Turning from advocating his mechanistic and circular Keynesian economic views (we eat breakfast so we can go to work and we go to work so we can eat breakfast), today he goes after those evil people who want to "cook" the earth. He begins by using yet another post hoc fallacy:
Never say that the gods lack a sense of humor. I bet they’re still chuckling on Olympus over the decision to make the first half of 2010 — the year in which all hope of action to limit climate change died — the hottest such stretch on record.So, let us see. Krugman says that the temperatures for the first half of this year are the hottest on record (that is, the records begun in the late 1800s), yet that is not proof of global warming. However, in the next paragraph, he basically says this is proof of global warming.
Of course, you can’t infer trends in global temperatures from one year’s experience. But ignoring that fact has long been one of the favorite tricks of climate-change deniers: they point to an unusually warm year in the past, and say “See, the planet has been cooling, not warming, since 1998!” Actually, 2005, not 1998, was the warmest year to date — but the point is that the record-breaking temperatures we’re currently experiencing have made a nonsense argument even more nonsensical; at this point it doesn’t work even on its own terms.
But will any of the deniers say “O.K., I guess I was wrong,” and support climate action? No. And the planet will continue to cook.
But, this one gets better. He then claims that there really was nothing to all of those emails between the noisiest climate scientists, called "Climategate," and that everyone was exonerated:
You’ve probably heard about the accusations leveled against climate researchers — allegations of fabricated data, the supposedly damning e-mail messages of “Climategate,” and so on. What you may not have heard, because it has received much less publicity, is that every one of these supposed scandals was eventually unmasked as a fraud concocted by opponents of climate action, then bought into by many in the news media. You don’t believe such things can happen? Think Shirley Sherrod.First, the "investigation" was carried out by the very people who have a vested interest in receiving the government and foundation grants to promote their own version of climate science. The institutions were East Anglia University in Great Britain and Penn State University, and both of them stood to lose millions of dollars in grants if it could have been demonstrated the scientists either committed fraud or abused the system.
Second, I doubt seriously that Paul Krugman would endorse an in-house investigation in which the "investigators" had a vested interest in the outcome, and then declared that their own scientists had acted properly, if it involved people with whom he disagreed. In fact, he then claims that anyone else who might have a contrary view has that view ONLY because of the funding source of his or her research. He writes:
Look at the scientists who question the consensus on climate change; look at the organizations pushing fake scandals; look at the think tanks claiming that any effort to limit emissions would cripple the economy. Again and again, you’ll find that they’re on the receiving end of a pipeline of funding that starts with big energy companies, like Exxon Mobil, which has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting climate-change denial, or Koch Industries, which has been sponsoring anti-environmental organizations for two decades.First, I am not sure that all of the so-called skeptics fall into that category, but when Krugman is smearing someone he considers to be evil and dishonest (that is, anyone who might have the audacity to disagree with him), he will use evil and dishonest means. Second, Krugman is saying that if someone is privately funded by certain entities, then their work automatically is a lie; however, he then seems to be making the counter-claim that those funded by leftist governments speak only the truth and always practice the most honest and capable science.
So, an in-house "investigation" by people who have a financial stake in the outcome is an "honest" investigation. Oh, no, Paul Krugman never engages in "political science."
There is one more point: the people Krugman supports have made sure that science journals publish papers with which they (and Krugman) are in agreement, shutting out any other discourse. I remember nearly 20 years ago when the Environmental Protection Agency destroyed the career of a scientist who developed the now-accepted theory of how lakes become acidic. (Hint: "acid rain" was not the culprit, which, while true, nonetheless was not the politically-correct answer.)
One of the truisms of scientific research is that we always should be skeptical of the herd mentality. Time and again, we have seen situations in which things people "knew" to be true were not, from spontaneous generation to continental drift, where the established views were challenged successfully.
True, there always are vested interests in any point of view, and a vested interest in and of itself does not mean something is false. However, when we see Krugman claiming that leftist government funding of science does not create its own sets of conflicts of interest, I am going to object.