Youre mad, said the doctor.
Im not, the patient replied.
Youre mad and youre in denial, the doctor said triumphantly.
Its actually surprising how many doctors and scientists are in denial. Machiavelli has been involved in a tussle with the boy scientists of The Bad Science Forum, over the Autism /MMR vaccine issue. They have accused me of saying things I have not said, questioned me and then responded to the answer they wanted me to give rather than the one I gave and even presumed to tell me what I can and cannot write on my blog. In short they are utterly in denial of the fact that I might be right. Once they accept that I might be right they can start to examine the facts scientifically and so will understand that I am right. Well I shall deal with the boy scientists, slashing them with Occams razor another time. For now lets look at another group of scientists who draw their paycheque from the public coffers and are also in denial.
Most climatologists agree that unusual weather patters such as the recent floods are a consequence of climate change but there are a few who, like the boy scientists of Bad Science Forum, have turned the maxim correlation does not prove causation into a mantra. Perhaps like religious zealots they believe if they chant it often enough something magical will happen. But when things occur in sequence while not actually proving they are linked, is a pretty good clue they might be. We pollute the atmosphere at an accelerating rate for 200 years, the mean atmospheric temperature rises and weather patterns change in exactly the way most intelligent scientists predicted they would.
But there are a few who still insist that because scientific evidence cannot prove beyond doubts climate change is responsible for the floods we should dismiss it as a possibility. Well science cannot prove there is a link but cannot prove there is not a link. Even if they use statistical trickery to ignore the mountain of evidence, their case is still tissue thin. OK there is no smoking gun but look at newsreel footage shot in any industrial city in the 1950s and count the smoking chimneys. Look at clips of traffic jams in the 1970s and count the smoking exhausts.
Then there are the red herrings. Scientists, particularly those who work for the government, for all their affectation of high minded detachment are better than Rick Stein at serving up red herrings.
The current floods are not due to climate change, they are a simple anomaly in the weather. There were similar floods in 1947, one group has said. Well there were floods in 1947 but they were not similar. The floods then occurred in winter, when water tables and river levels are higher, when trees and plants are dormant and not taking up water. The 1947 flooods also happened when a thaw set in after the heaviest snowfall ever recorded. The whole of Britain had been blanketed in snow. It was a different scenario altogether.
The problem with the kind of scientists who refer to themselves as scientists is they tend to be nerdy, a tad obsessive and absolutely determined to eliminate from the equation anything that cannot be easily explained. This leads them to view a problem from too narrow a perspective and disregard the very obvious evidence that is all around them. In short they are the kind of people who need to get out more.
Look at the pictures of the floods. Think how early spring was this year. Think how long the leaves stayed on the trees last year. Something is going on.
Should we do something now or can we wait until scientists have argued about it for another fifty years?
Its not rocket science is it?
Youre mad, said the doctor.