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Dr. Steven J. Allen

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: How a U.N. group manipulates science to “prove” Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
How a U.N. group manipulates science to “prove” Global Warming (pdf here)
By Kevin Mooney

Summary: The most prestigious international group claiming we face a global warming crisis has a history of twisting the scientific evidence involved in the controversy. It is so duplicitous that it has even misrepresented the findings of its own reports.

W hy do so many people believe in Global Warming theory? Global Warming theory isn’t just that the earth is getting warmer, any more than the theory of evolution is that things evolve or the theory of relativity is that everything is relative. There’s a lot more to it than just warming. Global Warming theory (sometimes fudged as “climate change” theory), in the words of Green Watch editor Steven J. Allen, is “that the earth as a whole is getting catastrophically warmer due not to natural causes but to ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions—especially carbon dioxide (CO2)—from human industry, transportation, and energy generation, and that the looming catastrophe of Global Warming can be averted with policies that are compatible with peace, prosperity, freedom, and democracy.” That’s a lot of believe, and it’s inconsistent with what we know about both physical science and human behavior.
Earth’s temperatures have been stable since about 1998, according to satellite [click here for the rest]

Overton Park and the twisting of words

Overland Park and the twisting of words

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

As soon as it hit the news of the shootings in Overland Park, Kansas, political activists started playing the blame game. People on the Left hoped that they’d be able to pin the shootings on conservatives or Tea Partiers, and conservatives and Tea Partiers began to worry that someone would somehow link them to the murders.

As people on both sides know, no evidence is necessary for the Left to make this link.

Remember how Sarah Palin was connected to the shootings of Rep. Gabby Giffords and others? That was a lie concocted by a left-wing website (The Daily Kos) that, just before the shooting, posted an attack on Gifford that could be read uncharitably as a death threat (Giffords, the left-wing blogger declared, was “DEAD TO ME”). On the Sunday morning political talk shows following the tragedy, the focus of the discussions was the  false idea that the tragedy was caused by “incivility” by Tea Partiers and conservatives.

Remember what happened after the 2012 massacre in Aurora, Colorado? Read all »

Media bias: Rigging the game

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Writers, editors, and producers of the national news media usually claim to be objective. They contend that they just report the truth.  They argue that the personal political philosophy of a journalist has no more effect on his or her work than on, say, the effort of a scientist to determine the speed of light in a vacuum.  Facts, they say, are facts.

But to report on taxes or healthcare or national security is not like counting the clicks on a Geiger counter or calculating the distance from the center of the earth to the surface of the moon.  Journalism is inherently subjective; a journalist’s approach to a story invariably reflects his or her opinions.

No one would accept the claim of a Ku Klux Klansman, in line for a judgeship, that he is able to apply the civil rights laws objectively without regard to his personal opinions.  Yet the argument is advanced by members of the media that a reporter can cover Barack Obama and the Tea Party movement fairly even if he thinks that Obama is the smartest president ever (swoon!) and that Tea Partiers are fascist, neo-Confederate, war-mongering plutocrats.

The problem is that the so-called mainstream media are full of people who aren’t mainstream at all.  If they were, in fact, members of the mainstream, their values and backgrounds would more closely reflect those of the American people.

The not-so-mainstream media aren’t mainstream at all. Almost all reporters, producers, on-air “talent,” et al. are liberals; more specifically, most are Progressives. Polls indicate consistently that under 10 percent of American adults are Progressives.[i]   About 20 percent call themselves “liberals.”

That left-wing views dominate Big Media is apparent from examining the lineups of the Sunday morning political talk shows. With the occasional exception of Newt Gingrich and, on rare occasions, Laura Ingraham, these programs ban reporters and commentators with pro-Tea Party and anti-RINO views from their analyst rosters. “Republicans” are represented by, say, David Brooks of PBS and the New York Times or Matthew Dowd, a Democrat-turned-GWBush-supporter who usually takes the RINO line. That bias is true even on Fox, which is said to be a conservative-oriented network, but which absurdly attacked Ted Cruz for his efforts to stop implementation of the Obamacare disaster.

