Mann Hypocrisy
I grew up in Australia in the 1950s and '60s. The story we were sold at school was that science was leading the brave new world. Dedicated men and women were pursuing truth in science, free from bias and influence. Scientific discoveries were lauded in the press and we were exhorted to accept these new findings as gospel truth. Science was extolled as a great even a noble career.

As I have grown older and (hopefully) wiser I have discovered that was anything but the truth. Science today has completely lost its way. There is a crisis in all disciplines around reproducibility - other people not being able to reproduce results reported. More and more funding is provided by corporates and foundations linked to corporates and government bodies with a very clear agenda and desire for particular results. Produce results that run against the agenda and you risk having your research terminated, your funding pulled, and your reputation attacked. There are many examples of this happening.

The way for a scientist to progress his/her career is to do research and to publish in prestige journals. In order to do that, they need to attract funding and have their research peer-reviewed. It turns out that to attract funding, avoid being attacked by one's fellow scientists and be accepted for publication, it is necessary to follow the politically-correct path. And this is true in all fields of science, be they medical, psychology, climate, smoking, diet and nutrition etc.

John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology, published a study in the late 1990s which really angered many of his peers. Titled 'Why Most Published Research Findings are False', it was published in PLOS. While it focused on medical research, subsequent data has shown his results apply across the board. He came up with several corollaries which are quite illuminating:
  1. The smaller the studies conducted in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.
  2. The smaller the effect sizes in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.
  3. The greater the number and the lesser the selection of tested relationships in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.
  4. The greater the flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true. Flexibility increases the potential for transforming what would be 'negative' results into 'positive' results,
  5. The greater the financial and other interests and prejudices in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true
  6. The hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true.
He also noted that claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. How interesting; to determine the prevailing bias in society, just look at the bulk of published scientific research.

So take a moment to think about these points, especially point 5: "The greater the financial and other interests and prejudices in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true". Where do we see a better example than in the field of climate science? The estimated annual value of the climate industry is around $1.5 trillion per annum. That is a LOT of money being chased by people who cannot lay claim to any of it unless their research results confirm the current bias. If you are happy to bolster the "CO2 is the control knob of climate change" story, you can tap those funds. If you are sceptical of the story or think that other factors such as solar and cosmic cycles play a part, then you will miss out on the massive pot of money.

In an ideal world, people would be open to debating their scientific theories and adjusting them appropriately as new data emerged. But we do not live in an ideal world. That $1.5 trillion per annum is a massive incentive for people to toe the politically correct line. No wonder there is such anger and passion in attacking anybody suggesting that CO2 is not the control knob for climate and that any climate change we are seeing is not caused by mankind's activities. So much money, so much research funding, so many reputations are on the line here that we will never see a sane and reasoned debate. And that is why anybody who questions the current paradigm, who is genuinely sceptical of the interpretation of the data, is labelled a "denier".

Not only are sceptics labelled "deniers" they are also accused of being in the pay of fossil fuel conglomerates. The notion is absurd. The majority of websites publishing sceptical data struggle to exist from week to week and are constantly looking for donations from their readers. And absurd when you consider the $1.5 trillion budget funding the apostle of the climate faith.

The people I come across on a daily basis who consider themselves sceptics don't 'deny' climate change. Any fool can see that the climate is changing, and in fact has always been changing. What they question is the CAUSE of that change; is it man or is it some other cycle? And for that, for daring to question the CO2 doctrine, these people are denigrated as 'deniers', an obvious attempt to conflate them with holocaust deniers. And to those people who are sceptics, the longer they look at the paucity of evidence and see the frequent attempts to shut them down and destroy their reputations for wanting an honest debate on an important subject, the more the climate movement looks like a religion. A religion where to question the basic tenets of the faith is to be a heretic who must be destroyed.

In the last week, an academic journal called the Conversation, which claims to provide academic rigour with journalistic flair, has banned sceptics from commenting on their articles because they are 'too dangerous'. When did attempts to engage in scientific debate become dangerous? When they are at odds with the basic tenets of faith in your religion. So much for academic rigour. Curtailing free speech is more important to these people so they can 'keep the faith pure' and 'protect' their readers from any alternative views. And they are not alone.

Michael Mann of Hockey Stick Graph infamy bans all sceptics from his Twitter feed. He attacks scientific research produced by sceptical scientists, and urges people not to read it. This is the same Michael Mann who sued Dr. Tim Ball for criticising his Hockey Stick Graph and claiming it was incorrect. As part of the court proceedings initiated by Mann, the judge ruled Mann must produce the data his graph was based on. Mann steadfastly refused to do this and in the end the judge dismissed the case. Many people wonder why the data was not forthcoming, maybe because it wouldn't stand scrutiny. Mann continues to relentlessly attack anybody who is a sceptic, claiming that "nobody can deny that climate change is real", which is a neat piece of obfuscation, as discussed above.
tim ball michael mann hockey stick graph
It would also appear that academic qualifications and positions fit into a hierarchical system. In this system, people with degrees and academic positions who produce research that conforms to doctrine are held as the gold standard. Nothing is higher than peer-reviewed research that is doctrinally correct. However, when similarly-qualified sceptics publish peer-reviewed research which questions the status quo, then clearly they are in the pay of fossil fuel corporates, and have sold out their integrity for filthy lucre. They are 'heretics', the worst of the worst.

Today we hear the many activists in the climate science fraternity laying claim to science validated by consensus. Whether there actually exists a consensus is another question and there have been a number of academics and scientists who have comprehensively debunked the oft-reported 'climate science consensus'. But whether or not there is a consensus, we need to remind ourselves that consensus has never been integral to the scientific method.

If we look back over history we find many times 'consensus' was just plain wrong. Consensus claimed the Earth was flat, and that the Sun revolved around the Earth. In 1982, two Australian scientists discovered that stomach ulcers were caused by the bacteria H Pylori and were easily treatable with antibiotics. Now you would imagine that these results would have been welcomed by the medical fraternity. But that is not what happened. There was a whole infrastructure built around the notion that stomach ulcers were incurable and that the only courses of available treatment were drugs and surgery.

The consensus was that the only treatments were drug and surgery based. And that consensus was wrong. There were people whose income depended on it, whose reputations were built around these so-called facts. Needless to say, these gentlemen were attacked by a sceptical medical community. It took nearly 20 years before their easily reproducible results were accepted as valid by the medical fraternity and in 2005 they were awarded a Nobel prize in recognition of their work.

Nothing has changed. Consensus has never been a line item in the scientific method. Arguing from consensus is just another attempt to force people back to the basic tenets of the climate faith, and 'damn what the data actually says'.

Why is this all happening? There is clearly a strong group of climate activists with their very wealthy backers driving an agenda here. My observation is that they are looking to bring about a world where we are all vegan, living in a post-industrial world sans fossil fuels and associated technologies, a world with a far smaller population. They have hijacked climate science and are very successfully driving us towards a dystopian future, one which their ardent supporters are blissfully unaware is coming and who will be horrified if we indeed end up there.