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ET EXTRA: Fraud And The Global Warming Debate

27 Nov

Engineering Thinking Extra Is A Short Review Of A Current Hot Topic

It is now becoming apparent that a massive fraud has been underway regarding the debate over global warming. (For a good summary see this article by James Delingpole in the Telegraph.co.uk.)

As a result, Engineering Extra is sad but compelled to assign its highest Five Jacks Shameful Behavior rating to those scientists and engineers who have been involved in such a monumental betrayal of the public trust. If not exposed, this betrayal may have led to unscientifically-sound legislation (“cap and trade”) and EPA regulations, which could cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

As pointed out in an earlier post (see Scientific Sins in “Advice From Professionals: Who Do You Trust? (Part 2)“), engineers and scientists are not immune to corruption. Normally, however, such corruption tends to be weeded out over time by the scientific method.

But what about the Global Warming fraud? How did this happen? It happened because the work of these renegade scientists was funded by the government, which is not subject to the scientific method.

By contrast, engineers and scientists who work in the private sector are disciplined by the competitive nature of the marketplace. False data or exaggerated claims will be gleefully exposed by competitors, appropriately causing the fraudulent firm to lose profits and possibly face bankruptcy. In the private sector, therefore, there is a strong and ongoing survival incentive to root out junk science.

But scientific organizations that receive all or most of their funding from the government have no competition, ergo they have no long-term concerns about market competitiveness. To the contrary, some employees of such firms — in order to maintain their jobs and secure promotions — provide their political masters whatever it is that those masters wish to hear, regardless of whether or not it drifts from the truth.

To Minimize Corruption,
Science and Engineering Should Be Performed
By Competitive Enterprises,
Not By The Government

Corollary:

Scientific Advice To The Government Should Be Provided
By Private Firms Through Competitive Bidding,
Not By Government Employees

-Ed Walker

 

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