Originally posted by Matt Briggs at his blog.
I am one of the more than one thousand scientists and related professionals who signed the World Climate Declaration, an effort started by a friend of ours, Marcel Crok, and Guus Berkhout.
Together, they run Clintel. From Climate Intelligence. You can visit them.
Now you’d think a document insisting that there is no climate crisis, sworn to by a large number of bona fide genuine homegrown beef-not-bug-fed manly—and womanly!—scientists, would prove—as in prove—there is no mystical “Consensus” to which obeisance must be paid. It does not.
Indeed, it rather proves the opposite. For if there were no Consensus, there would be no reason for this statement.
Since so many of us say there is no climate crisis, and those in the Consensus say there is, it means we have to understand exactly what this Consensus is.
The Consensus is that collection of scientists who are led by Experts and followed by True Believers. Experts, we recall, are those who have expertise, credentials, and appointments, the folks who supply The Science to the regime. True Believers are any however minimally trained persons who work with or for the Experts.
Now there are many controversies in science, but you never hear about most of them, and shouldn’t. Take, say, how to marry the theory, or theories, of gravity with the theories of quantum mechanics. Much acrimony here. Bad blood. Funding withheld, friends rewarded, enemies punished. Curses, recriminations, fantastically clever insults and arguments hurled by one camp at the others.
But, unless you’re a physicist, none of it matters to you. It’s not that the eventual answer, presuming they come to one, won’t affect you in some way, however obscure or indirectly (maybe somebody discovers “anti-gravity”). But since the outcome is fuzzy, at best, in the minds of the regime, not many in power who decide on funding care one way or the other which team “wins”.
Which means they’re not asking you to care—the rulers, I mean. Because they are not asking you to care, we don’t have hordes of ugly little girls admonishing you for daring to disbelieve in one theory over another. (I used this example in Everything You Believe Is Wrong in the Appeal To Non-Authority Fallacy.) The media isn’t haranguing you about quantum loops, or how only deplorables doubt strings (look it up). No one is shouting about your electromagnetic footprint. Since you are not asked to care, you are not forced to care.
And you don’t, and, as said, shouldn’t. After all, what can your caring possibly do to assist in removing uncertainty in an arcane theory of gravity?
Exactly the same as it would do in resolving uncertainty in global coupled climate models. Which is to say, none at all.
Again, controversies fill every branch of science, and should. At least, there is no way to remove human nature from scientific investigation, so progress can never be linear. Besides, acrimony and debate are not terrible ways to lessen uncertainty.
Yet where The Science happens, and an official Consensus necessarily forms in the direction the regime does not want change. “The debate is over,” they insist. With a hard emphasis on insist. To question the unquestionable is to deny, hence you become a denier. Notice nobody ever calls you a “quantum gravity denier.”
Inside the Consensus, which is again formed in the minds of the regime-selected Experts and True Believers, there is no movement. There can’t be. They start with The Science, and they cannot help but end in The Science. If The Science is wrong, then it can’t be fixed. Because fixing would require debate, and the debate is over.
If the regime was as powerful in the 1970s as it is today, The Science would be global cooling. The debate would be just as over, and almost nothing civilians see would change, except for the direction of propaganda. Instead of pretending horror over every summer high, there would be fainting spells over every winter chill. Instead of headlines like “How global warming causes more snow”, we’d see “How global cooling causes more sunburn.”
This is not the say The Science doesn’t change. It does. It shifts depending on the “solutions” desired by the regime. As we have seen many times. The real science can only be solved by accident, as it were.
This means the only real chance of progress is outside the Consensus. From people like those who signed the statement.