Leading science writer exposes “The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science”
July 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - The pushback to our articles exposing serious problems related to the papal encyclical on environmentalism does get tiresome at times. We are accused of not having read the encyclical; being “anti-Pope Francis”; “hateful”; “publishing articles written by people who misrepresent the Church and her teachings”; and that “Climate Change was less than 1% of the encyclical” (and therefore we are ignoring all the rest); we are “needlessly alienating some supporters” by reporting on this issue; and much worse criticisms. We of course do not agree with any of these accusations.
The fact is that LifeSite cannot deny what we see and know is true on this and other issues. We believe we are obligated to carry on for the good of all. This does come with a price however, but we have never shied away from controversial positions because of opposition or possible loss of readership and donations.
So-labeled “deniers” of global warming/climate change alarmism certainly do take a risk in being open about what they see is happening. It comes with the territory at this time in history.
A notable person who has rejected fear and written a major piece disputing the science of climate alarmism is leading science writer Matt Ridley. His article “The Climate wars’ Damage to Science” in Quadrant magazine, is one of the very best summaries of the controversy that I have ever read. I strongly recommend that you take time to read the full article. He puts everything together in a very readable, balanced manner for the layman and the scientist. It's a gem among all the nonsense on the issue.
Ridley starts off giving this overview:
The great thing about science is that it’s self-correcting. The good drives out the bad, because experiments get replicated and hypotheses tested -- or so I used to think. Now, thanks largely to climate science, I see bad ideas can persist for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they become intolerant dogmas.
The writer is concerned that because of the bad way that the climate change debate is going “it is at risk of damaging the whole reputation of science.” He reports that “at first” when the climate issue started to become prominent, in the 1970s over claims that we were about to enter a period of global cooling, and later with warnings of calamitous global warming, “the science establishment reacted skeptically and a diversity of views was aired.”
Then the issue was taken over by those with agendas other than science:
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.
From then on, the opposition to honest scientific enquiry became exceptionally nasty, fed by hundreds of millions of dollars of funding to fanatical opponents of honest science:
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.
Those receiving these large amounts of money have had strong motivation to do everything they can to suppress and punish anyone who threatened their largesse by publishing evidence contradicting what they have claimed to be gospel truth:
Michael Oppenheimer, of Princeton University, who frequently testifies before Congress in favour of urgent action on climate change, was the Environmental Defense Fund’s senior scientist for nineteen years and continues to advise it. The EDF has assets of $209 million and since 2008 has had over $540 million from charitable foundations, plus $2.8 million in federal grants. In that time it has spent $11.3 million on lobbying, and has fifty-five people on thirty-two federal advisory committees. How likely is it that they or Oppenheimer would turn around and say global warming is not likely to be dangerous?
Why is it acceptable, asks the blogger Donna Laframboise, for the IPCC to “put a man who has spent his career cashing cheques from both the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace in charge of its latest chapter on the world’s oceans?” She’s referring to the University of Queensland’s Ove Hoegh-Guldberg.
Ridley continues at length in his article to prove and expand upon his arguments and address the science issues involved. He concludes with,
I dread to think what harm this episode will have done to the reputation of science in general when the dust has settled. Science will need a reformation.
…these scientists who insist that we take their word for it, and who get cross if we don’t, are also asking us to make huge, expensive and risky changes to the world economy and to people’s livelihoods. They want us to spend a fortune getting emissions down as soon as possible. And they want us to do that even if it hurts poor people today, because, they say, their grandchildren (who, as Nigel Lawson points out, in The Facts, and their models assume, are going to be very wealthy) matter more.
I have also read many expressing similar concern about the harm that the unproven, speculative alarmist claims in Pope Francis' encyclical may do to the reputation and credibility of the papacy and the Catholic Church.
It will interesting to see how much blowback Matt Ridley will experience because of his frank article.
The militant alarmists, similar to gay and abortion rights militants, are intolerant of opposing views and usually attempt to trash the character, credibility and livelihood of those who challenge and undermine their agenda. As a result of Ridley’s article, the possible damage to their schemes could be substantial.
Read the entire article and pass it around. I am sure you will be glad you did, given how massive this international scandal has become and how very much it is related to life, family, faith and freedom.
For much more about Matt Ridley check out his blog here. There is a treasury of useful information and videos of his talks related to the scientific issues of the day on the blog.
Also, see this very important Video of a brief presentation by a Nobel prize winning Physicist.