Sunday, July 01, 2007

IPCC Betrays Science

Tony Gillard at Spiked magazine has a lengthy but insightful article on the history of the global warming issue. Although he doesn't write from a philosophical perspective, his time line of who, what and when, I found to be very informative. His main theme seems to be twofold, that the scientific debate on global warming is anything but over and the IPCC is a political organization more than scientific.

He states three issues he wants to explore and adds a caveat:
How much of the global warming issue is shaped by new scientific discoveries, and how much by broader cultural and political trends?

How has the interaction between scientists, international institutions, governments, media and activists influenced the development of climate change policy?

Was the establishment of the IPCC a visionary act or an expression of political implosion in the West?

This essay does not attempt to provide a comprehensive history of the global warming issue; rather its aim is to contribute to the start of a critique. For whatever the facts about climate change can tell us, they do not tell us that the debate is over.
While he does explore these mostly from a practical viewpoint, he does brush up against the issue of loss of sovereignty when he says:
This trend towards ‘international’ policy making, where the authority of national governments is diminished in relation to institutions such as the United Nations or the European Union, is evident today whenever a controversial issue arises, from the legitimacy of the Iraq war to the development of genetically modified (GM) crops or any number of issues related to the human rights agenda.
One could probably do an entire essay on how "the authority of national governments is diminished" is the goal of the UN, and so far, mission accomplished. But if one were ever in doubt about the fact that this GW movement is all about forced sacrifices as a way of life there is this quote from Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC:
‘It is of great satisfaction that this report for the first time has dealt with lifestyle and consumption patterns as an important means by which we can bring about mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. So of course you can look at technologies, you can look at policies, but what is an extremely powerful message in this report is the need for human society as a whole to start looking at changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns.’
Of course, "changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns" are to be achieved by force. We know that this is the goal because, in a quote a few paragraphs earlier, Mr. Pachauri says:
‘It is essentially the scientists and the experts who are the ones who assess and provide the knowledge but this is something that is discussed and debated by the governments and since we accept everything by consensus this has the implication that whatever is accepted here has the stamp of acceptance of all the governments of the world.’
So science now seeks its seal of approval, its raison d'etre, its source of truth, not from reality but from an approval by institutions which have a legal monopoly of the use of force (governments). I cannot think of a greater betrayal of science than to put it (the mind) to serve at the pleasure of force.

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