Wrightstone’s Climate Truth Canceled by LinkedIn

Gregory R. Wrightstone writes at Real Clear Energy LinkedIn Shuts Out Truth — Again.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images

Censors at LinkedIn have permanently banned me from the social media site after I presented data drawn from peer-reviewed data used by the preeminent promoter of the narrative that man-made global warming threatens the planet— the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

How can this be? Well, first, my offending posts placed today’s level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the context of geological time, suggesting that life would be well served if there were more CO2 — exactly the opposite of what climate alarmists say. Secondly, I’ve had the audacity to publish facts — also know as the truth, multiple times on LinkedIn— that contradict the theory that humans face an “existential threat” from a harmless gas of which each of us daily exhales two pounds.

“Your account has violated the LinkedIn User Agreement and Professional Community Policies,” read the email from the site. “Due to the number and/or the severity of these violations, this account has been permanently restricted.”

The posts were of two charts. One showed that carbon dioxide levels were nearly 6,000 parts per million (ppm) 600 million years ago when many animal life forms first appeared in the Cambrian Era. Another illustrated a 140-million-year decline of CO2 levels — from 2,500 parts per million (ppm) to the current 420 ppm.

Implied in the data is that carbon dioxide levels eventually would drop to 150 ppm, at which point plants — and ultimately all life — begin to die from CO2 starvation. The concentration got as low as 180 ppm in the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. It was at 280 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

The addition of 140 ppm since then have likely come from man’s activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. If so, human activity has saved the planet from the existential threat of too little CO2. In any case, more of the powerful plant food is a good thing, as evidenced by the overall greening of Earth and record crop harvests of recent decades.

As executive director of the CO2 Coalition, I’ve had previous run-ins with LinkedIn censors. One involved a post about a CO2 Coalition paper on global temperatures. Although LinkedIn did not identify the broken rules, the only possible “violation” would have been an admonition to “not share false or misleading content.” The censored paper, The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record, was fully sourced and written by two of the top climate scientists in the world, Richard Lindzen and John Christy.

These are no lightweight scientists. Dr. Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an award recipient of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a lead author of the IPCC’s third assessment report’s scientific volume.

Professor Christy is the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and has been Alabama’s State Climatologist since 2000. Along with Dr. Roy Spencer, he has maintained one of the key global temperature data sets relied on by scientists and government bodies. For this achievement, they were awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

Figure 4. As in Fig. 3 except for seasonal station and global anomalies. As noted in the text, the inhabitants of the Earth experience the anomalies as noted by the black circles, not the yellow squares.

The main thrust of the paper was to put the modest one-degree rise in temperature since 1900 in its proper perspective. When compared to wide swings in temperature experienced on a daily and yearly basis, that slight rise in global temperature over the last 120 years does not appear as alarming as portrayed by the purveyors of climate doom. Like so many others who challenge the notion of catastrophic man-made warming, the authors risked being censored by the intellectual elite — or those who identify as such. And they were.

The CO2 Coalition has been attacked by other climate cultists, including Facebook and members of a political class that insists on forcing its ideology on everybody. Obviously, we care more about the truth — and our freedom — than anybody’s approval.

As noted philosopher of science Karl Popper said, “Democracy (that is, a form of government devoted to the protection of the open society) cannot flourish if science becomes the exclusive possession of a closed set of specialists.”

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and author of “Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.” He has been an IPCC expert reviewer.

Trans Ideology Vs. Anthropology

The Lucy Exhibit, 3.2 million year old humanoid, National Museum of Ethiopia

The woke progressives are hell-bent on erasing all historical wisdom in order revolutionize society.  If you thought traditional disciplines like Archeology and Anthropology would be spared, think again.  The gender and racist zealots are outraged that ancestors like Lucy were given feminine names, (or others masculine ones) despite our not knowing whether or not they identified with their own anatomy.  And as well, it’s an insult to the living who want to keep their gender options open.

The woke worms are hard at work on the foundation of human knowledge about humans, as Christian Schneider writes at College Fix Gender activists push to bar anthropologists from identifying human remains as ‘male’ or ‘female’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Argue scientists cannot know how an ancient individual identified themselves

As soon as ancient human remains are excavated, archaeologists begin the work of determining a number of traits about the individual, including age, race and gender.

But a new school of thought within archaeology is pushing scientists to think twice about assigning gender to ancient human remains.

It is possible to determine whether a skeleton is from a biological male or female using objective observations based on the size and shape of the bones. Criminal forensic detectives, for example, do it frequently in their line of work.

But gender activists argue scientists cannot know how an ancient individual identified themselves.

“You might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex,” tweeted Canadian Master’s degree candidate Emma Palladino last week.

She is not alone. Gender activists have formed a group called the Trans Doe Task Force to “explore ways in which current standards in forensic human identification do a disservice to people who do not clearly fit the gender binary.”

“We propose a gender-expansive approach to human identification by combing missing and unidentified databases looking for contextual clues such as decedents wearing clothing culturally coded to a gender other than their assigned sex,” the group’s mission statement reads.

This February, University of Kansas Associate Professor Jennifer Raff published “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas,” in which she argued that there are “no neat divisions between physically or genetically ‘male’ or ‘female’ individuals.”

Raff suggested scientists cannot know the gender of a 9,000 year-old biologically Peruvian hunter because they don’t know whether the hunter identified as male or female – a “duality” concept she says was “imposed by Christian colonizers.”

Some archaeologists push back at the effort to de-gender human remains.

San Jose State archaeology Professor Elizabeth Weiss told The Fix that eliminating gender classifications amounts to “ideologically-motivated fudging.” Weiss said there is a move among academics “toward getting all of the academy’s favored shibboleths to accord with one another.”

Weiss said the recent explosion in the number of people identifying as transgender suggests that trend is “social and not biological,” so “retroactively de-sexing obscures this obvious fact.”

She noted that applying biological sex to remains often helps dispel myths detrimental to women.

“Some early anthropologists sometimes mistook some robust female skeletons as male skeletons, particularly in the Aleut and Inuit collections; this reinforced false stereotypes that females were not as hard working as males,” she said. “Over time, biological anthropologists and archaeologists worked hard to determine which traits are determined by sex, regardless of time and culture. This new policy of erasing this progress is a step back for science and women.”

“Sexing skeletal remains is a critical skill in forensics and any diminishing of this skill will negatively impact criminal investigations, denying the victims and their families justice,” she said.

Weiss is joined by University of Cambridge scholar Jennifer Chisolm, who has argued analyses that posit transgender individuals played a large part in Indigenous populations are often ahistorical, and can even distract “from the contemporary discrimination [such individuals] face within their own communities.”

Gender politics are not the only ideology to work its way into anthropology and archaeology. Some activists have called for scientists to cease classifying remains by race, as well.

“Ancestry estimation contributes to white supremacy,” DiGangi and Bethard wrote, labeling the practice “dangerous.”

Others have called for changing primate names that were derived from white white men from the northern hemisphere. The activists argue that continuing to use the current names is “perpetuating colonialism and white supremacy.”

“This is just another attempt to insert a current woke ideology where it doesn’t belong,” Weiss said.

