Friday, November 27, 2009

How to Forge a Consensus

I admit it, I love the way English words and phrases can be used to imply two opposite meanings.

The word "forge" means to fabricate, which itself also has two meanings, either to create something real or to fake something. A bit like Japanese where the word "to believe" (shinjiru) also means "to imagine".

Well a good part of the climate science community is wondering which kind of forging has happened around its vaunted "consensus", as the leaked emails and programs from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia reveal a nice little Catch-22. As you have read by now, (unless you rely on regular newspapers for your news) the debate about global warming often came down to "skeptical climate research that has not been published in peer reviewed journals is meaningless".

Now the evidence is clear that publication in peer reviewed journals was controlled by one side of the debate, not coincidentally the side that kept saying "the consensus of scientists is that AGW is real and getting worse."

Not so fast, Carbon Dioxide Breath!

If the science can't be replicated independently, it's not science. Fraud, maybe. Belief and imagining, for sure.

The consensus was forged. And not the good meaning of forged.

Acknowledgements to the Wall Street Journal blog for the theme


JR said...

Excellent stuff. Thanks Halfwise. I'm playing catch-up after a spell away from blogging.

Halfwise said...

Thanks JR and welcome back.