Climate Change Agenda and the Role of Bureaucratic Scientists

Written by Dr Tim Ball

I began this article before the resignation of NCEI director Tom Karl was announced. His replacement will, like James Hansen’s replacement at NASA GISS, Gavin Schmidt, continue the climate adjustment program. They perpetuate themselves and their agenda; it is the nature of bureaucracies. Laurence J. Peter, author, and creator of the Peter principle expressed it well when he wrote,

Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time the quo has lost its status.

Karl’s resignation makes this article more germane to the wider problem of bureaucracy in general and specifically bureaucratic scientists.

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The bureaucracy’s ability to control from within is much wider, more pervasive and unaccountable than most realize. Retired Judge Napolitano talking about this power within the US government wrote,

The deep state consists of intelligence, military, law enforcement and administrative agency personnel who aggressively protect their own interests, which transcend elections. Stated differently, many of these folks remain in opaque positions of power, and the governmental departments and agencies for which they work continue to expand, no matter which party wins the White House or controls Congress.

Recent attempts by Australian politicians to change direction in climate research illustrates the problem. The lead paragraph says,

In February, the new leader of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) revealed a plan to lay off almost all of the agency’s climate scientists, along with an equal number of scientists from its Land and Water division. CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall framed the cuts as part of a significant change in mission, saying that the question of whether climate change is occurring “has been answered.” The mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, he said, should be the agency’s focus.

The outcry was loud, particularly from climate scientists who recognized the value of the work that CSIRO had long been doing. (Their emphasis and red font).

The only evidence about the value of the work the climate scientists were doing came from climate scientists. This is how science bureaucrats maintain control. They say you politicians don’t understand what we are doing. So what did the politician do? Capitulation and an unnecessary compromise.

As a result, Marshall has gradually conceded much of the planned reduction and decided to go ahead with a new climate research center in Tasmania that would house 40 current CSIRO scientists. With these changes, 35 of the agency’s 140 climate scientists will be losing their jobs.

It is an unnecessary compromise. No climate research can advance or improve understanding that would benefit people because there is insufficient temporal and spatial data. Governments need to established a global data collection base and run it for 30 years before any analysis and understanding is remotely possible.

I learned early in my career why scientists cannot work for the government. They automatically satisfy Mary McCarthy’s comment that bureaucracy as, “the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” The first major lesson occurred when I was briefly elected Chair of the Canadian Committee on Climatic Fluctuation, a project set up as a joint project of Environment Canada (EC) and the National Museum of Natural Sciences to study “Critical Periods in the Quaternary History of Northern North America.” I say briefly because in my acceptance speech I suggested we needed to consider the AGW hypothesis carefully and not exclude the null hypothesis. I was not aware of the political machinations of the bureaucrats at EC at the time but learned quickly after they pulled their portion of the funding. The Paleobiology Division of the National Museum of Natural Sciences under Richard Harington could not afford it, so the program ended.

The problem of scientists as bureaucrats was clarified and reinforced in my brief tenure. One of them approached me to discuss his dilemma. He would not talk at the Museum (apparently totem poles have ears), rather we met in the airport cafeteria. He was asked to examine the science of the acid rain issue as it impacted Canada, particularly on economic issues like the maple sugar industry in Quebec.

After two years of intensive research, he concluded that the decline in yields was due to two factors, drought, and a very early spring warming followed by a severe cold spell. Both restricted growth and yield. The latter caused early budding and severe damage called a ‘die-back.’ In most cases, plants go through a regrowth cycle but with reduced phases, including sap flow and seed production. The bureaucrat’s dilemma was the Canadian Prime Minister saying publicly that the maple syrup problem was acid rain caused by US coal burning plants. His research found no evidence to support the charge. His findings were later confirmed by a joint US/Canadian investigation. By the early 1990s yields were above normal.

The solution to his problem is obvious, but still difficult to take. He must retain scientific integrity and present his findings. The next decision is political. In all such circumstances the report goes up the bureaucratic ladder until it reaches an authority who will put it on the shelf. The trouble is scientists can still lose their job, although nowadays it is difficult to dismiss a bureaucrat. They will find a way. For example, another scientist I spoke with did extensive research and wrote a report that contradicted government policy on a particular herbicide. He took a two-week vacation during which they sent him a letter to his government mailbox inaccessible from outside. It offered him early retirement that if not accepted before his return would automatically terminate his employment.

The overall solution is no scientist bureaucrats.

Phases Three and Four of Gandhi’s Progress of Change:

Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Some people are in phase three as evidenced by the legal attacks of some politicians and Attorney Generals and the activities of John Holdren and the White House. Almost everyone else is moving into phase four as evidenced by polls, lack of global warming as an issue in elections, and abandonment of climate policies and green agendas by several governments.

There is only one group left effectively pushing the Global Warming and Climate Change, the scientist bureaucrats. Most politicians pretend concern because the eco-bullies make it unacceptable to doubt. Some politicians are politically committed so will not change. President Obama tried to make it his legacy at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 in Paris, but that is collapsing. One of the most interesting observations before Paris was the observation by Davis Shukman BBC Science editor.

For officials and politicians getting ready for the UN summit on climate change in Paris later this year, there’s a word that dare not be uttered: Copenhagen. (their bold).

I remember pained faces etched with failure on the final day of a dysfunctional gathering in the Danish capital in 2009, the last time world leaders got together to try to tackle global warming, and the collective memory still haunts the process six years on.

This is completely false. It was the leak of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) with evidence of corrupted climate science that caused their dilemma. The Conference of the Parties (COP) act on ‘science’ produced by the IPCC that was dominated by CRU scientists. There is no mention of leaked emails even though the article was written a month after their release.

