IPCC – Religious Sect or Scientific Community?


Global Warming
Image by mirjoran via Flickr

The climate change question is starting to look really farcical to me. If anyone – especially a lay person – is really interested in finding out if there really is global warming caused by human beings, at least of the sort which requires major modification to our industries and consumption, he can do a lot worse than start at this site (“Watts Up With That?”).

The scientists at IPCC are more politicians – the sort who elbow each other in a corporate environment to jostle for pole positions – than scientists. They stack peer review committees with fellow converts, and would not admit any views from the other side, even when such views are presented in normal scientific papers with normally accepted standards. If you only preach and listen to the converts, these puppies are more akin to climate change high priests of a closely guarded sect than an open scientific community.

At best, it is an issue for which the jury is still well and truly out. Why wreck the economy and livelihoods for this rubbish?

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8 thoughts on “IPCC – Religious Sect or Scientific Community?

  1. The evolution question is starting to look really farcical to me. If anyone – especially a lay person – is really interested in finding out if The Theory of Evolution is real, at least of the sort which requires a bacteria to somehow turn into a whale by chance, he can do a lot worse than start at this site (“Answers in Genesis”).

    Scientists are more politicians – the sort who elbow each other in a corporate environment to jostle for pole positions – than real scientists. They stack peer review committees with fellow converts, and would not admit any views from the other side, even when such views are presented in normal scientific papers with normally accepted standards. If you only preach and listen to the converts, these puppies are more akin to Darwinian high priests of a closely guarded sect than an open scientific community.

    At best, it is an issue for which the jury is still well and truly out. Why submit to world government socialism and roast babies on a BBQ for this rubbish?

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  2. …but this entry is only directed at climate change scientists at IPCC; not science in general.

    The strategy to publically attack and smear one scientific discipline is a jim-dandy way to attack a totally different scientific discipline. It doesn’t magically disappear after you are done using it.

    Only the labels change. Creationist arguments and climate denier arguments are interchangeable.

    Climate deniers go to to WUWT.
    Creationists go to AIG.
    Same diff.

    “The science is corrupt!” is a complaint that both can use equally well (and they do).

    Then theres’s all the religious references. They are interchangable as well.
    (“Preach”, “converts”, “high priests”)

    Deniers of all different stripes copy from each other’s playbook. They don’t really have much choice. Same problem, same strategy, same rhetoric, same results.

    That HIV is the primary cause of AIDS is the strongly held consensus opinion of the scientific community, based upon over two decades of robust research. Deniers must therefore reject this consensus, either by denigrating the notion of scientific authority in general, or by arguing that the mainstream HIV community is intellectually compromised. It is therefore not surprising that much of the newer denial literature reflects a basic distrust of authority and of the institutions of science and medicine. In her book, Christine Maggiore thanks her father Robert, “who taught me to question authority and stand up for what’s right”. Similarly, mathematical modeler Dr. Rebecca Culshaw, another HIV denier, states: “As someone who has been raised by parents who taught me from a young age never to believe anything just because ‘everyone else accepts it to be true,’ I can no longer just sit by and do nothing, thereby contributing to this craziness”
    (…)
    Since the ideas proposed by deniers do not meet rigorous scientific standards, they cannot hope to compete against the mainstream theories. They cannot raise the level of their beliefs up to the standards of mainstream science; therefore they attempt to lower the status of the denied science down to the level of religious faith, characterizing scientific consensus as scientific dogma. As one HIV denier quoted in Maggiore’s book remarked,

    “There is classical science, the way it’s supposed to work, and then there’s religion. I regained my sanity when I realized that AIDS science was a religious discourse. The one thing I will go to my grave not understanding is why everyone was so quick to accept everything the government said as truth. Especially the central myth: the cause of AIDS is known.”
    Others suggest that the entire spectrum of modern medicine is a religion.
    Deniers also paint themselves as skeptics working to break down a misguided and deeply rooted belief. They argue that when mainstream scientists speak out against the scientific “orthodoxy,” they are persecuted and dismissed. For example, HIV deniers make much of the demise of Peter Duesberg’s career, claiming that when he began speaking out against HIV as the cause of AIDS, he was “ignored and discredited” because of his dissidence. South African President Mbeki went even further, stating: “In an earlier period in human history, these [dissidents] would be heretics that would be burnt at the stake!”

