Watts Up With That has achieved a truly astonishing scoop. It seems that the world-renowned climatological expert Al Gore may have faked a “high school physics” experiment “proving” that Man Made Global Warming is fact, not fantasy.
Oh all right, I’ll turn off the sarcasm.
What I think is most interesting is not so much that Gore has been caught out telling porkie pies, nor that the TV crew faked every last detail of the experiment. Faking it is what TV does all the time, I’m afraid. As for Al Gore and extravagant untruths well, it’s scorpions, frogs and rivers, is it not? No, what’s so thoroughly cherishable about this story is the forensic attention to detail which Anthony Watts has brought to bear on it.
Read it for yourself and relish every moment. I particularly like the bit where Wattsy goes out to buy the exact same equipment used in the experiment and proves that those thermometers can’t possibly have been filmed rising inside the jars because they’re just not blurry enough. You might call this obsessive. I call it our salvation.
The point that can’t be made often enough about the internet is that it represents our best and perhaps only hope of outmanoeuvring the lies, bullying and control of the political establishment. Nowhere is this truer than with the Man Made Global Warming scam. Had it not been for the internet, Climategate would not have been broken, nor the earlier work of McIntyre and McKitrick disseminated, nor a community created in which scientific experts (and interested laymen) all over the world were able to discuss climate science freely without the risk of being defunded, or having their journal closed down or being ostracised by their colleagues. But though the internet was a necessary condition for this to happen, it was not a sufficient one. The other vitally important ingredient was the trainspotterish diligence of men and women like Anthony Watts, and Richard North and Donna Laframboise and Joanna Nova.
Why is this trainspotterish diligence so essential? Because one of the main planks of the defence used by the climate alarmist establishment against sceptics is that they have all the expertise on their side, all the PhDs, all the notable scientific institutions, and that therefore their “authority” trumps the feeble witterings of all those nonentities, crazed Oxford English graduates, and other such verminous specimens who dare to speak out against the mighty, unimpeachable wisdom.
What the internet has proved in these debates, time and again – from Glaciergate to Amazongate to Polarbeargate – is that when the rebellious amateurs of the sceptical blogosphere go head to head with the climate establishment, the bloggers always win. Not as a result of invective or snarkiness or any of the other things that bloggers also do quite well: but on the actual hard science and raw evidence. Look at almost any tussle between, say, WUWT on the one side, RealClimate on the other, and you’ll notice that when it finally boils down to the irreducible truth, the side that emerges triumphant is the sceptical one, not the alarmist one. It’s partly because the facts are on our side (so we jolly well ought to win if we’re doing our job even remotely properly), but also because, being the underfunded underdogs, we’ve been forced to raise our game to a higher standard than that of our rather complacent, smug opposition.
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