Gavin Schmidt, climate crook
VERY specious reasoning -- How did he get a Ph.D.?
You know the wheels really have come off the climate bandwagon when you get blatantly unscientific nonsense statements like the howler below from 'Real Climate’s' Gavin Schmidt.
Self-styled climate expert, Schmidt has sought to explain how advocates of the greenhouse gas theory can 'calculate' that a benign minor trace gas, carbon dioxide, can lead to runaway global warming due to its alleged superior radiant properties. Here’s how Schmidt works the numbers:
"The factor of two for A (the radiation emitted from the atmosphere) comes in because the atmosphere radiates both up and down." – Gavin Schmidt
Up and down? You mean – unlike other gases- but why no side to side and then shake it all about,too, Gavin? But no, as Schmidt would have you believe it’s just that two times - for the ‘up’ and the ‘down’- the crucial factor of two that sets this greenhouse gas apart from others and allows junk theorists to multiply their dodginess.
How's that for contravening the First Law of Thermodynamics? Why pause to think, it's so easy to say. Did you get that all you atmospheric scientists out there?
This and other gems are cogently exposed in a discerning article authored by American radio-chemist, Alan Siddons, entitled 'The Greenhouse Hustle'
Siddons applies useful graphic representations to prove that, “Only to the extent that it absorbs energy can a CO2 molecule be a source of heat – and since its frequency response is limited, so too is its ability to heat. CO2 fails to intercept anything close to the full span of the earth's radiant spectrum.”
Thanks to the enlightened insight of more credible climate researcher such as Siddons the blogosphere is becoming an increasingly uncomfortable stomping ground for snake oil peddlers such as ‘Real Climate’s' Gavin Schmidt.
More evidence that NASA is hopelessly corrupt
Shocking new evidence of a NASA scientist faking a fundamental greenhouse gas equation shames beleaguered space administration in new global warming fraud scandal
Caught in the heat are NASA’s Dr. Judith Curry and a junk science equation by the space agency’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt creating disarray over a contentious Earth energy graph
The internal row was ignited by the release of a sensational new research paper discrediting calculations crucial to the greenhouse gas theory.
Hot on the heels of my recent scoop that the U.S. space agency may have suppressed evidence from the Apollo Moon landings that invalidated the greenhouse gas (GHG) theory, an internecine fury among NASA employees over fudged equations is set to further embarrass the current U.S. Administration’s stand on global warming.
Word is getting round that junk equations were threaded into the GHG theory to artificially inflate the heating effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by a factor of two.
The spark to this cataclysmic revelation was lit in April 2007 after a public gaffe (see below) by the space administration’s Dr. Gavin Schmidt, who fronts popular pro-global warming website, ‘Real Climate.’
What ignited this latest Climategate-linked rumpus is a sensational new research paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon?’ otherwise called the ‘Moon Paper.’
Researchers for the paper scientifically proved that since at least 1997 climate scientists knew that guesswork was underpinning the whole greenhouse gas theory. In fact, so flaky are these numbers that they can be rendered to show a GHG effect on Earth’s moon, where no greenhouse gases exist! Thus, skeptics argue, the burning embers of political heat generated by the discredited theory should now finally and unequivocally be extinguished.
But more sinisterly, it turns out that NASA climate scientists, with access to better climate equations used for the Apollo Moon mission, forsook those in favor of dodgy Dr. Schmidt’s ‘back of an envelope’ numbers.
With nothing short of religious fervour, government-funded climatologists, in cahoots with the IPCC, trumpeted this flim-flam to political leaders who now claim they can limit global warming to ‘two degrees’ on the back of green cap and trade energy taxes. Priceless!
The ‘Moon Paper’ spectacularly reveals that Apollo mission scientists devised a three-dimensional model for accurately determining Earth’s energy budget far more practicable than the rudimentary flat blackbody numbers of Stefan-Boltzmann. But those numbers contradicted any greenhouse warming effect and have thus been ignored by global warming tax advocates.
In addition, it appears Siddons has uncovered intentional fraud, as explained in an earlier of his online publications, ‘The Greenhouse Hustle’ that reveals the almighty multiplication ‘error’ of NASA climatologist, Gavin Schmidt.
