Here’s a portion of a letter sent by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe to the CEO of ExxonMobil. To me, at least, it is becoming increasingly apparent that science as a discipline has lost that essential quality which made science’s authority seem impregnible: objectivity. We increasingly live in a world where everything, including science itself, has been politicized. We’re witnessing the Fall of the Scientific Empire.
The parallels to the ID-NDE debate are transparently clear. Instead of “burning the witches”, we’ll soon be seeing the “heretics” (those that don’t believe in NDE or Global Warming) burnt at the stake. I truly believe we find ourselves at a watershed moment in history. Should science itself be unmoored from its “objective” base, then the Triumph of Subjectivity will be complete–and our intellectual lives, and our souls, imperiled.
A bit melodramatic? Perhaps. But just reflect for a moment that it is no longer just those who refuse to accept Darwinism who are “pseudo-scientists”, but now also those who are skeptical of “global warming”–which is true “pseudo-science” if there ever was any. (I mean here the version of “global warming” that insists that “man” is solely responsible for warming.)
ExxonMobil is not alone in jeopardizing the credibility and stature of the United States. Large corporations in related industries have joined ExxonMobil to provide significant and consistent financial support of this pseudo-scientific, non-peer reviewed echo chamber. The goal has not been to prevail in the scientific debate, but to obscure it. This climate change denial confederacy
has exerted an influence out of all proportion to its size or relative scientific credibility. Through relentless pressure on the media to present the issue “objectively,” and by challenging the consensus on climate change science by misstating both the nature of what “consensus” means and what this particular consensus is, ExxonMobil and its allies have confused the public and given cover to a few senior elected and appointed government officials whose positions and opinions enable them to damage U.S. credibility abroad.
Climate change denial has been so effective because the “denial community” has mischaracterized the necessarily guarded language of serious scientific dialogue as vagueness and uncertainty. Mainstream media outlets, attacked for being biased, help lend credence to skeptics’ views, regardless of their scientific integrity, by giving them relatively equal standing with legitimate scientists. ExxonMobil is responsible for much of this bogus scientific “debate” and the demand for what the deniers cynically refer to as “sound science.”
Two further quotes:
While deniers can easily post something calling into question the scientific consensus on climate change, not a single refereed article in more than a decade has sought to refute it.
Rather, what has emerged and continues to withstand the carefully crafted denial strategy is an insurmountable scientific consensus on both the problem and causation of climate change. Instead of the narrow and inward-looking universe of the deniers, the legitimate scientific community has developed its views on climate change through rigorous peer-reviewed research and writing across all climate-related disciplines and in virtually every country on the globe.
Let’s hear it for “science by consensus”!