The technocrats among us are inclined to scoff and express frustration at the mere mention of Climategate while they claim that the science is proven, the scientific community is of one voice and any dissension qualifies one as a "denier" on the same level as those who deny the historical reality of the Holocaust.
Those among us that review current evidence, pro and con, regarding "Climate Change" and conclude that the debate is still on, see ourselves as exercising reasonable prudence given the eons long history of human fallibility.
The Technocrats demand that we "know nothings" bend immediately to the will of the technologically informed. Scientists that disagree with the Climate Change promoters are dismissed as "Christians", quacks, and non-scientists in spite of previous achievements.
The ideas that the technocrats see as nothing but obstructionist include:
- the planet may not be warming (BEST is evaluating data toward this determination);
- warming may not be anthropogenic;
- the planet may be warming as part of a relatively short term trend within a long term cooling trend (see previous post);
- the world might be warming but that may not be catastrophic to humans, or;
- the results of previous warming studies are unclear or untrustworthy because of data manipulation;
- some portion of the data must be reassessed since those with whom it was entrusted proved dishonest and unreliable, or;
- the demanded societal changes may extract too high a price and result in destruction of our economy, or worse, destruction of a rather successful way of life.
Oddly, this is the same argument that has raged since before the Framers wrote the Constitution and designed the system to inhibit rapid, large scale changes but accomodate different points of view and gradual change. The argument I refer to is not the one about climate science but about the fallibility of Man. As I have pointed out many times, the Framers were solidly convinced of the fallibility of Man.
Technocrats tend to be convinced that Man's intellectual elite can create a better society than the one that has evolved and continues to evolve naturally, protected by the Constitution and the tenets of Western Civilization. Friederich Hayek branded this thought "the Fatal Conceit."
The Technocratic vision is inherently anti-democratic while it espouses popular democracy. The Constitution is anti-popular democracy and pro-freedom. Popular democracy does not necessarily guarantee freedom. The "rule of the mob" as seen in the French Revolution, was no example of freedom. It was no less a dictatorship than the rule of a single man. We saw examples of this during the "Occupy.." movement, with similar results.
The Constitution creates enough difficulty through the tensions between Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches to slow things down and prevent seizure of control by any of the three branches. Technocrats see this as a negative characteristic. Constitutionalists see this as the most important aspect of the Constitution, essential to the protection of basic freedoms. It is informative that lately several notable figures on the left have ventured that the Nation needs "less democracy" or to "suspend elections" for awhile to [let the technocrats] solve the difficult problems we face.
Today technocrats want to dictate societal actions because they are -- Technocrats -- and therefore (by definition) smarter, better educated and better able to understand the risks and problems of complex scientific and societal problems. With basically the same bellief in the superiority of their own vision, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot killed close to 200,000,000 in failed "scientific" social experiments during the 20th Century.
The actual climate is always changing. Large scale changes identified as "Climate Change" as represented by the Technocrats may or may not be occurring and the debate continues toward eventual reconciliation. Attempts to bypass the Constitutional procedures and immediately implement "green" policies and projects while bypassing the Constitutional processes, are the result of frustrated Technocrats, convinced of their own infallibility, attempting to bypass the system to implement -- something.
I do not doubt that there are many good and ethical scientists that believe that "Climate Change" is an absolutely proven reality and in good faith worry about the possibility of a planet suddenly inhospitable to Man, with diminished ability to feed and otherwise support, the ever increasing hordes of humans that populate the sphere. This group is generally motivated by its concern for Humanity.
I also do not doubt that there are other, more fallible scientists that are willing to manipulate data and results, and act politically to gain influence, power and wealth. This second group may or may not have the welfare of man as their prime motivator. The fact is that the most horrendous acts against Humanity have always been done "for the greater good."
The US Constitution is specifically designed to protect freedom and inhibit rapid change except when the threat is clear to all as in World War II. Progressives have, since the mid-nineteenth century sought a "moral equivalent of war" to provide the motivation to change the US and the world to fit their vision.
"Climate Change" is the current "moral equivalent of war" in the eyes of the political Technocrats.
If the climate is really changing, and really presents an existential threat to Man, and we follow the processes laid out in the Constitution we may yet save Man and protect Freedom. If we sacrifice one for the other we are likely to do neither.