In 2007, Schmidt blogging on ‘Real Climate’ sought to explain how government climatologists obtain the “full surface energy balance equations” referred to by Dr. Judith Curry (below).
Schmidt wrote that he and his colleagues took the Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody numbers and multiplied them by an additional factor of two to devise NASA’s official Earth energy budget. But why multiply by two? Schmidt explains: “The factor of two for A (the radiation emitted from the atmosphere) comes in because the atmosphere radiates both up and down.”—Gavin Schmidt (Real Climate, April 10, 2007)
It is Schmidt’s lunatic “up and down” elaboration on Stefan-Boltzmann’s numbers that Siddons proves contradicts the laws of physics. Gases do not radiate “up and down”- their radiation is isotropic, meaning the intensity is equal in all directions-not just ‘up and down’ as Schmidt describes. Thus multiplying CO2 by a factor of two is at the very least junk science, or worse: criminal fraud.
Pointedly, Schmidt soon entered the dark side by appearing to cover up his gaffe. Within a month he snuffed out all debate by closing the comments thread on his heavily censored website.
Stefan-Boltzmann Blackbody Equations
Our junk science back story involves explaining how climate doomsayers misused the long-established Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody equation to invent the greenhouse gas theory of climate. The theory incorporates the two-dimensional flat body numbers to ‘calculate’ how much of the Sun’s energy enters and leaves the Earth’s atmosphere.
But the problem is Stefan-Boltzmann never intended for his numbers to be applied to a three-dimensional rotating planet.
Schmidt merely repeated the errors shown in the Kiehl and Trenberth diagram (1997). The Kiehl-Trenberth graphic calls Schmidt’s “up and down” effect the ‘back-radiation’ with a heat flux. Thus we may reasonably infer that Schmidt’s shenanigans are inextricably intertwined with those of his fellow warmist climatologists, K. E. Trenberth and J.T. Kiehl who, 13 years ago, first applied the bogus “full surface energy balance equations.”
Yet the idea that the science or the energy budget is “settled” is blown apart by Trenberth, himself. When asked by his colleague, Tom Wigley, “where’s the Global warming?” Trenberth admits they can’t answer the question. “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t… Our observing system is inadequate.” (Leaked Climategate email: Oct. 14, 2009: Filename:1255496484.txt)
Trenberth then re-iterated his confusion to the American Meteorological Society in January 2010 when lamenting the current woeful state of climate models.
Schoolboy Errors in NASA’s High School Textbooks
Trenberth’s and Schmidt’s lack of the wherewithal to provide a convincing calculation of Earth’s energy budget is further glaringly exposed by NASA’s Education Department which publishes high school textbooks, ‘Energy Social Studies; Investigating the Climate System: A Balancing Act’ for 9-12th graders.
In the publication is a graph that contradicts the Kiehl-Trenberth/Schmidt energy graph but clearly agrees with the numbers applied by climate skeptics and the original Apollo moon mission.
I pointed out the confusion to Dr. Judith Curry who responded, “Everybody would agree that the simple black body planetary energy balance model is a drastic oversimplification, it is used only for illustrative purposes.”
Why Confuse the Public with ‘Oversimplified’ Data?
But I then put it to Dr. Curry that neither NASA nor the IPCC publish anywhere anything other than the off beam Stefan-Boltzmann equations to illustrate the GHG theory. And why present the public (and presumably policy makers) with such a “drastic oversimplification” if NASA has tucked away a more accurate and robust equation ready to silence its critics?
No response. Yet Dr. Curry did assure me that, “Climate models (including very simple ones, not just the global general circulation models) include a full surface energy balance equation to determine surface temperature.”
But Dr. Curry left me no wiser as to what the “full surface energy balance equation” actually is. I, along with millions of taxpayers, hope to high heaven it’s not Gavin Schmidt’s snake oil.
NASA Sued in Court by CEI for Hiding Data
In truth, the passing of time is showing that NASA has stooped to break the law to stop anyone seeing what their “full surface energy balance equation” is-if it exists. We know this because the space agency has defied all such Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) for several years. The ongoing scandal has been dubbed NASA-Gate.
CEI is now taking NASA to court for refusing to permit independent auditors the chance to assess the reliability of both government-funded science as well as the validity of current U.S.
Administration’s expensive green energy policies.
