Friday, July 4, 2014

WSJ: Climate of Conformity: One of our writers gets sacked for dissenting on global warming

Climate of Conformity

July 4, 2014 5:28 p.m. ET  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

As loyal left-wingers go, Caleb Rossiter is a trouper. He's supported every left of center cause going back to the Cold War, but lately he's become a partial dissenter against the new religion of climate change. And now he's been put out in the cold.

The Institute for Policy Studies terminated Mr. Rossiter's fellowship two days after he wrote a May 5 op-ed for these pages. Mr. Rossiter, who is also an American University adjunct professor of math and statistics, argued that the computer modeling used to support claims that the earth is headed for a climate catastrophe is far from definitive. But more important from a moral point of view, he wrote that limiting fossil fuels would make it harder for Africa to escape poverty.

In a May 7 email, IPS Director John Cavanagh and Foreign Policy in Focus co-director Emira Woods informed Mr. Rossiter that, "Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable."

So after a 23-year association, Mr. Rossiter got the boot. Some readers may recall IPS as a stalwart opponent of U.S. policy during the long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union. Mr. Rossiter says he agrees with the institute on almost everything and calls it "the only anti-imperialist think tank in D.C."

Mr. Cavanagh says the termination was "a respect issue": Mr. Rossiter "didn't reach out to the people who work on those issues and he implied in the piece that if you didn't agree with him you wanted Africans to be without electricity in the dark. That's not our position."

Mr. Rossiter says his support for fossil fuels for Africa was well known at IPS even before his fellowship began. There is a "right to development," he told us, and when the developed world is "denying, even to South Africa which is a democratic government, that right, it strikes me as cultural imperialism." He says his "biggest problem" with climate-change theory "is with the certainty that people express. For years I have tried to get people at IPS to come to my classes where I teach statistics. I think they don't come because they think it lends credence to the other side if you debate the topic."

When Mr. Rossiter pushed for a climate debate this spring, Mr. Cavanagh replied in an email: "My opposition to a future based on fossil fuels goes way beyond the math. It is rooted in one of Emira's arguments, that as long as we're dependent on fossil fuels, we'll keep building bases in other countries to grab their oil. And, I'm watching what fossil fuel extraction has meant to indigenous peoples, to the people of Alberta."

He's referring to the oppressed self-governing people of Alberta, Canada.

Think tanks can support whoever they want, though we thought they were supposed to let people "think." Mr. Rossiter's fate is further evidence of the left's climate of intellectual conformity. If you disagree with the orthodoxy on climate change, you aren't merely wrong, you must be banished from public debate.

1 comment:

  1. That is how institutions wage war, by suppressing views contrary to their own dogmas, by throwing real live people out of work and out of the right to respond and appeal--to be heard at all.

    But make no mistake, the key word in this is "war". It is institutional--tyrannous--only, at the moment, but it is war nevertheless, and requires fighting that war, even if it means real, physical war, or even just a wider intellectual war than at present. There is no wide understanding that it is a war, and so there is no common front, among "skeptics" and "deniers" (I am one of the latter) opposing the decreed climate science and the political agenda now arrayed to "implement" that abomination of science. I know only one way to respond to tyranny: Refuse to obey any law it proclaims. No, I know a second, more likely action as well: Have nothing to do with it, give it no respect, kick it whenever it approaches you (as a bully, or a mean dog, as it ever does approach you, its enemy).

    And know that the "lukewarmers" among the skeptics are being just as suppressive, of the "deniers" who provide definitive evidence that there is NO greenhouse effect, no correct physics at all, underpinning the consensus climate science. Until the skeptical side comes to grips with that--with the general incompetence behind it, which is the same thing behind the failed climate science in the first place--there can be no effective resolution of the conflicts among these various groups, and no saving the world from the insanity of "saving the world from global warming, er, climate change".