HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY
By Freeman Dyson
My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.
A SlashDot Commentor had some fun with the AGW screamers as follows:
Now come on. We all know that everyone who doesn’t believe in man-made global warming as we do is evil and wants to kill babies. But has our religion, I mean science surounding global warming, I mean climate change, risen to the same status as some other religions,I mean fairy tales err pseudoscience, err … you know what I mean?
Can’t we just stick with insulting people, tearing down their academic credentials, telling everyone they are an idiot who wouldn’t know science it is touched them, if they dare to point out obvious mistakes (that we made but won’t admit), getting them fired or a sending them a few death threats? Do we really need to burn people at the stake too? Wouldn’t it be more satisfying and productive to just ruin their lives and let them live to talk about it so the next brave soul will think twice?
I for one am against burning people at the stake.
Another slash dot comment had this to say:
Models are useful for predicting results based on your assumptions. They are not useful for coming up with the right assumptions in the first place. The AGW assumptions are faith-based. Those assumptions are hard-coded in the models, and everything else is fair game for tweaking, in order to make the models’ results fit as closely as possible the dataset we have (particularly the last 100 years of temperatures). This activity and its accompanying doctrine has nothing to with science, and its claims of prophetic power are, while typical among people of such strong faith, not to be confused with scientific prediction.
All in all a whole bunch of good reading!
More notworthy AGW reading:
“Global warming and cooling linked to the sunspot cycle”
This must be more of that consensus I keep hearing about…