Keep in mind:

  • A 2011 poll indicated that between 25 and 30 percent of American adults identified more with the Tea Party movement than with the leaders of either major political party, and that most Americans consider the advent of the Tea Party movement to be a good thing for the country.  Polls earlier this year indicated that, among people with an opinion one way or the other, the portion who consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party is identical to the portion who consider themselves supporters of the Republican Party. (That was true even as the Republican Party was beating the Democratic Party on the generic congressional ballot.)  This is despite one of the most despicable smear campaigns in American history—from the hoax that Tea Partiers called civil-rights hero John Lewis the N-word to Saturday Night Live’s depiction of Tea Partiers as murderous psychopaths to the weird anti-Tea Party rants of Karl Rove.
  • Year after year, the Gallup poll has shown some 38-42 percent of adults calling themselves “conservatives,” usually one-and-a-half to two times the number of liberals, with conservatives in any given year outnumbering liberals in 48, 49, or all 50 of the 50 states.

Yet I would suspect that there’s not a large or medium-sized newsroom in the country where conservatives outnumber liberals, or where a significant number of reporters have views in line with the Tea Party.  Good luck finding someone in a newsroom who opposes same-sex marriage, or backed George W. Bush on the Iraq War, or takes a pro-science position on Global Warming, or opposes racism in hiring and college admissions. (I should note that there are a few issues—I’ll let you figure out which—on which I happen to disagree with many of my fellow conservatives. But that disagreement doesn’t stop me from recognizing bias when I  see it, even when, once in a while, it’s a bias toward a position that I share.)

Since the days when I was a reporter, diversity, except in the most shallow sense, has almost vanished from the nation’s newsrooms.

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Jeremiah Denton: Defiant

[CRC’s Dr. Steven J. Allen first came to Washington 33 years ago to serve as press secretary to Jeremiah Denton, who died last week at age 89. This is Dr. Allen’s tribute to Denton, an American hero.]

What makes someone a quintessentially American sort of hero? – not just a hero, but a hero in the tradition of George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Heroes come in many varieties, from the soldier who runs into a hail of gunfire to rescue a fallen comrade, to the whistleblower who endangers her career to call attention to wrongdoing, to the citizen who protests peacefully in the face of a very real threat of violence.

As I see it, one characteristic above others is associated with American-style heroism. That is defiance – defiance when the adversary has the odds stacked in his favor – defiance when one’s life and honor and at stake, when one has little to gain for oneself, when everything is at risk, and when most men and women would meekly acquiesce – defiance grounded in a motto attributed to Franklin and adopted by Jefferson: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

Just as a person can be American in spirit without being an American literally (Alexis de Tocqueville, Margaret Thatcher), U.S. citizenship is not necessary for a person to be an American-style hero.  Think of the man who stood in front of a column of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protest.  Or the man who refused to join the crowd in giving the Nazi salute at the 1936 launch of a naval training vessel. (Believed to be a fellow named August Landmesser, he’s featured in posters with the caption “Be this guy!”)

There’s a reason so many of the world’s dimwits ridicule Americans as cowboys: We do the things for which they don’t have the, uh, brazenness.

In my life, I have known some great men and women; I have known heroes; but the most quintessentially American hero I have known is a man named Jeremiah Denton.

On July 18, 1965, Navy Commander Denton’s plane was catapulted from the deck of the carrier Independence in the Gulf of Tonkin.  This was during the Vietnam War, in which communist North Vietnam, with the aid of the Soviet Empire, invaded (and eventually conquered) South Vietnam.

The U.S. had come to the aid of South Vietnam, and Denton’s mission was to lead 28 aircraft in an attack on enemy installations.  As his bombs fell, his plane was hit, and he ended up, severely injured, in the Ma River.  He was captured and would spend the next seven years and seven months as a Prisoner of War – four years of that in solitary confinement.  He slept on a concrete bed and was tortured almost beyond human endurance.

One torture he endured, as described by another POW, was this: Read all »

Another Pew survey, another fake

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

Pew—the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press—has published another poll showing people’s opinions on the Keystone XL pipeline. The results are highly favorable to the construction of the pipeline, which I support. I wish the results were true. But they’re fake.

