Friday, January 17, 2003


Kary Mullis, a very skeptical Nobel Prize-winning scientist says here and here that what scientists say often reflects their need for funding more than anything else. Excerpt:

But there just aren't any convincing data to support predictions of environmental disaster. It's all conjectural, and even if environmental change is on the cards, 'What's the trouble with something being out of balance if the natural state of that thing is change?' So-called scientific advisers and media mavens cry up imminent disaster because it's easier to get funding that way. Watch out: these people are manipulating you. And some of the worst of the gloom merchants aren't even proper scientists: 'They are parasites with degrees in economics or sociology who couldn't get a good job in the legitimate advertising industry.'

And even leading Greenhouse scientist and advocate Stephen Schneider says:

"... we are not scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have."

John Daly points out that, although he is now the scientific superstar of global warming, Schneider was a great prophet of global COOLING only a few years ago. So it seems reasonable to conclude that when Schneider opens his mouth it his pocket you hear talking.

So, I regret to say that the appeals to authority that �Greenhouse� advocates are always relying on are about as informative as relying on the authorities of Galileo�s day who argued that the earth is flat. Relying on scientists who depend on getting research grants for their livelihood is to lean on a broken reed. Unfortunately, we must look at the facts ourselves wherever we can.

I myself resigned from my tenured university teaching job at age 39 because I was appalled at how thoroughly unscientific the vast majority of my fellow �social scientists� were (Ray, 1989).

Ray, J.J. (1989) The scientific study of ideology is too often more ideological than scientific. Personality & Individual Differences 10, 331-336. See also here



Britain's Daily Telegraph has just caught up with the Russian data on global cooling reported here on 29 December last year. Excerpts:

The big melt-down should now be well under way. Yet the latest research not only fails to give any evidence for it, but points to the exact opposite: a deepening of the polar freeze

Despite these latest findings, most climate scientists insist that man-made pollution must eventually make its presence felt. Yet the repeated failure of their computer models to match reality is becoming ever harder to ignore - and raises grave doubts about the wisdom of basing government policy on their predictions.

Via Aaron Oakley



The Curmudgeon continues his more-than-courteous references to this blog. Although the readership of this blog is smaller than many (an inevitable effect of its being one of the most academic blogs there is) I note that a lot of the readers seem to be my fellow bloggers.

One of The Curmudgeon�s posts that made me sit up is his news that Pres. Bush is trying to cap damages payments in the courts in order to rein in the cost of liability insurance: Long overdue. Several Australian States have done that already so it is possible. There is a $300,000 cap on ALL liability claims in New South Wales now.



Prof. Bunyip is at his inimitable best in commenting on "human shields"

China Hand has resumed blogging now that China has lifted the blocking of Blogspot. He posts on what cars are selling in China and resolves to try to rein in his Sinophilia.

The Wicked one has a scientific argument in praise of beer and some very skeptical thoughts about African �leaders�

Australian airport security screening is a joke. Even our government thinks so.

The Yobbo is wondering whether to take Tim Dunlop�s advice and stop being anonymous. In view of Iain Murray�s recent experience, my advice is a resounding �NO�. Stay anonymous.

Supermercado reluctantly admits his real surname: �Woolcock�. And adds: �Yes, that's the name and it's the last time it'll ever get a mention on here. And I�ve heard every single sheep-shagging gag known to man

Chris Brand discusses white teachers fleeing from black schools.

Michael Darby excerpts an irreverent interview with John Derbyshire on Iraq and Islam.


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