Not written by me:
Climate Science and Special Relativity
One cannot help but notice the events of the past few weeks (nay months if you include Climategate II), and the ad hominem attacks on both sides.
Fred Singer in his recent post here would have us place Climate Science advocates into three groups; deniers, sceptics and warmistas – but why the need for demarcation?
Way back in 1879, it may not have been evident to Pauline and Hermann that their new-born son would progress through his teenage years as a school drop-out – using a forged Doctor’s note to do so. Although later in life at the age of 16 he did enroll in a Polytechnic – but again failed in just about every subject.
At 17, he and his sweetheart enrolled again at the Polytechnic, stimulating the interest he held about electromagnetism
Married, divorced, married again, he couldn’t even get a job teaching, so ended up working as a clerk in the local Patent Office reviewing patent applications pertaining to electromagnetism. But boredom led to many thoughtful reflections on life, the universe and everything.
In 1905, by thesis, he obtained a Doctorate, and that same year published not one, but 4 ground-breaking papers.
His name of course is Albert Einstein – the amateur who proclaimed to the world the nature of matter, energy and relativity.
OK, so what has this little biography got to do with Climate Science – well I say it should teach us 2 things:
Firstly, an amateur working as a clerk is just as able to present the truth as the most gifted professional. The truth is the truth no matter who presents it. The unwillingness of many main-stream “Climate Scientists” to engage with alternate viewpoints sets them apart from “Science”. To many the science is not settled, and needs a full open and honest public debate.
Of course building on Einstein’s work, a humble Belgian priest Le Maitre (another gifted amateur) proposed a theory now well established regarding an expanding universe. I well remember a revered astronomer from my old school in Yorkshire, England – a certain Fred Hoyle who unwittingly creating a phrase bandied about to this day – in an attempt he states never meant to mock relativity and/or expansionism – he jokingly referred to a “big bang”. That particular phrase seems to have stuck with us somehow.
More recently, over on the Swiss border, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) produced some unexpected results when Neutrinos were observed to be apparently travelling faster than light – something Special Relativity states is impossible.
Although I saw some rejection of this notion in various Fora, I saw no ad hominem attacks – simply a startled disbelief and a raging curiosity – could we be wrong after all these years? Do we have to rewrite the physics?
As we now know, a computer cabling glitch has been blamed for the neutrinos apparent haste – but hey – for a moment there it looked real cool – most physicists I know were both incredulous and incredibly excited at one and the same time.
So, my second point – true scientists – in this case physicists – are willing to be sceptical. They are willing – nay eager – to look at new possibilities and alternate explanations.
Compare that to the theatre that is “Climate Science”