Tag Archives: climate change

Is Climate Science a New Religion?

Physicist Wal Thornhill of Electric Universe fame laments on the terrible condition science is in now-a-days as it takes on the mantle of religion, mainly when it comes to Anthropogenic Climate Change:

The Global Warming circus in Copenhagen was politics driven by a consensus that, by definition, has nothing to do with science. The apocalyptic nonsense that opened the meeting highlighted that fact. How many who attended or demonstrated at the meeting actually understand the (disputed) scientific grounds for the hysteria? Meanwhile, leading science journals allow skeptics of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) to be labelled “deniers” and refuse them the right of reply. It is doctrinaire denouncement, not science. It is the journal editors who are denying the scientific method by censoring debate. It is they who are peddling ideology.

Despite the glossy media image, modern science is a mess. When the fundamental concepts are false, technological progress merely provides science with a more efficient means for going backwards. At the same time, government and corporate funding promotes the rampant disease of specialism and fosters politicization of science with the inevitable warring factions and religious fervor.

“Science has become religion! ..although religion may have borrowed some of the jargon of science, science, more importantly, has adopted the methods of religion. This is the worst of both worlds.” —Halton Arp

There have been several warm climatic periods documented in history that had nothing to do with human activity. There seems to be evidence that the Earth has actually been cooling since 2001, in line with reduced solar activity. So it would be more realistic to consider climate change as a normal phenomenon and to plan accordingly because despite all of the hoopla in the media, modern science is founded on surprising ignorance. An iconoclastic view suggests the following:

— cosmologists have been misled by theoretical physicists who don’t understand gravity, which forms the basis of the big bang theory. Imaginary ‘dark matter,’ ‘dark energy,’ and black holes have been added to make models of galaxies and star birth appear to work. When all else fails, mysterious magnetic fields are invoked. The bottom line is that cosmologists presently have no real understanding of the universe;

— astrophysicists don’t understand stars because they steadfastly ignore plasma discharge phenomena;

— particle physicists don’t understand matter or its resonant electrical interactions. They prefer to invent imaginary particles;

— geologists have been misled by astronomers about Earth’s history;

— biologists have had no practical help from theoretical physicists so they don’t understand what might constitute the ‘mind-body connection’ or ‘the spark of life;’

— and climate scientists have been misled by astronomers and astrophysicists so they have no real concept of recent Earth history in the solar system and they don’t understand the real source of lightning and the electrical input to weather systems. For example, the major city in northern Australia, Darwin, was utterly destroyed in tropical cyclone ‘Tracy’ in 1974. The catastrophe was described in part, “At 3am, the eye of the cyclone passed over Darwin, bringing an eerie stillness. There was a strange light, a diffuse lightning, like St. Elmo’s fire.” There was no solar energy being supplied to the 150km per hour winds at 3 in the morning. “A diffuse lightning” is an apt description of the slow electrical discharge (distinct from impulsive lightning) that drives all rotary storms and influences weather patterns. That is why the electrically hyperactive gas giant planets have overwhelmingly violent storms while receiving very little solar energy.

Yet with these unacknowledged shortcomings we have bookshelves filled with textbooks, science journals and PhD theses, mostly unread, that would stretch to the Moon, fostering the impression that we understand most things. And the public is assailed with documentaries that breathlessly deliver and repeat fashionable science fiction as fact. How can this be?

Science has left its classical and philosophical roots, rather like surrealist art departed from realism. The analogy is fitting. It is demonstrated by the fondness for expressing theoretical models in artists impressions, computer animations and aesthetic terms. The artist/philosopher Miles Mathis is of the opinion that “ Science has become just like Modern Art. The contemporary artist and the contemporary physicist look at the world in much the same way. The past means nothing. They gravitate to novelty as the ultimate distinction, in and of itself. They do this because novelty is the surest guarantee of recognition.” So why does the media not have science critics alongside art critics? Has science become sacrosanct? Bluntly, the answer is yes. No science reporter wants to have the portcullises lowered at the academic bastions. Happily, the Internet allows the curious to circumvent such censorship.

So far, the Internet is mostly censorless, except for certain nations where Google has helped their government authorities censor content. Plus you can only believe about 50% what you read. It takes effort to winnow wheat from the chaff at times.

