Free Markets, Free People

Dwight Eisenhower


Dwight Eisenhower – a warning from the past concerning science and government

If you’re any student of history, you’re aware of the speech President Eisenhower gave upon his leaving the presidency. It is often referred to as the "Military/Industrial complex speech".

In it he warned against the future problems we’d encounter by the establishment of a permanent "military/industrial complex" (something we’d never had prior to WWII).

But are you also aware he warned against the establishment of something else that it took WWII to create (think Manhattan Project)? You’ll recognize it immediately:

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Emphasis is mine and it is something which has indeed come true and is alive and well in the current “science” of global warming.

Then add this – because this hasn’t been changed or disproven.  From S. Fred Singer’s book, “Unstoppable Global Warming – every 1500 years” (2007, 2008):

…[T]he Antarctic ice cores tell us that the earth’s temperatures and CO2 levels have tracked closely together through the last three ice ages and global warnings. However, CO2 has been a lagging indicator, its concentrations rising about 600 to 800 years after the temperatures warm. Oregon State climatologist George Taylor explains the significance of this fact:

Early Vostok analysis looked at samples centuries apart and concluded correctly that there is a very strong relationship between temperatures and CO2 concentrations. The conclusion for many was obvious: when CO2 goes up, temperatures go up, and vice versa. This became the basis for a number of scary looking graphs in books by scientist Stephen Schneider, former VP Al Gore, and others, predicting a much warmer future (since most scientists agree that CO2 will continue to go up for sometime). Well, it’s not as simple as that. When the Vostok  data were analyzed for much shorter time periods (decades at a time rather than centuries), something quite different emerged. Huburtus Fischer and his research team from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography reported: "the time lag of the rise in CO2 concentrations with respect to temperature change is on the order of 400 to 1000 years". In other words, CO2 changes are caused by temperature changes.

Yet somehow the science has been perverted over the years to now characterize CO2 as not only a current indicator of warming but a cause of warming.  As far as I’ve been able to determine, what is written above has yet to be disproven or disputed.

So here we are with a government which is interested in increasing revenue by literally creating a tax out of thin air, and we have a well funded government “science”  – a $103 billion dollar “gravy train” (that figure was quoted quite often at ICCC6) and we wonder why we’re getting the conclusions we’re getting from those scientists?

Ike was a pretty smart guy.  He saw all of this coming from way off.  Whenever government takes control of science (or any other field) to serve its purposes by providing huge incentives to do so, it’s going to get what it wants.   And it has, at least to a point.   What it hasn’t gotten, however, is indisputable truth concerning its theories concerning CO2.  That means its taxation scheme is dead.

However, as long as it continues to fund science and scientists with massive amounts of money, it will provide tremendous incentive to get at least a portion of those who call themselves scientists to serve government’s policy aims.  That’s incredibly dangerous.

The answer is precisely what we’ve seen happen in this particular debate – skepticism.  Insistence on the scientific method.  The understanding that, as Roy Spencer said, “It only takes one scientists (skeptic) to be right for the IPCC to be wrong”.   And we’ve seen that quite often as the IPCC’s findings and conclusions have been shown to contain errors of fact, errors of omission, propaganda and alarmism unsupported by fact or science.

We need to get government out of science. Wasn’t this the administration which said it was going to “restore” science to its proper place? That proper place is without government subsidy or, as we’ve experienced through the AGW fiasco, “[t]he prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money …”, perverts science and makes it a servant to political policy. That, friends is infinitely more dangerous to our freedoms than the military/industrial complex.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO