A short teaser. More later, when I have more time. There are several good posts and threads of comments on Man Made Global Warming (AGW for the PC) on the Volokh Conspiracy. Ilya Somin’s recent post, yesterday,entitled “‘Climategate’ and the Social Validation of Knowledge” is worth looking at. some of the posts are well reasoned explanations in layman’s terms of what the scientific method is, and how it works, and why that shows the problems in treating the UN’s reports on Climate Change as scientific. Political tracts? Yes, absolutely. Good, sound science? Not really. The big problem is, much of the demand to redirect billions of dollars and radically re-order the world economy is based on something closer to a religious conviction than something that qualifies as science. Somin’s discussion of social validation is helpful here.
What seems to be evident to me, is that the group of climatologists positing Man made Global Warming (MMGW) is a pattern of behavior which seems to be common to fundamentalist ‘true believers’ in other academic ventures. I am thinking of:
Michael Bellesiles. Dr. Bellesiles fudged his research and quoted out of context to argue that firearms were uncommon in the United States before the Civil War. His award winning book, Arming America, was seen as a strong tool for legal and political purposes to enact stronger gun control laws in the US. A man with an MA in history, and a libertarian law professor started the work of proving Bellesile was guilty of academic misconduct; he resigned before Emory could fire him. His book has been shown to be a work of fiction, not history.
Ward Churchill. Holding only an MA in graphic arts, Churchill was hired to a tenure track position in Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado (CU) on the basis of being a militant Indian scholar. It is worth noting that the REAL Indian scholar at the CU, Vine Deloria, never spoke up to defend Mr. Churchill’s work. Churchill claimed the US Army intentionally passed out smallpox infected blankets to do in the Mandan tribe. This turned out ot be one of many cases where Churchill fabricated, distorted, and misused historical data. He also was accused of plagiarism, including forging another artist’s work. The university investigated, and fired him. His suit seems to be going nowhere.
Michael Nifong and the Duke 88. A claim of a white on black rape at a sports team party soon proved to be dubious at best. Not to worry, the leading academics at the south’s leading private university rushed to claim that the athletes were racist rapists. “Due process? Rule of Law? We don’t need no steenkin’ due process!” seemed to be the order of the day as professors of literature, racial and gender studies and history rushed to sign a document accusing the athletes of rape, and call for expulsion if not imprisonment without an impartial trial. Finally, the legal team for the defendants proved the rape story was a fraud, a frame up by an unstable person trying to avoid arrest, aided and abetted by a corrupt DA seeking re-election in a majority minority community.
So what we see in the three listed cases are academics rushing to support the so called progressive political agenda, and trampling on any sort of educated person’s understanding of honest impartial research and open records to allow scholars with alternative viewpoints to fairly and accurately check the work.
If the academic community wants to drop all pretense of objective scholarship, then it is time to ask a simple question: Why are we allowing the public purse to fund something which is, in all senses, a religion? if people want to worship at the altar of Progressiveism, that’s fine. just don’t ask me to pay for your religious worship with public funds. we don’t do it for the Catholics, or Baptists, or Jews or Moslems. Separation of Church and State should certainly apply to the religion being practiced by Phil Jones and the folks at the Climate Research Unit.