Friday, July 24, 2009

New Scientist: science is now inadequate

Olda K. has pointed out the following article in Nude Socialist to me,
George Marshall: Comment: Why people don't act on climate change.
The author, a boss of a climate pressure group "COIN" in Oxford, is conducting an "informal research project". It means that he's asking various people the annoying question how they could dare to fly to long-haul destinations.

Of course, needless to say, all the people whom he has interviewed and who flew to unnecessarily distant airports - for skiing trips, holidays in Sri Lanka, or scuba diving in the Pacific - were Greenpeace or British Antarctic Survey officials, leading climate policy experts, and similar green material.

So this not-so-gentle man asks why people don't "act" on climate change. And indeed, the obvious answer - that such an "action" would mean an economic suicide with no detectable positive effects - must remain a taboo. If he's not allowed to consider the possibility that his belief system is wrong, what other culprits can he find?

You shouldn't be surprised by the result. Media distortions and scientific illiteracy turn out to be innocent. The true villain is nothing else than science itself.
I do not accept that this continuing rejection of the science is a reflection of media distortion or scientific illiteracy. Rather, I see it as proof of our society's failure to construct a shared belief in climate change.
Marshall admits that even Ms Pope who is the holy mother of the Hadley Center for Climate Change thinks that climate science should build on scientific evidence. But Mr Marshall "could not disagree more". What matters is "shared belief".

Mr Marshall continues by discussing the possible methods how to construct such a "shared belief" that doesn't exist so far: only 10% of the people count "climate change" as a major problem. His conclusion is that the bulk of the society agrees with the skeptics not because they're right but because the "maverick" skeptics are better in trustworthiness, honesty, confidence, charm, humour and outspokenness.

Well, again, Mr Marshall has missed the obvious explanation, namely that the "ordinary" people are actually able to compare the impacts of a few tenths of a degree of possible warming on one side and the unavailability of energy on the other side.

By the way, I disagree with the "maverick" label for most of the climate realists. We're defending the status quo, the pillars of the scientific and industrial civilization that have been in place for centuries. It's the climate activists like him who are unhinged mavericks and hippies. Today, there are many of them but that can't change the fact that they're still hippies.

Instead of investigating whether his beliefs are actually correct or wrong, he wants to bring artists and writers to science because science has failed, he thinks. "Collective imagination" should replace it because:
It is clear that the cautious language of science is now inadequate to inspire concerted change, even among scientists. We need a fundamentally different approach. Only then will scientists be in a position to throw down the ultimate challenge to the public: "We've done the work, we believe the results, now when the hell will you wake up?"
Well, religious bigots have always needed a fundamentally different approach than science to achieve their goals, and Mr Marshall is surely not the first example in the human history. In fact, science is literally threatening to the core values that people like Mr Marshall worship, such as blind beliefs, unlimited fear, irrationality, and brainwashing of whole nations. Science has always been their enemy, whether they were potent in inspiring a new large religious awakening or as impotent as Mr Marshall.

I am also amused by Marshall's comment that "they" have done the work. Google Scholar shows that Mr Marshall has only written two papers. Each of them has earned 3 citations and they're called:
The psychology of denial

Sleepwalking into disaster; are we in a state of denial about climate change. :-)
Well, it doesn't look like Mr Marshall has done any work in his life. Instead, as Prof Richard Lindzen has explained (go e.g. to 21:00 and especially 33:45), Mr Marshall is a typical example of the mentally ungifted people who find the "shared belief" in catastrophic global warming to be a good tool to imagine themselves as something that they are surely not - namely thinkers - and to place themselves above others even though they are actually below them, from any objective viewpoint.

I just wonder how it's possible that a journal with the word "scientist" in its official title, and Nude Socialist is surely one of them, can be printing this garbage written by similar people who have nothing sensible to say.

And that's the memo.

News from Benny Peiser

India attacks Western climate alarmism: Indian scientists should investigate, instead of believing Western media fairy-tales about the Himalayan glaciers...

John Kerry thought that he was Mao-Zedong, able to control China and suppress its economy. He's disappointed to find out it's not the case...

Indian pundits: say no at Copenhagen: for understandable reasons...

A conference in India about the climate and the third world...

NYT blogs: Nicholas Wade warns against groupthink in science; group differences are mentioned as a taboo that still lives...

Oversupply of carbon indulgences in Europe: the market is gonna collapse again...

Green campaigners start to realize that industries only jumped on the CO2-busting bandwagon because they will actually steal billions from the system, having excessive indulgences. Industry has better applied mathematicians than the climate campaigners... ;-)

U.K.: Wind energy means expensive energy...

Also, a crackpot paper by Nordell and Gervet managed to penetrate through the peer-review process. These nuts haven't realized that the inflow of solar energy exceeds the direct human production of heat by four orders of magnitude...

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