Left Replaces Thinking with the “Stochastic Terror” Lie

Christopher F. Rufo explains in his City Journal article The “Stochastic Terror” Lie  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The Left’s latest gambit for suppressing speech is built on preposterous grounds.

[Note: Those of us who follow the global warming/climate change alarmists see how the same mentality operates in order to avoid proving cause and effect.  Just watch how climate reparations are being pushed presuming that any loss or damage from natural events is caused by humans using fossil fuels.]

I browsed the news recently only to discover that, according to a popular science magazine, I was responsible for the attempted murder of Paul Pelosi, husband to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In an opinion piece for Scientific American, writer Bryn Nelson insinuated that my factual reporting on Drag Queen Story Hour was an example of “stochastic terrorism,” which he defines as “ideologically driven hate speech” that increases the likelihood of unpredictable acts of violence. On the night of the attack, Nelson argued, I had appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss my reporting, and, hours later, the alleged attacker, David DePape, radicalized by “QAnon” conspiracy theories about “Democratic, Satan-worshipping pedophiles,” broke into the Pelosi residence and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

This is a bizarre claim that, for a magazine supposedly dedicated to “science,”
hardly meets a scientific standard of cause and effect.

There is no evidence that DePape watched or was motivated by Tucker Carlson’s program; moreover, nothing in my reporting on Drag Queen Story Hour encourages violence or mentions Nancy Pelosi, QAnon, or Satan-worshipping pedophiles. My appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight and DePape’s attack against Paul Pelosi are, in reality, two unrelated incidents in a large and complex universe.

And Nelson, a microbiologist specializing in human excrement, is full of it.  But Nelson isn’t trying to prove anything in a scientific sense. Under the concept of “stochastic terrorism,” logic, evidence, and causality are irrelevant. Any incident of violence can be politicized and attributed to any ideological opponent, regardless of facts.

The scheme works like this: left-wing media, activists, and officials designate a subject of discourse, such as Drag Queen Story Hour, off-limits; they treat any reporting on that subject as an expression of “hate speech”; and finally, if an incident of violence emerges that is related, even tangentially, to that subject, they assign guilt to their political opponents and call for the suppression of speech. The statistical concept of “stochasticity,” which means “randomly determined,” functions as a catch-all: the activists don’t have to prove causality—they simply assert it with a sophisticated turn of phrase and a vague appeal to probability.

Though framed in scientific terms, this gambit is a crude political weapon.

In practice, left-wing media, activists, and officials apply the “stochastic terrorism” designation only in one direction: rightward. They never attribute fire-bombings against pro-life pregnancy centers, arson attacks against Christian churches, or the attempted assassination of a Supreme Court justice to mere argumentation of left-wing activists, such as, say, opposition to the Court’s decision in Dobbs. In those cases, the Left correctly adopts the principle that it is incitement, rather than opinion, that constitutes a crime—but conveniently forgets that standard as soon as the debate shifts to the movement’s conservative opponents.

In recent years, the Left has not only monopolized the concept of “stochastic terrorism”
but also built a growing apparatus for enforcing it.

Last year, left-wing organizations and the Department of Justice collaborated on a campaign to suppress parents who oppose critical race theory, under the false claim that sometimes-heated school-board protests were incidents of “domestic terrorism.” Earlier this year, left-wing activists and medical associations called on social media companies and the Department of Justice to censor, investigate, and prosecute journalists who question.

If this process is left unchecked, the consequences will be disastrous.

Left-wing NGOs, social media companies, and federal security apparatchiks will gain unprecedented power to police speech and criminalize political opposition. Conservatives and old-line liberals who still care about civil liberties must expose the scheme and work to dismantle the apparatus that supports it. The line of argument is simple: speech is not violence; statistical abstraction is not a substitute for evidence; and free-association fantasies cannot determine guilt. But the politics of fighting back are more complex. It will require dislodging a network of professionals who see the concept of “stochastic terror” as a path to power.

That concept is built on a lie. It deserves to be exposed and discredited.

See also Science + Politics = Politics

Climate Reductionism

Shallow Warmists Strike Again

John Tamny exposes the vapid scientism of global warmists in his Real Clear Markets article With Their Attacks On David Malpass, Global Warming Hysterics Reveal Their Shallow Ways.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

In 2008 Nigel Lawson published An Appeal To Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming. The Tory radical who served as Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer was promptly attacked for having the temerity to write about the theory of global warming absent scientific credentials.

Lawson thankfully didn’t cower amid the arrows directed his way. Instead, Lawson responded that he would cease talking about global warming as soon as other non-scientists like Al Gore, Tony Blair, and other self-serious hysterics did the same. Brilliant!

As readers surely know, the Al Gores of the world never took Lawson up on his offer. The non-scientist  Gore continues to express alarm about “global warming,” and he continues to attack those who disagree with him.

Indeed, Gore recently went after David Malpass, president of the World Bank. Gore described Malpass as a “climate denier,” only for the World Bank head to be asked his views on whether or not human progress is the cause of a warming planet. Malpass’s response was, “I’m not a scientist.”

Please think about Malpass’s response, along with the vitriol directed at Lawson fourteen years ago. For writing a book about so-called “global warming” without scientific credentials, Lawson was demonized.

In which case, Malpass’s response to the question was seemingly the correct one
for the warming nail-biters in our midst.

Not a scientist, Malpass would leave the question of warming to the scientists. Gore et al should have been thrilled, except that Malpass’s response actually brought on more frothing at the mouth from warming’s religionists.

Applied to Lawson, it’s all a reminder that warmists really don’t care about one’s scientific credentials so long as the individual being asked about a warming planet is answering the questions the right way. Translated, you can be a dog-catcher and comment about global warming so long as you conclude that human progress born of fossil fuel consumption is the cause.

It’s all a reminder of how very surface is the embrace of “science” by warmists.

Survey in 2009 first to claim “97% of scientists agree”. Participation excluded private sector and skeptical disciplines (engineering, astrophysicists, etc.), then counted only 77 published climate specialists.

Call “science” their shield. In contending that “97% of scientists believe” life defined by much greater health and exponentially greater living standards has a “warming” downside, the warmists in their delusional minds feel as though they have immunity from reasonable discussion. They’re twice incorrect.

For one, arguably the surest sign you’re in the presence of “scientists” is if they’re arguing. In which case this laughable notion that scientists near monolithically believe as warming mouth breathers do near totally ignores just how much scientists debate everything. The previous truth further reminds us that it’s not science without the doubt.

From there, we just have to be reasonable. We have to stop and think about what life was like before the discovery that planet earth had immense and seemingly endless amounts of oil, coal and surely other commodities that provide us with power. Life before uses were discovered for the earth’s plenty was nothing short of brutal.

As Alex Epstein reminds us in Fossil Future, death from extreme cold was the annual norm, and actually much greater than deaths that resulted from extreme heat. There was also the problem of highly limited drinking water that was actually potable. After which, much of life was defined by an endless pursuit of food in quantities never sufficient to feed us. An “extra mouth to feed” used to be a very real worry, versus today when eating is taken for granted.

How did we get here? Fossil fuels, plain and simple. That’s the case because the fuels powered the various machines that freed us humans to increasingly specialize our work. Thanks to the mechanization of so much that was formerly done by human hands, the human beings that populate the world were more and more able to fulfill their specialized potential. In other words, a local and eventually global division of labor revealed itself on the way to staggering abundance that those who lived in a pre-fossil fuel past could never imagine.

