Tuesday, May 20, 2008

32,000 deniers

One canard that is often harped upon is the supposed consensus on AGW. Strange then, that over 32,000 scientists have put their names on a petition stating that there is no convincing evidence to sustain the AGW hypothesis. Stranger still, that the mainstream media appear to have ignored this overwhelming contradiction of settled scientific consensus.

But perhaps, it is not so strange. Advocates of AGW have not taken kindly to having their dogma challenged. Indeed, even the most basic of questions, can cause the PR machinery behind AGW to go into conniption fits.

This reflects the broader pattern of politicization of climate science excellently summarized by Roger Pielke, Jr., here.

Reading Pielke's comments and the posts that follow, reinforces the central message on environmentalism as an ideology over on Climate Resistance. AGW advocates share a common zealotry with other environmental activists. Convinced of the correctness of their own message, they see any questioning as a product of contrary ideology without realizing, nor acknowledging, that their own position also is entirely founded on an ideological perspective. Central to this conceit is the assumption that their advocacy of AGW (or any soft green environmentalism) is axiomatic as their views are supported by THE SCIENCE. Indeed, the credibility of environmentalism as an ideology rests solely on the certitude of its science.

So now we are back to what the science does or does not say. Problem is, the climate science we have is incomplete, still developing, often imprecise and frequently inaccurate. Moreover, science provides a measurement of environmental status: what that measure means, is entirely dependent upon how the question is framed, by who and with what ideological perspective.

Environmentalists are in the business of selling the message that the glass is half-empty, and that action must be taken to preserve what is left. It is an ideology steeped in a belief in limits, in stasist control and a fear of progress. It is also an ideology that loses traction very quickly when scientific evidence indicates progress and/or improvement.

In contrast, those questioning the environmentalist dogma view the the glass as half-full, based on a belief in prosperity, faith in the potentiality of the human spirit, the empirical evidence of technological advancement and hope for future development. Rather than fearing the future, they embrace the dynamics of change and seek ways for all people to adapt and prosper from development. Evidence of improvements and human progress are generally accepted as supportive of this optimism.

Half-empty. Half-full. Both these perspectives represent quite different world views. They are contrasting ideologies.

But they are both ideologies.