the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The Politics of Nature

Posted by Jeff Id 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.


Jeff Id-

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.

42 Responses to “The Politics of Nature”

  1. jstults said

    I’m disappointed in Nature, I would expect that after all of this mess they would cheer-lead something along the lines of Pielke’s “honest broker” approach that draws a bright line between scientific debate and political debate.

    Where (or of what) one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence.” In other words, stick to your domain of expertise, being a scientist does not automatically make you a policy expert.

  2. EH said

    I thought you would get a kick out it….


  3. Mark T said

    I’m not surprised at all. Nature stands to lose big if all the allegations are proved true, particularly if they are outed as being complicit in passing off bad science as the truth. People forget they still have a profit motive. They are not disinterested by any means. Funny that amateur skeptics are the ones supposedly on the payroll, however. Sad, actually.


  4. jim said

    Nature’s editorial might be the press release that the PR guys put together after this meeting:

  5. dearieme said

    “being a scientist does not automatically make you a policy expert”: being a Climate Scientist does not automatically make you a climate expert, it would seem. But an expert in data fudging – very likely.

  6. timetochooseagain said

    Nature is the most trash science rag in the world. This ain’t a journal, it’s a political publication.

    It’s the science equivalent of The Daily Worker.

  7. it stinks, it utterly stinks.

    I hope this cognitive dissonance has gone far enough to have shut off the warning lights – as we’ve seen with Patchy –

    Patchy Pachauri tells lies
    Whose size justifies our surprise.
    When he slips in a trice
    On the Glaciergate ice
    No-one denies his demise.

  8. Jimchip said

    “use any perceived flaw in the evidence to discredit the entire picture”
    TX: We at Nature are really artists, not scientists. Some of our contributors are too. It is unfair to apply scientific standards to what is an acknowledged work of art.

    “Perhaps the most important lesson is that researchers must be frank about their uncertainties and gaps in understanding”
    TX: (Added) Unlike some of our contributors in the past who were using artistic license.

    “Empirical evidence shows that people tend to react to reports on issues such as climate change according to their personal values”
    TX: Just like when viewing another picture or a movie. It’s important to use all aspects of artistic analysis, not just complain about the factual basis of the work of art.

    “And the messenger matters perhaps just as much as the message.”
    TX: Just like when Picasso would sign big checks and people would not cash the checks in order to merely keep his signature.

    “And scientists should be careful not to disparage those on the other side of a debate:”
    TX: Like, for example, the CRU Crew and we at Nature do.

    “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: Thus, we at Nature strongly recommend that egalitarians purchase the services of lobbyists and public relations firms in order to market their works of art in what is already a too crowded market for fiction.

    P.S. Thanks, Jeff, and one Picasso quote: “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.”

  9. DeWitt Payne said

    The collectivists really shouldn’t have the moral high ground. They claim to be for individual welfare, but their solutions always have the effect of lowering the overall standard of living, not to mention the loss of indiviual freedom (The Road to Serfdom, Hayek, e.g.). “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us”, Brezhnev era Soviet aphorism, is what really happens rather than “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, Karl Marx. That was proved nearly 400 years ago by the Plymouth Colony, which started with a communal system with no private property. That lasted for about 2 years until everybody nearly starved.

    Intergovernmental wealth transfer never seems to help the individual in the poorer country. That’s because, by and large, poor countries have corrupt governments and few individual rights, like equitable and enforceable contract law. But the majority of nations in the UN fall into this category so little will ever be done by the UN. No wonder they applaud Chavez. He’s their role model.

  10. Marek Frodis said

    Well, Obama used the same reasoning – we just don’t understand him. And I guess we don’t understand these nuances of the climatology.

  11. Ah, well, on reflection, it was Nature magazine several years ago who lured Prof Benveniste along into believing they were taking his experimental work seriously; then they hired Randi the disgusting magician and con-man to rubbish him and that was the end of the official career of a brilliant, dedicated, openminded, ethical researcher.

    However… at the bottom of Alice’s Rabbit Hole, below the stinking radar of Nature magazine, Benveniste has been continuing his investigations… as reported in The Field by Lynne McTaggart.

  12. EH said

    All of this debasing of people who hold skeptical views reminded me of a program I saw on NOVA about a prehistoric megaflood in the Pacific Northwest and how the guy who figured it out was relentlessly trashed by the USGS at the time.

  13. Frank K. said

    This editorial is beyond disgusting. The money quote for me was

    “Otherwise scientific knowledge will not have the role that it should in the shaping of public policy.”

    The public has seen what these clowns are trying to do in the public arena with Cap and Trade, carbon taxes, and countless boondogles like carbon sequestration and mega wind farms, and the public has said NO!

