There are some days, as I peruse the net, when it occurs to me that others must have been trans-versing the windmills of my mind! Yesterday – on the heels of the Pope’s pronouncements – just happened to be one of those days.
As I’ve been assiduously assessing the current validity of snippets I’ve gathered or garnered (you may take your pick!) during my somewhat prolonged “hiatus” – as well as snippets of more recent vintage – I took the time (and a damn good thing I did, otherwise I could be accused of plagiarism!) to visit Matt Ridley’s recent post down under, so to speak, at Quadrant. A few snippets to encourage you to read the whole thing (all emphases mine -hro):
The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science
For much of my life I have been a science writer. That means I eavesdrop on what’s going on in laboratories so I can tell interesting stories. It’s analogous to the way art critics write about art, but with a difference: we “science critics” rarely criticise. If we think a scientific paper is dumb, we just ignore it. There’s too much good stuff coming out of science to waste time knocking the bad stuff.
Sure, we occasionally take a swipe at pseudoscience—homeopathy, astrology, claims that genetically modified food causes cancer, and so on. But the great thing about science is that it’s self-correcting. The good drives out the bad, because experiments get replicated and hypotheses put to the test. So a really bad idea cannot survive long in science.
Or so I used to think. Now, thanks largely to climate science, I have changed my mind. It turns out bad ideas can persist in science for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they can turn into intolerant dogmas.
This should have been obvious to me. […]
[Ridley affirms my very own not so infrequent non-climate-related observations to the effect that:]
Much of this climate war parallels what has happened with Islamism, and it is the result of a similar deliberate policy of polarisation and silencing of debate. Labelling opponents “Islamophobes” or “deniers” is in the vast majority of cases equally inaccurate and equally intended to polarise. As Asra Nomani wrote in the Washington Post recently, a community of anti-blasphemy police arose out of a deliberate policy decision by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation:
and began trying to control the debate on Islam. This wider corps throws the label of “Islamophobe” on pundits, journalists and others who dare to talk about extremist ideology in the religion … The insults may look similar to Internet trolling and vitriolic comments you can find on any blog or news site. But they’re more coordinated, frightening and persistent.
[Ridley concludes; and I – for one – certainly cannot disagree with his:]
All that fear-mongering has achieved less than nothing: if anything it has hardened scepticism.
None of this would matter if it was just scientific inquiry, though that rarely comes cheap in itself. The big difference is that these scientists who insist that we take their word for it, and who get cross if we don’t, are also asking us to make huge, expensive and risky changes to the world economy and to people’s livelihoods. They want us to spend a fortune getting emissions down as soon as possible. And they want us to do that even if it hurts poor people today, because, they say, their grandchildren (who, as Nigel Lawson points out, in The Facts, and their models assume, are going to be very wealthy) matter more.
Yet they are not prepared to debate the science behind their concern. That seems wrong to me.
As you’re pondering Ridley’s right-on-the-mark observations – and waiting for my next post – here are some musical notes from a long bygone era … when lyrics could (believe it or not!) actually be heard and understood:
And while you’re listening, I would certainly welcome your thoughts along the lines of one (or more!) good reason we should give the United Nations (and/or any of its honchos’ arms, fingers, elbows etc. – particularly those on the “climate change” and/or equally indisputably anti-Israel front) any credibility whatsoever.