It's a tie: both groups largely despise pure science and modern physics
A month ago, I mentioned that an interview with Edward Witten had occurred at a very strange place, namely John Horgan's blog hosted by Scientific American.
John "End Of Science" Horgan is a loon and one does expect a completely different kind of people to be interviewed over there. And do you know who was the next interviewee who was interrogated on the same blog?
She's not just a hardcore Marxist who has some deluded beliefs. She is a truly evil lady, indeed. When she was visiting Harvard – before a department at that school outrageously hired her – she learned that there was a climate skeptic in the physics department. So she wrote a mail to me with copies sent to all my superiors at Harvard and her alarmist friends who had some potential to harm me personally. The letter claimed that I despised the best scientists (meaning the alarmist whackos) from the last 50 years and something should be done about that.
Decent people obviously agree that she is a despicable bitch who wants to harm inconvenient scholars in ways that don't differ in any way from Hitler's and Stalin's eras. And of course, pretty much everyone in the physics department would agree with me that she was this kind of a šitty monster, to put it really diplomatically. But I also knew that Harvard was filled with individuals not dissimilar to herself who were powerful enough to really spoil other people's lives.
Many years ago, meritocracy had died at Harvard's history department that hired this evil Marxist as faculty.
Incidentally, Oreskes would write the book "Merchants of Doubts" that would demonize the climate skeptics as – the following words are my summary, not a direct quote – the zombies who dare to oppose Marxism. What a sin. A film director is completing a film based on "Merchants of Doubts" and I was at least happy to learn what was the film director's favorite moment during filming:
What was your favorite moment from filming?The director enjoyed working with Marc Morano, a climate skeptic who is behind the ClimateDepot.COM website. Believe me, I am not surprised that it's the "denier" rather than e.g. Ms Oreskes who appeared in that sentence!
I enjoyed working with one of the deniers Marc Morano who was a very interesting character. Very smart guy on some levels and very honest guy was telling me what he was thinking and I was thinking it was fascinating to have that experience and to be with him.
Climate alarmism is supported by various people and they have different motivations to do so. The participants of the recent "People's Climate March" in Manhattan were mostly members of the Communist Party of the USA and similar extreme left-wing groups. Advocates of a Big Government and the state that regulates everything and everyone obviously love the ideology about a "climate threat" because it is a way to promote political goals they have been struggling for since 1867 (the publication of Das Kapital).
Politicians of all flavors – not just the extreme left-wing ones – liked to embrace this ideology because they were promoted to "saviors of the Earth" who are allowed to tax and harass everyone without questions and who only need to parrot the alarmist slogans to get reelected. Many journalists loved to scare the people with horror stories about the looming climate catastrophes. One doesn't need any intelligence or new data to write such stories and they may be pumped repeatedly and the newspapers may be sold repeatedly because the number of readers who just love to scare themselves every day is apparently high.
For scientists in the climate science, it was obviously a source of grants. The discipline that would be considered to be one of the most inferior disciplines of physical sciences (I will focus on this point later) would suddenly lead the fight to "save the Earth". Dear boffins, will we die by 2050 or not? Please tell us! That has led to the increase of funding for the climate science by more than an order of magnitude in less than 2 decades. In other words, more than 90% of the money that this community is getting is linked to the climate hysteria. With this tight correlation between the funding and the hysteria, you simply can't be surprised that many people found it convenient to switch to the panic – and many more people were hired just because they were compatible with the hysteria even though they completely suck as scientists.
The tension between the climate alarmists and particle or fundamental physics has been described in many previous blog posts. That's why I want to switch to something else, namely the sad observation that in the "skeptical grassroots climate movement", one may find a similar kind of hostility against legitimate science. Two days ago, the world's most widely read blog about the climate would publish the story
no papers and just a few nearly unknown patents listed by Google Scholar, and those are related to some everyday biochemistry, anyway.
Just like Watts himself, he clearly doesn't have and cannot have a clue about particle physics. But he decided to "pick the winners", anyway. The rant's rating was close to 5.0.
I am physically scared of the people who can't see that Edward Witten – or even myself, for that matter – is vastly smarter than the likes of Lee Smolin. I am scared that many of these morons are actually power-thirsty and would love to influence the evolution of a scientific discipline that is about 40 IQ points above their mental abilities.
I am shocked that these morons are arrogant enough to talk about "groupthink" when it comes to string theorists. String theorists are pretty much 1,000 or at most 2,000 – if one counts them inclusively enough – smartest people on the Earth. If I want to meet another string theorist, I have to travel 100 kilometers (to Prague) and hope that Martin Schnabl has a spare hour. If I want to meet about 5 string theorists, I have to ride 200 kilometers in the opposite direction (to Munich). If I want to see a group of roughly 10 string theorists, I have to move by 600 kilometers somewhere to Amsterdam or something, and so on. You are surely getting the point.
The number of morons who have upvoted that idiotic rant by Eric Worrall within a few hours is orders of magnitude larger than the number of all string theorists on planet Earth. How can they fail to see that to talk about "groupthink of string theorists" is a rigorous proof of their hopeless idiocy?
