08 December 2009

ClimateGate and perspectives on scientific method, Or, What, me worry???

Exerpt from "Climate, Oil, War and Money"

"Against a greater welter and flow of incoherence jerking the nation this way and that way en route to collapse comes "ClimateGate," the latest excuse for screaming knuckleheads to defend what has already been lost. It is also yet another distraction from the emergency agenda that the United States faces - namely the urgent re-scaling, re-localizing, and de-globalizing of our daily activities.
What seems to be at stake for the knuckleheads is their identity, their idea of what it means to be an American, which boils down to being an organism so specially blessed and entitled that it is excused from paying attention to reality. There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed, and certainly the Romans had their share of identity psychotics who doubted reality even when Alaric the Visigoth was hoisting off their household treasure."

Response by cougar:

The fabrication involved in ClimateGate is that there is a ClimateGate.

This was about the process of deciding what papers would be included in the IPCC report, and on what grounds they might not be. Some were marked for non-inclusion because they would be taken out of context by the deny-o-sphere to damage the IPCC report as a whole. The papers were eventually included anyway but that there was ever a discussion on the topic is illustrative.

Climate scientists have been badly burned by the professional deny-o-sphere and the corporate and government demagogues they serve. Climate scientists are now gun-shy. They see their work and their reputations dragged over broken glass for the profit of a few. It happened with the tobacco "debate" and it's happening again with climate research, and we all know how this movie ends and nobody likes it.

Climate scientists would need to be insane to *happily* continue to leave themselves open to random and baseless attacks simply because their observations and recommendations run contrary to the will of the majority. They continue to do so only because they are compelled. That compulsion ought to count for something, but clearly it does not, and they will continue to be slaughtered in the press for simply saying what is true within the context of climate research and their growing understanding of how the universe operates.

On honest reflection it might be that science is even dead, killed at the altar of corporate profits and mindless BAU, and has been for a long time. If so, then so be it. I say this as a scientist myself. If my practice is destroyed, I can do other things. Actually I can survive just fine as I have many fine skills outside investigations and data analysis. The goal of science always was to inform the interactions between humankind and the universe, but if that is no longer valued and is seen even as suspect or fraudulent... then we can probably do without it. Perhaps we have learned all we will ever know about the universe and anything more is too much information. The world used to be simpler and people lived and died (and suffered) without knowing why things were the way they were. Maybe that was a good thing. When troubles mount the people can turn to religion and mob violence -- as always they did before -- and over time reduce to a period reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

This is probably fine, and in any case may be inevitable. I don't think I can allow myself to have a problem with that if that is how the majority of the people want it to be.

Oh, but destroying climate science won't automagically restore gasoline supplies at $.17 a gallon. Everyone needs to understand that going back means having less, or even having nothing. But in fairness most won't know where the oil disappeared to, why the climate is changing, why they have less security this year than least year (every single year) or why much of anything else is happening.

But they'll be happier for not knowing. I think.

Though I don't pretend to understand that.


Response from Keithishere:

we have gone from morons to knuckleheads but I'm thinking JK's clueless is the most appropriate moniker of all.

I'm one of the old time faithful who would be proud to wear a 'peaker' T-shirt but I would seriously think twice about taking the effort to put one on.

Nobody cares because there is no benefit in accepting reality. People believe what they want to and in what benefits them. They don't care about what is really true.

Caring about truth and caring about others outside ones own tribe are acquired skills. It really is too much to expect clueless knucklehead morons to accept reality unless it feels good to them or something else is in it for them. To expect more from uneducated cheese-puff munching masses and their cheerleaders is irrational and ignores human nature.

Talk about the sky falling all we wish, it won't matter to a knucklehead until he/she gets hit on the head with a big chunk of blue.

The truth is out there and has been for years now. History is proving that people won't look for or accept inconvenient truths until they have suffered personal negative consequences. This is a truth that playing out right now.

Climate change is an inconvenient truth but it pales next to the inconvenient truth of resource depletion and it's inevitable consequences.

But knuckleheads won't accept reality until a die-off is well under way. But it won't matter then if climate change is true or not. All a good knucklehead will be caring about are selfish needs and survival.

Sorry to be so inconvenient but its not a matter of clarification explanation or persuasion. You can lead a knucklehead to the waters of knowledge but you can't make him think.

I wish it were not so.

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