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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

When Science (and media) Becomes Ideology We All Lose



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This blog doesn't deal with global warming per se, but it does worry about the corrupting influences on science and media exerted by ideology. Mostly, we have deconstructed this problem in the area of biotechnology. But the corruption has permeated the physical sciences, too, most particularly the supposed "fact" of catastrophic, human-caused climate change.

As Secondhand Smokette pointed out in a column earlier this week, not only is the issue not beyond debate, but the attempt to stack the deck is becoming all too obvious by following the money trail. From her column:

Over 10 years, not one study challenged the orthodoxy [of global warming] - does that sound right to you? If that were true, it would strongly suggest that, despite conflicting evidence in this wide and changing world, no scientist dares challenge the politically correct position on the issue.

No wonder David Bellamy--an Australian botanist who was involved in some 400 TV productions, only to see his TV career go south after he questioned global warming orthodoxy - wrote in the Australian last week, "It's not even science any more; it's anti-science." Bellamy notes that official data show that "in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002, Arctic ice actually increased." Exhibit B: MIT Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Richard S. Lindzen recently wrote, "There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995."

Media is a willing accomplice to this news blockade by not reporting, under reporting, or spinning stories that might promote heterodox views about global warming.

Case in point: It turns out that 2008 will be the coolest year of the decade. If the story was that 2008 was the warmest of the decade, we all know that it would make huge headlines. But the mini cooling trend we are apparently experiencing will not be reported in most outlets, or if it is, it will be in the back pages. Or, it will be spun as meaningless, like in the Guardian's report in which only "experts" from one side were allowed to comment. From the story:
Prof Myles Allen at Oxford University who runs the climateprediction.net website, said he feared climate sceptics would over interpret the figure."You can bet your life there will be a lot of fuss about what a cold year it is. Actually no, its not been that cold a year, but the human memory is not very long, we are used to warm years," he said, "Even in the 80s [this year] would have felt like a warm year."
And what do these skeptics thinks this interesting climate variation means? We don't know. Their perspectives were not presented in the story.

All of this is aided and abetted by the mindless purveyors of popular culture, such as the very clever Piraro, author of Bizarro,who has swallowed more than one glass of Kool Aid--as the cartoon reproduced above illustrates.


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