Climate sceptics, yesterday
Climate scepticism is the new racism, Al Gore has told an interviewer. And do you know what? He’s absolutely right.
Just as “racist” has been honed over the decades by liberal-lefties for casual use as a deadly weapon against anyone who disagrees them, so “climate denier” has become the new leftist shorthand for “evil, wrong, uncaring, right-wing – and almost certainly funded by Big Oil.”
In both cases, the intent is the same: to close down the argument by implying that your opponent is so morally compromised that his case isn’t even worth consideration. He’s just wrong: “End of,” as they say.
Gore is by no means alone in this tactic. Consider Paul Krugman’s recent effort in the New York Times to smear sceptical Republicans such as Rick Perry by writing them off as “anti-science.” Krugman quotes a speech by Perry, in which the Texas governor and potential presidential candidate says: (H/T Roger Simon at Pajamas Media)
“I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”
Here is Krugman’s take on this:
That’s a remarkable statement — or maybe the right adjective is “vile.”
The second part of Mr. Perry’s statement is, as it happens, just false: the scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting.
Krugman – and his sycophantic audience of house lefties at Pravda – may think Perry’s claims are “vile” but they also happen to be true in every respect. If the best riposte Krugman can come up with is an appeal to the bankrupt “authority” and junk sociology of the hopelessly compromised National Academy of Sciences, then maybe he should consider handing back his Nobel prize. Can Krugman seriously not be aware of the latest research from CERN? Surely one of the gravest socio-political issues of our time – one which, on current form, looks likely to take the entire Western economy over a cliff – deserves more trenchant analysis than this from a supposed economics expert?
Still less excusable is this outrageous smear job by the deputy-chairman of the IPCC, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. The eminent rocket scientist Fred Singer and the mathematics professor Claes Johnson had been invited to address a climate conference in Brussels, organised by SEII (Société Européenne des Ingénieurs et Industriels). But when van Ypersele found out, he intervened with the following letter:
Monsieur le Secrétaire général,
La SEII soutient-elle implicitement le déni climatique, à la veille du congrès mondial des ingénieurs à Genève consacré aux défis énergétiques (où j’aurai l’honneur de donner une “keynote lecture”) ?
L’utilisation du papier à lettres de la SEII par votre administrateur M. Masson pour l’invitation ci-jointe le suggère malheureusement, malgré une phrase hypocrite pour indiquer que la SEII ne “sponsorise” pas l’événement.
Vous devez savoir que MM Fred Singer est une personne dont l’honnêteté scientifique laisse fortement à désirer. Ses activités de désinformation sont financées par les lobbies des combustibles fossiles (voir XXXXXXXXXXXXXX) , et il est scandaleux qu’une telle personne puisse être associée, de près ou de loin, à la SEII et à la Fondation universitaire.
Des collègues éminents m’ont écrit que M. Johnson ne valait pas mieux. Un de ses “textbooks” récents, où il parlait à tort et à travers des changements climatiques, publié par le Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Suède), a dû être rétracté par ce dernier tellement il contenait d’erreurs.
Loosely translated: Fred Singer is a person whose scientific honesty leaves very much to be desired. His disinformation activities are funded by the fossil fuel industry….
Shortly after this letter was sent Singer and Johnson were disinvited.
So we see that in each case above, the response of the left-liberal political/media establishment to a contentious subject in which it is losing the argument is not to fight back with better arguments but simply to close down the debate altogether with smears, lies and authoritarian bullying. Funnily enough, Stalin used a similar ploy against the scientists who disagreed with his pet genetics expert Lysenko. And the Nazis used the same technique against inconvenient Jewish physics when they wrote their pamphlet 100 Scientists Against Einstein. (Cf also: 100 Incredibly Obscure Lefty Historians Against David Starkey) If this is where things are going then those of us, at least, who believe in frank debate, freedom of speech and empiricism should be very worried. We are entering dark times and worse, much worse, is still to come.