When to doubt a scientific consensus


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This is a beautifully written and thoughtful analysis of the state of climate science, and why intelligent and educated citizens should continue to remain skeptical of the claims coming from the global warming activist community (which now includes the Pope).

He gives a dozen different reasons for remaining skeptical of the claims of the global warming community, based both on the science as well as how they sell their position. Number 10 — “When [the claimed consensus] it is being used to justify dramatic political or economic policies” — is probably the most important:

Imagine hundreds of world leaders and nongovernmental organizations, science groups, and United Nations functionaries gathered for a meeting heralded as the most important conference since World War II, in which “the future of the world is being decided.” These officials seem to agree that institutions of “global governance” need to be established to reorder the world economy and massively restrict energy resources. Large numbers of them applaud wildly when socialist dictators denounce capitalism. Strange philosophical and metaphysical activism surrounds the gathering. And we are told by our president that all of this is based, not on fiction, but on science — that is, a scientific consensus that human activities, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, are leading to catastrophic climate change.

We don’t have to imagine that scenario, of course. It happened in Copenhagen, in December 2009. It will happen again in Paris, in December 2015.

Now, none of this disproves the hypothesis of catastrophic, human induced climate change. But it does describe an atmosphere that would be highly conducive to misrepresentation. And at the very least, when policy consequences, which claim to be based on science, are so profound, the evidence ought to be rock solid. “Extraordinary claims,” the late Carl Sagan often said, “require extraordinary evidence.” When the megaphones of consensus insist that there’s no time, that we have to move, MOVE, MOVE!, you have a right to be suspicious.

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2 comments

  • mivenho

    “When the megaphones of consensus insist that there’s no time, that we have to move, MOVE, MOVE!, you have a right to be suspicious.”

    We should also be suspicious when dissenting voices are suppressed and defamed.

  • PeterF

    If you have to lie to prove your point, It proves your point is not valid…

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