What a pity that my book ‘Eco-Nihilism’, published in 2007 in Germany, has never been translated in English, because you can find there a special sub-chapter on the dangers of ‘Post Normal Science’ (PNS). Recently James Delingpole in the British ‘Spectator’ and in his ‘Telegraph’-Blog found that the concept of PNS, developed already in 1991 by Marxist Philosophers Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz, was probably the basis of the Global Warming deception that was revealed, last November,through the publication of confidential e-Mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (‘Climategate’).
Following the PNS concept, scientists are no longer striving after ‘truth’ but for ‘quality’ of their ‘narrative’, in other words for politically correct findings. While ‘normal’ science in the sense of Thomas S. Kuhn’s work ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ (1962) is looking for economically useful objective knowledge within the framework of a generally accepted paradigm by means of experimental problem solving, ‘post normal’ science is guided by new created values like ecological righteousness. It is permitted to manipulate evidence (for instance by the ‘Hockey-Stick’ graph) in order to save the ‘narrative’ of man-made global warming and to achieve ‘good’ political ends, for instance establishing emissions trading or subsidising non competitive ‘renewable’ energies. Stalinist charlatan Trofim Lyssenko would not have done better.
Jerome Ravetz was defending against this interpretation of his work in a guest post on the sceptics-blog ‘Watts Up With That (WUWT)’ by explaining ‘Climategate’ as an unfortunate mixture of ‘normal’ science and ‘green’ advocycy in ‘post normal’ situation. More than enough stuff for the British House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that has quizzed the scientists at the centre of the ‘climategate’ scandal this week.