Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why I'm Usually Pro-Skeptic, Pt.1 of Many

Paul at Real Truth About Global Warming has a post on one kind of censorship:
Recently, another incident of man-made global warming ideologues suppressing the scientific facts about global warming occurred in Washington State. Associate State Climatologist and climate scientist Mark Albright was fired because he sent e-mails to other scientists containing the true scientific facts about the Cascade Mountain snow pack. These facts refuted the publications of his boss, State Climatologist Philip Mote and the speeches of Seattle’s Democrat Mayor Greg Nickels who claimed the Cascade Mountain snow pack declined 50% from 1950 to 2000 due to man-made global warming.

Before the firing, University of Washington atmospheric scientist Dennis Hartmann tried to referee and resolve the dispute between Albright and Mote by doing an objective analysis of the data, but this failed when Hartmann found that Albright was right and Mote was wrong. This led to Mote trying to censor Albright’s e-mails. When Albright refused to allow this censorship, he was fired.
Ayn Rand once said that "Government encouragement does not require men to believe the false is true, it merely makes them indifferent to the issue of truth or falsehood." We can clearly see there are at least two people, State Climatologist Philip Mote, and Mayor Greg Nickels, who share this indifference. Normally I wouldn't jump to this conclusion but when an outside, independent scientist (Mark Hartmann) confirms that Albright was right, I have no choice.

If Mr. Mote were devoted to the truth, I would think, he would never have issued papers that Mayor Nickels would be embarrassed about later because they turned out to be false. And if I were the Mayor I would be fuming at such embarrassment. I would call for an investigation into the office of State Climatologist with a view towards getting Mr. Mote fired and promoting Mr. Albright. This way I could at least demonstrate to my constituents that I'm still devoted to the truth.

This event illustrates on a mini scale what is happening nation wide and even globally regarding the relationship between Attila and the Witch Doctor so eloquently identified by Ayn Rand in the title essay of her book "For The New Intellectual." In this case, it is a politician wielding political force, a mini-Attila, who needs the State Climatologist, a mini-Witch Doctor, to provide him (the politician) with the justification for the continued looting of the people of Seattle. By looting I mean passing laws that force his constituents to give up this or that or to pay this or that new carbon tax or force them to obey this or that nutty regulation like exposing their kids to increased amounts of mercury using politically correct light bulbs because they'll allow people to live longer if the mercury doesn't get them first. Sigh.

To ignore the facts of reality that are contrary to one's own scientific findings is dishonest and I see a lot of it on the pro-global warming side of this controversy, a lot more of it than I see on the critic side. To me, a scientist must include an evaluation of all known data on his specific topic. This means that if there are 27 studies supporting one position and 10 against it, he must explain the contrary evidence in some way, either refute that evidence or show why it may be insignificant. But to ignore evidence as if it doesn't exist, or in this case to refuse to disclose to the public why 1950 was chosen as a baseline, to be indifferent to the truth, is wrong. That is why putting an end to government encouragement of science is so urgent.

1 comment:

Inspector said...

Low-Tech backlink for you, Mike.