Academic demands totalitarian response to AGW
May 1, 2015
Bishop Hill in Civil liberties, Greens

Tony Thomas points me to this remarkable video of University of Melbourne professor Peter Christoff talking at a conference on "Law and Desire". Professor Christoff is

...a member of the Victorian Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation, and member of the Board of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He was formerly a member of the (Victoria) Premier's Climate Change Reference Group, the Vice President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and the Assistant Commissioner for the Environment (Victoria).  

From about 20 mins, Prof Christoff makes a remarkable call for "climate denial legislation" to criminalise dissent on the issue.

The [fifth] objection [to my proposal] is that this is simply unworkable, inquisitorial, having the perverse effect of increased attraction to banned ideas and their martyrs. It will depend on the application of such law. If it is selective and well focused, with substantial fines and perhaps bans on certain broadcasters and individuals whom I will not name, who stray from the dominant science without any defensible cause, it would have a disciplinary effect on public debate. There still would be plenty of room for peer reviewed  scientific revisionism and public debate around it, but  the trivial confusion  that is being deliberately  generated, would be done away with, and that is a very important thing at the moment.”

"OK, so there's another (another!) fruitcake in a university somewhere. What's the big deal?" I hear you say. To tell the truth, "government adviser is completely bonkers" is hardly the stuff of headlines either. The thought that this video prompted in me was the question of the extent to which climatologists' widely acknowledged "overselling" of their computer models to the policy community has acted as an enabler of (sometimes violent) political extremism. Would we be hearing this kind of message from the academic community if climatologists were saying "Our models are very primitive and have very limited predictive abilities"?

I'm guessing not.

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