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Discussion > Are Sceptic Politically Irreleveant

To Quote EM via Cut and Paste (my bold on the quote from M Courtney).

M Courtney

Look, Entropic man has raised a real issue.
He has said that political acceptance of a scientific theory makes those who disagree irrelevant. That's us Sceptics.
As real science costs money to perform tests - and that money comes from the State - he has a valid point.


Thank you. It is an issue that needs to be discussed. Personally, I do not think it is a matter of funding for sceptic science. If you had. a scientific case it would be obvious. Measure climate parameters and the data does not care about your ideology.

The real problem is political. Noone outside the political right wing listens to you nowadays. Perhaps you need better poster children than Donald Trump.

May 22, 2016 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS on Behalf of EM

Personally I think sidelined would be a better word. The arguments put forwarded against both theory and adjustments are still valid and unanswered*. But because the political and media worlds are 97% convinced Climate Change is Real and Man Made then Sceptics have have become Deniers. This isn't the first nor will it be the last concensus.

To implement tyranny, the aspiring tyrant should do as follows:
1. ‘Us’ and ‘them’: use prejudice to foster the (fictional) notion of the existence of superior and dominant in-groups and inferior and powerless out-groups.
2. Obey orders: insist that all people under your wing are to obey your orders.
3. Dehumanize the enemy: emphasize on making inimical factions look less than human.
4. ‘Stand up’ or ’stand by’: suppress dissenting or opposing opinions to your own.
5. Suppress Individuality: foster the development of group identities while suppressing the individual.

All five currently in operation.

May 22, 2016 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

All valid points, but omitting the crucial facts concerning who pays for it, and what is the true cost?

As a country bumpkin, I have grown up with the natural world, and caring about it. Power cuts, whether caused by a fallen tree, or industrial action, are part of what I accept as 'Situation Normal'. The prospect of power cuts due to failed political dogma, is not appealing, any the electorate are not going to be very forgiving.

Obviously people dying in under developed countries due to lack of power, water, medical aid etc have no vote in the matter, but I have never been asked to vote for genocide either.

The people who pay for it all, are beginning to wise up. If the BBC broadcast stories about the NHS in crisis, BECAUSE OF CUTS TO PAY FOR FAILED GREEN POLITICS, the BBC would be so much more credible. I wonder why they don't?

May 22, 2016 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Look, Entropic man has raised a real issue.
He has said that political acceptance of a scientific theory makes those who disagree irrelevant. That's us Sceptics.

Well, the Mandy Rice-Davis wiki has a separate section devoted to the famous answer to that statement:

"He would, wouldn't he?"

I don't believe Entropic Man has any real interest in seeing the details debated. He merely wants to persuade the uncommitted. This is standard politics to gain the affections of low-information voters by saying "Look. We've already done the thinking for you so you don't have to. Now just sign on the dotted line. And shut up."

This was the whole point of the consensus-thing from the get go: An attempt to forestall genuine open debate by saying that it is already over, and you lost. Well, no it isn't, EM, and no we didn't.

Thus we have Prof Phil Jones famous lament:

"I recall giving lectures in the past when there would be one person who would disagree with something or all I said in an invited talk. The internet has allowed all these people to find one another unfortunately." -Climategate email #2621

Given the above, the politician will then also often attempt to marginalise opposition by saying "...and don't listen to those other people. They're just extreme left wing/right wing nutters.

And, lo!, Entropic Man then immediately moves on to do just that by bringing Donald Trump into the discussion. What he fails to see is that many people are voting for Donald Trump precisely because they are fed up with being treated this way by politicians from the Left and Right.

May 22, 2016 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart, so you have noticed the link between failed politics and failed climate science aswell. Have you also noticed the link between failing politicians and failing climate scientists? They all seem financially linked too.

Some of the biggest scams have involved the more traditional right wing, but as humanitarian care has always been the lowest priority, human greed for money and power is the common link.

The human need for some money and reliable power, is going to undo climate science at the ballot box. Climate scientists will have to fall back on the money missing from other people's savings.

