By: Brent Parrish
Well, that didn’t take long! Recently, a leading Swedish climate scientist, Lennart Bengtsson, defected from the anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) alarmist camp and joined the advisory council of Britain’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a think tank of climate change skeptics. Bengtsson said he can no longer go along with the “consensus.”
Bengtsson wrote the GWPF (emphasis mine):
Dear Professor Henderson,
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.
I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.
With my best regards
There is no other field of science—that I’m aware of—where a contrary opinion to the accepted “consensus” is met with such hostility and vitriol. But, then again, much of what passes as science in the AGW debate is really nothing more than a globalist, collectivist agenda under the guise of environmental advocacy. Just because a group of so-called scientists get together and agree the “science is settled” does not mean the science is settled. I say “so-called scientists” because no real scientist bases his or her findings on consensus. That’s not science; that’s dogma. Period.
For example, String Theory has been around longer than the AGW alarmism to which we are now regularly subjected. Yet not all physicists agree on String Theory. Some say String Theory is just that—a theory. Some scientists would go so far as to say it is nothing more than mere philosophy, other scientists would tend to disagree. But despite the controversy surrounding String Theory, I have never heard of any physicists being run out of town on a rail because they have conflicting views with their peers regarding String Theory.
Skepticism is required for good science, as far as I’m concerned. For a good seventy years, no one bought into Alfred Wegener’s theory on plate tectonics. Wegener’s theory was certainly not the scientific consensus at the time he proposed it. Yet, in the end, Wegener ended up being correct. This proves the fallacy of scientific consensus as being the final determiner of what is true, or not true.
It also reminds me of the old saying, “Just because everybody tells you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?” Certainly, if a majority agreed that you should jump off the cliff, we would have a consensus, would we not? Are you still going to jump off that cliff?
When I first started blogging several years ago, I was primarily focused on the science—or lack thereof—of anthropogenic global warming. I have had countless debates with warmists regarding the scientific basis for their claims. What I discovered was merely questioning the claims of the alarmists was considered sacrilege. “The science is settled,” they exclaimed. How dare I question the consensus of the self-appointed climate experts and environmental advocates—the so-called climatologists (even though there are virtually no accredited degree programs in climatology, at least when I checked into it a few years ago).
The study of atmospheric science encompasses many scientific disciplines—physics, geology, meteorology, ecology, mathematics, statistics, geophysics, astrophysics, oceanography, computer science, etc. The study of the earth’s atmosphere is an extremely complex science, due to the intense amount of internal variability and dynamic processes that occur in the atmosphere, and the complex interactions of the atmosphere with earth and space, i.e. the solar system. This is why it so difficult to create reliable computer models that accurately simulate the earth’s atmosphere; there are just too many unknown variables at work in the atmosphere and the solar system that we just don’t fully understand at present.
The GWPF released the following statement in response to Lennart Bengtsson’s resignation:
Lennart Bengtsson Resigns: GWPF Voices Shock and Concern at the Extent of Intolerance within the Climate Science Community
Date: 14/05/14 The Global Warming Policy Foundation
It is with great regret, and profound shock, that we have received Professor Lennart Bengtsson’s letter of resignation from his membership of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.
The Foundation, while of course respecting Professor Bengtsson’s decision, notes with deep concern the disgraceful intolerance within the climate science community which has prompted his resignation.
Professor Bengtsson’s letter of resignation from our Academic Advisory Council was sent to its chairman, Professor David Henderson. His letter and Professor Henderson’s response are attached below.
Dr Benny Peiser, Director, The Global Warming Policy Foundation
Once again, from the very sorts who preach the gospel of tolerance comes the most intolerant sort of behavior—some call it Climate McCarthyism. Honestly, I take exception to this description, even though I fully understand what is being implied. Anthony Watts wrote an article entitled “Shameless Climate McCarthyism on full display – scientist forced to resign.” Although I do wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Watts assessment, I felt compelled to leave the following comment on his article regarding Sen. Joe McCarthy and the reference to McCarthyism (for some reason, I referred to Sen. Joe McCarthy as “Andrew McCarthy” in my comment at WUWT … d’oh!):
Could we please stop demonizing the late Sen. [Joseph] McCarthy? If you are not familiar with the Venona decrypts that were unclassified in 1995, or you have not read M. Stanton Evans’ book Blacklisted by History, then I doubt you really have any idea what the controversy surrounding the McCarthy hearings was all about.
The Venona wires were communications going back and forth between Moscow and their operatives in the United States. The Venona decrypts revealed that the level of infiltration by communists extended to the highest levels of our government–mainly, the State Department.
Who has been the primary entity pushing the global warming scam? The United Nations! Who wrote the UN Charter? Alger Hiss, a Soviet spy. Although Hiss was never convicted of espionage, he was sent to prison on perjury charges for lying about it. The United Nations was created by communists, not Americans. Hiss also was president of the Carnegie Institute, which has a long history of pushing a global, collectivist agenda, particularly in education (see Common Core State Standards Initiative).
Almost all the charges against McCarthy were dropped. McCarthy received a lot of heat for his grilling of Gen. Zwicker. But remember, Zwicker had written on his loyalty oath, “FIFTH.” That’s right! A general in the U.S. military plead the fifth on his loyalty oath! Does that bother you? It sure does me. Obviously, it angered Sen. [Joseph] McCarthy and he grilled Zwicker on the matter, which angered and enraged the left.
Do you see the gross irony here? The people who are pushing the whole Agenda 21/sustainability/climate change agenda are mostly communists, socialists, globalists, communitarians and their fellow travelers–the very people McCarthy was trying to root out of our government. And yet, we accuse those who ran off Lennart Bengtsson of engaging in “McCarthyism.” It’s just wrong, and the record needs to be set straight. The late Dr. Bella Dodd (a staunch communist who later became a vocal anti-communist) referred to the McCarthy debacle as the “worst smear job in history.” Hell, we’ve even stuck “ism” on the man’s name.
All I ask is people do come research on the matter, in light of the new information available. Don’t take my word for it. Research it yourself. Maybe if we had listened to McCarthy at the time, we would not be in the global, collectivist hell we now find ourselves embroiled in.
I think fatwa would be a much better description for the “unbearable pressure” Lennart Bengtsson’s is enduring now from his former colleagues.