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“Scientists Say”: A Ubiquitous Category of Media Hype


The ice cap in the Arctic is 60 percent bigger than this time last year, scientists say. A new era of cooling may be underway.

I hereby again establish the term "Scientists Say" as a category of media hype that keeps the credulous public in a state of constant and unnecessary alarm. Why? "Because," as folks used to say, "it sells papers."

Nonetheless, the climate change community (n�e, global warming community) is in a dither, according to the London Telegraph. Documents leaked to another British paper, the Daily Mail, from the UN International Panel on Climate indicate that governments that finance the UN studies are demanding 1,500 changes in the preliminary report.

Only a couple of weeks ago an earlier leak from different sources (presumably) anticipated a UNIPCC report that confirmed human-caused global warming.

Now we have some scientists predicting a decade or more of cooling. Therefore earlier reported IPCC assertions of growing confidence levels in a warming trend (95%, no less) are looking as mushy as a melting snowman.

Reports the Telegraph:

US climate expert Professor Judith Curry has questioned how this (the originally leaked IPCC estimates) can be true as that rather than increasing in confidence, ‘uncertainty is getting bigger’ within the academic community. Long-term cycles in ocean temperature, she said, suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend.

At the time some scientists forecast an imminent ice age.

So when groups like the National Center for Science Education (NSCE) demand that educators promote human-caused climate change as "settled science," and Al Gore creates a plume of pollution as he jets around demanding more government-financed windmills, what is the citizen to do? "Scientists Say" one thing one day and other "Scientists Say" another the next.

By the way, there is a neat coincidence of advocates for silencing those who question man-made global warming and those who want to silence scientists and others who doubt Darwinian theory. Evidence doesn’t matter to these people; ideology trumps facts.

When will we see a revolt against hubris and overreach disguised as science? There are solid thinkers in many fields who regard these topics as debatable. Why aren’t they given the chance, therefore, to debate?

Image: Wikicommons.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.