At a minimum, NASA-gate raises serious questions about competency and the integrity of certain government space agency employees. Dr. Curry’s final words: “I’m contacting NASA about this.”
Trenberth, K.E., J.T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, 2009: Earth’s Global Energy Budget. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol 90, No 3, pp 311‚Äì323.
THE “GREENHOUSE EFFECT” AS A FUNCTION OF ATMOSPHERIC MASS
By Hans Jelbring email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The main reason for claiming a scientific basis for “Anthropogenic Greenhouse Warming (AGW)” is related to the use of “radiative energy flux models” as a major tool for describing vertical energy fluxes within the atmosphere. Such models prescribe that the temperature difference between a planetary surface and the planetary average black body radiation temperature (commonly called the Greenhouse Effect, GE) is caused almost exclusively by the so called greenhouse gases.
Here, using a different approach, it is shown that GE can be explained as mainly being a consequence of known physical laws describing the behaviour of ideal gases in a gravity field. A simplified model of Earth, along with a formal proof concerning the model atmosphere and evidence from real planetary atmospheres will help in reaching conclusions.
The distinguishing premise is that the bulk part of a planetary GE depends on its atmospheric surface mass density. Thus the GE can be exactly calculated for an ideal planetary model atmosphere. In a real atmosphere some important restrictions have to be met if the gravity induced GE is to be well developed. It will always be partially developed on atmosphere bearing planets.
A noteworthy implication is that the calculated values of AGW, accepted by many contemporary climate scientists, are thus irrelevant and probably quite insignificant (not detectable) in relation to natural processes causing climate change.
More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
(Jelbring is a Swedish climatologist. He says above that it is the WHOLE atmosphere that determines warming, not just the tiny and trivial CO2 fraction. Note as an aside that Mars has 15x higher level of that wonderful CO2 in its atmosphere than we do yet it shows no sign of a "greenhouse effect". But Mars has a very thin atmosphere. So then it follows that the "greenhouse effect" on earth is just a result of its bulk atmosphere, mainly nitrogen and oxygen -- as Jelbring points out.)
Temperature variations in the past have been underestimated
"We cannot conclude that the previous 50-year period has been unique in the context of the last 500-1000 years"
By Bo Christiansen (from the Danish Meteorological Institute)
In the past the Earth's temperature has varied both due to external forcings such as the volcanic eruptions, changes in the sun, and due to internal variability in the climate system. Much effort has in recent years been made to understand and project man-made climate change. In this context the past climate is an important resource for climate science as it provides us with valuable information about how the climate responds to forcings. It also provides a validation target for climate models, although paleoclimate modelling is still in its infancy. It should be obvious that we need to understand the past climate variability before we can confidently predict the future.
Unfortunately, we do not have systematic instrumental measurements of the surface temperature much further back than the mid-19th century. Further back in time we must rely of proxy data. The climate proxies include tree rings, corals, lake and marine sediment cores, terrestrial bore-hole temperatures, and documentary archives. Common to all these sources is that they include a climate signal but that this signal is polluted by noise (basically all non-climatic influences such as fires, diseases etc.). From these different noisy proxies information such as the global mean surface temperature is sought to be extracted.
A famous and pioneering example is the work by Mann et al. 1998, in which the mean NH temperature is relatively constant with a weak decreasing rend from 1400-1900 followed by a sharp rise in industrial times - the so-called "hockey stick". There has been much debate about this reconstruction, and its robustness has been questioned (see e.g.). However, some other reconstructions have shown similar shape and this has encouraged some to talk about the 'hockey team' (e.g., here). This partial agreement between different reconstructions has also led to statements such as 'It is very likely that average Northern Hemisphere [NH] temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were higher than for any other 50-year period in the last 500 years' by the IPCC.
That different reconstructions show a 'hockey stick' would increase its credibility unless the different reconstructions all shared the same problems. We shall see below that this is unfortunately the case.
All proxies are infected with noise. To extract the climate signal - here the NH mean temperature - from a large set of noisy proxies different mathematical methods have been used. They are all, however, based on variants of linear regression. The model is trained or calibrated by using the last period where we have access to both proxies and instrumental data. This calibration period is typically the last 100 years. When the model has been trained it is used to estimate the NH mean temperature in the past (the reconstruction period) where only the proxies are known. To test such methods it is useful to apply them to long simulations from climate models.
