Lies, Damned Lies and "Sound Science"

Fri, 2006-01-06 14:36Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

Lies, Damned Lies and "Sound Science"

Let's get up a great big hand for one of the best European climate change dissemblers, the previously unremarked Scientific Alliance.

The Alliance appears to be one of those “intellectual” sweatshops that industry cobbles together in the guise of a think tank. In these vacuous vessels, said intellectuals-for-hire produce dogma on demand – questionable “scientific” material designed to excuse their industrial financiers from taking any responsibility for the environmental costs they are dumping on society.

The Alliance provides a gorgeous example with its diatribe on climate change, the most entertaining part of which is this:

A number of questions surrounding the science behind the climate change debate pose challenges to the notion that there is scientific consensus on climate change. Instead of blindly or ideologically invoking the 'precautionary principle' as a justification for the Kyoto protocol, we should take a step back and consider all the possible consequences, both of climate change and of the measures taken to prevent it.”

First, there is no legitimate “challenge to the notion that there is scientific consensus on climate change.”

Second, imagine the Orwellian twist of logic involved in conceiving a sentence that includes “blindly or ideologically invoking the 'precautionary principle.'”

That principle suggests that we should, indeed, step back and consider all the possible consequences or our actions – ideological or otherwise. It suggests, for example, that we should not be pursuing a global fossil fuel consumption pattern that threatens to make the planet uninhabitable.

Anyway, read their blather if you dare.

Pay close attention to the 17 questions, each designed to suggest 17 areas of doubt. Then read the seven almost-entirely unrelated “answers.” You'll come away with a headache or a lingering sense of doubt – which was the whole point.

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