link to link research took me in my cyber travels. But I’m already long in presentation.

Instead I focused only on the bold campaign to silence opposing scientific viewpoints, labeling them as not credible. This very bold effort to slam the door shut on debate… despite new empirical data being introduced daily… is more than troubling. Indeed if the evidence is so strong as to be obvious and scientifically unchallenged, why are the ranks of the skeptics growing? And why are the efforts to silence from highly placed authorities so patently oppressive?

Considering our climate is again trending colder… a much more dire environment for human suffering than heat… just what is the rush to restructure the world’s economics under a global warming mandate? After all, if time shows we must actually plan for global cooling in our more immediate future instead, our efforts may well be sorely misplaced.

Mr. Carters final words ring in my ears:

Attempting to “stop climate change” is an extravagant and costly exercise of utter futility. Rational climate policies must be based on adaptation to climate change as it occurs, irrespective of its causation.

Considering the economic impacts of traveling the path the global believers advocate, we would all be wise to eye their rush for mandated and expensive “change” warily.

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