Prologue: From a history book in the year 2100
“The story of the atmospheric sciences in the period 1980 to 2025 is one of the most puzzling chapters in the history of modern science. In a society claiming to be devoted to the improvement of the lives of its citizens a cabal of ignorant fanatics, half-literate researchers, political hangers-on and the odd charlatan was allowed control over research in atmospheric science and its applications. This event not only stifled the development of science, but also had far-reaching and destructive influence on the economies of many countries through misdirection of resources on a truly epic scale. To the outsider it was completely incomprehensible that societies capable of sending man into space could have entrusted something as vital as the energy provision, transport and food production to exploitation by obvious quacks. Even more curious was that the aberration was all the while loudly applauded by a sycophantic press and endorsed by learned societies that ought to have known better. Scientists of the subsequent period have long speculated about the machinery of that takeover and about the circumstances that made it possible.”
This posting is about how and why that takeover happened.
The twentieth century was one of great advances in physics, biology, geology and a whole raft of other branches of the scientific enterprise. It was unfortunately also the century that gave us the notorious pseudosciences Eugenics, Lysenkoism and the beginnings of Climate Alarmism, the current scientific aberration. Some, myself included, would add Marxism to the list, but I decided to not unnecessarily insult the intelligence and will briefly touch on only Eugenics further on to illustrate a point.
The hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, aka. Man-Made Climate Change, is a textbook example of a pseudoscience. More specifically, I will demonstrate that the conflict between that climate alarmism and real science has uncanny and disturbing parallels to Lysenkoism, a 3 decade long perversion of the biological sciences practiced in the Soviet bloc starting in the mid-1930s with Marxism as an enabling boundary condition. I will do so guided by a book that for a long time was the only available contemporary scholarly record of the period.
At the centre of every pseudoscience is invariably a false doctrine, a flawed hypothesis. In our case that CO2 is the most important climate driver. In a real science the hypothesis evolves through testing against reality into a better one or is just abandoned. In a pseudo science the false doctrine becomes dogma which may descend into folklore, such as astrology, but occasionally is taken up by powerful political interest and then does immense damage. Lysenkoism serves as a case in point.
A short history of Lysenkoism
I have a little confession to make. The ‘prologue’ was adapted with some poetic license from the opening paragraph in a translation of a book by the Russian biologist Zhores Medvedev: “The Rise and Fall of T.D. Lysenko”. In it Medvedev gives a detailed account of how Lysenkoism took hold, how it treated it’s opponents how it ruined Soviet agriculture and how it disappeared in the end. It’s a fascinating but difficult read, the more so because of the occasional depiction of personal misery suffered by those at the receiving end. The book is also remarkable in that it was never published in its original Russian (note 1) but only appeared in print in the USA, translated by his American colleague Michael Lerner who had stumbled upon the existence of the manuscript by accident, learning of it from the grapevine.
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko had a bee in his bonnet about a method of growing crops, ‘vernalization’ with which he tried to improve yield. He had adopted this method from the works of a crackpot horticulturalist Ivan Vladimir Michurin. There is anecdotal evidence that he was taken to those ideas because his father had had a modest success on a patch of potatoes with it once or twice. Sometimes you read that Lysenkoism was some form of Lamarckian biology or similar to what we now call ‘Epigenetics’ (a branch of genetics dealing with gene regulation and nothing to do with Eugenics) but that is incorrect. Michurin’s and Lysenko’s ideas were basically a rejection of the basis of Mendelian genetics, of the concept of genes. At present, in an age of gene sequencing on an almost industrial scale such ideas look nonsensical indeed, but also in the 1930s, more than half a century after Mendel’s work was published, they were downright ridiculous. No surprise then, that Lysenko collided with the geneticists of the day, in particular Nicolai Vavilov, one of the greatest biologists of the Soviet era, widely regarded as the father of what we now call ‘population genetics’.
Although Lysenko was at best a mediocre botanist, he turned out to be an astute political operator. At the Second Congress of Collective Farmers in 1935 he gave in the presence of the head of the party, Joseph Stalin, a speech describing the debate with his geneticists opponents in the political terms of class struggle, a Marxist concept, with Mendelian genetics labeled as ‘bourgeois thinking’ and its practitioners basically as ‘enemies of the people’ or collaborators with capitalist imperialism. Medvedev writes:
This speech of Lysenko greatly pleased Stalin who, at its end, exclaimed:
‘Bravo comrade Lysenko, bravo!’.
From then on Lysenko had the backing of the highest authorities of the state and gradually his detractors became marginalized. Needless to say that he attracted a large following of active supporters and hangers-on who realized very well on which side their bread was buttered. It will also be no surprise that Lysenko used his influence to systematically get rid of his opponents. Again Medvedev:
hundreds of scientists, the best and most qualified representatives of Soviet biology, were either
dismissed or demoted on the basis of fabricated, slanderous, and perverted accusations of ….
then he gives a long list of purported crimes, among which: having reactionary views, complicity with imperialism and the bourgeoisie, grovelling before the West, sabotage, anti-Marxism, anti-Darwinism and so on. But, of course, the only thing they were guilty of was having a mind of their own.
