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« Diary date: Meeting the climate change | Main | Greens back shale »
Saturday
Aug242013

Pielke Sr and the decline of the AGU

The corruption and decay of the great scientific institutions is a theme that BH returns to from time to time. Many are now little more than vehicles for the political campaigns of their administrators, with Soviet-style elections ensuring they remain under the control of unrepresentative cliques.

The latest manifestation of this corruption is the American Geophysical Union. As Pielke Sr explains at WUWT, this once-great learned society is now so depraved that it feels no qualms at suppressing dissenting views in its journal, EOS. As Pielke puts it,

This AGU venue of publication has now become more of an advocate for particular perspectives than a venue to advance our knowledge of science issues. While in this case, it is dealing with climate science, the issue actually goes to the core of any controversy within any subject areas that are represented by the American Geophysical Union.

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Reader Comments (24)

People like those at our once venerable institutions make me incredulous. Why do they do such things? It seems to be an attempt to destroy these institution so they can no longer influence society.

More venerial than venerable now.

Aug 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

It is interesting that Institiutions make sweeping "scientic" (political) statements but have never canvassed their members.

The Royal Society, IOP, etc are examples in the UK. Perhaps the members should push for change before these institutions become totally discredited.

Aug 24, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

The "corruption and decay" of scientific institutions, establishments and education will be the lasting legacy of the CAGW mass delusion.

Aug 24, 2013 at 9:28 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin: I don't think we can predict the lasting legacy. If we come out of the delusion right it could mean deep transformation in these very places.

Aug 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The most puzzling matter to me is how widespread the problem is. Something does not add up. At all.

Aug 24, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Surely these institutions have charters that ensure there is no bias.

Aug 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

EOS was where the team published their attack on Soon and Baliunas. We learnt from CG2 that they decided amongst themselves that it was perfectly Ok to include reconstructions that they knew were wrong.

Aug 24, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Martin: I don't think we can predict the lasting legacy. If we come out of the delusion right it could mean deep transformation in these very places.

Aug 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Martin, I'm kinda with Richard here, partially. Prediction is a failed activity and coming out of this delusion may never happen in the way we imagine. This fallacy agw has become so ingrained that I fear we will drift into an understanding that will be somewhere between a reconsiliation and an acceptance that the theory was misguided but fundamentally correct.

Aug 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

I'm kinda with Richard here, partially.

As much as I could ever hope for :) But it is a really interesting and important question, given that Martin was talking about 'the "corruption and decay" of scientific institutions, establishments and education'. I think we all see the corruption right now but is there no way out? Climate blogs and other online initiatives suggest to me that new institutions can arise. The game isn't over, indeed it's barely begun.

Aug 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The line from 2003 Around the World in 80 Days : "We're the Royal Society! We don't need to PROVE anything!" Prophetic, I think,

Pielke, Sr should resume his Blog.

Aug 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB


The "corruption and decay" of scientific institutions, establishments and education will be the lasting legacy of the CAGW mass delusion. -Martin A

The most puzzling matter to me is how widespread the problem is. Something does not add up. At all.
-Brute

And here at BH, certain establishment scientists have been challenged from time-to-time to do the kind of house cleaning required to change this. The sort of audacity that only a few, like Judith Curry, have got the balls to do.

Too few - too little - too late.

Ah, scientia. Alack, alas - I knew her well.

Aug 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

The sort of audacity that only a few, like Judith Curry, have got the balls to do.

Ha ha! :) :)

Aug 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commentershub

shub: calling to mind one the best lines ever delivered on the Radio 4 comedy panel show Just A Minute. We pick up the action with the chairman Nicholas Parsons giving the mic to the late Clement Freud, with Paul Merton and Stephen Fry ready to pounce:

NP: Ah Clement, 17 seconds on how to be irresistible to the opposite sex starting now.

CF: Telling them that you're a eunuch is also quite effective. In many ways.

BUZZ

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Is that because anything after that is a bonus? Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation.

SF: It takes a lot of balls to tell someone you're a eunuch.

That was on 23 January 2006. I didn't know those transcripts existed. That's the world wide web for you.

Aug 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Don't despair. It may take some time, but in SCIENCE the truth usually wins out.

Aug 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered Commentervan Loon

While I agree with Dr Pielke's criticism of the AGU statement, I find his EOS complaint is overdone. It seems to me that EOS did not suppress Pielke's views, merely limit the content of what was published in EOS to the most important points of his critique.

EOS printed Pielke's discussion of the process next to the official statement. [Both are on page 301.] That discussion is of a comparable length to the official statement. Linking to Pielke's alternative statement, rather than including it at that point, seems a reasonable editorial decision; otherwise, the minority (Pielke's) view would be considerably longer.

