The Book Of Bape

On Corruption and Climate Science

politicalprof:

I was asked to make a previous answer to a question rebloggable. So sorry for the repeat …

Recently, I was asked the following question:

It really bothers me that scientists keep claiming that the cause of climate change is caused exclusively by humans. There is compelling evidence that exists that would prove - or at least point out - that that’s not entirely the case. Seeing as most scientists seem to lean left on this issue, do you think that scientists would leave out information in order to further an agenda?

My response was:

Well, aside from the fact that no scientist ever makes the claim that humans are the sole cause of global climate change, I do seem to recall hearing about a time when the Roman Catholic Church got really tired of hearing some guy named Galileo claim that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe. So they threw him in prison (well, a villa) and threatened to kill him unless he recanted. Alas, getting annoyed by something doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

As for the question of scientists being corrupt lefties, a few thoughts:

1. Most scientists I know, who study natural phenomena using scientific methods, are fairly apolitical. They — unlike politically-minded people — are reluctant to talk or make claims about things they don’t know anything about. 

2. I assume you believe that it is safer to travel in a car with airbags, antilock brakes and crumple zones than in a car without these things. I assume you believe the best way to avoid measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox (not to mention smallpox) is to be inoculated with a weakened version of measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox that stimulates the body’s immune system. I assume you believe that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second and that the US just landed a rover on Mars using math. I assume you believe tobacco is addictive. All of these things, of course, were proven or achieved by science. So your “worry” isn’t about “science,” it’s about climate science.

3. Science has an ultimate touchstone of right and wrong: falsifiability. If you can show that distilled water doesn’t freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or that gravity doesn’t operate at 32 feet per second squared, then claims made based on those observations (and the theories that underlie them) are discredited. So for your “worry” to be credible, it would have to be the case that thousands of scientists, any one of whom would get famous and would score lots of funding if only he or she could disprove the notion of climate change, have in fact engaged in a vast conspiracy to lie about it … why? Because they hate capitalism? Or something?

The conservative line that climate scientists are engaged in a vast deception defies logic, common sense, and the rules of science itself.  

  • 10 August 2012
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