In spite of this onslaught, there remained an opposition actively lead by Vavilov until also he disappeared from the scene through vile machinations culminating in trumped up and false accusations. Medvedev describes the circumstances of his arrest while doing field work in the Ukraine. He was literally plucked from the land, then put on trial together with some of his closest collaborators for subversion and locked up. The condemned were denied outdoor exercise and their wives and relatives were kept in the dark about their whereabouts. Vavilov died at the end of 1942 of pneumonia brought on by malnutrition and exhaustion. He left behind a massive body of unfinished work, to the incalculable detriment of his science.
Repressions were imposed well into the 1950s, also outside academia proper, on those disagreeing, the so-called anti-Pavlovians, a term, as Medvedev mentions, ‘especially coined for convenience in making accusations’. This was a masterstroke of agitprop as Pavlov was a national hero at the time and known to practically every child, both inside and outside the Soviet Union, because of that dog of his. To be against him, you must be very bad indeed. And if you were as scientist so unfortunate to be baited as anti-Pavlovian you were for many years deprived of normal opportunities to carry on scientific work.
The two decades 1940-1960 were of stagnation. In 1953 Stalin died and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, a man from the countryside, who luckily for Lysenko was a true believer. However, while in the free world biology was advancing rapidly – in particular in the 1960-ties after the discovery of the genetic code – the lagging behind of Soviet biology was there for any unbiased observer to see:
The yoke of Lysenkoism became particularly burdensome as this pseudoscience continued seeking to suppress the new shoots inevitably sprouting in our science. The control of biological literature by supporters of Michurinist biology was so tight that for years there was scarcely a single article in the Soviet press openly critical of Lysenkoism. It was impossible to publish genetics articles as such during that period, and they had to appear in periodicals devoted to chemistry, physics, or mathematics. No direct critique of Lysenko himself got past editorial boards or the censorship. At the same time, periodicals and the popular press continued to promote the significance of the work of the Michurinists for agriculture and the national economy.
And, of course, the yield of the crops grown with the purportedly miracle methods were increasing year on year, if we are to believe the governmental departments involved, that is. However:
“Nonetheless, the backwardness of our theoretical biology became so obvious that some decisions had to be made, as pressure on the Academy of Sciences and other scientific administrative organs became stronger and stronger”
Part of the background to this was the, in reality, dismal performance of Soviet agriculture with several years of serious crop failures. The years 1962 and 1963 were so bad that food supplies had to be bought in the West and also in later years the USSR became a net importer of grain on a regular basis. The crunch came at a meeting to elect new members for the Academy of Sciences in June, 1964. Lysenko tried to ‘augment his forces in the AS Biology section’ but the proposed candidates were also vetted by members from the other branches of science over whom he and his clique held no sway. One of these members of the Academy was a young and now famous physicist Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov. His presentation dealt with the candidacy of a certain Nikolai Nuzhdin, one of Lysenko’s protégées, who was put forward to “counter anti-Michurinist distortions by [Lysenko’s] opponents”, as it was presented. This is what Sakharov said:
“It is a matter of scientific conscience for each of the academicians who will vote as to how to interpret what is really hidden behind this ‘struggle against anti-Michurinist distortions’ and for the further development of the philosophical works of outstanding figures in biology, and so forth. I shall not read the excerpt a second time. As for myself, I call on those present to vote so that the only “ayes” will be by those who, together with Nuzhdin, together with Lysenko, bear the responsibility for the infamous, painful pages in the development of Soviet science, which fortunately are now coming to an end”.
I love the sarcasm. What he basically and totally against protocol put to the meeting was: “don’t vote for these guys, they are quacks”. The statement was met by applause. Lysenko and his ‘ism’ never recovered from this devastating assessment and within a year had completely disappeared from the scene, was literally written out of Soviet history.
Medvedev ends his book with an analysis of how and why it had happened. As he puts it: how did it happen that “in a society devoted to the betterment of the lot of peasants and workers, an illiterate and fanatical charlatan was allowed absolute dictatorship and control over both research in biology and agricultural practice?”. The way I read his conclusions is that you need four ingredients for such a disaster: (1) a false doctrine, obviously, (2) politically savvy and/or charismatic protagonists,
(3) patronage (which he calls ‘personality cult’, because he has Stalin in mind) and (4) an ideology in which all these can be embedded. Here Medvedev thought that such an ideology must necessarily be extremist in nature itself, but I have my doubts about that. The only requirement is to stifle free expression, and we all know that that can be achieved in the nicest possible and legal ways.
Climate Change Alarmism
You know what? I haven’t said much about Climate Change Alarmism. But I didn’t need to, because you will have recognized it in all its gory detail. For every aspect of Lysenkoism you can find the counterpart in the global warming hysteria. It’s all there: the false hypothesis, the speech that started the ball rolling (note 2), the personalities, with their groupies and real or imagined prizes, the patronage by the party, sorry, the UN, the censorious manipulation, the name calling, the data molestation, the muzzling of opponents, the people who can’t get their work past the editors, the people who are locked out of funding possibilities, those who lost their job (note 3), those who are accused of sleeping with the enemy, and last but not least the fanatics forcing their views on others and the cretins baying for blood. Plus, of course, an obliging press. And it’s all embedded in Woke Ideology, in the doctrine of Political Correctness which makes it not done to criticize anything green and survive in your job. The only thing you will not find with Lysenko is a petulant half-educated schoolgirl beatified by a clueless following. And just as Lysenkoism devastated Soviet agriculture – resulting in food shortages – the current affliction, spawning idiotic energy and food policies, will rob the peoples of the West of the resources that underpin their standard of living.
