Sunday, January 03, 2010

Washington Post Gets Back in the "Global Warming" Fray

After laying low for roughly a month, the "global warming" propagandists, as I predicted, are getting up out of their foxholes in a last-ditch effort to defend this massive hoax anew. The "agent of change" here is an MIT "research fellow" named Chris Mooney. The vehicle of choice for his latest, reasonable-sounding screed is the sympathetic op-ed section (Outlook) of the Washington Post's Sunday, January 3, 2010 edition.

Since Mooney is using the cover of MIT, we probably need to be impressed and assume everything he says is scientifically true. But no, we're getting a more clever version of the same crappola he's peddled before.

Mooney is in real life a "senior correspondent" for the super-liberal American Prospect. He has authored an anti-Republican screed entitled "The Republican War on Science," whose cover image pretty much reflects his journalistic objectivity. And most importantly, his second book, "Storm World," is an apologia for the now-discredited "global warming" propagandists. Wonder why we didn't get this in his biographical sketch?

We quickly discover that the "science" of "global warming," already proven bogus in November by the revelation of damning emails on the topic, is actually still okay. It's just that scientists aren't media savvy.
The central lesson of Climategate is not that climate science is corrupt. The leaked e-mails do nothing to disprove the scientific consensus on global warming. Instead, the controversy highlights that in a world of blogs, cable news and talk radio, scientists are poorly equipped to communicate their knowledge and, especially, to respond when science comes under attack.
Woo-hoo! Imagine that. The leaked East Anglia emails in question--a collection of online documents proving that the "global warming" liars are condescending, English public school twerps who commenced their bogus research with an unproven conclusion and used only data that supported said conclusion--"do nothing to disprove the scientific consensus on global warming"??? Cut me some slack here.

In point of fact, the damning emails prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the "global warming" mafiosi, aka the "scientific consensus" was demonstrably false. This "consensus," as the emails proved, was built on created, manipulated, or bogus data that back-supported a pre-ordained "consensus" whose aim was political rather than scientific. Data that didn't support the desired "consensus" was manipulated or thrown out. The hoaxsters hid their tracks so their shoddy and malignant "scholarship" couldn't be traced or disproven. And scientists with opposing viewpoints were ruthlessly exterminated from the pages of "peer-reviewed" journals, the kind of tactics we thought had ended when Josef Stalin passed on to his dubious reward.

But the worst thing about the emails is never even mentioned by Mooney in his apologia. It's not the sensational screeds that reveal the East Anglians' largely successful attempts to undermine the objective peer-review process in academic journals. It's also not the revelation of the sneaky smear and slander campaign conducted to damage the reputations of their colleagues and competitors who dared disagree with them.

No, the worst thing in this scandal appears in the emails from the computer nerds who threw up their hands in frustration over the bad data, the patched data, and the missing data that literally forced them to come up with programming code that would somehow transparently bridge this mess and magically make it coherent. In short, they attempted to put lipstick on a pig of incomplete data and incompetent scientists and squirmed at the difficulty, the dishonesty, and sheer mendacity of it all. They clearly felt soiled by the experience and it's easy to understand why.

That the scientists in question are also revealed to be first class jerks is titillating and it's fun to read their snotty emails which reveal the kind of sneering superiority complex that predominates in today's professoriat. But the fact that the datasets upon which the professors' "global warming" fantasies were based are, in point of fact, bogus, is the real scandal here.  And this is what Mooney glibly glosses over in his facile dismissal above.

If socialist academics and lefty sympathizers aren't trying to save pathetic U.S. Senators via the handy route of sophistry, as in our previous entry, they're committing sins of omission by avoiding a discussion of the real issue (genuinely bad science) in purported discussion of the non-issue of professorial PR ineptitude.

Mooney actually has a valid point about this, and maybe it's worth another entry at some point. By choosing only fellow lefties as faculty colleagues over the past 30 years or so, university faculties in all disciplines have become insular, closeted, and almost infantile in their approach to the world at large, made even worse when they're tenured in an no longer subjected to the supply and demand problems of normal employment. They're insulated from the outside world almost entirely. They like it this way and don't like having their cover blown.

But again while this is an issue worth discussing in another context, Mooney uses it here as a smokescreen providing an excuse for the miscreants to hide behind (lack of media savviness) while brushing away the real problem of simple scientific dishonesty in service to an outmoded and dangerous Marxist ideology. Having built a heretofore impressive career supporting a bunch of scientific hoaxsters, it's no wonder that Mooney here is trying to deflect attention away from a potentially career-damaging scandal.

There's a lesson here for all journalists, each and every one of whom is watching his or her career evaporate with incredible rapidity: to be a real journalist is to be a natural skeptic. When you drop your skepticism and fall hook, line, and sinker for someone's PR or propaganda, you devalue your own worth and that of your chosen profession. Remember that when you collect your next unemployment check.


The Interface said...

No, no, no! Do not let reality confuse you!

Wonker, aka TerryP said...

Oh, sorry. Never mind.