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  • Fat_Man

    It should also encourage us to stop making facile claims about the ability of money to influence electoral outcomes.

    • Kevin

      That was yesterday. Today it’s only evil Dark Money that’s a problem, not good Green Money. Sort of like the problem is now Climate Change, not Global Warming, or we’ve always been at war with eastasia and never with our friends eurasia.

    • Corlyss

      Money has never mattered as much as votes. The uninvolved often dismiss their own failures by claiming that they can’t overcome the money differential, so why bother? But pols have always gone with the votes when the money and the votes diverge

  • Andrew Allison

    I fear that the climate charlatans, er scientists, have done probably irrevocable damage to the trust which the public had in scientists. Incidentally, between the beneficial effects on plant growth of increased CO2 and temperature, and the evidence that the Church of AGW exaggerates the effect of anthropomorphic CO2 on global temperature by an order of magnitude, the “problem” appears to be unfounded alarmism.

    • FriendlyGoat

      I fear that political charlatans have probably done irrevocable damage to the trust which scientists had in the public.

      • f1b0nacc1

        As someone who grew up in a family of scientists, who socializes with scientists, and who has taught history of science on several occasions, I rather doubt your point. Scientists have almost always distrusted the public, and considered them to be (at best) ignorant yokels, who would be best advised to listen to their elders and betters. This attitude became particularly bad in the post-WWII era (for obvious reasons), but it has been around for centuries.

        • Corlyss

          That was my impression as well, from my reading of their “body language” and there tone of voice we speaking to us yokels. I’m better read than the average person in the street, because I’ve done a lot of reading in a variety of fields just out of personal interest. But I’m a layman so I get the layman’ treatment.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Keep in mind that most professional scientists spend their professional lives in a world where non-scientists are routinely mocked, and where very narrow expertise in the field is prized above all things. To some extent this is entirely reasonable when one is talking about a specific sort of study (for instance, I rather doubt that my own layman’s understanding of black holes would be of any interest to Steven Hawking, and were we discussing the phenomenon, I suspect he would find any disagreement that I had with him presumptuous at best), but when we move beyond narrow specialization into more general questions of policy, this tendency to argue from authority becomes poisonous. Scientists have become increasingly political in the post-WWII period because the stakes have gotten higher for them, but at the same time they have learned to become increasingly contemptuous of the population at large…a problem altogether too common among self-appointed elites who conclude that their unique positions somehow grant them immunity from those requirements that the rest of us must adhere to.
            I have never forgotten my amusement when talking to a friend of my brothers (a very brilliant plasma physicist, but someone who knew essentially nothing about the world outside of physics) about the potential casualties that one might expect in a war with Iraq (this was during the run-up to the First Gulf War). He was utterly convinced that the dead would number in the “100s of thousands, if not higher”, and that “speaking as a scientist, it was clear that the United States was behaving irrationally”…I suggested that since he knew little about warfare, or that region, or in fact the very issues involved (he was not, for instance, aware that Iran was not an ally of Iraq), that perhaps his opinion held little merit. He could only reply that as a scientist, he understood such things and could reason them out.

          • Corlyss

            I agree about their naive insularity and their singular unfitness for larger public policy discussions, esp., when they assume an aura moral authority that then judges opponents morally unqualified to participate in the discussion, never mind have a role in the final choice, precisely because the latter are NOT scientists or they would agree with the scientists! Talk about crimes against logic! The Oppenheimer story and those Concerned Scientists organizations come to mind.

            Did you follow the contretemps when Lancet tried to convince the proponents of the war that the war had cost 100,000 Iraqi lives in the fist years, making the US guilty of genocide and thus war crimes, period, paragraph?

          • f1b0nacc1

            Indeed I did, and if there is ANYONE more insular and arrogant than scientists, it is doctors. The Lancet has been a laughingstock for years (decades) with their almost reflexive embrace of the ‘left cause of the month’….how very sad…

          • Andrew Allison

            It’s the God syndrome. The medical profession is especially susceptible because those patients who have a shred of independence typically leave it in the waiting room. Question authority wasperhaps Timothy Leary’s greatest contribution to society.

    • Boritz

      True. The alarmists would love to take us back to to an 1850 lifestyle. They are having more success taking us further back than that as far as the status, stature and trustworthiness of scientists.

  • vepxistqaosani

    It’s admittedly undemocratic and un-American — but is there any way we could force those nostalgic for the pre-Industrial Revolution Eden to actually live there?

    • Tom Servo

      People who want to live that way always fantasize that they’ll be the Lord or the Lady living in the manor at the top of the hill, without realizing that like almost all of our ancestors, there is a 99.9% probability that they would be living in a mud hut full of fleas and shoveling sh*t for a living.

      • f1b0nacc1

        The problem is that even the Lord/Lady of the manor didn’t have a particularly good life.

        • Tom Servo

          No, they didn’t, and what’s worse – having a bunch of people to command kind of sucks when they’re all illiterate, disease ridden peasants who live in mud huts and shovel sh*t for a living. Kind of takes the fun out of things.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Greens are right that we have a problem”

    “The public trusts scientists”

    This is not true. You shouldn’t make such blanket statements then provide no factual evidence to support your position. The Hypothesis of “Global Warming” was disproven when the predictions based on it proved to be wrong. What’s more the environmentalists know it was disproven as they changed the wonderfully descriptive and easily falsifiable “Global Warming” to the evasive and unfalsifiable “Climate Change” (since the climate has always changed they can now claim that any change validates their position).
    I believe the public’s trust in scientists has been seriously shaken by the failure to release data or explain why it was altered, by the incestuous peer review going on in many journals, and by the emails that got released showing that most environmental scientists were conspiring to “Hide the Decline”.

    The Greens are wrong, and that’s why they are losing.

    • Corlyss

      Scientists are the ultimate technocrats. We’re still in the grip of an electorate values technocrats reflexively even as skepticism about their omniscience grows. VM is right to the extent that the comment captures a moment in time. That is why the envirothugs have spent so much time and effort dragooning as many titular scientists into the numbers allegedly endorsing AGW as a scientific fact, regardless of whether they have a relevant expertise. Thus we get all the science departments of universities whose funding depends on whether they sign a loyalty oath to the AGW theories being muscled into supporting AGW on pain of getting their own projects defunded. The environmentalists are in a race against time to subborn enough scientist to seize all the policy organs before they destroy the public’s unquestioning acceptance of scientists’ authority.

      But you are also right that the transparent intellectual thuggery of the AGW crowd has done more to expose the clay footedness of the last remaining unquestioned authorities left in America.

  • jburack

    This article makes a bogus distinction between climate change skepticism and policy skepticism. In fact, they are linked and both are legitimate. Plenty of scientists share in climate change skepticism, and in fact skepticism is the normal and proper stance for a scientist under any and all circumstances. The corruption of science into advocacy is what the public is skeptical about, and rightly so.

  • Pete

    The greens like Algore, Robert Kennedy, Jr., all the Hollywood trash, etc. — do NOT want to live in a pre-industrial revolution age manner. They merely want the rest of us to.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    “The public trusts scientists”

    May I echo JL’s comments about trust in science?

    This has now been severely shaken as so many scientists have turned away from the true scientific method and become political advocates for global warming – biasing their papers accordingly.

    It is now effectively impossible to work in Environmental Science, to get funding or to get published unless you pay lip service to the belief that human CO2 emissions cause dangerous atmospheric heating. I have some sympathy for established scientists with a family and mortgage caught in this trap, but none for the establishment figures pushing this madness for their own ends…

  • Corlyss

    My only regret is that Steyer didn’t burn more of his fortune on his cause.

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