That's the only square missing to complete Libertarian-bingo on this issue.
Apparently Syngenta's corporate shills have mod points.
The story about Tyrone Hayes (and his persecutors at Syngenta) were in my mind when I read about the court verdict that Dr. Michael Mann's persecutors at the "American Traditions Institute" must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
I celebrated that verdict because the struggle of Dr. Mann and the struggle of Dr. Hayes are, in my mind, the same:
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to demand Dr. Hayes hand over his private emails?
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to torment Dr. Hayes with nuisance FOIA requests?
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to torment Dr. Hayes with nuisance lawsuits?
Sherry Ford's spiral-bound notebook of dirty tricks tells the whole tale.
There are few things that I'm sure of in this world, but one of those things is:
I am certain that somewhere there is a carbon copy of Sherry Ford employed in the one of PR departments of the Fossil Fuel industry right now, and that Sherry Ford has an identical spiral-bound notebook full of the same dirty tricks that they'd love to pull on Dr. Mann.
It seems to be a common theme of big corporations:
If they can't find a valid flaw in the scientist's research then they order their PR people to attack the reputation of the scientist.
"There was an article in the New Yorker last year - I wish I could find it - that talked about the enormous about of pressure being put on academic journals that affect big industries. It described cases where Monsanto and another big corporation set out to destroy an otherwise well-respected scientist who discovered a high health risk from one of their products."
It sounds like you're describing:
"A Valuable Reputation
The company documents show that, while Hayes was studying atrazine, Syngenta was studying him, as he had long suspected. Syngenta’s public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was “discredit Hayes.” In a spiral-bound notebook, Syngenta’s communications manager, Sherry Ford, who referred to Hayes by his initials, wrote that the company could “prevent citing of TH data by revealing him as noncredible.” He was a frequent topic of conversation at company meetings. Syngenta looked for ways to “exploit Hayes’ faults/problems.”
In 2005, Ford made a long list of methods for discrediting him: “have his work audited by 3rd party,” “ask journals to retract,” “set trap to entice him to sue,” “investigate funding,” “investigate wife.” The initials of different employees were written in the margins beside entries, presumably because they had been assigned to look into the task. "
Syngenta couldn't find any legitimate scientific flaws in Hayes's research so they waged a PR war against him.
"A virus with high mortaility and rapid spread will rapidly kill all susceptible individuals within it's catchment area, so it's likely that such things have never really gotten off the evolutionary drawing board."
Generally speaking I agree, but only when the virus is lethal to all susceptible individuals.
If the virus is non-lethal to some susceptible individuals then those individuals could become carriers (a reservoir where the virus can continue reproduce but does not kill its host). Carriers are how a virus can have a high mortaility and rapid spread without becoming an evolutionary dead-end.
In the case of Ebola I have heard that it is suspected that fruit bats are carriers. If it is true that fruit bats are Ebola carriers then I think that means Ebola has some susceptible individuals (humans) where it is highly lethal and some susceptible individuals (fruit bats) where it is non-lethal.
Just save your hateful sniping for the next climate change article. Slashdot has at least one every week.
I usually associate that kind of behavior with people who have a "____ derangement syndrome" (they make everything about the topic/person they hate most: Obama or Bush, Liberals or Conservatives, Communists or Capitalists, Secularism or Religion, etc).
"If you think a whitewash of 5 reports makes all of this ok
I have seen the "skeptics" of climate change state that the independent investigations were, as you have said, "a whitewash" yet they've never provided a shred of credible evidence to support that statement. Prove it (let's just get this out of the way: blogs & op-eds do not count as evidence).
It is time for you to put-up or shut-up.
All I've seen so far is you "skeptics" complaining about getting exactly what you asked for (you asked for "an audit of climate science") but it didn't arrive at the conclusion you wanted (the conclusion you wanted "climate science is a hoax/fraud/scam")!
"Science is not supposed to be driven by consensus."
It isn't and nobody ever said it was. You're arguing against position that nobody believes.
Scientific consensus is only important as a signal to the general public. When a scientific consensus forms around a new theory it signals that the evidence for a theory is so strong that it has convinced a large majority of scientists in a field of study that the theory is accurate. It tells us "you can take the theory seriously now".
"You are supposed to design a theory that makes worthwhile predictions about some aspect of the real world and then test it in the real world to ensure it actually predicts stuff."
I'm not a Climatologist but I'm pretty sure that is exactly what they've been doing: Making predictions and testing them.
I suspect that the recently launched Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite is going to collect data that will be used to test some predictions climate science has made about the sources and sinks of carbon.
Personally I just roll my eyes at that argument because I can see that they're trying to conflate the scientific use of the word "theory" and the common use of the word "theory".
Your argument is no better.
You are trying to conflate the scientific use of the word "consensus" with the common use of the "consensus".
There is a difference.
"If what occurred at CRU is within normal bounds of science then science is in a sad state of affairs."
I've heard reports that the number of scientific papers being retracted is rising in all fields of study, so I have to ask:
How do you know that what occurred at the CRU is not "within normal bounds of science"? You can't actually know that unless we can read the work related emails of all scientists in all fields of study to objectively compare them... and that's where a sincere argument for greater scientific transparency begins:
A sincere argument for greater scientific transparency starts with new rules that apply generally to all scientists in all fields of study regardless of who pays for their research (public or private funding). That's how you raise the bar for scrutiny when you genuinely care about the quality of science.
The American Traditions Institute is not genuinely interested in greater scientific transparency, they're just interested in casting doubt on a specific scientist (and his specific field of study) because they have deemed his research "heresy" to their politics.
Say, but on the topic of scientific malpractice: Did you hear what happened to the climate change "skeptic" journal Pattern Recognition in Physics?
The nepotism and scientific malpractice became so rampant that the publisher actually had to shut the whole thing down (it was becoming an embarrassment)!
The Creationists are wrong about that because:
(1) Hitchens (like Gore) is not a scientist. You can not draw any conclusions about the validity of a scientific theory on the basis of the statements of non-scientists.
(2) It doesn't matter how Hitchens said what he said. We are all responsible for deciding what we believe. Responsible people ignore the polarization and examine the arguments logically. Idiots blame their dismissal of science on "the other guy" for not being nice.
If I wouldn't accept the "that guy polarized the debate" argument from Creationists; why would I accept it from you?
We all know why ATI wanted access to Mann's emails: So that they could cherry-pick some juicy out of context quote to smear Mann with.