Like in the real-world situation we split the total period into a calibration period and a reconstruction period. But here we know the NH mean temperature also in the reconstruction period which can therefore be compared with the reconstruction. The proxies are generated by adding noise to the local temperatures from the climate model. The model based scheme decribed above is known as the 'pseudo-proxy' approach and can be used to evaluate a large number of aspects of the reconstruction methods; how the different methods compare, how sensitive they are to the number of proxies, etc.
Inspired by previous pseudo-proxy studies we decided to systematically study the skills of seven different reconstruction methods. We included both methods that directly reconstruct the NH mean temperature and methods that first reconstruct the geographical distributed temperatures, The method used by Mann et al. 1998 was included as well as two versions of the RegEM method later used by this group. Perhaps surprisingly the main conclusion was that all the reconstruction methods severely underestimate the amplitude of low-frequency variability and trends (Fig. 1).
Many of the methods could reproduce the NH temperature in the calibration period to great detail but still failed to get the low-frequency variability in the reconstruction period right. We also found that all reconstruction methods have a large element of stochasticity; for different realization of the noise or the underlying temperature field the reconstructions are different. We believe this might partly explain why some previous pseudo-proxy studies have reached different conclusions.
It is important to note the two different kinds of errors which are examples of what is known in statistics as ensemble bias and ensemble variance. While the variance may be minimized by taken the average over many reconstructions the same is not true for the bias. Thus, all the reconstruction methods in our study gave biased estimations of the low-frequency variability. We now see the fallacy of the 'hockey team' reasoning mentioned above; if all reconstruction methods underestimate the low-frequency variability then considering an ensemble of reconstructions will not be helpful.
The question that arises now is if the systematic underestimation of low-frequency variability can be avoided. Based on an idea by Anders Moberg and theoretical considerations I formulated a new reconstruction method, LOC, which is based on simple regression between the proxies and the local temperatures to which the proxy is expected to respond. To avoid the loss of low-frequency variance it is important to use the proxy as the dependent variable and the temperature as the independent variable. When the local temperatures have been reconstructed the NH mean is found by averaging. Pseudo-proxy studies (Fig. 2) confirms that the low-frequency variability is not underestimated with this method.
However, the new reconstruction method will overestimate the amplitude of high-frequency variability. This is the price we must pay; we can not totally remove the influence of the noise but we can shift it from low to high frequencies. The influence of the noise on the high-frequency variability can be reduced by averaging over many independent proxies or by smoothing in time.
I have applied the new reconstruction method, LOC, to a set of 14 decadally smoothed proxies which are relatively homogeneously geographically distributed over the extra-tropical NH. This compilation of proxies was used in the reconstruction by Hegerl et al. 2007. The proxies cover the period 1505-1960, the calibration period is 1880-1960, and observed temperatures are from HadCRUT2v.
The result is shown in Fig. 3 together with eight previous reconstructions. The new reconstruction has a much larger variability than the previous reconstructions and reports much colder past temperatures. Whereas previous reconstructions hardly reach temperatures below -0.6 K the LOC reconstruction has a minimum of around -1.5 K. Regarding the shape of the low-frequency variability the new reconstruction agrees with the majority of the previous reconstructions in the relative cold temperatures in the 17th century and in the middle of the 19th century as well as in the relative warm temperatures in the end of the 18th century. I consider these real world results mainly as an illustration of the potential of the new method as reconstruction based on decadally resolved proxies are not particularly robust due to small number of degrees of freedom. Work is in progress to apply the new method to an annual resolved and more comprehensive proxy compilation.
Where does all this lead us? It is very likely that the NH mean temperature has shown much larger past variability than caught by previous reconstructions. We cannot from these reconstructions conclude that the previous 50-year period has been unique in the context of the last 500-1000 years. A larger variability in the past suggests a larger sensitivity of the climate system. The climate sensitivity is a measure how how much the surface temperature changes given a specified forcing. A larger climate sensitivity could mean that the estimates of the future climate changes due to increased levels of green-house gases are underestimated.
SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)
The BBC: Official Voice of Ecofascism
By James Delingpole
Climate change now represents so urgent a threat to mankind that the only way to deal with it is by suspending democracy. (Hat tip: DR at Bishop Hill)
When James Lovelock makes this kind of terrifying argument in books or newspaper interviews at least one can reasonably dismiss it as the potty burblings of an otherwise amiable and harmless old man.
When the BBC does it, however, I’d suggest the time has come to start tooling up and heading for the hills. Have a listen to this recent radio broadcast by the BBC’s “Ethical Man” Justin Rowlatt and tell me whether you find it as scary as I do.
It purports to be a balanced examination of Lovelock’s controversial remarks in a Guardian interview: "I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while."
But it’s clear right from the beginning what the documentary’s line is: What do we want? Ecofascism. When do we want it? Now!
Here’s Rowlatt’s opening: "Climate change is a divisive issue. I believe that it is a real threat and needs to be tackled. I know many people disagree. But whatever you believe you should be concerned about how our society responds to the issue because there is a growing view that mitigating climate change means we have to change our view of democracy."
In support of this dubious thesis (the fact that you “believe”, Justin Rowlatt, is surely a glorious irrelevance), Rowlatt wheels on an array of extreme greens to argue what he’d no doubt dearly love to say himself but can’t because of those tricky BBC rules on impartiality.
Somebody called Halina Ward of the Foundation For Democracy And Sustainable Development says: "We don’t have to be driven by what 50% plus 1 of the population wants to say that we represent a majority view."
Somebody called Michael Jacobs, formerly Gordon Brown’s advisor on Climate Change, says: "I don’t think it’s right to call something anti-democratic if it has the consent of the public even if you couldn’t say that they were actively in favour of it."
And here’s Rowlatt’s exchange with somebody called Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus of the Left-leaning Policy Studies institute:
HILLMAN: The planet has a finite capacity to absorb the further burning of fossil fuels and still leave a safe climate for the future, and there’s every indication that we – and I mean the public in this country and elsewhere – are not prepared to make the changes necessary to achieve that. On the other hand democracy requires that those changes cannot be imposed on the public if they are unwilling to accept the implications of that, which is living within the planet’s capacity to absorb further greenhouse gas emissions.
ROWLATT: So what are you saying – we suspend democracy?
HILLMAN: I think in the same way that I understand James Lovelock has suggested that, I fear I have to share his view on that. There’s no way that the public are going to willingly say “I will forgo flying”.
The fact is that we’ve got to live on such a low use of fossil fuels for our daily activities. Therefore it’s got to be required of them and if they don’t go along with it, then we are – I fear – heading for absolute disaster. We are on a trajectory towards rendering the planet steadily uninhabitable.
ROWLATT: Some people would say, Mayer, that you sound like an
HILLMAN: Well I have had that term applied to me. I don’t mind these sticks and stones. I think it’s irrelevant how I sound. I’m just trying to talk commonsense.
No fewer than six out of the seven expert witnesses called by Rowlatt are ardent environmentalists. And that’s not counting the parti pris presenter, Rowlatt himself.
Someone from the Institute of Economic Affairs is wheeled on mildly and politely to put the case for democracy and economic commonsense. But then it’s back to the eco-fascists for the final word.
"We have an obligation to look after the interests of future generations because they’re going to have to live in a world which is in a deteriorating condition. And we already, some of us, can see the lives that our children and grandchildren are going to have to live within, and it is pretty horrific and it is because we’re not prepared to make the changes necessary. Democracy allows people the freedom not to be obliged to do things that we know we must do, so how can one possibly say yes but the principle of democracy must prevail over and above protection of the global environment from excessive burning of fossil fuels? Given the choice, I would sadly – very, very sadly – say that the condition of the planet in the future for future generations is more important than the retention of democratic principles."
Tell you what I find so bothersome about this whole noisome documentary: it’s that Rowlatt – and he’s by no means atypical of the BBC on this score – is quite utterly incapable of appreciating what a poisonous doctrine he is tacitly endorsing.
There is nothing normal, balanced or reasonable about a programme – made at licence payers’ expense by Britain’s state broadcaster – to argue the case for replacing democracy with fascist tyranny. Let alone to present it in such a grotesquely biased way.
It’s no better than picking up on a remark by some fringe racist that “black people should be sent back to where they came from” and then inviting a panel including Nick Griffin and five other Neo-Nazis, plus a token Yasmin Alibhai Brown, to discuss whether this argument makes sense.