But Thornhill makes valid points in that science has become dogmatic to the point of being a religion that nobody dares question, especially when it comes to anthropogenic climate change.

The Electric Universe: Science, Politics and Global Warming

hat tip

ISS Expedition 22 Launch and Burnt Skepticism

ISS Expedition 22 crew launched yesterday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at around 5:15 p.m.:

The Soyuz TMA-17 rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 20, 2009 carrying Expedition 22 crewmembers Timothy J. Creamer of NASA, Oleg Kotov of Russia and Soichi Noguchi of Japan to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Pretty soon (2010/2011), Soyuz will be the only transportation for US astronauts.

Some folks don’t care, others are up in arms.

Soyuz TMA-17 ISS Expedition 22 Launch
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When is an “apology” a “non-pology?”

When uber-skeptic James Randi does it:

Oh, it must be Christmas. As I mentioned in Wednesday’s news briefs, James Randi has come under fire from all quarters this week, after posting his thoughts about global warming to his blog:

An unfortunate fact is that scientists are just as human as the rest of us, in that they are strongly influenced by the need to be accepted, to kowtow to peer opinion, and to “belong” in the scientific community. Why do I find this “unfortunate”? Because the media and the hoi polloi increasingly depend upon and accept ideas or principles that are proclaimed loudly enough by academics who are often more driven by “politically correct” survival principles than by those given them by Galileo, Newton, Einstein, and Bohr. (Granted, it’s reassuring that they’re listening to academics at all — but how to tell the competent from the incompetent?) Religious and other emotional convictions drive scientists, despite what they may think their motivations are.

…It’s easy enough to believe that drought, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes are signs of a coming catastrophe from global warming, but these are normal variations of any climate that we — and other forms of life — have survived. Earth has undergone many serious changes in climate, from the Ice Ages to periods of heavily increased plant growth from their high levels of CO2, yet the biosphere has survived. We’re adaptable, stubborn, and persistent — and we have what other life forms don’t have: we can manipulate our environment. Show me an Inuit who can survive in his habitat without warm clothing… Humans will continue to infest Earth because we’re smart.

In my amateur opinion, more attention to disease control, better hygienic conditions for food production and clean water supplies, as well as controlling the filth that we breathe from fossil fuel use, are problems that should distract us from fretting about baking in Global Warming.

Given that Randi’s skeptical peers and scientific admirers have spent the last couple of months attacking ‘Global Warming Deniers’, Randi found himself in the unlikely spot of being attacked for his ‘pseudo-scientific’ opinion piece. Blog posts decrying Randi’s statement appeared quickly on Pharyngula, The Quackometer, Cosmic Variance, Greg Laden’s Blog and Respectful Insolence. Even more vicious were the comments threads (lead, as it would be expected, by more than 500 Pharyngula comments) in which it was suggested that Randi was suffering from dementia and so on (although you’d have to say there may have been some karmic retribution for Randi in the meanness of it all…with friends like those, who needs ‘woo-woo’ enemies!) And, in a wonderful bit of timing, Randi managed to post his piece on the same day that a fund-raising drive for the James Randi Educational Foundation kicked into gear. Oops.

The back-pedaling was swift – the next day, Randi posted a new statement, “I’m Not ‘Denying’ Anything” (which P.Z. Myers labeled a ‘not-pology‘, leading to some fun exchanges between Myers’ minions and Randi’s followers in comments threads.) And then the back-patting, with plenty of ‘skeptics’ saying that the criticism of Randi showed how healthy the modern skeptical movement is.

But this is nonsense. Randi took a position which was diametrically opposed to the current scientific consensus, and furthermore one that was absolutely contrary to the argument being put forth on a regular basis by other skeptics such as Phil Plait and P.Z. Myers. There was no other option for them but to criticise Randi – it was either that or be hypocrites. What would be a better test of the health of modern skepticism is if other skeptics pulled Randi up for speaking nonsense about more fringe topics. Which he does on a regular basis. And the silence is deafening. The real truth of modern skepticism as a dogmatic faith is revealed in those particular moments.

