The Chilling Effect of the Soviet Lysenko on “Climate Change”

Big Government had a recent column on ClimateGate, offering that it wasn’t the only Progressive Science scam pushed on the public, and states that “Eugenics” is one major global Progressive-produced catastrophe, but there is another example of Progressive Left political maneuvering that crippled a nation and brought the weight of an oppressive centrally-controlled bureaucracy on the heads of honest and diligence scientists, now known as “Lysenkoism.”

The roots of ClimateGate, with falsifying date, suppressing data that didn’t’ support the theory, and intimidating scientists as “skeptics” or even the more blatant, “unbelievers,” is found in the Soviet Union’s past, their embrace of a junk science called “agro-biology” or as Elof Axel Carlson described it, “a toxic blend of politics and pseudo-science.”

Actor and non-scientist Ed Begley, Jr. had a micro-climate-change of overheating when arguing that the only climate authority was “peer-reviewed” scientific journals. He was quite adamant, repeating “peer-reviewed” as often that it seemed to be a talisman, but about two hours too late to have heard the “thud” of the next shoe to drop from what appears to be a ClimateGate centipede, that the supposedly independent and non-partisan peer-reviewed” journals were under heavy pressure and manipulation of editors and selection of papers to refuse to publish anything that countered in any way the ClimateChange narrative, a total usurpation of the scientific process of open review – the system of checks and balances.

“Peer-reviewed,” the world has just discovered, has been nothing of the sort when it comes to the pseudo-science of “global warming”.  Actor Begley’s position of “peer-reviewed” turned out to not have been spoken from standing on solid rock, but from a tree, a precarious perch on a dead limb that was being sawed off as he spoke. 

But there is nothing new under the sun, and those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. This combination of politics, science and public policy machinations can be found in the career and wreckage left by one man, Trofim D. Lysenko of the Soviet Union.

T.D. Lysenko (1898-1976) was a half-educated man of science; he didn’t finish his studies and remained defensive through his life towards those with better credentials and experience than he. One might say he learned just enough to be dangerous, developing a new theory, “agro-biology” which mixed known processes of agronomy and plant genetics, with theoretical and unproven evolutionary concepts. His theory appealed to the Soviet “New Man” thinking, upending the old orders, a “political” view applied to agriculture.

The Soviets had a problem; most of Soviet agricultural land was more north than America – of the latitudes of Canada, not the reliable American breadbaskets of warmer Iowa or Illinois. They have a short growing season, with no room for error, therefore much of Soviet agricultural plant research was focused on developing hardier and more productive strains of wheat. Lysenko caught the attention of the Soviet central planners when he proposed a radical method that he claimed would shock wheat into developing new characteristics that appealingly would produce a sort of “revolutionary” wheat fit for the “revolutionary” Soviet Union. And, like Lysenko’s education, “agro-biology” had just enough grounding in proven science to be convincing, especially to people who didn’t know anything about agriculture, agronomy or plant genetics. Soviet scientists who worked in those fields took a look, did some of their own peer testing and began demurring.

Lysenko used his rising political power to enhance his data to promote his theory, reduce criticism, remove scientists from their positions, chase them from the field and in several cases, most notably Lysenko’s chief critic and professional competitor, Nikolai Vavilov, the man arrested, stripped of his position and literally sent to a Soviet prison where he died, a broken, innocent man. The rest of Soviet science took note, and shut up. They had to eat, after all. But there wasn’t much to eat after Soviet Central Planning decreed that the debate was over, “the science settled” and the “consensus” was that Lysenko’s methods were to be applied to all Soviet agriculture. Harvests dropped, the Lysenko-processed wheat didn’t produce the results Lysenko had predicted, had published and had promoted – a national, policy-contrived disaster.

The parallels between the Soviet centralized commitee promotion of Lysenko because his rhetoric fit the Soviet Progressive ideology, and “Climate Change” are ominous – the bullying, the falsification of data and the outright professional, political and bureaucratic smothering of dissenting opinions should be an important lesson to recall when presented with ClimateChange data, claims and computer modeling that fly in the face of observable reality. That the environmental movement has such luminaries as former Soviet President Gorbachev who after losing the free election for Russian president with an abysmal 3% of the vote, morphed into a “green” advocate, after stating that the “environmental movement was the last best hope of communism.”  A strategy of going “Green” that would lead to “Red,” should be a reason to closely examine the claims, the direction and the veracity of anything presented by people who have no backgrounds in science whatsoever. The mountain of emails discussing elimination of dissent, hijacking the peer-review process, collusion and obfuscation, and the exposure of the faulty computer codes written for climate modeling shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it’s welcome and concrete proof that “Global Warming” and “ClimateChange” are politics and power, not science or actual weather. This fraud as it still unravels with almost daily exposure of yet more admissions of hiding data, manipulation to produce desired outcomes, is becoming more and more suspicious as a way to create a basis on which massive taxation and redistribution of wealth was going to be justified, negatively affecting billions of people around the world, arguably the biggest single planned theft in human history.

