Enjoyed this read.
Some of the take away snippets
Ok, there is a combination of humor, and a possible simple test to determine if you are one of them thar bad “right-wingers” (note: tongue firmly planted in cheek here). Just ask a) education level, and b) opinion of AGW.
But even more than this … this study was drive by the soft science folks wondering about some attitudes and levels of scientific literacy and numeracy. And what I caught out of this snippet was this:
That is, they sort of missed an obvious aspect of their question. Is it possible that carbon-aggedon is being, I dunno, ever so slightly overhyped by people who stand to make a metric gigaton of money if they can just keep the wheels turning in their favor a little while longer … versus … say … I dunno … the empirical evidence that keeps contradicting their predictions?
Because they are soft science, I am sorry to phrase it like this, they might not grasp the nature of hard science … where you put your prediction out on the table, and anyone and everyone can (and will) take a whack at it. If the prediction can withstand the whalloping its given without modification, hey, you have a viable candidate theory. If not, the theory is toast, and its back to the drawing board.
Put another way,
The funny thing … really … its funny … is that skepticism (yeah, spelling is different in the UK) is EXACTLY PRECISELY WHAT GIVES SCIENCE ITS INCREDIBLE ABILITY TO ADVANCE. Because bad ideas, unless supported by external agencies … political, economic, or both, die fast and hard.
They are exposed as failed, usually pretty quickly. This doesn’t mean the scientist turns their tail and never shows their face again. They keep trying until they get it right (e.g. survives hard nosed and skeptical investigation), or until they give up and move on to something else.
That is, they are arguing against the very strength of science. Skepticism needs to reign supreme.
Einstein didn’t burst onto the scene in 1919, say “Newton’s got it wrong, my General Relativity has it right.” Nope. Took many years. Many hard predictions. A number of setbacks (some astronomers made measurement errors that appeared to favor Newtonian gravity). Took Sir Arthur Eddington and a team to get the light deflection measurement right. And by doing so, they found Newton predicted wrong, and Einstein predicted right.
Darwin’s theory took a very long time to be accepted. The orthodoxy of the day would have none of it. But now we know it, or something very close to it, is in fact in operation, describes observations without invoking more complex processes, and intervention of a deity. One may argue that its still not completely accepted, but this would largely be by the public, and only certain groups.
AGW has many problems. Predictions continually off, incompatibility with various bits of physics (primary AGW mechanism is a dilute gas with a minute fraction of the heat capacity of water vapor, inability to comprehend the impact of insolation variability, …). As a scientific theory, its not even on life support. Apart from the billions of dollars/euro chasing it, and policy decisions worth hundreds of billions of dollars/euro over time … yeah … makes perfect sense why this Frankensteinian monster has not died the death it deserves yet. Only after we (the collective we, as in all of us) have had our pockets picked for a sufficiently long time by these purveyors of “green” things, will we collectively start to ask the important, and skeptical questions.
But until then, the soft-science types will somehow arrive at the startling conclusion that skepticism (the bedrock of hard science) is somehow bad if it challenges our orthodoxy (which the skeptics have shown to be highly problematic).
But, it gets worse.
Follow the money? You don’t say …
Yeah … its positively Orwellian.