Thursday, September 29, 2016

Climate change and scientific reticence

This is a link to 1 minute 43 secs video about Australia's coal frenzy, explaining why I became the first Australian IPCC contributor to be arrested for civil disobedience to protest climate change inaction. Please spread the word!

Somewhat relatedly, the Arctic expert Peter Wadhams recently wrote: "In my professional lifetime, I have witnessed the transformation of the top of the world from a beautiful ice-bound expanse of wilderness to a region now characterized by warming and melting on all fronts. These changes represent a spiritual impoverishment of the earth, as well as a practical catastrophe for humanity. The time for action has long since passed.”

James Hansen has also written of scientific reticence, concerning sea level rise. Scientific reticence is another name for self-censorship. It occurs and is reinforced by conservative granting bodies and literature gate-keepers. Scientists know that to get published, or to get grants, many boundaries must not be crossed.

A very deep cause for these boundaries is euphemistically called "ideology". Developed countries, especially if English speaking, are governed by excessive forms of the profit-making motive, ultimately reinforced by violence, such as by the Central Intelligence Agency, as documented by David Talbot and many others. As a result of this ideology there are many taboos in research, reaching beyond catastrophic sea level rise to include the harmful effect of high population growth on development and, ultimately, the possibility that civilization will collapse.

Of course, there are other ideologies, such as extreme versions of communism, Nazism and many religions.

Reviewing a book critical of the corrupt Stalinist scientist Trofim Lysenko, G.A. Clayton wrote: "When fear born of tyranny stalks the land, men become corrupted and perverted along with their science and society. Whether it be the CIA, the Mafia, BOSS, the SS, the NKVD or any other instrument of coercion, once its growing power puts it beyond the reach of John Citizen and the Commonweal, the lamps of freedom go out and darkness descends."

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