Tuesday, February 26th 2013, 12:26 PM EST
The myths of popular science have a nasty habit of running ahead of the real story by a decade or two. They are difficult to dislodge. It has always been thus. Take the myth that global warming (GW) is today a feature of current global climate activity. Whatever the reason for it, GW hasn’t been happening for 16 years – and not a single computer model predicted it. Then there is the breaking news that the global sea ice area is above normal – and that in the midst of the Antarctic summer. Not exactly been mainstream news has it? But then, as both stories run counter to the prevailing consensus and popular myth, that’s not surprising.
There’s the myth peddled by David Attenborough that polar bears are threatened by extinction when it turns out they are actually thriving; along with stories that that ‘renewable’ energy is an economically viable energy-generating concept; that windmills can provide reliable, regular and cost-effective power demanded by modern grids and energy users; that electric cars make sense at all, given they can only get you from London to Oxford before their batteries expire requiring 16 hours re-charging, and … well, you get the picture. The nexus between green myth and a pro-alarmist mass media committed to falling for, and publicizing, them is plain enough. Which brings us to the big daddy in our age: the myth of still attempting to proclaim a ‘science consensus’ when it comes to anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
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Back in the 90s I was an early ‘heretic’ on global warming. For me the facts and data just didn’t add up. But having spent years investigating the claims of huckster false prophets in the church for duping the gullible it increasingly became clear that today’s false prophets have donned white coats, exchanged crystal balls for computer modelling and take the public ‘shilling’ to do planet-saving research. But their chief message was the same: the end-is-nigh – unless you listen to me and do what I tell you. Science-writer Michael Crichton was the first to sum up this paradigm shift to wholesale faith in an environmental Grand Narrative that set the AGW prophetic belief-system rolling.
The fact is that history is littered with the prevailing wisdom of would-be ‘gnostics’ (those invested with secret knowledge) whose public scaremongering initially brings them notoriety, public attention and the ear of the prevailing authorities. The final stage is enjoying the high praise of public favour (and the public funds it attracts) – before being exposed as frauds when, increasingly, real-life facts and empirical proof ‘outs’ them. It has been a natural cycle in public affairs through every age. Postmodern man might like to think of himself as scientific and rational. But, having no spiritual anchor in life, he has never been more susceptible to the same kind of mass hysteria invoked by doomsayers in previous ages, who usually are able to amass personal fortunes from their ‘public spirited’ work. On that score, Michael Mann, Raj Pauchari (Chair of the UN IPCC), Al Gore, James Hansen take a bow – along with their bank managers. Fascinatingly, those who have stood outside the “prevailing consensus”, almost never make money from their position. Public vilification is usually their lot.
The fact is, the ‘modern romantic’ in each of us is attracted by a ‘quainter’, less frenetic, less stressful way of life. Those most susceptible to trying to turn the clock back to a way of life that never existed) are, first and foremost, idealists, social engineers and, out and out Luddites. All of which explains why most greens are predominantly left-leaning rather than right-leaning. The right has a predilection to ‘conserve’ that which is proven, while the left has a predilection for ‘progression’ and change. Neither need be inherently wrong. But, quite perversely, never has a ‘progressive’ movement ever been so backward looking. Its idea of ‘progression’ rests on a key premise: the demand to return to a ‘quaint’ pre-industrial way of life; an existence that meant high infant mortality, sickness, disease, poverty and, oh yes, early death.
Today green policies are pushing hundreds of thousands into fuel poverty. Mostly only the relatively rich can afford to buy electric cars, private wind turbines or solar panels. Yet they have no compunction in claiming tax breaks and public grants – paid for by society’s poorest through their energy bills. How many pious green moralists grasp who is being burdened to pay for their ‘quaint’ life accessories? Such is the moral wickedness inherent in bureaucratic green policies that underwrite this modern day ‘Robin-Hood-in-reverse’ arrangement that even the Governor of the Bank of England has lately spoken out against its impact. All of which brings us full circle: to the field of “consensus” or allegedly “settled” science in which popular myths to abound.
As it turns out, even what we have been sold as a climate science “consensus” per se is a myth. In truth, public-money grubbing researchers, green social engineers, politicized UN bureaucrats and corrupt data fiddlers apart, it has always been thus. Just as the 28-Gate scandal eventually revealed the 28 ‘experts’ that advised the BBC to pin its AGW colors to the alarmist mast was nothing but a green lobby group, so the alleged climate consensus looks increasingly, er…’fracked’. Real climate-linked scientists, including numerous meteorologists, actual climate scientists, empiricists and data observers, have always been more circumspect in their public assessments. But they are increasingly becoming downright skeptical.
A new peer-reviewed paper surveying over 1,037 engineers and geoscientists that are actually categorized under the “Comply with Kyoto” banner, confirms that while most believe global climate change is happening, only 36 percent believe the alarmist Grand Narrative that man is the chief cause. Further, the survey researchers also found that “scepticism regarding anthropogenic climate change remains” among many actual climate scientists. They found that while 75 percent of papers published between 1993 and 2003 explicitly endorsed AGW, between 2004 and 2008 that figure had fallen to 45 percent.
A consensus view in science has always been a fragile thing. Single heretical views have an history of entirely overturning the prevailing consensus. But in the case of AGW, with global warming having been shown conclusively to have slumped to a 16-year halt, the alleged ‘science consensus’ is becoming blatantly exposed. The trenches now are mostly populated by green ideologues, a left-dominated media, and bureaucrats who are usually the last to grasp the realities.
We are all entitled to an opinion. Unfortunately, in the age of 24/7 news, modern opinion is more likely to bear the marks of emotional response than informed and considered views. Thus the mind of modern man is all too fertile a soil for the latest apparent “consensus”, insisting this particular field of science is “settled”. What is becoming blatantly obvious, is that it is taking an ever burgeoning abundance of BS to fertilize it.
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