Here’s how the survey was reported by the Los Angeles Times:

Nearly half of Democrats favor granting a permit for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. . . .

The Pew poll showed that, despite the work of anti-pipeline activists, support for the project has remained solid, especially among Republicans and independents. Backers of the pipeline have argued that it would create jobs and secure more oil from a friendly, democratic country.

Overall, 61% of respondents favor building the pipeline, while 27% are opposed, a proportion that has held steady for the last year or so, according to Pew. About 49% of Democrats back the pipeline and 38% oppose it. The remaining 13% said they did not know.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 27 to March 16 among 3,335 adults.

So, according to Pew, 88% of respondents are either in favor of the pipeline or opposed. That’s an incredible result, truly unbelievable—and I mean that literally.

Here’s why: No one in his or her right mind should believe that 88% of people in the surveyed group have ever heard of the Keystone XL pipeline. That means that the Pew survey responses were to the wording of the question, not to the matter of whether  the pipeline should be built.

It’s like that recurring bit on the Jimmy Kimmel late-night show, in which Kimmel staffers conduct man-on-the-street interviews with questions like “What was your reaction when President Obama pardoned the sequester?” …and people respond as if the questions make sense. Often, the participants elaborate on their answers, providing additional information such as what they were doing when they watched the broadcast of the President’s announcement of his pardon of the sequester.

In the Pew survey, the wording of the question was “Do you favor or oppose building the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas?” I’ll give the Pew researchers the benefit of the doubt; I’ll assume that they put a lot of effort into the wording of the question, to make it as fair as possible, but such a result—showing a vast majority of people with an opinion on a complex issue that doesn’t affect them directly—is inherently flawed. People who have never heard of the Keystone XL pipeline do not have an opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline, and no clever wording of the question can get around that problem.

Assuming that the Pew survey was conducted in the manner that it sponsors claimed, and that it followed standard procedures for polls that are conducted scientifically, it is nevertheless fatally flawed because the result makes no sense.

How do I know that fewer than 88%, probably a lot fewer than 88%, have heard of the pipeline? Because, based on more than 40 years experience analyzing public opinion polls, I know that most people simply don’t have opinions on issues that are more complex than “For whom will you vote, Obama or Romney?” and that don’t affect them directly, such as “Have you had a favorable or unfavorable experience with recent changes to healthcare laws?” I don’t mean this as an insult to the average American. Most people are reasonably smart, but they have real lives and they don’t spend a lot of time reading up on complex matters of public policy. To their detriment, they rely on political leaders to make public policy and on journalists to provide analysis of public policy.

I first noticed this problem with polls back in the 1980s, when 80% of respondents in one poll had an opinion on the proposed Nuclear Freeze, but the number of people who had any idea what the Nuclear Freeze was, was close to zero. Same thing in the 1990s, with the chemical weapons treaty that was then under consideration, and polls “showed” that most regular people had an opinion on the issue, at a time when most Capitol Hill staffers didn’t.

Consider the following:

►At any given point, fewer than 70% (probably, fewer than 60%) of U.S. adults can name the Vice President.

►In 2011, Newsweek gave a group of American citizens a version of the test that’s given to immigrants seeking citizenship. Only 62% passed. The magazine reported that “Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.” The Newsweek story referenced a 2009 study by the European Journal of Communication  in which only 58 percent of Americans managed to identify the Taliban, against which the U.S. had been fighting a war for more than seven years.

►A 2013 Reuters/Ipsos poll had 27% selecting the correct definition of “quantitative easing” from a list of five answers. That’s compared to the 20% who would have picked the correct answer at random.  (If as few as eight or nine percent actually knew the answer, and the rest guessed blindly, you’d get around 27% answering correctly.) No wonder that, when politicians like Sarah Palin talk about the issue, it flies right over the heads of most voters.

►Left-wing columnist rosa Brooks wrote in 2006:

Last spring, one survey found that although 52% of Americans could name two or more of the characters from “The Simpsons,” only 28% could identify two of the freedoms protected under the 1st Amendment. Another recent poll found that 77% of Americans could name at least two of the Seven Dwarfs from “Snow White,” but only 24% could name two or more Supreme Court justices.

