The following article from Spectator Australia
In addition to hypocrisy, models-data mismatch and fear-porn, a fourth common theme in Covid and climate change policies is the invocation of The Science. For the appeal to scientific authority to work better, scientific consensus is very helpful. Yet, driven by intellectual curiosity, questioning existing knowledge is the essence of the scientific enterprise. For the claim to scientific consensus to be accepted, therefore, supporting evidence must be exaggerated, contrary evidence discredited, sceptical voices stilled and dissenters ridiculed and marginalised.
Climate systems are complex owing to non-linear equations and dynamic linkages among multiple sub-systems like the atmosphere, land surface, oceans, glaciers, permafrost, solar variability, volcanic eruptions, cycles of planetary orbital variations, etc. The fabled 97 per cent scientific consensus was in relation to the simple and trivial proposition that ‘the earth is warming due to human activity’. That doesn’t tell us how dominant human activity is as a cause of global warming relative to natural variability over long time cycles; the rise in temperature that will mark a point of no return for the stability of the earth’s environment; and ‘tipping points’ that will push the ecosystem into a self-exacerbating cycle of rapid collapse. Gradually The Science was captured by climate activists who acted as gatekeepers to restrict entry to climate science departments to the faithful and used peer review to reject contrarian articles. By this means the claim of ‘consensus’ became self-validating.
This has proven harder with Covid, not least because the policy interventions defied settled science. We now know that Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins, from their perches atop the infectious diseases research funding agencies, orchestrated the takedown of the Great Barrington Declaration and smeared its three credentialled authors from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford universities as ‘fringe’ epidemiologists. Yet, as of last week, the Declaration had been signed by 930,000 people worldwide, including 63,000 medical practitioners and public health scientists. In addition, there is now a flood of articles being published that show the lack of demonstrable public health outcomes from lockdowns against measurable collateral health, mental health, educational, social and economic damage; and the inefficacy of other measures like masks and vaccines alongside possible long-term harms from them as well. This has produced a palpable lessening of confidence in the authority of scientific experts across the board.
A fifth shared element is the enormous expansion of powers for the nanny state that bosses citizens and businesses because governments know best and can pick winners and losers. The beneficial effects of interventions are exaggerated, optimistic forecasts made and potential costs and downsides discounted. In both agendas, policy interventions have over-promised and under-delivered. For how many years have we been promised that renewables are getting less expensive, energy will get cheaper and more plentiful, yet increased subsidies are needed for just a few more years? Just like lockdowns were supposedly required for only two or three weeks to flatten the curve and vaccines would help us return to pre-Covid normality without being mandatory. Moreover, in both cases growing state control over private activities is justified by being framed as minor inconveniences in the moral crusade to save the world and save granny.
Sixth, the moral framing has also been used to discount massive economic self-harm. The world has never been healthier, wealthier, better educated and more connected. Energy intensity played a critical role in driving agricultural and industrial production that underpins the health infrastructure and living standards for large numbers of people worldwide. High-income countries enjoy incomparably better health standards and outcomes because of their national wealth. Alongside cancelled screenings and delayed treatments of other serious conditions, substantial and lasting economic damage caused by savage lockdowns to businesses and the long-term consequences of a massive printing of money, is therefore tantamount to collective public health self-harm.