- JoNova - https://joannenova.com.au -

Prof Fiona Stanley jumps on climate-pulpit, says skepticism “is like child abuse”

It’s another pious scientist. Sigh.

Why do good researchers sometimes throw their professional standards to the wind (or in this case, just blow them right up?)

Fiona Stanley has done great work in the prevention of spina bifida with folic acid, and with indigenous health problems. The new big state funded hospital in WA is named after her, and she’s another Australian of the Year. (Is that award the worst thing that can befall a good scientist? Post hoc, they seem to think the world wants to know their personal feelings on topics they know nothing about.) Cue Professor Fiona Stanley who assumes all fields of science “work” even though she herself says climate science is politicized.

Stanley goes so far as to say that being skeptical of the IPCC view is like “child abuse”. But isn’t it a form of child abuse to throw away the Scientific Method, to sacrifice the next generation’s quality of life, their careers and then burden them with debts to the the God of Wind-farms and the Saint of Pink Batts? Don’t we owe our kids the transfer of a culture of logic and reason that was handed to us?

At least Stanley admits she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and is making a faith based statement:

“I’m not a climate change expert but I do trust the incredible scientific evidence, although no science is ever perfect,” she said.

So she’s a religious follower, which she’s entitled to be.  And the evidence is in-credible — we quite agree. (I don’t think she meant to say that.) With a true sense of fair play she even admits the scientists she “trusts” don’t know, and can’t be expected to know precisely what is going on.

“To expect science to be able to predict something as complex as what is going to happen on this planet, given human activity and other things, is extraordinarily challenging and I think it is pathetic of people to criticise the imprecise nature of the science.”

But look out, there’s contradiction ahead.

Professor Stanley said the data was very compelling, particularly about the extremes in factors such as temperature.

So the data is compelling, but the scientists aren’t precise?

Obviously she didn’t look at the data herself, but trusted those other experts to look at it and tell her accurately and without omission what is going on. (So suppose it’s 1614 instead of 2014. Who are you going to trust, the Pope and his experts or that little man from Padua?)

Duck for cover, here comes the sermon:

“It’s like child abuse and neglect, we don’t actually know if it’s on the rise but all the risk factors for it are on the rise,” she said. “The way we are living on this planet is unsustainable, and that’s why I’m worried for my children, and my grandchildren and their children.

I presume she means temperatures may not be rising, while “risk factors” are — supposedly the greenhouse gases. What Fiona Stanley doesn’t seem to realize is that obviously we don’t know what “all” the risk factors are — if temperatures are not on the rise, it follows that some actual factor is over-riding all her hypothetical rising risks. What could it be? Don’t ask a climate scientist — they don’t know, but they can give you a dozen possibilities. When good scientists speak so irrationally, that’s when I worry for my kids.

Don’t read this next one literally — it’s a spiritual thing looking after a ball of magma:

“This is more than about climate change, it’s about health and the survival of the planet.

Here come the Holy Rosary’s:

Professor Stanley said people could do their bit by eating less meat, driving cars less and using public transport more.

And is there any chain of evidence, or even a chain of assumptions that suggest that if every Australian became a bike-riding vegetarian that we would get nicer weather?

“My frustration is that when these issues become politicised, we need science more than anything, and yet scientists are being denigrated.”

Yes, Prof Stanley, good scientists are being denigrated. Some people call them “deniers”, and they get ostracized, exiled and blackbanned. Bad scientists are hiding data and declines, pretending adjustments are neutral, using mysterious methods, avoiding debates, and clinging to theories that are proven wrong. They pretend red is yellow, and ignore 28 million weather balloons. It is politicized. That is exactly the problem.

In fairness, she’s not trying to disguise her faith, nor to hide the hype:

“I’m not a climate change person, but this is our biggest challenge in public health.

So deficits in aboriginal lifespans, childhood abuse, addiction, heart disease, cancer, are less important than “fixing” the weather? People dying of these things right now are not as big a challenge as people who might die from something that hasn’t happened? Why waste money on the new Fiona Stanley Hospital when we could spend it on free bicycles for the population of Perth? Shouldn’t we get our priorities straight?

At a time when we need science to be used more than ever people are sort of denying the science and the second thing that’s happened with this politicisation of the climate change agenda is the denigration of scientists. – .smh

When will Fiona Stanley stop denigrating people who ask for the data? Who denies “the science” and which Science God (or bureaucratic appointed committee) decides what “the science” is?

“My whole life has been dedicated to getting the best data, the best information to try and prevent problems

So why stop now? Get the data. Read both sides of the story. Start being scientific, and look at the evidence. (For the sake of the children.)

There’s nothing wrong with scientists speaking outside their specialty, except when they have not done the most basic research. I bet Fiona Stanley hasn’t looked at upper tropospheric water vapor, nor the assumptions about positive feedback.  It would even be fine if pulpit scientists just admitted this was their after-hours hobby, like fishing or Macramé‎, but they have to put their foot in it, and make out that they are “scientific” even as they trash the scientific method.

Quotes from stories in The West and The Sydney Morning Herald.

H/t to Anne-Kit and Barry Corke

9.4 out of 10 based on 161 ratings