Appealing to reason


A year or so ago I attended a launch party for Nigel Lawson’s excellent book that questions the policies of dealing with a changing climate: An Appeal to Reason. During the Q&A a very impolite man berated Lord Lawson with a small clan of followers chipping in and egging him on. They were not bright for they failed entirely to distinguish (as Lord Lawson so clearly does) between the science and the policy dealing with climate change.

It was not the disagreement that was the problem, but the manner in which it was expressed that was surprising at the time. This was the first glimpse for me of the fanaticism that climate change engenders in its ‘supporters’. Crucially these ruffians did not stumble in off the street; they were – and presumably still are – affiliated with top London universities. Not one, it turned out, was actually au fait in the latest climate research, but all were part of that odd cabal festering in the pit of our research institutions.

Just because they ready and willing to use such strong-arm tactics to express their strongly held beliefs does not mean they are wrong, but it does show that they are not the impartial scientists in pursuit of knowledge that so many in media have built them up to be. Let the media’s silence not kid anyone. As things stand, the peer review process lies in tatters, internet geeks have exposed many of the scientific tricks that these ideologues have been using.

This is the view expressed by the excellent Patrick J. Michaels of the Cato Institute in an article for the WSJ entitled ‘How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus’. Clearly that famous split between rational science and faith-based belief is far from complete. To make matters worse scientists have aligned with leftist economists, politicians and big business. This is bad science, bad policy and bad thinking. It is liable to lead to a chronic misallocation of resources and possibly another economic bubble that somewhere down the line the truth will come along and pop – with all the attendant job losses and misery for the people of the world.