 

 

 

 

 

Revenge of “Emotional Intelligence” Oxymorons

With the ongoing imposition of Critical Race and Gender theories along with identity politics and social justice warfare in the streets, it is clear that people imbued with postmodern progressive ideology have succumbed to a basic dichotomy (a la Animal Farm):  “Feelings Good, Reason Bad.” This is a fundamental overturning of western civics and consistent with people increasingly replacing ethics with immediate gratification, ie, reduction to the pain/pleasure principle of animals.

Warning: This post will express sincere thoughts that are politically incorrect, for example accepting that males and females have differing predominant behaviors and traits.

The title refers to a notion that came up in the fields of management science and industrial psychology, coincidental with increasing numbers of women practicing in those disciplines. I am prompted to write about this upon realizing that our present social divide is more fundamental than many think. This century, we see increasing numbers of people choosing to operate from emotions rather than intelligence. This pattern is in contradiction to the trajectory of Western civilization placing reason as primary and individual rights and freedoms as essential.

In a recent article thread (to be excerpted below) a comment caught my attention. “It has been said men rank, women exclude, and that is very true IMO.  All-female groups are very exclusionary to anyone who does not fit in.” That expression of Ranking vs. Excluding was new to me, and it may be changing this century, what with women competing with other women in sports, and with men as well in the workplace. Still, it points to our present social struggle whereby “diversity” is employed to divide a nation into identity groups to protest prejudice and claim reparations against grievances. The US as usual is the leading example of this culture war. Ironically, tribalism is rearing its ugly head in precisely the nation-state that so successfully created an American tribe that included any and all ethnic and religious groups.

Ranking vs. Excluding also explains such recent events as the Senate hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. Clearly his opponents sought to exclude him not only from the Judiciary, but to banish him from the human race. Their fierce and unrelenting animus to this day is frightening for the republic. Ironically, Kavanaugh prevailed in the process only by an emotional outburst, his outrage finally waking others up to the enormously evil beheading underway. This was out of character for a man by all accounts extremely reasonable and unprejudiced, and even in this testimony his intelligence was evident and in control.

It also shows up in the warfare between Trump and the leftist media. From the moment of Trump declaring candidacy, the left has been focused on excluding Trump from legitimacy, not only as President, but as an human being. Meanwhile, he is focused on the ranking: Winning is what matters, coming in first place. And despite the media’s attempts to paint him racist and sexist, I see no evidence that he excludes losers in a contest. On the contrary, he and Senator Rubio are on the same side pushing back against election fraud in Florida. The media can not recognize Trump is driven by intelligence despite his determined actions pursuing rational policy goals, and unbowed by social pressure and disapproval.

This modern tribalism emerges from the academic world and is now spreading into the wider society as graduates gain employment in private and public sector institutions. However, many of them carry a virus along with whatever knowledge and skills they have been able to acquire in their studies. A recent interview with Camille Paglia offers insight into the conversion of normal Americans into social dissenters. The article in Quillette is Camille Paglia: It’s Time for a New Map of the Gender World written by Claire Lehmann. Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.

Post-structuralism, along with identity politics, made huge gains in the 1970s, as the old guard professors proved helpless against a rising tide of rapid add-on programs and departments like women’s studies and African-American studies. The tenured professoriate seemed not to realize that change of some kind was necessary, and thus they failed to provide an alternative vision of a remodeled university of the future.

Most established professors in the 1970s probably believed that the new theory trend was a fad that would blow away like autumn leaves. The greatness of the complex and continuous Western tradition seemed self-evident: the canon would surely stand, even if supplemented by new names. Well, guess what? Helped along by a swelling horde of officious, overpaid administrators, North American universities became, decade by decade, political correctness camps. Out went half the classics, as well as pedagogically useful survey courses demonstrating sequential patterns in history (now dismissed as a “false narrative” by callow theorists). Bookish, introverted old-school professors were not prepared for guerrilla warfare to defend basic scholarly principles or to withstand waves of defamation and harassment.

The poisons of post-structuralism have now spread throughout academe and have done enormous damage to basic scholarly standards and disastrously undermined belief even in the possibility of knowledge. I suspect history will not be kind to the leading professors who appear to have put loyalty to friends and colleagues above defending scholarly values during a chaotic era of overt vandalism that has deprived several generations of students of a profound education in the humanities. The steady decline in humanities majors is an unmistakable signal that this once noble field has become a wasteland.

As an atheist, I have argued that if religion is erased, something must be put in its place. Belief systems are intrinsic to human intelligence and survival. They “frame” the flux of primary experience, which would otherwise flood the mind. Another persistent proposal of mine has been for comparative religion to become the undergraduate core curriculum, an authentically global multiculturalism.

My substitute for religion is art, which I have expanded to include all of popular culture. But when art is reduced to politics, as has been programmatically done in academe for 40 years, its spiritual dimension is gone. It is coarsely reductive to claim that value in the history of art is always determined by the power plays of a self-referential social elite. I take Marxist social analysis seriously: Arnold Hauser’s Marxist, multi-volume A Social History of Art (1951) was a major influence on me in graduate school. However, Hauser honored art and never condescended to it. A society that respects neither religion nor art cannot be called a civilization.

But politics cannot fill the gap. Society, with which Marxism is obsessed, is only a fragment of the totality of life. As I have written, Marxism has no metaphysics: it cannot even detect, much less comprehend, the enormity of the universe and the operations of nature. Those who invest all of their spiritual energies in politics will reap the whirlwind. The evidence is all around us—the paroxysms of inchoate, infantile rage suffered by those who have turned fallible politicians into saviors and devils, godlike avatars of Good versus Evil.

The headlong rush to judgment by so many well-educated, middle-class women in the #MeToo movement has been startling and dismaying. Their elevation of emotion and group solidarity over fact and logic has resurrected damaging stereotypes of women’s irrationality that were once used to deny us the vote. I found the blanket credulity given to women accusers during the recent U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh positively unnerving: it was the first time since college that I truly understood the sexist design of Aeschylus’s Oresteia, whose mob of vengeful Furies is superseded by formal courts of law, where evidence is weighed.

What I see in both the Women’s March and #MeToo is an atavistic rediscovery by Western women of the joy of their own mutually nurturing solidarity—a primary feature of daily life during 10,000 years of the agrarian era that has been lost over the past two centuries of industrialization. As I have often noted, the sexes throughout human history actually had very little to do with each other. There was the world of men and the world of women, each with its own spheres of influence and activity. Women didn’t take men that seriously, and vice versa. I know this because I am the product of an immigrant family (my mother and all four grandparents were born in Italy), and it wasn’t that long ago that we were tilling the stony soil of the earthquake-prone motherland.

Second, the nuclear family as a standard unit of social life is a relatively new and isolating phenomenon. Wives returning from work to an apartment or house are expecting their husbands to fulfill all the emotional and conversational needs that were once fulfilled by other women of multiple generations throughout the agrarian workday in the fields or at home (where the burdens of childcare and eldercare were group shared).

What I see spreading among professional middle-class women is a bitter resentment toward men that is in many cases unjust and misplaced. With divorce so easy since the sexual revolution, women find themselves competing with younger women in new and cruel ways. Agrarian women gained power as they aged: young women were brainless pawns whose marriages, pregnancies, childcare, cooking, and other chores were acerbically supervised and controlled by the dictatorial crones (forces of nature whom I fondly remember from childhood).

