Thursday, March 26, 2009

NYTimes: The Civil Heretic

Global Warming is the one great example we have that causes people to hold strong opinions purely based on the significance of the outcome were it true. It admittedly hasn't been proven, but something must be done now anyway. Isn't a consensus enough? At least that is the mantra.

I would ask in turn, why hold an opinion of something you cannot understand? How do you know whether or not it is occurring? If it is totally beyond your comprehension to prove or disprove it, then why panic? If you are only going off of blind trust, why? Is authoritarianism in science actually science?

I have many reasons to believe anthropogenic global warming isn't real. I'm sure I will get to each of them in the coming months.

I believe more in principals than personalities, but Freeman Dyson is a fine example of a man driven by principal. One who evaluates each modicum of evidence and seeks to understand the issues. I wouldn't usually provide a link to the New York Times, but this article about Freeman Dyson deserves to be read.

The Civil Heretic

IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO that Dyson began publicly stating his doubts about climate change. Speaking at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, Dyson announced that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication that is to gravitas what the Beagle was to Darwin, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism. Among those he considers true believers, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”

“The climate-studies people who work with models always tend to overestimate their models,” Dyson was saying. “They come to believe models are real and forget they are only models.”

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