Three brilliant essays by Michael Crichton: Aliens cause Global Warming, Environmentalism as Religion, The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming [re-blogged from Quixotes Last Stand].
[quote] Cast your minds back to 1960. …And in Green Bank, West Virginia at the new National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a young astrophysicist named Frank Drake runs a two week project called Ozma, to search for extraterrestrial signals. A signal is received, to great excitement. It turns out to be false, but the excitement remains. In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation:
None of the variables in the equation was known, knowable or testable: they were guesses, and it took faith to believe in SETI (belief in something for which there is no proof). Then in the 1970’s came the Carl Sagan fiction about Nuclear Winter. an untestable and unprovable theory from which issued another equation with unknown, unknowable and untestable variables:
[quote] Sagan appeared on the Johnny Carson show 40 times. … Following the conference [on consequences of the Winter], there were press conferences, meetings with congressmen, and so on. The formal papers in Science came months later.
He and his followers were selling a product; they were not doing science: What we are doing here, however, is presenting a consensus of a very large group of scientists…” And consensus is the business of politics:
[quote] Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
[quote] What, then, can we say were the lessons of Nuclear Winter? I believe the lesson was that with a catchy name, a strong policy position and an aggressive media campaign, nobody will dare to criticize the science, and in short order, a terminally weak thesis will be established as fact. After that, any criticism becomes beside the point. The war is already over without a shot being fired. That was the lesson, and we had a textbook application soon afterward, with second hand smoke.
And now, Global Warming:
[quote] Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?
Well, the UN IPCC thinks so after there facts were changed:
[quote] The 1995 IPCC draft report said, “Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.” It also said, “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of observed climate changes to anthropogenic causes.” Those statements were removed, and in their place appeared: “The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on climate.”
Ipso facto, Aliens cause Global Warming!
And Green Energy is “consensus science”, which is to say politics wrapped in the religion of Green, an Ontario speciality.
Read the other two essays, you’ll be edified.