In short, #MeToo from a historical perspective is a cri de coeur from women who are realizing that the sexual revolution that many of us had once ecstatically embraced has in key ways devalued women, confused their private relationships, and complicated their smooth functioning in the workplace. It’s time for a new map of the gender world.

Camille Paglia is the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her eighth book, Provocations: Collected Essays, was released by Pantheon in Oct. 2018.

Footnote:

A previous post quoted an historian saying that the US civil war erupted because of two mutually exclusive definitions of justice.  One side said all people had equal rights and freedoms, while the other side said all people except slaves had equal rights and freedoms.  That war was fought and won to defeat the exclusionary principle.  Yes, the practice has not always lived up to the principle of inclusion.  But there is progress, and social justice warriors’ demands for racist examples exceeds the supply of such behavior.

Present day Americans are torn over the primacy of patriotism or multiculturalism
Details at Patriotism vs. Multiculturalism

Postcript:

Tom Wolfe wrote a book in which he skillfully dissected the descent of rationality and objectivity at the hands of modern academia. And I began to see the connection to climate change hysteria. The ruling force is “political correctness”, which translates into going along to get along in your tribe. And in the extreme, it means subordinating science and rationality to instincts of the herd, their fears, disappointments and desires ruling the day. My synopsis with links is Warmists and Rococo Marxists.

See Also:  Head, Heart and Science

Campus Thought Control

 

Trust Me, I’m a Scientist. Really?

Oh the Irony!  A 2015 cartoon where a vaccine scientist is miffed at incredibility displayed by climate scientists. Dennis Prager explains why these days citizens have lost trust in scientists of all stripes.  His American Greatness article is You’re a Scientist? So What?  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Scientists helped ruin millions of children’s educations and helped spur a sharp increase in depression, drug use, and suicide among young people. So, by all means,  question the science!

A caller to my radio show this week, a physician, took strong issue with me regarding COVID-19 therapeutics. He accused me of not believing in science. His last words before we had to go to a commercial break were, “I’m a scientist.”

Given that I am not a scientist, he assumed that comment would persuade me—or at least persuade many listeners—that I was not qualified to disagree with him.  If that was his assumption, he was wrong.

“I don’t care,” I responded. “It’s irrelevant. Scientists have given science a bad name.”

I would not have said that as recently as three years ago.  But in recent years, and especially in the past two years, some basic suppositions of mine have changed.

I no longer assume when I read a statement by a scientist that the statement is based on science. In fact, I believe I am more committed to scientific truth than many scientists are.

The American Medical Association advocates the removal of sex designation from birth certificates. If many doctors or other scientists have issued a dissent, I am not aware of it.

“Assigning sex using binary variables in the public portion of the birth certificate fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity.” Those are the words of the author of the AMA report, Willie Underwood III, M.D.

Sarah Mae Smith, M.D., an AMA delegate from California, speaking on behalf of the Women Physicians Section, said, “We need to recognize gender is not a binary but a spectrum.”

When the American Medical Association and a plethora of physicians tell us that human beings, unlike every other animal above some reptilian species, are “not binary,” i.e., neither male nor female, the assertion “I am a scientist” becomes meaningless.

In mid-2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the medical community was demanding physical distancing, mask-wearing, and the lockdown of businesses and schools, more than a thousand health care professionals announced that the protests against racism then taking place—events with no social distancing, often no masks, plenty of yelling, and people “coughing uncontrollably” (New York Times description)—were medically necessary.

Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, tweeted, “We should always evaluate the risks and benefits of efforts to control the virus. In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.”

Over 1,000 health care professionals signed an “open letter advocating for an anti-racist public health response to demonstrations against systemic injustice occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The letter said, among other things, “Do not disband protests under the guise of maintaining public health for COVID-19 restrictions” and labeled “pervasive racism . . . the paramount public health problem.” That’s a left-wing cant, not science.

Now you can better appreciate why “I am a scientist” no longer means what it once did.

How about the cruelty of not allowing the dying to be visited by loved ones—even if they wore a hospital mask, even if they agreed to wear a hazmat suit? Did that enhance your view of scientists’ medical judgment?

Then there was the American medical community’s opposition to therapeutics, dismissing hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin (both used with zinc) as frauds despite the testimony of numerous physicians that they saved COVID-19 patients’ lives when used appropriately. State medical boards around the country threatened to revoke the medical license of any physician who prescribed these drugs to treat COVID-19—despite these drugs being among the safest prescription drugs available.

As early as July 2020, Harvey Risch, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, wrote in Newsweek: “I myself know of two doctors who have saved the lives of hundreds of patients with these medications, but are now fighting state medical boards to save their licenses and reputations. The cases against them are completely without scientific merit.”

As a result of the American medical community’s opposition to therapeutics, Risch wrote, “tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily.”

Doctors throughout America were essentially telling COVID-19 patients, “Go home, get rest, and wait to see if your COVID-19 gets worse. If you can’t breathe, come to the hospital where we can put you on a ventilator.” Ventilators, it quickly became clear, were a virtual death sentence for COVID-19 patients. And then they died alone.

Another example of the decline of seriousness about science among scientists was National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins urging his colleagues to boycott any “high-level” scientific conference that doesn’t have women and underrepresented minorities in marquee speaking slots.

And another: Heather Mac Donald reported that in 2020, “The NIH announced a new round of ‘Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.’ Academic science labs could get additional federal money if they hire ‘diverse’ researchers; no mention was made of relevant scientific qualifications” (emphasis added).

How many scientists protested the shutting down of schools for nearly two years? Some did, like those who signed the Great Barrington Declaration, but for the most part the scientific community was silent. In other words, scientists helped ruin millions of American children’s educations, not to mention abetted the unprecedented increase in depression, drug use, and suicide among young people.

These are only a few reasons not to take “I am a scientist” as seriously as we once did.

But there may be two consolations: One is that the same rule now applies to “I am a professor,” “I am a teacher,” “I am a rabbi,” “I am a priest,” “I am a pastor,” “I am a journalist,” and “I am a doctor.”

The other is that there are exceptions. Thank God.

Footnote:  Some Additional Reasons to Doubt Scientists

 

Fear Dihydrogen Monoxide, Not CO2

Overview from Wikipedia (H/T Raymond)

Dihydrogen monoxide:

  • is also known as hydroxyl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
  • contributes to the “greenhouse effect”.
  • may cause severe burns.
  • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
  • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
  • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

  • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
  • in nuclear power plants.
  • in the production of styrofoam.
  • as a fire retardant.
  • in many forms of cruel animal research.
  • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
  • as an additive in certain “junk-foods” and other food products.
Material Safety Data Sheet from ChemSafe

Even worse is the contribution of DHMO to the climate crisis

Conclusion: Stop obsessing over Carbon Dioxide, and Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide Now!

How We Got to Climate Crisis Hysteria

Background from previous post Rise and Fall of CAGW

On January 8, 2018 Ross Pomeroy published  at RealClearScience an interesting article The Six Stages of a Failed Psychological Theory

The Pomeroy essay focuses on theories in the field of psychology and describes stages through which they rise, become accepted, challenged and discarded. It has long seemed to me that global warming/climate change theory properly belongs in the field of social studies and thus should demonstrate a similar cycle.

