One suspects that people who are particularly worried about gloom-and-doom predictions from climate alarmists might benefit from reading Rupert Darwall’s new book, The Age of Global Warming: A History. Wayne Brough reviews Darwall’s work for The Washington Times.
Rather than refuting theories, much of climate science relies on statistical modeling, with the models constantly being tweaked when reality proves to be different than the model. As a result, scientific “consensus” has become an important tool in climate science, with theories approved not by refutation, but through judgment by top scientists. This fundamentally alters the scientific method and feeds into the needs of politicians, who are more interested in action than in getting the science right. Mr. Darwall reminds of us of President Eisenhower’s warning against the potentially dangerous rule by experts: “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.” Very prescient remarks when examining the bureaucratic dominance of the U.N.’s IPCC in climate science.
Above all, politics has driven much of the debate over global warming, and Mr. Darwall provides great insights into the interplay between economics, science, environmentalism and politics. The author takes the reader to the U.N. climate change meetings, and shows how politics trumps science in the process. Perhaps the most notable examples are the IPCC Assessment Reports. Every six years or so, the IPCC issues a massive report assessing the issue of climate change. Because the report is so dense, the work of the scientists is handed to a group of public officials, who then write a summary. In the end, science is relegated to a bit part in a political drama.
One is reminded of Richard Lindzen‘s 2007 remarks about the urgency with which climate alarmists pursue their goals.