It was also in February 2001 that I presented Enron as an investment idea at our firm’s annual “Bears In Hibernation” conference. Jim Chanos, Prepared witness testimony given Feb. 6, 2002 to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce

If you follow capital markets the way your poor, hapless blogger follows the Atlanta Braves and Washington Redskins, you know why Enron got picked off, hauled into court and sent down like The Andrea Dora. If securities trades had visual impact, Jim Chanos’ decision to rip the façade off of Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling by massively shorting Enron stock in Summer 2001 would still get airplay on ESPN Classic. His research into the firm, in support of his decision to have his Hedge Fund Kynikos Associates attack their share price like a school of Piranhas, started in 1993. It gathered enough evidence to make Chanos a legend and send numerous Enron corporate officers to prison.

Regrettably, the fields of Modern Art and Climate Science don’t have many watchdogs like Jim Chanos. They don’t have many of these people because unlike these two fields of endeavor, financial markets allowed Jim Chanos to make himself a billionaire by revealing Enron’s accounting dishonesty and then trading his book based on that data. No one will ever similarly profit by debunking either Michael Mann or Baselitz.

Thus, it doesn’t shock anyone that Damien Hirst gets paid millions to produce execrable ugliness in the name of artistic expression. It should shock informed newsreaders no further, that 2007 IPCC report was recently found by Citizen Audit to be no less ugly than one of Mr. Hirst’s Modern Art masterpieces.

Both Climate Science and Modern Art have ideological, rather than epistemological goals. Both disciplines play fast and loose with all objective reality to reinforce their opinionated beliefs. Neither gets pursued by watchdogs like Jim Chanos. It’s only when climate scientists or modern artists drift entirely beyond the pale of acceptability that a Ross McKittrick or a David Goldman rises up to administer a condign smack-down.

The most recent smack-down administered to a bruised and deflating Global Warming consensus involved the claim that the 2007 IPCC was entirely sourced from peer-reviewed research. The 2007 IPCC report contained 44 chapters. Each had a list of sources. In 21 of the 44 chapters, less than 60% of the cited works had withstood any peer review. These chapters sourced much of their content from what professional researchers refer to as Grey Literature.

Grey Literature is non-peer-reviewed literature. This does not necessarily mean that the literature is factually errant. Grey Literature has not been scientifically verified. Thus, scientific claims supported with large volumes of Grey Literature are treated more suspiciously than those put forward based on peer-reviewed work.

It simply means that the director of the IPCC has repeatedly aired a factually errant claim when he claims the entire IPCC report was supported by peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Similarly laughable claims are made to generate interest in Modern Artists who have been deemed the next Rock Star. Takimag details some of the laughable things said to flog Baselitz’s exhibition as it defiled galleries worldwide.

Baselitz is perhaps best known for painting his motifs upside down as a strategy to free the subject matter from its content. —Royal Academy of Arts

Baselitz’ main interest is the investigation of his emotional and artistic attitude towards his own work.—L. Ferrari

Baselitz’ new watercolors are the perception of time as a ray stationed on a linear axis supported by the notion of there being a fixed, infinite future.—David Nolan

The idea of asking David Nolan what rays stationed on linear axis shooting towards fixed, infinite futures look like under a 30-degree rotational translation is tempting. The man is clearly espousing bull-(bleep). In other words, the intellectual and aesthetic gravamen underpinning Modern Art is “settled-science” that leads us to view its practitioners with the same awe and wonder we feel towards Al Gore.

This is because Modern Art, like Climate Science seeks to serve ideology, not truth. David Goldman describes the true purpose of Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde sharks below.

By inflicting sufficient ugliness upon us, the modern artists believe, they will wear down our capacity to see beauty. That, I think, is the point of putting dead animals into glass cases, or tanks of formaldehyde. (HT: Asia Times Online)

In a similar fashion, modern Climate Science seeks to change, not understand the modern world. Books such as The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty by Robin Eckersley, shed more accurate light on the actual goals of the modern climate science profession. Eckersley proposes “constitutional and multilateral arrangements that could help transform the liberal democratic state into a postliberal green democratic state.”

But as the dreams of The Green State are codified into potential jurisprudence, they get debated in legislatures with representatives from red states. These individuals have stakes at least as high as those offered to Jim Chanos, and will gladly undertake a painstaking audit of any surrealism put forward to justify an extreme regulatory agenda.

Thus, it comes as no surprise to learn from Jeff Dunetz that Senator Reid plans on the Senate Cap and Trade Bill Skipping Committee Process-Will Be Drafted Behind Closed Doors. This shark-in-formaldehyde job-killer of a plan would not get rave reviews from an audience with the courage to still practice skepticism in the face of totalitarian ideology.