Science says…!

Science Turns Authoritarian

From The American, by Kenneth P. Green and Hiwa Alaghebandian

Science is losing its credibility because it has adopted an authoritarian tone, and has let itself be co-opted by politics.

With apologies to the TV show "Family Feud" - Note: numbers aren't representaive of data in the article below, just for fun - click to enlarge

In a Wired article published at the end of May, writer Erin Biba bemoans the fact that “science” is losing its credibility with the public. The plunge in the public’s belief in catastrophic climate change is her primary example. Biba wonders whether the loss of credibility might be due to the malfeasance unearthed by the leak of emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, but comes to the conclusion that malfeasance isn’t the cause of the public’s disaffection. No, people have turned against science simply because it lacks a good public relations outfit. Biba quotes Kelly Bush, head of a major PR firm, on the point:

Biba says researchers need a campaign that inundates the public with the message of science: Assemble two groups of spokespeople, one made up of scientists and the other of celebrity ambassadors. Then deploy them to reach the public wherever they are, from online social networks to “The Today Show.” Researchers need to tell personal stories, tug at the heartstrings of people who don’t have PhD’s. And the celebrities can go on “Oprah” to describe how climate change is affecting them—and by extension, Oprah’s legions of viewers.

“They need to make people answer the questions, What’s in it for me? How does it affect my daily life? What can I do that will make a difference? Answering these questions is what’s going to start a conversation,” Bush says. “The messaging up to this point has been ‘Here are our findings. Read it and believe.’ The deniers are convincing people that the science is propaganda.”

While nobody would dispute the value of a good PR department, we doubted that bad or insufficient PR was the primary reason for the public’s declining trust in scientific pronouncements. Our theory is that science is not losing its credibility because people no longer like or believe in the idea of scientific discovery, but because science has taken on an authoritarian tone, and has let itself be co-opted by pressure groups who want the government to force people to change their behavior.

In the past, scientists were generally neutral on questions of what to do. Instead, they just told people what they found, such as “we have discovered that smoking vastly increases your risk of lung cancer” or “we have discovered that some people will have adverse health effects from consuming high levels of salt.” Or “we have found that obesity increases your risk of coronary heart disease.” Those were simply neutral observations that people could find empowering, useful, interesting, etc., but did not place demands on them. In fact, this kind of objectivity was the entire basis for trusting scientific claims.

But along the way, an assortment of publicity-seeking, and often socially activist, scientists stopped saying, “Here are our findings. Read it and believe.” Instead, activist scientists such as NASA’s James Hansen, heads of quasi-scientific governmental organizations such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, editors of major scientific journals, and heads of the various national scientific academies are more inclined to say, “Here are our findings, and those findings say that you must change your life in this way, that way, or the other way.”

So, objective statements about smoking risk morphed into statements like “science tells us we must end the use of tobacco products.” A finding of elevated risk of stroke from excess salt ingestion leads to: “The science tells us we must cut salt consumption in half by 2030.” Findings that obesity carries health risks lead to a “war on obesity.” And yes, a finding that we may be causing the climate to change morphed into “the science says we must radically restructure our economy and way of life to cut greenhouse gas emissions radically by 2050.”

To see if our suspicions were correct, we decided to do a bit of informal research, checking Lexis Nexis for growth in the use of what we would categorize as “authoritarian” phrasing when it comes to scientific findings. We searched Nexis for the following phrases to see how their use has changed over the last 30 years: “science says we must,” “science says we should,” “science tells us we must,” “science tells us we should,” “science commands,” “science requires,” “science dictates,” and “science compels.”

What we found surprised us. One phrase, in particular, has become dramatically more frequent in recent years: “Science tells us we should.” Increased usage of this phrase leads to a chart resembling a steep mountain climb (or, for those with a mischievous bent, a “hockey stick”). The use of the phrase “science requires” also increases sharply over time. The chart (below) vividly shows the increasing use of those particular phrases. Some of this may simply reflect the general growth of media output and the growth of new media, but if that were the case, we would expect all of the terms to have shown similar growth, which they do not.

Green 7.26.10

read more at: The American

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166 thoughts on “Science says…!

  1. Very interesting take, but I think it is the politicization of science that has led to this, thank Fox News, Rupert Murdoch and MSNBC where every fact is a political one, to be attacked and manipuilated for political gain – not analyzed and thought about.

  2. This is a very interesting study. I wonder if it is the cause of my gradual change in reaction to news stories commencing with “scientists say.”
    I’ve come to expect that anything following “Scientists, (or Experts for that matter) say” will be utter nonsense.
    Obviously that isn’t always the case, but lately it seems to be. I wonder how much of this is from the misrepresentation of the science by the reporters or maybe the now vast number of people who can call themselves scientists but who should probably be in some other line of work.

  3. “And the celebrities can go on “Oprah” to describe how climate change is affecting them—and by extension, Oprah’s legions of viewers.”
    The problem with the alarmist playbook is that this isn’t what the celebrities are doing. The perception of climate change is making some of them rich(er) through investments in eco-wibble. The perception of climate change is making their jet set lifestyle marginally more expensive. They aren’t appearing on the telly and saying those things they are appearing on the telly and *telling* the little people to wear sackcloth.

  4. Excellent report! Best I’ve seen in some time.
    Some scientists in the field of climatology are becoming increasingly arrogant, refusing to show their data, demanding that we believe them at face value. They keep themselves shielded in their ivory towers.
    Today in German newspapers the latest scare is the reduction in phytoplankton. Again the appeal to science is being made.

  5. Subtle but effective manipulation of the information to create the desired effect. The BBC are typical when they get mobilised on some environmental issue that involves climate change, which to be frank is absolutely anything you could think of. Their appeal to authority of “we all know these days that we need to cut our carbon emmision to prevent……..”, whatever they are selling at the time is the classic phrasology! The use of the positive reinforcemnt that “we all know”, implying even if some of us are just burying our heads because we’re too frightened of the consequences, or in the pay of Big Oil or even Little Oil for that matter, or even dare to question such “authority”, we are ignorant peasants. They also do use many of the phrases mentioned above. Hitler politicised science as did Stalin to achieve absolute power & control through FEAR. Nothing changes! The age on scientific enlightenment has now passed in favout of the official “party” line.

  6. The same results could have been obtained at any time in the past 5,000 years or so. People will believe and trust modern Oracle’s and witch doctors, as much as they did ancient ones. And will obey their Masters whether by trickery or force. Beware the Master-Oracle complex ( h/t to Ike ).

  7. Some of this may simply reflect the general growth of media output and the growth of new media, but if that were the case, we would expect all of the terms to have shown similar growth, which they do not.
    To make this statement, one should first have normalized each phrase to the same overall frequency which they have not been.

  8. From the article:
    ” No, people have turned against science simply because it lacks a good public relations outfit.”
    Well, in the consideration that Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, coined the term ‘public relations’ as a replacement for the word ‘propaganda,’ then we come to understand the true nature of things.
    Public relations, indeed!
    Since when does science truth have any need for propaganda?
    Here, check this out:
    In everything he did, Bernays began with the basic principles of the psychology of his time, and not only his uncle’s. He felt that it was not reason but emotion and instinct that moved the common man, and throughout his long life he held onto the elitist view that those who understood this could and should control the masses. As he said in the first paragraph of his influential book Propaganda. “Those who manipulate [the habits and opinions of the masses]…constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
    Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-drugs-and-boredom/201002/freuds-nephew-and-public-relations

  9. “Some of this may simply reflect the general growth of media output and the growth of new media, but if that were the case, we would expect all of the terms to have shown similar growth, which they do not.”
    No, there is no reason to expect different phrases to increase at the same rate. I would want to see the ratio of occurrence these phrases with the occurrence of the word “science.” Even then it would be very easy to cherry pick and only report authoritarian phrases that happened to increase. Did they look at phrases like “scientists recommend”? This “bit of informal research” is just that. If climate scientists wrote something this “informal” I suspect you all would eviscerate them with ridicule.

  10. The reason I find the current “Science says…” problematic, is that many of the proclamations issued by the climate science community fail to pass my common sense sensor. For example, something I still cannot come to terms with is that we have a global network of sensors, the calibration and accuracy of which is sketchy at best and unknown at worst, recording a wide range of temps between highs and lows over a 24hr period, and extending over years We know that many are recording false/no readings (placing, uhi, unavailability etc). We then brush over the obvious, invent mathematical formula to correct and extrapolate what we don’t know, average it all out and then proclaim in BOLD HEADLINES, accuracy to within tenths of a degree over decades. Yes I realize that it is the anomaly, not the actual readings, but how does one measure an anomaly between data points when each preceding and following point has a significant error factor? I’ll admit I am a complete novice here and have to submit to the expertise of others, but this really pushes my skeptical button. I know there are many out there who will shoot down my ignorance, but please do it in a way that educates, and not ridicules.

  11. Did you do any spot-checks?
    “Science requires” could form part of “Good science requires impartiality and a willingness to admit when wrong”, for example.

  12. Hear, hear!
    What probably gets to me the most of all these things is the foistering of guilt onto seemingly innocent bystanders. Not only are things bad, and probably even worse than we thought, but it’s YOUR FAULT! Not only must you acknowledge that you have been bad and change your ways, but you must be punished as well.
    Many have likened the rise of CAGW to that of a religion with its doctrines, priests and high priests, sin and absolution, and the spurning of non-believers. The total antithesis to objective science.
    Malcolm

  13. People believe science because it is factual and realistic, but…. it is being pushed into areas where it doesn’t really help, such as morals.
    People with a moral agenda, try to justify that agenda to the public as a scientific reality, even through it is actually a moral or ethical or lifestyle vision that they are trying to promote.
    Maybe some scientists themselves are doing this, without realising it. They are pastors in scientific clothing. They do it because on the whole, science has been phenomenally successful at improving our material survival, and therefore it gets a lot of well deserved respect from the public.
    So in order to present some lifestyle moral thing as being respectable, people dress it up in science.
    I just wish that if people want to teach morality and ethics, they just teach it as morality and ethics. Don’t claim that science proves the world will end if you don’t let go of your greed or selfishness. Just teach goodness.
    The Enlightenment produces what is known as the Big Three: The Good, The True, and The Beautiful. Science is The True. Morals and ethics is The Good. (And Art is The Beautiful). These three are different domains. They have different methodologies for study. Science has nothing to do with morality or ethics. Science is just a study of material processes. If an ecosystem dies because of a virus, that is not a “good” or a “bad” thing. That is just a process.
    If scientists want to play pastor or rabbi, let them put on a different uniform.
    Otherwise it all becomes terribly confusing and you get neither science not ethics, just a hodge-podge of rubbish.