Climate Change Alarmism is Lysenkoism Mark II of the politically correct classes of the West. It appears to me that Medvedev’s four points explain reasonably well why it was possible that in an advanced society things as vital as energy, transport and food policies were allowed to be held hostage to the whims of a rabble of activists and second-rate scientists. However, we could then wonder which of those circumstances are the more important, which one we should concentrate on in order to rid ourselves of the turbulent climate-change priests? Here the events of 1964 may provide some guidance. Lysenkoism did notdie because the false hypothesis was shown to be false; that had been obvious to any intelligent observer almost from the beginning. Also it didn’t disappear because the enabling ideology was ditched; the USSR limped on for a further quarter of a century. Lysenkoism expired because of a combination of two things: a comprehensive assault on its pretence of being a legitimate science, followed by the withdrawal of the patronage. The former happened when someone of unassailable credentials stood up and called a spade a spade. Sakharov was considered as the father of the Soviet H-bomb project and whatever the members of the Politburo may have thought of him they recognized that he usually knew precisely what he was talking about. That defenestration paved the way for the withdrawal of the patronage by the Soviet state without loss of face, but that, significantly, happened only after the believer Khrushchev had been deposed by the realist Leonid Brezhnev.
The patronage is the key. Disproving the false hypothesis, although necessary, can only help to discredit the pseudo-science but on its own is like barking up the wrong tree. The focus should be on the juggernaut of the IPCC. That organization does not obtain its perceived legitimacy from its parent, the UN, but instead does so from the many scientists from a wide range of disciplines who faithfully and naively contribute to its reports. There is, however, a growing number of former contributors who have left that circus behind, disillusioned because they found that their honest effort was just ignored or worse, misconstrued and abused to support the political agenda of the bureaucrats. Could that experience be mobilized to convince others withdrawing their collaboration?
I want to conclude with an observation about the nefarious role of the press. That a press labouring under a dictatorship will follow orders is no surprise. But in the early 1920s, at the height of the Eugenics mania, you could not open a magazine or newspaper or there was an item fawning over happy couples and their beautiful special ‘eugenic babies’, who nevertheless somehow looked just like all other newborns (note 4). Newspapers and magazines went out of their way in admiration of the self-appointed exponents of that pseudoscience and the censorious attitude of publishers stifled opposition. This had the effect of legitimizing the ideology through the drip-drip of false information camouflaged in an endearing message, paving the way for tacit acceptance later of inhumane policies culminating in the atrocities of WWII, all in the name of ‘science’. Currently, the fake news about the non-existent plight of cuddly polar bears by organizations such as WWF and Greenpeace and their willing mouthpieces BBC and CNN is just a variation on the same theme: conditioning a susceptible younger generation to accept the draconian measures planned to fight the ‘climate crisis’. The philosopher Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) put it this way: “The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play.” Or, in plain English, the readers, the foot soldiers, are being brainwashed and immersed in the agenda of the publishers. George Orwell, himself a journalist, said something similar (see also note 5).
However, one wonders why also the publishing outlets of the scientific enterprise have such a penchant for finding themselves on the wrong side of history. Is it just ignorance, stupidity and cowardice on the side of editors and journalist or is it something more ominous and a deep-seated aspect of the way information is handled? Has the cherished ‘peer review’ system as tool for quality control outlived its usefulness because it has proved itself to be defenceless against subversion and subterfuge and has been, at least in the atmospheric sciences, thoroughly corrupted? But perhaps the explanation is much simpler, so let me put a thought for the day: Lysenko cast his ‘ism’ in terms of a class war. Methinks he was, unwittingly, spot on. Pseudoscientific episodes have all the characteristics of class war, as a conflict between those deluded by groupthink, dogma or ‘consensus’ and those who think for themselves. And wars are never being reported honestly.
- Medvedev intended to publish in Russian via the Soviet Academy by early 1967 but informed his translator that publication there ‘was to be delayed’, because the powers that be had decreed that that year, being the fiftieth anniversary of the Revolution was ‘not a suitable time’ to bring out books which could be seen as critical of the Soviet regime. Many months later it became evident that the ‘manuscript was not publishable in the USSR’.
- James Hansen’s 1988 senate address that scared the living daylights out of the gullible politicians (and turned him from scientist into activist).
- Check with e.g. Solomon’s book “The Deniers”, among others, for names and details.
- The pamphlet “Eugenics And Other Evils” by G.K. Chesterton is well worth a read.
- No one explained it more clearly than the notorious Joseph Goebbels: ‘Those who are to be persuaded by it should be completely immersed in the ideas of the propaganda, without ever noticing that they are being immersed in it’.
Spot on. Lysenko and James Hansen and crew do have some common characteristics in politicizing their “noble cause”.
Hanson was mild compared little fat mad micky 20 chins, mc kibben and the likes with their noble cause syndrome.
A very precise comparison of Lysenkoism to climate change. Not sure about the four ingredients. Patronage? Stalin was of course all-powerful, but in this case it’s not clear who among world leaders is “More equal” than any other. Merkel? she certainly drove the German effort (but ended up replacing nuclear by coal, so a net step backward.) Obama? not terribly effective. Biden? Unclear if his efforts will be successful. The G7? Russia and China are holding the “advanced ” countries back. The best hope seems to be China, which is supplying a few African countries with the investment in powerplants that they need, thereby stepping in to replace the World Bank which denied those countries funding to use their own natural resources to lift their people out of poverty.
