California Tried to Move to Make Global Warming Skepticism Illegal

Scientific "Truth" on climate could have been decided by vote.

By William M Briggs Published on June 4, 2016

“All right, Briggsy. We know you’re in there! Throw out your notes on improved cloud parameterizations in general circulation models and come out with your hands up!”

“You’ll never get me, copper! You want me? Come and get me!”

“It’s no use, Skeptic! We’ve got the place surrounded. We’ve cut off your Twitter feed and deleted all your blog posts. There’s no way to win. Come out now and you still have a chance.”

“Says you! What’s the charge, copper?”

Disseminating publicity casting doubt on the scientific understanding of climate change which has delayed public understanding of the risks of continuing to emit high levels of greenhouse gases, and which confused and polarized the public.”

“You EPA agents think you’re so tough with those automatic weapons in your hands. I come out now, and you’d gun me down in cold blood!”

“Nah, we’ll warm you up a little — and say it was global warming.”

“Forget it, copper. I’m climbing to the roof and putting up my banner. Want to know what it says, copper? It says, “Thirty years of failed predictions proves scientists are wrong about global warming!” Here I go! Made it, ma! Top of the world!”

“Let him have it!”


California has either three devious scheming duplicitous underhanded finagling conniving state senators, or it has three foolish stupid bug-witted mouth-breathing scientifically illiterate state senators. (I’ll prove this contention below.) For only two explanations — malicious Machiavellian maneuvering or inexcusable ineducable ignorance — are possible for explaining the introduction of the “California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016” by senators Ben Allen, Hannah-Beth Jackson and Mark Leno (all Democrats).

There is no point being polite about this unjustifiable intrusion into the scientific process. None of the bill’s authors are scientists, none have even a rudimentary understanding of the physics of fluid flow on a rotating sphere, and none has even the faintest glimmer of a ghost of an idea of how science works. Yet all three would decide, backed by the full might of government, what is Climate Science Truth.

And they would have punished those who dare deviate from this “Truth.” “Truth” forsooth!

Luckily, the remainder of the Senate saw sense and decided not to move forward on the bill. But it was close. According to the Washington Examiner, “The bill had passed both the state Senate’s environmental and judiciary committees and can be reconsidered at a later date.”

Imagine if the bill passed. Scientists like myself would be hauled before a tribunal composed of ideological politicians unable to integrate ex yet convinced they are in possession of Climate “Truth” and they’d ask, “Have you now or have you ever disbelieved in the State of California’s Truth about global warming?”

Most scientists would cave, not wanting the grief, not desiring to be labeled a criminal, and not having infinite resources (like the government has) to fight. How many would brave the assault, mount the ramparts, and shout, “You can’t tell me what to think!”?

Now for the proof I promised. The Bill (as of the 10 May 2016 draft) stated, “There is broad scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is occurring and changing the world’s climate patterns, and that the primary cause is the emission of greenhouse gases from the production and combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.”

This is false. It is untrue. Worse, it is easily seen to be false by anybody taking even a moment’s effort.

Here is what is true. All scientists, and not only a “broad scientific consensus,” agree that mankind influences the climate. Most but not all scientists, including myself, say that some but not all of the observed change in climate is due to greenhouse gases. But there is no “broad scientific consensus” among climatologists that the primary cause of the observed changes in weather and climate is greenhouse gases.

The senators three could have discovered this (and learned more about the many other overblown claims made in the Bill) had they only asked. Conclusion: either they asked, learned the truth, and decided to ignore it so that they could put the squeeze on and stifle honest scientists and scientific organizations, or they didn’t ask and chose to remain in blissful ignorance.

They may or may not be blissfully ignorant of this inconvenient truth as well: The scientists who do claim that greenhouse gases are the primary cause of climate change make lousy predictions. Heck, lousy is understating it. Their predictions stink.

Before government decided scientific “Truth” through legislative action, scientists said that when a theory made rotten predictions, the theory was surely false. Yet California came close to decreeing that no uncertainty in Climate “Truth” would be allowed.

This isn’t science. It’s thuggery masking as politics.

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  • davidrev17

    Aaahhh yes…good ol’ California…that bastion of
    traditional moral values, whose liberal PC governmental public policy initiatives, seem to reveal the decisions of people who approach these tumultuous hot-button cultural issues, with anything BUT laser-like lucidity; much like the traditionally liberal appellate judges in the San Francisco, CA. based, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – an appellate circuit that’s typically been one of the most overturned (by SCOTUS) districts, in the United States.

    And this bit of factually relevant [to this article] history, brings us to a very important case about the “admissability standards” for scientific evidence in courts of law, of which had clearly been mishandled by the U.S. Ninth Circuit – thus overturned by SCOTUS; whose errant judicial reasoning bears a striking similarity to the behavior of these present-day California senators et al., when relying on the wholly untenable notion of public policy issues that’ve gained “broad scientific consensus” – much like the Ninth Circuit’s “general acceptance through peer-review publication” criteria, that’d been unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

    And the following quotation from a highly influential “Amici Curiae Brief” in Daubert v. Merrell, should’ve been required reading for these California politicians – curiously masquerading as wannabe scientists – whose contributors/signatories had represented a veritable “who’s who” of eminently qualified [even Nobel laureate] scientists, plus distinguished historians & philosophers of science:

    • • • •

    “Judgments based on scientific evidence,
    whether made in a laboratory or a courtroom, are undermined by a categorical refusal even to consider research or views that contradict someone’s notion of the prevailing “consensus” of scientific opinion. . . . Automatically rejecting dissenting views that challenge the conventional wisdom is a dangerous fallacy, for almost every generally accepted view was once deemed eccentric or heretical.

    “Perpetuating the reign of a supposed scientific orthodoxy in this way, whether in a research laboratory or in a courtroom, is profoundly inimical to the search for truth. A categorical refusal even to examine and consider scientific evidence that conflicts with some ill-defined notion of majority opinion is a recipe for error in any forum. . . . The quality of a scientific approach or opinion depends on the strength of its factual premises and on the depth and consistency of its reasoning, not on its appearance in a particular journal or on its popularity among other scientists.”

    (Brief Amici Curiae of Ronald Bayer, Stephen Jay Gould, Gerald Holton, Peter Infante, Philip Landrigan, Everett Mendelsohn, Robert Morris, Herbert Needleman, Dorothy Nelkin, William Nicholson, Kathleen Joy Propert, and David Rosner, in support of petitioners, Daubert, 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (No. 92-102).)

  • Kristen P

    What do these clowns actually think they are doing? Do they really think they can quench the human spirit? They may succeed for a time but not forever. Death or liberty.

  • Isandhlwana79

    Mr. Briggs, great article. Thanks!

  • SeriouslyChristian

    Politicians routinely lie. Scientists are considered the bearers of truth. Of course politicians would love to get the authority of scientists behind their lies and they are willing to cripple science to do it.

    ‘You cannot be a capitalist/free marketeer anymore because science has ‘proven’ socialism is necessary to protect the planet!’

    God save us from these tyrants!

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