Saturday, December 04, 2010

Meanwhile, in the real world...

While the UK, large parts of North America and a significant proportion of Europe is dealing with the first vestiges of severe winter in the form of record breaking cold temperatures and snowfall, the climatocracy are convening in Cancun. The sharp juxtaposition of these two circumstances have not passed unnoticed and commentators have discussed everything from:
Which brings to question, what is the problem and how is it being framed?

In the wake of Climategate, the collapse of contrivance at Copenhagen and the widespread recognition of this fact at Cancun, what is the real question?

The lessons of AGW require that we must address the failure of the academy and not just a cadre of bullies indulging in expertise politics.

At Judith Curry’s site I posted this reply within her thread on how to respond the Congress and its questions on how the fiasco of AGW evolved.

· This point cannot be over-emphasized but often is over looked. The majority of scientists may indeed be nice people but that does not mean they are objective, exist absent of personal motives or free of ideology. The predominant ideology of most environmental scientists remains both elitist and liberal/democratic, which means they largely prescribe to an ecological meme that despite its consistent refutation is rejected by the intellectual elite who simply “know better”. So when Lomborg published his book (which, in turn, originally was an attempt to vilify Simon) his results were dismissed as being “wrong” and when that was not sufficient, he was attacked in the same manner as climate “denialists”.

· A large part of the problem is the culture of academia and the reality that the merely competent in any field of inquiry greatly outweigh the gifted and talented. Because someone is published and published a lot is not the same as saying they are insightful, merely industrious.

· The basic problem with the IPCC is that as a bureaucratic entity and process it elevated industry and empire building within academia and sought to equate this with academic ability and insight: they are not the same. Thus in an academic version of the Peter Principle, we had many people elevated to positions of power where they engaged in an exercise of expert politics.

· Notice that the word “science” is largely absent in all this. That is because the whole situation was driven by ideology and politics and the science became subsumed within this.

· The sad part is that few within the academy actually stood tall and called people out on this: those that did, myself included, found ourselves all the more marginalized. There is a reason skeptical voices within academia are older, senior or near retirement: to question the golden goose of research funding when research funds are not only a proxy for productivity but an indicator of excellence is career suicide.

· Why do I blog? I blog for my own sanity and because it is the only alternative if one is to actually focus on policy within environment and actually question the pervasiveness of the environmentalist dogma.

· Lastly, non-scientists are vilified for examining “science” questions. But all manner of scientists express political and policy opinions freely without ever studying or examining these areas of enquiry with any rigor. It is a most crass double standard of hypocrisy that is blatant in practice and in its acceptance as the norm.

· Chicken and pig go for breakfast. Decide on bacon and eggs. The chicken was engaged, the pig was committed.

· Policy analysts have nothing to lose in this discussion: career climate scientists everything. Sadly, some lost their integrity very early. Some are just discovering the consequences of not speaking up. Others still cling to the same prevailing ideology they always have and seek to dismiss all this fuss as inconsequential.

· Last month another academic (an IPCC Nobel winner as he always mentions) sought to have the senior alumni at my university rescind its invitation to me to speak as my talk would be “improper” and “invalid” plus a whole host of other pejorative terms.

· No the sociology at work here cannot be over stated.

Martin Durkin makes many of these same points here.