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  • Science Politics for Classics Students

    Posted on September 8th, 2010 Jo 5 comments

    Image Credit : Mil (Dan Woods)

    Like my anti-hero, James Delingpole, I am going to make a capitalised comment : THIS IS SO ABOUT THE SCIENCE, JAMES DELINGPOLE :-

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100052655/im-funny-official/

    “I’m funny: official…the same tired old smears and inaccuracies. Sceptics are funded by Big Oil; they’re a weird, swivel-eyed minority; Climategate was “a storm in a tea cup” which did nothing to shake the underlying science; etc. Am I bothered? More weary than anything, for we have all heard these canards many, many times before (and no doubt will do again in some of the comments below), and I’m not sure it’s a game I can be bothered to play any more…The debate on CAGW, I’ve come to realise, is as futile as the one about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Which isn’t to say I don’t hugely respect the work done by the likes of Watts Up With That and Climate Audit and Bishop Hill to expose the flaws in the Warmist scientists’ dodgy theories. We need such indefatigable seekers-after-truth in this war but what we also need to realise is that this is never an argument that is going to be won on the science alone. That’s because the CAGW craze is and never was about the science, any more than the Eighties “Acid Rain” craze was about the science, or the Nineties BSE craze was about the science. They’re all just branches of political activism…THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE SCIENCE.”

    Oh yes it is, Jems dear. It is 100%-a-mento about the Science. And it’s also about the de-Scientising of the Science.

    Issues of Science have been dragged into the political arena because, obviously, environmental degradation requires policy responses.

    But in the case of the Climate Changes being wrought by Global Warming, the Science has also been politicised by those who have sought to undermine its reason, rationality and its devastating conclusions for their own, financial, ends.

    If you don’t know about the facts behind the funding of Climate Change scepticism, I would recommend that you use your skills of critical thought to address the facts documented in two prominent recent publications by people who aren’t lentil-baking, sandal-weaving, yoghurt-crafting, long-haired, cave-dwelling, hacktivists :-

    Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

    “Climate Cover-Up : The Crusade to Deny Global Warming” by James Hoggan of DeSmogBlog and Richard Littlemore

    Or, if your employers won’t stump up expenses, here’s an example of a web log post with some more details of the facts :-

    http://www.desmogblog.com/oil-gas-industries-spent-record-175-million-lobbying-against-climate-action

    In your small, pace tua, “deconstructed” universe, you may not have noticed the distinct difference between the public face of the project of True Science and the warped reinterpretation of True Science by the so-called “sceptics”.

    Clues could have emerged, maybe, from the evidence.

    Climate Change “sceptics” use emotive language, talk about purported agendas (conspiracy theory with fried eggs for brekkie, anyone ?), make wild, scattergun highly unsubstantiated, highly retractable accusations of inaccuracies, fiddling, lawbreaking, collusion, mendacity and errors.

    Climate Change Scientists, by extreme counterpoint, talk about the data, the risks, the uncertainties, give scenarios of possibility, qualify every quantity, state the blood-gushingly obvious repeatedly in case you missed it the first time, act with as much honour, accuracy, detail-giving and cooperative effort and ethics as they and their institutions can muster.

    The whitecoats go to work every day to try to understand the underlying nature of the Climate and what may be causing the clear evidence of Change.

    People who do not comprehend Science, who haven’t looked into the research, nor reflected on its significance, are easily swayed by the meta-narratives of “alarmism”, “eco-fascism” or “hide the decline”.

    The political activism doesn’t come from the Scientists. It comes from those seeking to derail public thought from reaching the logical conclusions, with deep societal implications, of what we need to do to protect the Habitat of all Life on Earth.

    As George W. Bush finally concluded, we are addicted to oil, a finite resource, and no short-term expediencies or economic concerns should prevent us from pursuing a long-term, full-scale retraction from the use of Fossil Fuels for energy.

    The world needs to revitalise its energy systems, and needs to spend scores of trillions of dollars over the next half Century to make up deficiencies in Fossil Fuel supplies, and to support economic development for the world’s poor.

    Since we’re all going to spend this money anyway, most people can see that, even if they don’t “believe” or accept the conclusions of Climate Change Science, that it’s going to be better to Go Green in this Energy Revival.

    James, I think your position would be funny if it weren’t so pitiful. But you can still renege on your quaint, destructive, concepts regarding Science and come over to the Bright Side, the side of the faithful-to-truth people.

    For a start, you could follow David Archer’s excellent online free series called “Global Warming for Non-Science Majors”. There’s no reason why you should remain in the politicised dark :-

    http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/lectures.html

     

    5 responses to “Science Politics for Classics Students”

    1. Schiller Thurkettle

      Yes, it is all about the science. It is about intentionally fudging data, writing code that will generate a warming trend from nearly any random data, hiring lobbyists to perform ‘expert review’, and so forth.

      It’s so much about the science that the seven inquiries into ‘climategate’ pointedly avoided dealing with the science.

      Indeed, it’s about the science.

    2. this comes over a bit naive. You might want to read http://www.spurse.org/entangled/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/latour-we-have-never-been-modern.pdf before too long

    3. so it is about the science….

      Graham Stringer MP, grilling Lord Oxburgh…..

      ‘THAT JUST is NOT SCIENCE, BUT LITERATURE”

      (ref Briffa and the fact that not even Briffa/CRU could reproduce his OWN results)

      MP Graham Stringer in full…
      He is a member of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee questioning Lord Oxburgh (Oxburgh Climategate enquiry)

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/10/oxburgh_science_select_committee/page2.html

      The Register:
      Stringer says the practices exposed at CRU undermine the scientific value of paleoclimatology, in which CRU is a world leader.

      “When I asked Oxburgh if [Keith] Briffa [CRU academic] could reproduce his own results, he said in lots of cases he couldn’t.

      “That just isn’t science. It’s literature. If somebody can’t reproduce their own results, and nobody else can, then what is that work doing in the scientific journals?”
      ————————–
      Some comments and analysis of the above at Harmless Sky blog.

      Lord Oxburgh caught in the headlights
      http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=327#comments

    4. And I thought it was the ‘alarmists that used the emotional stuff….

      “Our audiences are
      emotional rather
      than rational.”

      A gem of a quote.. from Futera.
      http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/Branding_Biodiversity.pdf (latests buzz word)

      A media company since 2001 specialising in climate change:

      From Futerra.
      “Futerra and The UK Department for Environment published the Rules of the Game on 7 March 2005. The game is communicating climate change; the Rules will help us win it. The document was created as part of the UK Climate Change Communications Strategy.”

      Now we have:

      ” Sell the Sizzle” – Futerra.

      http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/Sellthesizzle.pdf

    5. and to complement Rules of the Game,
      to change peoples behaviour.

      New Rules;New Game
      http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/NewRules_NewGame.pdf

      (Rules of the Game, was one of the leaked documents in the Climategare/CRU hack/leak/whistleblowing)

      Not forgeting – Words that Sell –
      Where did ‘Carbon Footprint’ come from, these guys focus grouped it.
      http://www.futerra.co.uk/revolution/leading_thinking

      Nice business to be in…
      Client list, includes BBC, UK Gov, UN Environment Program, etc
      http://www.futerra.co.uk/clients/

      The CAGW delusion, is NOT a hoax, scam, con, conspiracy….

      It is MARKETING ;) !

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