Formerly known as CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming), the notion of “climate change” is logically a subject of social science rather than physical science. “Climate Change” is a double abstraction: it refers to the derivative (change) in our expectations (patterns) of weather. Thus studies of “Climate Change” are properly a branch of Environmental Sociology.

As a social psychology theory, CAGW/climate change bundles together three interdependent assertions.

From the beginning the claimed science, impacts and policies were bundled, which makes CAGW theory unusual. Psychological theories do not typically give rise to activism for changes in social and political policies. Thus the six stages above focus on the rise and fall of a scientific conclusion, with little or no reference to impacts and policies. At the end of this post are links to resources regarding these latter two points.

Examples of Failed Psychology Theories: The “Backfire Effect” and others

Ross Pomeroy (my bolds):
With the publication of his exhaustingly researched and skillfully reported article, “LOL Something Matters,” science writer Daniel Engber convincingly demonstrated that the “backfire effect,” the notion that contradictory evidence only strengthens entrenched beliefs, does not hold up under rigorous scientific scrutiny. Bluntly stated, the “backfire effect” probably isn’t real.

The debunking of this longstanding psychological theory follows similar academic takedowns of ego depletion, social priming, power posing, and a plethora of other famous findings. Indeed, much of what we “know” in psychology seems to be false.

There’s a good reason for this: psychology, as a discipline, is a house made of sand, based on analyzing inherently fickle human behavior, held together with poorly-defined concepts, and explored with often scant methodological rigor. Indeed, there’s a strong case to be made that psychology is barely a science.

How Theories Advance and Collapse

Seeing how disarray defines psychology, it makes perfect sense that the field’s leading theories are vulnerable to collapse. Having watched this process play out a number of times, a clear pattern has emerged. Let’s call it the “Six Stages of a Failed Psychological or Sociological Theory.”

Stage 1: The Flashy Finding. An intriguing report is published with subject matter that lends itself to water cooler conversation, say, for example, that sticking a pen in your mouth to force a smile makes things seem funnier. Media outlets provide gushing coverage.

Stage 1 CAGW Theory

For Climate Change, by many accounts the flashy finding was James Hansen’s famous 1988 testimony in the US Senate. Hansen’s claim to detect global warming was covered by all the main television network news services and it won for him a New York Times front page headline: “Global warming has begun, expert tells Senate.”

While Hansen’s appearance was a PR coup, he actually jumped the gun.  By 1995 IPCC scientists had not yet agreed that humans are causing global warming.  The story of that problem and the subsequent claim of first detection by John Houghton and Ben Santer is described in detail in Bernie Lewin’s fine historical account. (My synopsis is linked at the end.)

So in this sense, the actual Flashy Finding was published by Santer et al. just before Rio COP in Nature July 1996 entitled: A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere
B. D. Santer, K. E. Taylor, T. M. L. Wigley, T. C. Johns, P. D. Jones, D. J. Karoly, J. F. B. Mitchell, A. H. Oort, J. E. Penner, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, R. J. Stouffer & S. Tett  From the abstract:

The observed spatial patterns of temperature change in the free atmosphere from 1963 to 1987 are similar to those predicted by state-of-the-art climate models incorporating various combinations of changes in carbon dioxide, anthropogenic sulphate aerosol and stratospheric ozone concentrations. The degree of pattern similarity between models and observations increases through this period. It is likely that this trend is partially due to human activities, although many uncertainties remain, particularly relating to estimates of natural variability.

An article published the same month in World Climate Report was entitled:“Clearest Evidence” For Human “Fingerprint?” Results clouded if more complete data used  The WCR essay concluded:

We are frankly rather amazed that this paper could have emerged into the refereed literature in its present state; that is not to say that the work is bad, but that there are serious questions—similar to ours—that the reviewers should have asked.

The inescapable conclusions:

1. The vast majority of the “fingerprints” of the greenhouse effect are found way up in the atmosphere, especially in the stratosphere.

2. The “detection” models that were used either don’t predict very much future warming or were run with the wrong greenhouse effect and produce absurd results when the right numbers are put in.

3.And finally, down here in the lower atmosphere, the evidence is much more smudged and is based upon a highly selected set of data that, when viewed in toto, shows something dramatically different than what the paper purports.

The period that Santer et al. studied corresponds precisely with a profound warming trend in this region. But when all of the data (1957 to 1995) are included, there’s no trend whatsoever! We don’t know what to call this, but we believe that at least one of the 13 prestigious authors on this paper must have known this to be the case.

Stage 2: The Fawning Replications. Other psychologists, usually in the early stages of their careers, leap to replicate the finding. Most of their studies corroborate the effect. Those that don’t are not published, perhaps because the researchers don’t want to step on any toes, or because journal editors would prefer not to publish negative findings.

Stage 2 CAGW Theory

Following the human detection claim, the media increasingly filled its time and pages with reports of “multiple lines of evidence” proving CAGW.  Typically these consisted of :

Global temperature rise
Warming oceans
Shrinking ice sheets
Glacial retreat
Decreased snow cover
Sea level rise
Declining Arctic sea ice
Extreme events
Ocean acidification

However, all of these are equivocal, involving signal and noise issues.  And in any case, the fact of any changes does not in itself prove human causation.

Overview of the structure of a state-of-the-art climate model. From the NOAA website.

As suggested by the Santer et al. flashy finding, the claim of human causation was based upon climate models.  And the effort to substantiate that claim was primarily a campaign to construct and experiment with GCMs.  From History of climate modeling by Paul N. Edwards .

Like ripples moving outward from the three pioneering groups (GFDL, UCLA, and NCAR), modelers, dynamical cores, model physics, numerical methods, and GCM computer code soon began to circulate around the world. By the early 1970s, a large number of institutions had established new general circulation modeling programs. In addition to those discussed above, the most active climate modeling centers today include Britain’s Hadley Centre, Germany’s Max Planck Institute, Japan’s Earth Simulator Centre, and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the United States..

How many GCMs and climate modeling groups exist worldwide? The exact number can be expanded or contracted under various criteria. About 33 groups submitted GCM output to the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) in the 1990s.A few years later, however, only about 25 groups contributed coupled AOGCM outputs to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP)—reflecting the greater complexity and larger computational requirements of coupled models.  Notably, while the AMIP models included entries from Russia, Canada, Taiwan, China, and Korea, all of the CMIP simulations came from modeling groups based in Europe, Japan, Australia, and the USA, the historical leaders in climate modeling.

The difficulties and uncertainties with climate models have been long understood, and have not been overcome  through the decades, as indicated by the failure to reduce the range estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2.  From Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties Willie Soon et al.

Specifically, we review common deficiencies in general circulation model (GCM) calculations of atmospheric temperature, surface temperature, precipitation and their spatial and temporal variability. These deficiencies arise from complex problems associated with parameterization of multiply interacting climate components, forcings and feedbacks, involving especially clouds and oceans. We also review examples of expected climatic impacts from anthropogenic CO2 forcing.

