In 2006, then climate change enthusiast James Lovelock believed that “before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.” The 92-year-old scientist is now in the recanting phase of his life. He admits that some of the language in his 2006 book Revenge of Gaia had been over the top. He admits that if he were writing today he would be more cautious.
It’s a little late now that laws are being implemented to curtail what was said to be “scientific fact.”
More than a century ago, John William Draper made the unsupported claim that scientific “opinions on every subject are continually liable to modification, from the irresistible advance of human knowledge.”1 This wasn’t true then and it’s not true today.
In reality, many new scientific theories are often opposed by scientists for any number of reasons. There is continued scientific debate over the causes or even the reality of human-caused global warming, whether oil is a “fossil” fuel or a renewable abiotic resource,2 the medical benefits of embryonic stem-cells, and much more. A lot of it has to do with grant money.
These debates can be downright hostile as charges and counter charges are lobbed from scientific strongholds where the claim is made that there is no room for debate. Consider the Inquisition-like reaction to those who question the certainty of global warming:
Scientists who dissent from the alarmism [over global warming] have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis. . . . In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.3
Some have gone so far as to propose that “global warming deniers” are aiding and abetting a global holocaust and should be prosecuted. Australian columnist Margo Kingston “has proposed outlawing ‘climate change denial.’ ‘David Irving is under arrest in Austria for Holocaust denial,’ she wrote. ‘Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offence. It is a crime against humanity, after all.’ Others have suggested that climate change deniers should be put on trial in the future, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their attempts to cover up the ‘global warming . . . Holocaust.’”4 These arguments are being made by those within the secular scientific community. Follow the money.
There’s a new Inquisition in operation. If you don’t hold to the agreed-upon theories, then you will not be hired, and if you already have a position, there is a good chance you will lose it if you express your opinion, especially if that opinion goes against a theory that might jeopardize money that flows from government grants. Stephen Jay Gould has written: “The stereotype of a fully rational and objective ‘scientific method,’ with individual scientists as logical (and interchangeable) robots, is self-serving mythology.”5 Scientists are just like everybody else. They want the same things.
We shouldn’t be surprised that climate scientists might fudge the evidence to keep the grant money coming in. Who’s really getting harmed? Anyway, the kids need new shoes and an investment portfolio so they can get into the best universities to learn how to game the system.
Gary Sutton, writing in an online article for Forbes, makes the point:
You can’t blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed’s mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today’s scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.6
Of course, they can be blamed when they claim that they are doing real science, there is no contrary evidence, and what contrary evidence they do find they suppress it. So the next time someone dogmatically asserts that the majority of scientists believe in Global Warming, ask your antagonist how much grant money he’s getting?
- John William Draper, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1875), vi. [↩]
- Jerome R. Corsi and Craig R. Smith, Black Gold Stranglehold (Nashville, TN: WND Books, 2005). [↩]
- Richard Lindsen, “Climate of Fear: Global-Warming Alarmists Intimidate Dissenting Scientists into Silence,” The Wall Street Journal (April 12, 2006): www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220 [↩]
- Brendan O’Neill, “Global warming: the chilling effect on free speech” (October 6, 2006): www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1782/ [↩]
- Stephen Jay Gould, “In the Mind of the Beholder,” Natural History (February 1994), 103:14. [↩]
- Gary Sutton, “The Fiction of Climate Science,” Forbes.com (December 4, 2009). [↩]