Thursday, November 16, 2006

Maybe the Emperor doesn't have new clothes?

A useful discussion on Prometheus on the reluctance of "experts" to speak up and correct misrepresentation of science, especially in the media and by vested political interests. This article was particularly timely as it appears the day after the CBC in Canada aired a segment on its Fifth Estate program that "exposed" climate skeptics and the supposedly large amounts of money paid them by the oil industry. The implication being, of course, that one could only be skeptical of global warming if one's viewpoint had been bought and paid for by industry.

It occurs to me that if the much vaunted "consensus" on global warming existed, there would be no hysteria nor inquisition to expose those still not obeying the various missives to conform. Moreover, to impune the motives of independent thinkers and suggest anyone who speaks against global warming has had their opinion prostituted is ridiculous. Lastly, global warming is now funded to the tune of over $5 billion per year but I guess experts bellying up to that trough are still intellectually pure as these are "official" funds and subject to "peer-review".

This view of intellectualism by which the morality of the research is adjudicated by its conformity with prescribed outcomes is the truly offensive aspect of this whole debate.

The ends never justify the means. And usually those who seek to claim otherwise are merely seeking to justify their own power, status or prescription for reform. Authoritarianism is a sure sign of fear: why is it, exactly, that skeptics scare proponents of global warming so profoundly?