måndag 25 oktober 2010

Royal Non-Science

Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, President of the Royal Society, sends in an Open Letter on Climate Change to political and business leaders and to the wider public, the following warning:
  • This year has seen outbreaks of extreme weather in many regions of the world.
  • No-one can say with certainty that events such as the flooding in Pakistan, the unprecedented weather episodes in some parts of the US , the heat-wave and drought in Russia, or the floods and landslides in Northern China, were influenced by climate change.
  • Yet they constitute a stark warning.
  • Extreme weather events will grow in frequency and intensity as the world warms.
The Baron backs his warning by:
  • It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the core scientific findings about humanly-induced climate change and the dangers it poses for our collective future remain intact.
  • The most important relevant fact is based on uncontroversial measurements: the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere is higher than it has been for at least the last half-million years.
  • It has risen by 30% since the start of the industrial era, mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels. If the world continues to depend on fossil fuels to the extent it does today, CO2 will reach double pre-industrial level within the next half-century.
  • This build-up is triggering long-term warming, the physical reasons for which are well-known and demonstrable in the laboratory.
The Baron sends the following signal to business leaders:
  • The actions needed to counter this threat – the transition to a lifestyle dependent on clean and efficient energy – will create manifold new economic opportunities.
The Baron apparently has a strong talent for business, in the tax financed green sector, but what about the science of his and the RS? Well, look at his main Royal argument:
  • long-term warming, the physical reasons for which are well- known and demonstrable in the laboratory.
The Baron does not understand that to say that something is well-known, is not a scientific argument, only an argument of "scientific consensus" as an appeal to authority, which is not part of a scientific discussion. Further, to claim that long-term global warming has been demonstrated in a laboratory (referring to Tyndall's experiment), is so beyond rationale that it can only be interpreted as a joke.

Rees is a specialist in cosmology and probably dreams of demonstrating also his theories about the Universe in a laboratory. If you can fit the Globe into it, why not also the rest?

But when he assures the World and its businessmen that core scientific findings remain intact, he probably refers to a a stable zero value.

1 kommentar:

  1. Skrämmande men också intressant läsning. Akademier är inte isolerade från sin omvärld utan lider förmodligen av samma problem som varje byråkrati: Dess ledning befolkas snabbt av antingen lismande karriärister eller galna misantroper som förmodligen inte bidragit med något märkvärdigt till vetenskapen. Vilken kategori beror kanske på landet i fråga.

    Det faktum att en ledare för en vetenskapsakademi tar en enskild väderhändelse som indikation för sin uppfattning att

    "Extreme weather events will grow in frequency and intensity as the world warms"

    är helt enkelt häpnadsväckande. Vem kunde ana att dagens häxmästare skulle komma från vetenskapssamhället?