Is it okay for scientists to lie if they mean well?

I had a discussion with a coworker yesterday about anthropomorphic climate change.  I am and always have been a huge skeptic (sceptic, for you Brits) of Man Made Global Warming (now called Climate Change so that they can blame any unpleasant weather on it) and this was for me yet another discussion with someone who was not so skeptical.  At some point in the conversation, after I did my best to change his mind, he admitted that even if it was bunk, the end justifies the means.  His point was that even if the entire IPCC climate change industry (and it is an industry, with many people making money off of this scam) is wrong, even intentionally wrong, the fact that it forces us as individuals to make better choices for the environment makes it okay.

I had a couple of responses to that.  First, being a person who is fascinated by the beauty of science and the intellectual honesty associated with publishing a theory and letting people try to tear it down, that just rubs me the wrong way.  That is an affront to real science, and such practitioners should be tarred and feathered before being run out of town.  I do not think that it is okay to fudge science just because you mean well.  Secondly, this is not simply some academic discussion.  The result of buying into the Great Global Warming Swindle is much bigger than just buying a Prius (I will come back to that) or buying those ridiculous carbon offsets or driving less.  It amounts to severely hampering the industrial revolution that has allowed regular people to lead the life that only kings and noblemen once enjoyed but to a lot of the rest of the world it also means preventing billions of people in undeveloped countries from progressing to the level of prosperity and comfort that we all take for granted here in the west.  We got ours, screw y’all.

There is an interesting article  in the Canada Free Press [HT: Flopping Aces] about the UN’s IPCC and its statements and methods that is enlightening in ways that Believers in the Church of Climate Change will not like.  One portion from the article, by Dr. Tim Ball, goes right to the point that I am trying to make:

Schneider [Lead Author of reports for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], among others, created the appearance that the [IPCC] Summary was representative of the Science Report. However, he provides an early insight into the thinking when speaking about global warming to Discovery magazine (October 1989) he said scientists need, “to get some broader based support, to capture the public’s imagination…that, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have…each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.” The last sentence is deeply disturbing–there is no decision required.

That is not science, it is political advocacy.  I know that everyone is getting caught up in this green movement and there are certainly many very good things coming out of it, but we cannot just shut off our brains and accept the nonsense that is being spouted by scientists who are acting politically rather than scientifically regardless of good effects or how good it makes us feel.  Dr. Ball continues:

So they create an appearance of certainty about a human cause of warming. But what is the reality? The only place where CO2 is causing temperature increase is in the IPCC computer models. In every record of any duration for any time period in the history of the Earth, temperature increase precedes CO2 increase. So an incorrect assumption that a CO2 increase will cause temperature increase is built into the computer models. That is damaging enough, but the computer models themselves are completely inadequate to represent global climate or make any predictions about future climate. But don’t believe me. The IPCC Technical Report (“The Physical Science Basis”) produced by Working Group I and released in November 2007, says so.

What we have is a group of scientists, some of whom are more honest than others, whose work is being cherry-picked by a group of international bureaucrats and politicians to serve their political and economic ends.  In their view, the end justifies the means.  I disagree.

But let me get back to the Prius.  In our discussion my friend expressed distain for the Prius and I think that he has a good point: people go out and buy a Prius and convince themselves that they have done their part for the environment.  But what have they done?  So they get 45 mpg, but if you are willing to drive a little sardine can of a car like that you can attain that sort of gas mileage without getting a hybrid.  It is false progress which allows people to feel good enough about themselves to take the place of any real progress at lessening pollution, which is something that I think that we can all get behind.

I will close by once again recommending that anyone reading this, whether you are a skeptic like me or someone who I derogatorily refer to as a believer in the false Religion of Climate Change, you need to watch the very good Global Climate Change Swindle [HT: Little Green Footballs] video here.

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