Thursday, February 11, 2010
This is a reply I have put to David Brin, eminent physicist & SF writer who has said the climate sceptics are attacking science. I do not oppose such as him lightly
I respect Mr Brin but his core statement that "99% of atmospheric scientists support warming" simply isn't so. Atmospheric scientists would include Professor Fred Singer, doyen of sceptics. The true believers are a smaller & much newer "discipline" calling themselves climate scientists but actually just climate computer modellers, a predictive process whose predictions have, for example in the unpredicted cooling of the last few years, failed to match reality. If this small group saying this means, as the media so often say, that "The Science says.." then the case is equally strong for the science of astrology. 99% of those making a living at it say it works too.
It is worse than that - I have asked many thousands of journalist, politicians & alarmists to name 2 scientists who say catastrophic warming is correct & aren't government funded & only 1 name worldwide has emerged. It is a statistical impossibility that this correlation between government control & alarmism is a coincidence. If belief is not more widely spread it, by definition, isn't a consensus.
In philosophical terms the risk to science comes from those who misuse its name to promote its opposite & here scientists who, for the sake of a quiet life kept silent should take a little blame. However the main blame goes to those who actually pushed the lie. By comparison virtually no MSM journalist has even mentioned that the largest single expression of scientific opinion, the 31,000 who signed the Oregon Petition, believe catastrophic warming is nonsense & CO2 rise is actually probably beneficial.
I have listened patiently & at length to alarmists even though almost none of them have said they support substantial new nuclear reactors despite the fact that this is the only practical way to produce enough power without CO2. I regard this as a touchstone as to whether alarmists believe their own tale since if they genuinely believed they faced catastrophe they would not let ideology prevent them preventing it.
There are an increasing number of scare stories being used by politicians & their media handmaidens that falsely claim the mantle of science. The original & one of the least questioned & which has cost humanity 10s of trillions over the decades is the linear no threshold (LNT) radiation damage claim. Though this is adopted in the name of "science" there is not & never has been any experimental support for it, indeed there is massive support, from many directions, for the opposite, known as hormesis, that low level radiation is beneficial.
Science needs a Reformation in which experimental principles are what matters & what the government paymaster wishes were so isn't.
UPDATE 2 days later the self styled "Institute for Ethics in Emerging Technologies" have decided their conception of ethics does not involve free debate & have decided to censor it. I blogged earlier about the way political activists attempt to aquire credentials, particularly scientific ones, to which thay are not entitled to make themselves seem more credible. I know nothing more of the "Institute for Ethics" than its title, that it promotes climate alarmism & how it has dealt with dissenting views. I have emailed David Brin directly.
Most scientists get some form of government based support. This criterion is pre-designed to exclude everybody who knows anything... even planetary atmospheres guys at JPL, who have studied climate on 8 planets and gain nothing from "clean energy"...
...ALL of whom sigh in despair over nincompoops like this fellow here.
Who is incapable of letting facts through... like that most of the support for nuclear power, today, is coming from the Democrats. Obama just announced huge loan guarantees to restart the industry, something the GOP under Bush NEVER tried to do...
I could go on, but it is pathetic. Come to
for a detailed analysis of the weird thinking that underlies this nonsense.
Out of thousands of alarmists, not just yourself, nobody has been able to name even 2 prominent alarmists who are not government funded.
If the "consensus" were not overwhelmingly correlated with government pay it is statistically certain that many scientists not funded by the state would be supporting it.
I note that the "Institute for Ethics" has published a comment dated yesterday so we can say with certainty that they have decided to censor difficult questions. I do not consider that consistent with scientific ethics - do you?
Fact is, you fit every single litmus trait of the dogmatist. I know you think you are smart. But you really aren't and I ask that you not bother me any more.
Those of us who are part of the renaissance are pretty busy trying to save it.
show 362,000 out of 485,000 of them all & even 8,600 of 14,400 of atmosphere/earth scientists are privately or self employed. It is statistically impossible for there to be virtually nobody among them who is convinced of catastrophic warming & "99.9%" of government scientists being so if state control is not the dominant opinion former.
On broader terms here is evidence that state controlled funding generally has a negative effect on scientific research. http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/01/government-funding-of-r-has-negative.html
I regret Brin found it necessary to defend his position by rudeness. He is a genuine scientist not just some professor of environmental studies & I do not reciprocate. I did once attend a science fiction convention in Glasgow where he was Goh & he made the "right on" statement that per capita we Brits, whom he clearly regardedc as more "leftist" have more influence in the world than America. While I wish this were so it struck me as not credible.
The "Institue for Ethics" are still censoring & I regret Brin so obviously approves of that. We are apparently aimed at different Renaissances.
to an ongoing discussion on Brin's personal site in which I am participating. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2010/02/distinguishing-climate-deniers-from.html