As I said a while back (The limits of Climate Hysteria) we’ve now reached the stage in these “climate wars” whereby the climate itself is the main combatant forcing the ranks of the delusional public academia, to be dragged kicking and screaming to the reality of our ever varying climate, as the climate itself now imposes discipline where the idiots in the so called “institutions” of so-called “science” failed.
In other words, when we only had a few years of data and a lot of climate variables, it was far far too easy to “investigate” the most worrying trends and then to further cherry pick the data. Then to write up this cherry picked data and publish in buddy review journals, put on Wikipedia as “settled science” and try to convince the world your religion has a credible basis. But, the more data that is acquired and the more people look into every nook and cranny and not just the short-term worrisome trends, the more the real picture of a continuously varying climate emerges and so the less important any one short-term change appears. The more people who gather data, the less any individual can cherry-pick the data to e.g. claim “snow is disappearing” in a warm winter or “floods are increasing” in a floody year or “droughts are increasing” in a dry year.
Or perhaps, the better way to put this is this: if as occurred, the climate academics cherry picked the data to show increasing droughts in years of drought, they cannot so easily then create trends showing increasing rainfall and floods in the following years of flood.
Tumbling Academic Credibility
We are now in the period of tumbling academic credibility. Politicians, media and public don’t know what the climate will do any more than the academics, but, what we outside academia do know now, is that the academics didn’t know any more than anyone else and that they lied, lied and lied again, either dishonestly or delusionally. Clearly as the trends like global ice return to “normal” and the climate fails to warm for the 18th year in a row, we might not know what the climate is going to do, but what we do know is that academics are a bunch of thoroughly untrustworthy people.
A few years ago, Climategate gave academia the opportunity to recover the situation, to impose standards. Whilst they could not have had their cake and eat it – they couldn’t both push the politics of environmentalism and retain their credibility – they could have at least kept their credibility if they forsook the climate non-science. Instead they lost both.
A few decades ago, such a fiasco would have been embarrassing at the time, but because academia used to write our history, they quickly rewrote the story, to make it appear academia were blameless. So, e.g. Piltdown Mann is now a story of a conman, not of arrogant academics ready to accept any evidence that supported their pet theories. However, now history is being written outside academia on the internet, so this fiasco will never be forgotten and the blame will remain fairly and squarely on the nonscientifical shoulders of academia.
What was different this time
But in truth, most sensible people have always known that “academics” are often wrong and we can’t read too much into that. But something was clearly different this time. So, why then, did global warming take off as a state sponsored religion? The key factors appear to be these:
- The rise of the internet and the early adoption of its use by academia, temporarily created an “academic bubble”. This came about because the internet allowed academia bypassed the common-sense filter of the media, and free from the constraints imposed on it by peer-review, the anonymity of the internet allowed academics like Mann to orchestrate a campaign of disinformation through sites like Wikipedia. So, public funding created an army of zealots who could use the the new media to spread their extremist non-science which could never have got through even the very biased peer review system of academia.
- The internet undermined the profitability of the private media. This left the public sector media like the BBC and ABC as the dominant force in media. And like all public sector they are delusionally pro-environment (i.e. anti-private sector, anti-industrial, anti-fossil fuels). So, for a while the anti-industry views of people like the BBC were largely unchallenged by the private sector.
- The growth of technology from the 1970s onward created a huge “mine” of data which could be sifted to find apparently worrying “trends”.
- The creation of NASA (created to suggest a civilian use for space) created an organisation with no real purpose which needed to manufacture a “need” for it to exist. This it found by exaggerating global problems like Ozone and CO2 which “needed” monitoring by expensive NASA led projects. In turn this added to the bubble of new data with new measurements. NASA needed people to look at this and find “problems” than “needed” NASA. So it gave away the data to anyone who was likely to write it up as a problem needing more NASA-led space probes. So, again, the public sector “scare machine” was subsidised and empowered by the climate data-bubble.
- The rise in global “environmentalism” empowered rather groups like WWF, Greenpeace, etc. who became global commercial companies to rival any other global corp – but who like snakes in sheep’s clothing, were not only in it for the money like the wolves, but they were far worse as they also had political intent. And again, these groups fed of the public sector as well as milking the private sector who they blackmailed for their donations.
So, much of the global warming scam was a chance historical accident whereby the “public sector” dislike of private sector because a public-sector hatred of fossil-fueled industry.
So, where do we go from here?
Trimming the feathers of the public sector
The public sector is a necessary and important part of our society and economy, but like cream cake – you can have too much of a good thing. And now the public sector has made our society obese, self-centred and fearful of even the most normal behaviour through “elfen safety”.
I am thoroughly convinced, the main reason for our bloated public sector is that the BBC and other state-funded broadcasters, now spend much of their time promoting “public-sector” viewpoints and undermining and/or attacking the ethos and viewpoints of the private sector.