In September, the Annenberg Public Policy Center released a poll showing that only two-thirds of Americans could identify all three branches of government; only 55% of Americans were aware that the Supreme Court can declare an act of Congress unconstitutional; and 35% thought that it was the intention of the founding fathers to give the president “the final say” over Congress and the judiciary.

►In a 2008 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Professor Ted Gup of Case Western Reserve Universuty, wrote about his experience with some of his students: “Nearly half of a recent class could not name a single country that bordered Israel. In an introductory journalism class, 11 of 18 students could not name what country Kabul was in, although we have been at war there for half a decade. Last fall only one in 21 students could name the U.S. secretary of defense. Given a list of four countries—China, Cuba, India, and Japan—not one of those same 21 students could identify India and Japan as democracies. Their grasp of history was little better. The question of when the Civil War was fought invited an array of responses – half a dozen were off by a decade or more. Some students thought that Islam was the principal religion of South America, that Roe v. Wade was about slavery, that 50 justices sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, that the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1975.”

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Lies, damned lies, and government statistics (cont’d): HIV and the CDC

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

From fake statistics such as the “poverty” rate, which bureaucrats set at whatever level they want, to categories such as “endangered species” that aren’t species, to “races” of mankind that exist only in the imagination, to totally bogus pretend-calculations such as the “social cost of carbon” that is used to justify countless destructive regulations, government bureaucrats use techniques of deception to increase their own power and promote the causes they believe in. Left-wing politicians love their work, mainstream/conservative politicians are generally clueless about what they do, extremist pseudo-intellectuals on college campuses provide them with fake rationales, and members of the out-of-the-mainstream media swallow their fakery hook, line, and sinker and pass it along unedited to the American people.

Just last week, Americans saw an example that appeared in virtually every major news outlet in the country. Among the participants were reporters for such outlets as the New York Times and the Washington Post–reporters who are too dumb to use simple math and who lack the basic ethics to check out the stories they report.  I’m referring to the stories promoting the absurd claim that Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” program, designed for schoolchildren and in effect for four years, had caused a 43% drop over the past 10 years in obesity among children age 2-5.  Despite the fact that the story was preposterous on its face and unsupported by any evidence, Read all »

A mighty wind: Nerve gas, six thousand dead sheep, and Soviet trickery

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

In 1969, President Nixon renounced the use of biological weapons by the United States and set in motion the process that would lead to a complete international ban on such weapons. The Soviets, who agreed to the ban, took it as an opportunity to conduct the largest covert scientific program in the history of the world, to develop diabolical weapons based on such diseases as anthrax, smallpox, and plague (as in the Black Death).

One incident, more than any other public event, led to Nixon’s decision. The same incident helped spawn Earth Day and the modern environmentalist movement. It inspired a famous horror novel, a famous actor’s debut as a film director, and episodes of a TV detective show. It launched the investigative reporting career of one of America’s best known journalists.

It could not have had a greater impact if it had actually happened.

This is the story of the Dugway sheep. Read all »

The Flat Earth is a myth. So’s that story about people who believed in a Flat Earth.

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

Progressivism is an ideology based on the idea that most people are stupid, and that society is best governed by a small band of smart people—“smart” defined as being well-credentialed, such as you are when your father gets you into an Ivy League school.

Progressivism can be a cruel ideology.  Progressives such as Woodrow Wilson stuck African-Americans in separate, inferior schools (for what was supposedly their own good). Under Obamacare, an army of heartless, anonymous bureaucrats re-wrote tens of millions of health insurance policies (because those old policies, which most people liked, were “bad apples” and people were fools for buying them). Progressive policies hurt lots of people, but they are necessary if the elite is to be in charge.

And the pressure to continually justify Progressive policies obliges Progressives to invent new insults on a regular basis. That’s why, if you oppose those policies, they paint you as ignorant and racist, or they link you to supposedly inferior groups such as Southerners and non-Muslim/non-leftist religious people. Vice President Al Gore once referred to some conservatives as “the extra-chromosome right wing,” an apparent reference to Down syndrome.

