When I was in school we were challenged to think and to question, that until a theory becomes fact we must challenge its validity in what was then called the scientific method. Some things were fun to debate, like evolution, while others were difficult and required more thought and experimentation. One thing was always true; science was not a consensus sport.
Consensus is fine for choosing a direction, for accomplishing great tasks and for moving large groups in right direction but it can also produce some devastating results, think Stalin. Consensus creates a uniformity of thought it works in political parties, cults and religion and gets everyone on the same page, not necessarily the right page.
Recently we have watched with great fan fare as Al Gore and 16 Democrat Attorney’s General announced that they would be investigating those that speak out against the “Consensus” on climate change. The target, big oil, includes Exxon for now and may include others in the near future. One group to receive a supine is the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for it's "wrongful advocacy" they will now be asked to produce all of their documents and research from the last 30 years.
This is not new for Al Gore, he calls those who question man made Climate Change “Deniers”, “Flat Earthers” and probably worse things when no one is looking, but this is a new direction for government.
When I hear that the Government will be looking into this, specifically into Exxon, a public company and into CEI a think tank, it causes a certain sense of irony. The THEORY of man-made climate change has had its share of setbacks. Data fudging, sensor movements, a lack of “warming” and other sundry miss steps by researchers have plagued the movement. Calling those that disbelieve “Flat Earthers” shows a lack of research on the part of the climate researchers.
One of the myths out there is that thinking people believed the Earth to be flat during the middle ages. However, research shows us that most of the educated at the time where well aware that the world was round and it was only certain political, religious groups and cults that considered it flat.
In 1633 the Catholic Church convicted one famous scientist of heresy for stating the then common belief that the earth was round. The myth was that “everyone believed the earth was flat", which is not true. If I relate this to today’s events, I think we would find that most people understand that the climate changes, where we fall short are theories predicting why. As in Galileo’s time, a group, proclaiming itself to be the majority is trying to impose their “THEORY” on the masses.With the announcement that elected Attorney’s General from 16 states will be working to stifle dissent and actively investigate those that question the “THEORY” we are entering a very dangerous area for both science and for our right to dissent as Americans.
When the federal government can decide that a “THEORY” is now deemed as fact and decide to prosecute those that have participated in the debate, either internally or publically, we enter the realm of dictatorship, ruled by what appears to be an almost cult like dogma. Wherever your belief system places you, we can agree that consensus is not part of the scientific method. Without challenge there can be no progress. If we decide to rubber stamp Al Gore’s "THEORY" as fact without challenge we will put into motion a series of steps that will deny us our rights, the opportunity to advance, and ultimately we may miss the very solution we are seeking.The reality of our situation is this, no one would argue for pollution or for making the earth uninhabitable. However, few of us would argue for keeping poor people poor and shivering in the dark either. The climate has changed numerous times over the geologic history of the planet. As inhabitants of the earth we have progressed and adapted over time to those changes. Will we adapt to a warmer earth, most certainly.
Will we adopt cleaner, more efficient, cheaper forms of energy, certainly. Will we ultimately figure out how to influence and predict the climate… only if we constantly question our assumptions and allow ourselves the ability to question “THEORIES” and pose new ones.
As of this moment we are looking very cult like, very early Catholic Church like, and very short sighted.