(THE SPECTATOR) — In the last decade there has been a paradigm shift over [Anthropocentric Global Warming]. Or rather there would have been, had not a powerful and unscrupulous cabal in the scientific community refused to allow science to progress in the normal way. The theory that man-made carbon-dioxide emissions cause global temperatures inexorably to increase went belly-up in 1998 when, despite all the predictions of the warmists’ sophisticated computer models, global mean temperatures stubbornly ceased to rise (and haven’t risen since).
But instead of shrugging their shoulders and trying to work on a newer, better model to explain climate change, the warmists instead chose to cover their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears, and yell at anyone who disputed their increasingly holed theory: ‘Nyah nyah nyah. Not listening. We’re right. You’re not. The science is settled.’
Why did they do this? How could they do this? Did they no longer feel any pride in their traditional role as fearless seekers-after-truth? What can have possessed them to toss aside so lightly principles which their forebears would have considered the sine qua non of good scientific practice?
Simple. In 1991 a Marxist philosopher called Jerome R. Ravetz had helped to invent a seductive and dangerous new concept called ‘post-normal science’ (PNS). No longer was it considered essential that scientists strive after objectivity. Their new duty, Ravetz held, was not to ‘truth’ but to what he called ‘quality’. And by ‘quality’ he meant something more akin to rhetoric — the ability to manipulate evidence and present it in such a way as to achieve particular political ends.