The “Science” Mantra – by Thomas Sowell


Science is one of the great achievements of the human mind and the biggest reason why we live not only longer but more vigorously in our old age, in addition to all the ways in which it provides us with things that make life easier and more enjoyable.

Like anything valuable, science has been seized upon by politicians and ideologues, and used to forward their own agendas. This started long ago, as far back as the 18th century, when the Marquis de Condorcet coined the term “social science” to describe various theories he favored. In the 19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels distinguished their own brand of socialism as “scientific socialism.” By the 20th century, all sorts of notions wrapped themselves in the mantle of “science.”

Global warming” hysteria is only the latest in this long line of notions, whose main argument is that there is no argument, because it is “science.” The recently revealed destruction of raw data at the bottom of the global warming hysteria, as well as revelations of attempts to prevent critics of this hysteria from being published in leading journals, suggests that the disinterested search for truth— the hallmark of real science— has taken a back seat to a political crusade.

An intercepted e-mail from a professor at the Climate Research Unit in England to a professor at the University of Pennsylvania warned the latter: “Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act” and urged the American professor to delete any e-mails he may have sent a colleague regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

When a business accused of fraud begins shredding its memos and deleting its e-mails, the media are quick to proclaim these actions as signs of guilt. But, after the global warming advocates began a systematic destruction of evidence, the big television networks went for days without even reporting these facts, much less commenting on them.

As for politicians, Senator Barbara Boxer has urged prosecution of the hackers who uncovered and revealed the e-mails! People who have in the past applauded whistleblowers in business, in the military, or in Republican administrations, and who lionized the New York Times for publishing the classified Pentagon papers, are now shocked and outraged that someone dared to expose massive evidence of manipulations, concealment and destruction of data— and deliberate cover-ups of all this— in the global warming establishment.

Factual data are crucial in real science.

Einstein himself urged that his own theory of relativity not be accepted until it could be empirically verified. This verification came when scientists around the world observed an eclipse of the sun and discovered that light behaved as Einstein’s theory said it would behave, however implausible that might have seemed beforehand.

Today, politicized “science” has too big a stake in the global warming hysteria to let the facts speak for themselves and let the chips fall where they may. Too many people— in politics and in the media, as well as among those climate scientists who are promoting global warming hysteria— let the raw data on which their calculations have been based fall into the “wrong hands.”

People who talk about the corrupting influence of money seem to automatically assume that it is only private money that is corrupting. But, when governments have billions of dollars invested in the global warming crusade, massive programs underway and whole political careers at risk if that crusade gets undermined, do not expect the disinterested search for truth.

Among the intelligentsia, there have always been many who are ready to jump on virtually any bandwagon that will take them to the promised land, where the wise and noble few— like themselves— can take the rest of us poor dummies in hand and tell us how we had better change the way we live our lives.

No doubt some climate scientists honestly believe that global warming poses a threat. But other climate scientists honestly believe the opposite. That is why the raw data have had to be destroyed before the latter get their hands on it.

This is tragically the case as regards many other issues, besides global warming, where data are made available only to the true believers and kept out of the hands of those who think otherwise.

  • USMCSniper

    The political ideology of climate change is socialism. The objective is power over the lives of Americans, Europeans, and others worldwide, all of whom have been falsely led to believe that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” and responsible for a non-existent rise in the Earth’s average temperature. In point of fact, the Earth has been cooling for a decade and is likely to do so for several decades to come.

    In light of this, who can trust these organizations? And who can trust the “science” produced by NASA and other U.S. agencies that have benefited from billions in grants directed at so-called climate, i.e. global warming research?

    These organizations must now publicly admit to their role in advancing this international fraud and must take steps to correct the record, to examine the data of those courageous climatologists, meteorologists and others who, while barred from having their work appear in the IPCC reports, did not shrink from sharing it with the public.

    It won’t be easy. The President of the United States, despite lofty statements in support of science, is totally committed to the fraudulent “science” of “global warming.” He has surrounded himself with people associated with the fraud, from his “Science Czar” to his “Climate Czar”, as well as appointments such as the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    President Obama has repeated every global warming lie that has been around for far too long and blessed the December UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen with a visit before he picked up his worthless Nobel Peace Prize.

    All of this is a national disgrace and remains, in the form of the Cap-and-Trade legislation awaiting a vote in the Senate, a threat to the nation’s economic recovery and to the faith that Americans have always had in legitimate science.

  • Alex Kovnat

    The biggest vested interest in the idea of the world coming to an end from global warming, as I see it, is not so much financial but emotional and intellectual. I have long believed that if you hate the automobile, the automobile industry, and our western way of life in general, then you have an emotional vested interest in the idea that 1) global warming exists and 2) the automobile or our western way of life in general is the cause of it.

    If global warming is indeed a fraud, there goes the number one argument for draconian corporate average fuel economy requirements for cars. That would drive car-haters crazy, even though lessened fuel economy requirements would make it easier for cars to meet the ever more stringent safety requirements that intellectuals want — for everyone else's cars, that is.

  • prudentman

    Social Science is an oxymoron. Anyone who believes economics, econometrics, law, politics (political), etc. are sciences doesn't understand what the discipline of science consists of. Such beliefs have led many people in this world to a host of misconceptions and erroneous assumptions which the Western world is paying for today.

  • swemson

    The current climate hysteria is the 4th example of this nonsense in the last hundred years. 35 years ago, the same LIARS who are pushing Global Warming today, were screaming about the coming ice age as the following 2 articles from Time & Newsweek show.,917

    Most interesting perhaps is the fact that they blamed cooling on fossil fuel emissions then just as they're blaming them for warming today.

    All of the details about the scientific arguments pale however in light of two simple facts.

    The first is that the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that comes from our use of fossil fuels is 16ppm, or 0.000016% of the atmosphere. That's 1 part in 62,500. Blaming climate change on such an insignificant trace gas is far to absurd for anyone with a rational mind to believe.

    The second is that WARMING IS GOOD !

    Throughout history, life has flourished during the warm periods, and people starved during the cold periods, because crops can't grow if the temperatures are too cold. During the Little Ice Age millions starved to death…

    This entire thing is the BIGGEST LIE of all times, and the single biggest scientific hoax in recorded history.

    (Former U.S. Marine)

  • swemson

    BTW: No rational observer denies that the earth has been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age… that's what's supposed to happen after an ice age, & what's happened for the last 4.5 billion years.

    Nobody is even denying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it is (although it's too minor a trace gas to have any significant effect on climate change.

    The lie is that man is responsible for climate change, and that warming is something to be feared in the first place.

    Where would you rather live.. On a warm & balmy island in the Caribbean or in Northern Greenland with the Eskimo's ?

    All it takes is a little common sense to know that this entire scam is a complete fabrication.