Category Archives: Science And Society

The “Consensus” On Climate Change

Scott Adams explains why he accepts it, even though it’s probably wrong:

when it comes to pattern recognition, I see the climate science skeptics within the scientific community as being similar to Shy Trump Supporters. The fact that a majority of scientists agree with climate science either means the evidence is one-sided or the social/economic pressures are high. And as we can plainly see, the cost of disagreeing with climate science is unreasonably high if you are a scientist.

While it is true that a scientist can become famous and make a big difference by bucking conventional wisdom and proving a new theory, anything short of total certainty would make that a suicide mission. And climate science doesn’t provide the option of total certainty.

To put it another way, it would be easy for a physicist to buck the majority by showing that her math worked. Math is math. But if your science depends on human judgement to decide which measurements to include and which ones to “tune,” you don’t have that option. Being a rebel theoretical physicist is relatively easy if your numbers add up. But being a rebel climate scientist is just plain stupid. So don’t expect to see many of the latter. Scientists can often be wrong, but rarely are they stupid.

…I accept the consensus of climate science experts when they say that climate science is real and accurate. But I do that to protect my reputation and my income. I have no way to evaluate the work of scientists.

If you ask me how scared I am of climate changes ruining the planet, I have to say it is near the bottom of my worries. If science is right, and the danger is real, we’ll find ways to scrub the atmosphere as needed. We always find ways to avoid slow-moving dangers. And if the risk of climate change isn’t real, I will say I knew it all along because climate science matches all of the criteria for a mass hallucination by experts.

It does indeed.

The Father Of Global Warming

dials back the alarm:

What a difference a few months make!

Just in time for holiday season, and for the Trump Administration, the father of the climate alarm, formerly a climate scientist with NASA/GISS, and now a full-time scientist/activist, has ameliorated his grand climate alarm. The 10-year ultimatum announced in 2006, made more dire in 2009 and since, is now moderated.

This October, we were told that the net emissions of of man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must go negative. Now, “we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”

A climate scientist might want to see Dr. Hansen’s math and model simulation to understand the revision in the last sixty days.

Maybe the climate can survive Donald Trump after all!

He’ll probably kill us all some other way.

Statins

No scientific evidence for their use.”

It’s not just nutrition that’s a scientific Charlie Foxtrot. I had a cardiologist in Florida try to put me on Lipitor a few years ago. I told her, “there’s no scientific evidence that it reduces heart risk in people like me,” I told her. “Where did you hear that?” she demanded. “The Pfizer web site,” I replied. She was flabbergasted.

Elon Musk And “Space Exploration”

Here‘s kind of a typically dumb piece, which reeks of Apolloism:

I am a big fan of space exploration and I think that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is a visionary company that is trying to conduct meaningful space exploration. Yet, Congress might want to take a hard look at the ticket price for Musk’s latest endeavor before spending $10 billion to populate Mars.

First, SpaceX is not “trying to conduct meaningful space exploration.” It is trying to establish human settlements on Mars. And if it could really be done for as little as $10B, that would be an incredible bargain to the taxpayer, compared to (say) spending that same amount on SLS/Orion in the next three years, as NASA currently proposes.

I am a limited government conservative, yet I fully support government funded space travel. But it must be smart and it can’t fund risky adventures. The one concern I have about SpaceX’s plan to travel to Mars is that, on its face, the plan seems more like a for-profit enterprise than true space exploration. I would support pure exploration of Mars and a project that has a stated goal of forwarding humanity. Musk’s idea seems like he is more in it for profit than science.

#ProTip: “Limited-government conservatives” do not spurn profit. And even if making a profit on “science” was really a bad thing, settling Mars has nothing to do with “science.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Musk has received about $4.9 billion already in government subsidies for his three companies. Now he comes to the federal government wanting more. And he has been the beneficiary of many contracts to put satellites into space that run in the billions.

#ProTip: Tesla and Solar City get subsidies. SpaceX gets contracts. One is nothing like the other two, other than federal dollars are involved.

This is a laudable idea and Elon Musk should be celebrated as one of the great innovators of our time, yet the taxpayers should not be funding for profit space exploration and may want to find another contractor who wants to go to space for purely scientific space exploration.

This is a perfect example of the mental confusion that occurs when (as many ignorantly did with Apollo) we conflate “exploration” with “science” with space development and settlement. Mr. Woodson needs to go read my recent screed.

[Update a couple minutes later]

As usual, the comments over there are idiotic, including a couple appearances of the ignorant “NASA’s Muslim outreach.”