  14. Otherwise, we are becoming so bombarded by these paranoid claims that average guy would think we are about to melt, choke or get killed by robots by 2050 (unless we cut our carbon emissions by half, of course).
    Can’t believe it. And that thing with doomsday clock, oh my God…

  15. As soon as anyone suggests that “the science” needs better PR, they are admitting defeat.
    Good science stands on its own, without law or PR to back it up. The only thing it requires is reliable, repeatable empirical evidence.
    When climate science has to rely on PR, it stops being science and becomes advertising.
    The real problem that catastrophic climate science faces is the fact that it is not scientifically possible to measure what they are predicting will happen, as it has not happened yet. So, climate scientists are using the science of now, to go fortune telling with. That is why they need PR.
    The science of current climate investigation is currently producing evidence, some of which supports the CAGW hypothesis, and much of which does not. They need PR to hide that bit which does not and over exaggerate the bit that does.
    Like I said, that is not science, it is advertising.

  16. My parents stopped telling me, what I should and shouldn’t do, when I was at the age of 14 (!), to let me make my own mistakes and learn from them.
    I have duly followed their advise and learned a lot since. And now, while I am 48, I am NOT inclined to do a 180-degree-turn and let anybody else tell me again, what I should and shouldn’t do.
    It’s “We, the people…” – NOT – “You, the scientist…” – you know? So tell me, what you found, prove your point and let me draw my own conclusions from it.
    THAT’S what I expect from a decent scientist.
    Anything else is hubris, hypocrisy and hyperbole megalomania, disguised as science.

  17. I’m not sure this passes the smell test . . . any such study ought to be generally consistent with what you would find in, say, a Google News archive search. The phrase that is dramatically higher than any of these, however, is the phrase “scientists believe . . .”. It is that phrase, I think, that is most often used as an authoritarian club. Sometimes it is an honest representation of the preponderance of scientific evidence. Too often, though, it is an expression of dogma that leads to a cargo-cult approach to science, the presentation of data, and the harsh treatment of those scientists who dare to dissent.

  18. The original article ends with a nice-sounding suggestion: Prominent scientists should make a practice of jumping on every dictatorial statement, countering the dictatorship with statements like “Science only tells us what is.”
    Can’t happen. First, PROMINENT scientists, the ones who can be heard by the media, are all dictatorial leftists. Second, if an honest scientist tries this, he will instantly be tarred as a denialist Halliburtonist fanatic. There will be no increase in public understanding, only a firestorm that destroys his own funding.

  19. What do you expect when science has become the replacement for religion? People like to be told what to think. It saves them the effort of doing it for themselves.
    Specialism is the norm of institutional science. More interdisciplinary generalists are needed to balance the outlandish biased and skewed claims of specialists.

  20. Science has also generated “LAWS” that MUST be followed no matter if the actual physical evidence and science contradicts this.
    After all, jobs and carriers are at stake for government funding.

  21. “The deniers are convincing people that the science is propaganda.”
    No. The facts show the “Warm Mongers” use deceitful propaganda.
    “While nobody would dispute the value of a good PR propaganda department.”
    I hope they are spending thier personal money and not my tax money on their propaganda.

  22. The problem, at least in climate science is that scientists have become cargo cult scientists. They have completely lost their way, losing sight of what is important – scientific truth, instead becoming beholden to grants, careers, and even the spotlight of fame and glory. That is why people are losing trust in them. The authoritarianism while important, is more of a symptom of a much larger problem.

  23. tallbloke says:
    July 29, 2010 at 4:46 am
    What do you expect when science has become the replacement for religion?

    It isn’t an accident that some of the central figures promoting AGW use the same methodology as Creation Science: omitting or denying data; misleading analysis; questionable methodology; ad hominum attacks on any who disagree – “not a Christian” from Creationists isn’t behaviorally different from calling doubters “denialists/deniers.

  24. I believe the public’s devaluing of science has also come from the public display of conflicting results. The coffee is good for you and the coffee is bad for you, “Scientific” studies. Think of how many foods, drinks, lifestyles, You name it, the “Study” groups have conflicted.
    The public is also inundated with 24/7 ADs for every product under the sun via all forms of media. People eventually filter out what they want and manage to turn or tune the rest of the stuff out. Same goes for the AGW crowd, there are enough conflicting results that people have turned it off.
    People basiclly just want to be left alone.

  25. brad says:
    July 29, 2010 at 3:45 am
    “Very interesting take, but I think it is the politicization of science that has led to this, thank Fox News, Rupert Murdoch and MSNBC where every fact is a political one, to be attacked and manipuilated for political gain – not analyzed and thought about.”
    That was going on well before Fox and MSNBC. In fact, the entire reason for Fox’s existence is because, well before science went political, journalism did and decidedly left of center, thus journalism created a market for and to the counter of their assertions. If the scientific community doesn’t change back to neutral, and quickly, the same will happen to it.

  26. See this Vanity Fair coverage of last December’s Copenhagen climate summit. It contains the phrases:
    -“what science says is required to avoid catastrophic climate change”
    -“science says reductions of at least 25 to 40 percent are necessary”
    -“consistent with what science demands
    -and talks about a need to “to set a science-based national pollution cap”
    There is, of course, a huge difference between what the data reveals and how we, as a community, should respond to it. Do we:
    1. conduct more research
    2. decide to monitor the matter carefully from now on
    3. choose to do nothing for the moment
    4. take tentative steps toward emissions reduction
    5. turn our society upside down trying to accomplish emissions reduction
    6. invest billions in R&D in an effort to discover abundant, clean energy sources
    7. start work immediately on 100 new nuclear power plants
    8. decide that, 20 years from now, our children will have more, better & cheaper technology to solve whatever problems may arise (remember, the iPod is less than 10 years old, and Google less than 15)
    All of these options (& more) deserve to be discussed. We then, as a community, get to choose which one (or combo) makes most sense to us.
    The problem with the current climate debate is that so-called scientists (who, as Stefan observes brilliantly above, seem really to want to be pastors or rabbis) think it’s their role not merely to collect the data but to then decide – on everyone’s behalf – how the world should respond to the data.
    This is a profoundly anti-democratic impulse. It needs to be challenged.

  27. Government has totally co-opted science through huge grants. Science is now just a political extension of the ruling party in government. With a larger government comes increased control. Of course it all has to be funded so increased taxes are required.

  28. pgosselin says:
    July 29, 2010 at 3:53 am
    …Today in German newspapers the latest scare is the reduction in phytoplankton. Again the appeal to science is being made.
    —————————————————————————————–
    Hmmm – I wonder, if the phytoplankton rather is simply reacting to a lack of nourishing minerals (aka: lack of fecals), which in former times used to be released by the megaton by then huge, but now ever-diminishing shoals of fish, due to extreme overfishing done by mankind…?
    It’s always the same with Nature: When you look for simple explanations, you look the wrong way…

  29. “And the celebrities can go on “Oprah” to describe how climate change is affecting them—and by extension, Oprah’s legions of viewers.”
    Oh I can just visualise it now. (Insert name of Holywood star) pours their heart out to Oprah, about how they’ve had to cut down their use of private jets.
    The audience will be in floods of tears, realising that they’ll have to cancel that order for a Lear Jet.

  30. “I believe the public’s devaluing of science has also come from the public display of conflicting results. The coffee is good for you and the coffee is bad for you, “Scientific” studies. Think of how many foods, drinks, lifestyles, You name it, the “Study” groups have conflicted.”
    The reason for this, at least in part, is the need to promote new (and in some cases not so new) scientific findings through mass media in addition to the specialist literature. Now while I think we are all aware of the shortcomings of peer reviewed scientific journals (especially in climate science, with the tendency towards gate keeping), at least the published papers tend to use fairly balanced language and the conclusions section normally ends before straying from the scientific field into the area of decision makers. However, the press releases to the mass media (and even to the ‘popular science’ magazines) tend to be less specific and less scientific, with much more on morals and decision making and the almost inevitable call for further research (i.e. the next batch of grant money) to continue the study.
    Just remember, when you see something that states ‘science says’, that there’s about a 90% chance of it being disproven or at least modified by future findings. Now, if the statement was that ‘Scientist X says…’ at least it is obvious that it’s a matter of opinion.

  31. Ken says:
    July 29, 2010 at 5:25 am
    More global warming nonsense from Malaysia:
    “KUALA LUMPUR: Some 90% of Malaysia’s corals are dead due to global warming, and the reefs may never recover unless the people switch to a greener lifestyle.”
    Anthropogenic water pollution is what I would blame.
    Just 8000 more visitors required for the 50 millionth… I wonder who it will be?

  32. We have scientific evidence that driving small light weight cars causes massive increases in deaths per 100,000 miles driven. In fact, we have some freaky control group called the EPA that commonly issues orders under the “endangerment findings clauses”.
    Will they issue an order from authority or will they issue an order from politically correctness?

  33. Science and the studies of causal and correlational relationships.
    Did you know that CO2 is claimed to be at the highest levels evah and life expectancy is at the highest level evah?
    I have 8 uncles over the age of 80. They were raised with bacon, lard, butter, salt and fried chicken.