In the comments threads, many people seemed shocked that their great beacon of truth was spreading misinformation. But the only reason was because Randi took on a topic which didn’t allow his sheeple to nod their head in agreement. Randi often posts rubbish and misinformation on his blog – I’ve criticised him before in the comments section to his blog (asking for references for dubious claims etc) only to be attacked by other ‘skeptics’. For instance, as I mentioned recently, Randi once attacked parapsychologist Dr Dean Radin by saying that he had recently moved into researching presentiment after his other research had failed – in truth, Radin has been publishing successful results on presentiment for more than a decade, in addition to his other research. On another occasion with which I was personally involved, Randi deliberately misled his readers to suit his own personal ends. Randi also often states his dislike (or at least distrust) of the ‘ivory tower’ of academia, perhaps a result of his own lack of education.

What caught my attention in this post was the statement, “Religious and other emotional convictions drive scientists, despite what they may think their motivations are.”

Which brings to mind that paragon of hard scientific study, Isaac Newton.

The mainstream science community forget to mention that Newton was a hard-core Zionist Christian scholar and alchemist who believed he reconciled religion, science and prophecy.

Hmm..double standards run rampant in the science community at times.

After all, they’re human too.

Global Warming Burns Randi

Hidden Planets and environMENTALism

David Lafreniere of the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has successfully demonstrated this new strategy for planet hunting by identifying an exoplanet that went undetected in Hubble images taken in 1998 with its Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). In addition to illustrating the power of new data-processing techniques, this finding underscores the value of the Hubble data archive, on which those new techniques can be used.The planet, estimated to be at least seven times Jupiter’s mass, was originally discovered in images taken with the Keck and Gemini North telescopes in 2007 and 2008. It is the outermost of three massive known to orbit the dusty young star HR 8799, which is 130 light-years away. NICMOS could not see the other two planets because its coronagraphic spot — a device which blots out the glare of the star — also interferes with observing the two inner planets.

“We’ve shown that NICMOS is more powerful than previously thought for imaging planets,” says Lafreniere. “Our new image-processing technique efficiently subtracts the glare from a star that spills over the coronagraph’s edge, allowing us to see planets that are one-tenth the brightness of what could be detected before with Hubble.” Lafreniere adapted an image reconstruction technique that was first developed for ground-based observatories.

3-artistsconce

I wonder how many other gems like this are going to be found in Hubble archives once the venerable machine is allowed to die?

Hubble Finds Hidden Exoplanet

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From the “Evil humans must die to to save Gaia” Department:

Peter Raven, past President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, states in the foreword to their publication AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment, “We have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century.”

The causes of biocide are a hodge-podge of human environmental “poisons” which often work synergistically, including a vast array of pollutants and pesticides that weaken immunity and make plants and animals more susceptible to microbial and fungal infections, human induced climate change, habitat loss from agriculture and urban sprawl, invasions of exotic species introduced by humans, illegal and legal wildlife trade, light pollution, and man-made borders among other many other causes.

Is there a way out? The answer is yes and no. We’ll never regain the lost biodiversity-at least not within a fathomable time period, but there are ways to help prevent what many experts believe is a coming worldwide bio collapse. The eminent Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson has wisely noted that the time has come to start calling the “environmentalist view” the “real-world view”. We can’t ignore reality simply because it doesn’t conform nicely within convenient boundaries and moneymaking strategies. After all, what good will all of our conveniences do for us, if we keep generating them in ways that collectively destroy the necessities of life?

I love that “real world view” phrase. That “yes or no” vagueness does it for me also.

Why don’t these elitist arseholes just say what they mean?

The Planet’s First-ever Mass-Extinction Precipitated by a Biotic Agent: Humans

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And now for a counterpoint voice of reason, from someone with credibility:

Famous physicist, author, and visionary Freeman Dyson has been making enemies with his critical stance on global warming.  It’s important to note that even he, an outspoken opponent, doesn’t deny that it’s happening – he just doesn’t think it’s that big a deal.

How does on octogenarian author get people so upset?  Well, calling Al Gore a preacher and comparing the climate control movement to a religious cult is a fantastic way to start.  If you ever want to piss off a scientist, call them a religion.  Disagreeing with them is one thing – accusing them of doctrine is another.

 

This is too rich! Freeman Dyson, THE inventor of the Dyson Sphere concept, agreeing with Alex Jones and Highwayman!

Truth is, he’s right. It’s a proven fact that industrialization limits population growth as standards of living increases.

One of the Planet’s Great Scientists: “Global Warming Isn’t as Big a Problem as Disease or Poverty”

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