Moving on to the next set of influences on the trajectory of climate science and policy.
* The role of environmental entrepreneurs in the United Nations.
* The partnership between Western governments and the IPPC.
* The governance of the IPCC.
The third post addressed the rise of Big Science and the risk which President Eisenhower identified in the 1950s when he saw the development of a massive military/industrial complex. We now have a climate and environment research and policy complex with international agencies which create much more dangerous forces than Eisenhower had in mind when he wrote that the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. He saw the start of the tech revolution and he saw that more and more research was being done for the government or was directed by it.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technical elite.
Both of those possibilities became real after the governments of the western world and the United Nations embraced environmentalism under the influence of the worldwide green movement. New international forums and agencies proliferated, driven by a new class of political entrepreneurs like Maurice Strong. There is the UN Environment Programme with innumerable sub-branches and agencies. There are the climate-specific agencies. There is a host of other agencies which come to the aid of the party on strategic occasions like the run up to major conferences. And there is the spearhead, the IPPC. And the host of Non Government Organizations which feast at the table of the generous round of consultations and congresses. Check out CAN the Climate Action Network.
The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
All of that activity went ahead regardless of the views of the ordinary voters of the world, indeed independent of the democratic process and far beyond the influence of the most powerful private interest groups. The periodic reports from the IPCC are the major drivers of international concerns, especially the small volume produced for consumption by the media and politicians. It is revealing to find the gap between the alarmism produced for popular consumption and the contents of the collation of scientific papers. One of the papers in the most recent report noted no change in the frequency or severity of cyclonic events over several decades. So much for storm alarmism. Matt Ridley surveyed one of the major collections of papers and concluded that any foreseeable warming would do as much good as harm.
The governance of the IPCC looks like a scandal, as described by Donna Laframboise.
Interesting to note the degree of anonymity of the two delegates from each nation to the IPPC.
The youth, limited qualifications and radical connections of some authors of the scientific papers.
Claims about the use of refereed papers which turn out to be false with one third of the papers in the year surveyed consisting of “grey literature” including press releases and working papers by activist organizations.
Scientists are recruited to supply boiler plate which is fashioned into the final documents by carefully selected functionaries.
Stories of abuse of serious scientists abound.
The final post will treat the contribution of Gordon Tullock to explain how a combination of factors which exists at present can enable a scientific discipline to run down until eventually the point of view becomes a criterion for acceptance for publication.