Patronage is funding. Academia lives on publishing papers. These cost money; research isn’t free. So any mechanism that raises the profile and urgency of a field is important. It leads to funding.
Until 1990 the driver for funding research was the Cold War. We couldn’t fall behind again. Sputnik was over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.
Then the urgency fell away. We had a Peace Dividend.
Disaster for the entire academic community.
A new doom was needed. And everyone would assent to it or cease getting funding – cease publishing – cease being an academic – cease being relevant (by definition).
Yes, you are right: Patronage is funding!
Follow the money! You will find who HAS paid and who WAS paid….
Hence the current flogging of UFO incidences and video clips (especially military related).
You are forgetting the pseudo-scientist desguised as Vice-President (or the other way round) named Al Gore.
What do they want you to buy to combat climate change? Who sells those things or makes money through them? Notice how all the governments have been promoting and assisting in the sale of renewables? Ever wonder why? – Patronage
Davos mobs Bilderberg group gates zuckie and bezos
all heavily invested promoting and profiting from the charade
roths and rockers as well
If we don’t contain this climate Lysenkoism soon, that prologue may likely be written in Hanzi Chinese in 2100 and then translated to other languages.
There’d be other printed languages?
For the Re-Education Camps.
Suitable for reading while walking the treadmill. Got it. Thanks.
That would be preferable to having to write it in runes on clay tablets.
Well done, Ed. I note that in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, Stalin was already starving out competent farmers (Kulaks), sending competent intellectuals and potentially opposing citizens to the Gulags, and practicing manipulation of the foreign media (e.g. NYT’s Duranty). Lysenko spoke up at the right time to provide an irrational pseudo-rationale for Lenin’s multiple purges and pogroms — a very traditional, if risky, way of achieving patronage, by appeal to the tyrant.
I like the anecdote about Stalin where he apparently put the USSR on a Soviet version of day light savings time – it subsequently remained in force for years, because, let’s face it, who in their right mind would dare to tell Stalin that he had forgotten to change back the clocks!
Armando Iannucci’s movie ‘The Death of Stalin’ is stacked with Stalin jokes. One of the best ones is that when Joseph had had a stroke there were no more qualified doctors around because he had sent the best ones to the gulag.
But the yields were greater every year. Each year the yields were more than the following year, and last year’s yields were more than that year!
Old farmers joke from the USSR:
Beaurocrat: “How will the potato crop be this year?”
Collective manager: “I can truthfully say it will be double last year’s.”
Beaurocrat: “And how was the crop last year?”
Collective manager: “We could pile the potatoes up as high as God’s knees.
Beaurocrat: “But there is no God.”
Collective manager: “Ah!”
We have an equivalent today the World Meteorological Organisation each December proclaiming the year the warmest year eva’.
Climategate Email 0700.txt
“… K Hutter added that politicians accused scientists of a high signal to noise ratio; scientists must make sure that they come up with stronger signals. The time-frame for science and politics is very different; politicians need instant information, but scientific results take a long time …”
Politicians demanded certainty, and gave money to scientists who claimed they could provide that certainty. A kind of pathological feedback loop, in which only scientists who told politicians what they wanted to believe received funding. All kicked off by Hansen scaring a few politicians.
The same thing is about to happen with UFOs IMO. I thought the replacement for the failing climate scare was going to be fear of malevolent AI, or super Covid, but the disturbingly broad appeal of fear of flying saucers makes it a strong candidate to form the basis of the next great lie.
Expect a UN X-Files commission within the next 2 years.
I guess the one silver lining of the UFO scare is we might get some investment in space infrastructure, instead of a bunch of useless windmills. Space Force might be given a decent budget, to facilitate investigation of UFO phenomena.
the only UFO scare seems to be the one you are pushing about it all being a Russian plot
(e.g. your story yesterday). You seem to be willing to do anything to get more money spent on nuclear weapons.
What Russian plot? Russians have openly admitted they are conducting test flights of a new kind of nuclear powered super long range flying vehicle, there has been an uptick in strange flying vehicle sightings. Seemed a logical explanation.
I’ll admit I wish the USA would take an interest in nuclear powered space launch capability, but my interest is space launch, not nuclear weapons.
Actually all the Russians did was claim they had tested such a missile and there is as much reason to believe them as there is to believe their claims that Russian spies were visiting Salisbury to look at the Catherdal.
Any nuclear powered missile would be easily detectable by anyone with a geiger counter and an infra-red camera. You can also be sure that the US has
24/7 coverage of Russian missile sites using satellites and if such missiles existed then independent confirmation of them would be everywhere.
Not so Isaac. A few miles of air is a very effective radiation shield.
The heat signature of the motor wouldn’t be that great, nuclear in this case gives more range, not more power. The heat signature is related to the power.
Independent confirmation does exist, in the sense that the USA built a nuclear ramjet engine in the 1960s, Project Pluto, so it is certainly doable. Surely you are not going to suggest the Russians are incapable of replicating American achievements from the 1960s.
Oh lord help us from Izaak logic … by your theory you can detect a nuclear submarine. Who let the idiots out.
and then theres the year or more up superhigh USA flying wing x whatever thingie..been doing trials on it for some years now
UFO suddenly allowed to be seen as probable..cos agenda suits arming space for control n profits FFS!
