Chuck Spinney: Is Climate Science Like the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (III)?

Advanced Cyber/IO, Communities of Practice, Corruption, Earth Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
As I have indicated in earlier blasters, I find the parallels between the political forces corrupting defense “science” and climate “science” to be stunning (e.g., directly here or more subtly here).
Attached is a very thoughtful piece by the distinguished Australian scientist Garth Paltridge.  His subject is the psychological state of play in the politicization of climate science, and without saying so, he reinforces the parallels.  Note the author’s reference to Eisenhower’s farewell address toward the end of the essay.  Most people remember Eisenhower’s phrase for its snappy reference to the military-industrial complex. Ike should have included Congress, but deliberately chose not to and removed the reference to Congress from an early draft, in effect, placing sensibility before common sense.  If you read the farewell address carefully (here), you will see that Eisenhower’s warning was really a more nuanced one about public policy becoming prisoner to the special interests feeding off uncontrollable cash cows those interests helped to create — a point more in tune with the quote highlighted by Paltridge.
Readers should note I reformatted Paltridge’s essay to highlight what I think are important points, but did not change any words or the order of those words.  A link is provided to the original form, should you prefer it.
Chuck Spinney
                                                                       San Remo, Italy
The Australian Financial Review,
22 JUN 2012 00:06:00 | UPDATED: 22 JUN 2012 10:46:02

Garth Paltridge is an emeritus professor with the University of Tasmania, a visiting fellow at the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He is the author of The Climate Caper: facts and fallacies of global warming, Connor Court, 2009. He was a chief research scientist with the CSIRO division of atmospheric research.

The broad theory of man-made global warming is acceptable in the purely qualitative sense.


The bottom line of all this is that deliberate understatement of the uncertainty of the science allows overstatement of the climate change problem. [CS note: in the Pentagon, downplaying the future consequences of current decisions and “threat inflation” are part of what is the known as the  “front loading” power game, defined here.]

Phi Beta Iota:  Within Climate Change, Carbon is less important than sulpher or mercury, but favored by Maurice Strong and Al Gore as a global financial derivatives scam.  Climate Change is at best 10% of Environmental Degradation, high-level threat to humanity #3, after #1 Poverty and #2 Infectious Disease.  Governments have become so corrupt — less the Nordics, Netherlands, and Singapore, with Brazil, China, India, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela having their own forms of making do — that only hybrid panarchy (M4IS2) rooted in the craft of (public) intelligence will scale to meet all these challenges.  Governments–as a general statement–do not represent their publics but have instead sold out to the wealthy–the public servants having failed to hold the political class accountable with intelligence and integrity.  As David Weinberger notes so ably, experts are not really expert, only all of us together will do.  Organized people armed with organized knowledge can beat organized wealth and their corrupt political servants (self-made servants we might add — the wealthy did not bribe the politicals– the politicals fell from grace and shake down the wealthy).

See Also:

2012 PREPRINT AS SUBMITTED: The Craft of Intelligence

A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change

Reference: Strategic Analytic Model for Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room

We the People Reform Coalition