Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

Archive for the ‘Institute of Physics’ Category

Most scientists don’t believe AGW is happening (?)

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Nope, sorry, I don’t accept the validity of this statement. There may be protestors within various Institutions; and lists of people who dispute the consensus view on Wikipedia; and lists of unscientific people that do not; but…

Wikipedia also contains a great deal of evidence to suggest that the overwhelming majority of scientists of all kinds accept the genuine consensus view that AGW is happening:

Indeed, the above (very long article) includes reference to the fact that more than 97% of published climate scientists take this view:

Furthermore, there is also no EVIDENCE of a massive scientific conspiracy just to keep a few researchers busy. In fact, as George Monbiot has said, “It is hard to convey just how selective you have to be to dismiss the evidence for climate change. You must climb over a mountain of evidence to pick up a crumb: a crumb which then disintegrates in your palm. You must ignore an entire canon of science, the statements of the world’s most eminent scientific institutions, and thousands of papers published in the foremost scientific journals“.

And as James Hoggan has said: “Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy. There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness“.

And finally, as I have said, “There is simply no evidence for your left-wing conspiracy to over-tax and over-regulate people; so as to make everyone poorer. Whereas, there is a great deal of evidence for a right-wing conspiracy to under-tax and under-regulate industry; so as to make a few people richer…

So, will people please stop saying things that are not true? No matter how many times you say such things; it will not stop them being false. But it will prevent concerted, effective action being taken on a global scale to address a truly global problem.

Conspiracy theory – History for losers

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So says David Aaronovitch in Voodoo Histories – and he is absolutely right. (For the benefit of new readers, David Aaronovitch is an old favourite of mine but let’s not digress; unless you want to)…

In 2007, the American Physical Society (APS) decided to get off the fence and endorse the need for action to mitigate AGW; and 260 of its 48,000 members (by conventional maths that is just over 0.5%) have subsequently complained. Unfortunately, simple maths was apparently insufficient reason for influential British sceptical politicians like the Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP to choose to ignore such protests. On the contrary, he highlighted this protest in Parliament citing it as legitimate reason to question the scientific consensus that human activity is indeed affecting global climate.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) got into a similar mess after asking Energy Consultant (founder of Crestport Services) Peter Gill (just possibly prejudiced in favour of the continuance of “business as usual”?) to compile a highly sceptical submission (e.g. claiming that “Unfortunately, for many people [AGW] has become a religion, so facts and analysis have become largely irrelevant”) to the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the UEA/CRU email scandal. The whole fiasco left the IOP looking very foolish indeed.

And yet, these losers will not (it seems) give up.

As a first step towards realising their folly, they could all do a lot worse that read Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science because the continuing existence of AGW denial can only be explained by the fact that its proponents are guilty of one or more of the fundamental mistakes Goldacre highlights in his book (see my previous post yesterday). Furthermore, he is therefore right to conclude that… “You cannot reason someone out of a position they did not reason themself into”.


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