In the words of Epstein, “climate mastery” born of incredibly sophisticated global symmetry meant that people had the means to heat their surroundings when it was bitterly cold, and cool their surroundings when it was brutally hot. Clean water was plentiful such that the world’s population could – yes – greatly reduce consumption of liquids with alcohol in it. And then houses and buildings could be built in rapid fashion that would similarly protect us from an “environment” that wasn’t always kind.

Crucial about these advances that were and are a direct consequence of machines, the ever-widening global division of labor that I write about in my new book The Money Confusion has given the world both the means to care about planet earth along with more and more specialized, Will tomorrow’s energy replace oil and coal? It’s impossible to say. But what can be said with certainty is that without an advanced society that’s a direct consequence of fossil-fuel consumption, we would never have the means to pursue oil’s replacement; assuming there is one.

Back to Malpass, it’s not just that his knuckle-dragging critics want it both ways in criticizing his true admission that he’s not a scientist. That’s just politics. What’s really sad is that global warming fanatics can’t see that the very human progress they disdain (and that they couldn’t live happily without) is what sets the stage for even better care of the planet they claim to want to save.

And it doesn’t take a scientist to understand what the warmists do not.

Climate Religion Eroding

“Climate Activism is a Religion” – Marian Tupy.  H/T Raymond.  Excerpted transcript below in italics with my bolds and added images.

“The planet is infected with us we’re all gonna die. Isn’t that all true and and correct?

It’s certainly not true and actually the history of the relationship between population growth and abundance of Natural Resources is much more complex than people realize. It’s very interesting to see how extreme environmentalism maps onto Christian theology. On the one hand you’ve got your Garden of Eden: that’s the world before industrialization. You have your Devils: fossil fuel CEOs and people like that. You have your Saints, Greta Thunberg. Your Priesthood is the IPCC scientists. And of course you even have indulgences like back in the days before Reformation. Where you are allowed to fly around the world on a private jet, so long as you give a few thousand pounds or dollars to a green cause. All those sins are simply washed away. And one of the fundamental features of any religion is apocalypse, the end of days.

What we are saying is that if the world is going to end. it will certainly not end because we will run out of Natural Resources. The British energy problems are not an outcome of physical limits on fossil fuels or energy that can be produced in the world. They are an outcome of stupid decisions made by your politicians for the last 20 years.

Context

Our guest today is the editor of humanprogress.org, a senior fellow at the center for Global liberty and prosperity, whose latest book is called super abundance the story of population growth Innovation and human flourishing on an infinitely Bountiful Planet. Marian Tupy, welcome to triggeronometry. Please tell everybody who you are and what brings you to be sitting here talking to us

It starts with my birth in Czechoslovakia socialist republic. When I was a child my parents moved to South Africa. Later I went to Great Britain and studied at Saint Andrews University. I’ve been in Washington DC at the Cato Institute which is a Libertarian think tank for the last 20 years. And as you mentioned I run a website called viewingprogress.org which is basically just a website trying to document and promote the notion that the world is improving along many different dimensions of human well-being. That led me to writing a book about population and Innovation and natural resources.

Well speaking of all of that Marian, the the self-evident truth that everyone’s been completely persuaded about for the last God knows how many years is the planets overpopulated,  humans are the virus infecting the planet. We’re all gonna die, and as we die we’re gonna make everything terrible. Marion why is it that so many people think that overpopulation is a real danger for our planet and the future of the human race?

I think it’s because the notion of finitude of atoms which is absolutely true. It is common sense and intuitive to say: If you have the finite quantity of atoms but you are increasing the people using those atoms then at some point you must run out. But this ignores a very fundamental difference between human beings and other animals. We are animals who are capable of planning forward and we are animals capable of innovating out of our problems through human knowledge. So American Economist Thomas Sowell has a famous quote:

 

An example is iPhone, a great way of dematerializing our the world. In other words we are saving a lot of atoms that we don’t have to put into television sets, into cameras, into Maps, into campuses, into calculators and all those other things. Instead we put it on this device. I hope it goes some way into explaining why the number of atoms in the world is actually not a limiting factor for how much of value we can create.

I think that if we are looking at the source of discomfort and a sense of dejection about the future, it may come from the fact that in Britain you cannot build that many houses. Or rather you refuse to build that many houses because of governmental policy. I’m not bashing Britain I’ve spent five years in your beautiful country and I love it and we have the same problem in the United States. it’s not that all of these people living in the cities are concerned about overpopulation, just that they’ve decided that you’re not going to build in my backyard.

It’s policy driven rather than driven by some sort of fundamental physical lack of space.

People still need a search for the transcendental; they still need to commit their lives to a meaning, to some sort of a heroic vision of themselves. What is it that they are trying to accomplish with their lives aside from going to work? And I think that many people especially in secular societies have embraced Extreme Environmentalism as a substitute for religion. um it’s very interesting to see how extreme environmentalism maps onto Christian theology. So I think that there are religious overtones to environmentalism. And the number of apocalyptic movies has been growing every decade since the 1950s, even though the world has improved along very many different dimensions: we live longer, we live healthier lives, we are much richer, poverty is collapsing around the world.

But with every decade the number of apocalyptic movies is actually increasing with one exception and it was 1990s because of the peaceful resolution of the Cold War.

Whatever your view on fossil fuels, whether or not you believe that emitting ever more CO2 in the atmosphere is a problem, clearly the timeline and the plan that our politicians have invented is completely unrealistic. We are not paying a price for there being too little oil or gas or uranium in the world. We are paying a penalty for politicians forcing us into energy consumption patterns which were completely unrealistic. The book tells you that there is plenty to be used for hundreds of thousands of years. We are never going to run out of these energy sources or natural resources, but yes as a society we could certainly decide not to use them and simply to shut off the lights and close the door on Western Civilization. That choice is not going to be forced on us by physical limits of the planet.

I think there is a reasonable chance that we have seen Peak apocalyptic environmentalism, for two reasons. One is that half of the world, the underdeveloped or developing world is never going to buy into our nonsense. We just have to stop thinking that and don’t even pretend that people in India and China and Bangladesh and Africa, which are still very poor are simply going to start using windmills. It’s just not going to happen for decades, if ever. They would have to be at a completely different level of Economic Development to start playing around with wind farms and whatever. So they’re going to be reliant on oil and natural gas for a long long way to come. And even that is better than using biofuels in order to power their own societies.

So that’s one half of the population; the second half are the advanced economies like yours and our economies, which are by and large democratic. And I do not believe that with any level of brainwashing coming from Whitehall or from Greta or people who glued themselves to roads or whatever. I don’t think any level of that kind of propaganda and brainwashing will make the good people in the United Kingdom to decide that this is the future they’re going have. In other words democracy is going to win. And if it’s not going to be the Tory party which changes the green policies and the green New Deal or Net Zero, or it’s going to be somebody else. And the sooner the British political establishment awakes to the fact that the British people are suffering and their living standards are collapsing, the less likely it is that you will have a really nasty party emerging that will do it for them.

I have a concern about the democracies we still have here in the West. If our center right and center left simply refuses to acknowledge that by government design lives of our people are getting worse, somebody else is going to fill that void, and that is something I want to avoid.

