Rosslyn Beebe pens a “why, oh why?” piece in the Canberra Times about an alleged lack of respect for scientists:
The global science journal Nature has suggested it’s driven by “a suspicion of elites and expertise” mixed with religious anti-Darwinism and hostility to any form of government regulation. The journal points out that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is just one timely reminder “of why the US government needs to serve the people better by developing and enforcing improved science-based regulations. Yet the public often buys into anti-science, anti-regulation agendas that are orchestrated by business interests and their sponsored think tanks and front groups.”
In 1996, Scientific American journalist John Horgan published a book titled The End of Science, Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age in which he claimed the “great era of scientific discovery is over”. He coined the term “ironic science” to describe research which, in his view, “resembles literary criticism in that it offers points of view, opinions, which are, at best, interesting, which provoke further comment. But it does not converge on the truth.”
She is also shocked, shocked I tell you, that anyone should take a swipe at Tim Flannery (and gets in a dig at the great unwashed, as embodied, in her view, by the “shock jocks”):
In Australia, a posse of shock-jocks and media commentators – as well as politicians – are taking aim at scientists. “Tim Flannery – Professor Bullshit” screamed a blog headline recently doing the rounds via email. Only last week, a Sydney shock-jock was all a-flurry about his discovery that Professor Flannery lives (has done for well over a decade) in a house on the Hawkesbury River. The Australian newspaper took up the issue, publishing a Google Earth image of the location. A news report headlined, “Do as I say, not as I do: Flannery’s all at sea”, tried to link prior comments Professor Flannery had made about climate change and sea level rise with his home.
Why she should defend Flannery against this obvious case of hypocrisy isn’t clear. In reality, however, there isn’t a lack of respect for scientists as a whole, there is a lack of respect for CLIMATE scientists and their associated advocates and public figures. We still trust doctors to make the right diagnoses, trust our engineers to build safe buildings and bridges, trust the particle physicists when they tell us that a multi-billion dollar circle of magnets kilometres across is required to find a new sub-atomic particle. No-one questions any of that.
The problem with climate scientists and their hangers-on is the result of the actions of a small but visible minority, who are guilty of:
- politicising science by advocating particular responses to climate change (most of which will damage our standards of living for no benefit)
- claiming that the IPCC is an impartial review of climate science
- passing off Greenpeace and WWF propaganda as credible science
- making catastrophist predictions about future climate
- conflicting themselves by accepting research grants from a government that itself advocates AGW alarmist policies
- playing down uncertainty in their results and claiming the science is settled
- fudging data in order to make it fit with their pre-conceived conclusions
- silencing dissent and skewing the peer-review process (so that it essentially becomes “pal-review”)
- refusing to share methods and calculations for independent confirmation of their results
- hypocritical do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitudes (eg. Al Gore and Flannery, above)
- abusing and smearing (dare I say, disrespecting) anyone that dares mention any of the above
Those are the simple reasons why climate science as a discipline has lost respect. The public is not stupid, and it can see when it is being misled. More openness, more debate, more honesty and less divisive language would help reverse the trend.
Article source is here.