May 22, 2016 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie, there is another thing that has often gone unremarked-upon in Prof Phil Jones' complaint about people who regularly had the temerity to disagree with him while he was trying to politically strong arm a whole branch of science:

I have have seen a lot of university/academic lectures/seminars/presentations in the real sciences. When a prominent speaker regularly has someone with the balls to publicly stand up and challenge him (sometimes her) and call bullshit, then I can tell you there are an awful lot more people in the audience who are are glad that that person did so.

He clearly learned nothing from his audiences. Peer-review works in more subtle ways than he understood. He and Kevin Trenberth only saw one, controlling, facet of peer review. A sad thing to have written on a metaphorical scientific-gravestone.

May 22, 2016 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I perhaps have should have made it clearer that just as traditional politicians think that controlling the MSM political-message is all they need to do in order to win, Phil Jones, Kevin Trenberth et al thought that they just needed to control academic publishing in order to extirpate all dissenting views. That was their game strategy.

[I don't even include Michael Mann in their class, and neither do they. He is just a guy on the make. He knows it. They know it, but still resent the dubious fame he got. Welcome to the supreme arrogance of academia.]

May 22, 2016 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"This is standard politics to gain the affections of low-information voters by saying "Look. We've already done the thinking for you so you don't have to. Now just sign on the dotted line. And shut up." michael hart

Spot on.

May 22, 2016 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

For the record, from Unthreaded. May 22, 2016 at 9:01 AM | Registered Commenter M Courtney:

As a random nutter in the pub may I clarify why I think Entropic man has a point that the political consensus makes sceptics irrelevant.

-Sceptics rely on evidence. They don't rely on faith.
-Evidence isn't easy to get. It is very expensive and unprofitable in the short-term.
-Only Governments can get the evidence. And Governments choose what evidence to look for.
-There are only four surface T datasets and they adjust to avoid unreasonableness. The datasets aren't entirely independent.
-If one becomes an outlier it will be defunded. There cannot be a deviation from the politically approved evidence.

Therefore the Sceptic case cannot be supported. Science has been replaced by political will.

May 22, 2016 at 3:58 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

M Courtney
Do you think that because it is political that this is a permanent state of affairs?

Reading your comments is quite depressing, mainly due to the fact it is usually a (financial) catastrophe that causes a political downfall, so the only thing that will change the current view is a climate induced financial disaster.

May 22, 2016 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, I don't think it's permanent but it is clearly stable.
Science mavericks who rock the world tend not to appear in fields which require multi-million dollar research budgets to get the raw data.

Any crisis of confidence in the ruling paradigm will destabilise the funding. In developed countries that tends to be financial. But losing a war can do it too (Russia in 1917).

Iconoclasm. That's the answer.
The unquestioned certainties about righteousness are rejected and the approach to seeking righteousness redefined.
It happened in the 1760s or religious tolerance.
It happened in the 1960s on sexual morality.
It can happen on green certainties too.

And presumably cultural changes can cause iconoclasm.

May 22, 2016 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

SandyS, there could be a mass suicide, lemming style, of polar bears trying to resolve their over population crisis.

This political problem is going to need a change in politics. The UK Conservatives are no longer a Green pushover, and nobody worth worrying about is howling in protest.

Angele Merkel, (the Senior Leader in the EU) is not going to leave office with a positive legacy in Germany about the EU.

The EU has got itself into a mess over refugees, though the UK has remained shielded by The Channel, much to French disgust.

Whatever the result of the UK's EU referendum, there will be political fallout in the UK (especially the Conservatives) A BREXIT vote would bring a new Prime Minister, chosen by BREXIT Conservative MPs. A Remain vote may widen divisions amongst Conservative MPs.

All of this becomes academic if Trump wins. If any Democrat or anti-Trump Republican Politicians get caught in climate sleaze rows, between now and then, it will be exploited by Trump. Climate Science won't be the only 'Science' to be swept out by new brooms in the White House.

Climate Science has lived by the Politics, and may die at the hands of politicians, squabbling about something else.

May 22, 2016 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Something happened between perhaps 1955 and 1975. Somewhere around the time that the space age ended.

Before then, the future was a better place. And politicians succeeded by promising to improve things.

After that period, the future was seen as a worse place. And politicians succeeded by promising to circumvent future catastrophe that would otherwise be inevitable.