The reason why the public in this country and in yours holds the politicians in utter contempt is precisely because they see the level of hypocrisy that is going on in in both societies. You see them constantly raising taxes on air travel but they themselves fly around on private jets or first class which is much more carbon intensive. You see them telling you to drive you know little EVs while they enjoy being driven around in SUVs as big as a house. You see them telling you that the world is going to be swallowed up by by the oceans while at the same time they’re buying beachfront properties.

They basically think that we are so stupid and they think that can they can basically freak us out to an extent where where any kind of policy can be can be implemented. And to that extent I was actually impressed with some of the work done in the UK by the former head of your Supreme Court Jonathan Sumption, who was deeply concerned about the kind of public reaction to covid; you know, you end up with a Chinese virus but also with a Chinese Society. If people can be freaked out enough that the world is going to implode, they would be willing to part with their civil liberties and their basic freedoms.

On the other hand all of these apocalyptic predictions have been wrong in the past. And if you again put a date on it, you say that we only have five or ten years left on the planet left, when that time expires we will be wondering why we should be believing these people. What sort of credibility do they have? Do they also realize just how extraordinarily damaging it it to our institutions? How are we supposed to believe the leadership in our societies when they get these calls wrong time and time again.

They complain about populism when they are the causes of populism because
they keep on saying things which are obviously not true.

In this book we looked at 18 different data sets with some of them going back to 1850, and we looked at hundreds of Commodities: Goods, finished goods, Services, food, fuel etc. We found that for every one percent increase in population we had one percent decrease in the price of all of these Goods, services and commodities. That tells us that human beings on average are more producers than they are consumers; that we are really able to produce more wealth than we consume, otherwise you would see the opposite: With every one percent increase in population you would see an increase in prices with greater scarcity. But that is not the fact.

We are very divided in Western countries and so while remaining optimistic: How do we manage some of the trade-offs of these technological developments? Because it seems to me in social communication, cultural programs and entertainment and particularly social media are areas where everyone knows there’s a big problem but no one quite knows what to do about it.

Any technology developed by the human brain can be can be used for good and evil. A baseball bat can be used to hit a baseball and it can be used to to bash you to death, not to mention guns and um anything else, knives and on. So what you do with your Technologies also matters. I think that any new technology from gramophones to bicycles was first met with a wall of negativism. Once it was thought writing of novels was supposed to lead to mental collapse throughout the Western World. Television, radio, all of these things were considered to be potentially world-ending events, but that didn’t happen

When it comes to social media, I don’t like them and I don’t partake. I left Facebook in 2012 when I realized that it was making me unhappy. Because what I was putting up on Facebook was a curated picture of my life, and what I was consuming was a curated picture of my life. So basically I was posting lies in consuming lies, and once I realized that I left Facebook. That was a choice, a choice which can be made independently by any number of all 8 billion people

I think that what we are going through right now is a period of adjustment to a new technology but that period of adjustment will resolve itself. You know it took us 50 years to figure out that drinking and driving was not a good idea. Now it’s sort of been internalized into us that cars are much better operated when you are sober, but it took time to to to to to square the human brain with this new technology. That will probably happen with social media as well or at least I hope that people are going to realize that much of it is simply unreal, what is making them unhappy, and they could be spending their time doing better things than than being on social media. We’ll probably figure it out in the way that we have figured it out with novels and bicycles and radio and television.

I’m basically a follower of the Enlightenment. I aspire to the ideals of the Enlightenment and one of the main features of the Enlightenment was freedom of speech. We are not putting enough emphasis on the way that freedom of speech is being destroyed by our governments, by the media, by cancel culture. Freedom of speech is not only necessary in order to produce new inventions and Innovations but also to produce new ideas. In this country we need a lot of reforms because the country is not functioning very well. Things won’t improve if ideas that I propose are canceled just because they seem too outrageous. In the same way in the United Kingdom, you need to undertake a lot of reforms and what if somebody tells you that your proposal for, let’s say, NHS reform is somehow unspeakable.

We need to preserve freedom of speech, it’s absolutely fundamental and we should be talking more about people getting canceled for joking uh for expressing wrong ideas and also for having peculiar forms of behavior. and that’s important because as we discuss in our book a lot of people on whom we rely for some of the most important Innovations and inventions in the world are also very peculiar people.

I’m rationally optimistic about the future just just to just to clarify that. So long as we don’t have a massive war caused by politicians, so long as we’re able to innovate without a precautionary principle, so long as we are able to freely speak and publish and research. And so long as we have the free markets which can tell us which inventions and Innovations are valuable and which inventions and Innovations are not valuable.

 

Let Wuhan Whistles Blow!

We have long awaited hearing from governmental insiders regarding the swamp creatures embedded inside various federal agencies and now directing policies dangerous and destructive to the republic.  For example, FBI professional agents are coming out to congress representatives about partisan and illegal behavior by their superiors.  This post concerns a similar outing of Anthony Fauci regarding the origins of the Covid plandemic pandemic.

At Just the News ‘Fauci knows’ he funded gain-of-function research, ‘misled Congress,’ former CDC director says.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

“Nothing’s going to happen as long as the Biden administration is here,” Robert Redfield says, citing threats on his life for promoting the lab-leak theory.

The former Center for Disease Control and Prevention director who was cast as a conspiracy theorist for saying the evidence supported the lab-leak explanation for COVID-19 – allegedly provoking death threats – claims that the real “conspiracy is Collins, Fauci, and the established scientific community.”

Robert Redfield told former Senate Finance Committee investigator Paul Thacker that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci “knew” he funded gain-of-function research that makes viruses more dangerous, and “misled Congress” when he denied it,” but “[n]othing’s going to happen as long as the Biden administration is here.”

“Tony and I are friends, but we don’t agree on this at all,” Redfield said in an interview published in Thacker’s Disinformation Chronicle newsletter.

“Everyone had to agree to the narrative” pushed by Fauci and then-National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a “wet market” in Wuhan, not the Fauci-funded Wuhan Institute of Virology miles away, to avoid becoming a public target of the two officials, he said.

The virologist Redfield told the immunologist Fauci from the “second or third week in January” 2020 that “I’m very concerned that he was championing this theory that it came from animals.”

The particulars of the novel coronavirus, such as the furin cleavage site and the “human” sequence in it, make clear that it’s not from bats, he said. “This thing was manipulated, orchestrated. That cleavage site was created.”

Transmission doesn’t make sense under natural evolution, according to Redfield. “You have a virus that is one of the most infectious viruses in the history of humanity, and yet that virus no longer can infect the bat? … No, this is highly abnormal.”

Redfield said he believes The Lancet spring 2020 letter that lumped in the lab-leak hypothesis with “conspiracy theories” was “orchestrated … under direction of Fauci and Collins, trying to nip any attempt to have an honest investigation of the pandemic’s origin.”

“There was nothing scientific about that letter.
It was just an attempt to intimidate people,” he also said.

“Tony had over a year looking for an intermediate host” to explain the natural-evolution theory of COVID-19 “and still hadn’t found one” when Redfield went on CNN in 2021 to defend the lab-leak hypothesis, Redfield continued.

Scientific American accused Redfield of promoting a conspiracy theory based on “xenophobia,” which Redfield suspects was due to Fauci’s influence at that publication.