As the “science” in support of AGW collapses it is of course inevitable that the methods used by the Alarmists to defend their crumbling citadel will grow ever more desperate and underhand. But for the BBC to play so active a role in this dirty propaganda war is quite inexcusable.
More HERE (See the original for links)
Global Warming, The Royal Society, and William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830) was one of our finest essayists, and his condemnation of public bodies and societies is characteristically trenchant:
“Age does not improve the morality of public bodies. They grow more and more tenacious of their idle privileges and senseless self-consequence. They get weak and obstinate at the same time. Those who belong to them have all the upstart pride and pettifogging spirit of their present character ingrafted on the venerableness and superstitious sanctity of ancient institutions“
[see: ‘On Corporate Bodies’, essay taken from from Table-Talk; or, Original Essays (1821-22; ‘Paris’ edition, with somewhat different contents, 1825)].
I think Hazlitt would have had some rather harsh words for the present doleful state of our Royal Society
For some time now, I have feared for science in the public eye, believing that the over-hyping of ‘global warming’ would, at some stage soon, be revealed for what it is, a ‘consensus’ abuse of true, cautious science. I have also felt that one of the biggest losers in this debacle could well be our venerable Royal Society, in which recent attempts to enforce, from the top, a single, “settled” or “closed” view of the science of climate change are starting to unravel somewhat dramatically [see here, and here, and here, and here, and here, among others].
I believe that Hazlitt describes perfectly what we have been witnessing taking place in the Royal Society under recent Presidents:
“Circle within circle is formed, an imperium in imperio: and the business is to exclude from the first circle all the notions, opinions, ideas, interests, and pretensions of the second. Hence there arises not only an antipathy to common sense and decency in those things where there is a real opposition of interest or clashing of prejudice, but it becomes a habit and a favourite amusement in those who are ‘dressed in a little brief authority,’ to thwart, annoy, insult, and harass others on all occasions where the least opportunity or pretext for it occurs.”
Moreover, what has been occurring is contrary to the fundamental principles, the very tenor, of the Society. For around 150 years, the following quotation formed part of an ‘Advertisement’ published in its house journal, the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil. Trans.), which was first issued on March 6, 1665 [the version I copy here comes from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Volume 340, Issue 1292, 1822]:
“... it is an established rule of the Society, to which they will always adhere, never to give their opinion, as a Body, upon any subject, either of Nature or Art, that comes before them.”
For reasons not fully known, as Nigel Calder points out, this admirable reticence was dropped from the Transactions some time during the 1960s. Was this the moment, I wonder, when the Royal Society began to lose its way? Again, I think I know what Hazlitt would have observed:
“Corporate bodies are more corrupt and profligate than individuals, because they have more power to do mischief, and are less amenable to disgrace or punishment. They feel neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill. The principle of private or natural conscience is extinguished in each individual (we have no moral sense in the breasts of others), and nothing is considered but how the united efforts of the whole (released from idle scruples) may be best directed to the obtaining of political advantages and privileges to be shared as common spoil.”
Back To Basics
Luckily, we now, at last, have at least 43 brave Fellows of the Society willing to stand out against the Magisterium, and who are demanding that cautious, basic science be put back into any statements emanating from the Society on climate change. The dust is flying.
And, let me stress, it does not matter one iota that not all the critics are climate scientists per se. It is the abuse of basic science sensu lato that so jars. To put it simply:
* How can any scientist worth their salt accept predictions based on only one, partial variable?
* How can any scientist worth their salt accept that a retrospective regression fit constitutes ‘foundational’ evidence, or even, science?
* How can any scientist worth their salt accept predictions based on models for which we know virtually nothing about some 80 per cent of the factors involved, including some of the more fundamental, such as water vapour and clouds?
We now have a momentous chance to save science from political exploitation and organisational PC-speak. But the stakes are high. If we fail, science may be downgraded in the eyes of the public for a very long time.
As the Royal Society belatedly rediscovers its own 1663 motto, derived from an epistle by Horace, namely Nullius in Verba (‘Take nobody's word for it’), all its Fellows should perhaps re-read William Hazlitt, who so wisely warned:
“It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.”
Scepticism, dissent, is the very essence of science too.
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