There has always been an element of the population that loves to contemplate the dreadful future that lies ahead. And who take great satisfaction from wallowing in feelings of guilt and doom. At one time, it was the hellfire that awaited sinners. But then the death of religious belief left a vacuum.

But then along came CAGW, with all the elements needed. Doom - climate change is going to be the greatest catastrophe in the history of mankind. Guilt - it's our way of life that is going to be the cause of the catastrophe. And all based on what seems to be - unless you look at it critically and ask difficult questions - the application of science to the analysis of physical systems.

The whole paradigm (to coin a term) met so many needs, in so many ways, it was almost inevitable that it took root before we even noticed.

The politicians had future catastrophes to promise. The media had stories to boost circulation. "Climate Science", in a short time exploded from being geography or meterology - backwater subjects - into a multibillion industry, with frequent and well funded conferences in exotic locations, multi-million research contracts, very comfortable careers.

And a host of true believers, usually without training in 'climate science' itself, and with various needs - to have something to believe in passionately, to belong to a group which is, by definition good, opposed by the followers of the antichrist, by definition evil, to save the world.

I don't see it coming to an end in the foreseeable future - except perhaps as a result of some other and unforeseen catastrophe - hyperinflation? collapse of the electricity supply? nuclear war? the onset of another ice age? I see no reason, failing something like that, for it not to go on more or less indefinitely.

May 22, 2016 at 10:07 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A. I agree with your entire post. But I would put the rise of pessimism after the 1950s. It was the success of Sputnik that opened people up to the idea that the West may lose.

Also, it doesn't matter if people are pessimistic so long as they don't act on it. If they don't waste resources defensively then the one or two optimists will be able to make the big wins.

It doesn't need a disaster for people to stop funding the defensive waste-of-resources (like wind and solar power).
It just needs a cultural change.
I have hope.

May 22, 2016 at 10:22 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Martin A: a very good summation of the situation. If Svensmark is on the right track, then a fall in temperatures could be imminent; whether this will lead to another mini-ice age is what we have to hope does not happen.

May 22, 2016 at 11:16 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Martin A, if you are going for the 1970-75 time period, there is the Vietnam War backlash, plus the emergence of OPEC, quadrupling the price of oil, which is when I was told by a teacher (UK) that oil would run out by the year 2000, and electric everything was the future.

To me at the time, everything sounded exciting and positive about science and the future. There was nuclear, rockets, and HEP, though I don't remember anyone mentioning wind and solar.

May 23, 2016 at 12:44 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

If sceptics are so irrelevant, why do warmists spend so much time and effort attacking them?

Exhibit b

Exhibit c

May 23, 2016 at 9:04 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I would agree there's been a change in political and scientific thought from making things better for World's population to saving us from ourselves. The "Science" of Climate Change is a prime example, with the political slogans of "Reversing Climate Change" and "It may be too late already".

I started primary school in 1954 so I date the changes becoming clearly visible to an untended consequence of Margaret Thatchers conflict with the Trade Unions which accelerated the decline of Britain as a place where we made stuff, which requires science and technology, into a place where we make money which doesn't. Prior to that science and engineering were exciting. America has undergone a similar change. In both countries we have a generation with no understanding of science but who have a good understanding of modern environmentalism. This generation believes the sun shines 24/7 and the wind blows 24/7 and one wind turbine produces enough electricity for a shopping centre and 1000 houses, so we can leave oil, coal and gas in the ground. Shortfalls can be met by building connectors from China, North Africa and Iceland. Yet these same people don't make the connection between having to recharge their mobile phones twice a day, and the impracticality of a Nissan Leaf and the problems of storing energy in any other way than the ones found by nature. Interestingly Germany is undergoing a similar energy transition under another female president with a scientific background, strange.

The energy crisis of the 1970s triggered the French Nuclear programme, France not having coal or North Sea as energy sources. I have the impression that they too have effectively sat of their hands for the last couple of decades. I take comfort from the number Eoliennes Stop banners I see when cycling round the countryside here, there must be discussions going on in cafes as to why they're not a solution to anything.

May 23, 2016 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Well put Martin A.

