Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Politics of warming, again

At PJ Media, physicist Frank Tipler discusses the attitudes of the alarmist scientists in What The Caine Mutiny Can Teach Us about Global Warming Scientists: Climate change advocates often argue from "authority" as opposed to examining the facts.

In the Boston Herald, by way of the AP, Harrison Schmitt (who not only walked on the Moon, but also served in the US Senate longer than Barack Obama) says, among other things, "It’s one of the few times you’ve seen a sizable portion of scientists who ought to be objective take a political position and it’s coloring their objectivity." [Here's another link for the same AP story, at Heartland Institute this time, for backup.]

In a response in the HuffPo to Schmitt, Bill Chameides, dean of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, deploys powerful weapons of argument from authority and sarcasm to demolish the hapless astronaut, or Senator. In combination with disingenuous argumentation and faux naïveté, these are deadly.

Humorous side note: A Herald commenter says

This global warming thing reminds me of the flood of cars with California plates that came into Prescott, AZ when I was a kid back in the 60s. When folks actually believed they knew the exact date of when California was going to fall into the Pacific ocean. Guess we all saw how that turned out. This time around, same people, different topic of doom. These are all subscribers to "It Could Happen Magazine". You know, the one that has all the same junk science stories the Discovery Channel plays every day. Just think how cool it'd be if we could get global warming, a giant comet impact, a super hurricane, and a 1,000 ft. tall mega tsunami to all happen on the same day that Wizard of Oz monkeys fly out of Al Gore's butt. Now that would be something I'd certainly be impressed by!
which reminded me of Free Zone by Charles Platt. In that book, Platt tries to include every sf cliché he could think of. He can't help but miss a few that have been invented since the book came out in 1988; he claims 71. The aliens are invading from space, the robots have time travel, the barbarian hollow-earth dwellers are emerging, the undersea city is rising and it's filled with hostile, intelligent dinosaurs. All at once!

Update: Moldbug weighs in on the attitudes of the alarmist scientists:
The incentive of all federally-funded science is the same: keep your funding, and try to get more. It is not that most scientists are "in it for the money." It is that you cannot be a successful scientist, in this era, without being a successful bureaucrat. As such you respond to bureaucratic incentives, such as the feelings of your NSF program manager.
His mom makes an appearance.

1 comment:

blake said...

Well, I know we're on different pages as far as this, but I this house of cards is due for a fall.

And then it will be up to the Mole Men led by Hitler's Brain to save us all from The Galactic Empire.