One of the most powerful insults is “flat earther.” In 1990, then-Senator Gore authored a New York Times op-ed in which ridiculed opponents of Global Warming theory in a question-and-answer format:

Q.: But how can we trust scientists on this issue when some of them say global climate change is real and some of them say it’s not?

A.: Five hundred years ago, most scientists said the world was flat. Most people believed them because the Earth did indeed look flat. The new ”model” of a round Earth was based on mathematical calculations that they could neither touch nor understand.

“Flat earther” became one of Gore’s favorite insults. That term, and the history associated with it (that most experts 500 years ago thought the earth was flat), have often been used to ridicule skeptics of Global Warming theory. President Obama, speaking in 2012 at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, ridiculed those who oppose his “green” policies such as subsidizing windmills and solar panels: “Let me tell you something. If some of those folks were around when Columbus set sail [audience laughter] they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. [laughter] They would not have believed that the earth was round. [applause]”  And Secretary of State John Kerry recently assailed skeptics of Global Warming theory as members of the “Flat Earth Society”—a charge that was celebrated on network news programs as clever and illuminating.

In fact, the flat earth story is a myth, propagated by academics in order to paint their adversaries falsely as fools. It’s a politically motivated lie—just like Global Warming theory. Read all »

Presidents Day, not: They even lie about the calendar

 [Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

In ancient Rome, politicians lied about the start of the new year.  The Clinton administration lied about the beginning of the new century. And if you commemorated the federal holiday of Presidents Day, you’ve been scammed, because there’s no such thing.

Often, political deception starts with simple things, like what day or year or century it is.

Humans like things to come out even, but nature isn’t very accommodating. The year is approximately 365.24219 days, which means that a clever scheme is needed to make the calendar come out even, so that, for example, farmers can use it to decide when to plant their crops. A calendar of exactly 365 days would be easy to work with, but would “drift” by almost one day every four years.  The calendar scheme we use today in most of the world is 365 days but adds a leap day every four years, except not in “00” years such as 1900, except that every fourth “00” year such as 2000 is a leap year. Whew. It’s a little complicated, but it’s off by only 26 seconds a year.

The Romans dealt with this problem by using variable years of 355, 377, and 378 days. There was supposed to be a system for the different year-lengths that, if it had been used, would have produced a roughly correct average length of 365 and a quarter days. But the system wasn’t used. Instead, members of the priesthood overseeing the calendar abused their authority to extend the terms of politicians they liked (or, to put it another way, politicians who paid them off). By the time Julius Caesar rose to power, the calendar was “off” by almost three months, which necessitated calendar reforms, resulting in the Julian calendar that was in common use into the lifetime of George Washington (and, in some places, longer; Russia’s delay in adopting the new Gregorian calendar is the reason that its revolution of November 1917 is called the October Revolution).

 

Flash forward a couple of millennia, to Bob Dole’s acceptance speech at the 1996 Republican National Convention. Dole and his speechwriters apparently thought it would be a good idea to promise to be a bridge to the past, to “a time of tranquility, faith and confidence in action.” At the Democrats’ convention a couple of weeks later, President Clinton promised to “build a bridge to the 21st Century,” which tied in smartly to his campaign song, Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow).” That made the 1996 election a contest between a Man of the Past and a Man of the Future which—surprise!—was won by the latter. As the year 2000 approached, Clinton’s vice president (who claimed to have “taken the lead in creating the Internet”) was running for president, and Clinton’s wife was running for U.S. Senator as a prelude to her own presidential campaign. It was a happy coincidence that, just a few months before the election, the 21st Century would begin with fireworks and champagne and a spirit of renewal and hope for a new beginning. A century earlier, this feeling had a name, Fin de siècle, and Al Gore and Hillary Clinton would milk the new century for all it was worth.

There was a small problem, that the new century would not begin until the first moments of January 1, 2001. By then, the 2000 election would be over. Never let a thing like the calendar stop the Clintons and their friends, though! They would simply pretend that the 21st Century started on January 1, 2000.

