What's driving the "lack of respect" for scientists?

Yo, respect!

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.


  1. Sharon Knapik via Facebook says:

    Because the climate types have been shoveling manure? Just a guess…

  2. Joe Tomasello via Facebook says:

    Scientists that have sold out

  3. heres an interesting link…http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    hit the extended abstract to view measured and modeled data tables

  4. Ken Reed via Facebook says:

    When people of science get paid off to fake results, in order to do incredible damage to our society, and to allow theft of the money we earn from our labour, then I would say thats a good reason to disrespect them. When you a former rothchild director as head of the CSIRO – (They want to be a our carbon bankers), then it goes beyond disrespect and goes closer to treason and corruption.

  5. Actually, she gives a good example of why no-one respects scientists any more – Deepwater: The scientists queued up to tell the politicians and the TV networks how disastrous this was – the end of the Gulf, if not the whole of Central America.
    The unreported actual result – the Gulf marine life is better than ever thanks to the halt in fishing during the repair operation.
    Her problem is the same as the scientists problem – they love broadcasting the impending horror, but never broadcast the boring result when it turns out not to be a problem.

  6. Mandy Love via Facebook says:

    Because any fool with initials after his name can say what ever he wants and people will take it for gospel. Doesn’t even need to test his hypothesis.

  7. fred nerk says:

    Its got absolutely nothing to do with common sense that climate change is natural and CO2 is life.I don’t have or want any letters after my name but my BS meter goes off every time these alarmist/warmist start spraying crap based on computer models which are not evidence.Not one of these people can show hard data from the real world.While ever Carbon Cate,Tim Flummery and Al Bore have waterfront houses I KNOW it’s all CRAP.Show me the evidence and sell your house or F@*K OFF and get a life.CO2 is life Cheers

  8. You should send that last bit with the summary to Rosslyn. I’d be interested in what she might say about it. My guess is that she’d probably try and defend those actions, with some nonsense like: “it’s ok for the scientists* to do it”

    *[those that follow the AGW faith, I expect]

  9. fred nerk says:

    Sorry caught me at a bad moment listening to some drivel but I stand by what I said IF YOU PREACH RUBBISH don’t expect any respect CLIMATE CHANGE IS NATURAL AND CO2 IS LIFE

  10. froggy uk says:

    It seems as their green religion is now on the verge of total collapse their only defence is to rant, rave & accuse in desperation whilst still offering zero proof of their beliefs,
    Here is another one doing a similar slur tactic & throwing his toy polar bears out of the pram, Its not like he has millions of dollars to lose you understand!.

  11. I am a scientist. I still have respect for scientists, the scientific method, and the peer review process. However, as with all things, it takes a small number of people to ruin it for everyone…and thats not even including Al Gore and the like.

    Tim Flannery has done good research, has some amusing tales, and is a good communicator, but seems to have fallen to the ‘dark side’ when it comes to his involvement with climate science. I am sure he has his reasons for it, but I do wish he’d get back to looking at fossils in the jungle, where his work would be more useful than;
    “we’ll all be rooned,” said Flannery,
    “before the year is out”
    (Thanks J. O’Brian)

  12. Ken Reed via Facebook says:

    Read Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged – the same sort of scientific corruption is shown in the science bureau in the story.

  13. Johnny Smith Jones Jnr via Facebook says:

    All sounds like F.A.G out of team america.

  14. Mervyn Sullivan says:

    What’s driving the “lack of respect” for scientists? Read the following extracts from physicist Hal Lewis’ letter of resignation to the American Physical Society:

    “How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

    It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.”

    • There were only 52 alarmist scientists left at the last count, last December. On the other hand more than a thousand scientists contradict the fraud:

      Climate Depot dot com:
      “More than 1,000 dissenting scientists (updates previous 700 scientist report) from around the globe have now challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2010 321-page Climate Depot Special Report — updated from the 2007 groundbreaking U.S. Senate Report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming “consensus” — features the skeptical voices of over 1,000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. This updated 2010 report includes a dramatic increase of over 300 additional (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the last update in March 2009. This report’s release coincides with the 2010 UN global warming summit in being held in Cancun.
      The chorus of skeptical scientific voices grew louder in 2010 as the Climategate scandal — which involved the upper echelon of UN IPCC scientists — detonated upon on the international climate movement. “I view Climategate as science fraud, pure and simple,” said noted Princeton Physicist Dr. Robert Austin shortly after the scandal broke. Climategate prompted UN IPCC scientists to turn on each other. UN IPCC scientist Eduardo Zorita publicly declared that his Climategate colleagues Michael Mann and Phil Jones “should be barred from the IPCC process…They are not credible anymore.” Zorita also noted how insular the IPCC science had become. “By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication,” Zorita wrote. A UN lead author Richard Tol grew disillusioned with the IPCC and lamented that it had been “captured” and demanded that “the Chair of IPCC and the Chairs of the IPCC Working Groups should be removed.” Tol also publicly called for the “suspension” of IPCC Process in 2010 after being invited by the UN to participate as lead author again in the next IPCC Report. [Note: Zorita and Tol are not included in the count of dissenting scientists in this report.]

