Gradualism: Creeping Corruption of Climate Science and Society?

by Dr. Tim Ball on February 7, 2011

in Government,Politics

It is simplistically said that change occurs by evolution or revolution. This put President Obama on the spot, because he was planning revolution; but anything faster than evolution raised red flags for a majority of people. Obama was forced to challenge the cardinal rule of stealth politics: Don’t do anything too extreme or too quickly. It appears the genius of the US Constitution is that there are sufficient elections to put a stop to legislative revolution. Drift too far and too fast from the will of the people, and the next election will allow them to express their concern. It is another reason for term limits, especially for the President. Given anything beyond a two-year stretch and Obama could rely on gradualism to achieve an evolutionary change.

Of course, the Founding Fathers also assumed the Media would fulfill their role using the First Amendment that prevented any legislation to inhibit free speech or freedom of the press. They have failed, and many are going out of business because of their failure. Meanwhile, Internet blogs have replaced them – and like the pamphlets in early times, bring ideas and exposure to the people. It is why China controls the Internet. All this forced him to bypass the legislative process and use executive orders and other techniques to achieve his revolution. Given more time, Obama could have relied on gradualism, the process by which a group of people can slowly drift into bizarre patterns of behavior.

Beyond the political machinations of Maurice Strong and the formation of the IPCC, how did so many scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) become embroiled in the shameful and willful perversion of climate science that was exposed in Climategate? Groupthink is one explanation, but that only reinforces the process. How did they read and send emails that discussed personal attacks, non-disclosure of data, and most destructively, corruption of the quality control process of peer review? Who was the whistleblower and why has the person not been exposed? Since the emails were first sent to Paul Hudson, former Met Office employee working at the BBC, surely a quick search of his emails would reveal the source. Surely, this cries out for somebody doing some good investigative journalism. The fact it is not happening suggests the guilt by inaction of the mainstream media.

What is Gradualism?

Many years ago my wife and I were introduced to a woman who in conversation over the next half hour told us her adult life history. It was an amazing tale and at the end the woman looked at us and said, “I know what you are thinking.” Without waiting for a reply, she said, “You are thinking, you silly woman, how did you get yourself in such a mess?” which was entirely accurate. Again without waiting for a response, she said something that has made me rethink history and many other events: “You have to realize that what I am telling you in 30 minutes took 20 years to occur.” I call the process gradualism.

Historical events are learned about in minutes or at most hours, but actually evolve over months and years, even centuries. For example, English students learn that Henry VIII declared England Protestant, so in their minds all England became Protestant overnight. Truth is there are still Catholic holdouts and some are now advocating making the country officially Catholic again.

A similar situation occurs in families. An event occurs that one or other partner thinks about but decides is not worth mentioning or confronting. This sets in motion a pattern as similar events occur but are bypassed. Later someone examining the situation from outside is stunned by what has become a ‘normal’ pattern of behavior to the family.

Gradualism at the CRU

Hubert Lamb, founder of the CRU, apparently identified the point at which the corrupt direction of the group began. In his autobiography Through all the Changing Scenes of Life, he wrote:

The research project which I had put forward to the Rockefeller Foundation was awarded a handsome grant, but it sadly came to grief over an understandable difference of scientific judgment between me and the scientist, Dr. Tom Wigley, whom we appointed to take charge of the research.

Wigley became Director of CRU in 1978 and began the process that led to the connections with the IPCC and the machinations that culminated in the final disclosure in the leaked emails. He surrounded himself with acolytes and involved them in the process, for example he took Phil Jones with him to the formation meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1985. His cemented his pivotal role by obtaining the funding as he explained in his 1990 appearance in the movie The Greenhouse Conspiracy. As we now know, that came in large amounts and undoubtedly cemented people to the group and bought silence. How often does money become the tying issue in a family situation?

The pattern of the emails shows a few questions about what is happening, but gradualism is now operating as they are brushed aside. They also show Wigley continuing as the centre even though he has moved to America. The party held for Wigley on June 19th 2009 in Colorado showed the degree of connection.

It appears that concern about what was happening did bother somebody – and my view is, it was Keith Briffa.

He was the one who seemed to step aside and look at what was going on. An attempt at whitewash has failed because once exposed the pattern of behavior is so illogical that it is seen for what it is by all but the narcissists who function effectively in such environments.

Obama’s pattern of behavior will not be seen as insidious by ideologues and narcissists within his group. Because he has limited time, his haste and methods have made more people than usual aware of what is happening. Imagine what would have happened if the climate scientists at the CRU were forced to publicly explain what they were doing. Instead the system allowed them to avoid normal standards of scientific behavior and courtesy by refusing to disclose data and methods, to avoid Freedom of Information requests. It took someone with a conscience to expose the corruption, but they are not always around or are easily intimidated. It’s why we need a whistleblower law in a supposedly open society.