Given the host of uncertainties and unknowns in the difficult but important task of climate modeling, the unique attribution of observed current climate change to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration, including the relatively well-observed latest 20 yr, is not possible. We further conclude that the incautious use of GCMs to make future climate projections from incomplete or unknown forcing scenarios is antithetical to the intrinsically heuristic value of models. Such uncritical application of climate models has led to the commonly held but erroneous impression that modeling has proven or substantiated the hypothesis that CO2 added to the air has caused or will cause significant global warming.

Christy 2019 fig7

Figure 7 (Christy 2019): Tropical mid-tropospheric temperatures, models vs. observations.
Models in pink, against various observational datasets in shades of blue. Five-year averages
1979–2017. Trend lines cross zero at 1979 for all series.

Stage 3: A Consensus Forms. The finding is now taken for granted, regularly appearing in pop psychology stories and books penned by writers like Malcolm Gladwell or Jonah Lehrer. Millions of people read about it and “armchair” explain it to their friends and family.

Stage 3 CAGW Theory  

The Claims of 97% Consensus of scientists on the question of CAGW stem from five papers, conveniently referenced on NASA’s website (though none of them were written by NASA scientists).

The first claim of 97% came from a survey sample of 77 climate scientists who said “Yes” to 2 statements: “It has warmed since 1850.”; “Human activity has contributed to the warming.” That survey questionnaire was deliberately not sent to those known to be skeptical: scientists not employed by government or universities; astronomers; solar scientists; physicists; meteorologists.

Another paper noted by NASA on their website is by W. R. L. Anderegg, at the time a PhD student in the department of Biology at Stanford University. He went on to become a professor at Princeton and Utah Universities in the field of ecology and biological sciences, studying the effects of global warming on forests.

Two papers were produced by John Cook  who has an undergraduate education in physics from the University of Queensland and a post-graduate honors year studying solar physics, worked as a self-employed cartoonist before founding a website pushing climate alarmism. For this he was given the title of the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He is currently completing a PhD in cognitive psychology, researching how people think about climate change.

Finally, a key paper was from Naomi Oreskes who received her PhD degree in the Graduate Special Program in Geological Research and History of Science at Stanford in 1990. Her fields are History of Science and Economic Geology, and she is a prominent activist for IPCC activities.

All five of these papers have been extensively criticized in the peer-reviewed literature for their poor quality. For example:

Regarding Anderegg et al. and climate change credibility, PNAS, Dec. 28, 2010 by Lawrence Bodenstein

The study by Anderegg et al. (1) employed suspect methodology that treated publication metrics as a surrogate for expertise.

In the climate change (CC) controversy, a priori, one expects that the much larger and more “politically correct” side would excel in certain publication metrics. They continue to cite each other’s work in an upward spiral of self-affirmation.

Here, we do not have homogeneous consensus absent a few crackpot dissenters. There is variation among the majority, and a minority, with core competency, who question some underlying premises. It would seem more profitable to critique the scientific evidence than count up scientists, publications, and the like.

Regarding purely scientific questions, it may be justified to discount nonexperts. However, here, dissenters included established climate researchers. The article undermined their expert standing and then, extrapolated expertise to the more personal credibility. Using these methods to portray certain researchers as not credible and, by implication, to be ignored is highly questionable. Tarring them as individuals by group metrics is unwarranted.

Publication of this article as an objective scientific study does a true disservice to scientific discourse. Prominent scientific journals must focus on scientific merit without sway from extracurricular forces. They must remain cautious about lending their imprimatur to works that seem more about agenda and less about science, more about promoting a certain dogma and less about using all of the evidence to better our understanding of the natural world.

A more complete list of published papers refuting these studies is here: All “97% Consensus” Studies Refuted by Peer-Review

More inclusive surveys with more pointed questions show much more diverse opinions. Most scientists agree it has warmed since 1850, the end of the Little Ice Age. Geologists have evidence that the earth was warmer than now during the Medieval Warm Period, more warm during the Roman Warm Period, warmer still in the Minoan period. So the overall trend is a cooling over the last 11,500 years.

Most agree that human land use, such as making dams, farming, building cities, airports and highways, all affect the climate in those locations. The idea that rising CO2 is causing dangerous warming is controversial, with dissenters a large minority.

Stage 4: The Rebuttal. After a few decades, a new generation of researchers look to make a splash by questioning prevailing wisdom. One team produces a more methodologically-sound study that debunks the initial finding. Media outlets blare the “counterintuitive” discovery.

Stage 4 CAGW Theory  

There have been many rebuttals of CAGW theory and in the blogosphere they are proclaimed and shared among skeptics.  But it is still rare for mass media outlets to acknowledge any finding that contradicts the prevailing “consensus” view of CAGW.  On the multiple lines of evidence, the NIPCC series of reports provide references to a trove of peer-reviewed literature that do not support CAGW.  The most recent report is Climate Change Reconsidered II and the list of scientists, authors and reviewers includes people who have objected to CAGW over the years.

An important proof against the CO2 global warming claim was included in John Christy’s testimony 29 March 2017 at the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The text below is from that document which can be accessed here.

Figure 5. Simplification of IPCC AR5 shown above in Fig. 4. The colored lines represent the range of results for the models and observations. The trends here represent trends at different levels of the tropical atmosphere from the surface up to 50,000 ft. The gray lines are the bounds for the range of observations, the blue for the range of IPCC model results without extra GHGs and the red for IPCC model results with extra GHGs.The key point displayed is the lack of overlap between the GHG model results (red) and the observations (gray). The nonGHG model runs (blue) overlap the observations almost completely.

Main Point: IPCC Assessment Reports show that the IPCC climate models performed best versus observations when they did not include extra GHGs and this result can be demonstrated with a statistical model as well.

More discussion on this rebuttal is at Warming from CO2 Unlikely

See also Global Warming Theory and the Tests It Fails 

But the mass media is still in thrall of the catastrophic theory (bad news is good for business).

Stage 5: Proper Replications Pour In. Research groups attempt to replicate the initial research with the skepticism and precise methodology that should’ve been used in the first place. As such, the vast majority fail to find any effect.

Stage 5 CAGW Theory

In the case of climate change, the rewards are all skewed in favor of CAGW.  Not only is that bundle of beliefs politically correct, the monopoly of research funding for consensus projects leaves contrarian scientists high and dry.  And to the degree that the case rests on complex and expensive computer climate models, few centers are in a position to challenge the conventional wisdom, and almost none would be rewarded for doing so.

Despite this, every year there are hundreds of new research papers published challenging CAGW.  Kenneth Richard at No Tricks Zone has done yeoman work compiling and summarizing and linking to such studies. His most recent review is Hundreds More Papers Published In 2021 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm

The papers are sorted into four categories of views questioning climate alarm.

N(1) Natural mechanisms play well more than a negligible role (as claimed by the IPCC) in the net changes in the climate system, which includes temperature variations, precipitation patterns, weather events, etc., and the influence of increased CO2 concentrations on climatic changes are less pronounced than currently imagined.

N(2) The warming/sea levels/glacier and sea ice retreat/hurricane and drought intensities…experienced during the modern era are neither unprecedented or remarkable, nor do they fall outside the range of natural variability, as clearly shown in the first 150 graphs (from 2017) on this list.

N(3) The computer climate models are not reliable or consistently accurate, and projections of future climate states are little more than speculation as the uncertainty and error ranges are enormous in a non-linear climate system.