“I was threatened, my life was threatened,” he said. “I have letters I got from prominent scientists, that previously gave me awards, telling me that the best thing I could do for the world was to shoot myself because of what I said.”

He believes that “Fauci and Collins were behind a lot of” the conspiracy and “anti-Asian hate” claims about the lab-leak theory, and plans to elaborate in a book once Chinese Communist Party leadership changes. Redfield said “big publishers” frowned on his book proposal because it promotes the lab-leak theory.

Thacker noted that newly released emails show January 2020 discussions within NIH about Fauci’s funding of the EcoHealth Alliance and a 2015 paper in Nature about the Wuhan lab manipulating coronaviruses.

“Yeah, I think Tony tried to kill” the inquiries into the Wuhan funding and lab experiments, Redfield said, while clarifying that “I don’t believe there was any intent to harm people” through suppression. NIAID didn’t immediately respond to a request for Fauci’s response. Neither did Collins, who remains at NIH as head of the molecular genetics section.

“The whole thing is scientific arrogance. There was an arrogance that they could contain this, that it wouldn’t escape it,” he said. “I worked with the Chinese CDC for many years while in the military and while at the University of Maryland. And viruses get out of labs. That’s just the nature of the beast.”

Science + Politics = Politics

Jukka Savolainen writes at City Journal And Yet It Moves.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A top scientific journal places political correctness above the search for truth.

Nature Human Behavior, one of the most prestigious journals for social science research, recently published an editorial titled “Science must respect the dignity and rights of all humans.” Though short, the article generated tremendous pushback among academics and intellectuals concerned about the spread of social-justice ideology into science. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker said the journal was “no longer a peer-reviewed scientific journal but an enforcer of a political creed,” while Greg Lukianoff, the CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, described the journal’s statement as “an epistemic catastrophe.” What did the editorial say?

In short, it took the position that scientific truth should defer to politics. The journal now considers it appropriate to suppress research that “undermines—or could reasonably be perceived to undermine—the rights and dignities” of people or groups, as well as “text or images that disparage a person or group on the basis of socially constructed human groupings.” Researchers are urged to “consider the potential implications of research on human groups defined on the basis of social characteristics” and “to contextualise their findings to minimize as much as possible potential misuse or risks of harm to the studied groups in the public sphere.”

Anything that could be perceived as disparaging is now fair game for rejection or retraction.

The implications on scientific inquiry and truth-seeking are clear. As the journalist Jesse Singal observed, an empirically flawless study could be retracted under the guise of social justice. “What’s most alarming is that unless I’m missing something, research that is perfectly valid and well-executed could run afoul of these guidelines,” he wrote.

In the words of a scientist and commentator, the Nature Human Behavior editorial codifies policies “that most social science journals already have.” In his 2014 book The Sacred Project of American Sociology, Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith laments the discipline’s unwillingness to come clean with the reality that pursuing specific kinds of social-justice goals is its central mission. As regrettable as the new editorial guidelines of Nature Human Behavior may be, at least they express honestly how contemporary social science is actually practiced.

Indeed, scientific journals cannot afford to remain neutral—but they need to take a strong stand for the pursuit of truth, not for any political cause. Like democracy, scientific inquiry does not happen by default; it requires unwavering commitment among its participants to play by the rules.

It is not acceptable to retract or suppress a methodologically sound study
simply because you don’t like the results.

Background Post:  Science Discredited by “Scientists”

Toby Young writes at Spectator How science became politicized. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

New rules from a leading journal do not bode well

Here’s a paradox. Over the past two-and-a-half years, a cadre of senior politicians and their “expert” advisors across the world have successfully promoted a series of controversial public policies by claiming they’re based on “the science” rather than a particular moral or ideological vision. I’m thinking of lockdowns and net zero in particular. Yet at the same time, this group has engaged in behavior that has undermined public confidence in science.

Why appeal to the authority of science to win support for a series of politically contentious policies — and then diminish its authority?

Take Anthony Fauci, for instance, who recently announced he’s stepping down as chief medical advisor to Joe Biden. Even though he once claimed to “represent science” in the eyes of the American people:

♦ he misled them about the likely duration of the lockdowns (“fifteen days to slow the spread”),
♦ overstated the efficacy of the Covid vaccines when they were first rolled out,
♦ refused to countenance the possibility that Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology
♦ it later emerged that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, under his leadership, had given a grant to the EcoHealth Alliance, which helped fund “gain-of-function” research at the Chinese lab,
♦  and he conspired with other prominent scientists, such as Francis Collins, to besmirch the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (“There needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises,” Collins told Fauci in an email).

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal concluded: “His legacy will be that millions of Americans will never trust government health experts in the same way again.”

Another case in point is a recent editorial in Nature Human Behaviour, one of several journals in the Nature Research stable, the world’s pre-eminent publisher of scientific research. “Although academic freedom is fundamental, it is not unbounded,” it begins, and then proceeds to set out rules that future academic papers will have to comply with in addition to meeting all the usual standards for publication, e.g. peer review. It says the journal won’t publish articles that might cause “potential harms” (even “inadvertently”) to individuals or groups that are most vulnerable to “racism, sexism, ableism or homophobia.” “Academic content that undermines the dignity or rights of specific groups; assumes that a human group is superior or inferior over another simply because of a social characteristic; includes hate speech or denigrating images; or promotes privileged, exclusionary perspectives raises ethics concerns that may require revisions or supersede the value of publication,” it says.

It should be obvious that far from being politically neutral, these rules embody a particular ideology and in future the truthfulness of a scientific finding will be subordinate to this perspective.

To see this, you just need to do a simple thought experiment, as Bo Winegard has done in Quillette. Imagine, he says, if this editorial had been written by political conservatives who announced that “any research promoting (even ‘inadvertently’) promiscuous sex, the breakdown of the nuclear family, agnosticism and atheism, or the decline of the nation state, would be suppressed or rejected lest it inflict unspecified ‘harm’ on vaguely defined groups or individuals.” Those progressive scientists applauding Nature Human Behaviour would throw up their arms in horror and point out – correctly — that these rules are at odds with one of the foundational principles of science, which is to pursue the truth, wherever it may lead.

This editorial is a disaster from the point of view of closet ideologues who want to appeal to the authority of science to promote lockdowns and net zero, including, I suspect, its authors. After all, the reason rhetorical phrases like “the science” are supposed to win round those who are skeptical about these policies — conservatives, for the most part — is that they invoke a popular conception of scientists as politically neutral, disinterested “experts” who are basing their guidance on reason and evidence, uncontaminated by value judgments.

Yet here is a group of senior scientific gatekeepers announcing that the only knowledge that will count as “scientific” is that which promotes their agenda.

It’s as if they’re saying that scientific research unconstrained by this progressive straitjacket, i.e. science as conventionally understood, will yield results that are incompatible with their radical egalitarian agenda and so ought to be suppressed. In other words, “the science” is actually at odds with their political views.

How to explain this own goal? As I say, it’s a head-scratcher.

Science Discredited by “Scientists”

Toby Young writes at Spectator How science became politicized. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

New rules from a leading journal do not bode well

Here’s a paradox. Over the past two-and-a-half years, a cadre of senior politicians and their “expert” advisors across the world have successfully promoted a series of controversial public policies by claiming they’re based on “the science” rather than a particular moral or ideological vision. I’m thinking of lockdowns and net zero in particular. Yet at the same time, this group has engaged in behavior that has undermined public confidence in science.

