Prominent economist opposed to global warming doomsaying publishes a damning rebuke on climate consensus claims comparing scientists to economists.
In his latest paper,’ Conflict resolution in Climate Science: Some Preliminary Thoughts from an Outsider’ published as a news item (February 7, 2011) on his website
, Professor Ross McKitrick uses an analogy whereby he compares a supposed consensus on global economic ideas to discredit the so-called ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming.
McKitrick presented his paper for discussion at the recent Workshop on “Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate” held at the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, European Commission, Lisbon, Portugal. The event was held between January 26—28, 2011.
Canadian Claims Public Incredulous on Climate Catastrophism
The Canadian professor holds strong views on this hot topic having written frequent op-eds, a book, journal articles and think-tank reports. He concludes, “The public has acquired a dim view of the credibility of climate science, and based on what I have seen, the public is right.”
McKitrick is Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. Canada. He is most noted among global warming skeptics for his work alongside fellow Canadian, statistician, Steve McIntyre. The “Two Mc’s” controversially discredited the “hockey stick” graph of Penn. State University professor, Michael Mann of Climategate infamy and a Lead Author in the IPCC’s 2001 Report.
The climatologists at the heart of the Climategate scandal saw McKitrick, along with McIntyre, as a major threat to global warming orthodoxy and to their own credibility. Consequently, the “Two Mc’s” are mentioned more than 150 times in the Climategate e-mails.
Imagine a World Run Under One Economic Theory
The latest paper asks the reader to imagine that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had created an economics version of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). McKitrick sets up the scenario that economists, like climate scientists might proceed to issue an Assessment Report and Summary for Policymakers every five years. Thus economists, like climate scientists, would seek to claim a consensus view of what “every mainstream economist believes.”
He suggest that the greenhouse gas theory would be matched by an economic theory such as 'New Keynesianism;' lead authors on the IMF committee would dedicate themselves to proving 'New Keynesianism' was right and their critics were wrong (or do not even exist).
To complete the comparison he asks readers to also suppose that these economists are “sponsored and endorsed by government departments who benefited by promotion of New Keynesian ideas, and that major funding agencies and university oversight agencies also began to endorse, support and promulgate the views in the IMF report.”
The Dangers of the Self-fulfilling Consensus Prophecy
McKitrick argues it is “obvious” that such a set up would “degrade” the economics profession even if 'New Keynesianism' were true. He suggests that members of the research community would be become unduly influenced by incentives created by such a dominant institution or at minimum, feel compelled to pay lip service to it.
Thus, he fears, over a period of time it would become ever more difficult for opponents of 'New Keynesianism' to express their criticism publicly or maintain themselves as critics of the theory. In conclusion, all such critics are ridiculed and marginalized by “political forces" and "the IMF’s declaration of a “consensus" would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Will McKitrick's analogy and words of warning be heeded? Only time will tell.
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