Check out HIMAT, been declassified since the 80’s. Not sure the current state, haven’t kept up
When you say “malevolent AI”, you are referring to an alien being & not Al Gore?
theyd be one and the same surely??
Makes sense but I feel one important aspect of the propaganda is left out ….. control of the media. He talks about ostracizing scientists for their beliefs but doesn’t say how important censorship of the media was/is and how it’s accomplished.
Explicit censorship isn’t actually necessary. It’s just a matter of the owners of the media realizing which side of their bread has the butter. Ignoring his politics for a second, Noam Chomsky makes a pretty good argument for that.
As long as I can remember, conservative politicians have complained that their views were being stifled by the liberal media. As one wit quipped, the freedom of the press belongs to the owner of that press. link
This should be required reading for all members of government. Won’t be, but should be
This should be required reading in our high school civics or media awareness courses. It’s mind blowing that any kid can tell you how evil the Nazis were but has no clue about the even greater evils perpetrated by the Marxists during the 20th century.
People don’t sufficiently value freedom because they don’t know what happens when totalitarians take control.
They may not have all been Marxists, but were ALL Socialists, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Po-Pot, et al, the brand may vary but the foodstuff remains the same!!!
They all end up in the same place, the only difference is how much of a hurry they are in.
Is there anyone with the stature to overthrow an axiom? Not that I see.
There is news this week [WSJ, page B1] that China is squeezing the supply of Manganese. Because China dominates processing of the metals necessary for carrying out the plans of the Climate Cult, their agenda might be stifled by another axiom – If something can’t go on, it won’t.
thats why theyre after that chunk of the ocean theyre claiming
the seafloor there has a LOT of manganese rocks
Nicely written piece, Richard Lindzen has made similar historical comparisons:
(Global Warming and the Irrelevance of Science. Text of lecture delivered on August 20, 2015 to the 48th Session: Erice International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies).
It came up here a day or so ago concerning hurricanes viz. what IPCC reports contents actually say as opposed to what the public believe.
I’m not defending the IPCC and I realise many dissenting reviewers are ignored however buried within those reports are guarded statements reservations and uncertainties that have become irrelevant, ‘the science’ has taken on a life of its own.
“James Hansen’s 1988 senate address that scared the living daylights out of the gullible politicians (and turned him from scientist into activist).”
Just Americans. It was Margaret Thatcher who pushed the nonsense into international politics.
(She changed her mind later, when the damage was done.)
And the reason she pushed it wasn’t just domestic politics (justifying de-industrialising the UK to break the Unions).
It was also because she (like Merkel) had a background in Science. Something that baffles most journalists and lawyers for whom “science” means “magic/prophecy”. They don’t understand it but still fear the authority of “Science”.
Argue that Arts projects say… don’t make crime less prevalent in an area and the press will argue back because they feel they know about the Arts.
Argue that the Science says we must do this thing and the press will obey and cheer that thing. How could they not?
wasnt her “science” managing to get more air n less product into icecream?
Well, yes. But that was at least commercially sensible.
The UK economy would be a lot stronger if she’d stuck at that and we still made things.
It is the poisonous mix of the precautionary principle and neomalthusian science fiction.
I’ve been saying almost the same thing for more than three decades. It’s just astounding how popular the precautionary principle is, now more so than ever. The corona virus hysteria reeks of it.
Your point cannot be repeated often enough because it is the key … a fallacy bolstered by bad science that common people will believe and fear.
If you take the precautionary principle to its extreme then why are we not walking round in Faraday cages?
Only the other day a young boy was killed by lightning while playing football.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), three people in the UK are killed by lightning every year.
Where do I get my Faraday cage? It will go nicely with my triple mask and surgical glove look.
Move fast, copper is skyrocketing
I’ve got about 3 kilos of pennies, will that help?
The “precautionary principle” is NOT science! It is the ignorance of science! It is the reward of the lazy who don’t know what risk evaluation is, or don’t think it is not important in modern societies, or think it is not worth studying it, or think that there is no use to even consider what it is.
The “precautionary principle” is the apology of conscious and active practical ignorance.
It was my understanding the Rio Conference redefined the original “precautionary principle” which had been:
The statement from the Rio Declaration (1989) was:
This turned thePrinciple “upside down”.
There it is in a nutshell … one of Maurice Strong’s contributions I have little doubt. That rewording of the “just in case” principle is how they’re handling the Kung-flu.
It’s the official rendition of; “Don’t play with that stick, it could put someone’s eye out!”
Whatever happened to the “cost effective” part of the proposition?
Very well put.
Gordon Tullock, the political economist, inspired by Popper, described in 1966 how the peer review system was bound to fail when science becomes politicized. HIs great book The Organization of Inquiry fell stillborn from the press.
FYI, when you put such a fabricated photo on your heading, I’m not gonna read a word you said.
I would note a precondition for obtaining a political patron – your ideas must coincide with their goals (overt or concealed).
Eugenics, with its promise to eliminate the “unfit,” was a wonderful thing for the rabidly racist Woodrow Wilson. Lysenkoism, which held out the promise to shape the “New Soviet Man” in the present generation, was just the ticket for the capitalism hating Stalin and Khruschev. Climatism, with its promise to force a “Global Reset,” is a perfect fit for its patrons (who are both rabidly racist and haters of capitalism).
