PJ Media

It Is the Best of Times and the Worst of Times for Science

Diogenes said it couldn’t be done, but the New York Times has actually found an honest man. He is John Tierney, who writes a fine column called “TierneyLab,” which actually covers both sides of open scientific questions — an unprecedented innovation in the world of the Times.

And Tierney, it turns out, has discovered Australian Professor Ian Plimer, whose book Heaven And Earth takes no prisoners on global warming. Plimer’s book should be on your gift list for everyone who has been taken in by the global scam.

Says Professor Plimer:

The hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archaeology and geology.

I’m a natural scientist. I’m out there every day, buried up to my neck in sh**, collecting raw data. And that’s why I’m so sceptical of these models, which have nothing to do with science or empiricism but are about torturing the data till it finally confesses. None of them predicted this current period we’re in of global cooling. There is no problem with global warming. It stopped in 1998. The last two years of global cooling have erased nearly 30 years of temperature increase.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus, another brave and honest man, endorsed Plimer’s book:

This is a very powerful, clear, understandable and extremely useful book. … [Plimer] convincingly criticizes the UN, the IPCC, U.K. and U.S. politicians, as well as Hollywood show business celebrities. He strictly distinguishes science from environmental activism, politics, and opportunism.

This has now become an urgent matter because the political Left in Europe and America is desperate to lock in tax and trade as quickly as possible, before everybody understands they’ve been suckered.

Writes Richard Booker in the U.K. Telegraph:

The moves now being made … to lock us into December’s Copenhagen treaty to halt global warming are as alarming as anything that has happened in our lifetimes. … Britain and the U.S. are already committed to cutting their use of fossil fuels by more than 80 percent. Short of an unimaginable technological revolution, this could only be achieved by closing down virtually all our economic activity: no electricity, no transport, no industry.

So if you’re wondering why Prince Charles, the famous climate expert, is now warning that we only have 96 months to live, and why Al Gore has openly called for a world government to control the nasty free marketeers, well, now you know. This scam is about to be exposed, and all the politicians are rushing to cash in before the voters find out. Obama’s EPA is no exception.

Scientific skeptics have been there all along. Global warming was always a blatant concoction by normal scientific standards. Scientists I’ve talked to over the years are finally muttering it, in private. Some are looking ashamed. But very few are expressing real outrage at the fraudsters. Too many of them were either suckered  or corrupted by money, power, and simple cowardice.

Most scientists are liberals, and like so many on the Left they think that a little lying to the public can’t be all bad. They are utterly  wrong. When science becomes an official lie it starts to decay; you don’t know whom to believe any more.  And if you can’t believe published data, real science becomes impossible. I date the decay of public science to the AIDS fiasco twenty years ago, when the public health establishment failed to warn gay men that yes, AIDS is a gay disease and is communicated most often by anal intercourse.

The establishment lied and lied and lied, and more and more young men died, and the disease spread and spread. Now it’s in Africa, where anal intercourse is commonly used by female prostitutes as cheap birth control. That is why African AIDS has a somewhat different epidemiology. But it all goes back to a regime of lies by scientists and public health doctors. The lesson is: when science lies, people die.

British medical science lost credibility after the mad-cow scare, another blown-up fraud, like global warming, based on math models that never made any empirical sense. I will never believe the British Medical Journal again, and I have real doubts about the Lancet. The journals Nature and Science have become shockingly corrupt and dishonest on global warming. They are still trying to push it half-heartedly, but they really know the jig is up.

That’s why I believe the New York Times felt compelled to hire John Tierney. Tierney is giving them cover by writing about global warming as an hypothesis, not a Marx-given truth. If the global warming fraud is finally breaking down, the Times wants to say it knew it all along. If, by some miracle, the politicians manage to keep squeezing more billions of dollars out “to stop the rise of the oceans,” as Obama yelled out in his victory speech, the Times will take credit for saving the planet. They want to have it both ways.

The sciences are now like Russia after Glastnost: Everybody can see a massive disaster ahead, but nobody wants to say it out loud. We are in that moment of shocked silence just before the bare-naked emperor becomes a target of universal laughter and ridicule. Well, this emperor is buck naked, just like the fairy tale.

