Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nobel Cause Corruption in Climate Change

In addition to his thoughts on the three realities of Climate Change Professor Bob Carter also discusses a concept he refers to as: Nobel Cause Corruption. (Any emphasis is mine.)

It is part of the traffic of discussion about global warming that some of the participants are corrupt. Routinely, climate scientists employed at even the most prestigious institutions are accused of having their alarmist views bought by a need to maintain research funding. Equally, self-righteous critics make desperate attempts to link climate sceptics with what are claimed to be the vested interests of the coal and oil and gas industries. It is also obvious that commercial interests—including alternative energy providers such as wind turbine manufacturers, big utility companies such as Enron, big financiers, and emerging emissions and carbon indulgences traders—have strong potential to become involved in corrupt dealings in the traditional meaning of the term. To varying degrees all of these accusations are true, but probably the strongest alarmist influence of all on the climate policy debate is the rather more subtle phenomenon of noble cause corruption.

In his book Science and Public Policy, Professor Aynsley Kellow explores the problem of noble cause corruption in public life in some depth. Such corruption arises from the belief of a vested interest, or powerful person or group, in the moral righteousness of their cause. For example, a police officer may apprehend a person committing a crime and, stuck with a lack of incriminating evidence, proceed to manufacture it. For many social mores, of which “stopping global warming” and “saving the Great Barrier Reef” are two iconic Australian examples, it has become a common practice for evidence to be manipulated in dishonest ways, under the justification of helping to achieve a worthy end. After all, who wouldn’t want to help to “save the Great Barrier Reef”?

This is something that we have all witnessed from our politicians and some of their paid scientists or organizations in the last few years and the last twelve months in particular. The Murray River System and Great Barrier Reef along with the “children of future generations” are constantly used as a emotional and moral club to beat down opposition and try to make any sceptical opinion or fact seem harsh and uncaring.

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