How “Climate Science” has Taken over the Science

Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?

Richard Lindzen, Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Originally published on November 29, 2008; revised on September 21, 2012. In this article Richard Lindzen (a member of the National Academy of Sciences and seven other scientific societies and academies), lifts the veil on the internal workings of American scientific institutions to show their capture by climate alarmism prior to 2008, and he mentions some individual culprits by their names.  Examples (emphasis and links are mine throughout the article):


John Holdren [a notorious pseudo-scientist who have proposed surrendering American sovereignty to a “Planetary Regime”, currently Obama’s science czar], who currently directs the Woods Hole Research Center [WHoRCe] (an environmental advocacy center not to be confused with the far better known Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a research center) … [was] serving on the board of the MacArthur Foundation from 1991 until 2005. He was also a Clinton – Gore Administration spokesman on global warming.”

“The making of academic appointments to global warming alarmists is hardly a unique occurrence. The case of Michael Oppenheimer is noteworthy in this regard. With few contributions to climate science (his postdoctoral research was in astro-chemistry), and none to the physics of climate, Oppenheimer became the Barbara Streisand Scientist at Environmental Defense. He was subsequently appointed to a professorship at Princeton University, and is now, regularly, referred to as a prominent climate scientist by Oprah (a popular television hostess), NPR (National Public Radio), etc.”

“The founding of the Climate Action Network can be traced back to the early involvement of scientists from the research ENGO community. These individuals, including Michael Oppenheimer from Environmental Defense, Gordon Goodman of the Stockholm Environmental Institute (formerly the Beijer Institute), and George Woodwell of the Woods Hole Research Center were instrumental in organizing the scientific workshops in Villach and Bellagio on ‘Developing Policy Responses to Climate Change’ in 1987 as well as the Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere in June 1988.”

“Thus, John Firor long served as administrative director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. [NCAR was an epicenter of the alarmism in 1980’s] This position was purely administrative, and Firor did not claim any scientific credentials in the atmospheric sciences at the time I was on the staff of NCAR. … he had also been Board Chairman at Environmental Defense – a major environmental advocacy group – from 1975 – 1980.”

The following quote explains how climate alarmism has taken over the National Academy of Sciences.

“The situation with America’s National Academy of Science is somewhat more complicated [compared to professional societies]. … The vetting procedure is generally rigorous, but for over 20 years, there was a Temporary Nominating Group for the Global Environment to provide a back door for the election of candidates who were environmental activists, bypassing the conventional vetting procedure. Members, so elected, proceeded to join existing sections where they hold a veto power over the election of any scientists unsympathetic to their position. Moreover, they are almost immediately appointed to positions on the executive council, and other influential bodies within the Academy. One of the members elected via the Temporary Nominating Group, Ralph Cicerone, is now president of the National Academy. Prior to that, he was on the nominating committee for the presidency. It should be added that there is generally only a single candidate for president. Others elected to the NAS via this route include Paul Ehrlich, James Hansen, Steven Schneider, John Holdren and Susan Solomon.”

Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt are too low to be noticed even in the charlatans’ hierarchy. But their playground, realclimate.org, is mentioned:

“Environmental Media Services (a project of Fenton Communications … ) created a website, realclimate.org, as an ‘authoritative’ source for the ‘truth’ about climate.”

“Of course, even the above represent potentially unnecessary complexity compared to the longstanding technique of simply publicly claiming that all scientists agree with whatever catastrophe is being promoted. Newsweek already made such a claim in 1988. Such a claim serves at least two purposes. First, the bulk of the educated public is unable to follow scientific arguments; ‘knowing’ that all scientists agree relieves them of any need to do so. Second, such a claim serves as a warning to scientists that the topic at issue is a bit of a minefield that they would do well to avoid.”

The opponents of Climatism have been persecuted.  One example:

“Will Happer, director of research at the Department of Energy (and a professor of physics at Princeton University) was simply fired from his government position after expressing doubts about environmental issues in general. His case is described in Happer (2003).”

More:

“Although the focus of this paper is on climate science, some of the problems pertain to science more generally.”

“In the aftermath of the Second World War, the major contributions of science to the
war effort … were evident. Vannevar Bush … noted the many practical roles that  validated the importance of science to the nation, and argued that the government need only adequately support basic science in order for further benefits to emerge.”

“The scientific community felt this paradigm to be an entirely appropriate response by a grateful nation. The next 20 years [after 1945] witnessed truly impressive scientific productivity which firmly established the United States as the creative center of the scientific world. … However, something changed in the late 60’s. In a variety of fields it has been suggested that the rate of new discoveries and achievements slowed appreciably (despite increasing publications) … What then happened in the 1960’s to produce this change?”

“What may have caused this change in perception is unclear, because so many separate but potentially relevant things occurred almost simultaneously.”

“When the National Science Foundation was created, it functioned with a small permanent staff supplemented by ‘rotators’ who served on leave from universities for a few years. Unfortunately, during the Vietnam War, the US Senate banned the military from supporting non-military research (Mansfield Amendment). This shifted support to agencies whose sole function was to support science.”

“However, all such organizations, whether professional societies, research laboratories, advisory bodies (such as the national academies), government departments and agencies (including NASA, NOAA, EPA, NSF, etc.), and even universities are hierarchical structures where positions and policies are determined by small executive councils or even single individuals. This greatly facilitates any conscious effort to politicize science via influence in such bodies where a handful of individuals (often no t even scientists) speak on behalf of organizations that include thousands of scientists, and even enforce specific scientific positions and agendas.”

“The influence of the environmental movement has effectively made support for global warming, not only a core element of political correctness, but also a requirement for the numerous prizes and awards given to scientists.”

“This paper has attempted to show how changes in the structure of scientific activity over the past half century have led to extreme vulnerability to political manipulation. In the case of climate change, these vulnerabilities have been exploited to a remarkable extent. The dangers that the above situation poses for both science and society are too numerous to be discussed in any sort of adequate way in this paper. It should be stressed that the climate change issue, itself, constitutes a major example of the dangers intrinsic to the structural changes in science.”

“Although society is undoubtedly aware of the imperfections of science, it has rarely encountered a situation such as the current global warming hysteria where institutional science has so thoroughly committed itself to policies which call for massive sacrifices in well being world wide. Past scientific errors did not lead the public to discard the view that science on the whole was a valuable effort.”