Intellectual fascism: respected scientist hounded for daring to doubt the “climate consensus”

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**Posted by Phineas

"The new liberal tolerance"

“”Confess, Dr. Bengtsson! Recant your heresy!!””

Well, so much for freedom of thought and open debate in the sciences. Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, a Swedish meteorologist with an accomplished professional record, just a couple of weeks ago joined the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a British organization skeptical of the theory of catastrophic man-caused warming and headed by noted skeptic Lord Lawson. It was quite a coup for the GWPF, since Bengtsson was highly regarded in the Warmist camp and is a specialist in numerical modeling, which is critical to Warmist arguments. (1) But, Bengtsson had become highly critical both of the pressure for consensus in climate science, seeing it as anti-scientific, and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN-sponsored global scientific organization that regular issues reports of “climate doom.” Via Judith Curry, here’s an excerpt from an interview Dr. Bengtsson gave with the Dutch web site State of the Climate, in which he shares his opinion on “scientific consensus:”

Interviewer: Is there according to you a “climate consensus” in the community of climate scientists and if so what is it?

Bengtsson: I believe the whole climate consensus debate is silly. There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate. However, this is not the issue but rather how much and how fast. Here there is no consensus as you can see from the IPCC report where climate sensitivity varies with a factor of three! Based on observational data climate sensitivity is clearly rather small and much smaller that the majority of models. Here I intend to stick to Karl Popper in highlighting the need for proper validation.

If you read the whole interview, you see that Lennart Bengtsson is an “old school” scientist, one who respects the scientific method and knows that theories (which is what a model is!) must always be tested by observation. I doubt this man would ever say “The science is settled, so shut up.” Thus he joined the GWPF in the spirit of open investigation and good science.

That was his big mistake.

Just a week later, Dr. Bengtsson was forced to resign from the GWPF’s board of advisers, hounded by his former colleagues and even in fear of physical violence. From his resignation letter:

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen.

It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.

Emphases added. This isn’t “science.” This is a mob of fanatics, a primitive tribe turning on one of their own who’s dared to point out their idol is just a piece of wood. It’s naked Lysenkoism; all that’s needed is a show-trial. They should be praising Professor Bengtsson for being willing to work with reasonable skeptics, but, instead, they set on him like a rabid pack of hounds. Convinced of their righteousness, they’re willing to frighten an old man for the cause. (2)

Science, and with it civilization itself, does not advance when scientific questions are put off-limits as untouchable dogma. Down that path lies a new bonfire of the vanities.

RELATED: Science as McCarthyism.

Footnote:
(1) Especially since the Earth keeps refusing to cooperate.
(2) He’s nearly 80, for Pete’s sake!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

King Obama I: DC “doesn’t work” because the GOP always tells me no

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King Obama

Image via Salon.com

Aww. Poor guy  just can’t get anything done without issuing an executive order or signing statement (via):

President Obama told attendees at a high-dollar Manhattan fundraiser Wednesday night that the Democratic Party would be in better shape if he “could just get a million surplus votes in Brooklyn” and move them to Nebraska, where Tea Party conservatives scored a major win in Tuesday’s primary.

Complaining that he had a “drawerful” of things left to do, the president said he had been stymied because “Washington doesn’t work.”

“We have a party on the other side that has been captured by an ideology that says no to everything,” Obama said. “There might have been a time when that was an exaggeration but now it’s not.”

Obama made the comments at the second of two New York City fundraisers Wednesday, held at the Manhattan home of investment banker Blair Effron. Supporters paid $32,400 to attend the event, which benefited the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Earlier, the president held a closed-door roundtable discussion with donors who had contributed up to $32,400 to the Democratic National Committee.

Obama’s trip to New York was part of a furious fundraising push of late, as Democrats look to stockpile cash ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. The events were Obama’s 20th and 21st of 2014, and came on the heels of a trip to California last week where Obama hosted five separate fundraising events. According to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, Obama has attended 59 events benefiting Democrats this cycle.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I do believe a few years ago a certain first term junior Senator (D) from Illinois frequently spoke out against Republican policy ideas under President George W. Bush (R) and consistently voted in opposition to them – and encouraged his fellow Democrats to do the same.  Times have changed, I guess. Apparently it’s only okay to be the “party of no” and ideologically opposed to the um, opposition, when the President is a Republican.  Go figure! 8-|

Eleanor Clift doubles down on #Benghazi “smoke inhalation death” stupidity

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Eleanor Clift

The fail is strong with this one.

Still acting in the role of human shield for possible 2016 contender Hillary Clinton, liberal commentator Eleanor Clift is standing by her remarks that Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn’t ‘technically’ murdered in Benghazi:

A longtime political pundit under fire for claiming the American ambassador to Libya was not “murdered” in Benghazi is standing by her claim he died of smoke inhalation.

