The New York Times last week published a profile on Freeman Dyson, in the context of his stance on global warming.
Albert Einstein’s work was considered heretical, because it was interpreted by those who thought him wrong as a repudiation of Newton, who as everyone knew was right. Those who challenged Einstein were for the most part not only very eminent, but who also had an understanding of the issues being raised by Einstein. There were very few people qualified to challenge Einstein, but the average person, no matter how intelligent, was not among them. Einstein’s detractors and his supporters were both among the cream of the human race in intelligence. What they had in common was their belief that only empirical evidence could resolve the issue, as it ultimately did when an critical experiment was designed that could be carried out practically. That is not at all how to describe the cult-like followers of the religion of global warming, and it is a very good reason to withhold judgement on global warming until all of the facts are in.
If global warming is mostly man-made, or even enough man-made so that reducing the man-made component of global warming can reverse it, then either of these propositions could be tested by simply eliminating man-made gases hypothesized to be causing global warming and seeing if it stops.
Of course, such an experiment, if done using the earth’s atmosphere, will destroy the industrial economy of the human race and cause famine, plagues, and possibly a return to temperatures so low that the human race could no longer survive on some portions, now inhabited, of the earth’s surface.
The idea that the human race is going to subject itself to such an experiment to see if the supposition is true is not credible.
The real driver for the development of alternate energy production is not the reduction of the evil production of so-called global warming gases, such as life-giving (to plants) carbon dioxide, but the fact that easily accessed hydrocarbons are becoming too rare to be used for much longer, in the quantities that have been used, if that usage is to be expanded to encompass 2 or 3 times as many people’s energy economy as it does today.
Politicians with no leadership skills are frightened of the people they claim to represent. Too frightened to tell them that nuclear power is the only possible way to generate enough electricity to bring the standard of living and quality of life enjoyed by the West to the rest of the world.
Freeman Dyson is of course right about climate change being natural and mostly capable of being made beneficial. Scientific illiterates with international prizes are not equivalent in credibility, to giants of the stature of Freeman Dyson when it comes to interpreting data and proposing experiments.
The best way for the ignorant to deflect scientific criticism is to make ad hominem attacks.
Here’s a good one. I propose that one Freeman Dyson is worth 100,000 Al Gores for the progress of the human race towards an accommodation with nature.
Can anyone tell me of a single achievement of Al Gore’s that matches any of those of Freeman Dyson?