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and we'll have no back-talk from the likes of you ...

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 11, 2009

Britain's national weather service -- The Met Office -- is scrambling in damage-control mode in the wake of the Cooked Climatology Capers. The Times of London reports:

The Met Office has embarked on an urgent exercise to bolster the reputation of climate-change science after the furore over stolen e-mails.

More than 1,700 scientists have agreed to sign a statement defending the “professional integrity” of global warming research. They were responding to a round-robin request from the Met Office, which has spent four days collecting signatures. The initiative is a sign of how worried it is that e-mails stolen from the University of East Anglia are fuelling scepticism about man-made global warming at a critical moment in talks on carbon emissions.

James Taranto, in a column titled "I Pledge Allegiance to Global Warming," has an apposite comment here:

The concept of scientists … signing a petition is ludicrous. The idea is that they are lending their authority to whatever cause the petition represents -- but in fact they are undermining that authority, which is based on the presumption that they think for themselves.

Spot on. Science derives its prestige from its reliability, and that reliability derives from its indifference to outcome and its success at canceling out the bias of the investigator by making the investigator universally interchangeable, so that any and all observers will observe the same thing. There's a historical irony in scientists' trading on the authority of their doctorates the way corrupt clergymen traded on the authority of their roman collars, trying to bluff the layfolk into ignoring the missing virtue which gave the authority its prestige in the first place.
 

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: lynnvinc7142 - Apr. 28, 2010 10:42 AM ET USA

    I know some of the climate scientists and they are good & sincere people, being haranged, hounded, and harassed for years now by climate denialists (many Exxon & Koch Industry funded). I have a good background in science, have known about the natural GH effect for 50 yrs, & have been following climate science closely for decades. Anthropogenic GW reached .05 in 1995 & has become more robust since. As a Catholic, I'm concerned that we are killing people thru AGW.

  • Posted by: mfisher_ix7120 - Dec. 15, 2009 10:10 PM ET USA

    Pope Benedict XVI (remember him?) put the question like this on December 8: "Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions?"

  • Posted by: Gaby - Dec. 11, 2009 8:42 PM ET USA

    First we had churches voting on doctrine, now we have scientists voting on science!

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Dec. 11, 2009 8:03 PM ET USA

    All the remonstrations remind me of the Wizard of Oz; lots of 'shock and awe' to divert the viewer from the reality. Remember John Adams: "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

  • Posted by: sparch - Dec. 11, 2009 1:46 PM ET USA

    It reminds me of all the faith put in public opinion polls that deal with issues of morality or truths. If public opinion varies from the truth, truth has somehow been changed.

  • Posted by: Wild Bill - Dec. 11, 2009 12:30 PM ET USA

    Well said. It is the integrity of the scientific method that gives assurance of truth. When that "truth" is arrived at by a concensus of the practitioners, we have a situation analogous to the Hundred Authors against Einstein. In this instance, if AGW is right, it would only take one scientist with compelling proof; not a hundred examining the swirl of data around their favorite pole.

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