If string theorists agree about something, well, it's because there is evidence – often as rock-solid as a readable mathematical proof. It is completely nonsensical to demand some "diversity about every question" within the scientific community or its relevant part. As science is making progress, it's converging towards the correct answers (most of the time) and the percentage of the people who disagree with the correct answers is decreasing. Those who agree are asking more detailed questions and developing more accurate theories, so their large percentage is being split to "subgroups" that differ when it comes to more refined issues. You will always find questions in which over 99% of the people agree, you will always find questions on which the researchers are split, and there will always be big differences between the percentanges encoding the opinions of the experts and those of the general public. To pretend that these tautological observations indicate something "sick" about the science is insane.
Well, I don't believe that most people outside these climate wars are similarly unreasonable. Both the climate alarmist movement and the bulk of the WUWT-like climate skeptical movement have one thing in common: they think that things like measuring and interpolating the temperature belong to the culmination of science. But you know, to decide whether string theory or loop quantum gravity correctly describes black hole thermodynamics is harder than to read the temperature from the thermometer or to notice that the thermometer is 2 meters away from an asphalted sidewalk.
Well, everyone who has a clue knows that the science of climate change is at most a continuation of a discipline of classical physics that would mostly freeze something like 100 years ago and wouldn't dramatically evolve afterwards. Atmospheric physics, climatology, and meteorology are specializations that would attract the weakest students of physics in physics departments of universities across the world. I could tell you quite something about this correlation from my Alma Mater – the Charles University in Prague.
Moreover, I can assure you that almost all physicists in the disciplines that would attract the talents – it would be particle physics and condensed matter physics most of the time, with some genetics and financial fields at different but overlapping eras (of course that the disciplines attracting the top minds are evolving in time) – would confirm my comments about the inferior status of the climate-related disciplines, and so would a very famous atmospheric scientist at MIT whom I know rather well in person - guess who is that.
But like the alarmists, it looks like the WUWT community is really "living" the life focusing on these climate stories.
Back in the real world, there hasn't been really any significant "climate change" in the last two decades. The trend of the global mean temperature in the last 18 years and 1 month is zero (or minus epsilon). There's absolutely nothing to talk about here. More sadly, climate science has made a minimal progress in improving its knowledge (including topics that are emphasized all the time, like the CO2 climate sensitivity) during the same two decades, despite some $70 billion that have been thrown to this research (or thrown to the garbage bin with the words that it's needed for the climate science).
Climate alarmists (from many occupations, see the motivations at the top) have attempted to promote the climate panic to one of the most important issues in the world. The most solid reason why I would consider the climate panic irrational is nothing else than the fact that the climate change surely doesn't make it among the (100) most important trends or issues to be considered. If it's not important, it's silly to talk about it all the time.
But the bulk of the climate skeptical movement must disagree with these trivial comments because it's possible to publish something like 10 climate-related news stories every day that happen to attract almost 100,000 readers. What these one-per-hour stories can be about in the world where nothing substantial has really changed about the climate (and the climate research) for 20 years?
One should be puzzled.
I think that a sensible "skeptic" would want this irrational panic to simply fade away – that's what I always wanted – and we should encourage the apparent trend that this fad seems to be fading away, indeed. But I feel it ain't the case for skeptics including Anthony. It seems to me that they learned to love the (completely indefensible) idea that the climate change is an important topic and it shold stay an important topic (or even become a more important one). From this perspective, the differences between the likes of Michael Mann and Anthony Watts might be much more minor than we are normally imagining.
This is an issue I started to be increasingly worried roughly 2 weeks ago when Anthony Watts attended a lecture by Michael Mann in Bristol. The very idea that an important American such as Anthony Watts would fly from the U.S. to Southwestern England mainly to see a talk by a notorious but otherwise irrelevant crook sounded surreal to me. Does Anthony really believe that a talk by a Michael Mann is this important for Watts to fly to another continent?
But the evaluation of the event looked even more surreal. I was expecting that because Watts was flying to Europe for such an event, he would at least be visible or important in some way. But a Facebook discussion by some alarmists has painted a very different picture:
Chris Colose: Any disruption from Watts et al.?In other words, Anthony and pals played the role of "pussies" who would not only help to legitimize Michael Mann but they would work hard to make him important. My common-sense interpretation is that a talk that attracts a blogger from another continent whose blog has about 200 million views has to be important. While Michael Mann – who is pretty much a self-confessed crook – didn't "win" a word of criticism, Anthony Watts found it a good idea to post a text against all of high energy physics by a biochemical crank.
Michael E. Mann: Nothing. The man didn't say a word, didn't ask a question. There were no questions at all from the climate change denier contingent that supposedly had come out in force – conspiracy theories already abounding that the questions from the crowd were "plants". Tinfoil Hat anyone?
Similarly, three years ago, Watts would promote Rossi's cold fusion, while allowing the guest blogger to spit on all of nuclear physics. Why? How is it possible?
Some climate alarmists and leftists often say that the skeptics and U.S. conservatives hate and deny almost all of science, and all things like that, and one must say that the evidence does indicate that these statements could be pretty much accurate, especially when it comes to modern physics – more or less everything that is conceptually new and was found since the year 1900. A problem is that the climate alarmists are doing the same thing – and John Horgan's obsessive attacks on Edward Witten and his field was just one example I chose above.
The sad reason is that almost no one in these camps actually cares about science. These wars are political wars and they have always been political wars. Science is only used as a hostage. My opinions about the political wars are well-known but unfortunately, there are not too many people who think that science is at least equally important.