N(4) Current emissions-mitigation policies, especially related to the advocacy for renewables, are often ineffective and even harmful to the environment, whereas elevated CO2 and a warmer climate provide unheralded benefits to the biosphere (i.e., a greener planet and enhanced crop yields).

As for climate models, there is a single center (the Russian Institute of Numerical Mathematics), working on GCMs that produce unalarming results.  Out of 33 CMIP5 generation models the INMCM4 appears in the earlier graph above as the only one tracking close to temperature observations.  And reports of the upgrade to INMCM5 appear promising.  For more on this topic:

Climate Models: Good, Bad and Ugly

Stage 6: The Theory Lives On as a Zombie. Despite being debunked, the theory lingers on in published scientific studies, popular books, outdated webpages, and common “wisdom.” Adherents in academia cling on in a state of denial – their egos depend upon it.

Stage 6 CAGW Theory 

Clearly, we are still a long ways from CAGW going to zombie status.  There is still way too much money and fame attached to climate advocacy. But it is fair to say that the position of CAGW has become more precarious.  The presence of a skeptical US President, and the withdrawal of funding and political support for alarmists makes it possible for others to express doubts and explore flaws in the consensus theory.  The collapse of green energy schemes in places like Germany and Australia may also portend the onset of stage six.

Of course, the only sure sign of a theory’s failure is when it becomes the butt of jokes and ridicule in mainstream media.  For that I do appreciate the work of cartoonist Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle:

 

More humor at Cavemen Climate Comics for Sunday

Background Articles

The Flashy Finding: Progressively Scaring the World (Lewin book synopsis)

The Fawning Replications: Climate Models Explained

A Consensus Forms: Talking ClimateNASA and Climate Dogma

The Rebuttal: Fossil Fuels ≠ Global Warming

Proper Replications: Climate Reductionism

Zombie CAGW:  World of Hurt from Climate Policies

Postscript: Charles MacKay on Collective Delusions

Of course the classical masterwork in this field is the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds By Charles MacKay 1841.  Title is link to full pdf text.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

In the present state of civilization, society has often shown itself very prone to run a career of folly from the last-mentioned cases. This infatuation has seized upon whole nations in a most extraordinary manner. France, with her Mississippi madness, set the first great example, and was very soon imitated by England with her South Sea Bubble. At an earlier period, Holland made herself still more ridiculous in the eyes of the world, by the frenzy which came over her people for the love of Tulips. Melancholy as all these delusions were in their ultimate results, their history is most amusing. A more ludicrous and yet painful spectacle, than that which Holland presented in the years 1635 and 1636, or France in 1719 and 1720, can hardly be imagined.

Some delusions, though notorious to all the world, have subsisted for ages, flourishing as widely among civilized and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated, — that of duelling, for instance, and the belief in omens and divination of the future, which seem to defy the progress of knowledge to eradicate entirely from the popular mind. Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. To trace the history of the most prominent of these delusions is the object of the present pages. Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

MacKay’s study was exhaustive for its time, comprising three volumes;

VOL I. Considered National Delusions, including:
THE MISSISSIPPI SCHEME
THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE
THE TULIPOMANIA.
RELICS.
MODERN PROPHECIES.
POPULAR ADMIRATION FOR GREAT THIEVES.
INFLUENCE OF POLITICS AND RELIGION ON THE HAIR AND BEARD.
DUELS AND ORDEALS
THE LOVE OF THE MARVELLOUS AND THE DISBELIEF OF THE TRUE.
POPULAR FOLLIES IN GREAT CITIES
THE O.P. MANIA.
THE THUGS, or PHANSIGARS.

VOL. II described Peculiar Follies, including:
THE CRUSADES
THE WITCH MANIA.
THE SLOW POISONERS.
HAUNTED HOUSES.

VOL. III compiled more general popular madnesses under three categories:
BOOK I: Philosophical Delusions, down through history with particular recent attention to Alchemists
BOOK II: Fortune Telling
BOOK III: The Magnetisers, a fad only subsiding when the book was written.

Judging Truth in the Disinformation Age

The fad of the moment is to claim that information detrimental to one’s point of view is either “Misinformation” or “Disinformation”, depending on whether you are also claiming the other person is lying in addition to being mistaken.  That presupposes that you know what’s inside someone else’s head.  

More importantly, many caught up in these insult exchanges are unable or unwilling to apply critical thinking to the subjects under discussion.  A background essay below defines the concepts of Data, Facts, and Information to help with this deficit in current discourse.  It is important to know firstly, how information depends facts and data, and secondly, that information is also based upon a value system, IOW a story about situational realities.  In this sense, information is typically part of a story, and shares the values of people committed to that story.  Many of the attacks regarding false information are really objections to an alternate story contrary to the attacker’s point of view.

Background from Previous Post Data, Facts and Information

In following many blogs related to climate science, it seems that confusion reigns regarding some fundamentals of scientific thought and practice. So this post attempts to clarify three important scientific concepts: Data, Facts, and Information.

Show Me the Data

Data pertains to observations of happenings in the world, independent of the observer. In a court of law, a witness on the stand gives his or her observations. For example, I heard person x say this, or I saw person y do that. This is evidence all right, but it is not data.  And an artist or filmmaker can capture an event as evidence, but again it is not data in that format.

By definition, data is quantitative. And applying numbers to observations means using standard measurements so that these observations can be compared, contrasted, and replicated, as well as compiled with other similar observations. Each subject of study has one or more units of measurement pertinent to that inquiry. For example, observing a moving object requires distance and time, such as kilometers per minute, or rates of acceleration, such as meters per second per second, or m/s^2.

To summarize, data are a set of observations expressed in standard units of measurement.

What are the Facts

Taiichi Ohno was the central thinker behind the Toyota way of manufacturing. In his view facts are observed “in situ” by a knowledgeable and purposeful agent, an human expert. Facts are the result of direct observation of a process, product or part, including any measured data and the correct context for such data. Context means what relevant conditions, incidents, phenomena, and situations were occurring prior, during and after the data were collected.

In science a fact is a pattern detected in a data set. Thus, a fact is a finding, a meaning supported by data. And, importantly, a fact is particular to the place and time where the data was obtained. The pattern and meaning derives from interpreting the data (observations) in the specific place and time where the happenings occurred understanding the historical situation and context.

We hear a lot these days about fake news or facts in relation to political or cultural news. There, the spin and narratives overwhelm objective observations, and the report serves only to motivate audience acceptance or rejection of the subjects, the truth is irrelevant.  Unfortunately, fact “checking” has morphed into substituting one spin for another.

In science, facts are supported by data, but each fact represents a pattern in the data seen in the context of a specific place and time. So, for example, it can be a fact that civilian deaths in Syria have increased by x% in the past year. Importantly, facts depend on persons with deep knowledge of the particular place and time.

To summarize, a scientific fact is a pattern in data in the context of a specific place and time.

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Information stands on facts, which themselves stand on data. Information consists of conclusions from weighing and judging the importance of various sets of facts regarding a situation. Based on the above, all the facts have a basis in data, but they are not equally significant. And the significance is relative to the concerns of the information analyst.