  34. John W., good point about the similarity between CAGW theory and “scientific creationism.”
    When climate unskepticals complain that skeptics are creationists with a different issue, I always refer back to Australian geologist Ian Plimer, who in addition to taking apart the claims of CAGW, has a long history of taking apart the claims of “scientific creationists.”
    It’s also of great interest to me that CAGW theory, and modern ecology theory generally, has deep similarity to the foundation of modern “intelligent design theory.” Both teach that our world’s existence is contingent upon a large number of factors being exactly they are, and claim that if these variables were changed ever so slightly, life would be impossible. Now, on some level this is true. But it strikes me that both intelligent design and CAGW theory are ultimately built on teleological presuppositions. This is a line of thought that deserves more thought.
    Incidentally, I am a Christian theist and am neither an antievolutionist nor an anticreationist. I just dislike the prostituting of evidence and logic for predetermined ideological ends.

  35. The modern game of “Simple Science Says”:
    “Science says, take one step forward, and five steps back”.

  36. Political elites have been progressively discredited in the public mind over the last 30 years. Realizing this, they came to the conclusion that in order to bolster their influence they needed to capture something more credible to back up their agendas –science.
    Except, of course, largely what they have accomplished is instead of increasing their own credibility, instead decreasing the credibility of science.

  37. I don’t think there’s necessarily a case to show that it’s the SCIENTISTS who’re doing this. There’s certainly a case for saying that politicians and the media are using scientists for that end.
    In the end, scientists must sing for their supper. They are salesmen for grants and sometimes the quid pro quo may be engaging in a little mild politics.
    I hope it doesn’t include making rather apocalyptic cancer diagnoses to release a pretty healthy Libyan prisoner, but quite frankly nothing surprises me any more.
    But I also think the public should think on this: do you expect people to do science for modest salaries without being passionate about it? And do you only expect them to be dispassionate messengers, unlike journalists, politicians, bankers etc etc etc?
    There’s a debate to be had there to be sure.
    But I don’t think the sole changes must come from the scientists.
    The public needs to change a bit too.

  38. Hang on a few seconds, there, all you people who equate the scientific warmists with Creation scientists. Creation science is a defensive position against the overwhelming march of science and with it scientism. It does not have the massive funding of AGW science, and is not supported by any government. A lot of the most recent so-called Creation science 50 years ago would not have warranted any comment, because what it has come to encompass in the eyes of its critics is any scientist who might dare to say that God exists, or that he or she finds a place in his of her scientific understanding for a belief in God. Scientism as upheld by the likes of Richard Dawkins is more like the AGW extremists who call Lukewarmers ‘deniers’ – it is intolerant of any middle position.
    Some of you commenters here on WUWT, while otherwise excellent, don’t seem to give any quarter to religion having a positive role in society, yet what this article betrays is the problem when there is no acknowledged role for an independent system of knowledge and values existing alongside the current dominant system. In the old days the secondary systems included humanism vs the dominant role of Christian religion in Western countries. The value given to humanism allowed a check-and-balance system to arise that enabled change and prevented the Church, contra our modern ‘understanding’ – i.e. the one promoted by the media – from having absolute power. What is there today that will stop a state-supported ‘religion’ of science, from being used for totalitarian ends? The media has no respect for religion, and this attitude has shaped the attitudes of the masses who do not generally try to find out more for themselves. Incidentally, modern media reportage on the religious history of Europe bears a lot in common with media reportage on climate science – it’s lazy and not too concerned about facts.
    During the rise of Nazism, the Catholic Church was able to raise the alarm on the state-run euthanization program which targetted the disabled and deformed in Germany. Once any pretensions to a civil society ended due to the onset of the Second World War nothing could stop the state and science sponsored death camps.
    The most notorious – Auschwitz-Birkenau – had a camp partially run by IG Farben, with scientists in agreement with the aims of this camp to produce BUNA rubber and synthetic gas for the reich, and other scientists carrying out human experimentation.
    Although the sexual revolution has now replaced the old virtues (and with science is at the heart of the rejection of the Judeo-Christian religion), at least the lingering Judeo-Christian heritage is one of self-improvement and is based around the golden rule of treating others as you would have them treat you, and telling the truth. This is notably not being followed by the warmist scientists and their hangers-on (Algore) whose golden rule is ‘do as I say but not as I do.’

  39. Trolls? C’mon, trolls?
    Here trollee, trolllee, trollee, nice troll biscuits….
    [sound of crickets]
    Ah, well, perhaps tomorrow…
    [throws troll biscuits away]

  40. Ben says:
    July 29, 2010 at 4:20 am
    Did you do any spot-checks?
    “Science requires” could form part of “Good science requires impartiality and a willingness to admit when wrong”, for example.

    Well, Ben, science doesn’t require you —or anyone else— to do anything.
    Rather, it is yourself whom is required to observe the rules of science.
    Good science is nothing more or less than observing the rules, and not bending them to suit a political goal, theme, or whim.

  41. It’s all very simple, really.
    If politicians, civil servants, journalists, and scientists keep lying to the public, and on such a vast scale, eventually nobody will believe a word of what they are saying. That is the current crisis they are faced with on this issue.
    Journalism, once known as a teller of truth and a bulwark against tyranny, was known as the 4th estate. Now it has morphed into the 5th column and has become a threat to our freedoms.
    The press was once a magnificent lady. Now she is a malignant prostitute, spreading the lying propaganda disease to whatever she touches. That includes the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, and the Royal Society.

  42. How is this for an “authoritarian tone” – Taken from the UK JNCC website (Joint Nature Conservancy Committee – the strategy advisor to the UK Government)
    =====================
    Quote
    “A little bit of climate science”
    The science is unequivocal, most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations (IPCC (2007).
    Climate is a complex science – many factors interact to determine climate (and day to day weather).
    The observed changes in climate are happening relatively quickly i.e. decade to decade rather than over millennia.
    The underlying trends in observed changes are not all linear: the changes observed usually go from less to more rapid rates of change.
    Several drivers of change have been identified and anthropogenic drivers are major contributors.
    ‘Greenhouse gas’ production is the primary anthropogenic driver – chief among these is carbon dioxide.
    Most greenhouse gas production comes from industrial processes, some also comes from agriculture and from changes in the way land and water are managed (removing trees, draining wetlands etc).
    There are time lags in the system – the climate we are experiencing now has been influenced by anthropogenic inputs from roughly the middle of the 20th century; inputs since then will influence climate for years to come.
    Projections about how climate is likely to change are based on models built using two strands of evidence: observed changes to date and the causal links between drivers and observed change.
    To get detailed background on the science of climate, observed and projected climate change and the potential mechanisms available to reduce human impact on climate look at the literature produced by the IPCC and, for the UK, UKCIP and MCCIP”
    End Quote
    ==============
    So there you have it, the “official” and “unequivocal” view – littered with the usual assertions, the use of models and references to the IPCC etc. No wonder the credibility of science is suffering.

  43. “Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 29, 2010 at 4:09 am
    “To make this statement, one should first have normalized each phrase to the same overall frequency which they have not been.”
    Really, can’t we use common sense? I guess since you think you know all the solar outputs Leif you can make “true” statements about the sun. Doesn’t the fact that you do not understand gravity and magnetism bother you as you spout your “correct scientific” view of the solar cycle?

  44. I see that most postings on this thread, when talking about science becoming a religion, is right on the mark, but I can see that no one, so far, has taken those points to the next step.
    I don’t want to seen to be disrespectful here, but for one moment, put your beliefs to one side. The reason this scam is so successful is because the scammers have tapped into our cultural beliefs.
    The scientists are only a means to and end and obviously bought off, so they should not be given all the blame. They were only paid to produced the tools others could use. I still believe many are guilty of fraud.
    Our Western, “Christian”, culture is somewhat based in guilt and sacrifice. That is to say us mere mortals cannot aspire to being all knowing, and achieving the pinnacle of success. If we did, we would be as good as God, and our culture tells us that this cannot be.
    The scammers have placed the scientists at the pinnacle, through propaganda, so the masses feel inferior, they are scientists, they have PhD’s and things, so what would we know. The guilt has now kicked in and the masses believe the scientists no matter what they say.
    So, to pull off the second part of the scam, the scammers play another aspect of our culture, to be good, you must sacrifice ! This notion is deeply imbedded in our culture. Where do you start with this one ? If you tidy up your room you are good. Taught as a child. If you go out in the rain and cold to go to the store, you are good. And to do especially good, you can be killed on the battle front in war time and remembered as doing good. And to be sacrificed on the cross to save the world you are doing good. So what I am saying is that we believe that in giving up our time and comfort for a cause, we are doing good. The old saying, “making a sacrifice”.
    That is what the scammers are playing on, we must sacrifice our whole way of life to save the world from climate change and do good, and they believe, most will feel good.
    As I see it, the only way out of this mess is to be aware of what buttons, and what chains these scammers are pressing and pulling. Once we know and are aware, we cannot be beaten.

  45. I think the rise of authoritarian science coincides with the Boomer generation of scientists. Many of my peers, while going into science, also look at the world through typical Boomer perspective taken from the late 60’s. i.e. science in service to a social agenda, not science in pursuit of the inner workings of nature.
    Obviously not all of us follow that philosophy, but note the ages of those who lead the AGW agenda.

  46. Not the least among the problems that “Science” has is writers like Erin Biba. The evidence suggests she is badly trained, too young to have a long view, thoroughly seduced by marketing hypnosis, and locked into the fallacy of “appeal to authority.” Looking to the cause of some of its problems for salvation is foolish because most people eventually get wise to the truth.

  47. Personally, i sometimes do google news searches for phrases like “destruction of our planet”. Try it, it’s fun.

  48. Just replace ‘Science’ with ‘God’ and we are back in the middle ages. Explains everything.

  49. Anthony:
    I find it ironic that you are now forecasting the role of science on the same timescale as others predict climate. If you look back in time at how people perceived science, there are periods in the past where science was authoritarian (and frequently wrong due to losing its humility) as well as periods where science falls into disrepute and is often referenced in a mocking fashion. The time period we are going through is, I think, just the natural downturn in the public’s perception. These periods are also very exciting because they allow science to shed its parasites and allow the emergence of new ideas. I don’t know the reasons for this natural variability (there must be many), only that it happens. So, embrace change and hopefully use this period for reform.

  50. Random says:
    July 29, 2010 at 4:23 am
    Science tells us we must trust science. Trust science.
    Science teaches scepticism. Be Sceptical.

  51. This is an interesting and revealing study of authoritarian *reporting*, and note that it’s from Lexis Nexis which really doesn’t cover blogs and “new media.”
    So this is actually an accurate chart of the state of decline in mainstream reporting, which indeed has become dramatically more leftist and “prescriptive” in the last decade or so.
    So this is really a reaffirmation (and a decent one) that mainstream reporting and writing of all genres has gone waaayyyyy off the reservation and is being rejected by more and more people, not necessarily that *science* is being rejected. You can see that with the decline of formerly great publications like National Geo, Scientific American, Smithsonian, and many others, and all of which have taken the CAGW alarmist path, as well as promoting many other leftist ideals.

  52. I don’t think anyone can honestly doubt that “science” has become increasingly authoritarian and politicised of late (or, if you prefer, that such misappropriation of the mantle of science has become more common). Seeking to quantify the phenomenon in this way is praiseworthy. However, even for this admittedly informal study, the authors should at least have attempted some sort of normalisation, say against the frequency of occurrence of the word “science” itself, and provided some sort of control comparison with anti-authoritarian statements (“science does not tell us we should…”) and neutral statements (eg., “scientific evidence suggests…”). Science demands no less! (And how should we characterise that statement, I wonder? 🙂 )

  53. It is important to note that Arizonas latest attempts to stop global warming have been thwarted. Judge ruled that SB1070 is likely to go down constitutionally. This will likely cause the influx of more illegals from Mexico to migrate to the states. Thus supporting the global warming theory of border crossings associated with crop loss in mexico.

  54. I just read a book on how the government lost the trust of the people through its long sordid history of exposed lies and deception. Now they wonder why people no longer have faith in their elected officials. They’re trying to talk their way out of a situation they behaved themselves into.
    Substitute the word ‘science’ for ‘government’ in the above and you see the parallels.

  55. Our devotion to proper “Science tells us we must” stop this trend immediately. “Science requires” vigorous application of the scientific method, and the scientific method of all “science dictates” that there should be transparency and communication of all data and conclusions. To change what this observation about trends in “science tells us, we should” all write a letter to our congressman and speak out. The word “Science commands” great respect in our culture and modern society, and it must never devolve into a priesthood. As more and more people look to see what “science says, we must” always ensure that the quality of the message is preserved. Our respect for, and the importance of, “science compels” us all to action.

  56. While the premise of the article may be correct, the example used is rife with weaknesses.
    For one thing, the amount of publication material decreases dramatically as you back in time. Lexis Nexis is a fine service but does suffer from this architectural flaw.
    This might not change the results, but objectively makes a difference.
    Far more useful might be a percentage of documents using said terms rather than absolute values.

  57. brad says:
    July 29, 2010 at 3:45 am
    Very interesting take, but I think it is the politicization of science that has led to this, thank Fox News, Rupert Murdoch and MSNBC where every fact is a political one, to be attacked and manipuilated for political gain – not analyzed and thought about.
    ___________________________________________________________
    “Global Warming” and environmental science was politicizated by the left in 1972 – 1973. By Maurice Strong in his speech at the first Earth Summit and Holdren in his book. The people who are actually running the show are the very wealthy bankers and corporate presidents and CEOs. I just wish the left would finally wake up and understand how there are being manipulated by the very people the hate.
    1972 – UN First Earth Summit: as Elaine Dewar wrote in Toronto’s Saturday Night magazine:
    “It is instructive to read Strong’s 1972 Stockholm speech and compare it with the issues of Earth Summit 1992. Strong warned urgently about global warming, the devastation of forests, the loss of biodiversity, polluted oceans, the population time bomb. Then as now, he invited to the conference the brand-new environmental NGOs [non-governmental organizations]: he gave them money to come; they were invited to raise hell at home. After Stockholm, environment issues became part of the administrative framework in Canada, the U.S., Britain, and Europe.”
    1973 book coauthored by Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdern
    “A massive campaign [Global Warming] must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. De-devolopment means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation. Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.”
    “The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge,” they wrote. “They must design a stable, low-consumption economy[ Agenda 21 ] in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”
    … In the same book.. “The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being….”
    Source: http://grendelreport.posterous.com/obamas-science-czar-advocates-de-developing-t
    Later we find Maurice Strong’s foot prints all over the campaign to lead the world into “Global Governance” Such as UN REFORM – Restructuring for Global Governance
    For anyone who thinks this is not a return to a form of feudalism: disguised as socialism:
    “What unites the many different forms of Socialism.. is the conception that socialism (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) must be handed down to the grateful masses in one form or another, by a ruling elite which is not subject to their control… marxists.org
    And this statement from one of those would be masters:
    David Rockefeller: “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. . . . It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.
    But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.http://www.newswithviews.com/Cappadona/heidi5.htm
    That statement is supported by the 2002 Rockefeller autobiography “Memoirs” on page 405:
    “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents… to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world … If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
    If you are a socialist I suggest you do some studying on your would be masters. Rockefeller hosts a yearly meeting of the World Bank and his bank, Chase, was the training ground for the World Bank presidents on at least three occasions.
    A place to start:
    leaked draft agreement at Copenhagen hands control to World Bank
    World Bank/IMF structural adjustment programs (SAPs)
    “Today I resigned from the staff of the International Monetary Fund .. To me, resignation is a priceless liberation, for with it I have taken the first big step to that place where I may hope to wash my hands of what in my mind’s eye is the blood of millions of poor and starving peoples. “
    PRESIDENT’S PRIVATE SECTOR SURVEY ON COST CONTROL: …100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their government.

  58. “Here are our findings, and those findings say that you must change your life in this way, that way, or the other way.” should be changed to: “Here are our findings, and those findings say that you must change your life in this way, that way, AND the other way.” It’s not like we’re being presented with a menu of options, but a list of requirements.

  59. “Science” from “scientia” means “to know.” Acquiring knowledge of the natural world (not any metaphysical or supernatural “reality”) requires applying principles of disciplined awareness: Science as a Philosophy of the Natural World, an empirical Method of falsifying hypotheses, above all a Practice requiring open minds, replication of results via skeptical debate, attains “authority” only as a disinterested, objective, rational exercise dedicated to truth-telling insofar as possible.
    For all their academic, corporate, political sponsorship, climate hysterics deserve no respect. As pseudo-scientific propagandists, neither by Philosophy, Method, nor in Practice do they exhibit any scientific virtues codified since Galileo, Kepler, Newton et al. first turned Aristotle’s subjective “natural philosophy” on its head.
    Since 1988, not one major Warmist hypothesis has withstood genuinely scientific scrutiny. Given their vitriolic scare-mongering based on spurious data, manipulative techniques, absurdly self-delusive outcomes, today’s New Aristotelians are clown-college caricatures without integrity or even understanding.

  60. I saw that also 50 million hits.
    People looking for an authority on weather. They hit the other sites when looking for authoritarianism from warmistias

  61. Curiousgeorge says:
    July 29, 2010 at 4:04 am
    … People will believe and trust modern Oracle’s and witch doctors, as much as they did ancient ones. And will obey their Masters whether by trickery or force. Beware the Master-Oracle complex ( h/t to Ike ).
    ________________________________________
    Sounds like the quote of the week.

  62. Quoting: “we have discovered that some people will have adverse health effects from consuming high levels of salt.” Or “we have found that obesity increases your risk of coronary heart disease.” Those were simply neutral observations that people could find empowering, useful, interesting, etc., but did not place demands on them. In fact, this kind of objectivity was the entire basis for trusting scientific claims.
    These are far from neutral statements and, in fact, have about the same level of rigor as the alarmist claims of runaway global warming. Sandy Szwarc of http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/ has done an incredible job of debunking these kind of claims in recent years. She has stopped posting in recent months, but the archived files are still there and are a gold mine of information; much as your site is. I hope she will soon return to the battle. I’m ignoring your out of “some people” and the juxtaposition with smoking which is a very different kind of claim.
    Cheers…..William

  63. “Yes I realize that it is the anomaly, not the actual readings, but how does one measure an anomaly between data points when each preceding and following point has a significant error factor? I’ll admit I am a complete novice here and have to submit to the expertise of others, but this really pushes my skeptical button.”

    KPO, I think you have hit the nail on the proverbial there. That is also what pushes MY sceptical buttons too.

  64. KPO says:
    July 29, 2010 at 4:20 am
    … For example, something I still cannot come to terms with is that we have a global network of sensors, the calibration and accuracy of which is sketchy at best and unknown at worst, recording a wide range of temps between highs and lows over a 24hr period, and extending over years We know that many are recording false/no readings (placing, uhi, unavailability etc). We then brush over the obvious, invent mathematical formula to correct and extrapolate what we don’t know, average it all out and then proclaim in BOLD HEADLINES, accuracy to within tenths of a degree over decades. Yes I realize that it is the anomaly, not the actual readings, but how does one measure an anomaly between data points when each preceding and following point has a significant error factor? …
    ________________________________________________________
    Actually you have nailed it quite well.
    Check out AJStrata’s article on the ” significant error factor” http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11420

  65. Ref – Kate says:
    July 29, 2010 at 6:43 am
    “It’s all very simple, really. If politicians, civil servants, journalists, and scientists keep lying to the public, and on such a vast scale, eventually nobody will believe a word of what they are saying. That is the current crisis they are faced with on this issue. Journalism, once known as a teller of truth and a bulwark against tyranny, was known as the 4th estate. Now it has morphed into the 5th column and has become a threat to our freedoms. The press was once a magnificent lady. Now she is a malignant prostitute, spreading the lying propaganda disease to whatever she touches. That includes the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, and the Royal Society.”
    ______________________
    I agree (-;and don’t;-).
    The 4th Estate was always a Prostitute (in my humble opinion;-). It’s just that there used to be a lot more and more with class. We have developed a 1941 ‘Hollywood’ mentality of the press (nothing good has come out of the place in the last 40 years) and we’re forgetting a lot of “Yellow” liquid in the ointment of the ink always used by publishers since Gottenberg. The level of integrity has indeed fallen to the microscopic, if not nanoscopic, these days.
    We of the 21st Century ‘seem’ to have a strong healthy body, but on closer examination there is a cancer; and, I agree, the biggest tumers are located in the area of the brain controlled by what we formerly called the “4th Estate”. Integrity and ethics are the modern words we use to refer to a collection of fundamental rules that humans have developed over the past 4-5 million years. “Doing yer’ own thing” and “trashing the system” and “Imagining no countries, no religions too, etc….” don’t work, I’m sorry to say. Truth hurts sometimes. Sorry everyone! Life really is a Beach!

