Tainted Talk - Heartland and Beyond

The Upvoters that cared:
    This is a community post, untouched by our editors.

    A previous climate science scandal - the famous "Hockey Stick" controversy (source: Wikipedia)

    Climate Change Battle

    One side attacks another. Their words are like barbed wire seeking to surround a stance to force their enemy’s surrender. The stance is the foundation of all their motivations, and these motivations have long since tainted the conversation. Actually, it’s become so polluted that it no longer resembles an honest conversation which requires all sides to at least willingly allow a response that resembles a factual explanation. Those collaborative days seem to be long gone, and we are all at a loss on how to proceed.

    The talk wires have been overloading with exclamations of the latest battle of Climategate [James Delingpole's writing is prime anthropogenic global warming skepticism via Telegraph], in this case with the Heartland Institute at ground zero. Of course, it only takes a brief review of the casualties that are littered all around to see that it’s become a war of postures. The scientific findings have become a casualty of this war. Accusations of dishonesty, unethical behavior, and litigation have seemingly always been the pillars on which Climategate is propped. And yet to try to turn this battle into a simplified explanation of “science vs. belief” is to lose the real lesson that only few hear from within the roaring rapids of emotions. We are so lost in the woods that we no longer see the trees, the forest, or even ourselves.

    One gifted hydro-climatologist, Peter Gleick, put his life’s work on the line because he long ago realized that the conversation was not following the necessary key points. Gleick, whose frustration led to his downfall, said in a blogpost published at the Huffington Post,

    “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts – often anonymous, well-funded and co-ordinated – to attack climate science.”

    Meanwhile his discovery of Heartland‘s own collusive activities awaits its own limelight. His peers condemned him for straying from the path of righteousness, barely taking into account that he confessed of his own free will. “We mustn’t stoop to their level, or our own actions will become suspect.” Right is right. Black is not white. It’s the rule of civilized battles, and this is how it’s always been played. And yet that’s not true at any point of our history. We’ve always played to win.

    But those who see the impending global catastrophe are no longer concerned about entering into this fractious fray, to be forced to pick a cause and become its cheerleader. A cause is pretty empty if it has no real intent to enact a solution. So, the individual inhabitants work diligently, taking one step at a time to make a real difference. Recycle. Restore. Reclaim. All aimed at bringing life back to its fullest splendor. No grandiose dissertations from these workers, but only simple, dedicated hard work with little need for the fanfare that drove societies of the past.

    This path of collaboration is what we need for every problem that is clogging the arteries of our future life flow. Problems such as this one, and so many more, have locked our global governments in perpetual warfare with their voices being raised forcibly only for their own private causes. As the workers have been saying for a while, it’s not a generational issue. It’s an issue of mindset. Are the minds open or closed? Are the “factions” willing to talk out in the open with no motive to deploy their “counter-intelligence” tools? Each side will claim that they’re being fair. But if their actions didn’t lead to the ability for each side to lay down their suspicions, in order to effect productive collaboration tied with open two-way communications, then fairness really doesn’t even come close to being a reality.

    Our mindsets have to start to embrace the fact that life can be to live in harmony and celebration, and not in a constant state of war. Whoever started this training that life is only a competition to be won did humanity’s future an immense disservice. Before we can even start the process of fixing all that is wrong, we need to retrain on a grand scale. Fortunately, there are just as many open-minded people who have already started to look for fixes, and even found hopeful starts towards a solution. That will give the rest time to get with the program so that we’re not constantly harping about the tainted talks of our own individual ideals. We need to be worrying about the universal ideals that will lead to constructive solutions aimed at the right targets for the long haul.

    And if there are those that don’t want to get with the program, well, our museums have wonderful collections of dinosaur bones that tell their own stories about walking the most convenient path of individual consumption.

    Peter Gleick lectures at SkeptiCalCon May 29, 2011 Berkeley, CA (source: Wikipedia)

    This latest “scandal” was never really about one man’s fall from grace due to unethical conduct. It should have always been a moral tale warning us about failing to take heed of the reality all around us issuing warnings that are now within touching distance. And it’s not a comforting touch that we’re feeling.

    Conclusion (?):

    Although another attempt at verifying the findings of climate researchers such as Gleick was completed by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, it’s clear that this climate war has yet to reach anything close to resembling an open-minded conversation. It would be nice to think that we could get there before we lose the opportunity to repair the damage that we can each already see with our own two eyes.

    Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the US and the UK. This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.

    - Richard Muller, Founder and Scientific Director of the BEST project.

    But even these results are not accepted by the ever-present naysayers who are already preparing a rebuttal. And so the battle rages on….