Is modern science polluted?


So, instead of being rewarded for research that supports a prior hypothesis, no matter how sloppy it is, those involved in climate studies get published a lot not by testing (which can’t be done in the prospective sense) but by producing dire, horrific results. Because these often appear in prominent journals — which love to feature articles that generate big news stories — the greater the horror, the more likely is promotion, citation and more money.

This then generates more and more of these perverse incentives in a vicious cycle.

All of this is well and good and could be dismissed as just another example of how incentives drive supposedly dispassionate scientists. But in several fields, like climate, the accumulation of horrific literature is often summarized by governments, usually to support some policy. Bad science then justifies bad policy.

It is quite significant that Smaldino and McElreath’s paper was published by the Royal Society. Surely they know the result will be more distrust of the modern scientific enterprise, and, by extension, in the policies supported by it. The fact of its publication is evidence that we have reached a turning point, where the pollution of modern science is now an accepted truth.
?Michaels, a Cato Institute scholar, is the author of “Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything.”

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Philosophy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Is modern science polluted?

  1. RobK

    Thanks for your earlier series Rafe,
    They were all good but I particularly enjoyed the last one. The comments didn’t function.
    Regarding the pollution of science:
    I find it most irritating when papers and press releases headline a correlation, then some massive speculation which is pure projection and hype about more (funds) work required.

  2. The pollution of science stems from deciding that the behavioral and social sciences can alter physical reality if only they can gain access to education, public policy levers, and the rule of law. Control the information sphere and then let the created Guiding Fictions (yes that really is a term) drive future behavior that then alters the reality that used to exist. Apparently it’s a key part of Real Utopia planning (another actual term and it was funded by the MacArthur Foundation).

    Climate science seems corrupt because the models actually exist to change human behavior and guide perception. It’s not about modeling existing physical systems. This is why sociologist Anthony Giddens said it didn’t matter if CAGW was true or not. It’s the rationale for desired public policy changes and that’s sufficient veracity for social reengineering work in the collectivist 21st Century.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    I’ll add that the ARC system and the peer review system are almost perfectly set up to continue this hegemony of the Left.

    The ARC typically awards grants to about 1 in 10 proposals. So if the ARC reviewers have a particular political outlook it is inevitable that grant proposals which fit that outlook will have more chance of funding than those which don’t.

    Peer review, especially anonymous peer review, likewise favours the formation of pal review rings which give a pass to insiders’ papers and exclude those which are in opposition to their political views. Both Lindzen and Spencer had immense problems getting their AMSU climate sensitivity papers published because of opposition by anonymous peer reviewers. Of course both papers (which I’ve read closely) demonstrated that CO2 is basically harmless, so you can see why the climatistas might want to censor them.

  4. john constantine

    Their abc regional vicco radio broadcast a fire ecologist this week, dire catastrophe porn about the upcoming fire season.

    Because it was progressing the ‘tories burn the world’ narrative he got away with stating that:

    “climate change makes fire season worse in Australia by extending the growing season and creating more biomass and fuel load.”

    So the science says that plants grow better due to climate change, [when it progresses their narrative.]

  5. A Lurker

    “climate change makes fire season worse in Australia by extending the growing season and creating more biomass and fuel load.”

    The Regressives then prevent the reduction of that biomass and fuel load by controlled burns and clearing – because, Gaia.

  6. Rayzor

    Ah! Robin
    You have identified the mischief which occurs when the anchor of a God concept is thrown out by society. Grounding only occurs with reference to a creator whose laws are seen to be apriori. Thus we have lived in a world whose laws all stemmed from a Jewish and Christian monotheistic God. But, the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater by a society dissociated from an external standard – viz: the concept of cultural relativity.
    I am afraid that nothing can be done about the loss of individual freedom led by our intellectual idiots to ultimately the control by the one (very bad) religion standing. I talk about Islam of course.

    Putting it in summary: the world as we know it is steadily being fu..ed by the cultural marxists in league with the self appointed elite class. There will be no return except by much suffering and re-discovery of a creator similiar to one acknowledged by the Jews and what Christians who remain.

  7. Baldrick

    Is modern science polluted?

    You only need look at the CAGW cabal that term CO2 a pollutant to realise just how modern science has regressed.

  8. Up The Workers!

    The science is settled.

    The Bureau of Mendacity says:

    Donald Trump causes all bad weather!

    (Send your cash donations to the Clintons – both forks of Hillary’s tongue need a re-tread and Bill needs another box of those expensive Lewinski-flavoured cigars).

  9. Craig Mc

    Once upon a time, science was as much about disproving hypotheses as supporting them.

  10. Tom

    Eisenhower saw this coming 55 years ago. It has little to do with science. This is the Big Government technocracy using a tried-and-tested propaganda tactic (daily doomsday scares courtesy of the MSM) to guarantee the size of its sinecure in perpetuity:

    The $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal.

    At 5% growth p.a., the CAGW industry is adding a trillion US dollars turnover a decade.

    Even at the $US 1.5 trillion 2015 estimate, the CAGW industry is already 25% bigger than the global oil and gas industry.

    That is staggering when the “science” hasn’t even proved its laughable premise.

  11. cohenite

    Alarmism is an existential threat, at least as bad as islam. It undermines one of the pillars of objectivity, along with due process and legal impartiality (stop laughing), which supports Western society.

    Alarmism is Gramsci’s most perfect weapon. Policy affecting energy is now based on it and once you have the plebs energy dependant and starved you can do what you want with them.

    The alarmists have already had one shot at repressing even discussion about the weather with Finkelstein; the new version will be much more thorough.

    It is amazing really; there is NO evidence to support the thesis that CO2, let alone human emissions of CO2, are the dominant factor controlling climate. It is even problematic that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is even caused by human emissions of CO2.

  12. nerblnob

    The science is settled?

    Shurely it invaded?

  13. hzhousewife

    The laws of Physics and Chemistry will win out.
    Meanwhile, all suffer.

  14. struth

    No , don’t be silly.
    Modern science can never be polluted.
    Unlike the corruption that is endemic in every other organisation that gets tax payers money thrown at it, scientist, even those climate scientists that like to be called scientists, are all men and women of extreme integrity and honesty.
    Even though unqualified outside of the public funded world to gain useful employment in the most basic roles,they would never think of fudging results to gain an easy life with pompous social standing and travel, on the taxpayers dime.
    These are not people.
    They are scientists.

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