Science x Politics: Climatist Science and Eugenics

Eugenics is the closest historical parallel to the climatist pseudo-science.  Richard Lindzen explored similarities between both in a book chapter Science and Politics: Global Warming and Eugenics (1995).  His conclusion:

“As we have seen in this brief sketch, the interaction of science, advocacy and politics in both the global warming and eugenics cases share a number of characteristics:

 – Powerful advocacy groups claiming to represent both science and the public in the name of morality and superior wisdom.
 – Simplistic depictions of the underlying science so as to facilitate widespread
‘understanding.’
 – ‘Events’, real or contrived, interpreted in such a manner as to promote a
sense of urgency in the public at large.
 – Scientists flattered by public attention and deferent to ‘political will’ and
popular assessment of virtue.
 – Significant numbers of scientists eager to produce the science demanded by
the ‘public.’

Given the automatic tendency of our educated elites to form advocacy groups, the above interactions would appear to have a certain inevitability, and the advantages of advocacy groups over individual scientists in communicating with the public will inevitably give advocacy groups an opportunity to dominate the presentation of the science.”

Specifically about eugenics:

“The primary actors in this story are a biology community that had embarked on the study of human genetics, an advocacy movement, eugenics, that was intent on applying human genetics immediately to the betterment of the human race, and a political configuration concerned with America’s alarm over immigration. [prior to 1924 – AH] I will focus on the American branch of this story, though the uglier example of a similar interaction in Germany is certainly better known.”

An excellent description of the environmental organizations:

“It is important to distinguish science or issue based advocacy groups from industry advocacy groups. The latter are clearly recognized as serving the special interests of business. The former are commonly thought to represent ‘public’ interests, though one might sometimes argue that the business they represent is themselves.”

Few more quotes.

“The issue of global warming has been one of the more confusing and misleading issues to be presented to the public. Despite the absence of a significant scientific basis for most predictions, the public has been led to believe that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the issue is a matter of immediate urgency requiring massive control of energy usage.”

“Global warming, as a public issue, is a semantic quagmire. First there is confusion over the use of the expression ‘global warming.’ At times, the expression is used to refer to observed global temperature change. … Oddly, it is possible to say that the observed record is ‘broadly consistent’ with models predicting significant warming from the emissions of CO2 resulting from mans activities. However, the observations are comparably consistent with models predicting a small amount of cooling. … At other times, the expression ‘global warming’ is used in the active sense to refer to warming that might be due to increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created in order to forge a
consensus on the scenario of significant warming (rather than to objectively assess the issue in terms of supporting and contradictory findings) so as to facilitate the development of international policy.”

“Of course, the whole issue has been further confused by the attempt (largely successful) by environmental advocates to mix natural with forged consensus, natural climate fluctuations with anthropogenic warming, insignificant warming with large warming, and the present relative warmth with predictions of steadily increasing warmth.”

Richard Lindzen made one mistake.  He predicted that global warming alarmism would go away by itself: “Politicization generally involves its own mechanism for self-correction. … We can see this at the moment with respect to global warming.”  Unfortunately, the alarmism is not gone.