Prostituting Science

Over at Forbes, Patrick Michaels, Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute and a senior fellow in research and economic development at George Mason University, has written a serious and thought-provoking piece regarding the deleterious impact of the fraud of global warming on the world scientific community. Michaels, citing an article in the Australian literary journal, Quadrant, by Garth Paltridge, whom Michaels characterizes as one of the world's most respected atmospheric scientists, posits a harsh view of the inevitable and devastating impact of the current climate change hysteria on future scientific research.

For those of us who have smelled a rat since the outset of this latest "sky is falling" phenomenon, there's little in the article to surprise us and a whole lot of material to support "I told ya so's." As we Deniers long suspected, Paltridge and Michaels lay the blame for the specious science supporting the Goreist fanaticism right at the feet of leftist politics and federal funding. Says Paltridge:

"...the average man in the street, a sensible chap who by now can smell the signs of an oversold environmental campaign from miles away, is beginning to suspect that it is politics rather than science which is driving the issue."

And then continues with this:

"Science changed dramatically in the 1970s, when the reward structure in the profession began to revolve around the acquisition of massive amounts of taxpayer funding that was external to the normal budgets of the universities and federal laboratories. In climate science, this meant portraying the issue in dire terms, often in alliance with environmental advocacy organizations. Predictably, scientists (and their institutions) became addicted to the wealth, fame, and travel in the front of the airplane:

"A new and rewarding research lifestyle emerged which involved the giving of advice to all types and levels of government, the broadcasting of unchallengeable opinion to the general public, and easy justification for attendance at international conferences -- this last in some luxury by normal scientific experience, and at a frequency previously unheard of."

Every incentive reinforced this behavior, as the self-selected community of climate boffins now began to speak for both science and in the service of drastic regulatory policies. In the measured tones of the remarkably lucid and precise writer that he is, Paltridge explains how the corner got painted:

"The trap was fully sprung when many of the world's major national academies of science (such as the Royal Society in the UK, the National Academy of Sciences in the USA and the Australian Academy of Science) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC [the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. The reports were touted as national assessments that were supposedly independent of the IPCC and of each other, but of necessity were compiled with the assistance of, and in some cases at the behest of, many of the scientists involved in the IPCC international machinations. In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colors to the mast of the politically correct.

Since that time three or four years ago, there has been no comfortable way for the scientific community to raise the specter of serious uncertainty about the forecasts of climatic disaster."

Michaels closing quote from the Paltridge article is this:

"In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem -- or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem -- in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society's respect for scientific endeavor."

There it is from an eminent climate scientist, just what we here at American Thinker have been suspecting all along. Global warming is a both scam perpetrated by greedy opportunists like Al Gore, as well as a cult composed of those disaster-dependent ding-a-lings among us who have no incentive in life if that life is not imminently threatened by whatever the latest perceived threat may be; and lastly by a bunch of avaricious academics willing to sell their scientific souls to that big government devil for a place to nose into the trough of federal funding for research.

I'm not sure it's quite as bad as Paltridge predicts but I do know that for me, someone's scientific credentials on whatever I read from now on will be immediately met with a cynical,

"So who funded your study?"