Saturday, 9 October 2010

'Science' Be Damned

Delingpole today carries an incendiary resignation letter from Henry Lewis, a physicist to the American Physical Society (APS). I'd recommend you read it in its entirety, but here are a few snippets.

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).


How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs.


[The global warming scam] is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.
He then goes on to catalogue the lengths to which the APS went in stifling any opposition to what Lewis termed 'corruption'.

This included silencing of debate; secret committees; denial of member list access; dismissal of opposing views; and contravention of the APS' own constitution. All to continue the charade that their chosen consensus is 'incontrovertible', a word that Lewis contends is a 'poison word' in scientific circles.

Now, I can't claim to be an expert in climate studies - in fact, I've not even looked at one - but boy do I recognise the methods above, and can also fully understand Lewis's damning theory for why they are being employed.

I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst.
Because, you see, I have looked at tobacco control 'science'. Just about all of it. And everything described by Lewis is not only replicated therein, but is more duplicitous, more resistant to debate, more mendacious, more money-oriented, and more corrupt, than anything Lewis will have witnessed.

Based on this experience, I can also offer a prediction. Lewis will be ostracised, his name blackened, his previous work dismissed as eccentricity, his future work dismissed as funded by oil companies. He will be expunged from the scientific community and threats of similar treatment will be issued to all who dare to commission him.

The debate is over, you see? The evidence 'overwhelming'. It has been written.

The problem being that if this were truly so, those subscribing to the consensus would be champing at the bit to debate the evidence at every possible opportunity. It's human nature to enjoy winning. It would be like Chelsea versus Easington Colliery every day, like David Hay versus Mr Bean.

Yet they actively avoid debate; throw a tantrum when challenged; spit vitriol at those who disagree; and condemn rather than engage. Even towards people, like Lewis, with whom they used to be a colleague and friend.

Tobacco control did the same to Michael Siegel, to David Goerlitz, and more recently to James Enstrom, simply for expressing their doubts about the motives (pharma funding and MSA cash, in particular) and/or the paucity of evidence in support of the cult club members movement.

When the science is on your side, there is no need for such avoidance. When you have all the answers, why run away from discussion? When you're confident of your assertions, why is it necessary to maliciously destroy those who disagree?

ASH routinely decline to debate, for example, preferring instead to talk only to sympathetic media. Their only line of attack towards nay-sayers is that they must be funded by tobacco companies. Their only defence is to repeat ad nauseam that the evidence is overwhelming even when it is clearly anything but. They lie and bully instead of engaging and persuading.

I've seen these methods in tobacco control. I've read the studies. I know what they are hiding. So when I see the same desperate carpet-sweeping, misdirection, marginalisation and intimidation in climatology, something niffs like a week old Camembert.

In such circumstances, there's only one conclusion to draw when seeing the rigmarole all faithfully replayed by AGW believers. It must all be bunkum. There is no other plausible explanation. And if any environmentalist wishes to disavow me of such a point of view, they must first take issue with the lucrative anti-smoking industry for peeling the scales from my eyes

It's just another non-altruistic, non-philanthropic, money chase. Science? Pah! That can go hang. It's so last century.


The Wasp said...

"ASH routinely decline to debate, for example, preferring instead to talk only to sympathetic media."

There is also the problem with the idle media (yes BBC I am mainly talking about you) who have ASH, CASH, Alcohol Concern and a whole host of other righteous mouthpieces on speed dial ready to fill a few column inches with indignation and outrage to save the poor staffer from actually having to write their own copy.

Specky said...

The hairdressers have taken over the asylum.
They used to be scientists .
Einstien, Rutherford, Hoyle ... etc.
Now they are hairdressers .
They do it for money.
Whatever you want ,
just pay.
You get.

Anonymous said...

Damn the Scottish Government as well.

Smoking Hot said...

Wow ... moderators are working overtime. Comments being deleted at some rate over at the Telegraph. Just feel it'll be shouted down.

Michael J. McFadden said...

You see the same thing over at Dr. Gorski's "Science Based Medicine" site. Supposedly run by well-qualified professionals who value objective science above all else, but as soon as you get into a discussion about secondary smoke and such things you immediately get branded a "flat-earther" and other such terms. The arguments devolve to almost pure ad hominem, and if you *DO* happen to be challenged and give a strong answer the challenger simply never acknowledges it: they either run away or just to another challenge as though their last one had simply been worth nothing.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

Anonymous said...

Dr Lewis is Emeritus Professor at U Cal, Santa Barbara. He had been in the APS for 67 years which, to my reckoning makes him mid 80s (if he joined as a young student) or early 90s (if he joined directly after his doctorate).

He is clearly an old man and, no doubt, can be dismissed as gaga.

Warmists have noted that the senior skeptics are old and often Emeritus Professors. To them they can apply the 'out-of-touch' and 'embittered as a new generation takes over' arguments. Just wait for him to die and it will all go away.

Professor Lewis has an amazing career in science - they will have difficulty in trying to dismantle it. Ignore and ridicule will work better.

Alan Bates

Chuckles said...

Dick, as noted by P.J. O'Rourke some years ago, it is ALWAYS the same recipe, they only have one solution, and it is applied to everything.

Toss the salad, toss the steak, toss the fries...

Obsessed,and not very bright, but VERY obsessed. They care, you don't. You lose.

Anonymous said...

The righteous zealots are winning
because they are only challenged by words,articulate and honest, but
without effect. When they feel
real attention,close up meaningfull questioning,something
they can touch ,something to make them quiver,then they might listen.


Specky said...

Here's one.

So what will be cut ?
Hopefully the sorts of studies like scientists state a firm handshake is a clue to longevity etc,third hand smoke ha ha ha ha .

But i'm not holding my breath.
The AGW mob will survive simply because they have powerfull friends who now know they are going to look pretty stupid .
So again the goalposts are moved to global cooling.
God they really hold us in contempt don't they .
So who are truly, the stupid ?