Aug 24, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

HaroldW: Not the first time you've used reason to dampen down sceptical outrage. In case nobody else says so, thank you for taking time to do so.

Aug 24, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I presume specialist groups are vulnerable to existing members with strong political interests winning influential positions, or even to admitting political activists whose primary interests are not in the groups' specialisms. The example of Chris Mooney joining the board of the AGU comes to mind.

Is it just a matter of time before the Institute of Plumbing goes the same way as the Institute of Physics? The plumbers, like the physicists, will be busy with their work, while activists will be busy taking advantage of their prestige. Shall we ever learn whether the views of the fellows of the Royal Society really are behind their leaders' enthusiasm for climate politics? Would there have to be a revolution by people not inclined to such melodrama, such as plumbers, physicists, and learned fellows?

Aug 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

"The Royal College of Physicians is a leading voice in the debate surrounding the impact of climate change on public and human health. This is reflected in the steps we have taken to increase awareness through our fellows, members and staff and our work with national and global partners to actively engage with this critical issue. The RCP is committed to reducing the impact of one of the most significant threats to health globally by engaging with this issue in three ways":

I was rather surprised to discover this - I suppose climate change is a health issue but I suspect that it is less important than malnutrition, infectious & parasitic diseases in the 3rd world and considerably less than cancer and dementia in the developed world.

Who says it is "one of the most significant threats to health. Is this actually quantified? The malaria scare due to climate change turned out to be false.

I wonder how the RCP came to take this stance when there some very much more pressing issues in global health that would be a suitable cause for concern to medics.

We are also signed up to "Health sustainability", which I don't have a problem with. Using well designed, energy-efficient hospitals is great and I am sure that medical consumables should be examined for their financial and environmental impact. The problem I have is that one is directed from the RCP website to nhssustainability
http://www.nhssustainabilityday.co.uk/

which is fine but is headed by David Cameron, Stephen Fry and Sir David Nicholson! Talk about wheels within wheels in the general eco-inductry!

Aug 24, 2013 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRC Saumarez

It's sad to see the positions these organisations are taking, but it is sadder to note their members are not punishing them with mass resignations.

Aug 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJud

Don't despair. It may take some time, but in SCIENCE the truth usually wins out.
Aug 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered Commentervan Loon

As someone said, if a subject has the word "science" in its title, that's a pretty good indication that it is not science.

So whatever generally happens in "SCIENCE" is no guide to what happens in "climate science".

Aug 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A


Martin: I don't think we can predict the lasting legacy. If we come out of the delusion right it could mean deep transformation in these very places.
Aug 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM Richard Drake

Well, I agree that efforts at writing the history of the future are very unlikely to withstand the test of time. And it's not impossible that a wave of revulsion, following a succession of bitter winters and prolonged power cuts, might result in things being cleaned out from top to bottom.

On the other hand, history shows that once a religion constitutes a memeplex of sufficient suitable memes to ensure its survival and propagation, and has attained a critical mass of true believers (or, at least, "believers" who recognise that their prosperity and survival is tied to their acting as true believers), it can persist for millenia.

My pessimistic opinion is that the AGW religion will still be going strong, long after all current BH readers have gone to post on the Great Blog In The Sky.

Aug 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin:

Well, I agree that efforts at writing the history of the future are very unlikely to withstand the test of time. And it's not impossible that a wave of revulsion, following a succession of bitter winters and prolonged power cuts, might result in things being cleaned out from top to bottom.

It might be less than top to bottom but that's where we should be aiming.

On the other hand, history shows ...

I don't think history shows quite what you think it shows. But there is a great deal of history. When Abraham met Melchizedek they both seem to have believed in one creator of all things. Anthropologists have found what seems to be much the same 'sky god' in the traditions of multitudes of so-called primitive peoples. Things like Hinduism with its millions of gods came in later.

Where does the AGW 'religion' fit within this very potted picture (albeit less potted than yours)? A very high chance that it will vanish away like the Tulip mania, in my view. But the drive towards world government lying beneath some of the more deceitful parts of AGW makes the betting difficult. Best nipped in the bud.

Aug 25, 2013 at 9:56 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

John Shade is correct . Politically active foundations have been funding intermship programs at major scientific organizations for over a generation, and politically active researchers and academics have naturally ussher their protege's into them.

Blame for the resulting political asymmetry must be shared by the know-nothings who did nothing to provide parallel encouragement to young scientists from the philanthropies of the right--fair warning of the erosion of the political neutrality of scientific institutions in the 1980's. If you have access to a library that subscribes to policy journals, I suggest you review ' In From The Cold" in the Autumn 1986 issue of The National Interest.

Aug 26, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Russell,
You are spot on. Producers were too busy producing and in effect abandoned the public square to the kooks.

Aug 26, 2013 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

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