Paul Matthews: "If sceptics are so irrelevant, why do warmists spend so much time and effort attacking them?" I've often pondered that given that we've actually stopped nothing in terms of the "fight against climate change". From the President of the USA upwards, politicians, of all colours, in the Western Industrial Societies have bought into the destruction of their own economies and their wealth being shared with the developing world through the various treaties. Laws have been put in place, windmills and solar farms built, coal fired electricity generation plants closed down etc. etc.

And yet they clearly don't think they've won. When embarking on any great enterprise one should always understand "what winning looks like" given that the alarmists don't think they've won, you have to wonder what they think winning looks like for them. The UN, the Club of Rome and the environmental movements all make it crystal clear what winning is, they want the World Government an end to capitalism and the redistribution of the wealth of the Western Industrialises Societies.

Whether the foot soldiers know of, or share, these objectives it's difficult to say, but the introduction of renewables into the national grids of our countries is a long way from them achieving these goals. So maybe they imagine we're a roadblock to the goals of the UN, CoR and WWF et al.

On the other hand they might just want to cement their victory before it goes cold.

May 23, 2016 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"If sceptics are so irrelevant, why do warmists spend so much time and effort attacking them?"

simple - displacement activity - attacking a scapegoat, is much more fun than contemplating policy, etc failures.

May 23, 2016 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

OK this closely allied to a question someone raised on the New BBC thread a couple of weeks ago..

#1 When did the BBC and other media become certain there is no sceptical side to CAGW ?
which can be put as
#2 When did the Main Western science bodies become certain there is no sceptical side to CAGW ?

May 23, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Rephrase the title
"Are Sceptics Politically Irreleveant"
..."Why do the Mad, the bad and the deluded have such a strong grip on politics"
cos in a lot of countries whilst the climate/energy field has thousands of individual issues, and public opinion is diverse and not supporting of many dogmas, the main political parties from left/centre/right have really signed up to the green agenda.

..and secondly I am not minded to let partisans like EM set the agenda

Truth is not a numbers game It only take the ONE skeptic little boy to point out The Emperor has no clothes.
Skeptics are extreme;y irrelevant, the issue is why are orgs not showing enough challenging and skepticism ..billions have been lost in subsidies and the billions of benefits of fracking delayed due to lack of proper skepticsm of Green dogma.

May 23, 2016 at 1:20 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Guardian writer and campaigner Alice Bell tweeted:@alicebell) May 22, 2016

FFS it's not "cherry picking" to agree with some bits of science and not other bits, …

It's bothering to look at it at detail. The scientific community is a complex, heterogeneous beast. It'd be weird to agree with all of it.

She was replying to an item about GMO's (which is strange cos the science on GMOs is far clearer than that on climate change)
"Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and other NGOs are happy to accept scientific consensus when it suits their purposes. They triumphantly quote academic research that backs their claim that climate change, brought about by increasing use of fossil fuels, now threatens major changes to sea levels, coral reefs, shorelines and global temperatures. Yet they are equally willing to say that scientists – who they are pleased to endorse as a profession elsewhere – are utterly wrong about GM crops. This is a dishonest act of cherry picking that makes a nonsense of the green movement’s claim to hold a superior moral position about the health of the planet.." Observer editorial on GMO crops.

So how come on Fracking and GMO's the SKEPTICS dominate ? more from Graham Strouts

May 23, 2016 at 1:40 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

errata : in the last but one post : "relevant", not irrelevant

"Skeptics are extremely relevant. The issue is why are orgs not showing enough challenging and skepticism ??
..billions have been lost in subsidies and the billions of benefits of fracking delayed due to lack of proper skepticsm of Green dogma.

May 24, 2016 at 1:23 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I had a weird dream this morning
I was walking down the street in a foreign country ..suddenly I see someone from months ago I had met in another country so I say hello and accompany him to his arrival meeting ..which turns out to be be masses of people from the cult that he is in.
I'm alone and he has got masses friends who have flown in specially to congratulate him on his journey
..but his masses are all wrong ..whatever the fundamental belief of that cult is ..its wrong ..and they are all wrong
..I've seen enough weird cults to know that.

...As I said above it only takes the "ONE skeptic little boy to point out The Emperor has no clothes."

May 24, 2016 at 1:29 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen