Thursday, August 22, 2013

Al Gore and Science as a Religion


Al Gore recently compared critics of global warming to bigots and supporters of apartheid on an interview with the Washington Post, where he opined as follows.
I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore. The same thing happened on apartheid. The same thing happened on the nuclear arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.
   Gore ignores the "inconvenient truth'  of the Climategate scandal, in which scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit were caught discussing falsifying and manipulating data on global warming. The e mails showed that scientists were willing to effectively strong arm global warming skeptics into silence. already, "global warming" has been repackaged as "climate change" This way, any spike or dip in temperature can be cited as "proof" of Al Gore's theories.

 One of the "inconvenient truths" of scientific research is that sometimes people who finance research have a vested interest in certain results. This can be extremely problematic, for instance in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Gore's vehemence in supporting global warming theories evokes memories of the Catholic Church hounding Galileo over his solar centric model of our solar system. Science should be an open ended inquiry into the realities of the physical world. Unfortunately, it has become politicised to the point that dogmatic camps are emerging in the study of our world. There is no comparison between bigots and people who have taken a position on a scientific issue. To compare an opponent of global warming to someone who harasses homosexuals in public is itself a form of intimidation.

   Al Gore is like a member of a junior high school debate team who has run out of facts, and resorts instead to rolling his eyes, and distracting a credulous audience with irrelevant comparisons.

   Who stands to make money if global warming is accepted? Do proponents of this questionable theory follow the rules they wish to impose upon others? Who finances research into global warming? Who finances its skeptics? Maybe scientists need to reconcile the opposing studies, or even discount one side or the other.

   The western world has repudiated the persecution of religious heretics. Indeed, many modern thinkers would be proud to be identified as "marching to a different  drummer." Unfortunately, the freedom of inquiry and debate that dominates the spirit of modern theology seems to be endangered in the scientific world. Al Gore has turned his "science" into a sort of religion. Many of us do not kneel at Al Gore's altar. Is there a problem with that?

WP interview with Al Gore.

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