      Other UN scientists were more blunt. A South African UN scientist declared the UN IPCC a “worthless carcass” and noted IPCC chair Pachauri is in “disgrace”. He also explained that the “fraudulent science continues to be exposed.” Alexander, a former member of the UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters harshly critiqued the UN. “‘I was subjected to vilification tactics at the time. I persisted. Now, at long last, my persistence has been rewarded…There is no believable evidence to support [the IPCC] claims. I rest my case!” See: S. African UN Scientist Calls it! ‘Climate change – RIP: Cause of Death: No scientifically believable evidence…Deliberate manipulation to suit political objectives’ [Also see: New Report: UN Scientists Speak Out On Global Warming — As Skeptics!] Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook, a professor of geology at Western Washington University, summed up the scandal on December 3, 2010: “The corruption within the IPCC revealed by the Climategate scandal, the doctoring of data and the refusal to admit mistakes have so severely tainted the IPCC that it is no longer a credible agency.”

      Selected Highlights of the Updated 2010 Report featuring over 1,000 international scientists dissenting from man-made climate fears:

      “We’re not scientifically there yet. Despite what you may have heard in the media, there is nothing like a consensus of scientific opinion that this is a problem. Because there is natural variability in the weather, you cannot statistically know for another 150 years.” — UN IPCC’s Tom Tripp, a member of the UN IPCC since 2004 and listed as one of the lead authors and serves as the Director of Technical Services & Development for U.S. Magnesium.

      “Any reasonable scientific analysis must conclude the basic theory wrong!!” — NASA Scientist Dr. Leonard Weinstein who worked 35 years at the NASA Langley Research Center and finished his career there as a Senior Research Scientist. Weinstein is presently a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Aerospace.

      “Please remain calm: The Earth will heal itself — Climate is beyond our power to control…Earth doesn’t care about governments or their legislation. You can’t find much actual global warming in present-day weather observations. Climate change is a matter of geologic time, something that the earth routinely does on its own without asking anyone’s permission or explaining itself.” — Nobel Prize-Winning Stanford University Physicist Dr. Robert B. Laughlin, who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1998, and was formerly a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

      “In essence, the jig is up. The whole thing is a fraud. And even the fraudsters that fudged data are admitting to temperature history that they used to say didn’t happen…Perhaps what has doomed the Climategate fraudsters the most was their brazenness in fudging the data” — Dr. Christopher J. Kobus, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University, specializes in alternative energy, thermal transport phenomena, two-phase flow and fluid and thermal energy systems.

      “The energy mankind generates is so small compared to that overall energy budget that it simply cannot affect the climate…The planet’s climate is doing its own thing, but we cannot pinpoint significant trends in changes to it because it dates back millions of years while the study of it began only recently. We are children of the Sun; we simply lack data to draw the proper conclusions.” — Russian Scientist Dr. Anatoly Levitin, the head of geomagnetic variations laboratory at the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

      “Hundreds of billion dollars have been wasted with the attempt of imposing a Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory that is not supported by physical world evidences…AGW has been forcefully imposed by means of a barrage of scare stories and indoctrination that begins in the elementary school textbooks.” — Brazilian Geologist Geraldo Luís Lino, who authored the 2009 book “The Global Warming Fraud: How a Natural Phenomenon Was Converted into a False World Emergency.”

      “I am an environmentalist,” but “I must disagree with Mr. Gore” — Chemistry Professor Dr. Mary Mumper, the chair of the Chemistry Department at Frostburg State University in Maryland, during her presentation titled “Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming, the Skeptic’s View.”