    HIV Denial in the Internet Era

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    1. Sorry mate – I don’t have any strategy, preconception, agenda or rhetorics. I just hate paying for something which may turn out to be totally pointless. IPCC scientists appear to be working in a way which ignores work with countervailing outcomes. For example I haven’t seen anyone countering the work of Lindzen and Choi, and perhaps others like them. Why should I have my job be threatened, my bills skyrocket, lives of my friends, neighbours and communities turned upside down all for something which either doesn’t make any difference or still in dispute? If someone (maybe you) point me to something which suggests people like Lindzen and Choi are wrong, sure, I’d change my mind.

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  3. Sorry mate – I don’t have any strategy, preconception, agenda or rhetorics.

    You may not consider yourself to have a strategy or whatever but…your comment perfectly mimics creationists and other deniers. A Young Earth Creationist, for example, could just cut-and-paste your comment and switch the labels around. There’s no need to make any serious changes to the content. If you don’t like the thinking that goes on inside the heads of people like that then I urge you not to legitimize their rhetoric by adopting it yourself.

    IPCC scientists appear to be working in a way which ignores work with countervailing outcomes.

    Well, perhaps that’s not the real story. I take a very dim view of global conspiracy theories. Have you availed yourself of primary sources of information or have you only checked out blogs and the media?

    For example I haven’t seen anyone countering the work of Lindzen and Choi, and perhaps others like them.

    Why do they get your exclusive attention? You did not find them yourself, right?. You were directed to them by middlemen. Do you honestly think that the scientific community is unaware of them?

    Why should I have my job be threatened…

    Woah, slow down there. Who’s threatening you? Seriously. Who is telling you that you are being threatened? Would it be from the same blogs that “helpfully” guided you to Lindzen and Choi?

    NASA is not “threatening you”.
    A cancer specialist is not threatening you if the tests come back positive.
    The global scientific community position on global warming is not “in dispute” nor do they think that it will make “no difference”.

    The American Geophysical Union does not want to make your bills skyrocket and the CSIRO is no threat to the lives of your friends and neighbours and the National Acadamy of Sciences is not scheming to turn communities turned upside down.
    The global scientific community is not your enemy no matter what you may read on a blog somewhere.

    If someone (maybe you) point me to something which suggests people like Lindzen and Choi are wrong, sure, I’d change my mind.

    I’d be happy to discuss it if you really are interested. I don’t want to bother you. If you ask me to disappear then I will vanish instantly. Your blog, your rules.

    First, I’d like to ask you about how you found out about Lindzen and Choi in the first place.
    What draws you to them over any number of other scientists and work out there?
    What do you really know about them and what do other scientists think of their work?

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    1. Cedric
      I am not a denier, just someone unsure about taking drastic steps which affect economic gains, for something which appears to be still undecided. Work from people like Lindzen and Choi need to be addressed otherwise you cant blame lay persons like me for wondering why we take steps which tend to curtail livelihoods. You are if I may say this, condescending generally and especially in thinking anyone who questions climate change positions by bodies like IPCC are misguided and have not been thinking or reading properly.
      The carbon tax regime proposed by the Gillard government will affect jobs and livelihood. She is asking Australians to trust her that it would not, but that is too high a risk to be wearing. It is a threat to jobs. Where does NASA and AGU come in? The CSIRO has also been known to be politicised.
      Just point me to work which address L & C work and I’ll take it from there.
      Also, skip the labels. I don’t enjoy being labelled a denier nor a creationist and would be grateful if you stick to the subject matter without the labels. If you cant do that, then please dont comment anymore.

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