Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A timeline of climate change science?

A man named Matthew Knight has begun to fill the server of CNN with tons of incredible climate alarmist crap, for example
Time is running out,
A timeline of climate change science.
The first article is nothing else than the standard irrational hysteria that I don't intend to honor with a response.

The second one is equally bad but slightly less usual and let me say a few words about it. Knight starts with a rather breathtaking claim:
Climatology was once a small and often overlooked branch of science. But important discoveries made as the early 19th century have contributed to what is the most important field of scientific study in the world today.
Oh, really? When did it exactly happen? Climate science surely doesn't belong among 20 top scientific disciplines. I have seen quite a number of universities for my observations to be relevant. At all of them, it has always been the case that the least intelligent, the shallowest, the least talented, and/or the least honest students of physical sciences went to climate science or meteorology.

Every sane person, including atmospheric scientists, knows so. I don't see any signs that this situation was recently changing in any significant way. If there exists a typical inferior discipline of physical sciences, climate science is surely an important example.

There exist numerous stories of the worst relativists leaving theoretical physics and becoming top climate scientists. In such cases, the average IQ of both communities measurably increases. Saying that climate science is an important field of science is just plain absurd.

But the rest of Knight's text makes the feeble progress in the discipline even more striking. If you look at the timeline, the real important scientific results were found in the 19th century and are associated with great people like Joseph Fourier or Svante Arrhenius. Neither Fourier nor Arrhenius considered climate science to be an important part of their discoveries. And even according to a standard contemporary history of science, Fourier's most precious contribution to science is Fourier analysis and Arrhenius' key insights appear in physical chemistry. But these two men still did more for the science of the greenhouse effect than all the following individuals listed in Knight's article combined.

The 20th century is, according to Knight's timeline, dominated by engineers and un-exceptional scientists making (usually flawed) predictions - and especially by political hacks, obnoxious committees, and politically organized, psychological terror of environmental activists against the whole civilization. Is this what you call "climate change science"? As emphasized above, climatology is not exactly one of the important disciplines but still, one could write down a timeline that would indicate that it is at least a relatively decent physical science.

There have been quite many discoveries about the climate of the past and the causes and dynamics of these events, with consequences for the present and the future - ice ages, Milankovitch cycles, ocean dynamics, heliophysics, cosmoclimatology etc. But these genuine scientific insights are completely overlooked by Mr Knight.

What Knight has identified as "climate change science" in his timeline is a crappy form of political advocacy using the greenhouse effect as hostage and done by third-class and mostly dishonest members of the scientific community (and non-scientists) with very limited abstract reasoning, poor quantitative skills, and a low scientific integrity. It has almost nothing to do with science and certainly not with good or important science. Mr Knight and CNN should be deeply ashamed for the lies they are spreading.

And that's the memo.