Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

December 16, 2013

Stumptalk: Lysenkoism, political correctness and climate change

By Ted LaVaque

CROSSVILLE — During the 1930s Soviet science became the laughing stock of much of the scientific world. A poorly educated agronomist (Trofim Lysenko) convinced Stalin that accepted Mendelian theories of genetic heritability were absolutely wrong, and that generations passed on characteristics acquired during their lifetime, a form of already discredited Lamarckian genetics. That explained, for instance, that giraffes developed such long necks by stretching to reach the tops of trees when feeding, so the next generation of giraffes would have longer necks, and so forth. Lysenko was actually arguing that crops such as wheat could be improved by exposing each “generation” of wheat to high humidity and low temperatures. Stalin saw this as consistent with Marxist theory, and insisted that Lysenkoism be taught as the only acceptable agricultural theory. Committees were formed to review scientific papers to assure that they were compatible with Marxist principles or were, specifically, politically correct. That persisted from the 1930s to about 1960, and during that period Soviet biological science deteriorated disastrously. Today “Lysenkoism” is a term used when scientific reports are manipulated and distorted to reach a predetermined conclusion “as dictated by ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.” When a scientific conclusion is forced to be consistent with a political or social objective, it is, as in the Stalin era, determined to be “politically correct.” Which brings us to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.

The IPCC was formed in 1988. It is headed by an Indian railroad engineer named Rajendra K. Pachauri. He appears to be a modern day Lysenko. Here is the critical part for purposes of this article: The purpose of the IPCC was to provide “a comprehensive and objective assessment of scientific, technical and socio-economic information that would lead to a better understanding of human-induced climate change.” Thus, the fledgling organization was confronted with the fact that it had already been decided that humans are responsible for global warming. The question was not whether there is evidence that human activity is responsible for global warming (a scientific question) but was presented as an already accepted “fact” of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Anyone who expressed disbelief in AGW became politically incorrect, and the target of outrageous rhetoric. The problem is it is the job of a scientist to be skeptical. The “Climategate” episode revealed the internal workings of the “upper echelon” of the British Climate Research Unit (CRU) and IPCC, wherein their e-mail reflected discussions about hiding inconvenient data (“Hide the Decline”) and “punishing” journals that published information contrary to the global warming narrative. There was even discussion about the worries that grant money might be pulled. This represents Lysenkoism and distorted politically correct “science” at its best. Most recently it has been revealed that there has been no global warming for the past 16-17 years, the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice has expanded rapidly, the previous reports of shrinking glaciers is not true, and now an increasing numbers of climatologists are anticipating the possibility of several decades of colder world temperatures. This presents a real problem for the politically correct crowd, because if AGW does not exist there will be no justification for the trillion dollar international carbon tax so near and dear to their bureaucratic hearts. Even that renowned expert in climatology, Al Gore, might go bust.

When you listen to politicians who have bought in to the AGW story, they reflect absolutely no recognition of the contradictory evidence, but keep repeating the same untrue mantra that AGW is “settled science” and that “90% of climatologists agree with AGW.” The railroad engineer Pachauri has agreed there has been no evidence for global warming for the past 17 years, but insists we should wait  “30-40” years. It is the nature of politically correct pseudo-science that it can never be disproven. In 2007 Reid Bryson, the “Dean” of scientific climatology said of global warming theory “That is a theory for which there is no credible proof. There is very little proof to what is being said and an awful lot of religion. It is almost a religion where you have to believe in anthropogenic global warming or else you are nuts.” This is a classic example of oddball Lysenkoism, of “politically correct scientific claims dictated by ideological bias” as approved by politicians. Obama wants to ram this through before he leaves office and you and I, again, will pay dearly for it.