The EPA’s problem in using science to promote increased federal authority over America’s economy – ostensibly regulating American CO2 release to prevent global warming (instead of moving the Earth further away from the Sun) – is that with doomsday always just around the corner if we do not act now, the end of the world can never come soon enough.
Hard core global warming true believers seem to be unreachable. Nevertheless there are scientists with a conscience — e.g., heretics of AGW pseudoscience like Judith Curry and Patrick More who escaped the belly of the beast — learning from their own experiences that truth is always compelling to those who at their core have a love of honesty.
With the high degree of anti-science we see in the bureaucracies of government, the media and government-funded academia it is useful to ask those capable of clear-headed and dispassionate reason to step back for a skeptics moment and practice being an observer of the modern day ‘pathological science’ of global warming as a cautionary example of why we must always be honest about our limitations. For example, Curry sources us to observers like Langmuir who studied the matter of Voodoo science and provided a list of pathological science indicators, as follows:
The maximum effect is produced by a barely perceptible cause, and the effect doesn’t change much as you change the magnitude of the cause.
The effect only happens sometimes, when conditions are just right, and no one ever figures out how to make it happen reliably. The people who can make it happen are unable to communicate how they do it to the people who can’t.
The effect is always close to the limit of detectability, or averages of many measurements are needed to find it.
There are claims of great accuracy, well beyond the state of the art or what one might expect.
Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested. Often, mechanisms are suggested that appear no where else.
Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.
Supporters are unable or unwilling to think about testing or disproving the effect. Tests that could lead to definitive disproof are never actually done.
The implications of a theory or experiment are never extended outside its original domain. Supporters don’t ask what implications it might have for neighboring fields.
[Irving Langmuir and R. N. Hall. Pathological science. Physics Today, Oct. 1989, pp. 36–48 (Hall transcribed and edited Langmuir’s talk and the list of pathological events was subsequently modified by Greg Kochanski, Collective Delusions, Blindness and Limitations of Imagination, Jan. 2006): “A single hit does not mark an idea as pathological, but multiple hits should serve to raise one’s suspicions. This is a list primarily aimed at experiments, but many of the characteristics can also apply to theories. Typically in pseudoscience, there is a hard core of believers. The number of supporters rises, peaks, and slowly declines, but is only brought to zero by retirement and/or death.”)]