Why appeal to the authority of science to win support for a series of politically contentious policies — and then diminish its authority?

Take Anthony Fauci, for instance, who recently announced he’s stepping down as chief medical advisor to Joe Biden. Even though he once claimed to “represent science” in the eyes of the American people:

♦ he misled them about the likely duration of the lockdowns (“fifteen days to slow the spread”),
♦ overstated the efficacy of the Covid vaccines when they were first rolled out,
♦ refused to countenance the possibility that Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology
♦ it later emerged that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, under his leadership, had given a grant to the EcoHealth Alliance, which helped fund “gain-of-function” research at the Chinese lab,
♦  and he conspired with other prominent scientists, such as Francis Collins, to besmirch the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (“There needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises,” Collins told Fauci in an email).

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal concluded: “His legacy will be that millions of Americans will never trust government health experts in the same way again.”

Another case in point is a recent editorial in Nature Human Behaviour, one of several journals in the Nature Research stable, the world’s pre-eminent publisher of scientific research. “Although academic freedom is fundamental, it is not unbounded,” it begins, and then proceeds to set out rules that future academic papers will have to comply with in addition to meeting all the usual standards for publication, e.g. peer review. It says the journal won’t publish articles that might cause “potential harms” (even “inadvertently”) to individuals or groups that are most vulnerable to “racism, sexism, ableism or homophobia.” “Academic content that undermines the dignity or rights of specific groups; assumes that a human group is superior or inferior over another simply because of a social characteristic; includes hate speech or denigrating images; or promotes privileged, exclusionary perspectives raises ethics concerns that may require revisions or supersede the value of publication,” it says.

It should be obvious that far from being politically neutral, these rules embody a particular ideology and in future the truthfulness of a scientific finding will be subordinate to this perspective.

To see this, you just need to do a simple thought experiment, as Bo Winegard has done in Quillette. Imagine, he says, if this editorial had been written by political conservatives who announced that “any research promoting (even ‘inadvertently’) promiscuous sex, the breakdown of the nuclear family, agnosticism and atheism, or the decline of the nation state, would be suppressed or rejected lest it inflict unspecified ‘harm’ on vaguely defined groups or individuals.” Those progressive scientists applauding Nature Human Behaviour would throw up their arms in horror and point out – correctly — that these rules are at odds with one of the foundational principles of science, which is to pursue the truth, wherever it may lead.

This editorial is a disaster from the point of view of closet ideologues who want to appeal to the authority of science to promote lockdowns and net zero, including, I suspect, its authors. After all, the reason rhetorical phrases like “the science” are supposed to win round those who are skeptical about these policies — conservatives, for the most part — is that they invoke a popular conception of scientists as politically neutral, disinterested “experts” who are basing their guidance on reason and evidence, uncontaminated by value judgments.

Yet here is a group of senior scientific gatekeepers announcing that the only knowledge that will count as “scientific” is that which promotes their agenda.

It’s as if they’re saying that scientific research unconstrained by this progressive straitjacket, i.e. science as conventionally understood, will yield results that are incompatible with their radical egalitarian agenda and so ought to be suppressed. In other words, “the science” is actually at odds with their political views.

How to explain this own goal? As I say, it’s a head-scratcher.

 

Long Covid: Myth and Grift

Michael Fumento investigates The Myth — and Grift — of Long COVID in his American Spectator article.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Validating people’s fears is a lucrative business.

The would-be monkeypoxalypse isn’t panning out as some would like — no deaths have been reported outside of Africa — and apparently 99 percent of U.S. victims are gay men having sex with gay men.

And, while acute COVID-19 is still spinning off variants and Health and Human Services (HHS) has just extended the public health emergency, people are just plumb tired of hearing about it. But moving in to fill the clickbait quota is the so-called “long COVID” or “long-haul COVID.”

“Do I have Long COVID? As many as 23 million Americans want to know,
as more than 200 symptoms emerge.”

So begins a recent article in Fortune magazine. “It gets stranger,” the piece continues. “Among the 200-plus symptoms identified so far are ear numbness, a sensation of ‘brain on fire,’ erectile dysfunction, irregular menstrual periods, constipation, peeling skin, and double vision.” This is according to a study published a year ago in the British medical journal the Lancet, widely considered the world’s most prestigious medical journal. And, oh yes, “The study identified symptoms involving 10 major organ systems—and the body only has 11.”

If you haven’t recently suffered at least a dozen of these symptoms, it’s bad news for you. You’re dead.

We all know the expression “If it sounds too good to be true ….” Why is there no corollary that says, “If it sounds too bad …”? Do you have to be a genius’ genius, say Albert Einstein level, to recognize that over 200 symptoms in almost all major organ systems have no relationship, that this is just a constellation of symptoms — which has now grown so large that it cannot possibly count as a constellation anymore?

It’s essentially anything bad.  The “search for causes and cures” for “long COVID” will never end, any more than we will ever find Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

Oh, and this is really important. Official definitions aside, in order to have “long COVID,”
there’s absolutely no need to ever have had acute COVID.

Obviously, some people who contract COVID do have long-term symptoms, as with the flu or other diseases that usually resolve fairly quickly but sometimes have lingering problems.

Yet, as I noted in my first “long COVID” article in The American Spectator last September:

The largest study so far of “long-haulers,” published by researchers at University College London in July, comprised nearly 4,000 subjects from over 56 countries. Participants were over the age of 18 and suffered from symptoms lasting at least 28 days. The researchers acknowledged merely in passing that in the study a mere 27% or 1020 of these “COVID long-haulers” had evidence of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. That’s whether antigen [during infection] or antibody [post-infection]. The only connection to COVID was the attestation of the sufferers. They “felt” they had COVID, regardless of evidence.

So about three-fourths of the participants don’t fit any of the above definitions. Yet that is the study that Fortune cites.

An August 2021 study of 3,151 British “long haulers” in Pragmatic and Observational Research found that only 17.2 percent were “test-confirmed positive.” A further 12 percent said they were told they had acute COVID, but no test was performed. And over 70 percent admitted it was merely self-diagnosis. An influential and scary article in the Atlantic reported some two-thirds of “long-hauler” patients had negative coronavirus antibody tests without making the obvious inference. An advocacy group study released in May 2020 by the curiously named “Patient-Led Research Collaborative” found that only “[a]bout a quarter of respondents (23.1%) tested positive for COVID-19” but “[i]n our analysis, we included all responses regardless of testing status.”

And the game continues. No, not just with the popular clickbait media. With the vaunted “published, peer-reviewed” medical journals that have names most people don’t even understand, like Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. A May 2022 issue reports on a selected cohort of 100 “non-hospitalized COVID-19 ‘long haulers.’” Yet these included “50 laboratory-negative” people. Again, they didn’t just not test positive but rather had tested negative. But this time it was made clear they were included because they were negative!

They didn’t read the WHO, CDC, Mayo Clinic, etc., definitions?

Clearly they had. And rejected them. You see, “it has been advocated that a positive test for COVID-19 should not be a perquisite for diagnosis” (emphasis mine). As I noted in my original article, like so many faux diseases before it, such as the CDC-recognized “myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS),” so-called “long COVID” has been co-opted by advocacy groups whose main purpose is to engage in what’s called “beating up the numbers.” That is, making them seem greater. This has been going on since AIDS, when beginning around 1984 AIDS was converted from a disease overwhelmingly afflicting male homosexuals and intravenous drug abusers to “An Equal Opportunity Destroyer.”

The difference between AIDS and “long COVID” is that, at the time, you could play games regarding how people contracted the disease, but the definition of AIDS in the U.S. and Europe was quite fixed and absolutely required a positive HIV test. But if we do what “long COVID” advocates want and eliminate the need for a positive COVID test, then, given that absolutely everyone not only has had some of the ever-growing list of 200-plus symptoms but probably still does, we can literally say that everyone is suffering “long COVID.” Of course, that would be going a bit far, as when I saw extrapolations of AIDS cases to a point where people claimed more Americans would die of AIDS than there were Americans. So instead, we see the numbers pumped up to something that’s just on the edge of reason. Or maybe a bit beyond. The Atlantic tells us the U.S. has “at least 56 million long-COVID patients.” Or, as it says, “one for every six Americans.” Do we really believe that?

Disease advocacy groups, of which “long COVID” had at least 50 as of February of last year, have various motives. An obvious one is that more attention means more funding.

Removal of stigma is not universal, but special treatment is. And indeed, in a joint statement last year, HHS and the Department of Justice ruled that “long COVID can be a disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act, thereby protecting alleged sufferers from “discrimination.” With allegedly over 200 symptoms, pretty much whatever you say your problem is can be protected. The range is broad enough to include demanding more time to take tests. Want a better chance at acing that exam? Claim to have “long COVID.” It does, however, require an “individualized assessment,” which is presumably as easy as calling up a list of alleged symptoms or, actually, just claiming virtually any symptoms.

Advocates also want to make a special exception for alleged sufferers to collect social security disability payments more quickly. As it stands, you don’t need a “long COVID” diagnosis to qualify if your symptoms are among those covered. But there’s a waiting period, and they want that shortened just for those who claim to have “long COVID.”

All that said, the Annals authors’ own data make the case that there’s no such thing as “long COVID.” Table 2 has three separate breakdowns. It kindly separates those who tested positive from those who tested negative, and then breaks them down further into neurologic and other symptoms upon first visit and then upon follow-up. And lo! — it turns out that time and again the ones who tested negative (and, even by the woke standards of the authors, are thereby more likely to never have had acute COVID) are worse off.

So, if nothing else, when you see an article in the popular media cite official or authoritative definitions of “long COVID” and then proceed to discuss what it may be, don’t let them mislead you into thinking they’re going by those definitions. Essentially, they’re going by whatever they think will keep you reading or by what they feel is the “right thing to do.”

But why would there be a difference between the positive and negative groups with the negatives worse off? Because those who actually have had COVID may be suffering extended symptoms from their disease. May. But those who never had COVID, but are convinced they have, are more likely to have psychological problems, and psychological problems are notoriously difficult to treat. Especially if ignored in favor of something else.

That’s why you haven’t seen terminology in this article such as “alleged sufferers.” Because if you think you’re sick, you’re sick. It’s just that, if you had negative tests for acute COVID, you almost certainly don’t have “long COVID.”

Mind, just as “long haulers” who test negative are different from those who test positive, “long haulers” generally have very little overlap with sufferers of acute COVID. While acute COVID is highly contagious and therefore virtually everyone is susceptible to contracting it (some people repeatedly), those who develop severe symptoms fit a very tight profile. Overwhelmingly they are older, with a plurality of deaths over age 80, and have several preconditions or comorbidities such as diabetes and untreated hypertension. According to the CDC, in the U.S. among acute COVID patients, non-Hispanic American blacks are slightly more likely to be diagnosed with the disease, almost three times as likely to be hospitalized, and are twice as likely to have died, compared with non-Hispanic whites.

But “long-haulers,” according to an appendix in the 2021 University College study, “belong to the middle and upper-middle income brackets, with 51.0% of participants in the USA earning more than $85,000/year and 22.5% earning more than $150,000/year.” They are overwhelmingly white and female. In fact, the demographics match pretty well to those diagnosed with the above-mentioned phantom illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), for which coincidentally there’s also no cure. The Veterans’ Department says: “[R]esearch suggests that women are 4X more likely to get [ME/CFS] than men. Statistics also show that people between ages 40 and 59 are most affected by the disorder.”

Mostly, as with so many other “syndromes,” these people suffer from depression. My interpretation? No, theirs. In the Annals study, the majority of the COVID-negative patients actually claimed depression as looming large among their symptoms, both upon initial visit and follow-up. Meanwhile, this being a journal of neurology, any symptom they list, such as shortness of breath, can be associated with depression and/or anxiety.

Even the mainstream media have observed the “long COVID” link to depression, as a Google search quickly shows. But they consistently put the cart before the horse. That is, they blame depression on “long COVID” rather than “long COVID” on depression. A typical headline: “How Long Haul COVID Takes a Toll on Your Mental Health.”

And, sadly, the worst thing you can do with depressives is to patronize them. You should tell them that they are suffering from depression and that it is a very real and serious disease (successful suicide has a 100 percent mortality rate), and then you should refer them to an expert who may be able to treat them.

You do not attribute their illness to something that doesn’t exist. That’s not only uncompassionate, it’s downright cruel. Yet, it’s also a great way to sell them snake oil to cure them.

But how many researchers have dared publish the clear reality? Precious few. Or at least few have succeeded; we have no idea what’s been rejected. It’s treated the same as was the case that said AIDS victims are overwhelmingly gay males and drug abusers, as the data clearly showed. I lost two jobs over that and was unemployable for two years. Likewise, did you know that monkeypox victims are 99 percent male and gay before you read it here?

A commentary last year in America’s most prestigious medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), actually launched a preemptive strike against those who believe “long COVID” to be “likely to have a non-physiological origin.” The opinion piece, titled “Confronting Our Next National Health Disaster — Long-Haul Covid,” declares the authors to be aghast that “[s]ome commentators have characterized it as a mental illness.”

In late 2020, the godfather of America’s acute COVID hysteria, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci, declared “long COVID” to be “quite real and quite extensive.” That’s the same Fauci who apparently got promoted to that position shortly after essentially kick-starting the “AIDS democratization” campaign in 1983 with an article in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), saying that there was evidence of casual transmission. This was long after it had been made clear it was a difficult-to-transmit disease of bodily fluids.

It’s also hardly insubstantial that Congress is paying bounties for discussing the will o’ the wisp, providing “$1.15 billion in funding over four years” for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research. And if you think you’re going to get a grant by labeling it as something other than what the former head of NIH, the current acting director, Fauci, the NEJM, and the medical establishment in general has, hopefully you’re living in a state where smoking those mushrooms is legal.

Over a billion bucks is dedicated to the RECOVER program, under which, as of February,
66 hospitals and health systems had launched post-COVID clinics.

So it’s a massive gravy train. There’s much money in spotting Nessie and Bigfoot, less than nothing in denying their existence. In fact, the few who have published in medical journals suggesting it’s not a real disease have been pounded.  There is precedent for this intimidation. My experience with AIDS, for example. Lost jobs, long-term unemployment, books banned.

