Monday, July 05, 2010

Challenging the Climate Change Orthodoxy

From a German research organization, a paper attacking the orthodox dogma on climate change.

We have no credentials in climatology, so we can’t vouch for the scientific merits. We do know enough to know it raises some very interesting issues.

We also know that apostles of the climate change orthodoxy have destroyed their own credibility by the actions that were revealed by Climate Gate.

We know enough about academia to know that skepticism of any supposed “consensus” among college professors is warranted.

In the first place, the notion that there is a “consensus” is largely a product of the mainstream media. There is plenty of dissent among people with impressive scientific credentials.

In the second place, any “consensus” among professors is likely to be the product of their ideological biases. Leaning to the left, professors can be counted upon to favor any scientific “finding” that supports big government, and increasing the power of politics over the economy.

Third, there is groupthink. Professors are as conformist as any other group. Indeed they are more conformist since they tend to exist in a cocoon of similarly-minded people, getting their information from Public Radio, newspapers like the New York Times and leftist websites and knowing few people who will challenge the assumptions of their subculture.

Finally, there is careerism. If global warming is a huge threat to human civilization, that makes climatologists very important people. If important elites outside of academia (left-leaning politicians, grant-giving agencies, foundations, the media) have an interest in promoting the idea of global warming, scientists who provide the “correct” results are certain to prosper. Scientists who produce the “wrong” results are likely to languish.

The bottom line here is that academics aren’t any special sort of people. They are generally more ideologically biased than other groups, just as conformist and just as likely to pursue their own interests.

And those interests aren’t always condusive to learning and speaking the truth.

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