In this, they would be supported by lots of businesses eager to cash in on the celebration of the new century. They would also be supported by sycophants in the news media, who, then as now, took the most absurd claims by a leftwing president as gospel. (At the last minute, on the eve of the January 1, 2000 celebration, the Associated Press would put out a correction about the century’s startdate.) Clinton and company could also count on the fact that Americans as a whole were less educated than they had been at the turn of the 20th Century.

In times past, regular folks around the world knew that centuries end in “00” years and begin in “01” years. The First Century was A.D. 1 to A.D. 100, the Second Century was A.D. 101 to A.D. 200, and so on—calculated according to the year-numbering system invented in 525 by the Abbot of Rome, Dionysius Exiguus (“Dennis the Short”), a system based on the estimated time of the birth or conception of Jesus and probably off by a few years).

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Global Warming: How to persuade those idiots who don’t agree with you

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

Magicians, con men, and intelligence operatives use a wide range of deception techniques– camouflage, concealment, “barnum statements,” and countless other methods that have tricked people since the dawn of time.

We’re now seeing the emergence of a new school of deception called “science communication,” or, more narrowly, “climate change communication.”

It takes a big threat to get people, especially Americans, to give up their freedom and their economic futures. People on the Left see Global Warming as that threat. (Previous such threats, each supported by a fake “scientific consensus” and each discredited long ago, have ranged from Nuclear Winter to the Population Bomb to miscegenation.) Today, leftists fantasize about flooded cities and a Great Extinction, about famine and pestilence and war caused by this Warming—whatever it takes to get people to shut down their higher reasoning process, and panic.

Last week, the Washington Post published a guide to this new field of deception, headlined “Arguments to give a climate-change denier” in the print edition and, in the online edition, “How to convince your friends to believe in climate change. It’s not as hard as you think.” (The link is http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-to-convince-your-friends-to-believe-in-climate-change-its-not-as-hard-as-you-think/2014/02/03/3a9a1fa8-8828-11e3-916e-e01534b1e132_story.html .) I assume that the author did not intend it as a guide to deception—the tone suggests that he’s a true believer—but it’s a useful guide to the arguments that you might encounter in the faculty lounge, at a Georgetown cocktail party, or any other place where airheads gather.

The author is Brian Palmer, presumably the Brian Palmer who’s the “chief explainer” for the leftwing online magazine Slate. Palmer wrote that “Environmentalists have a reputation for being self-righteous and a little naggy, which makes them ripe for parody. . . . But if you’re serious about the environment and want others to share your passion, don’t be intimidated by the potential mockery or resistance. There’s an extensive body of research on how to persuade those who view science with suspicion—it’s called the science of science communication. Much of the work centers on climate change.”

Put aside the silly reference to “those who view science with suspicion.” (Warmers usually freak out when people bring science into the argument.) Palmer was referring to the techniques that have been developed at great effort over the years to recruit people like you to the cause.

Palmer noted the recommendation by George Marshall, founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network, “tweaking your language slightly to make yourself sound less judgmental.” Get that: “less judgmental.” Like when, as in the headline in the Post, a person who is skeptical about Global Warming theory gets called a “denier” analogous to a neo-Nazi denier of the Holocaust. No, nothing judgmental about that!

Marshall is certainly an expert in the field, having written a book claiming that people’s brains are wired to ignore “climate change.” As for Marshall’s group, COIN, the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media claims, on its website, that “COIN’s clients have included large trade unions in the U.K. such as the Communication Workers Union and the Public and Commercial services Union.”

Said Marshall, quoted by Palmer, “Say, ‘This is what’s important to me, and this is why.’ Don’t get caught up in the scientific discussion. You’re not a scientist, and evidence doesn’t persuade people who reject climate change. What carries power is your personal conviction as a friend, colleague or neighbor.” In other words, argue from emotion, ’cause science is really, really hard.

Unnoted by Palmer or Marshall is the fact that scientist-activists have been wrong about virtually every matter of public policy on which they’ve taken a position—ever. That’s because appealing to the authority of scientists, on matters of which they have no particular knowledge, is something one does only when legitimate arguments fail. Most scientists are experts in extremely narrow fields, and profoundly ignorant about anything having to do with politics or policy. In addition, as a magician will tell you, a scientist is the easiest type of person for a deception artist to fool.

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