Climate scientists = Nazi scientists?

The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps recently made a speech to the New South Wales Legislative Council regarding global warming.

I include the full text below.

I decided to challenge Dr Phelps on some of his comments, and the resulting email exchange is also included below.

Page: 39

The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS [6.20 p.m.]: I comment in this place on the latest adventures in the great global warming swindle that is gripping our nation and most of the formerly civilised world. I will assume that most people know that I am an historian by trade and I come from a time when, at universities, the humanities displayed a healthy scepticism for the self-assured absolutism of the sciences. However, nowadays it seems that the sciences have been corrupted by enough government money and political correctness to have them operating in parallel with their socialist brothers in the humanities. Government money is given to agitate for specific ends. Why are we surprised when the ocean acidification project suddenly finds that—guess what?—oceans are acidifying. 

But we should not be so surprised that the contemporary science debate has become so debased. At the heart of many scientists—but not all scientists—lies the heart of a totalitarian planner. One can see them now, beavering away, alone, unknown, in their laboratories. And now, through the great global warming swindle they can influence policy, they can set agendas, they can reach into everyone’s lives; they can, like Lenin, proclaim “what must be done”. While the humanities had a sort of warm-hearted, muddle-headed leftism, the sciences carry with them no such feeling for humanity. And it is not a new phenomenon. We should not forget that some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes in the last century have been scientists and, in return, the State lavishes praise, money and respectability on them. One writer, speaking about the rise of Nazism, said this: 

        Possibly we have not yet given enough attention to one feature of the intellectual development in Germany during the last hundred years which is now in an almost identical form making its appearance in the English-speaking countries: the scientists’ agitating for a “scientific” organization of society. The ideal of a society organized “through and through” from the top has in Germany been considerably furthered by the quite unique influence which her scientific and technological specialists were allowed to exercise on the formation of social and political opinions …

      The influence of these scientist-politicians was of late years not often on the side of liberty: the “intolerance of reason” so frequently conspicuous in the scientific specialist, the impatience with the ways of the ordinary man so characteristic of the expert, and the contempt for anything which was not consciously organized by superior minds according to a scientific blueprint were phenomena familiar in German public life for generations …

Does that sound familiar—the impatience with the ways of the ordinary man, the intolerance of reason of the scientific specialist, the contempt for anything not organised by them? Look at the way that Professor Ian Plimer has been pilloried and blackguarded by the scientific community; look at the way he was supported when he rightly attacked claims of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat but how swiftly they turned when their agenda was not being met by him. What was the net result of this?

      The way in which, in the end, with few exceptions, her scholars and scientists put themselves readily at the service of the new rulers is one of the most depressing and shameful spectacles in the whole history of the rise of National Socialism. It is well known that particularly the scientists and engineers, who had so loudly claimed to be the leaders on the march to a new and better world, submitted more readily than almost any other class to the new tyranny.

Writing in 1927 Julien Benda wrote words that could just as well be used to describe today’s anthropogenic global warming [AGW] spinmeisters. He speaks of the:

        … superstition of science held to be competent in all domains, including that of morality; a superstition which, I repeat, is an acquisition of the nineteenth century. It remains to discover whether those who brandish this doctrine believe in it or whether they simply want to give the prestige of a scientific appearance to passions of their hearts, which they perfectly know are nothing but passions.

Indeed, how different are today’s global warming urgers from those in pre-war Britain, who looked forward to a Britain that would “be centralised and totalitarian”? Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. The present idolatry for pseudoscience, the claims of settled science and of a scientific consensus—these are the leper’s bell announcing the approach of the would-be totalitarian. The bell was not heeded in the 1930s. It should be heeded now.

Question—That the House do now adjourn—put and resolved in the affirmative.

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 6.25 p.m. until Tuesday 31 May 2011 at 11.00 a.m.
My email:
Dear Sir,

I read with interest your recent speech regarding global warming at the NSW Legislative Council. Having healthy scepticism of ‘science’ is exactly what ‘science’ is and does. That is why the current evidence for anthropomorphic climate change has reached a point that is extremely significant.
Are you really comparing the hardworking Australians at your own Centre for Science and Industrial Reseach Organisation to the Nazi scientists of the 3rd Reich?
I understand your ideological position around the sociological and political nature of ‘science’, but are you also comparing the workers at the following institutions around the world to Nazi scientists?

The Academies of Science from 19 different countries all endorse the consensus. 11 countries have signed a joint statement endorsing the consensus position:

  • Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
  • Royal Society of Canada
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Academie des Sciences (France)
  • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
  • Indian National Science Academy
  • Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
  • Science Council of Japan
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Society (United Kingdom)
  • National Academy of Sciences (USA) (12 Mar 2009 news release)

letter from 18 scientific organizations to US Congress states:

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.”

The consensus is also endorsed by a Joint statement by the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), including the following bodies:

  • African Academy of Sciences
  • Cameroon Academy of Sciences
  • Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Kenya National Academy of Sciences
  • Madagascar’s National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
  • Nigerian Academy of Sciences
  • l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
  • Uganda National Academy of Sciences
  • Academy of Science of South Africa
  • Tanzania Academy of Sciences
  • Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
  • Zambia Academy of Sciences
  • Sudan Academy of Sciences

Two other Academies of Sciences that endorse the consensus:

I look forward to hearing your reply,

Laurie Gutteridge

Peters response:

Did you read my speech or just the media reports of it?  I don’t see how you could have done the former and seriously raise the matter that you do in this email.
There is simply no debate possible on the historical fact that some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes – with the exception of the agrarian Maoist Pol Pot – were the scientific community in those countries.  Or are you a history denier?
Thanks for writing anyway,
My reply:
Dear Sir,

Indeed I did read the speech. I suppose there are two distinct issues within the speech – your assertion that some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes have been scientists, and your assertion that climate science is ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘unsettled’
Can you be certain that some of the National Socialist scientists were not coerced into their work?
Can you provide any evidence that we, both in Australia and in the global community, are repressing peer-reviewed science that effectively demonstrates an alternative explanation to anthropormorphic climate change?
What evidence do you have for the suggestion that by promoting the existing climate science that we are headed towards a totalitarian state, or global community?
What evidence do you have for the claim that within the heart of many scientists lies the heart of a totalitarian planner?
What other examples of totalitarian regimes being supported by their own scientific community do you have?
Could you please reference your quote in the speech?
Professor Plimers climate science claims, mostly made in his book Heaven and Earth, have been repeatedly repudiated within the global climate science community.
I look forward to hearing further evidence for your claims,


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