Indeed. And I believe you are spot on. However, I deliberately avoided questions such as ‘what was in it for Stalin’ (or IPCC bureaucrats, etc) because it is a field wide open for speculation. Interestingly, Medvedev nowhere even asks the question himself. I assume that either his intended readership, his Russian colleagues, needed no further explanation about Stalin’s motives, or that what he wanted to say would not get past the censor. Similarly, he records in great detail the viciousness of Lysenko’s manipulations but does not give any hint where that viciousness came from. Did Trofym hold a lifelong grudge against his colleagues, and if so what about, or was it simply a cynical ploy to advance himself at the expense of others?
I’m sure your views on the IPCC’s motives are correct, but Hansen appears to me more of a useful idiot than a malicious manipulator. The latter dubious accolade, as is well documented by Mark Steyn in his writings, goes to Mike Mann. There is a delicious recent twist to the exploits of that rascal: in a recent ‘paper’ (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/371/6533/1014) he concludes that ‘there is no compelling evidence for internal multi-decadal oscillations in the climate system’. Hence no North Atlantic and Pacific Decadal Oscillations, no Indian Dipole, zilch, nada. Just as Lysenko didn’t believe in the existence of genes, perhaps Mike thinks that the NAO and PDO are bourgeois thinking.
Ehrlich was a malicious manipulator Hansen was an offshoot
Michael Mann had the affrontery to accuse John Christie and Judith Curry of being modern day Lysenkos when he testified to Congress as he sat at the same table with them, a few years back. He’s so thick-headed, he doesn’t understand that he should never get within 100 miles of a Lysenko comparison. The man is an embarrassment to science, to Penn State University, and I bet, if they ever took a vote, even to the evil and corrupt members of the AAPFCA (American Association of Paedo phile Football Coaches of America).
From 2017, Mann’s accusation of OTHERS, implying Christie, Curry and Pielke Jr. as filling the role of Trofim Lysenko begins at 43:55 of the video.
What i found interesting was that Eugenics was embraced by Woodhead Wilson and his Progressive ilk. Progressives ( as opposed to Populists) believed that government ought to be run by an educated elite. Eugenics would’ve allowed them to ‘weed’ out the criminals, feeble minded, and unwashed from the population, leaving only ‘their kind’ to rule and be ruled.
Today’s Progressives aren’t much changed in their snobbery, only they disguise their contempt better. Think about how ‘climate deniers’ are portrayed. Knuckle-dragging troglodytes, mouth-breathing Trump voters, and criminally corrupt scientists.
Wilson would’ve hated Obama as a racial inferior, but ideologically they are brothers.
It was even worse than that. During the 1920s and 1930s you could find the staunchest proponents of eugenics among the Jewish intelligentia of New York. Totally blind to where such an ideology would lead.
Eugenics works. Just ask a dog or plant breeder. When applied to humans it is morally troubling.
Planned Parenthood has been applying it since Roe V Wade, and before that since the legalization of birth control pills. But of course Sanger was all for Eugenics, and her organization still is.
The question is: who decides what is an improvement. Chesterton’s pamphlet is a scathing take-down of the arrogant attitude of the eugenicists who decided in their almighty assumed wisdom that is they themselves who should be a template for their master race. But just look at many of them: alpha males on beta blockers. Good luck with that.
The thesis of this essay is correct but limited. The corruption of climate science is a special case of the corruption of all the environmental sciences including (but not limited to) ecology, biology, botany, zoology, agriculture, animal science, oceanography, forestry, geography, and atmospheric science.
All the features of Lysenkoism (false doctrines, politicization, patronage cults, and embedded quasi-religious ideology) exist in spades in the other environmental sciences also.
The case could be made that this corruption began in the West during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s when fundamental principles were rejected and replaced by superstition and tribalism. The “New Age” was a rehash of the Dark Ages in the environmental sciences as well as other cultural sectors. The mysticism that replaced reproducible science still prevails.
The corruption of climate science is replete with examples and instances. WUWT has covered those very well for many years. Examples and instances of corruption in the other environmental sciences are equally numerous (or more so) but have not been well documented. They exist, however. Lysenkoism is alive and well today; in fact it is dominant.
What’s corrupt about forestry science? Actually, quite a bit- but my take on it with 48 years experience as a forester may be different than yours.
Dear Mr. Zorzin,
I could write a book, or two or three, on the corruption of forest science. A few examples:
Clements-ianism is widely believed and taught. Frederic Clements (1874-1945) proposed “natural succession” to “climax”. This theory is bunkum. Neophytes may think the virgin forest is having a climax, but the condition occurs nowhere. Skeptics of Clement-ianism are treated like nutty apostates, but we’re the ones who aren’t brainwashed.
It is widely believed, taught, and legally decreed that this continent was “wilderness” when “discovered” by Europeans. Wilderness is a myth. Human beings have resided here for upwards of 16,000 years and manipulated plant and animal populations the entire time everywhere. For instance, the white pine forests found in New England by the Pilgrims were culturally induced, not “natural” per se.
It is widely espoused that “fire suppression” is the cause of forest fires. What could be crazier than that? Yet it is a dominant ideology. This despite return fires reburning the same ground 15 to 20 years later, converting what was old-growth forest to tick brush. Withholding fire suppression causes megafires, not hazard reduction. Again, old-growth was culturally induced by frequent anthropogenic fire and requires human influence to be perpetuated. But junk theory piled on junk theory and then engraved into policy has led to a fire crisis that is destroying our heritage forests and befuddling the Lysenkoists.
