WUWT reader M. Paul writes: Sometimes a new word emerges that neatly encapsulates a set of complex ideas. We have recently seen such a word enter the lexicon: Grubering.
For those of you who missed it, an MIT Professor named Jonathan Gruber has been caught on video describing all the various ways that he helped the Obama Administration to deceive the public regarding the true nature of Obamacare.
People are now referring to what the Obamacare campaigners did as “Grubering”. Grubering is when politicians or their segregates engage in a campaign of exaggeration and outright lies in order to “sell” the public on a particular policy initiative. The justification for Grubering is that the public is too “stupid” to understand the topic and, should they be exposed to the true facts, would likely come to the “wrong” conclusion. Grubering is based on the idea that only the erudite academics can possibly know what’s best of the little people. Jefferson would be turning in his grave.
I think that no other word describes what we have seen in the climate debate quite as well as Grubering. The Climategate emails are full of discussions about how to “sell” the public on CAGW through a campaign of lies and exaggerations. There are many discussion about how the public could not possibly understand such a complex subject.
The late Steven Schneider puts it succinctly:
On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. 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.
Our critics sometimes dismiss skeptics as “conspiracy theorists” noting how unlikely it would be that thousands of scientists would collude. They miss the point. We now know that Grubering takes place — we see it laid bare in the Obamacare campaign. It was not strictly a “conspiracy”. Rather it was an arrogant belief that lying was necessary to persuade a “stupid” public to adopt the policy preferences of the politicians and the academics in their employ. Its Noble Cause Corruption, not conspiracy, that is at the root of this behavior.
“Climate Grubering” — its a powerful new word that can help us to describe what’s been going on.