Even proponents are troubled about the Paris failure. The Guardian headline “No plan B if Paris climate summit ends in failure, says EU climate chief” is just one example. TheBloomberg news agency tries to put a positive spin with the headline, “The Paris Climate Summit: A Useful Failure.” There is a sense of inevitability to the failure, almost as if they knew all along it was scientifically unjustified. Those who made the threat of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) central to their cause take a different tack. The group Global Greens knew the implications of Paris with their headline, “Paris climate conference – failure is not an option.”

Why, despite all the evidence of failure of corrupted science, and failed predictions does the global warming/climate change agenda continue? The answer is simple and the result of Maurice Strong’s organizational skills in setting up the entire process. When he set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) he did it through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This UN agency is made up of the bureaucrats of every national weather agency. The central IPCC bureaucrat, Rajendra Pachauri, explained the situation to the Times of India.

Let’s face it, we are an intergovernmental body and our strength and acceptability of what we produce is largely because we are owned by governments. If that was not the case, then we would be like any other scientific body that maybe producing first-rate reports but don’t see the light of the day because they don’t matter in policy-making. Now clearly, if it’s an inter-governmental body and we want governments’ ownership of what we produce, obviously they will give us guidance of what direction to follow, what are the questions they want answered. Unfortunately, people have completely missed the original resolution by which IPCC was set up. It clearly says that our assessment should include realistic response strategies. If that is not an assessment of policies, then what does it represent?

A magnificent circular argument from a straight line railway engineer. Beyond being the standard “Just following orders” argument the duplicity in the statement, and few were better at duplicity than Pachauri until it caught up with him, is that “we are owned by governments.” It is the illusion Strong intended because, while the bureaucrats are technically work for the government they own the politicians, especially with scientific issues. Strong knew that if the scientists at the national weather agency told the politicians something they had to listen. He reinforced the message by having the message created by the IPCC as the Summary for Policymakers. Even if the politicians read it, as David Wojick, IPCC expert reviewer, explained they do not understand.

Glaring omissions are only glaring to experts, so the “policymakers”—including the press and the public—who read the SPM will not realize they are being told only one side of a story. But the scientists who drafted the SPM know the truth, as revealed by the sometimes artful way they conceal it.

What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.

The entire global warming/climate change deception is possible and continues because it was created by scientist bureaucrats. It is inherently contrary to the proper practice of science for them to work for government. The danger is explained in a 1990s discussion I had with Environment Canada scientist Henry Hengeveld. At the time they were struggling to convince the politicians that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) was a problem. I told Henry that scientifically the bigger problem began once they were convinced because they told them an unproven hypothesis was fact. Now they were on a treadmill. If evidence contradicted the hypothesis, they are unlikely to put their career and that of the politician and government in jeopardy. With climate, the evidence appeared and the scientist bureaucrats’ reaction confirmed why they should not be in government.

Henry Hengeveld is retired after a bureaucratic career built on CO2 – he even produced a regular CO2 digest. He is joined by Tom Karl while politicians attempt to get the data and methods used to get rid of ‘the pause,’ while supposedly working for the people. The degree and threat of bureaucratic power are revealed by the difficulty the people’s representatives have in that case.

Is lack of accountability and control a problem in other forms of funding and research? Of course, as Upton Sinclair said,

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

The difference is with scientist bureaucrats it is almost guaranteed. Worse, they can apply their political perspectives and agendas.

Read more by Tim Ball at drtimball.com

Comments (4)

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    Ronald Chappell

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    Remember the Golden Rule; “He who controls the gold makes the rules”

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    Hans Schreuder

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    Thanks Tim, you accurately identify the underlying problems in science and politics. What also needs to be realised is that the science of AGW is in itself based on outdated principles of so-called re-radiation causing warming of the matter that emitted that radiation in the first place. Besides such a concept never having been proven it is clearly not possible. Yet the often quoted “official sceptics” of AGW defend the concept of “warming at the hands of CO2”. They will defend the existence of an atmospheric greenhouse effect with the most bizarre definitions, none of which are true. Some go as far as stating that two temperatures found at different altitudes of the atmosphere constitute the greenhouse effect, completely ignoring the adiabatic process which adequately describes those temperature differences and without the need to create energy from nothing. We live in scientifically perilous times and until the non-existent concept of an atmospheric greenhouse effect are dealt with, the climate alarm will continue unabated.

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      Pat Obar

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      “Some go as far as stating that two temperatures found at different altitudes of the atmosphere constitute the greenhouse effect, completely ignoring the adiabatic process which adequately describes those temperature differences and without the need to create energy from nothing.”
      In any physical science one cannot ever have both “well mixed” and a “adiabatic process”. Such can only be fantasy. In compressible fluid dynamics and continuum mechanics a particle is defined as the smallest amount of fluid that has identifiable temperature and coherent momentum, clearly a concept, but never treated as physical. A meteorological air parcel are only “fantasy words” that the the promoters refuse to clearly define, but always write of as a physical entity! It is the sheer incompetence of academic meteorologists, and their lack of scientific method that created CAGW! You brought this on yourself. Until meteorology publicly announces and abandons the techniques/terminology of the social sciences there can be no relief.

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      Pat Obar

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      Hans,
      I know you have much experience in chemistry a hard science that I respect. It is your defense of the sloppy meteorological terminology that is upsetting. You have your “gamma” , we have our “kappa” (isentropic exponent), that clearly explains atmospheric “thermal lapse rate” . None of meteorology ever considers atmospheric momentum. I guess you chemists dislike the concept of ‘mass’ almost as much as us ‘sparkies’ do. Such truly gets in the way of understanding the electrodynamic also.

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