  66. The problem is “climate celebritards” not Oprah and her legion of decision home makers. We expect nothing but idiocy coming from those we know as media whores and many climate scientists have taken up there own street corner. That the verbiage of climate celebritards everywhere is being ignored by most able to manipulate a Pez dispenser without injury should surprise no one, least of which being themselves.
    I don’t doubt that as main stream media outlets curse the Internet, so too does the Church of Climatology. An informed public is one not easily manipulated.

  67. Need PR to pitch your brand of science? Like selling a brand of laundry detergent or a stick of deodorant?
    Try the Watts approach; it seems to be working. Check out the stats on the sidebar:
    Gone over 50,000,000 hits and all without any organized PR campaign.

  68. Richard Feynman observed: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”. This kind of healthy, scientific humility that Dr.Feynman possessed seems to be disappearing today.

  69. We have always had a hand full of scientists and academics telling us what to do. This is not new, what is new are the numerous shills and “true believers” running around saying these things. In previous times we saw this behavior most prominently in the “religious”. Of late society has allowed “obesity and AGW” to become the new “science based” religion of masses. If you look at most of the true academic articles published, they do not use terms such as should or must and so on. It is the propagandists, all to often posing as journalists, who are making these claims. Where the practitioners of science fall short is in admitting and defending what it is they do not know and what the limits of their work/results reality are.

  70. “Bush says researchers need a campaign …”
    (Start of the 2nd paragraph.)

    That’s a mistake (in the original article). “Bush” should read “Biba.”
    [Thanks, fixed. ~dbs]

  71. vigilantfish says:
    July 29, 2010 at 6:29 am
    Hang on a few seconds, there, all you people who equate the scientific warmists with Creation scientists. Creation science is a defensive position against the overwhelming march of science and with it scientism. It does not have the massive funding of AGW science, and is not supported by any government….
    Some of you commenters here on WUWT, while otherwise excellent, don’t seem to give any quarter to religion having a positive role in society….
    _______________________________________________________
    The intolerance for religion especially at college campuses goes back over a century to the teachings of John Dewey father of modern American education (or how to dumb down the masses so you can control them)
    “Humanists declared their intention of transforming western culture and moving it from its Christian base into the enlightened religion of humanism. In 1933, when Humanist Manifesto I appeared, its co-author John Dewey was made honorary president of the National Education Association (US). The manifesto itself stated that:
    There is no God and no soul. Hence there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, the immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent moral absolutes.”

    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2001/365/
    Now you can understand why “science” is no longer “science” but “post-modern science” and why morals and ethics are seen as unnecessary baggage.
    “…Dewey’s philosophy had evolved from Hegelian idealism to socialist materialism, and the purpose of the school was to show how education could be changed to produce little socialists and collectivists instead of little capitalists and individualists. It was expected that these little socialists, when they became voting adults, would dutifully change the American economic system into a socialist one.
    In order to do so he analyzed the traditional curriculum that sustained the capitalist, individualistic system and found what he believed was the sustaining linchpin — that is, the key element that held the entire system together: high literacy. To Dewey, the greatest obstacle to socialism was the private mind that seeks knowledge in order to exercise its own private judgment and intellectual authority. High literacy gave the individual the means to seek knowledge independently. It gave individuals the means to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves. This was detrimental to the “social spirit” needed to bring about a collectivist society. Dewey wrote in Democracy and Education, published in 1916:…”

    http://www.ordination.org/dumbing_down.htm

  72. Robert Thomson gets credit for being the first to mention IPCC on this forum. I want to say that IPCC and its boss, Pachauri, are the poster-children for corruption in science. The authoritarianism is in part a result of the fact that the IPCC makes outrageous claims and then defends them by attacking critics as unworthy of participation among the anointed and by demanding that critics recognize hierarchical authority in the community of scientists. The clearest example is when Pachauri defended the absurd claim, published by the IPCC, that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by the year 2035. In response to criticisms, he attempted to marginalize the critics and he asserted that the science is settled. That is, he used the usual strategy of claiming that the critics are neither among the anointed nor responsive to the official hierarchy of science. Of course, the claim that the glaciers will disappear by 2035 proved to be based on no genuine science at all.
    The fact that the Once-MSM has seen no story in this coup that has effectively eliminated the scientific method from debates on science today, proves beyond a doubt that they support the coup or that their understanding of science is that of someone in grammar school. At this time, Fred Pearce of the Guardian is the only mainstream media professional who has understood the tragedy that is Climategate and who has written about it with integrity. His articles are available at the Guardian’s “Environment” website and he has just published them as a book. England does have two opinion writers who understand the scientific method, Delingpole of the Telegraph and Christopher Booker of I forget where.

  73. These phrases are still media born, not research article born. A more compelling argument would be a search of published journal articles (which I would imagine costs money to do). The search should be limited to online and hard copy science magazines and journals and include letters as well as research articles. Out of the mouths of researchers written in ink tells us if research has become what this author says. Otherwise, we are left with the null hypothesis still, as we don’t know if these are reporter words, or researcher words. Anyone who has been interviewed understands that reporters spin what you say and write.

  74. I don’t even get a chuckle? Screw you guys, I’m taking my ball and going home. I thought it was a damn masterpiece.

  75. Chris in OZ says:
    July 29, 2010 at 6:45 am
    I see that most postings on this thread, when talking about science becoming a religion, is right on the mark, but I can see that no one, so far, has taken those points to the next step.
    As I see it, the only way out of this mess is to be aware of what buttons, and what chains these scammers are pressing and pulling. Once we know and are aware, we cannot be beaten.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Thanks to the warning from Australia, farmers here in the USA figured it out. Fight this one down to the last cowboy. Speech by John Carter of Australia to R-CALF
    What is the Hegelian Dialectic?
    Delphi Technique
    The Delphi Technique is the method being used to squeeze citizens out of the process. This is a must read if you feel being controlled in any meetings. The Delphi Technique is a pre-determined outcome.
    We are still fighting but the Monster will not stay DEAD.

  76. Knowing nothing about the size or composition of the database, this is not remotely interesting without a control phrase to determine how much coverage is being given to science. If, for instance, a neutral phrase such as “recent scientific research” has been constant while the others rise, it says something. If they all rise, it simply says that Lexis Nexis stores more articles about science from recent years than earlier years.

  77. Isn’t the model the author espouses to “fix” things the model that is already in place?
    A group of scientists (Mann, etc) and a group of celebrities (Sheryl “use-one-square” Crow, Al “ManBearPoodle with an Unmentionable fever” Gore, etc ad nauseam) who point at them?
    What is the definition of insanity again?

  78. I note that the Wikipedia has an article titled ‘Scientocracy:’ “Scientocracy is the practice of basing public policies on science.” While this may be an enlightened practice in general, it may be subject to the garbage-in, garbage-out problem if the pronouncements of Science are taken too literally and with inadequate scrutiny of the processes involved.

  79. Garry says:
    July 29, 2010 at 7:14 am
    This is an interesting and revealing study of authoritarian *reporting*, and note that it’s from Lexis Nexis which really doesn’t cover blogs and “new media.”
    So this is actually an accurate chart of the state of decline in mainstream reporting, which indeed has become dramatically more leftist and “prescriptive” in the last decade or so.
    So this is really a reaffirmation (and a decent one) that mainstream reporting and writing of all genres has gone waaayyyyy off the reservation and is being rejected by more and more people, not necessarily that *science* is being rejected. You can see that with the decline of formerly great publications like National Geo, Scientific American, Smithsonian, and many others, and all of which have taken the CAGW alarmist path, as well as promoting many other leftist ideals.

    You simply MUST remember: Almost ALL of the MSM are OWNED by a small cadre of insiders.
    Like it or not, believe it or not, that’s the way it is.
    THINK: How is it that almost all of the MSM —newspapers, radio, TEE VEE, major magazines, journals, etc., all seem to reflect the VERY SAME THOUGHTS?
    It’s NOT by coincidence: THEY ARE OWNED by the same small cadre of insiders.
    It IS how the American people were convinced to go to war against Spain, to get involved in WWI, WWII, the Korean ‘conflict,’ the Vietnamese ‘police action,’ and all the rest.
    When you may —quite literally— control how the majority of Americans think, then you essentially control the country.

  80. Marlene Anderson says:
    July 29, 2010 at 7:31 am
    I just read a book on how the government lost the trust of the people through its long sordid history of exposed lies and deception. Now they wonder why people no longer have faith in their elected officials. They’re trying to talk their way out of a situation they behaved themselves into.
    Substitute the word ‘science’ for ‘government’ in the above and you see the parallels.
    _________________________________________________
    This Rassmussen Report certainly supports your statement.
    ” The notion that governments derive their only just authority from the consent of the governed is a foundational principle of the American experiment. However, just 23% of voters nationwide believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed.
    The frustration that voters are expressing in 2010 goes much deeper than specific policies. At a more fundamental level, voters just don’t believe politicians are interested in the opinions of ordinary Americans. “

    Rassmusen on Energy and Climate shows voters are more evenly divided on the subject.
    “The Political Class views global warming as much more serious a problem than Mainstream voters do. While 55% of Mainstream voters say global warming is due to long term planetary trends, the plurality (48%) of the Political Class blames human activity. “
    Time to start convincing the politicians…

  81. Next .. the soft peddle …

    The battle to get Americans to accept the science behind climate change has been “lost,” an expert at the Aspen Environment Forum declared Wednesday, but there’s still a way to win the war to reduce carbon emissions.
    “Climate scientists — stop talking about climate science. We lost. It’s over. Forget it,” Foley told a surprised audience during a featured panel discussion on the last day of the three-day forum.
    “The skepticism around climate change has created a trap for us,” Foley said. “Stop digging yourself into the hole. Get out of it. Talk about it a different way. Reframe the issue.”
    “I’m not saying ignore the issue. Turn it around, reframe it,” Foley persisted.

  82. Disregarding scientists for the moment as our bad guy of the day, media news is now “a show”, or “a program”. It is filled with editorials, not reporting. It seems the only type of reporter who actually reports are the poor saps standing out in the middle of a hurricane reporting that the wind is so strong they are actually tethered to the news van.

  83. William Sears says:
    July 29, 2010 at 7:48 am
    …..These are far from neutral statements and, in fact, have about the same level of rigor as the alarmist claims of runaway global warming. Sandy Szwarc of http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/ has done an incredible job of debunking these kind of claims in recent years.
    ____________________________________________________________
    Thanks
    This one leaped out. So much for “obamacare” It looks like a scam to rip off the poor who can not afford to eat well, do not have time for exercise because they work two jobs and are more likely to smoke. It targets women especially black women (ACLU where are you?)
    October 04, 2009: Penalties for bad behavior
    http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/
    “Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee approved a healthcare reform amendment that would penalize employees who are not following “healthy lifestyles” and participating in wellness programs. Employers will be allowed to raise healthcare premiums by as much as 50 percent for workers who are fat, smoke, don’t exercise, are noncompliant with preventive care, and not meeting certain health measures, such as lower cholesterol levels.

  84. It is worse when someone uses the good reputation of their title and profession, earned on the hard work of others, to convince people that a fraud is the truth. And its compounded when they have help from the media, universities and politicians.

  85. This is a really weak argument, and those stats are terrible.
    On the flipside, you could just as easily write an entire article about how people are abandoning Religion because of it’s Authoritarian tone. However, this would actually be accurate since Religion does not encourage exploration of the questions, only definitive “answers.”
    My point being, you don’t “like” the Science. DIY, prove ’em wrong. Go on, it’s permitted!
    REPLY: We all here like science, just not poorly done and oversold science. – Anthony

  86. beng says:
    July 29, 2010 at 6:12 am
    The modern game of “Simple Science Says”:
    “Science says, take one step forward, and five steps back”.

    Well, no, not.
    More it is: “Look —very carefully— before you leap to conclusions!”

  87. Roger Knights says:
    July 29, 2010 at 8:36 am

    “Bush says researchers need a campaign …”
    (Start of the 2nd paragraph.)

    That’s a mistake (in the original article). “Bush” should read “Biba.”
    [Thanks, fixed. ~dbs]

    The original wording was correct. The author of the article, Erin Biba, was reporting on what Kelly Bush was saying. See fourth para of the Wired article, second para as carried here.
    Details, details…

  88. 899 says:
    July 29, 2010 at 9:23 am
    …..You simply MUST remember: Almost ALL of the MSM are OWNED by a small cadre of insiders.
    Like it or not, believe it or not, that’s the way it is.
    THINK: How is it that almost all of the MSM —newspapers, radio, TEE VEE, major magazines, journals, etc., all seem to reflect the VERY SAME THOUGHTS?
    It’s NOT by coincidence: THEY ARE OWNED by the same small cadre of insiders…
    _______________________________________________________
    That showed up in the U.S. Congressional Record February 9, 1917, page 2947 When it was brought to the attention of Congress that J.P. Morgan Interests had bought 25 of America’s Leading Newspapers and inserted editors.
    ““In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, ship building and powder interests and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press in the United States.”
    Actually it goes back even further to when Paul Warburg manipulated the news and the universities to get the Federal Reserve Act passed in 1913. Please note that Max, Paul’s brother funded Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution. Max Warburg also helped establish a Russian publishing house.
    The Modern History Project Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution is a rather good read on the subject of bankers, the media and the revolution.
    It is a nasty smelly mess when you lift up the rock of the media and look underneath.

  89. Anthony,
    I think you are using your cover of “poorly done science” to pick and choose which Science you wish to believe in, to fill your own agendas. What kind of litmus are you applying in order to choose what you like (err….”believe in”) and what you don’t believe in, in regards to Science? I’d be interested to hear what you think, rather than just reading a reprint from a media article.

  90. Pascvaks says: at 8:14 am
    “…The level of integrity has indeed fallen to the microscopic, if not nanoscopic, these days…”
    Well said.
    Integrity is bought and sold these days, like every other dead thing that can be traded. The entire case for “man-made global warming” rests on lies, deception, corruption, and the most massive scientific fraud in history. The thieves and liars running this racket have all the morality of a bunch of gangsters enforcing a protection racket. Keep yourself informed about their deceit and trickery in order to guard yourself against this disgusting scum. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  91. A very good article. But I think what needs to be highlighted is the evaluation of risk in scientific pronouncements..
    For example, “science tells us” that metors and comets have severely impacted our planets’ environment in the past (which I accept), and assigns probabilities to future events based upon our interpretation of historical data. If, however, astronomers detected a comet that could intersect Earth’s orbit at a future time, and further measurements showed that a collision was more and more probable, then it would be reasonable for humanity to expend massive efforts to manufacture launchers and thermonuclear devices in order to try to shatter, or deflect, the incoming body.
    As a physicist I have observed the AGW story for several years, with frustration mounting to anger, at the prostitution of the scientific method – all (in my view), in greed and the pursuit of control. The theory / hypothesis that CO2, consequent upon human activity, is altering the global climate is interesting, and is worthy of serious scientific study in my opinion. But as there is not a shred of verifiable evidence that AGW poses any threat to humanity the concept of skewing the global economy with “carbon trading”, to the tune of trillions of dollars, in order to mitigate this supposed threat, is sheer lunacy!
    But it has been 40 years since I studied physics at university – I expect a lot has changed.

  92. I sometimes wonder if the lack of any recent comprehensive public opinion polls on ‘Global Warming’ might be another case of ‘hiding the decline.’

  93. An interesting study, but it would be better if it had compared the growing frequency of “authoritarian” science phrases with that of “factual” phrases like “science indicates”, “science proves”, “science establishes”, etc. This would adjust for the rapid growth of the data bases that Lexis/Nexis is searching over.

  94. Science isn’t going to be advanced by a bunch of anecdotal stories of how people’s lives are being ruined by a degree of warming, which is probably largely invented btw. That is the problem with the credibility of those that push that sort of garbage as science. The average person would see right through that sort of idiocy.
    It is just another example of them thinking that the message isn’t the problem. They approach this like political activists that need to repackage the message. It doesn’t even occur to them that the message is understood. Erin Biba is just proving that “science” by her definition is propaganda.

  95. Gail Combs:
    Thanks for the link to Learn, about the Delphi process. I’m not sure it directly applies here, but I believe that everyone should take a look. It describes a process that I have personally witnessed in operation several times now.
    This isn’t a “conspiracy theory”, it’s a method that a whole new generation of manipulators have developed to make people think they want something that they don’t. I have seen it used as described when talking parents into allowing sex ed classes in grade 3, among other things. The key is to alienate those who see through the scam, and sometimes even results in people moving away to avoid continued conflict with their neighbors. It works.
    It IS related to our climate discussions. By associating those who don’t want to go along with the social engineering that the cAGW “movement” is enabling with “deniers”, “rednecks”, “tobacco”, “capitalists”, etc, these people get kicked out of the discussion completely. The hope is that “we” will simply disappear. Knowing the tactic is the first step to pushing back.
    We need to push back. This ceased to be about science some years ago and is now purely about other goals and agendas. To be honest, I feel sorry for those few who post here that really believe in cAGW. Their wake-up will come eventually… hopefully before it’s too late.

  96. “Researchers need to tell personal stories, tug at the heartstrings of people who don’t have PhD’s. And the celebrities can go on “Oprah” to describe how climate change is affecting them—and by extension, Oprah’s legions of viewers.”
    How is this any different from what they have been doing for years?
    Rinse and repeat. Keep hoping that doing the same thing will give different results.

  97. Brendan Locke says:
    July 29, 2010 at 9:53 am
    “[…] My point being, you don’t “like” the Science. DIY, prove ‘em wrong. Go on, it’s permitted!”
    It might have escaped your attention but this is already being done by several physicists, professors etc. The fact that the warmists stonewall will not help them forever. They have the radiative physics wrong.
    “Recently, the so-called “greenhouse effect” has itself come under increasing attack by a phalanx of scientific experts, including Dr. Gerhard Gerlich and Dr. Ralf D. Tscheuschner,
    professor Nasif Nahle, applied mathematician Claes Johnson, former radio-chemist Alan Siddons, analytical chemist Hans Schreuder, combustion research scientist Martin Hertzberg, and engineer Heinz Thieme”
    http://www.examiner.com/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m7d22-Global-warming-alarmists-in-full-retreat-lash-out-at-skeptics

  98. 899: “THINK: How is it that almost all of the MSM —newspapers, radio, TEE VEE, major magazines, journals, etc., all seem to reflect the VERY SAME THOUGHTS?
    It’s NOT by coincidence: THEY ARE OWNED by the same small cadre of insiders.”
    I’m very sceptical of these types of claims, which strike me as bordering on the paranoid, especially given the existence of the fair and balanced media.
    What I think is much more likely is that both the rank-and-file scribblers and the MSM insiders are themselves subject to control by a third force.
    Just what form this third force takes is speculative, but most likely it’s some sort of direct electronic mind control emanating from a single source, probably foreign, or at least foreign-influenced. Find that source, neutralise it, and you’ve solved the problem.
    How to achieve that? Well, the fair and balanced media are obviously not victims of this electronic mind control, and nor are they foreign. Clearly, they have found a way of blocking the mind rays. So what is Anthony not telling us?

  99. When I was an engineering student at university, I was required to take a liberal elective each semester (what I called then “courses where you don’t have to think). I never figured out why the university regents required engineers to have a liberal education minor, but never required liberal arts majors to be trained in cause-and-effect or “how the world works.” I think this would go a long way to help the average person to see through the baloney pretending to be science. Ditto for high school.
    First I was bored, then nauseated listening to my classmates endlessly discussing the merits of different flavors of socialism. Now, 30 years later, I’m afraid of my government for the first time in my life. Administrations and congresses have come and gone; I have agreed and disagreed with them, but I have never before been afraid!