At a time when generally the media has had to trim down in size as people turn to the internet, organisations like the BBC have tried to increase their funding and use that funding to undermine the commercial viability of the media on the internet.
So, the first step must be to dramatically reduce the size of the BBC. In short, the BBC should be privatised and the license fee should become an optional subscription.
Funding the sceptics
The single biggest problem that occurred on global warming is that the pro-side, funded by everyone from BIG government to BIG oil to BIG environmentalism to BIG academia, had something like 100 to 100,000 times the funding of the sceptic side. Indeed, the very fact I cannot really put a figure on the massive imbalance, is largely because the sceptic side is so absolutely poorly funded that we don’t have the resources to work out how absolutely poorly funded we are.
The problems stemming from the rise of the internet are ongoing, but are slowly being nullified. The private sector media, which crashed as the internet came on line has now massively downsized and is beginning to adapt. But perhaps as importantly, the public are beginning to adapt to a world where the media can no longer be trusted to be the sole source of investigative reporting or indeed of anything but cutting and pasting press releases.
So, when the media now says “it’s the warmest year on record”, this is now not seen as the view of the press, but as the view of the people they are reporting. In the past, getting something printed in the media meant something – it meant the media were willing to stand behind it – it meant it was credible. Today, it only means that the source has a good press office and that some tired hack thought it would fill a few column inches.
Likewise, the kudos of Wikipedia has been lost. At the beginning it was seen as a real encyclopaedia, but now everyone knows it is full of campaign groups pushing this or that point of view. So even if everything in Wikipedia is pushing the Mann-made view of climate even a minutes surfing the internet reveals that the climate as portrayed by Wikipedia is a sham.
So, the internet which gave the zealots in academia a huge advantage in pouring their vile into the PCs has now become much more egalitarian. Yes public funded academia still spend their public-funded time publishing anonymously to sites like Wikipedia, views that their own very biased colleagues would stop them publishing in peer reviewed literature. But there is now a very healthy sceptic view on the internet which albeit vastly underfunded, has at least stopped the worst excesses of academia in its tracks (with a lot help from the climate).
The fall of western academia
Paradoxically, the rise of the internet and the success of western academia in pushing global warming using it, is in my view, going to be the last time that western academia could claim to “lead the world”. Because, now the global warming meme is losing credibility, so it is dragging down the reputation of western “science” just as the rest of the world is seeing a massive rise in their own academic power.
The winners of the climate wars are unlikely to be western sceptics, but instead “Eastern” academics. (Western) Sceptics will not gain credibility as western academia loses theirs, instead, the growing academic institutions outside the west will gain credibility at the expense of the west.
The result is that power and influence in academic subjects will very quickly move away from the west particularly in the most outrageously biased subjects like the climate. Yes it will take time, but it is now largely unstoppable because western academia is incapable of change from inside.
The problem of academia
The problem is that academia just will not listen to anyone from outside. We saw this during climategate, we’ve seen this in their constant attacks against any outsider who dares to comment on their work. They are in short, completely utterly resistant to good advice. So, the demise of academic credibility and global respect is not something any outsider can influence.
Instead, we just have to wait until it is so obvious to them that they have lost their credibility that they decide to change themselves.
Writing this, I find that there are very few obvious or easy solutions. It’s really an intractable problem. UK (and I assume US) academia are the lunatics in charge of the asylum – and you’d have to be mad to try and wrestle control away from them. Instead, we just have to let them stew in their own juices until things look so dire for them, that they are ready to accept change. I would guess that will take a few decades – long enough for the few “self-aware” aspiring academics joining now, to realise that their career in the UK is going downhill because of the poor reputation of UK academia and the rise of new academia in other countries.
A global climate institute
A while ago, I suggested a global climate institute run by engineers. To be honest, seeing how academics just try to take over everything, I now see they cannot be trusted. Any such institution would be taken over by politically active academia. So whilst I’m still in favour of such an institute in theory, in practice I know it will very quickly become yet another Met-Office type “global warming is worse than we thought” kind of delusional institution. Instead what I think is more likely to happen, is that places like China will create their own sources of climate data (which they probably have in secret) and that these will slowly gain credibility internationally to compete and then win against the delusional institutions we currently have pushing non-science at us.
Indeed, the only realistic scenario is that western governments seeing the rise of Chinese climate science, feel (far too late) that they need to restore credibility in their own “science”.
Funding the sceptics
I suspect climate has been a very sobering lesson to a lot of people. A few years ago, many people would have jumped on a space ship and gone to another planet because they seriously believed the world would end in a fire-ball in a very few years.
Today, even the mildest “scientific” views from that era and considered outrageously pessimistic. Probably the biggest change we are going to see is a push to increase diversity in academia and to find a way to counter the menace of the now hugely powerful global corporation Greenblob like WWF. There’s clearly a case to end charity status to groups who are nothing but political lobbyists dressed in a thin veneer of green.
But how we fund sceptics? I’ve no really good idea except that people just donate.