One of the big problems with “political correctness” – apart from the sheer absurdity of the concept – is that contrary views are stifled. Only the opinions of an anointed few are precultivated and set the grounds for “official” debates around important public policy questions of the day.
Take the global warming discussion. The Kyoto spin machine has been working overtime for the last year and the Kyoto Accord is now the law of the land. I’ll bet you think that all of the questions about climate change have been put to rest by this tidal wave of propaganda disguised as scientific certainty. “Move along, folks. Nothing to see here anymore. Question period is over and Kyoto is coming soon to a country near you.” Right, and gun control was supposed to cost two million dollars.
Its tough to beat a spin machine in full throttle. But there’s a new welcome questioning about Kyoto. Last week, the Frontier Center hosted a breakfast meeting where Dr. Christopher Essex, a mathematician, and Dr. Ross McKitrick, an economist, discussed their just published book, Taken By Storm, The Troubled Science, Policy, and Politics of Global Warming. It is a devastating critique of the entire global warming, climate change, and Kyoto scenario.
Essex and McKitrick assail what they refer to the “Doctrine of Certainty” being pushed by the Kyoto spin machine. They describe it as something like this:
- The Earth is warming and that warming has already been observed.
- Warming is bad and humans are causing it.
- All but a handful of scientists on the fringe believe this.
- Action is required immediately, and any action is better than none.
- Uncertainty is only a cover for the ulterior motives of bad individuals who aim to stop needed action.
Essentially the authors take the Doctrine as stated above and simply, logically rip it to shreds. They point out that the “greenhouse effect,” a sound bite description of what is supposedly happening, cannot be true. Real greenhouses do not work the way that the Kyoto Spin Machine says the atmosphere does. So much for accuracy.
Even more important than the content of the book is the way that Essex and McKitrick have been treated by officialdom and the media. To say that they have been ignored is an understatement. At the breakfast they told us how a well-known host of a show on our public radio network flat out refused to interview them. McKitrick said the kiss-of-death for this particular opportunity came when he revealed that he had done some work for the free-market Fraser Institute. That was enough for our host who, in high dudgeon, said that anything from “that place” has no place on public radio.
This is more evidence of an ugly and worrisome trend in our society. Those who dare question the “official dogma” are shrieked at, vilified and ignored. The same treatment was accorded Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, who dared question the gloom-and-doom pronouncements of “official environmentalism.” Lomborg’s critics, like those of Essex and McKitrick, resorted to personal attacks instead of a real debate.
One of the endearing characteristics of our open society is that the truth ultimately comes out. Unfortunately, it’s often too late to forestall a huge amount of damage. The effect of Kyoto on Canada could be devastating. Like the billion-dollar firearm registry boondoggle, the truth about Kyoto will be revealed. Whether that’s before or after it causes great harm is the question.
Essex and McKitrick have done us a real service with this book. You can buy it from the Frontier Centre website.