Information is not absolute, but serves to inform action. Facts are value-free, but information is not. Information draws on facts to form a conclusion as to the direction a situation is moving, out of a concern to intervene or not, according to the interests of the observers. In that sense, information is always actionable, or intends to be so.

As an example of this facet of information, consider media charges that someone is citing “alternate facts.” Now a fact is always true, meaning it is supported by data and corresponds to reality. Or it is not a fact, but a fiction not supported by data and in contradiction to reality.

In legal proceedings, frequently there are “alternate facts.” One party, say the prosecution, presents a set of facts comprising all the information supporting their explanation or theory of a criminal event. The defense presents an alternative explanation or theory of the event supported by other facts either ignored or discounted in the prosecution’s case. Such “alternate facts” are no less true, they simply form an alternate information convincing to those who place more weight on them.

A similar process goes on in scientific disputes where each side accuses the other of “cherry-picking” by referring only to those facts which support one theory. Honest science attempts to explain all relevant facts, and sometimes (e.g. Wave vs. Particle theories of light) holds competing theories in tension while a more comprehensive meta-theory can be formed and proved.

Information results from organizing data and facts into a perspective respecting the context of the facts and supporting humans’ need to anticipate the future. Forming theories of what to expect and how to respond or intervene is fundamental to human survival.

That’s the way I see it.

For a great example of how deep knowledge applied to data leads to a productive theory and discovery see Quebec Teen Studies Stars, Discovers Ancient Maya City

Fun Footnote:

Science depends on measuring things, so you need to know the correct units for what you are studying.

Below are some obscure measures for collecting data in special situations.

17. Quantity of beauty required to launch a single ship = 1 millihelen h/t vuurklip

Climate Change Chumps 2022

Definition “chump”: A foolish or easily deceived person.

Update March 21, 2022

In this overheated time of school kids in the streets and elected “adults” declaring emergencies without any understanding of what is or is not happening, it may help to know how we got here.

Why are so many people taken in by climate alarms? The question is often on my mind, especially when tens of thousands attend UN conferences like Glasgow, or when hearing the caterwauling in the media over the climate scare of the week. Recently while watching a football game, my escape from the issue was interrupted by a commercial break that included a flaming earth on the screen for a few seconds. It was an ad for Discovery Channel including the image above.

[Old joke:  I don’t know if they are using subliminal advertising, but yesterday I went and bought a tractor.]

And in a flash I realized how several factors are driving warming suckers into a fearful frenzy.

Firstly, The power of images over words and thinking.
A picture is worth a thousand words. (Sometimes attributed to Chinese)


The Asian attribution is doubtful, but Confucius did say something similar:

Second, We are immersed in imaging technology, entrancing the public. I have no interest in post modern philosophers, but in this sense they are onto something perverse: We are mistaking images for realities.

Third, Pied Pipers are using the media to put us under their spell.
A key point in the fable is the piper’s ability to put a spell on the children, and thereby rob the village of their future.  And he did this to get leverage over the council when they refused to pay for exterminating the rats. Our children have been brainwashed with environmental activism since preschool, and educators have taken Confucius to heart:  The process goes beyond preaching, to videos, posters and projects.

Fourth, Our embrace of mass and social media makes us suckers for fake news, including climate claims.

Note that the majority are not confident to discern fake from real news.  Even worse, today’s “fact checkers” operate out of spin rooms.

Fifth, Social proof is now all that matters.

Climate lemmings rushing over the cliff.

Finally, the drumbeat of climate alarms imprints ever more deeply a false assumption.

It doesn’t matter if any particular climate claim is false or exaggerated, the communications continuously reinforce the underlying myth of the Garden of Eden:  Nature is perfect and eternal so long as humans don’t mess it up.

The reality is more subtle and complex.  Humans are also a force of nature, and with our self-awareness we have the ability and responsibility to add order and purpose to the rest of nature.  Go to Kyoto and watch the landscapers labor for hours to fashion an exquisite Japanese garden, the fruition of collaboration between humans, plants, water and rocks.  Humans can and do improve on nature by taming destructive natural forces to preserve and enhance living structures.

The UN IPCC process is a blind alley, a path to nowhere.  It plays upon fears and guilt feelings.  Worse, it distracts from rational programs of actual environmental stewardship.  I fear it will only get worse in the next 12  10  8 years:

See also Brits Run Con Game at Glasgow COP

Doomsday was predicted but failed to happen at midnight.

Why Federalized Science is Rotten

J Scott Turner writes at American Mind Modern Science’s Broken Bargain.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The founding manifesto of the modern scientific enterprise—Vannevar Bush’s 1945 classic Science: The Endless Frontier—laid down a promise: that federalizing the academic sciences would protect the universities as bastions of free inquiry and curiosity-driven research. Without such support, Bush argued, the academic sciences would be captured and enslaved by government and corporate political interests. That argument was persuasive to the political authorities of the time. Now, seven decades later, that promise stands broken. Science’s “endless frontier” has become Big Science, a self-aggrandizing cartel organized around the aggressive pursuit of federal money.

Science is grounded in Enlightenment virtues. Its core attributes are unfettered freedom of intellect; cultivation of curiosity; skepticism; dispassionate reason; and dedication to evidence. A robust modern science immensely enriches our society. In return, our society affords the sciences enormous privilege and prestige. This mutually beneficial bargain held for many generations. Scientists were free to roam the intellectual frontiers, the public mostly watched from a respectful distance, and both science and society flourished.

That bargain is now unraveling, damaging both science and the society that supports it.

Less and less do the sciences serve as bulwarks of reason against political and corporatist aims. To the contrary, the sciences are becoming stridently politicized, acting as a vanguard for an authoritarianism of “expertise”. Increasingly, science is being used as a cloak to shield political agendas from normal scrutiny and debate, thereby betraying the scientific ideal.

These trends, and the reasons for them, are not hard to discern. Scientists’ careers are no longer charted by the esteem of peers, but increasingly by conformity to institutional and political interests. The natural immunity of tenure, which is intended to protect university scientists’ intellectual freedom, is being systematically gutted. Adhering to science’s core virtues, listed above, is becoming a career hazard. In the face of this, fellow scientists either remain silent, or become eager participants in a masquerade of “consensus.” Public trust in science, which turns on the common perception that scientists are avatars of dispassionate and independent inquiry, is becoming increasingly tattered.

The COVID-19 spectacle is demonstrating just how fragile that public trust is.

This trend is not new, but the intrusion of identity politics into the sciences has made it toxic. Distinguished scientific careers are snuffed out in an instant. The interests of favored identity groups become the primary criteria for advancement, trumping credentials, ability, and qualification. Fealty to dogma, not respect for reason, now determines whether careers will grow, be terminated prematurely, or be aborted before they begin. Conformity and risk-aversion, behaviors once alien to the scientific enterprise, are now pervasive, enforced in Star Chamber Human Resources inquisitions.

The roots of this problem were planted in the aftermath of World War II, with the political decision to federalize scientific research. Academic science is now the client of an enormous federal spending program, dwarfing all other sources of support. This spending does not just support the work of scientists, it also provides universities a lucrative revenue stream which enables the growth of political, administrative and institutional power, to the detriment of scientists.