  14. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: EH (Jan 30 17:18),

    The history of science is full of that sort of thing. See for example the treatment of Wegener and his theory of continental drift or the initial treatment of Marshall and Warren over their discovery of H. Pylori as the cause of peptic ulcers. At least Marshall and Warren were vindicated in their lifetimes and received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

  15. Peter of Sydney said

    I’m glad Nature has taken this approach. It means it will eventually be ridiculed out of print as the AGW fraud is fully exposed in good time.

  16. Eric said

    The public demise of “Nature” has begun, although its leadership and staff are in denial. That will not stop the progression of the disease. There will be more–and worse–humiliation before the denouement.

  17. Jeff C. said

    Yet another alarmist source, presumably in the know, calls the UEA emails leaked rather than hacked or stolen. Has RC changed their tune yet? The role of the aggrieved victim doesn’t seem… sustainable.

  18. Charlie A said

    Jeff Id summarizes by “this whole editorial disgusts me” ….. thanks for clarifying that. I was still wondering a bit when I got to the bottom of the article. 🙂

    Science: “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.”
    My Translation: We should spend more money on propaganda and less on climate research. More propaganda means that Science magazine will have a larger role.

  19. Charlie A said

    oooops. I swapped out “Science” and “Nature” in the above comment. It still kind of applies. It is sad to see what has happened at both Science and Nature.

  20. Lady in Red said

    ….and if I laugh, ’tis that I may not weep.

    I must pinch myself to be certain this is not a dream.

    Then, soak in a tub and marvel in wonderment at the fools! ….Lady in Red

    PS: It *is* unbelieveably *funny!* smile…

  21. Denise said

    “sceptics waiting to pounce on any scientific uncertainties,” Is it ‘sceptics or skeptics”? The public is waiting to pounce on our unproven theory. So we’ll need to communicate over their heads.

    Climate Science has “major gaps in understanding” so we’ll just have to fudge them a little to fit OUR facts.

    “the political stakes have grown so high” that trillions of dollars are at stake because of the skeptics, but not a thing to do with our dishonest work.

    “that climate researchers find it hard to talk openly about those gaps.” That’s why we have to talk in secret and keep ALL other scientists from reviewing our work, so as not to jeopardize our funding gravy train and get caught in our fraud.

    “so how can researchers honestly describe the uncertainty in their work” if we are being dishonest with our results and everyone keeps disproving us how we will continue to receive funding?

    Never ceases to amaze me the lengths a person or persons will go through to rationalize their dishonest behavior. They blame it on those who caught them in their lies.

  22. […] Denatured again – how the alarmists keep lying to themselves […]

  23. Richard said

    “disappointed” is too mild a word for Nature. They are supposed to uphold science and instead they are collaborators to lies, cover-up and fraud.

    Criminal prosecution is what they deserve.

  24. JAE said

    LOL. Are there NO real scientists on Nature’s editorial board? It appears that the editorial staff at Nature are suffering from the same mental disease as those running the Obamination administration (leftomania?). They truly believe that the only thing wrong with their “plan” is that we mortals are too stupid to understand that it is good for us. The attitude displayed by this editorial is disgusting to any rational person. It will take Nature a long time to live this down!

  25. […] And to sum up some of the problems, here’s an editorial by Nature (the “science” journal) with translation, and appropriate corrections, by the Air Vent: The Politics of Nature […]

  26. Micho said

    Can’t say more,you guys all said

  27. […] The Politics of Nature « the Air Vent […]

  28. JAE said

    ps: My “side” actually has the “high ground” and constitutes the elite class here. The “believers” are evidently too damn dumb to see that they are taking the exact same pathway as Mr. Pachuri and Al Gore. It cannot end well for them.

  29. Pat Frank said

    Notice this self-contradiction: “Climate science, like any active field of research, has some major gaps in understanding (see page 284).” and “… there is little uncertainty about the overall conclusions.

    How is it possible that major gaps in understanding produce little uncertainty in conclusions?

    One would think that if climate physics was similar to other branches of physics (or of science, for that matter), major gaps in understanding would produce major uncertainties about conclusions. Don’t understand the nucleus? Major uncertainties about radioactivity. Don’t understand quantum mechanics? Major uncertainties about electrons in stable orbitals. Can’t solve Navier-Stokes? Major uncertainties about turbulence. And so forth.

    Only in climate science do major gaps in understanding produce certainties of conclusion. This is prima facie nonsense, abetted by the self-recognized most prestigious science journal of all.

    I would never have believed so many scientists and scientific institutions could have freely come to this, except having witnessed it myself. They have willfully abandoned the scientific method in favor of politics.

    I note also that the Nature editorial features Michael Mann’s hockey stick slightly submerged by admixture with other hockey sticks. The link is full text, so you’ll need a subscription. But those who have access will see it under “The tree-ring controversy,” which the author incredibly — except that it’s climate science — proceeds to defend.

  30. D.R. Williams said

    “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.”


    For the same reason, I’m hoping Pachauri holds on until his fingers bleed.