      “I am ashamed of what climate science has become today.” The science “community is relying on an inadequate model to blame CO2 and innocent citizens for global warming in order to generate funding and to gain attention. If this is what ‘science’ has become today, I, as a scientist, am ashamed.” — Research Chemist William C. Gilbert published a study in August 2010 in the journal Energy & Environment titled “The thermodynamic relationship between surface temperature and water vapor concentration in the troposphere” and he published a paper in August 2009 titled “Atmospheric Temperature Distribution in a Gravitational Field.” [Update December 9, 2010]

      “The dysfunctional nature of the climate sciences is nothing short of a scandal. Science is too important for our society to be misused in the way it has been done within the Climate Science Community.” The global warming establishment “has actively suppressed research results presented by researchers that do not comply with the dogma of the IPCC.” — Swedish Climatologist Dr. Hans Jelbring, of the Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics Unit at Stockholm University. [Updated December 9, 2010. Corrects Jelbring’s quote.]

      “Those who call themselves ‘Green planet advocates’ should be arguing for a CO2- fertilized atmosphere, not a CO2-starved atmosphere…Diversity increases when the planet was warm AND had high CO2 atmospheric content…Al Gore’s personal behavior supports a green planet – his enormous energy use with his 4 homes and his bizjet, does indeed help make the planet greener. Kudos, Al for doing your part to save the planet.” — Renowned engineer and aviation/space pioneer Burt Rutan, who was named “100 most influential people in the world, 2004” by Time Magazine and Newsweek called him “the man responsible for more innovations in modern aviation than any living engineer.”

      “Global warming is the central tenet of this new belief system in much the same way that the Resurrection is the central tenet of Christianity. Al Gore has taken a role corresponding to that of St Paul in proselytizing the new faith…My skepticism about AGW arises from the fact that as a physicist who has worked in closely related areas, I know how poor the underlying science is. In effect the scientific method has been abandoned in this field.” — Atmospheric Physicist Dr. John Reid, who worked with Australia’s CSIRO’s (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Oceanography and worked in surface gravity waves (ocean waves) research.

      “We maintain there is no reason whatsoever to worry about man-made climate change, because there is no evidence whatsoever that such a thing is happening.” — Greek Earth scientists Antonis Christofides and Nikos Mamassis of the National Technical University of Athens’ Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering.

      “There are clear cycles during which both temperature and salinity rise and fall. These cycles are related to solar activity…In my opinion and that of our institute, the problems connected to the current stage of warming are being exaggerated. What we are dealing with is not a global warming of the atmosphere or of the oceans.” — Biologist Pavel Makarevich of the Biological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

      “Because the greenhouse effect is temporary rather than permanent, predictions of significant global warming in the 21st century by IPCC are not supported by the data.” — Hebrew University Professor Dr. Michael Beenstock an honorary fellow with Institute for Economic Affairs who published a study challenging man-made global warming claims titled “Polynomial Cointegration Tests of the Anthropogenic Theory of Global Warming.”

      “The whole idea of anthropogenic global warming is completely unfounded. There appears to have been money gained by Michael Mann, Al Gore and UN IPCC’s Rajendra Pachauri as a consequence of this deception, so it’s fraud.” — South African astrophysicist Hilton Ratcliffe, a member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and a Fellow of the British Institute of Physics.

      End Selected Excerpts

      • gyptis444 says:

        Thank you Malcolm. Your detailed comments and insights strongly reinforce my ‘lack of respect’ for the AGW argument and disclose a reality far different from what is purveyed by the warmists.

  15. Political interference is what’s driving the lack of respect for scientists and the whole AGW debate involves both politics and science mixed together.

    That’s the fundamental flaw with Global Warming/Climate Change – it will always be doomed to fail because it involves the corruption of science by politics.

    Politics deals with perception and science deals with facts … the two don’t mix and never will.

  16. Or maybe it’s because they sold their souls / morals & principals to the devil teaming up with politics & lying about the whole global warming debate .Assuming the average person is an idiot was their biggest mistake ….corrupt beyond belief how can anyone respect that ? & if anyone is the idiot here it’s science cause it will be a cold day in hell before they are trusted again !

  17. fred nerk says:

    None of it can happen without the help of the PRESSTITUTES of the main stream media.

  18. “Lack of respect” = Climategate

  19. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    The ‘mad scientist’ meme is still very strong in society – as strong now as it was when I first started working as a scientist 30 years ago.

    And I can tell you the Michael Mann’s, Tim Flannery’s and Paul Erliches of the world are not making it any better.

    This article illustrates one of the problems. Prof Flannery would do well to read it.

  20. Off topic but worth the laugh:

    A team of intrepid self-promoters explorers have set off to row to the North Pole to highlight the effect of climate change on the ice around the polar regions.