With the growth of the Big Science cartel, the culture of discovery that had so long been the source of scientific greatness, has been transformed into a culture of “production,” where scientists are incentivized and rewarded through bogus measures of scientific “productivity.” These metrics have only tenuous relation to intellectual innovation and discovery. They are, however, powerful conformity machines that reward grantsmanship, crowd-following, mediocrity, and allegiance to political and institutional masters. Scientific discovery has been shoved to the back of the line.

In short, the academy is no longer the vigorous custodian of the core values of a robust science. Rather, the academy has become the place where those virtues are facing their gravest threat. The academic sciences have become utterly debased, turning all members of the Big Science cartel into participants in a massive grift on the public treasury. Climate “science”, for example, is not science per se, but the stalking horse for a diversion of tens of trillions of dollars into the hands of favored political and corporate interests. There is simply no scientific basis for claiming a climate “crisis”, despite the attempts of politicians to stampede the public into thinking so. The political heavy-handedness behind COVID-19 pandemic policy has been remarkable in its suppression of science.

Lurking beneath is a barely-hidden web of collusion between governments, NGOs, universities, and self-interested scientists, all motivated by the desire to keep the money flowing.

The modern social bargain struck with science after the War was founded on the assumption that independent, skeptical, and dispassionate scholars would be an invaluable source of methodical good judgment and resistance to half-cocked political and corporate agendas. The Big Science cartel, propped up by enormous federal subsidies, has mostly subordinated those virtues. It is time to face a hard truth: the seventy year experiment to federalize the sciences has been a failure. The task now is to prevent the Big Science cartel from further dehumanizing society and delegitimizing science.

There is a second hard truth: the necessary reforms will not come from within. Rather, it will be the people and their representatives that will have to impose them. To restore science to its rightful and valuable place, break up the Big Science cartel.

J Scott Turner is an emeritus professor of biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry.

See also Wokeness Worms Eating Science Academies

Critical Thinking Vs. Trusting “The Science”

Brandon Smith writes at his blog Why Don’t People “Trust The Science?” Because Scientists Are Often Caught Lying.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

There has been an unfortunate shift in Western educational practices in the past few decades away from what we used to call “critical thinking.” In fact, critical thinking was once a fundamental staple of US colleges and now it seems as though the concept doesn’t exist anymore; at least not in the way it used to. Instead, another brand of learning has arisen which promotes “right thinking”; a form of indoctrination which encourages and rewards a particular response from students that falls in line with ideology and not necessarily in line with reality.

It’s not that schools directly enforce a collectivist or corporatist ideology (sometimes they do), it’s more that they filter out alternative viewpoints as well as facts and evidence they do not like until all that is left is a single path and a single conclusion to any given problem.

They teach students how to NOT think by presenting thought experiments and then controlling the acceptable outcomes.

For example, a common and manipulative thought experiment used in schools is to ask students to write an “analysis” on why people do not trust science or scientists these days. The trick is that the question is always presented with a built-in conclusion – That scientists should be trusted, and some people are refusing to listen, so let’s figure out why these people are so stupid.

I have seen this experiment numerous times, always presented in the same way. Not once have I ever seen a college professor or public school teacher ask students: “Should scientists today be trusted?”   Not once.

This is NOT analysis, this is controlled hypothesis. If you already have a conclusion in mind before you enter into a thought experiment, then you will naturally try to adjust the outcome of the experiment to fit your preconceived notions. Schools today present this foolishness as a form of thinking game when it is actually propaganda.

Students are being taught to think inside the box, not outside the box.
This is not science, it is anti-science.

Educational programming like this is now a mainstay while actual science has taken a backseat. Millions of kids are exiting public schools and universities with no understanding of actual scientific method or science in general. Ask them what the equations for Density or Acceleration are, and they’ll have no clue what you are talking about. Ask them about issues surrounding vaccination or “climate change”, and they will regurgitate a litany of pre-programmed responses as to why the science cannot be questioned in any way.

In the alternative media we often refer to this as being “trapped in the Matrix,” and it’s hard to think of a better analogy. People have been rewarded for so long for accepting the mainstream narrative and blindly dismissing any other information that when they are presented with reality they either laugh at it arrogantly or recoil in horror. The Matrix is so much more comfortable and safe, and look at all the good grades you get when you say the right things and avoid the hard questions and agree with the teacher.

Given the sad state of science in the West these days surrounding the response to covid as well as the insane and unscientific push for forced vaccinations, I thought it would be interesting to try out this thought exercise, but from an angle that is never allowed in today’s schools:

Why don’t people trust the science and scientists anymore?

This is simple: Because many scientists have been caught lying and misrepresenting their data to fit the conclusions they want rather than the facts at hand. Science is often politicized to serve an agenda. This is not conspiracy theory, this is provable fact.

That’s not to say that all science is to be mistrusted. The point is, no science should be blindly accepted without independent examination of ALL the available facts. This is the whole point of science, after all. Yes, there are idiotic conspiracy theories out there when it comes to scientific analysis, but there are a number of scams in the world of science as well.

Most people have the capacity to sift through scientific data as long as it’s transparent. When the facts are obscured or spun or omitted this causes confusion, and of course only the establishment scientists can untangle the mess because they are the ones that created it.

There are clear and openly admitted ideological agendas surrounding covid science which have nothing to do with public health safety and everything to do with political control.

When you have the head of the World Economic Forum applauding the covid pandemic as a perfect “opportunity” to push forward global socialist centralization and erase the last vestiges of free markets and individual liberty, any rational person would have to question if the covid science is also being rigged to support special interests.

Luckily, the covid issue is so massive that it is impossible for them to control every study. Instead, the establishment ignores the studies and data they don’t like.

Science is quickly becoming a political religion rather than a bastion of critical thought. Conflicting data is ignored as “non-science” or even censored as “dangerous.” Government and corporate paid studies are treated as sacrosanct. Is it any wonder that so many people now distrust the science?

Any reasonable person would have questions and suspicions. Those who do not have been indoctrinated into a cult they don’t even know they are a part of.

Footnote:

Connor Harris connects this subservient attitude to the prevailing progressive post-modern mindset;
See Why the Leftist Backlash Against Ivermectin

Liberals have no monopoly on gullibility or lazy journalism, but the biased coverage of ivermectin springs from one of the worst pathologies of liberal discourse in particular: conflation of respect for science with fealty to established scientific institutions. A “pro-science” disposition has long been integral to American liberals’ self-conception (a ubiquitous yard sign reads, in part, “In this house, we believe science is real”); it grew especially strong during the George W. Bush years as a reaction to the administration’s stance on global warming and alliance with the religious Right.

But most Americans are scientists neither by training nor by temperament, and “pro-science” politics usually calcifies into blind trust in a few politically congenial authorities—such as universities and government health agencies, which have enjoyed high levels of liberal confidence throughout the pandemic despite such actions as reversing longstanding advice on face masks based on a dubious judgment call.

Conflating science with the scientific establishment not only corrodes the capacity for skepticism but also helps questionable or corrupt actions by authorities escape scrutiny. The hullabaloo over ivermectin poisoning, for example, far exceeds the attention given to another questionable treatment pushed not by right-wing hucksters but by the FDA itself: remdesivir, an antiviral produced by the pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences that is still the only Covid-19 treatment with full FDA approval.