“I’d like to point out that Ambassador (Chris) Stevens was not ‘murdered;’ he died of smoke inhalation in that safe room in that CIA installation,” Eleanor Clift, a columnist at The Daily Beast, said Sunday on “The McLaughlin Group.”

While Clift may be technically correct in light of reports that Stevens died from smoke inhalation, she was criticized because the ambassador died as a result of a fire ignited during a terrorist raid on the Benghazi consulate on Sep. 11, 2012.

She stood by her comment Tuesday during a radio interview.

“I was taking issue with the sort of glib use of the word ‘murdered,'” Clift told radio host Steve Malzberg. “My point is that it was a very chaotic event. The CIA was involved, which is why there was a lot of confusion initially, and that all the questions that this special committee is raising have been asked and answered in previous investigations.”

Malzberg asked if she would feel the same way if it was her relative. She replied, “I would say he died of smoke inhalation.”

Right. In the same way a man whose house was deliberately set on fire wasn’t “murdered” but instead “died of smoke inhalation” – or “died of 1st degree burns on their entire body.” The same way a woman whose car was intentionally wrecked while she was still in it “died from blunt force windshield trauma” or “drowned in the river.” Would someone please buy this woman a 55 gallon drum of clues when it comes to murder classifications, please? She sure as hell needs it.  Dum dum. o=> :-w

Chilling: Reid would back Constitutional amendment limiting free speech

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Senator Harry Reid

His photo doesn’t appear next to the word ”fascist” in the dictionary, but it should.

He’s not just losing it. He has LOST it. Via BuzzFeed:

WASHINGTON — Frustrated by the “sewer” of modern American political campaigns, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday said that he would bring a constitutional amendment to the floor granting Congress the ability to set strict new limits on campaign contributions, warning he will force multiple votes if necessary to pass the measure.

“When I came to Congress, when you got money you had to list who you got it from, what their occupation was, address, and phone numbers if you had it. Then I saw things change. In 1998, [former Sen.] John Ensign and I ran against one another and we spent about $10 million in Nevada,” Reid told BuzzFeed during an interview in his Capitol office.

[…]

Things had changed for the good, he said, by 2004. “I felt so clean and pure with McCain-Feingold, which had come into being, it was wonderful. We were back where we should have been,” he said.

Then the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling, Reid said, opening the flood gates to hundreds of millions of largely unregulated money to SuperPACs. “It was as if I had jumped into the sewer … it’s awful what has happened.”

Although a number of Democrats, most notably New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, have talked about passing a constitutional amendment to re-impose campaign finance restrictions, Reid had not been one of them — until now.

[…]

“It’s been tried before, we should continue to push this and it should become our issue. That really puts the Koch brothers up against it. We believe and I believe that there should be spending limits. We’re going to push a constitutional amendment so we can limit spending because what is going on today is awful,” Reid vowed, indicating that he’ll bring Udall’s measure to the Senate floor soon.

“We’re going to arrange a vote on it. We’re going to do it until we pass it because that’s the salvation of our country.”

Here’s a little tip: It’s not going to pass.  Absolutely positively will not. Has no chance. Reid is showboating here, hoping that not even his supporters grasp the full depth of what he is advocating – basically a Constitutional amendment that would limit the free speech of American citizens simply because they oppose the Democratic party’s agenda.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey breaks it down:

This is a scream of impotence, in more ways than one. First, SJ-19 has no more chance of passing out of Congress than does a bill amending the Constitution to forbid abortion. It takes two-thirds of both chambers of Congress (Article V) to send an amendment to state legislatures, and Reid won’t get to 60 in the Senate. The House won’t address it at all. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that even a majority of state legislatures would take it up; more of them are Republican than Democrat, and they’ve seen the malicious prosecution that results when putting this much power in the hands of partisans in the executive branch. Wisconsin just provided an excellent example of that.

So this is just cheap political theater in an attempt to demonize two particular donors who just happen to oppose Reid’s agenda. Democrats are about to climb onto that bandwagon that proclaims that Americans can’t be trusted to discern political arguments and that the governing class should decide who gets to participate in politics. If that’s the only strategy Reid has left for the midterms, well … Democrats are in bigger trouble than we realized.

But just imagine if he had the votes in both chambers to do this.   Think about it.  And then imagine if the roles were reversed and this was a Republican engaged in this level of grandstanding, and how the media would howl with outrage that Republicans were taking their attempts at “silencing the opposition” to a “whole new frightening level.”

Honestly, I’ve always figured Reid to be a complete snake – but this shameless attempt at basically burning the First Amendment to the Constitution takes it to a whole new disturbing level, and should chill everyone to the bone … including even the people who vote for him time and time again to represent them in Washington, DC.  But I won’t hold my breath, because that would require a consideration of citizens other than themselves, as well as a recollection of the principles upon which this country was founded – and a majority of Nevadans have repeatedly demonstrated every time they vote to keep fascists like Reid in office how little they care about the devastating consequences of their vote, not just on their state, but the country as well.

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)