But there’s also precedent with others and other diseases. About four years ago, Reuters ran a remarkable article called “Online activists are silencing us, scientists say,” regarding ME/CFS. It noted that researchers seeking answers to actual causes of the syndrome and bona fide treatments said they were abandoning the field because of bullying. “Of more than 20 leading research groups who were publishing treatment studies in high-quality journals 10 years ago,” one scientist said, “only one or two continue to do so.” Their sin was in positing psychological rather than organic explanations and, therefore, appropriate treatments. The campaign to have evidence-backed treatments discredited was “doing a terrible disservice to sufferers from this condition,” said another. He concluded, “Patients are the losers here.”

What Ronald E. Gots wrote of an alleged syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), in 1995 in the Journal of Toxicology holds equally true for “long COVID.” It’s “a dangerous diagnosis,” says the executive director of the Environmental Sensitivities Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland, a clearinghouse for scientific data. He continues:

[T]he diagnosis of MCS begins a downward spiral of fruitless treatments, culminating in withdrawal from society and condemning the sufferer to a life of misery and disability. This is a phenomenon in which the diagnosis is far more disabling than the symptoms.

It’s wickedly cruel! We need to really care about these people, not pretend that we do. We need to tell them they need help, that they quite possibly can be helped, but that, even if they tested positive for COVID, what they have is probably not COVID-related, and, if they tested negative, it almost certainly is not.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for an advocacy group or even the medical journal industry — and indeed it is an industry — to take that position. All the money, fame, and fortune are pointing in a different direction.

Examples of Debased Government Science

John Stossel explains with examples in his Town Hall article Scientific ‘Integrity’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

“Trust the science,” say the media. Polls show that fewer Americans do. There’s good reason for that.

“They don’t trust science because science is increasingly untrustworthy,” says science writer Andrew Follet in my new video. “The only group that trusts science right now is Democrats.”  Sixty-four percent of Democrats have “a great deal” of confidence in the scientific community, compared to 34% of Republicans.

Of course, true science — using the scientific method — is important. But that’s not what much of “science” is these days.

Instead, today government science is misused by progressive politicians.

Example 1: Environmental activists want to limit commercial fishing. They want Congress to pass what they call the “Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act.” It claims climate change is the “greatest threat to America’s national security” and offers a dubious solution: close more of the ocean to commercial fishing.

The administration’s deputy director of Climate, Jane Lubchenco, told Congress that a scientific paper concludes that closing more of the ocean can actually increase catches of fish

Really? That doesn’t seem logical.  It isn’t. The paper was retracted. One scientist called its logic “biologically impossible.”   Also, Lubchenco’s didn’t tell Congress that the paper was written by her brother-in-law! And edited by her!

Did the White House punish Lubchenco for her ethics violations? No. In fact, after her testimony, she was appointed co-head of President Joe Biden’s Scientific Integrity Task Force!

Last week, the National Academy of Sciences banned her for five years. Yet she’s still on the White House’s Scientific Integrity Task Force.

Sadly, much of what’s called science today is simply left-wing advocacy.

“New fields like fat studies, African studies, Latinx studies, queer studies,” says Follet, “are essentially entirely fake.”  Fake? Well, they must be. “Experts” in those fields keep being fooled by people who submit gibberish.

Example 2:  Fat Studies

A ridiculous paper, “Embracing Fatness as Self-Care in the Era of Trump,” was accepted by Massey University’s “Fat Studies” conference. The conference then invited the paper’s author, “Sea Matheson,” to speak.

Attendees gave Matheson’s speech rave reviews, praising the paper’s description of Donald Trump’s “fatphobia” and inviting Matheson to review other work submitted to their “scientific” journal, Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.

But Matheson is no scientist. “She” is actually comedian Steven Crowder, who disguised himself as an overweight woman to expose “ivory tower quackery.”

Crowder is just the latest person to fool today’s so-called science journals. James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian and Helen Pluckrose submitted nonsense papers to “grievance studies” journals like Fat Studies, Sexuality & Culture and Sex Roles.

Seven accepted ridiculous papers.

One that took a section of “Mein Kampf” but replaced references to “National Socialism” with “feminism,” was accepted by Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

Gender, Place and Culture accepted a paper that claimed there is rape culture at dog parks.

Follett blames this perversion of science on government. Its science agencies, like much of America, have been taken over by leftists hungry to promote themselves and their agenda.

In science, the way to promote yourself is to get papers published. That often gets you more funding. Government agencies like the National Science Foundation provide most of that funding.

“Nobody wants to publish something that goes against the paymaster,” says Follett. “You don’t get published unless the NSF likes your results.”

Example 3: The NSF gave nearly half a million dollars to a team that wrote a paper questioning glacier science because it “stems from knowledge created by men.”

Absurdities are pushed by the right, too. .Some people still claim that man plays no part in climate change or that the climate isn’t warming at all. Some say vaccines don’t work.  But the right’s junk science doesn’t get backed by government funds.

I’m angry that my tax dollars go to support leftist nonsense.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t care. That’s probably because they don’t know that government throws so much money at ridiculous progressive advocacy.

“We’ll all start caring when the bridges start falling down and the planes start crashing,” says Follet. “That’s the inevitable end result of this.”

See also Trust Me, I’m a Scientist. Really?

 

See also Why Federalized Science is Rotten

Global Warming Groupthink

H/T to Ghengis for reminding me of this insightful analysis of the climatist ideology.  The GWPF publication is here:  GLOBAL WARMING  A case study in groupthink  My transcript of the video is below in italics with my bolds and added images.

For most of the last 30 years climate change has been called settled science. As letters, observations and scientific advances have shed more light on the problem, it became clear that many of the most alarming and urgent fears about the effects of global warming were unfounded.

These dramatic stories were not just the work of fringe activists. World leaders and internationally renowned scientists too often departed from science to speculate about how terrible the future would be.

“Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods all are now more frequent and more intense.” -Obama

But when the truth of these stories was discovered very few politicians attempted to bring a sense of calm or reason to the political debate.

“Global warming is man-made and it’s happening. We’re all agreed that climate change is one of the greatest and most daunting challenges of our age.”

“The scientific reality is compelling us to act. We are on the course for a very, very dangerous world over the next century.”

“The scientific evidence is stronger than ever, and science itself has been slow to correct alarmist claims.”

“Human influence on the climate system is clear.” (IPCC)

Even worse attempts to question the scientific basis of scare stories has been met with hostility.

“We don’t need another meeting of the Flat Earth Society.
We need to get on and tackle climate change.”

Given the emphasis placed on science, data and evidence in the debate, how is this possible?

One answer might be a theory formulated in 1972 by psychologist Irving Janus. He argued that groupthink occurs when a single-minded group dominates a decision-making process, excluding alternative perspectives and criticism. Janus discovered that groupthink was the cause of many catastrophic failures of military planning. Groupthink theory is the basis of a new report by Christopher Booker for the Global warming Policy Foundation

Booker looks at the history of climate change consensus building, policymaking and coverage of the issue in the media. Three rules of groupthink emerge from this historical view. Booker finds that though a consensus on the role of anthropogenic global warming did emerge, this consensus was not dominant in official thinking and coverage. Scientists as well as politicians, campaigners and journalists told stories that owed much more to speculation than to settled science.

“We have built a society, an agricultural system and cities. And everything that we do based on assumptions that basically the climate is not going to change. Eventually this is going to be a problem that is so large that we will transition . . .”

