Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fresh physics Nobelist Schmidt: climate orthodoxy made science less prestigious

When the 2011 physics Nobel prize for supernovae and the cosmological constant was announced, some TRF readers were scared for a second because they thought that one of the winners was Gavin Schmidt, a notorious professional climate fearmonger.

One day later, we are given some tangible evidence that Brian Schmidt is a different person than Gavin Schmidt. ;-)

Having won a rather well-known award, the Australian astrophysicist and winemaker decided that he can finally say 50% of what he thinks about the climate debate – and what many of his colleagues who haven't won the prize (and a ticket to freedom of speech) think as well:
Climate debate diminished standing of science in some quarters: Nobel Prize winner
The climate change debate has diminished the standing of science in some people’s minds, the Nobel prize-winning astrophysicist said today, calling for lawmakers to ensure public policy was informed by evidence-based science.

He talked about uncertainties – even when it comes to the acceleration of the Universe's expansion – but you won't find "sharply skeptical" sentences in his monologue. I am afraid that he will have to win one more Nobel prize to gain the freedom to say such things. ;-) In an interview for Australia's ABC,
Winemaker wins Nobel Prize,
he said the following about climate change:
LEIGH SALES: How have you viewed the climate change debate and the way science has been politicised around that?

BRIAN SCHMIDT: Well, I think it's kind of unfortunate how we've been mixing the science and the politics, and I think we can look at science to blame for that and we can look at the politicians to blame. I think it's a lot of problems there that can be shared across. From my perspective, I really want to see science ask the hard questions: is the science right, how can we improve, what are the uncertainties, what do we know? And have that within a scientific forum. And then we need to... science is never absolute, there's never absolutely an answer. Everything we do always has uncertainties. But on the policy side, I think it's really important for the politicians and the policymakers to look what the scientists come up as a consensus. So, I offer up the Australian Academy of Science, who's gone through and tried to summarise where we are in the climate change science debate, and I think that's a very good document that the Academy of Science has put out. I think the politicians and policymakers need to reflect on that and make sensible policy based on that.
As you can see, the details are disappointing. To compensate, you may listen an interview with Schmidt (about cosmology) performed by Andrew Bolt, a top Australian journalist (and skeptic who called Schmidt "Gavin" as well haha). The astrophysicist appears at 26:05.

Thanks to Willie Soon

Obama pays $0.74 to Pelosi's brother-in-law's solar company

Because half a billion dollars splashed into the "renewable" toilet hasn't been enough for Barack Obama, he has freshly splashed three quarters of a billion of dollars into SolarReserve whose executive director is Ron Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi says that it is a complete coincidence that her family secured one billion of dollars in subsidies. Remember, it's always a coincidence: when at least two families are in charge of the key institutions of a country and one of them throws a billion of taxpayer dollars to a member of the other family, it's always just a coincidence.

After all, there are only 300 million people in the U.S. so some of them had to get the loan/gift. It just happened that it's Pelosi's brother-in-law. ;-) There is a scientific consensus that such events are coincidences. All experts that have something to say about such questions say it's a coincidence when a top politician's family gets a gift from the government. That includes the families of Hussains, Gaddafis, Assads, and many others. "Ronald Pelosi is a great guy", Nancy Pelosi said. She added she was sorry that he had to suffer so much by receiving a billion of dollars.

If you wonder why it is $737 million and not just $500 million, it's because Obama doesn't want the company to go bust before the 2012 elections so he calculated how much money he has to add and splash in the toilet to guarantee this extremely long lifetime for the company.


  1. More on Brian's blog:

  2. Good try, Mihai, but I don't believe it's the same Brian Schmidt.

    In fact, a TRF article from 2005 is enough to see that your Brian Schmidt is a climate scientist on vacations in Montana. ;-)

    So he is one of the stinky feces that have reduced the prestige of science according to the real Brian Schmidt.


  3. They are both real, althought they are indeed different persons.
    My mistake.

  4. Lubos --> In the NY Times article on the Nobel for Schmidt, they include the following explanatory sentence--can you give us your reaction?

    'If the universe continues accelerating, astronomers say, rather than coasting gently into the night, distant galaxies will eventually be moving apart so quickly that they cannot communicate with one another and all the energy will be sucked out of the universe. '

  5. Well, Kip, how should I react? It's an explanatory sentence of a rudimentary insight that cosmological Nobel prize winner of course knows very well. It's true when interpreted carefully.

    It's true for the fixed stars we observe today - they will be much farther and they will be retreating away from us at an increasing speed (ignoring that many of them will die before that) that will surpass the speed of light at some point so they will be behind the horizon and become invisible for us.

    It's not true for stars at a fixed distance X from us: the speed of their motion away from us is V = H*X where H is the Hubble constant and the Hubble constant will actually converge to a constant given by the cosmological constant in the future, so nearby stars would be moving by the same modest speed as today. But the Universe will be so low-density that there won't be any nearby stars in the far future.