Forests science cannot differentiate forests from tree farms and has no concept of forest management that is not tree farming — except No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot. Forestry schools typically have few or no actual foresters on the faculty, have never seen the forests they teach about, and have no idea how they got there or how to treat them. Forestry school faculty are, however, highly political.
I could go on and on. I despair that you don’t see it. For what it’s worth, I’m now in my 47th year of professional forestry, so you have me by one year. I’m surprised that your eyes have not been opened yet.
Eyes opened???? I’ve been fighting the forestry establishment here in New England since Nixon was in the White House. I know all about the lies and propaganda- how they tolerate high grading and excessive clear cutting- how the bureaucracies are mostly overpaid and useless. But, there is such a thing as very good forestry and that’s what I’ve been doing- which is why I’m not wealthy because I leave valuable trees in the forest. To what extend have you battled the bullshit while doing it right? If you want to see some great forestry check out a colleague’s Facebook photo albums here in Massachusetts: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MikeLeonardConsultingForester/photos/?tab=albums
I put up the first forestry web site in this part of America- in 1997- and it mostly consisted of essays highly critical of the forestry establishment.
Twice the state’s forester license board tried to take away my license to practice forestry because I had the guts to tell the truth about various issues- but I beat them off both times- with the help of those commies of the American Civil Liberties Union- because they’ll fight to the death to defend the first amendment to the American constitution.
Since you’re in a mood to insult me- I won’t discuss these issues- but I have indeed been a thorn in the side of the forestry establishment for decades- yes, much of forestry is bullshit- but there is such a thing as very good forestry which we must continue with- so people can have wood products- which are a whole lot nicer than metal, cement and plastic. Just stop assuming you’re the only one who is enlightened on the subject and that all forestry people are stupid and crooked- though many are.
it would help if you said where you practice forestry and for whom
I’ve created some rank amateur forestry videos on YouTube – and a video of the creation of a solar “farm” which I detest- and a few strange videos I made with a 360 camera.
That was in interesting perspective and the parallels with “climatism” are striking. Unlike Lysenkoism however, I can’t see any happy ending. There is no Sakharov to speak against it, and even if there were, it would not make the slightest difference. In fact, the respected physicist, the late Freeman Dyson, has ridiculed climatism, but his words had no effect at all.
Unlike Lysenkoism, which was contained in one block – the USSR – climatism had captured the entire world. There is no “over there” to compare credibility against. It will most likely not end until at least 2050 or thereabouts when it will have become irrefutable that climate models, even the lowest scenarios, are running way above observed temperatures.
Then again, how often will temperatures be adjusted to match rising CO2 levels?
Every COP ends with warm words and best wishes.
But every COP ends with China promising nothing in the near future.
There is an “over there” and sooner or layer the big banks and tech companies will decide that they need to follow the money.#
AGW is a sign of decay in the fading Empire. It’s a belief in the virtue and salvation led by the good guys (us).
Eugenics took off as the British Empire started to decline relative to Germany and the USA. It’s the same pattern.
Great article , thanks !
Wondering myself about climate alarmism, looking into history for similar human behaviour, I wrote this: http://www.davdata.nl/math/piedpiper.html
Indeed, in my opinion climate activism = (or will become) class war.
It’s all about global control over resources. The Club of Rome failed.
Will climate alarmism succeed? Mass revolt is more likely.
“It was unfortunately also the century that gave us the notorious pseudosciences Eugenics, Lysenkoism and the beginnings of Climate Alarmism, the current scientific aberration.”
The Kyoto Protocol Came Into Force on 16 February 2005 on the “Father of Eugencis”, Francis Galton’s 183 rd birthday …
Wikipedia : Claude Pouillet
Claude Servais Mathias Pouillet (16 February 1790 – 14 June 1868) was a Frenchphysicist and a professor of physics at the Sorbonne and member of the French Academy of Sciences
Pouillet developed and corrected Joseph Fourier‘s work on the surface temperature of the earth, developing the first real mathematical treatment of the greenhouse effect. He speculated that water vapour and carbon dioxide might trap infrared radiation in the atmosphere, warming the earth enough to support plant and animal life.
Kyoto CIF on 16 February 2005 was also the 215 th birthday of Claude Pouillet
Wikipedia : Claude Pouillet
Claude Servais Mathias Pouillet (16 February 1790 – 14 June 1868) was a French physicist and a professor of physics at the Sorbonne and member of the French Academy of Sciences[…]
Pouillet developed and corrected Joseph Fourier‘s work on the surface temperature of the earth, developing the first real mathematical treatment of the greenhouse effect. He speculated that water vapour and carbon dioxide might trap infrared radiation in the atmosphere, warming the earth enough to support plant and animal life.[…]
Kyoto CIF on 16 February 2005 was also the 215 th birthday of Claude Pouillet
Gee, we have a full generation, possibly two, of people who will become adults, who have been brought to believe that being compulsive liars is okay, because “everyone else does it”, and the “authorities” on which this is based are politicians (who generally know nothing) and magazine publishers (WWF et al.). It’s fascinating to watch WWF’s commercial in which they provide a brief clip of of hornets (they do look like the murder hornets) as “precious and endangered” (my Fat Aunt Harriet!) and they get away with it.
