Mittwoch, Juni 17, 2009

Achieving Clarity...

This is an interesting article, presenting the views of a number of global warming advocates. I'd like not so much to fisk them, but let them speak for themselves so that you can better understand their goals.

According to the main thrust of the article, the global warming advocates are losing ground because they're being too ... scientific about the whole thing, failing to get their message across in a more convincing way.

That, right off the block, is interesting: it implies that their problem isn't with the message, but with how it is being presented. Their conviction that there is global warming and that man has caused it is apodictic: in other words, categorically true. This isn't scientific reasoning, this is nothing more than belief written with a capital B.

Why do I say this?

Because we've seen examples of fraud and outright dishonesty, plus travesties of the peer review process (within the global warming scientific community, peer reviewing ensures that no contrarians challenge the established orthodoxy which ensures a steady stream of funding and career financing) within the global warming advocates that call themselves scientists. Models that deliver the pre-determined results regardless of what data is entered (Mann Hockey-Stick); the use of extensive data cleansing to remove unwanted historical data ("We have to get rid of the Medieval Warming Period"); the outright hostility and refusal to cooperate with skeptics who simply want access to the data ("We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."); all in all, the proponents of anthropogenic global warming have been acting fairly reliably in a "fake but accurate" mode, reflecting the apodictic nature of their thinking (categorically true, even in the face of evidence that their conclusions are problematic).

Here's the infamous Mann himself on what needs to be done:

We must find ways to translate often technical and complex scientific findings for consumption by an audience unfamiliar with the basic tools and lexicon of science. Where the science has implications for public policy, which is true for many fields in the environmental sciences — including my own field of climate change — communicators must fight against the headwind of intentional disinformation efforts, typically fostered by special interest groups that judge themselves to be threatened by the implications of the scientific findings. The contrarian disinformation machine often employs charismatic, rhetorically talented advocates who deliver their messages of doubt and confusion in carefully measured and focus-group-tested aphorisms.

Note the technique: he does not address the issue at hand, but rather uses ad hominem arguments (that his opponents are intentional disinformers, fostered by special interest groups, even inventing a "contrarian disinformation machine" that ignores his own very real contributions to the problem: this is especially rich coming from the person who created the biggest lie in the anthropogenic warming industry.

Another contributor:

"Greenhouse gases" or "our deteriorating atmosphere"? "Carbon tax" or "pollution reduction fund"? Should scientists even deign to think about this type of sloganeering? Should they stoop to tactics employed by public relations firms and advertisers?

Of course they should.

Not, mind you, because of a deep-seated cynicism about the nature of civic discourse, and what that might mean about society's capacity to solve the world's most intractable environmental problems. Not because the majority of scientists rather alarmingly tend to think they are smarter than most, and thus more capable of successful public manipulation.

We should engage in sloganeering because the emerging scientific understanding of values, social norms, and behavior tells us we should.

Whenever you hear "scientific understanding of values, social norms and behavior", check that your guns are clean and that you've got enough ammo:  the last time science was this badly abused was under the various Soviet "scientific understanding of socialism" that pointed to the need for a new Soviet man, freed of bourgeois values and whose life would be guided by scientific principles.

This has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics.

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