The Politics of Nature
Posted by Jeff Condon on January 30, 2010
Below is a text from a Nature editorial sent me by email. A pdf of the article is here 463269a
Recently Nature has published multiple editorials which will appeal to the consensus scientists of a certian political view so prevalent in climate science. In reading them, these people have completely lost contact with the real world. So in order to help those who have not been paying attention, I’ve included a proper interpretation of what the article is saying.
Before I get started, Nature is continuing the coverup and propagandization of the climategate emails. In covering the truth, they apparently are complicit co-conspirators and open supporters of the corruption recently exposed in climate science. Their attempted coverup of the truth followed by an open advocacy of leftist govenrnment, hints at the breadth of the true problem. The editorial is funny though when it explains that it’s the public’s lack of understanding that creates the problem, not the proposed political system itself. Didn’t Mao say something like that?
My comments are in red, this necessarily messed with the formatting a bit.
Climate of suspicion
With climate-change sceptics waiting to pounce on any scientific uncertainties, researchers need a sophisticated strategy for communication. TX-We’ve been caught with our hands in the cookie jar and people are paying attention to what we’ve been doing. Only through complex and coordinated efforts can we obfuscate the truth enough to cover our tracks. Climate science, like any active field of research, has some major gaps in understanding (see page 284). Yet the political stakes have grown so high in this field, and the public discourse has become so heated, that climate researchers find it hard to talk openly about those gaps. TX – people who don’t want government throttling of industry as the solution to climate change won’t listen to why it’s a better system. The small coterie of individuals who deny humanity’s influence on climate will try to use any perceived flaw in the evidence to discredit the entire picture. So how can researchers honestly describe the uncertainty in their work without it being misconstrued? TX – Those who bring up problems need to be assigned extremist status, it’s their fault that researchers aren’t being honest. They put pressure on the otherwise honest researchers to hide the declines.
The e-mails leaked last year from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, UK, painted a picture of scientists grappling with this question, sometimes awkwardly. TX – The emails show awkward grappling, not fraud. How much more dishonest an interpretation could there be? Some of the researchers’ online discussion reflected a pervasive climate of suspicion — their sense that any findings they released to the public could and would be distorted by sceptics. TX – if we show the decline, the skeptics will see the decline, and not understand the sophisticated nature of climate science statistics, so we should hide the decline. It’s not the scientists fault they want to chop the ends off of inconvenient graphs. It’s the ignorant public that thinks declines in temperature are not rises! They will misconstrue this decline in temperature as a decline in temperature and potentially reduce support for our political solutions to the world’s problems created by big business.
Over the years, the climate community has acquired some hard-won wisdom about treading this minefield. TX – Two months ago we got busted. Perhaps the most important lesson is that researchers must be frank about their uncertainties and gaps in understanding — but without conveying the message that nothing is known or knowable. TX – we didn’t really do anything wrong. They must emphasize that — although many holes remain to be filled — there is little uncertainty about the overall conclusions: greenhouse-gas emissions are rising sharply, they are very likely to be the cause of recent global warming and precipitation changes, and the world is on a trajectory that will shoot far past 2 °C of warming unless emissions are cut substantially. TX – We can’t change message. Even when facts don’t support the conclusion, we must continue to ignore the lack of detected precipitation chages, lack of hurricanes, lack of disasters or fish shrinkage of any kind and “stay on message”. Researchers should also emphasize that cities and countries can begin to prepare for the effects of climate change through both mitigation and adaptation,TX – more money can be garnered by pushing cities and countries to prepare for the disasters, as something will eventually occur, and we can continue to blame it on global warming for years to come. even though they do not know the exact course of the changes. (this is a beauty) TX – It doesn’t matter if they actually KNOW or even HELP in mitigating what they are preparing for, that is not the purpose. Forcing governments to react to future emergencies, will increase their control over the populations, gradually working closer to our intended ideal.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has taken this approach in its ongoing series of assessment reports, TX – baby steps and it has done an admirable job of highlighting the important conclusions while acknowledging the caveats. It has made some errors, TX – been caught lying such as its use of questionable data about the retreat of Himalayan glaciers (see page 276), but these mistakes are exceedingly rare in reports that can total more than 1,000 pages, a testament to the IPCC’s rigorous peer-review process. TX – I, as editor of Nature, have absolutely no trouble continuing to lie to the public about the history of the IPCC. The public won’t notice the dozens of entries of non-peer reviewed science, the elimination of good skeptic science, the corrupt funding of projects based on this bad science, because we own the podiums. Hold course. Don’t worry about the greenpeace documents, lies about hurricanes, false papers on coral destruction and fish shrinkage, continue to publish and trust Nature to provide.
No matter how evident climate change becomes, however, other factors will ultimately determine whether the public accepts the facts. Empirical evidence shows that people tend to react to reports on issues such as climate change according to their personal values (see page 296). TX – Even with global warming, people will not accept our wealth redistribution style of government because they believe wealth redistribution doesn’t work. Those who favour individualism over egalitarianism are more likely to reject evidence of climate change and calls to restrict emissions. Egalitarianism is code for wealth redistributioin. TX – People who believe in captialism and individual freedom over communist style population equalization, are more likely to reject Copenhagen’s proposed global wealth redistributing global government. And the messenger matters perhaps just as much as the message. People have more trust in experts — and scientists — when they sense that the speaker shares their values. The climate-research community would thus do well to use a diverse set of voices, from different backgrounds, when communicating with policy-makers and the public. And scientists should be careful not to disparage those on the other side of a debate: a respectful tone makes it easier for people to change their minds if they share something in common with that other side. TX – Don’t bash the capitalists, we’ll find a few Trojan horses at the top of the pile and use them to convince the others that this way is a better way.
As comforting as it may be to think that the best evidence will eventually convince the public on its own, climate scientists can no longer afford to make that naive assumption: people consider many factors beyond facts when making decisions. TX – people who don’t believe in our solutions are mentally non-factual thinkers. They are ignorant of the facts and incapable of understanding our economic explanation of a green economy. Even as climate science advances, it will be just as important to invest in research on how best to communicate environmental risks. Otherwise scientific knowledge will not have the role that it should in the shaping of public policy. ■ TX -We need to spend more money and time researching and organizing, to better propagandize the truth of climate science in an attempt to convince the public of the benefits of our solutions.
These are the same group of people who stood up en-masse and applauded Chavez the murderer when he spouted his hate of capitalism. The same people who blame the west for the worlds problems, even though they reap the benefits of the system just fine. The same people who fail to recognize all the achievements of capitalist industrialization which make their trips to Tahiti, and cushy jobs writing political editorials disguised as science possible. They are duplicitous and this whole editorial disgusts me.
There is no balance in the politics of climate science whatsoever. The best known scientists uniformly fail to recognize that wealth redistribution doesn’t work, is and has been absolutely destructive. I’m glad that Nature is giving advice to climate scientists like this, because holding course politically and lying to the public about Climategate emails is the dumbest thing they could do.