    Trouble is, their not actually rowing to the North Pole and not even the Magnetic North Pole which is over 700kms from their intended destination.

    The other problem is things were going swimmingly until their support vessel encountered an unexpected problem … ice. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3L23fgpJf0

    Thanks to: http://dailybayonet.com/?p=8868&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=global-warming-hoax-weekly-round-up-aug-11th-2011

  21. gyptis444 says:

    Well put!

    For anyone who still believes the IPCC is credible, I strongly recommend


    where (after the perfunctory diplomatic laudatory ‘executive summary’) you will read that the InterAcademy Council did indeed find irrefutable evidence of the malfeasance summarised above viz. political interference, lack of transparency, biased treatment of genuinely contentious issues, use of material which had not been peer-reviewed or critically evaluated (some of which was written by IPCC authors), vague statements not supported by evidence, failure to respond to critical review comments, poor handling of uncertainty (read ‘exaggeration’), and a total lack of any policy to preclude conflict of interest (did you know that Pachauri, the Chairman of of IPCC sits on the boards of several for-profit energy companies?).

    The increasingly widespread lack of respect for CLIMATE scientists comes as a shock to the lazy MSM because they simply have not read the IAC Review of IPCC’s procedures and processes OR otherwise, if they have read it they totally failed (because of their ignorance) to understand its significance in the context or real science.

    Mann’s iconic ‘hockey stick graph’ is a prime example of misleading, unscientific endeavour to hide evidence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age for the purpose of claiming that current temperatures are ‘unprecedented’. Dodgy data, dodgy statistics = unreliable results and conclusions.

    Notwithstanding the IAC’s erstwhile recommendations, IPCC’s AR5 will still be tainted by many of the same problems viz. political interference and lack of transparency (the ‘team’ of authors has already been selected behind closed doors), the newly introduced ‘conflict of interest policy’ is a joke, the IAC’s recommendation for ‘increased transparency’ has already been abandoned and replaced by a policy of ‘confidentiality’.

    I see no indication that IPCC has addressed the problem of bias. Their ‘literature review’ comprises an exercise in cherry-picking whatever material supports the agendas of the sponsor governments (most of the 194 nations involved are expecting huge handouts of money as the main outcome of the process and Gillard is doing her best to comply). A proper literature review would document the databases searched, the time periods covered, the search strategy used, the justification for that strategy, the number of citations retrieved at each stage of the search, the final selection criteria for inclusion/exclusion of material for further analysis. That needs to be done for each topic considered to demonstrate that the search has been comprehensive, unbiased, robust and repeatable. IPCC has NOT done this for AR4 and I see no indication it will be done for AR5.

  22. Toscamaster says:

    Karly Abrams asked an excellent question on Q&A about 3 months ago. Paraphrasing what she said: “I am a scientist and a growing proportion of scientists who are concerned about climate science. Why aren’t Australians getting a vote on this really important issue (A carbon (di oxide) Tax).

    Karly’s question led me to the conclusion that, while people from all walks of life are angry about corrupt politicians, their fawning climate scientists and the billions of dollars that are being mis-spent on pursuit of the phantom called Anthropogenic Global Warming, ethical scientists are probably the most angry; their profession is being demeaned by these self-seeking people.

  23. Richard N says:

    How utterly pathetic to virtually dismiss anyone who dissents against the warmist dogma as “anti scientist”, when it is plain to everyone that there is a very credible body of eminent climate scientists (Linzen,Spencer ,Christie et al) as well as scientists from other diciplines who question the AGW theory. As well you could be sure that there would be a fair range of opinion amongst the pro AGW therory scientists as to the degree of warming that we are to expect and how catastrophic it might.It just does not suit the warmist agenda to admit to any credible scientific based alternate opinions or even variance of opinion amonst scientists. The science is settled only in the paralell warmist universe . The body of evidence which contradicts the AGW theory is growing constantly and sooner or later must be addressed by governments and ther scientific advisors.

  24. tim flannery is a scientist ???? 😉

  25. What’s driving lack of respect for scientists?

    Feigned victim-hood, the last resort of the scoundrel.

    Likewise, the BBC documentary regurgitated by SBS last Tuesday

    Science Under Attack

    Needless to say, it is legitimate scepticism that comes under attack while purveyors of climate crap are portrayed as the paragons of scientific virtue. James Delingpole, who features in it, dissects the alarmist rubbish here and here.

    Coincidentally, perhaps, Delingpole is scheduled to drop in later this year.

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