A confusion about science and democracy, again
The ABC Science Department is continuing in its role as the propaganda arm for climate change orthodoxy. In a transparently self-serving Ockham’s Razor this morning, Julian Cribb is pleading for more communication from scientists to the general public, to better convince them of the soundness of catastrophic global warming science.
Cribb seems to utterly confuse the role of democracy and the role of science. Like many environmentalists and warminists, he has an alarmingly totalitarian view of the role of science in our society.
As the debate around climate change is now demonstrating, we cannot rely upon democratically elected governments to take the right decisions, from a scientific point of view.
While a substantial part, or even a very vocal part of society doubts, denies or rejects the scientific consensus, politicians will usually seek political safety in inaction.
Unfortunately for science, politics is governed by the rules of political logic, not those of scientific logic.
And the rules of political logic are that if you want to change the mind of a politician, then you must first change the minds of their voters.
This clearly is the sort of approach that fits well with the ABC and Ockham’s Razor presenter Robyn Williams, who commissions and introduces this sort of authoritarian thinking. Williams himself has been responsible for broadcasting ill-judged and misinformed interpretations of climate science by, for instance, absurdly claiming that sea levels could rise by 100 metres this century.
But the biggest irony in Cribb’s presentation, is that he perceives a failure of communication by scientists as a cause of the failure of the public to be convinced on global warming. He claims at the outset:
The need for open science has never been more pressing.
This simply defies common sense. At no time in recent memory has the orthodox view on climate science been more open. Indeed, it is daily heavily promoted, propagandized and disseminated in films, documentaries, electronic and print media, in the very selection of items for news services, through schools, by government scientists and political parties.
However, against this overwhelming evidence, Cribb manages to select just one scientist — one that has been discredited for some of the most exaggerated claims in the climate science firmament — as an example of how climate scientists are being gagged.
In western society it is not unusual for scientists to be actually gagged – as in the appalling suppression of climate science under the US Bush Administration in the case of NASA’s Dr Jim Hansen…
Cribb also ignores the role of Climategate in discrediting the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, the IPCC and others. Shouldn’t he also factor in the catastrophic failure of the British Met Office — currently fighting a scandal concerning its total incompetence in predicting the current cold winter in Europe — our own CSIRO, or the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for failing to provide forecasts — before it became obvious — of our damaging floods, or to manage to get even simple seasonal weather forecasts remotely accurate. He believes our scientists [presumably the warminists],
employed on the public payroll [are] being ordered to keep their mouths shut about some important discovery, insight or expert opinion …
I wonder if he has bothered to read The Climate Caper by Garth Paltridge, a retired Australian atmospheric physicist, where he sets out just which mouths are being ordered shut.
Julian Cribb urges,
… that science become more open and more democratic in its approach.
Science, and more especially climate science, has nothing to do with democracy. This notion, with its implication for scientific activism, has been the ruin of climate science over the last two decades and shows that Julian Cribb and the ABC Science Department understand little about the meaning of ‘disinterested’ science.