  31. Geoff Sherrington said

    I wonder id the IPCC and the Fabian Society enjoy reciprocal club rights. Here’s but a few minutes of searching the Fabian Society connection – not that the Fabians are the only targets, there are many more of similar impure thought.


    A speech by Rt Hon. Ed Miliband MP
    Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change UK
    To the Fabian Society June 2009

    But I want to argue today not just that we need a global deal at Copenhagen, but we also need to lay the ground for action not just in the next six months, but well beyond that.

    This week we published our UK Climate projections—they graphically lay out the risks which we know we face—here in the UK.

    The most telling fact for me comes from Nick Stern—if we carry on as we are and see global warming of 5 degrees centigrade by 2100, it will mean the planet is hotter than it has been for 30 to 50 million years and humans have only been on the planet for 100,000 years.

    Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke (8 May 1984)

    “The Fabian Society acknowledges the principal tenet of Marxism, the abolition of private property, in this case to own land. They then align themselves with the non-violent arm of Marxism by accepting the non-violent road of patient gradualism to total government.”

  32. Ayrdale said


    FFs doesn’t it matter any more ?

    “…consensus scientists of a certian political view ”

    Does something look wrong there ?

  33. RuhRoh said

    So, that bit about using diverse Voices to convey the message;

    Hard to imagine you could as for more ‘diverse’ voice than a guy who ‘tells the story of a climate expert with a lament for the denuded mountain slopes of Nainital, in northern India, where deforestation by the timber mafia and politicians has “endangered the fragile ecosystem”. ‘

    Maybe at some point one gets past Diverse and gets all the way to Perverse.

    He’s not just carbonized; he’s all the way to chicharone, man…

    What’s he charging for a copy with a *hot*, ‘personalized inscription’ ? Wholly smokin’ after doin’ the deed!
    This is Strato-Volcanic!!!

    So many bad puns beckon…

  34. […] The Politics of Nature « the Air Vent […]

  35. John F. Pittman said

    Re: Pat Frank (Jan 30 22:49), I agree. the nature statement has to be the most unscientific statement in a science publication editorial I have ever read. One would think that it was the early 1800’s and Nature did not know of confirmation bias or the advancements in methodology that have been the cornerstone of modern science. They fail to see that the “overall” is made of many smaller pieces; and that uncertainty literally means that the problem could be small, could be large, could be something else.

    I wonder where these people got their science degrees. Because their writing would certainly shame a liberal arts program!

  36. RC Saumarez said

    Nature is part of the “Establishment”. Establishments are often the last to notice the ground crumbling under their feet. Charles I, Louis XVI, A Hitler, Soviet Block?

    There are major articles in the Sunday Times and Telegraph on the IPCC today, and the walls of the dam are beginning to crack. Wait until a good MSM journalist exposes the Nature editorial as part of the warmist problem.

  37. Rob Austin said

    Re: Lucy Skywalker (Jan 30 17:09), Re: Lucy Skywalker (Jan 30 17:09),

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and Professor Benveniste was certainly making some extraordinary claims. Trashing James Randi for his devotion to debunking extraordinary claims does a disservice to skepticism. Lucy Skywalker, after reading many of your cogent posts in various forums, I am a little disappointed in this one. But hey, we are all fallible.

  38. RuhRoh said


    If they’re looking for a ‘how-to’ manual of diversity,

    The Kama Sutra has quantitative superiority…

  39. StuartR said

    Jeff, that is a bloody good slicing and dicing of this Nature editorial. The disturbing thing is, is that I suspect they think they reeled the tone in a tad from their first climategate “denialist” editorial.

    The climate gate emails surprised me, I really thought CRU etc couldn’t have been behaving so disreputably as it is now known they were. However I now feel ever more unsettled when I see Nature pronouncing in such a shifty way, apparently merely assuming their influence will carry the day.

    Mike Hulme and even George Monbiot have shown the ability to actually risk the slings and arrows from believers and show they have some credibility by being willing to make stringent critical comments on this issue, it may be easy for them as individuals to do, however Nature, as an institution, shows here that it is too riven by political considerations to be taken seriously as a basic peer-review journal.

    They should merge with the New Statesman and get it over with.

  40. timetochooseagain said

    Just how long has Nature been in the toilet? At least a decade or so it would seem:

    Bush’s science flashpoints, 2000, Nature, 408, 885.

    “The challenge for the new administration here is to rise above the temptation merely to avenge its political enemies on environmental issues and instead prove to a sometimes sceptical public that Republicans value environmental protection.

    [That] is what Senator John McCain has been doing during his recent reconsideration of the global-warming issue. Bush needs to take a leaf out of McCain’s book and look again at the evidence for man-made global warming, and at America’s possible role in averting it.”

  41. […] Denatured again – how the alarmists keep lying to themselves […]

  42. 100 grams to cups

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