Monday, March 13, 2017

Muller on climate change

Climate change, global warming, clobal charming, or whatever the Current Year wants us to call it, mainly interests the Left and the soft Right. The hard Right does not seem to care much. Migration, after all, threatens to kill us all long before climate change can wreak its havoc (if indeed it has havoc to wreak), so I would say that the hard Right has its priorities straight.

Nevertheless, as a question of geology and, separately, as an instrument of politics, the question of climate change may merit some note. Physicist Richard Muller says:
All of the issues legitimately raised by skeptics were potential biases: data selection, temperature-station siting, data adjustment, and heat island. The fifth was potential bias from the large number of adjusted parameters that were used in the global climate models, and from the instability of those enormous simulations. We came up with a solid analysis of each of the biases and were able to conclude, using our independent work, that global warming was real and caused by humans. We can go farther than the IPCC by attributing 90% of the warming of the past 260 years to humans. We’ve kept our work open and transparent.
I get along very well with skeptics, largely because I respect them. Most of their complaints against climate change are legitimate. Most headlines and most comments made by politicians―and by many scientists!―on this subject are either exaggerated, misleading, or false; that’s why there are so many skeptics. I’ve talked privately to very prominent scientists who admitted to me that they exaggerate on purpose to garner public concern and action. But I think such exaggerations are counterproductive; they lead to a mistrust in science.
In the same interview, Muller speaks of the forward direction of the flow of time. You can read Muller's full comments here.

Separately, Steven Weinberg opines on "The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics," if you're into that sort of thing.

(I would thank Edward Feser for drawing attention to Muller's interview, Weinberg's opinion and, with reference to my last post, Scruton's essay.)

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