“But after damaging scandals at East Anglia University and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is Mr Miliband’s side who need to change their approach.”

These unfounded stories cost serious setbacks for the climate agenda.

“Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.” (Obama)

Increasingly in cases where mainstream thinking was shown to be wrong, it was defended from criticism not on its scientific merits but on the basis of the scientific consensus that climate change is real, is happening and will be dangerous.

“But they’re wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate. Climate change is a fact.” (Obama)

“Of the scientists who expressed a view, ninety-seven percent said that climate change was happening and it was human-made activity.”

“Certainly of course that has been substantially discredited.” (Hugh Mathers)

“Isn’t it exactly the stifling of dissent that has got the climate scientists into this mess in the first place? Why are you going down this road again?”

“Oh, I’m not trying to stifle dissent, Krishnan, but you’ve got to make the judgment: When there’s a mistake does it undermine the basic facts about climate science?”

Even where criticism of alarmism has come from inside the consensus it was excluded from public debate rather than allowed to improve scientific understanding. Consequently without debate, climate change became the explanation for ever more things from poverty, migration, to war and even mental illness.

“There are a number of statements that have been attributed to me that are not correct. I don’t believe I called anybody here a denier, and yet that’s been stated over and over again. So I’ve been misrepresented quite a bit today by several.” (Michael Mann)

“But it’s in your written testimony. I’ll read it again.” (Judith Curry)

The growing distance between climate stories and reality led to increasingly hostile public campaigns against dissenting opinions.

Scientists openly criticizing climate change alarmism have been forced into silence under the threat of losing their jobs. Dissent in the media has led to campaigns to remove skeptics from public attention and for increasing control over the media.

“I complained about this article and have just heard from the media self regulator that they found nothing wrong at all with the newspaper article. And so I wrote to them and complained. I complained to the Press Complaints Commission there have even been calls for climate skeptics to face criminal prosecution and even the death penalty.”

“Right kids, just before you go, there’s a brilliant idea in the air that I’d like to run by you . . .”

The insistence that everyone in the public sphere must adhere to the consensus has harmed research, political debate and journalistic coverage of climate change. The result of such climate change groupthink may be the least scrutinized, most expensive and counterproductive policies ever conceived. To find out more about how groupthink has been confused for the scientific consensus on climate change download the report from the G WPF website.

Link to GWPF Publication in pdf GLOBAL WARMING  A case study in groupthink

See Also Q&A Why So Many Climate Skeptics

 

 

Yes, The Climate Changes

Michael Foley writes at Quora (Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.)

Q:  Why do most scientists believe that the climate is changing? 

A:  Because it is. But most scientists do not believe
human activity is the cause of the change.

The 97% of scientists belief fraud, which has been proven to be a fraud over and over again, was based on a review of the scientific literature on climate. Over 10,000 papers were reviewed and of those only about 2,000 mentioned climate change of those 1,900 were eliminated for various reasons (some of those reasons were bias based) resulting in 100 papers. Of those 100 papers 97 concluded that man’s activity may have a roll in climate change. They ranged from very likely to maybe, which is what came to be reported as the 97% figure.

There is no argument that the climate is changing,
it always has and will always continue to change.

From ice cores and ocean sediment cores it has been established that the earth has regular and generally predictable 2 major climate cycles. They are classified as a Greenhouse cycle (defined as a period where there are NO PERMANENT ice sheet anywhere on earth) and Ice Ages ( defined as periods where there are permanent ice sheets in at least 1 Hemisphere).

Each of these major cycles has several sub cycles. Ice ages have 2 major sub cycles called Interglacial and Glaciation. 73% of earth’s existence has been during a a Greenhouse period. The remaining 27% has been in at least 5 ice ages. We are currently in an Ice age. To be more exact we are living in an Interglacial phase of the current Ice age which has been going on for around 11,500 years. The 2 subcycles also have additional subcycles which last on average of 500 years. The two last such mini cycles are known by the names the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period.

The little ice age ended in the late 1800’s with 1880 being the generally used end date. Interesting enough climate alarmists almost exclusively use this date as the start date for any chart or graph they use in support of their theory. It is also important to realize that man made global warming (by burning fossil fuels and thereby contributing to atmospheric CO2) is a theory and has such remains an unproven theory.

Despite the claim of some who say the science is settled and that there is a scientific consensus.

Both of these claims should raise red flags for anyone who has even an elementary school level of science education. For starters, science is NEVER settled, our scientific understanding and knowledge is constantly changing and theories that have been accepted for decades, centuries and millennia are proven false or modified almost daily. For example,  the Big Bang theory is no longer a credible theory of how the universe started. But is still generally accepted in the general public. Secondly, science is not about a consensus period. Science is a search for the true. Either a theory is true or it is false. In order for a theory to reach a level of scientific acceptance requires the use of the scientific method, which involves testing the theory and retesting, them releasing all the information and data gathered in the testing to allow it to be reviewed by others and allowing others to try and duplicate the original experiment.

If just one of these efforts fails to confirm the results of the original finding theory is not validated. Therefore a consensus believing something is the case is irrelevant.

A consensus used to believe that the earth was flat, that the earth was the center of the universe, that the sun orbited around the earth and each of these beliefs were strongly defended. When you look at the efforts of the climate alarmist research and testing of their theory you find that not one of their efforts has resulted in a conclusion that the theory is correct. Not only that but those experiments that have claimed to support the theory have never released their data sets or methodologies for review.

The first graph appeared in the IPCC 1990 First Assessment Report (FAR) credited to H.H.Lamb, first director of CRU-UEA. The second graph was featured in 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) the famous hockey stick credited to M. Mann.

The most famous of these is Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph that purported to show a relatively stable climate prior to the mid 1900’s. This graph became the poster child for the UN’s IPCC 1st climate assessment report. Man refused to release the data sets he used or let others review his methods or computer programs that came up with the hockey stick. However, Mann’s hockey stick graph eventually was proven to be a fraud. The IPCC quietly dropped it from their 3rd assessment. Each IPCC assessment has adjusted the predicted climate change downward to where the latest report has a predicted climate change resulting from human activity to be 2 to 3 degrees C over the next 100 years.

The original MBH graph compared to a corrected version produced by MacIntyre and McKitrick after undoing Mann’s errors.

However, even that amount remains nothing more than a computer model prediction which has not been proven.

Why so many people are so willing to accept a theory without any evidence and are so willing to accept the demanded changes to how we live with no evidence is a truly remarkable thing. Climate alarmist will point to every weather event as proof of man’s destruction of the planet. Even when the science has proven time and again that the supposed weather events are in fact well within the natural cycle of events. All of these claims and efforts are efforts to bring within the human experience (life time) evidence of climate change and the man made use of fossil fuels has the cause.

Even though NONE of the predictions made over the last 50 years has come to fruition. NOT ONE OF THEM. How can a group promoting and claim and being wrong every single time still be consider credible, is simply incredible. Some, maybe most are sincere in their belief but instead of using the evidence that is available they are simply Lemmings. Others, the politicians and those with an economic stake in turning the economy upside down are acting out of basic greed. Greed for power and money.

Climate changes occur on geologic timeframes,
which are measured in thousands and millions of years, not in human life times.

See also Rise and Fall of the Modern Warming Spike

World of Climate Change Infographics