Bravo! Matt Ridley – The Rational Optimist
I found it inspirational. In fact what came to mind was the St Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V. Could it be that, outnumbered and against a well-funded opponent, sceptics find themselves on the brink of an Agincourt?
I offer a few choice quotes (but do read it in full – links below):
“The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.”
“A theory so flexible it can rationalize any outcome is a pseudoscientific theory.”
(Is there anything climate change cannot be blamed for?)
“By contrast scientists and most mainstream journalists risk their careers if they take a skeptical line, so dogmatic is the consensus view. It is left to the blogosphere to keep the flame of heresy alive and do the investigative reporting the media has forgotten how to do.”
“My argument is that like religion, science as an institution is and always has been plagued by the temptations of confirmation bias. With alarming ease it morphs into pseudoscience even – perhaps especially – in the hands of elite experts and especially when predicting the future and when there’s lavish funding at stake. It needs heretics.”