Looking down on Earth. . .
Chris Evans (CE) and Moira Stewart (MS) discuss Global Warming.
CE: So, listen, I watched ‘Science under Attack’ last night – this programme, the one presented by Sir Paul Nurse, the new president of the Royal Society. It was both excellent, it was bewildering at the same time – it was all about how scientists are failing to get new facts over, and suffering as a consequence. They’re sort of shouldering some of the blame themselves. Global Warming was the main vehicle used to portray his point: lots of people don’t believe it’s happening despite overwhelming data to suggest that it is. Why do so many hundreds of millions of people believe these very clever and dedicated people are lying? That’s very worrying, isn’t it? Don’t you think?
MS: Yeah, yeah, apparently they haven’t been, but they’re very well meaning and giving us findings…
CE: And you can tell.
MS: But, but, (I didn’t realise until far too late,) back in the Middle Ages, it was very, very warm and whatever. I thought that we peoples were freezing to death. Apparently Britain didn’t get that cold…what I’m trying to say is that there are cycles….
CS: Don’t beat yourself up about that, that you’ve only just cottoned on to the fact. The Earth has warmed and cooled, but the thing is, what they said is that it’s cooling at such an exponential rate now that that’s never happened before, and you know, some people don’t believe that maybe we’re contributing to this. But listen, science apart, right, if you light a fire, your living room warms up, doesn’t it? It’s not rocket science!
MS: Indeed, indeed.
CE: It has to be proven because so much is at stake. Scientists have to prove it for the benefit of the rest of us. But if you look at, you know….what was fascinating by the way, is that NASA spend £2m a year with their satellites looking back down to the Earth, so they send things off to space to try and ensure the future safety of Earth, because all these things back in space looking back down to Earth. But they spend £2m a year studying Global Warming, which I don’t think is that much. It’s so crucial – if you think: Wayne Rooney earns £5m a year. Right, the world spends a third of his wages a year on studying whether or not we’re frying ourselves.
MW: We don’t want to know.
CE: No, we don’t want to know. We’re sticking our head in the sand.
MS: But even in my lifetime, from childhood through to now […]when we were using coal and whatever else […]Britain for instance had a terrible atmosphere and it was…if you blew your nose you got black out of your nostrils because of the fog etc…fog and the smog. And yet now we have cleaner air and a cleaner atmosphere, why aren’t we getting a cooler temperature?
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I don’t agree with Chris Evans. Science isn’t about money! I remember the first time I read a paper on global warming, which was one in Nature around 1980, from the noe-discredited climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. This overturned the 1970s consensus that we were headed for an ice age. Volcanic dust was apparently causing global cooling in the 1970s. Then they switched to global warming due to the greenhouse effect.
It’s exactly analogous, both in its contemporary chronology and in its groupthink mentality ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink , one thing Wikipedia DOES define well, for obvious reasons!) to string theory in particle physics!
The roots of both theories go back to a few people, not taken seriously, in the 1960s. String theory and global warming first started to be taken seriously in the 1970s. String theory was reformulated from hadronic string theory in the 70s, and global warming received its first major publicity in 1975 from a founding conference organized by anthropologist Margaret Mead and 1950s RAND Corporation nuclear weapons fallout prediction expert Dr William Kellogg. Kellogg sank RAND Corp’s 1950s fallout prediction computer model by formulating it in terms of very wooden assumptions (a static mushroom cloud, with particles unaffected by the central updraft and the toroidal downdraft around the periphery), unlike the rival USNRDL “dynamic” or D-model of fallout, which allowed heavy particles to fallout while small ones were still rising.
Kellogg’s wooden physics approach seemed to become embossed into the fabric of climate prediction models, including the notorious 1980s “nuclear winter” climate models, which neglected the prompt rainout of soot from firestorm precipitation such as occurred in Hiroshima. Paul Cruzen’s climate model of nuclear winter was put to the test courtesy of Saddam setting ablaze the oil wells in Kuwait in 1992, and failed miserably (as I’ve blogged in detail elsewhere).
The thing that really proves to me that the earth’s climate is stable no matter how much CO2 we pump in is not theory but fact: the K-T event 65 million years ago. A 100 million megatons explosion due to an impact. The climatic effects failed to extinguish life on earth. The firestorms would have produce an enormous injection of CO2 as well as soot, and the impact crater in partially calcium carbonate rock would have produced direct CO2 from the reduction of that rock, but neither the “nuclear winter” not the subsequent global warming extinguished life. It’s pretty obvious that the oceans of this planet make the climate stable.
If it gets too hot, the oceans heat up, evaporation increases, high altitude clouds form, and they reflect back sunlight and shade the surface more, compensating and regulating temperatures so that life survives.
It is interesting that once you get outside groupthink “consensus science”, you find a complete shambles because the training of scientists doesn’t prepare them to work alone like Newton or Darwin on some revolutionary theory that others consider crackpot simply because it’s “unorthodox”. Scientific orthodoxy is full of bullshit doublethink, well illustrated in the Horizon “documentary” where Sir Paul emulates the hypocrisy of Dr Zaius in the 1968 Planet of the Apes. Dr Zaius is both Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith. Any groupthink consensus masquerading as a science, such as the Royal Society, is going to be led by a Dr Zaius. It’s inevitable. In a sense, we have to have a grudging respect for Sir Paul in his determination not to shirk his responsibility in this matter.