Name-Calling in the Name of Science

Brad Allenby catalogs several of the outrageous epitaphs that have been hurled at those who question the current hysteria over global warming. He sees a very unscientific mindset at work here.

The sheer volume of articles, the vicious language and the retranslation of so many social and cultural trends — divorce, obesity, gender conflict and much else — into terms of carbon footprint suggests that something more fundamental is going on.

Most obviously, the extreme language — comparing academics who disagree about interpretation of data to Hitler or to Holocaust deniers — is indicative of a profound if subtle reframing of climate change. One does not debate Hitler: the use of such language indicates a shift from helping the public and policymakers understand a complex issue, to demonizing disagreement, especially regarding policies favored by the scientific community.

The data driven and exploratory processes of science are choked off by inculcation of belief systems that rely on archetypal and emotive strength. . . .

Climate change science and policy is rapidly becoming carbon fundamentalism, an over-simplistic but comprehensive structure of moral valuation that can be applied to virtually any individual or institution.

Someday the current hysteria over global warming will be taught in universities as a good example of how not to do science.


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