But the real worry with climate research is that it is on the very edge of what is called postmodern science. This is a counterpart of the relativist world of postmodern art and design. It is a much more dangerous beast, whose results are valid only in the context of society’s beliefs and where the very existence of scientific truth can be denied. Postmodern science envisages a sort of political nirvana in which scientific theory and results can be consciously and legitimately manipulated to suit either the dictates of political correctness or the policies of the government of the day.
.. climate science is an example of what Canadian educator Sue McGregor calls “post-normal science”, in which “the facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high and decisions are urgent”. In such circumstances it is virtually impossible to avoid subconscious cherry-picking of data to suit the popular theory of the time.
.. It is mildly encouraging now, perhaps as a result of the Climategate scandal, that we are beginning to see a new generation of climate scientists look again with a properly jaundiced eye at the question of uncertainty and how it might be assessed.
It is not surprising that society’s opinion on what to do about climate change is highly polarised. There are passionate and vocal supporters on both sides of the argument as to whether global warming will be disastrous.