As I’ve talked with scientific colleagues in private, they are quietly nodding, yes, yes, of course it’s all BS. Pure model-driven fantasy. Really lousy, deceptive, and fraudulent selection of the data. A gigantic slap in the face for NASA. A thousand greedy grant swingers all over the world. The media chasing scare stories, and fake “scientists” chasing the media. They fed each other lie after lie after lie. It was a very profitable partnership.

What’s so mind-boggling is that we live in a period of extraordinary real science. We are in the midst of a biotech revolution, a materials science revolution, a genetics revolution, a brain science revolution, a near-miraculous nano-level physics revolution —  just astonishing stuff.

We should be celebrating good science.

Instead, the media are full of phony superstitions and the worst kind of pseudo-science. If this is the best of times, it is also the worst of times — with a fetid plague of fraud whipped up by the likes of Al Gore, who helped to put fanatics like James Hansen into power. Hansen is not a scientist. He is a zealot who uses math models to push his personal crusade.

Any half-decent scientist can whip up a computer model to predict anything you want. Disasters are easy to build into a model, because all you need is a positive feedback loop. CO2 is supposed to reflect heat back to earth, which is supposed to increase other greenhouse gases, and if you fiddle long enough, yes, you can predict the world is coming to an end. The same kind of model will predict that your body will explode in a big puff of steam tomorrow. Or that your brain will go into a epileptic fit. Models that run out of control are a lot easier to conjure up than models that predict stability in a hypercomplex, nonlinear climate system. What’s really hard to explain about the climate is those long, long periods of stability.

As Professor Fred Singer and others have shown, none of the climate models can “retrodict” the solid data of the past. How could any decent scientist therefore claim to predict global temps in the distant future? Global warming was always a flaming fraud, and at some level a lot of scientists knew it. They just kept their heads down — to their everlasting shame.

Everybody outside the climate game just assumed the frauds must be telling the truth. All that modeling seemed to be somebody’s specialty, and you don’t arrogantly invade somebody’s specialty, do you? So the mounting fraud went unpunished for years and years, while politicians like Al Gore made sure the money went to feed the fraud.

Here’s a bit of truth. Scientists love money. It’s only corporate money that smells bad to them. Government money smells like fresh-mown grass, green and lush. Even if they knew the whole game was a set-up, professors and college presidents went right along with it. Do you have any idea how much pressure college faculty are under to bring in grant money? The big universities get a big chunk of their budgets from “overhead expenses” — payoffs from Washington. Even undergraduate teaching is subsidized by science grants. So are grad students and faculty. In the end, professors don’t get tenure without bringing in a steady supply of money, and after tenure, the pressure only gets worse.

My question is, what shall we do with the science frauds once everybody gets it? The rules are very clear. Science organizations and universities have strict regulations against fraud. Proven liars are fired, and if they have stolen money by deception, they should be held legally responsible to pay it back or go to jail.

Bernie Madoff is a small operator compared to James Hansen. Madoff just got 150 years. Hansen is still ranting against the plain evidence.

There are honest mistakes in science. On the frontiers of science everything looks vague and debatable for a while. But you don’t drop your standards so low that any con artist can get away with fraud. That’s what’s happened in climate modeling. It is therefore crucial to re-establish the credibility of science. That means firing the guilty, and if necessary, prosecuting them.

We’ll know that the sciences are on the road to health again when the biggest crooks are exposed and fired. Don’t expect it soon. But honest scientists should speak out, as many of them are beginning to do. Climate modeling has become a rubble-strewn disaster area, and historically, tainted fields are simply choked off and allowed to lie fallow for a generation or so before the first green shoots can grow again. Choke off the money, and the climate game will wither. All that accumulated expertise can be put to do something useful — like predicting the stock market or trying to beat the house in Vegas.

Good science is always humbling.  If you don’t start out humble, the data will make sure you end up that way.  It’s only when you drift into self-serving fraud that the data always support your fixed and preconceived beliefs. Albert Einstein was humbled by quantum mechanics. Well, NASA has been humbled by its wild and irresponsible venture into divine prophecy.

It is high time for honest scientists to speak out.