  100. Anthony: I posted this over at the AirVent:
    The Skeptics Credo:
    I understand the radiative capture of CO2.
    I accept that radiative capture creates warming.
    I acknowledge that there is climate feedback to warming.
    I assert the rest is unknown.
    “The work of Science has nothing whatsoever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.”
    Michael Crichton, speech in
    Washington DC, 25 January 2005
    I think this should be our mantra… so to speak
    (Thanks to Jeff Id for coming up with it.)

  101. On a slightly OT, but kind of related note, Time magazine, that bastion of conservative anti-environmentalism, is admitting that Rush Limbaugh might not be such a complete idiot after all for asserting that “the greatest environmental disaster in history” was being overhyped.
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2007202,00.html
    “The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it “the leak” — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.
    Well, Limbaugh has a point. The Deepwater Horizon explosion was an awful tragedy for the 11 workers who died on the rig, and it’s no leak; it’s the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. It’s also inflicting serious economic and psychological damage on coastal communities that depend on tourism, fishing and drilling. But so far — while it’s important to acknowledge that the long-term potential danger is simply unknowable for an underwater event that took place just three months ago — it does not seem to be inflicting severe environmental damage. “The impacts have been much, much less than everyone feared,” says geochemist Jacqueline Michel, a federal contractor who is coordinating shoreline assessments in Louisiana.”
    Given the source of the commentary, the admissions that appear in it would suggest that Rush was more correct than even he imagined. It’s one of the few things in Time in decades that I would recommend reading in its entirety.

  102. Brendan Locke asks:
    “What kind of litmus are you applying in order to choose what you like (err….”believe in”) and what you don’t believe in, in regards to Science?”
    Scientific method, as first explained by Galileo. The essentials are that you create reasonably confirmed hypotheses, such as Kepler’s Laws, and from them you can make predictions whose truth or falsity in experience will determine the fate of your hypotheses. The moral core is that you share all your work and methods and that you eagerly seek tests of your hypotheses. Climategaters failed on all measures. To this day, they hide their data, a claim that you can check on McIntyre’s site right now.

  103. This is super interesting. Apparently it’s the soot, caused mostly by the cooking fires of poor people, that is responsible for most of the warming of the last century. We need to get those folks some modern energy sources and clean cooking stoves. Not because the world is pleasantly warmer than before but because soot kills millions of people around the world from indoor and outdoor air pollution.
    Note: the “smokestack” shown in the photograph in the link is not emitting soot, it’s emitting steam. U.S. power plants are not allowed to emit soot. I have a fascinating graph I made from data on the US EPA website showing a precipitous decline in U.S. air pollution over the past two decades. Unfortunately I don’t know how to post it here.
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/soot-control/

  104. Seems to me if the science is honest and presented honestly–with all the caveats and error ranges, etc., no PR is needed. Where results are honest and there is little controversy, people will act accordingly, or at least with knowledge. For the climate change issues, there is no honesty, no caveats, lots of controversy and a PR campaign seeking to force people to act in a preferred way, through government intervention if necessary. It all starts with the honesty.

  105. A lot of comments regarding AGW equate it to a religion. I think this bears some closer scrutiny and definition. Most folks ( at least in the western cultures ) think of Judeo/Christian monotheism when this is mentioned. In reality, I think it is more akin to the older polytheism types of religions or paganism/animism. The reason I think so, is the multitude of deities that crop up in regards to Climate Change – CO2, Methane, Solar, Population, Oil, Biodiversity, etc., etc. – which take on the countenance of many good or evil gods and goddesses, and which must be placated with various forms of human or animal sacrifice. Each has it’s priests, rituals, and temples (solar panels, windfarms, oil refineries, and so on ), and each is fairly intolerant of others.
    Being a non-religious, non-superstitious type I tend to view it all with a mix of apprehension and amusement.

  106. This is what happens when the only scientific research funded by government is that which meets government requirements for political correctness, and requirements for scientific correctness are lacking.

  107. Scientists should have more pride and not accept that they are a dependency class created by the government.
    You can either take that gov’t check, or you can persue scientific inquiry. Either/or.
    You can only serve one master.

  108. If a field of 1 acre has 10 sheep, then every field on the earth of 2 acres or more will at least have 20 sheep. Trust me. I’m A scientist….

  109. Public Relations is an offshoot of the advertising industry and has been contaminated by the ‘principles’ developed by showmen, car sales real estate people and the Wizard of Oz.
    One just has to look at the effects of public relations people upon politicians (the likes of Tony Blair’s sexed up War in Iraq and George Brown’s saving the world’s economy come to mind) to understand the effect of such people upon their credibility in the public’s mind. If one believes all that is claimed by using this or that brand of toothpaste for instance, one needs one’s head examined.
    Science should be free of the practices and skills of such people if it is retain the public’s trust.
    Doug

  110. DirkH quotes Brendan Locke as follows:
    “[…] My point being, you don’t “like” the Science. DIY, prove ‘em wrong. Go on, it’s permitted!”
    Son, you have it backwards still. The burden of proof is entirely on the scientist who is presenting his hypotheses. That is the core principle of Scientific Method. The scientist must share all of his data and methods in a form that is intelligible to all other interested scientists. The scientist must actively seek tests of his hypotheses. Climategaters did not follow the Scientific Method and that is established beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  111. Smokey: “Brendan H says at 11:34 am [ … ]
    This is tailor made for someone who believes the things that Brendan believes.☺”
    Thanks for the info, Smokey. Just by way of interest, do you prefer crinkly or smooth? My research indicates that crinkly provides that extra bit of protection, probably due to the increased surface area.

  112. Brendan Locke says:
    July 29, 2010 at 10:16 am
    What kind of litmus are you applying in order to choose what you like (err….”believe in”) and what you don’t believe in, in regards to Science?
    The only real litmus here is truth. Truth isn’t about what you want or choose to believe. Finding it is a process, an ongoing one, and it takes work. Many here in fact, are “accidental skeptics”, having believed the Alarmist side of things originally until actually looking into it. If the evidence that C02, and in particular our C02 was creating a problem for our climate (or will be) was there, we would, of course accept it. Such is not the case, however.

  113. “What kind of litmus are you applying in order to choose what you like (err….”believe in”) and what you don’t believe in, in regards to Science?””
    //If I could again hamfistedly tramp in. I made a comment, quite some time back (and I don’t remember where,) that statistically speaking, the scariest part of people accepting AGW to me was that no bit of prediction has ever been retraced or allowed to be proven wrong. Almost every field of research, even those which lead to physical laws, has had its incorrect dead ends and disproven theories (which fit some available experimental data but did not hold up to subsequent challenge.) That AGW does not allow this to happen smacks of large and obvious experimenter bias and groupthink, all on its own.
    The litmus test:
    1) The scientific method is followed
    a) A hypothesis, which is specific in scope and purpose, and falsifiable, is constructed.
    b) A sequence of experiments which can be conducted by any researcher (given resources) are performed dutifully and the results recorded
    c) The hypothesis is confirmed within the framework of the experiment, or falsified
    d) A conclusion is made
    2) Adequate communication of result requires that 1) the hypothesis, 2) all necessary information to replicate experiments and 3) conclusion are communicated. Other information such as derived data and notes are typically also communicated, but this is a matter of convenience or courtesy. In some cases, independant confirmation requires NO communication of data between experimental sites. The data is not important, 100% replicable experiments are.
    3) All science hypothesis or even laws are subsequently subject to falsification from subsequent experimentation or observation.
    That’s the litmus test. You can still be wrong, you can still perform experiments which only seem to confirm your hypothesis and you can still form an inaccurate conclusion, but sooner or later, it is usually found.

  114. I’m looking for a quote by a “Climate Scientist” who suggested exaggeration to get people to act and he suggested that the amount of exaggeration was up to each individual “scientist”.

  115. PR firms?
    Why not just bribe people?
    General Electric has agreed to pay $23.5m to settle allegations from US regulators that its subsidiaries bribed Iraqi officials to win contracts under the United Nations Oil for Food Programme between 2000 and 2003.

  116. Anthony: A slight correction r: my post @ 11:39am, 7-29-”
    The credo, or as Jeff Id called it “The Skeptics Creed”, is the first part of my post. The Michael Crichton quote came from Christopher Booker’s excellent book: The Real Global Warming Disaster. Just thought I would clarify that. Crichton’s quote I think is what is central to the CACC Discussion. I have seen nothing from the warmists that convinces me they are right.

  117. 899: “THINK: How is it that almost all of the MSM —newspapers, radio, TEE VEE, major magazines, journals, etc., all seem to reflect the VERY SAME THOUGHTS?
    It’s NOT by coincidence: THEY ARE OWNED by the same small cadre of insiders.”

    I thought JournoList was doing the coordinating?

  118. It’s not science that has adopted an authoritarian dictatorship, it’s all the pesky frakkers who speak for science while wanting everyone else’s money to do it.

  119. It would be interesting to plot Authoritarian Science Phrases and the US M-2 Money Supply on the same timeline. I would not be surprised that both exploding exponential curves overlap very well.

