Recently, Mike Hulme said some unflattering comments about the climate alarmism and if I remember well, he has even introduced the term "climate porn", later used by IPPR. I wondered how this superficially reasonable thinker could have become the director of an institute whose very goal - included even into the name of the institute - is to pollute science with the environmentalist ideology.
Unfortunately, now I seem to know what's the answer. ;-/ In
Melanie Phillips that the stakes couldn't be delineated more clearly. It's a classical conflict between rational values of the Enlightenment on one side and the methods of the pre-rational era where the truth is heresy on the other side. Let me explain why.
Hulme tells us that if the scientists are going to be listened to in the future, they must "recognize the social limits of their truth seeking" - WOW. ;-) They must thus "trade truth for influence" - WOW. He also says that the "climate change is too important to be left to scientists" - WOW - "least of all the normal ones" - WOW. Hulme promotes the idea that the climate science should become a "post-normal science" - WOW. He says that the "danger" of the "normal science" is that it assumes that the truth is found before the policies are created - WOW.
In the post-normal science that he recommends, science is ready to change "as it rubs against society" - WOW - and the disputes should focus on sociological issues such as funding, personal evaluations, and the format of presentations - WOW. In order to make progress with the climate change, we must "take science off center stage" - WOW. Hulme correctly says that an honest scientist can't answer questions like "what level of CO2 is too much" because the answer depends on a value judgment which is not a part of science but the only reason why he says so is that he wants to urge scientists to become "post-normal scientists" who claim to be able to answer such questions - WOW.
If I summarize it, he wants to destroy the difference between science and politics completely. I just find it rather breathtaking. This is not a generic crank from Real Climate or Not Even Wrong. This is officially a director of an institute that pretends to be a scientific institute whom we have praised for certain things.
Hulme has collected some of the most disgraceful, immoral, anti-scientific, and anti-civilization principles how science should interact with the society that I can imagine. He has brought the methods of the Inquisition right to the 21st century and combined them with the most modern methods to brainwash, corrupt, and intimidate people.
He is completely open that he wants to return us to the Middle Ages when a church ideology dictated what scientists could think and what they couldn't think, what they could learn and what they couldn't learn if they didn't want to lose influence or life, for that matter. It just sounds extremely worrisome.
Sometimes we may find his comments convenient but is he trustworthy? Am I the last person who distinguishes the words "convenient" and "trustworthy"? How can he be a trustworthy scientist if he openly declares that his pronouncements are not as much about the search for the truth as they are about a search for "influence" determined by "social limits"? If my thermometer or watch told me the same thing as Hulme did, I would simply throw them away.
Why should I - or anyone else - be interested in the opinions of a person who has revealed that what he's looking for is not the truth but influence within social limits? What else can we get rather than some amplification of some fashionable myths of the general society pushed by activists? Is this garbage - or post-modern science - what the taxpayers should pay for? Why should anyone sensible ever take Hulme's criticism of Fred Singer and Dennis Avery seriously if Hulme's approach to science is a self-described fraud?
Is there someone who is gonna stop madness like that? Are Melanie Phillips and your humble correspondent the last two people on the planet who really don't intend to return to the age of witch hunts and heretics? ;-)
Via Paul Flett.