Remember Трофи́м Дени́сович Лысе́нко
Luxuriating in my scented bath anointing myself with the oils of Araby and enjoying a decent hock I was perusing a tome on Michurianism - the official Communist genetic theory based on the "hogwash" of Lysenko. The parallel of how this ideology was propagated by the State because of its ignorance and its usefulness, combined with the persecution of those scientists who dared to question its scientific basis brought to mind the current "debate" on anthropogenic climate change.
It seems to me that there is a very clear "party" line on this and that anyone who strays from it will be denounced as a "denier" and face ostracisation from power and position. A quick Google shows I'm not alone in noticing this parallel though it doesn't seem to have been developed as much as it should have been. And surprisingly, to me at least, it is both sides who accuse the other of Lysenkoism....
One day we will look back on the effort to deny the effects of climate change as we now look back on the work of Trofim Lysenko.
Lysenko was a Soviet agronomist who insisted that the entire canon of genetics was wrong. ...Lysenko’s hogwash became state policy. He was made director of the Institute of Genetics and president of the Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He used his position to outlaw conventional genetics, strip its practitioners of their positions and have some of them arrested and even killed. Lysenkoism, which governed state science from the late 1930s until the early 1960s, helped to wreck Soviet agriculture.
No one is yet being sent to the Guantanamo gulag for producing the wrong results. But the denial of climate science in the United States bears some of the marks of Lysenkoism... the official policy of climate change denial, like Lysenkoism, relies on a compliant press.
There is no scientific consensus behind the UN's explanation of climate change at all. It is the 21st century equivalent of Lysenko's politicised pseudo-science of the Soviet era. And what support there is tends to come from scientists in the pay and/or influence of governments.
Over the past two years, a man named Bjorn Lomborg has been given authority over environmental research, and a great deal of influence over environmental policy, in Denmark. In much the same way that Lysenko rose to power by challenging the legitimacy of an emerging scientific field, Lomborg has achieved a good deal of his power by challenging the legitimacy of environmental science, which like genetics in the 1940s, is still in the process of early development. And like Lysenko in the Soviet Union, Lomborgís influence and authority are not derived from scientific work, but from a kind of technical activity, namely the manipulation of statistics to question the contentions of environmental scientists ñ in Denmark, as well as abroad.
It is now two years since Anders Fogh Rasmussen brought his neo-liberal party to power in Denmark, and already the damage to environmental research and to environmental policy due to the teachings of Bjorn Lomborg are starting to be felt. For in those two years, Lomborg has become one of the most influential advisers to those who make environmental policy in Denmark, at the same time as almost all legitimate environmental scientists in the country have effectively lost their influence over environmental policy.