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Climate science, consensus, sceptics, deniers, and propaganda

10/05/2012

Claims of a consensus was an early sign that climate science was political, and used to support the science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a public relations campaign. And, it’s in use again as the science of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) fails to persuade people.

Many scientists and, of course, non-scientists were fooled by the IPCC, including James Lovelock, a central figure to environmentalism with his Gaia hypothesis. In 2007 he said,

Before this century is over, billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic.

Recently Lovelock revised his view;

The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.

How could a reputable scientist be so wrong? What hope is there for the ordinary man in the street vulnerable to anyone with scientific credentials and exposed to the fear mongering alarmists. ‘Consensus climate change’ is present in: popular literature, newspapers, blogs, popular culture, movies, television talk shows, it’s everywhere.

Calling someone a sceptic is considered derogatory, yet it’s a necessity for a scientist. When warming became climate change sceptics became deniers, a nasty ambiguous word. It means you refuse to acknowledge information, but it’s specifically used for a few who deny the holocaust, arguably the most horrendous event in history.

There’s a negative implication to the word consensus. If you’re not part of it you’re out-of-step, stupid, antisocial, or all three. However, there’s no consensus in science and never has been. Even in politics it’s rare to assign a number to a consensus. To pretend credibility a 97 per cent consensus about IPCC climate science was claimed by the IPCC. This consensus has been manufactured.

Numerical measures of the consensus argument appeared early: approximately 6,000 people associated with the IPCC represented the original consensus. That number  dropped to 2500 today, but they’re still the consensus.

In normal practice, there is no need to define ‘consensus’ as no science depends on it. But climate science of the IPCC and Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia was not normal practice: a political consensus was their only hope. The claim of consensus has been a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is settled. The science is settled, and the debate is over because there’s a consensus. However, when people use the argument of consensus, it means they’ve lost the scientific argument. Scientific arguments are based on evidence, and only on evidence. It really is that simple. When the AGW theory is finally dead and buried, I believe this is the one lesson most people need to take away from it. Whenever someone tries to support a scientific proposition using the word ‘consensus’ – you know you’re being had.

Those here who have been involved in the decision making processes of ‘big business’ and ‘big government’ will know from harsh experience that decisions get made because they suit someone’s agenda, NOT because it is the correct decision or the right thing to do. (If sometimes the correct decision does get made for the correct reason, please be aware that is an accident and/or a matter of co-incidence).

Yet, a preponderance of scientists agree with the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) Global Warming Petition Project (the Oregon Petition is the third, and largest, of three efforts to argue that the scientific consensus on global warming does not exist; the other two are the 1992 Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming, and the Leipzig Declaration), which states:

The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

That unambiguous statement was co-signed by more than 31,000 professionals with science degrees, including some 9,000 Ph.Ds. Various alarmist petitions have tried, but they do not come remotely close to those numbers. The fact is that most scientists know that CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better. Which counters the outright lie that ‘carbon’ will cause runaway global warming and climate disruption. There is no empirical evidence whatever that supports that nonsense only propaganda.

However, the battle is far from over, and it’s unlikely logic will trump entrenched agendas. These people, with their disparate plans will plough ahead and ‘manufacture’ the ‘support’ for their actions. Further decisions get made because they suit someone’s agenda (usually retaining or regaining power), not because it is the correct decision or the right thing to do, for that matter.

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