In the lengthy comment discussion under my CFACT article ” Guardian discovers skeptical climate videos, urges censorship”someone said ” YouTube videos are not science.”
This is very wrong and it highlights an artful dodge often used by climate alarmists. This is the bogus idea that what is published in academic journals is all there is to science. Journals are the “publish” in “publish or perish” which refers to the academic promotion system. But science is a different critter altogether.
First of all, almost all academics are liberals who accept the questionable hypothesis that humans are causing dangerous climate change. These people dominate (literally) the journals. They are the editors and peer reviewers, also called “pal reviewers.” So the journals are in effect part of the alarmist movement.
Second, science is an ongoing discourse that extends far beyond these liberal journals.  That is the wonderful thing about science — anyone can play. History is full of examples where non-academics made major discoveries. That only liberal academics understand science is a deep fraud indeed, but that is the implicit claim.
Third, there is an active movement in the world of scientific communication to produce more videos. I myself was active in the creation of the Science Cinema, which features over 3000 videos from the Energy Department’s Office of science. You can even search on the audio of the video: https://www.osti.gov/sciencecinema/
Even the grammar of this statement is wrong, because science is an activity, not a thing, which might or might not contain videos. Saying videos are not science is incoherent. Given that science is an ongoing body of discourse, all formats are included, even passing remarks while crossing the street.
And of course science is never settled, any more than civilization is settled. We are in somebody else’s Middle Ages. Climate alarmism, with its 100 to 300 year projections, is hubris personified. Note that 300 years ago George Washington was not even born, but I digress.
The point is that the 300 or so skeptical YouTube videos that I catalog and link to at the Climate Change Debate Education website ( http://ccdedu.blogspot.com) are certainly part of scientific activity. In fact many are presented by prominent scientists.
But anyone can contribute to scientific discourse. One of the best skeptical data analysts I know is an optometrist. CFACT’s own Marc Morano is not a scientist but his contributions to the debate are superb.
The alarmists hide behind the journals that they control as a shield. If skeptical content is not published in one of their controlled journals they dismiss it as somehow not scientific. One sees this argument repeatedly.
This is a clear abuse of the journal system, which certainly plays a valuable role in scientific communication. Journals should be open to competing ideas, not gate keepers of political positions. Unfortunately in the climate case the consensus gate seems to be closed. This means the journals cannot be trusted.
Science is a body of discourse, not a body of journals.

Author

  • David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/ Available for confidential research and consulting.