“I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published”

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by Arjun Walia, The Pulse:

Most academics in the field agree that climate change is happening, but many do not agree with climate alarmism, the C02 narrative and the politicization/manipulation of climate science.

Physician, producer and writer Michael Crichton once wrote:

“I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled…Consensus is the business of politics….The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

How hard is it to oppose the narrative in academia? Very hard.

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Questioning mainstream narratives and mainstream “consensus” or “politically correct” sentiments can lead to trouble. These days, it seems as if academia has become one big institution that’s being used to uphold certain narratives and continue to push them as if they were/are unquestionable.

We saw this with COVID-19, where thousands of academics were punished, censored, and ridiculed. For the first time in history, vaccine experts, even vaccine developers, were erroneously labelled as anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists (sigh).

But this type of behaviour is not limited to COVID-19, it’s been happening for quite some time in multiple areas of study, including climate change, or climate alarmism. The idea that the world is going to end due to multiple weather catastrophes created by mankind. Interestingly, most who oppose this alarmism believe in climate change but are not seeing the same details around catastrophe.

In academia, the alarmism narrative has been pushed as an unquestionable truth. It’s not science per se, but more so a theory loosely based on science that is more similar to a religious belief.

It’s become so bad that it’s virtually impossible for renowned scientists and climatologists to publish evidence that is contrary to the climate alarmism perspective.

Many academics have been relegated to article writing, publishing their perspectives, opinions and evidence in respected media outlets, like The Wall Street Journal. But we will get to some examples of this later.

The Curious Story of Patrick T. Brown

For now, I want to focus on an article published by Patrick T Brown, a prominent American climate scientist. Brown believes climate change is real, as most who have been labelled “heretics” and “skeptics” do. But he also believes that its impact is much exaggerated. This, he says, distorts climate science, misinforms the public and makes practical solutions much more difficult to achieve.

He left academia over a year ago because he felt the pressures put on academic scientists caused too much of the research to be distorted. Now, he’s a member of a private nonprofit research center, The Breakthrough Institute, where he feels “much less pressure to “mold” his research to the “preferences of prominent journal editors and the rest of the field.”

Brown explains,

“This matters because it is critically important for scientists to be published in high-profile journals; in many ways, they are the gatekeepers for career success in academia. And the editors of these journals have made it abundantly clear, both by what they publish and what they reject, that they want climate papers that support certain pre-approved narratives— even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society.

To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change. However understandable this instinct may be, it distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public, and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”

Researchers have a career, and their work depends mostly on their work being cited and accepted in prominent academic journals. Real science is not really open, it’s not about uncovering truth more so than it is about narrative control when it comes to major global issues. And for those who are already convinced of their conforming and ‘accepted’ perspectives, opinions like the one presented in this article are simply ignored and unacknowledged. These people have a much easier time advancing in life professionally and financially.

Brown uses his recent paper published in Nature as an example, which he authored with seven other researchers. The focus of the paper was on the influence of climate change on extreme wildfire behavior.

What was purposefully left out of the paper were other factors, as Brown explains, “can be just as or more important, such as poor forest management and the increasing number of people who start wildfires either accidentally or purposefully.”

He also points out, not in his Nature paper of course, that over 80 percent of wildfires in the US are ignited by humans. Furthermore, fossil records show that wildfires are an extremely old phenomenon,

Wildfires existed long before we did. Homo sapiens didn’t appear until 100,000 years ago; the fossil record shows that wildfires are much, much older. As soon as there was terrestrial life, there was fire.

A 2001 study from geologist Walter L. Cressler III describes fossilized charcoal uncovered in an ancient riverbed in north-central Pennsylvania, dating back to the Late Devonian Period. That was over 360 million years ago. There’s even evidence indicating that wildfires appeared as early as the Silurian Period (443 million years ago).

“In my paper, we didn’t bother to study the influence of these other obviously relevant factors. Did I know that including them would make for a more realistic and useful analysis? I did. But I also knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centered on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers.”

— Brown

There are several examples of what Brown describes. In another influential Nature paper, scientists claimed that that the two largest climate change impacts on society are deaths related to extreme heat and damage to agriculture. But Brown points out that the authors never mention that climate change is not the dominant driver for either one of these impacts.

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