I wondered who was funding Oreskes to fly all the way around the world to deliver two seminars in Perth to audiences of mostly evangelical believers. Michael Kile (Quadrant magazine) reveals more of the details. Presumably she is funded by the Professors-at-large program at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Western Australia (UWA). We still have no details on the amounts.
UWA think achieving “international excellence” is so important they’ve put it in their logo.
We see below how many of the UWA hosts benefit from climate change grants, and thus would potentially gain from promoting a baseless smear against critics who threaten their funding or status. These hypocrites are happy to promote the untruth that skeptics are funded to speak, when the they themselves are the ones who benefit financially from a dubious scare campaign. The professors-at-large program is supposed to foster public debate, but four of the ten Oreskes hosts signed a letter seeking to silence a skeptic from speaking at another university.
Who would sponsor an expert that is ignorant of 99.99% of their topic?
Oreskes claims skeptics are funded by big-oil, but misses that most oil companies support alarm, that funding against skeptics is 3,500 times larger, and that she can’t really name any significant money to support her smears (see my post here). She found “millions” in funding to skeptics, but missed “billions” in funding to alarmists. The historian claims to research how extensive funding has distorted the climate debate, yet missed 99.97% of the funding she supposedly studies. She is hardly producing rigorous work, or even doing competent research.
Despite her inept performance, Oreskes has ten “hosts” at UWA. She claims to be an international expert as a “science historian”, but her hosts include just one scientist — Kevin Judd (Mathematics and Statistics), who has received grants for discussing climate models (apparently he’s the kind of statistician who believes it doesn’t matter if thermometers are placed over concrete because “statistics” tells us hot concrete is not warming the thermometer). The other hosts have nothing to do with science or with history:
- Stephan Lewandowsky, Psychology (receives grants for namecalling, and finding that unconvinced people are mentally deficient),
- Mark Edwards, Business (he writes about sustainability),
- Jan Dook, Centre for Learning Technology (Science communication),
- Alex Gardner, Law (writes about legal implications of climate change on wetlands and rivers and is also an adjunct professor at ANU in the Australian Centre for Environmental Law).
- David Hodgkinson, Law (who writes about climate change law and climate refugees),
- Carmen Lawrence, Psychology (former premier of WA, and currently paid to write about changing behavior and “climate change”),
- Grady Venville, Education
- John Inverarity and Richard Pengelley, St George’s College.
Stefan Lewandowsky will protest that he does “cognitive science“. But his modus operandi is to begin working from a logical fallacy, and everything he does goes downhill from there. A scientist uses logic, but Lewandowsky does not, making “argument from authority” his raison d’etre (all must obey “the consensus”). He is an activist, not a scientist.
UWA aims to stop public debate
The professor-at-large program’s mission is to “stimulate public debate on contemporary issues”. However Lewandowsky was one of the first to sign up to try to stop Christopher Monckton expressing a different view on at Notre Dame University (WA). Furthermore Judd, Edwards and Hodgkinson also signed that list, and apparently would rather sponsor a poorly researched smear campaign than allow a skeptic to speak in public.
Such is the quest for “excellence” in intellectual rigor at UWA these days.
Many of these hosts gets grants for climate change work. Since no one at UWA is paid to be skeptical, there will be few alternate voices at UWA, or at least none with a strong vested interest to speak out. So they will not host an opinion that differs from Oreskes. What we see is how the cancerous growth of one sided “crisis” funding, not only finds a crisis, but directs even more funding to others who come to the same conclusion. It’s a form of funding confirmation bias. Who is financed to audit and expose the fallacies, the poor reasoning and the lack of evidence? No one. Skeptics do it unpaid.
UWA is becoming a leading light in anti-science, and a mockery of free speech. Oreskes parades as a “science historian” yet apparently is ignorant of the largest whistleblowing revolution that has occurred in modern science, not to mention that she doesn’t know that argument from authority is a fallacy, and breaches the basic tenets of science. The scientific method is being scrapped by allowing the Queen of Smear to present her one-sided ad hominem arguments (which miss the main money) as if a cherry picking smear campaign qualifies as scientific history.
If you are an alumni of UWA (like me) and are concerned about falling standards and intellectual rigor there, please leave a comment or email me (joanne AT joannenova.com.au) so I can get in touch. It is time to stop the rot.
Michael Kile uses Oreskes techniques on Oreskes – he studies her biography
Naomi Oreskes claims that those who are not experts in climate science, and those funded by large corporations, have no right to be heard. Yet her experience as a science historian is brief, and her past funded by a rather large corporation. It shows how mindless her reasoning is:
“How did a US geologist working with Western Mining Corporation in South Australia, a co-author of esoteric papers – from the origin of LREE-enriched hematite breccias at the Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au-Ag deposit to the oxygen isotope composition of Chilean El Laco magnetite – transform herself into a credible climate change alarmist in less than a decade? How, indeed?”
Contrast that with Fred Singer — whom Oreskes attacks and mischaracterises at length. Michael Kile writes that Singer played …
“a leading role in early space research, developing Earth observation satellites, establishing the US National Weather Bureau’s Satellite Service Center in 1962, and becoming founding dean of the University of Miami School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences in 1964.”
Oreskes promotes dogma and closed minds:
On 23 January, 2012, Judith Curry posted this note on her blog with the heading, “Open-mindedness is the wrong (?) approach”. “Naomi Oreskes has an op-ed in the LA TIMES today entitled “The verdict is in on climate change”, with subheading “When it comes to climate change, openmindedness is the wrong approach.”
What we need, according to Oreskes, is a Climate Court, presided over by a “scientist general” (or a Pope?). “The problem is that there is no judge, no recognized authority giving us instructions we accept, and no recognized authority to accept the scientists’ verdict and declare it final….Without a scientist general to instruct us on climate change, we as a nation have been adrift, looking for leadership and not finding it.”
Oreskes wants an Orwellian institution, where activist scientists are the “jury”, not merely a group of expert witnesses trying to prove a case. As to her opponents, the “think tanks, institutes and fossil fuel corporations” and those who “take on the mantle of defence”, they will have no role. Condemned to silence, they presumably will be exiled to gulags designed by schools of psychology for promulgators of “denials, dodges and pseudo-scientific studies”. Here, they will spend years in programs of cognitive modification, self-criticism and re-education. Welcome to the realm of post-modern science.
Other posts about UWA
- The death of reason at UWA
- The Great Leap Forward. Professors et al realize they need to talk about evidence instead of insults.
- Learn how not to reason at the University of Western Australia
Posts on Oreskes
- Oreskes, the Queen of Climate Smear, ignores the big money, has no evidence, throws names
- Oreskes’ clumsy, venomous smear campaign: busted
- Now we are not even allowed to doubt?
- Oreskes, Readfearn: Got no evidence? Throw different names. Skeptics are paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.
Post on Lewandowsky: