Climate Science, as Corrupt as it Comes! By Richard Miller (London)

 Professor Ulf Buntgen, Department of Geography, Cambridge University, has kicked the climate change academic hornet's nest with a paper recently published in the leading general science journal Nature, with the title, "The Importance of Distinguishing Climate Science from Climate Activism": While Professor Buntgen is not a climate change denialist, he is deeply concerned that an increasing number of climate academics are becoming climate activists: "Motivated by the continuous inability of an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle global warming, despite an alarming recent rise in surface temperatures and associated hydroclimatic extremes, I argue that quasi-religious belief in, rather than the understanding of the complex causes and consequences of climate and environmental changes undermines academic principles. I recommend that climate science and climate activism should be separated conceptually and practically, and the latter should not be confused with science communication and public engagement."

He argues that this trend will undermine the "science" of climate change, and ultimately generate a public backlash. While I agree, I think this process of activism is so far advanced now, that one would be struggling as an objective value-neutral researcher to sort through the vast literature without being tangled in political controversies. Hence, all the more reason to regard the entire field of climate research as evidentially contaminated. I have covered in past blog posts things like the temperature gauges being in heat zones such as airports, distorting the readings, and it goes on from there.

"The world of climate science is in a terrible state. Riven with political activists claiming to be scientists, funded by green billionaires and state actors interested only in the Net Zero agenda, reported by blockhead mainstream journalists who believe science can be 'settled' – and increasingly being questioned by bored populations fed up with listening to year-after-year, decade-after-decade 'Jim' Dale-style claims of boiling and collapsing climates. That is why the recent paper published in Nature by Cambridge Professor Ulf Buntgen has sent shock waves through a heavily-corrupted climate scientific community. At one point, Buntgen referred to the "ongoing pseudo-scientific chase for record-breaking heatwaves and associated hydroclimatic extremes". He argued that quasi-religious belief in, rather than the understanding of the complex causes and consequences of climate and environmental changes, "undermines academic principles".

Professor Buntgen is not a sceptic of the idea that humans control the climate by burning hydrocarbons. It is unlikely he would be published in a major journal like Nature if he was. But he is worried about climate scientists becoming activists by failing to work from actual observations. He is also worried about activists who pretend to be scientists. An excellent example of this can be found in the recent Guardian report that portrayed some of the hysterical claims of 380 "top scientists". Billed as the views of writers of recent International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, a suitable response might have been 'spot the scientist'.

The Cambridge geography professor observes that there is a thin line between the use and misuse of scientific certainty and uncertainty, "and there is evidence for strategic and selective communication of scientific information for climate action". Where to start on this one? There is overwhelming evidence that almost any scientific finding that casts doubt on humans controlling the climate thermostat will be ignored, and if that is unsuccessful, traduced or erased from mainstream view. In extreme cases, and certainly if the findings get any publicity, it might be necessary to put a billionaire-funded 'fact' checker on the case. A Guardian journalist helped get a science paper, Alimonti et al, retracted from a major journal because it cast observational doubt on claims of a climate emergency. Google has banned its ads from a page showing accurate satellite temperature on the grounds of "unreliable and harmful claims" of global readings. Less than curiously, the readings from this source happen to be generally lower than those produced by heat-corrupted surface readings. The state-influenced BBC has refused to discuss any sceptical view of the anthropogenic science opinion since at least 2018. Meanwhile, a UN communications official states that the world body "owns" climate science, and the world should know it.

Protected by the political and media class, the well-funded arrogance is off the scale. Buntgen notes that activists often adopt scientific arguments as a source of "moral legitimisation" for their movements, which can be radical and destructive, rather than rational and constructive. "Unrestricted faith in scientific knowledge is, however, problematic because science is neither entitled to absolute truth nor ethical authority", he says. The notion of science to be explanatory rather than exploratory "is a naïve overestimation that can fuel the complex field of global climate to become a dogmatic ersatz religion for the wider public", he added.

One well known activist who frequently claims 'the science' to shut down sceptical debate is the BBC broadcaster Chris Packham. Last year, he presented a number of Earth programmes that attempted to link past increases in carbon dioxide to rapid rises in temperature – all in the "terror" cause of drawing links with current and upcoming climate collapse. Alas, the 'science' shows that over 600 million years there is little or no link between rising CO2 and temperature. But Packham perfected the art of taking imprecise proxy data from the geological record – imprecise as in a margin of error of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years – and comparing it to accurate modern measurements. You can do that of course, but the BBC should surely be under an obligation to provide space for others to dispute the suggestions. No such obligation is evident, needless to say.

Buntgen finds it "misleading" when even prominent organisations, such as the IPCC, tend to overstate scientific understanding of the rate of recent anthropogenic warming relative to the range of past natural temperature variability over 2,000 and even 125,000 years. "The quality and quantity of available climate proxy records are merely too low to allow for a robust comparison of the observed annual temperature extremes in the 21st Century against reconstructed long-term climate means of the Holocene and before", he observes. Happily, it didn't stop Packham working back no less than 55 million years.

Dr. Matthew Wielicki was a highly-regarded geoscientist at the University of Alabama but he left academia last year noting that American universities, "are no longer places that embrace the freedom of exchanging ideas". He said they would "punish" those who go against the narrative. Contributing to this, he noted, was the earth science communities silence on the false 'climate emergency' narrative. "Members of the community routinely discuss the mental health effects of climate catastrophism but dare not speak out", he disclosed.

For his part, Buntgen suggests that the ever-growing commingling of climate science, climate activism, climate communication and climate policy, whereby scientific insights are adopted to promote pre-determined positions, not only "creates confusion" among politicians, stakeholders and the wide public, but also "diminishes academic credibility".

Next time you see dopey crinklies attempting to smash the Magna Carta (avid listeners of BBC Radio 4, no doubt), consider that the ubiquitous 'Daleification' of climate catastrophe promotion might have gone just a bit too far." 



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Sunday, 21 July 2024

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