Saturday, 3 January 2009

Scientific scepticism - on the BBC no less!

Don't you just love how some people have turned the term "global warming sceptic" into a term of abuse? In terms of opprobrium, it is fast approaching equivalence with "paedophile".

I almost rolled off the couch in shock last night though when I saw a sceptic being lauded - yes lauded! - on a BBC documentary. This scientist took a lonely stand against the status quo, and he was abused, laughed at and told to forget his barmy ideas. Although he got his theory published in a reputable scientific paper, once it was out, other prominent scientists held lectures to publicly ridicule and trash his efforts. I guess he was set to join the pantheon of scientific nutters.

He was vindicated 5 years later when irrefutable proof became available to support his theory, and now it is accepted scientific wisdom.

Unfortunately, this was a BBC documentary on The Planets (an excellent series), and the theory was related to solar wind. He published his theory in 1958, and had to wait until a probe was launched in 1963 that detected the solar wind (I think I have my years right).

I don't know how the BBC censors let that one through though. Imagine that - letting the public know that from time to time, scientists advance theories that test or reject the accepted wisdom of the day, that they are howled down and ridiculed - but they are occasionally proved right, and our whole way of thinking adjusts.

One reason why I am so sceptical of global warming as a theory is the way its advocates go about promoting it. It is promoted as holy gospel, with no dissent allowed. We can't question the data, the assumptions, the models or the motivations behind the researchers and the spruikers. As soon as I see that sort of behaviour, really loud alarm bells go off in my head.

As soon as people start saying, "Trust me, I am right, but you may not question me on this - you just have to believe", I detect snake oil. The idea that shutting down debate will strengthen your cause is idiotic, because that's the sort of stupid tactic the commies like to use. You can't have a debate about the economic or political system in Cuba, and look where that's gotten them. Look where it got Russia, where debate was silenced with a bullet in the back of the head.

Some global warming fanatics would clearly like to take on the role of Che, executing dissenters in order to advance the cause of 100% total acceptance of Their Great Idea. Or to have another go at a Cultural Revolution, with themselves playing the role of Red Guards, sending us dissenters to re-education camps, or the grave.

The debate is not over. It's especially not over when you try and shut down the debate. We are a free society, and I want to see the debate continue, if for nothing more that to stick a hot poker up the arses of AlGore's freedom-crushing Red Guards.

I want to see a debate because these fuckers want to see no debate. We are still a free country - we'll debate this until the cows come home. And fuck you and your attempts to shut people up. Fuck you until the cows come home. Children make a statement that something is so, then cover their ears yelling, "Nah, nah, nah, I can't hear you". I am sick to death of your child-like antics, your posturing and your abuse.

I'm so mad, I want to make a giant papier mache head of Al Gore and cavort up and down the Pitt St Mall like a twat for an hour or two.


1735099 said...

"The idea that shutting down debate will strengthen your cause is idiotic, because that's the sort of stupid tactic the commies like to use."
Works for Timmeh.

Anonymous said...

Good post boab. I'll join you, sporting a Tim Flannery papier mache head. We can invite passers-by to hurl invective at us.

Boy on a bike said...

Hurl invective, or hurl shoes?