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Tell a Big Lie and Keep Repeating It

November 17, 2017

If you want to tell a big lie, a good vehicle is “science.”

If you want to tell a big lie, a good vehicle is “science.” Like a wolf hiding in a sheep’s skin, lies hide in lab coats worn by liars with Ph.Ds. We are gullible because science and scientists have a positive image. The positive image belongs to the science of the past, before the entrepreneurial idea of inventing fake catastrophes to attract vast sums of government money.

When a lie is backed by millions of government dollars, it is difficult for the truth to compete. The truth comes from scientists not corrupted by money, and from small organizations dependent on private donations. The truth is outgunned by government financed propaganda mills. The promoters of fake catastrophe depict themselves as disinterested idealists. The promoters of the truth are depicted as servants of evil industries, or as mentally disturbed crackpots.

Pravda was the official newspaper of the Soviet Union. Pravda means “official truth” in Russian. Pretty much everyone in Russia knew that there was very little truth in the pages of Pravda. But to publicly dispute the “official truth” was a very dangerous step. Often dissenters were sent to insane asylums. In the United States, as a climate skeptic, you may lose your job. Almost certainly you will be vilified as incompetent. But so far, you won’t go to prison or to an asylum, although there are calls to criminally prosecute “climate deniers.” There are also those who think that non-believers in the catastrophe are mentally ill. The obvious solution is to send the skeptics to prison or to an insane asylum. Why should we think that true believers in global warming, if they gain enough power, would be less totalitarian than communists?

Fake science prospers for a number of reasons. Investigative reporters are mostly ignorant concerning science. The average educated person is equally ignorant. Often those who do understand that something is fake don’t dare speak up because they work for bureaucracies that are promoting the fake science.

Solar power is an example of a fake idea that prospers. Billions of dollars are being spent to install solar power. It is often claimed that solar power is competitive with traditional methods of generating electricity -- a completely fake claim. There are plenty of people who have exposed the fake nature of solar power, but their side of the story rarely makes it into the popular media. It is not difficult to understand that solar power has severe problems. After all, it doesn’t work at night. If you mention that fact to a believer in solar power he may suggest that batteries can be used to provide power at night. To refute that the argument gets a bit more complex. Batteries are exorbitantly expensive and wear out quickly. Sometimes the sun doesn’t shine in the day, in which case the battery won’t be recharged for the next night. (See hereand here for more on solar power.)

If obvious, stupid lies, like the competitiveness of solar power, can gain popularity, how can more complicated lies be refuted? Frankly, I don’t know. As long as those with the potential to expose the frauds are taken in and those who are not taken in are afraid to speak, it’s hard to see how fake science can be stopped or slowed down.

I spent years going to scientific conferences, reading scientific journals andwriting articles to try to expose the global warming/climate change fake science industry. I found plenty of scientists who shared my viewpoint, but most keep a low profile concerning their skepticism. Their children need to eat.

The scientists who openly oppose the climate catastrophe industry are invariably retired or otherwise occupy impregnable positions that protect them from economic retaliation. There are plenty of informed climate skeptics. You can consult a list of 1,000 such scientists that oppose global warming alarmism. There are no young and upcoming climate scientists that oppose the industry. If a young scientist opposes fake science he will be unable to remain in the scientific field. He may not be able to get a Ph.D. and he certainly can’t get a job. Remember, an entire multi-billion-dollar industry is dependent on the public credibility of fake science. Dissent is not tolerated.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a bureaucratic edifice that the Trump administration has apparently neglected to sweep into the dustbin of history. The USGCRP is an unapologetic promoter of climate catastrophe. Its scientific credibility is nil. Its reports are filled with unsupported fantasy and cherry-picked data.

The USGCRP’s most recent report is the Fourth National Climate Assessment | Volume I. The report is nearly 500 pages long and over 100 authors, editors, contributors, etc. are listed. Although the report if filled with dubious claims, bad methodology and just plain scare stories, refuting the report page by page is an impossible task. It is much easier to make wild claims than it is to explain why these claims are fantasies or even to point out reasons for skepticism. Many scientists have criticized this report as deceptive, politicized and containing outright lies. See, for example: hereherehereherehere and here.

The USGCRP report gives away the game because the “key findings” are based on the “authors’ expert judgment of the synthesis of the assessed literature.” In other words the report is nothing more than the authors supposedly expert judgment. If the authors’ expert judgment does not predict a climate catastrophe, then there is no need for the report and the authors would soon be unemployed.

Predicting the future climate of the Earth by using computer models is not solid science. The predictions are subject to manipulation and uncertainty. Predictions are made by averaging the results from models that don’t agree with each other, and that don’t even use the same climate histories to calibrate the models. At best the methodology is highly dubious, at worst the methodology is simply a pseudoscientific smokescreen designed to produce a predetermined result. The output of the models, in the words of an important scientist, bear no resemblanceto the actual climate of the Earth. Yet, to a layman reading the impressive and voluminous reports, it may seem that climate prediction is on a par with using computers to predict eclipses.

Mother Nature is not cooperating with fake global warming science because the Earth has failed to warm for the last two decades. That simple fact is obscured by the propaganda of the climate catastrophe industry.

Back in 2011 I attended several meetings of the Federal Advisory Committee for the USGCRP when the previous report, published in 2013, was in preparation. I wrote an article detailing the fake nature of the advisory committee. Federal advisory committees are supposed to represent a wide spectrum of views, but this committee was specially selected to support a predetermined outcome. In any case, the committee had no interest in discussing, much less disputing, the global warming catastrophe theory. The committee was only interested in the best way to present propaganda supporting the catastrophe theory.

Opinion on global warming/climate catastrophe is split between Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats generally buy into global warming. The green part of their electoral base represented by fanatical believer organizations, like the Sierra Club, practically forces democrat politicians to preach climate catastrophe. The Republicans are generally skeptical, but sometimes favor green policies such as solar power or wind power. A few politicians, such as Ted Cruz, actually show glimmers of understanding the scientific issues.

As the Italian philosopher Wilfredo Pareto pointed out, people form their opinions based on passion. Resort to logic and data is basically window dressing to support their previously adopted opinions. That’s why it is so difficult to make ideological conversions by means of logical argument.

Scientists are supposed to be different and form their opinions based on logical analysis. But catastrophe theories are the geese that lay golden eggs. If a school of scientists can invent a catastrophe theory they will be showered with government money. After all, it is the government’s job to prevent catastrophes. There are plenty of scientists for whom science trumps money, but for the important bureaucrat scientists that exercise power and run things, money trumps science by a mile.

[Originally Published at American Thinker]

Norman Rogers is a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, speaking and sometimes writing on the topic of global warming. He divides his time between residences in Chicago and Florida.

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