  120. M. Simon says:
    July 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    I’m looking for a quote by a “Climate Scientist” who suggested exaggeration to get people to act and he suggested that the amount of exaggeration was up to each individual “scientist”.
    This probably what you are referring to
    “To capture the public imagination, we [scientists] have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”
    The quote is from Stephen Schneider

  121. Yeah sure, fraudulent data manipulation, lying, hiding data, conspiracy, and so on – none of this makes me mistrust scientists. It’s only because they are so clumsy at presenting their case. Really. (/sarc)

  122. When Google was showing counts on their autosuggest facility recently, here are the counts for what the sceptical public have been searching for:
    global warming hoax emails_______50,900,000
    global warming myths and facts___11,700,000
    global warming hoax statistics____6,550,000
    global warming hoax articles______6,490,000
    global warming hoax_______________5,810,000
    global warming swindle video______2,060,000
    global warming myth_______________1,360,000
    climate change skeptics___________1,160,000
    global warming skeptics___________1,120,000
    global warming scam_______________1,060,000
    global warming hoax books_________1,050,000
    climate change skeptics articles____761,000
    climate change skeptics scientists__696,000
    global warming hoax al gore_________644,000
    global warming swindle______________605,000
    global warming swindle facts________603,000
    climate change skeptics video_______529,000
    global warming hoax quotes__________450,000
    climate change skeptics arguments___319,000
    climate change skeptics quotes______280,000
    climate crisis skeptic______________258,000
    climate crisis scam_________________209,000
    climate crisis hoax_________________140,000
    global warming swindle youtube______117,000
    global warming hoax graphs__________112,000
    global warming hoax essay___________105,000
    global warming swindle download______78,300
    global warming swindle torrent_______65,900
    global warming swindle summary_______41,200
    climate crisis swindle_______________33,500
    TOTAL____________________________95,306,900
    Climate change is still the preferred search term rather than the old “global warming” or the new alarmist term “climate crisis”:
    climate change__________________196,000,000
    global warming___________________29,400,000
    climate crisis___________________23,700,000
    Note that the counts are from the exact phrase Autosuggest and are NOT hits.

  123. Left authoritarianism is in full force. Andrew Klavan writes how his thriller novel Empire of Lies, was cancelled from publication in France, after he was paid in full for the book, by an editor who replaced the one who purchased the book, simply because she did not like that the protagonist was a christian and that the book portrayed the left biased media as complicit in terrorism.
    http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon0726ak.html
    The guys at Power Line ask if the left’s tendency to favor censorship is a result of their inherent authoritarianism, or just because they can’t stand losing an argument. They think its a mixture of both. I say that the second is an inherent characteristic of the first. We see it here every day in the climate debate.
    Most of us skeptics would like nothing more than to debate and argue with the alarmists till the cows come home. We recognise both sides’ right to speak their views. It is the alarmists, however, who censor our posts on their websites, who post troll posts hiding behind fake names and emails here, who cannot debate on the merits, who call us “denialists” and seek to demonize in an Orwellian manner.

  124. Oprah’s legions of viewers.
    Oprah’s rating have been going down. Recently Judge Judy has better ratings.

  125. Biba wonders whether the loss of credibility might be due to the malfeasance unearthed by the leak of emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, but comes to the conclusion that malfeasance isn’t the cause of the public’s disaffection. No, people have turned against science simply because it lacks a good public relations outfit. Biba quotes Kelly Bush, head of a major PR firm,
    Like the saying goes: you can always find someone who will say what you want to hear.

  126. The deniers are convincing people that the science is propaganda.
    Nah. ClimateGate is doing a good job of that.

  127. activist scientists such as NASA’s James Hansen
    Isn’t he the death train guy?

  128. “science says we must,” “science says we should,” “science tells us we must,” “science tells us we should,” “science commands,” “science requires,” “science dictates,” and “science compels.”
    They left out “The power of science compels you. The power of science compels you.” 😉

  129. KPO: @ July 29, 2010 at 4:20 am
    You’re not alone, that is something that constantly triggers my B.S. detector as well.
    Another thing is the precise figures that are always quoted for atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
    I’m not saying that my B.S. detector is faultless, just that those two things (amongst others) constantly set it off.

  130. I keep hearing the Wizard of Oz shouting at Dorothy and friends shouting “Silence!………before being discovered as a fraud.

  131. Brendan H says:
    July 29, 2010 at 11:34 am
    899: “THINK: How is it that almost all of the MSM —newspapers, radio, TEE VEE, major magazines, journals, etc., all seem to reflect the VERY SAME THOUGHTS?
    It’s NOT by coincidence: THEY ARE OWNED by the same small cadre of insiders.”
    I’m very sceptical of these types of claims, which strike me as bordering on the paranoid, especially given the existence of the fair and balanced media.
    What I think is much more likely is that both the rank-and-file scribblers and the MSM insiders are themselves subject to control by a third force.
    Just what form this third force takes is speculative, but most likely it’s some sort of direct electronic mind control emanating from a single source, probably foreign, or at least foreign-influenced. Find that source, neutralise it, and you’ve solved the problem.
    How to achieve that? Well, the fair and balanced media are obviously not victims of this electronic mind control, and nor are they foreign. Clearly, they have found a way of blocking the mind rays. So what is Anthony not telling us?

    Brendan,
    You seriously deceive yourself as to the facts of the matter, but I understand because at one time I held the same opinion as yourself.
    But after reading a bit of history, it became quite obvious as to just what the truth of the matter is.
    Here are a few quotes from the horse’s mouth:
    ———————
    “Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.”
    — Richard Salent, Former President CBS News.
    Excerpted:
    Asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1880, John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the New York Times, made this candid confession [it’s worth noting that Swinton was called “The Dean of His Profession” by other newsmen, who admired him greatly]:
    ” There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, as an
    independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you
    who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know
    beforehand that it would never appear in print.”
    Go here for the full quote:
    http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/LIE/lie.html
    See also:
    —————
    But who owns the media, which are the companies or people that shape our values, beliefs and decisions? The media is basically dominated by five major companies they are:
    Time Warner
    VIACOM
    Vivendi Universal
    Walt Disney
    News Corp
    Those 5 companies own 95% of all the media that we get every day. They own the major entertainment theme parks, entertainment movie studios, television and radio broadcast networks and programing, video news and sports entertainment.
    Source: http://hubpages.com/hub/Mass-Media-Influence-on-Society

  132. So the propaganda didn’t work so we need more propaganda? Climate science? That would be nice. When might we see some? The authors suggested remedy is a perfect reflection of the mindset of the nitwits who believe they can live our lives better than we can. Basic problem for the team, propaganda is never science. JRR

  133. Dan in California says:
    July 29, 2010 at 11:35 am
    [–snip for brevity–]First I was bored, then nauseated listening to my classmates endlessly discussing the merits of different flavors of socialism. Now, 30 years later, I’m afraid of my government for the first time in my life. Administrations and congresses have come and gone; I have agreed and disagreed with them, but I have never before been afraid!
    “When the government fears the people there is liberty, when the people fear the government there is tyrany.”
    ~ Thomas Jefferson ~

  134. Henry chance says: (July 29, 2010 at 5:55 am) I have 8 uncles over the age of 80. They were raised with bacon, lard, butter, salt and fried chicken.
    Which highlights how a silly scientist and an impressionable public can seamlessly make total idiots of themselves:

    Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus
    By JOHN TIERNEY — Published: October 9, 2007, NYT
    In 1988, the surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, proclaimed ice cream to a be public-health menace…
         He introduced his report with these words: “The depth of the science base underlying its findings is even more impressive than that for tobacco and health in 1964.” …
         That was a ludicrous statement, as Gary Taubes demonstrates in his new book meticulously debunking diet myths, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (Knopf, 2007). The notion that fatty foods shorten your life began as a hypothesis based on dubious assumptions and data; when scientists tried to confirm it they failed repeatedly. …

  135. Can’t wait for the ads starring Leo [DiCaprio]:
    “I’m not a climate scientist, but I play one in the adaptation of Pacchuri’s Harlequin Romance…”

  136. I realize by now that probably the only person who will read this will be one of the moderaters, but it occured to me the other day we perhaps need to define science….
    Granted what I’m saying here is a “what science isn’t” perhaps more than what it is, but if a person publishes results that can not be duplicated by someone else performing the same process on them, then he doesn’t have ‘science’ he only has something that might be interesting.
    For it to be science there must be reproduceable results by others doing the same experiement as the original person. And a peer review without reconducting the experiment doesn’t confirm anything about about it.

  137. I am sure that part of the reason for public rejection of CAGW is the arrogance you have discussed here Antony but it has occurred to me that another reason for the Man On The Clapham Omnibus rejecting the continual screams of the CAGW crowd is that they scream loudest when evidence comes up that they may be wrong. A rational person worried about CAGW would be delighted to discover that they might be wrong – wouldn’t they? – and the MOTCO is generally regarded as being rational, as you have noted. Certainly hiring a great PR organisation will, in the end, be self defeating. Talk about painting yourselves into a corner!

  138. CodeTech says:
    July 29, 2010 at 11:05 am
    Gail Combs:
    Thanks for the link to Learn, about the Delphi process. I’m not sure it directly applies here, but I believe that everyone should take a look. It describes a process that I have personally witnessed in operation several times now….
    ______________________________________________________
    Farmers found it very useful to be aware of the Delphi process.
    It was used in the USDA “listening sessions” on Animal ID a couple of years ago. Thanks to the internet farmers were warned ahead of time so it did not work. The USDA was so frustrated they started having armed police at the “listening sessions” Unfortunately the USDA and Congress did not take NO, HELL NO and why can’t you understand NO, seriously so they are still trying to ram the World Trade Organization’s traceability down our throats.

  139. Brendan H says:
    July 29, 2010 at 11:34 am
    899: “THINK: How is it that almost all of the MSM —newspapers, radio, TEE VEE, major magazines, journals, etc., all seem to reflect the VERY SAME THOUGHTS?
    It’s NOT by coincidence: THEY ARE OWNED by the same small cadre of insiders.”
    I’m very sceptical of these types of claims, which strike me as bordering on the paranoid, especially given the existence of the fair and balanced media……….
    ___________________________________________________
    you are kidding right??? Right???
    The wholesale purchase of the news media for purposes of propaganda was recorded in the Congressional Record in 1917, why would you think today was any different?
    U.S. Congressional Record February 9, 1917, page 2947
    http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/Morgan-Buys-Newspapers9feb17.htm
    If you want conspiracies here are some of the “real conspiracies” in a well documented article.
    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/conspiracy1.htm
    President Woodrow Wilson, 1913: “Some of the biggest men in the U. S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”[1]
    President Franklin Roosevelt, 1933: “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson… “[2]

  140. I was afraid this was going to happen, though not for the reasons cited. I’ve been more worried about science becoming discredited, because scientists were saying things that weren’t based in science, but people wouldn’t understand the difference, and so when their prognostications turned out to be wrong, people would come to distrust the scientists, and the discipline they represent.

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