What I’ve seen in some speculative fiction movies, all set in a post-nuclear war world, is walled cities and population control. There’s a long list of those dismal forecasts, which never seem to explore the notion that maybe the farmers and other productive people WANT those clowns (especially political clowns) walled up in cities permanently, and not allowed to leave.
They WANT a planet empty of productive people. They don’t want advancement. They want stagnation and decay. They really should be careful what they wish for. All this technojunk that we take for granted now can become useless in the blink of an eye. Whatever would they do?
At some point, Climatism became a force unto itself. How do you stop a juggernaut? It travels under its own massive momentum. It has seeped into and corrupted every aspect of human life. Lysenkoism is but child’s play by comparison. The truth will win out eventually, and as such, skeptics/climate realists play at least some part in bringing the Climate monstrosity down.
You sit back and let nature take its course.
I undersand this in terms of the natural evolution of worldviews. A worldview is a viewpoint that models the world based on certain (metaphsyical) assumptions, So that the classical scientific worldview, for example, models the world in terms of a single valued true state that depends on previous states in an utterly deterministic fashion and whose future states are completely and totally encapsulated (implicit) in the current state.
Existence as we know it, is therefore nothing more (or less) that the explication of all time that was implicit in the Big Bang. In that worldview
Now the metaphysics of climate change is we know the implicit assumption that the only significant driver of (modern) climate change is man made CO2. And evidence that this is in fact an inappropriate axiom is hand waved away by inventing yet more ‘epicycles’ 🙂
Now the thing about a metaphysical system is that you can’t show that its precepts are true or false. Because they are not facts in themselves, they are ways of looking at and interpreting ‘facts’.
The only thing that causes a worldview to disappear from human ken, is that those who adhere to it and use it, die out.
People who consider that all that is involved in flying is jumping off high places and missing the ground are in much shorter supply than those who feel an aeroplane is more reasonable, as the chances of getting the missing the ground bit wrong, are – using the precautionary principle in all its falsity, far greater both in likelihood and consequence than the chances of being in an aeroplane crash…
People who believe in climate change will quite logically and naturally destroy the societies and civilisations in which they live. Armies and airforces running on renewable energy will be overwhelmed by those running on synthetic fuel and nuclear power. Idiotic woke green leftist liberal ideologues will be massacred in billions by machete waving hordes of True Believers in the True God and the Might of The Sword. Bang goes the whole Marxist narrative in one glorious sweep of ethnic cleansing..
Think of it as Darwin in Action.
downthread the UFO topic was mentioned
I’m not interested in being one more person on the internet claiming to know exactly what’s going on with all this, but I do know there’s an exactly zero percent chance that all this is coming out into the mainstream spotlight because the US war machine suddenly decided that the public has a right to know about a potentially dangerous security threat. The Pentagon did not spontaneously evolve an interest in radical transparency, and it is not coincidental that this is happening as we hurtle into a new multi-front cold war and an accompanying race to weaponize space.
As I’ve said before, the simplest and most likely explanation for all this UFO stuff is that the US military is manipulating us yet again to advance yet another strategic agenda. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the full story, but it’s definitely happening.
This very interesting and informative paper is about Lysenko-ism, while touching on other scientific scams. For me, the title would have been better, had it been ‘Lysenko-ism, as a proxy for the Anthropogenic Climate Change, scam, but I read it anyway, and was informed. Good job, Ed.
Ed, this is a first-rate essay. Nothing I say could possibly add to it, except to ask “Why is there so little skepticism and self-reflection?”
There may be more than meets the eye, due to the prevailing need to go along to get along, and to be part of “the tribe”. Then there is an apalling lack of gumption, and inability to “grow a pair” which are factors. But overall, it doesn’t speak well of man that this has happened. It appears that we humans, rather than evolving are de-evolving.
As a side-note, it is my understanding that after the French Revolution mathematics and physics were banned as they were deemed to be too closely allied to the elitist ideologies of the pre-revolutionary “enlightenment”. There are many examples of this bizarre thinking.
That is untrue.
Indeed the use of mathematics was essential for artillery officers.
One of whom was made Head of State.
Yeah, that story of the French state banning math and physics always seemed questionable to me. How would they be able to advance in artillery, chemistry or biology without any math or physics?
Regardless, scientific research is often directed by political fashion and biases.
For the West it was another ingredient. The very productivity of fossil fuels would ultimately permit the rise of an unproductive navel gazing class of stinkers in residence-
The climate crisis requires a new culture and politics, not just new tech (msn.com)
Eisenhower warned of such a class completely detached from the economic problem of scarcity now ripe for the plucking by another shrewd political operator. Only another dose of Pol Pottyism would cure a generation of them although biting the hand that feeds them and keeps them in the manner to which they’ve been accustomed may be enough.
I think Tommy Wils, in the climategate emails, described how this will likely end.
There are various scientologists who regularly show up to argue the science as they see it, Griff, Loydo, Simon, etc.
And I’m smart and humble enough to admit they could after all be right, though I doubt it.
But I would like to understand their feelings on this subject, like the base nature of Mann, the vileness of the man.
Do you really think he represents what you think of when you consider science?
Is that how you see a scientific debate should proceed, embodied in a man would not look out of place in a brown shirt, or in another place and time with a red kerchief tied around his neck?