Before Congress and the Obama Administration continue to push forward with their jobs-destroying plan to address “global warming,” they better come up with some answers quickly about the growing evidence that the scientific process was subverted in order to push a political agenda. Over the past week a steady stream of hugely embarassing revelations about raw data being erased, contradictory data being ignored, and nonconforming scientific viewpoints being censored has strongly suggested that the whole “crisis” was deliberately manufactured. Worse yet, the behavior of the scientific community in this regard has deeply damaged the reputation of science as a whole.
Perhaps it will be a good thing that the public will in the future treat any new pronouncements about scientific “consensus” with a skeptic’s eye. It certainly will be a good thing for the public to approach with great skepticism cases when political hacks start barnstorming tours to tout their allegedly science-based policy objectives that will forestall or prevent global catastrophe. When the “global warming” movement put Al Gore out front as their point man, screaming that certain twenty foot rises in seal levels are going to kill us all, a lot of us guffawed, but certainly not enough of us. After the ashes of the whole “human induced climate change is going to kill us all” mantra have cooled a bit, maybe, just maybe a bit more of the public at large is going to start demanding a little more than flashy propaganda before they swallow garbage like this.
Or perhaps not.
I remember as a young boy seeing a huge stone carving of a man that was the center of another hoax. Some enterprising guy made this rather crude statute and “discovered” it in a hole about a century or so ago. For quite a while folks was abuzz about the discovery of some ancient race of humanoid giants while the entrepreneur who “discovered” it basked in glory, fame, and some pretty substantial fiancial rewards. After a while, people with a bit of common sense figured out that this was a pretty crude piece of rather uninspired artwork and managed to explode this little myth, chastizing the gullibility of the public with a quote that has long survived the author, and which I’ll talk about in a minute. I couldn’t figure out why it took folks as long as it did, as it was pretty obvious this was a rather pathetic fake.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
I also remember as a boy hearing all about some woman in Philadelphia named Betsy Ross who supposedly invented the American Flag. In another case of self-promotion, a family decided to invent a nice little story that just happened to handsomely benefit themselves by turning their property into something akin to a national landmark for which they charged admission fees. The public, eager to sop up any heart-warming tale about George Washington and the founding of our nation, couldn’t hand over their quarters fast enough in order to glipse artifacts of this manufactured reality. Finally some historians, wondering why they hadn’t heard of this woman before, did a little research and figured out that the Betsy Ross story was about as credible as a circus sideshow. It took quite a while for truth to prevail, and still there are people out there ignorantly promoting it.
The point is that Americans are willing to believe all sorts of thinly-veiled malarky, especially if the prankster can get someone with a recognizable name or some other means of an appeal to authority to believe all sorts of things. In just about every case, few seem to immediately notice that the people promoting the falsehoods have some sort of obvious vested financial incentive to promote and perpetuate it. When Al Gore jumped into the entertainment business after his political career flamed out, not a whole lot of people wondered whether his road tour and personality-cult development efforts had more to do with padding his wallet than anything else. They should have. Instead, the fawning media circus started lending credibility to their sideshow, giving Gore they traditional type of promotion the Cardiff Giant got in the late 1800’s.
The Cardiff Giant fiasco is precisely where we got the quote “there’s a sucker born every minute” after P.T. Barnum took the thing on a promotional tour that earned him millions, from “suckers.” Only now, those “suckers” aren’t each paying a quarter to see a crude rock carving of no significance, they’re getting Congress to spend trillions of taxpayer dollars in order to avert a fake catastrophe. A few get rich, and just about infinitely more get scammed. Again.
This is going to happen again. Mark my words. There will be another stupid, expensive hoax someday, some will have a vested financial interest in promoting it, and few will ask the hard questions that clearly need to be raised. The public will be swindled. Since government is where the money is these days, that’s where the swindle will be perpetuated, and lots of people are going to fall for it. Again.
There’s a sucker born every minute, and there will continue to be. Al Gore is our modern day P.T. Barnum right now. Someone will outdo him soon enough, leaving a lot of people wondering “how did we get fooled by this?” Again.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.