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Saturday
Apr052014

Justifying academic lies

Here's a new one: if you're an academic, and you really, really believe in what you're doing, and you think what you're doing is important, but you're having trouble convincing others of your results, it's okay to lie about it.

From Mark Steyn:

In a democratic age, this presents certain problems. John Hinderaker:

Various warmists have let the cat out of the bag over the years, acknowledging that they exaggerate the danger of global warming for the sake of the greater good. But for the first time, two scientists have published a peer-reviewed paper in an academic journal, advocating lying about global warming.

They're Professors Fuhai Hong of Nanyang Technological University and Xiaojian Zhao of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in a paper published yesterday in The American Journal of Agricultural Economics, under the title Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements:

It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare.

That's peer-review-speak for saying that "exaggerating" and "manipulating" is fine if it leads to action on "climate change". As someone currently being sued for calling Dr Mann's hockey stick "fraudulent", I find it interesting to see a "rationale" for fraud advanced in a peer-reviewed journal.

Yup, another example of Game Theory is Your Friend. We can make everyone better off, even those stupid people who refuse to accept our completely accurate wisdom, if we just lie to them.

And one wonders why I'm a climate change skeptic.

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