Cold wars at Samizdata.net:
Meanwhile, the AGW debate has arrived at the same position that the Cold War argument had arrived at in or around about 1970 to 1980. An informed minority of pro-economic-progress critics had won the academic argument against the pro-economic-derangement academics, and word of this victory was spreading. And a particular thing that happened then is starting to happen now, which is that even intelligent layman critics of the John Redwood (and Brian Micklethwait) variety are starting to understand the details of the argument better than even the very smartest of the pro-derangement scientists, of the sort who are still advising governments, or who are still receiving and still trying still to believe this advice. It's not that these "experts" were born stupid, nor that they are now ignorant. Nor is Ed Miliband stupid, even if, what with all the other things on his mind, I suspect him of still being fairly ignorant. The climate science "experts" still know far more mere facts about this debate than John Redwood does, or than I do. It is simply that these people have now said - and nailed their egos to - too many stupid things, too many non-facts, and there is now no sensible way out for them. It's what these "experts" still insist on saying they know, but that clearly ain't so, that is hanging them all out to dry. The science, they keep saying, still, is settled. In their dreams.
I remember when I and my fellow anti-Marxists began correcting self-declared Marxists, who suddenly found themselves as a result on the theoretical defensive, about what Karl Marx himself had actually said. Communism is fine in theory, they then said, retreating hurriedly, but it just didn't work quite so well in practice. No, said we, pressing forward some more, a theory that doesn't work "in practice" is called an untrue theory, a bad theory, and anyone who persists in following it is stupid, and by and by: evil. And so on. So it is now with AGW.