Thursday, February 4, 2010

Barone: How Climate-Change Fanatics Corrupted Science.

Michael Barone has a great piece about the self-inflicted and fanatical wounds that gradually eroded the credibility of the climate change movement from within. The article itself is well-researched and meticulously cited, here are some brief excerpts: 

"Recently, there have been even more shocking revelations. The IPCC has claimed that warming will cause the Himalayan glaciers to disappear by 2035. It turns out that that claim was based solely on a pamphlet published by the World Wildlife Federation, based on no science at all. The head of the IPCC was informed that a 1996 report said those glaciers could melt significantly by 2350, not 2035, but he let the claim stand.

As Christopher Booker writes in the Telegraph of London, "A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC's report which cite similarly non-peer-reviews WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority." Similarly, the Times of London reports that a claim that warming could endanger "up to 40 percent" of the Amazon rainforest came from an anti-smoking activist and had no scientific basis whatever."

Does anyone else catch the irony in that last line?

Anyhow, the moral of the story is that transparency, accountability, and honesty are crucial to successfully pushing an effective issues campaign in this day and age. Information is readily available and easy to access. As the article suggests, the big question will be,  how did large swaths of society, especially governments and corporations become so enthralled with an idea driven by junk science at best and manipulative deceivers on a blind crusade at worst ? The werewolf thinks for governments it was about control and for corporations it was a short term play to try and find revenue opportunities. Not particularly flattering for either. Still, thank goodness for the vigilance of those who questioned the herd mentality on this issue.

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