Sunday 27 February 2011

Rancid Ideologues Having A Ball With Johnny

In the past decade or so I’ve been mocked, vilified, besmirched — I’ve even been booed off a theatre stage — simply for expressing the view that the case for global warming and climate change, and in particular the emphasis on the damage caused by carbon dioxide, the so-called greenhouse gas that is going to do for us all, has been massively over-stated.

For daring to take this contrarian view, I’ve lost bookings, had talks cancelled and been the subject of a sinister internet campaign against me that only came to an end following the intervention of the police.
It looks like dear old Johnny Ball is the latest victim of scientific partisanship. In other words, he had the temerity to express a view contrary to the accepted consensus.

And boy do "scientists" (inverted commas fully deserved) get tetchy about it, as longstanding tobacco control advocate Michael Siegel found out when he did the same.

Siegel has come under fire from colleagues in the field of smoking research. His offence was to post messages on the widely read mailing list Tobacco Policy Talk, in which he questioned one of the medical claims about passive smoking, as well as the wisdom of extreme measures such as outdoor smoking bans.

Siegel's case is perhaps the most clear-cut example of a disturbing trend in the anti-smoking movement. There are genuine scientific questions over some of the more extreme claims made about the dangers of passive smoking and the best strategies to reduce smoking rates, but a few researchers who have voiced them have seen their reputations smeared and the debate stifled.
Again, we see the anti-smoking propaganda template being utilised in other areas. Well, why not? Bullying and lies - a tried-and-tested schoolyard tactic - have always worked, haven't they?

Smoke haters, particularly, have employed such tactics extensively over the years. James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat were also subject to smears and outrageous attacks on their reputations simply for running an epidemiological study which came up with the wrong result.

You see, it's all part of the science of ... silencing the wrong kind of science (full text here).

[...] partisanship involves not only a dogmatic adherence to a belief, but also the use of a wide range of tactics to silence opponents of that belief in any arena in which it is presented, reported or used. Partisans seek not only to authoritatively lay down their (scientific) position, but to shield it by engaging in silencing skirmishes that can include, among other things, intimidation, slander and discredit, gagging, budget cuts**, and the removal of opponents.
In short, if you dare to depart from the pre-determined conclusion, you will encounter what Siegel terms "scientific McCarthyism" (or, more accurately, communism-inspired Lysenkoism).

It matters not what area you disagree with the fake charity moralists or holier-than-thou blinkered politicians, just as it also makes no difference how educated you are or how solid your evidence. If it's not what the state and its paid lackeys want to hear, your life simply must be destroyed.

And I'll bet you were thinking there were laws against such behaviour, weren't you? Don't be silly. The state has an agenda and doesn't give a stuff if you're not one of their pet groups or tax-funded familiars.

How ironic is it that Johnny Ball - a guy who was thorough and honest in conveying science to kids in the 70s and 80s - should be so vilified by people whose idea of science truly is to just think of a number, any number, as long as it suits their cause.

** A method very much favoured by pharmaceutical companies and charities


Mark Wadsworth said...

Woo hoo!

Maybe Johnny Ball can gang up with David Bellamy and launch a new TV channel?

Anonymous said...

I used to post years ago on this one.
The gist went something like this.
If you allow someone else to lose their liberty and you do nothing.
It will only be a matter of time before you lose yours.

Snowolf said...


You didn't just write that. Tell me you just didn't write that?

Smear Johnny Ball. That makes my blood boil, they can insult my intelligence, ignore evidence that doesn't fit, lobby parliament with their filthy lies. But as soon as they start attacking Johnny Ball, then the gloves come off.

This is how violent and very bloody revolutions come to pass.

Very few things remain sacred in Wolfers Towers, but Johnny Ball is one of them.

An outrage.

Mr A said...

As much as I hate the smoking ban, it is the bastardisation of the scientific method that means I'll never give up fighting Tobacco Control. We all know of their eugenicist, Nazi roots. In my eyes, it's only a small step from what they're doing now to measuring people's skulls, denouncing they are inferior and then setting up camps.

The fact that so much money is being spent and so much psychological harm is being caused by their promotion of two invented myths just staggers me. At least back in the day we had REAL things to freeze the piss in our bladders, like Nuclear War and AIDS. Nowadays, real threats are being subsumed by the invented dangers of AGW, passive smoking and "the global war on Terror."

Personally, I won't rest till these fraudsters are exposed and integrity is restored to the scientific method. Sadly, I fear I won't get any rest for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

From Dave Atherton, a piece by Professor carl Phillips.

"Enstrom cites the reign of terror over biology under Stalin as one example of politics trumping science. Though the Soviet case is rather extreme (we North Americans who dare question the scientific orthodoxy only have our careers threatened; not our lives, at least so far), it is not the most extreme. Many cultures were hobbled for centuries because of religious adherence to pseudoscience, and damage to people's health was one of the many results."

Anonymous said...

Anon 22.49

What you say is very reasonable, but not necessarily true.

There is still something that is extremely wrong, and that is the reluctance of 'scientists' to say that SHS is harmless. The only 'scientist's the field are those who say that SHS is harmful.

And yet, mortality figures clearly indicate that there is no such thing as 'SHS harm' - nobody dies from SHS.

There is a question of intellectual excellence here. This idea may seem strange, but it is an essential idea. 1 times 1 equals 1. It can never be true that 1 times 1 equals 1.000001.

And yet, politicians believe exactly that, because they have been told so.

There is a serious lack of truth. Politicians do not understand the word 'truth'.

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dunhillbabe said...

On the subject of scientists being bullied... I got about 10 minutes into a programme about this very thing a few weeks ago. The presenter was 'shocked' at the 'vitriolic language and threats' and the 'calling into question of these Scientist's integrity and even their parentage...(!!!)- these embattled Scientists, I should clarify, being Climate change BELIEVERS and PROPONENTS... who apparantly are under all manner of vile attack from climate change 'sceptics ' or - as the pro CC scientists like to call them, flat earth heretical c u next tuesdays.... Pot, kettle, black, anyone ?