In other words, the primary task of the politics of science was to ensure that science served the political end of the people and its government.”     The Lysenko Effect, by Nils Roll-Hansen

Resources:  The Lysenko Effect, by Nils Roll-Hansen;    The Lysenko Affair, by David Joravsky


  1. this piece is a caparison to Russian politics and has nothing to do with Global Warming There we go again twisting facts around to disprove the obvious This was tried by the tabacco companies in the 1980’s and the19990’s it took years but there lies finally came out this is the same scenario by two diffrent industries.

  2. Actually Eugenics was not associated with any one end of political spectrum and also had critical foes on all sides as well. Claiming it was a ‘progressive’ movement is not true.

    The problem with your comparison of Lysenko and Climate Change, besides the fact no one is being imprisoned or silenced who disagrees, is that Lysenko’s ideas flew in the face of the basic scientific method while Climate Change theories do not. Also, it is clear you don’t understand the Climate Change models and evidence if you claim they are countered by observable evidence.

  3. Intimidation with the purpose to silence:

    “The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to “Holocaust Deniers” and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

    The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program “The Climate Code,” is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their “Seal of Approval” for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe.”

  4. Curiously, Paul Ehrlich, the author of the “Population Bomb” and predictor that by the 1980s, global cooling would cause massive starvation, food riots and an ice sheet 200 feet thick over New York, is now converted – a leading advocate of global warming, Ehrlich has been recently warning of rising sea levels … 200 feet deep over the very same New York City, and Washington, DC.

    Ehrlich was 100% wrong on global cooling and ice sheets, massive food riots by the 1980s and also famously lost a bet he made with the economist J. Simon who countered that 20 years would show improvement in overall living standards.

    Not to spend much time on eugenics, which is another subject for another day, but it must be mentioned that Paul Ehrlich is also known for his Malthusian-influenced population theory and his interest in Eugenics and population control. He advocated for governments to put birth control in the water supply, a stunning combination of technical ignorance and cold heartlessness against human beings.

    Ehrlich co-authored with John Holdren, who is currently Obama’s director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
    Holdren did worry about the birth control in the water … he didn’t want to hurt any animals.

  5. wanumba,
    Not sure if Ehrlich is a eugenicist, but like most Malthusian based thinkers he is wrong. He was on the board of FAIR, which is quite popular on this blog. Don’t understand what any of that has to do with climate change since I don’t believe he has research in the area.

    IF the best parallel to Soviet scientific censorship you can come up with is a blog post by a TV meteorologist, I don’t find your argument the least bit convincing.

  6. todd, I couldn’t convince you that a car was going to run you over if we were crossing the street together and a stuck gas-pedal Prius was three inches from your tail, and if I should try to pull you out of the way, you’d slap me. So who cares?

    1) India disputes Himalayan Glacier melting claims:

    India has criticised the UN panel on climate change (IPCC) saying its grim warning about melting Himalayan glaciers was not based on “scientific evidence”.

    2) Glacier melting unsubstantitated

    “The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is stinking like a dead fish, rotting from the head down. In what has been dubbed ‘Glaciergate’, the IPCC has been exposed as conspiring to present a tissue of lies about the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, claiming with greater than 90% confidence that they would disappear by 2035 or sooner. There was never any scientific basis whatsoever for such claims, and the ’source’ quoted was WWF, an avowed advocacy group. Both the IPCC and WWF have recently admitted that the claims were false, long after these claims have become embedded in countless papers, books and presentations and caused alarmism…”

    1) Phil Jones, Head of the Climatic Research Unit caught giving false testimony:

    “It has come to our attention, that last Monday (March 1), Dr. Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU), in a hearing with the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee made a statement in regards to the alleged non-availability for disclosure of Swedish climate data.
    Dr. Jones asserted that the weather services of several countries, including Sweden, Canada and Poland, had refused to allow their data to be released, to explain his reluctance to comply with Freedom of Information requests.
    This statement is false and misleading in regards to the Swedish data.
    All Swedish climate data are available in the public domain. As is demonstrated in the attached correspondence between SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute), the UK Met Office and Dr. Jones (the last correspondence dated yesterday March 4), this has been clearly explained to Dr. Jones. What is also clear is that SMHI is reluctant to be connected to data that has undergone “processing” by the East Anglia research unit.”

    Two organizations to watch for in ClimateGate: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace. Questions have arisen that these two highly partisan advocacy groups apparently provided much of the source of global warming “reporting.”

  7. ……………………
    “Not sure if Ehrlich is a eugenicist, but like most Malthusian based thinkers he is wrong. He was on the board of FAIR, which is quite popular on this blog. Don’t understand what any of that has to do with climate change since I don’t believe he has research in the area.”

    I would agree that he has no credentials in climate change or most everything he weighs in on, but he’s heavily involved in CLimate CHange – the hysterical source of the 200 feet of flooded Washington,DC.

    But this passage linked thru HOTAIR today indicates he’s a very busy guy:

    “Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be “an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach” to gut the credibility of skeptics.
    In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of “being treated like political pawns” and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.

    “Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.”

    “Street fight” from a guy who advocated sterilization drugs thru city water supplies and allowing only certain people to reproduce … straight out of eugenics.
    Not a nice guy, with decades of phony hysterical claims meant to influence public policy.
    I distinctly remember being taught in school his global freezing claims in the 1960s. Despicable.


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