Global Warming Political Enemies List

I wrote what follows for an editor who, lucky fellow that he is, has moved on to better things. So, in order not to waste these precious pearls (and to save me having to think up something new this morning), I give them to you.

The blurb describes my reaction on being named to the Enemies of Science List, ludicrously compiled and published by the National Academies of Science. In times historical, the NAS was an organization to which it was a great honor to be named a fellow. But much of the prestige has drained away as its members have ossified into orthodoxy.

Yet even while this degradation is occurring, it appears, does it not?, that the political climate of global warming is cooling off. It is not yet cold; far from it. But there has been a noticeable lessening in interest. Perhaps—just perhaps—it is because one too many activist has warned that the sky has already fallen. How many times can you hear “It’s worse than we thought!” before it no longer has any force?

It is difficult to maintain a fever pitched frenzy, especially when not much can be done about the problem (if indeed there is a problem). True, a few will always have the manic energy to run around in circles bleating about “Environmental injustice!” or whatever. But the audience for these performances always dwindles in time.

 


 

Congratulations are in order, I think. Normally, I’m not one to brag, but after what happened, I might be allowed a little gloating.

The closest I came to this kind of honor before was in 1982, when the female members of the high school band voted to place me on the No Dating list. But today’s bestowment—presaged, perhaps, so long ago—far surpasses any approbation I’ve ever received.

For this is the first time I ever made a Worldwide Political Enemies List! True, it’s an odd sort of list from an unexpected corner—who knew the National Academy of Sciences employed spin squads?—but it’s genuine and I’m on it, dammit. All my painstaking and, yes, painful efforts to demonstrate the astonishing overconfidence of climate scientists have paid off!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Nearly 500 Enemies of Science are marked with scarlet letters, and I only made number number 264. But before you start snickering, let me ask you this: is your name on the list? Well, is it, Mr Smarty Pants?

Thus far, nobody has contacted me, nor have I received any indication of what accoutrement are to accompany my distinction. Presumably, since I’m the sole person listed as an expert in “forecast accuracy”, and climate models are forecasts, I will come in for something pretty special.

I haven’t yet noticed any paparazzi trailing after me, nor men in trench coats. But I am ready. I carry everywhere prepared quotes of sound-bite length. And I’ve been careful to never venture out-of-doors unless well groomed.

I can only explain the absence of media scrutiny as my coming in at the middle. It takes a while to work through all the names. At least, I hope that’s it.

It just can’t be that reporters have confused entry into such a list as evidence that the entrant’s arguments have been refuted.

There’s a Latin name for that fallacy which I’ve forgotten, and I don’t have time to look it up. I have to go get a hair cut, just in case.

13 Comments

  1. Congratulations Matt, you are in distinguished company. I would be proud to be in a list including Freeman Dyson, Pielke, and Lindzen. I do like how the list denigrates Armstrong, too. I’ve always thought of him as a forecaster, but since his academic home is in marketing and advertising, they put him in that department. Marketing does a fair bit of forecasting.

  2. Odd, Briggs.

    This is a list that every real scientist should be on, but isn’t. You should be very proud.

  3. More interesting than the list itself was the advocates’ reaction to the list — denial run amok. One commenter allowed that it was not a good idea but ascribed it to bad judgment brought about Steve Schneider’s illness (the comment was made after Schneider’s death). Another denied that it was really a list; it was just computer output.

    By the way the list appears to be dynamic. I was originally #99 but, the last time I looked, had sunk to somewhere in the ignomineous 230s.

  4. Congrats! Not quite the same as having mention in Letters of Extinction or being named Fallow of a professional association or being a most-sought-after alumnus of San Quentin or having a Most Wanted designation in an FBI roster but an achievement nonetheless. Don’t let it go to your head.

  5. Congratulations on being listed as an expert in forecast accuracy!

    This Ms. Smarty pants is not on the list.

    Oh, if you are an enemy of science, shouldn’t you be called a quack instead of an expert?

    What is the purpose of publishing the list of enemies of science? I cannot fathom what good would come from it? It surely won’t help “science” and those people on the list in any ways.

    One of these days, spitefulness will be listed as a mental disorder in the DSM. And feeling a need to create a blacklist is one of the symptoms.

  6. NO said:

    Another denied that it was really a list; it was just computer output.”

    Wow, wasn’t our lesson earlier this week on logical fallacies timely? Good forecasting, Briggs.
    It is reassuring to know the kindly folk compiling that list do not rely on the output of man-made machines to verify the accuracy of their work product. That must be why they call what they do “science” instead of “mechanics”. Because we all know how machines are so more apt to lie.

  7. So if one publishes a lot supporting the status quo one is more credible. And I was thinking of submitting a paper to PNAS…

  8. Oh as someday it may happen that a victim must be found,
    I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
    Of society offenders who might well be underground,
    I’ve got a little list, I’ve got you on my list….
    (The Mikado.)

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