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The Silence of the Skeptics

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Oct 1, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Climate Change

If a climate scientist produces a climate science research result and no one hears about it, is it still climate science?

Concerted efforts by members of the consensed climate science community to enforce the climate change orthodoxy became obvious with the first release of the Climategate e-mails ten years ago, though these efforts have likely been ongoing far longer. Prior to Climategate, these efforts were conducted in secrecy. However, since then, the veil of secrecy has been pulled back progressively, revealing “the man behind the curtain”, to borrow a phrase from the Wizard of Oz.

The early efforts included restricting inclusion of skeptical research in the IPCC process, discouraging scientific journals from publishing skeptical research, demanding the firing of editors who approved skeptical papers for publication, not submitting orthodox research results to journals which published skeptical papers, providing unjustifiably negative peer review responses, refusing to act as peer reviewers for skeptical papers, attempting to have skeptics doctoral degrees revoked and agitating to have government-employed skeptics removed from their position. These efforts were successful to some degree.

The more recent efforts include provoked information demands from senators and congresspersons for voluminous information about the funding and associations and publications of skeptical scientists from the scientists and their employers, failure to include skeptical scientists in requests for proposals, summary rejection of skeptical scientist’s proposals and failure to publicize skeptical results.

The media have now become actively involved in protecting and defending climate orthodoxy by refusing to invite skeptical scientists to appear on network programs, refusing to publish opinion pieces by climate skeptics, refusing to publish skeptical letters to the editor.

Internet search engines have participated in these efforts by focusing their first search responses on results which conform to the current climate orthodoxy. Searches of climate scientists who accept the consensus return listings of research results, while searches of skeptical climate scientists return a high percentage of critical evaluations by organizations supportive of the climate orthodoxy.

Most recently, Nature Communications published a study by a university team identifying and demeaning skeptical climate scientists and other skeptics, using a collection of poorly identified and defined criteria. Several of the identified “deniers” have demanded withdrawal of the study, retractions in the press and personal apologies from the research team, the university communications department and other participants. Potential legal action has been threatened if the above actions are not forthcoming.

Perhaps the most egregious media effort is being coordinated by the Columbia Journalism Review, which is calling upon media outlets to devote a week to focused climate coverage this September. This is intended to be a propaganda campaign in favor of the consensus climate change position and agitation for immediate, dramatic action to control climate change.

“Our ask of you is simple: commit to a week of focused climate coverage this September. We are organizing news outlets across the US and abroad—online and print, TV and audio, large and small—to run seven days of climate stories from September 16 through the climate summit UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hosts in New York September 23. The stories you run are up to you, though we can offer ideas and background information and connect outlets looking for content with content providers looking for outlets.”

There will certainly be no support for skeptical positions being presented as part of this focused climate coverage. The purpose is not to inform but to incite.