Denying money will not make climate change go away

capitalby Rob Crawley

House of Representatives Votes to Defund IPCC
[Via The Intersection]

Amid invocations of “ClimateGate,” House Republicans have voted to abandon the work of this leading, and celebrated, international scientific body, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. The vote was 244-179, with Republicans charging that the IPCC would receive an undeserved $ 13 million in the president’s next budget. I’m not clear on the true funding amount because I’m seeing contradictory figures–but it’s clearly tiny in the context of total federal spending.


Making sure the IPCC gets no money from the US. That’ll stop the world from warming. Mooney makes the best point:

It’s pretty staggering that we’re now at a point where the most definitive outlet for information about the state of the climate is being not only rejected, but defunded, on partisan grounds.

Typical of denialists – If they can not deny the facts, they try to deny the ability to learn anything more. If Nature comes up with things they do not want to hear, they take their money home and plug their fingers in their ears.

Skeptics are not afraid of new information and welcome the ability to gain further understanding. Denialists are afraid of new information and wish no further understanding.

The political leaders of the day thought that if they could get Galileo to shut up, things could return to normal. His famous words “Eppur si muove” describe the inabiity of political pressure to turn back the tides.

I guess we can paraphrase this by stating “And still it warms!”

The inhabitants of Cargo Cult Worlds do not want to know anymore. They already know all they need to and more facts might just make them uncomfortable.

To help maintain their denialism, they just work to make sure no new information can disturb their world.

That is the hallmark of an inhabitant of a Cargo Cult World. They do not want to see any further facts discovered or any new research. Their very worldview prohibits further investigations of the natural world, all while they deny the data already discovered.

This way they can live in a safe simulacra of the real world, one whose falsity provides them with the comfort they yearn for.

Just more indications of how we have elevated stupid people –  see Carlo Cipolla’s essay on The Basic Laws of Stupidity for the relevant definition. His description of a failed society becomes more obvious with every passing year.


4 thoughts on “Denying money will not make climate change go away

  1. According to Feynman, Cargo Cult Science is official-looking science that fails to be sceptical about its own favoured hypothesis, reporting only what you think is right about it and not all the things that might make it invalid, other possible explanations, all the facts that disagree. Since that’s exactly what the IPCC does, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to stop funding this cargo cult.

    “Equally important is combating confirmation bias—the tendency of authors to place too much weight on their own views relative to other views (Jonas et al., 2001). As pointed out to the Committee by a presenter and some questionnaire respondents, alternative views are not always cited in a chapter if the Lead Authors do not agree with them.”

    “This includes paying special attention to review comments that point out contradictions, unreferenced literature, or potential errors; and ensuring that alternate or dissenting views receive proper consideration.”

    [IAC report on IPCC.]

    Sounds pretty cargo cult to me!

    1. The IPCC has a hard job, with so much information to deal with and so many writers involved. The vast majority of what it tries to accomplish is successful. But, as it is the product if fallible humans, its work may not always be perfect and there are some errors present in the very complex document.

      The AIG report was about making the process better, not about refusing to continue further examinations. Quote-mining provides an inappropriate view of that report.

      Feynman’s speech was a caution for all scientists because of how easy it is to fool ourselves. As so many deniaists are fooling themselves.

      Humans are not perfect but we have developed processes, especially in science, to ameliorate this. Nothing in the AIG report rebuts the science, only portions of the process. The goal of the report is to make the process better.

      The goal of denialists is to stop the process totally.

      I wonder which one Feynman would find the proper place for researchers. Defunding the IPCC only serves to hurt a political process. It will have little effect on Nature. As Feynman wrote, Nature always wins.

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