Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Holocaust Denier Added To List

That would be impending climate holocaust denier Physics professor William Happer. He is rather incendiary in his denial too.

Physics professor William Happer GS ’64 has some tough words for scientists who believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

“This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”

Happer served as director of the Office of Energy Research in the U.S. Department of Energy under President George H.W. Bush and was subsequently fired by Vice President Al Gore, reportedly for his refusal to support Gore’s views on climate change. He asked last month to be added to a list of global warming dissenters in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report. The list includes more than 650 experts who challenge the belief that human activity is contributing to global warming.
Mr. Happer is a reasonable man. And being a reasonable man he gives his reasons for doubting man made CO2 caused climate change.
In a statement sent to the Senate as part of his request, Happer explained his reasoning for challenging the climate change movement, citing his research and scientific knowledge.

“I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect, for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow,” he said in the statement. “Based on my experience, I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken.”
And there is some troubling news that clouds the veracity of some climate change scientists. They are funded by oil companies.
Happer said that he is alarmed by the funding that climate change scientists, such as Pacala and Socolow, receive from the private sector.

“Their whole career depends on pushing. They have no other reason to exist. I could care less. I don’t get a dime one way or another from the global warming issue,” Happer noted. “I’m not on the payroll of oil companies as they are. They are funded by BP.”
BP is British Petroleum. Now why would they be interested in promoting global warming theories? Not to hard to figure out. Petroleum is a HYDROcarbon. Natural gas is a HYDROcarbon. As such it is at a competitive advantage to coal which is just plain CARBON. However, since water vapor is the most significant variable greenhouse gas, and since HYDROcarbons when burned make both CO2 and water vapor, then HYDROcarbons should actually be taxed more. And that hot steaming cup of coffee you have in the morning makes you an environmental criminal. You despoiler of the earth. Starbucks is ruining the Earth with all its hot beverages. The criminals.

Oh. Yeah. Where were we?
Happer explained that his beliefs about climate change come from his experience at the Department of Energy, at which Happer said he supervised all non-weapons energy research, including climate change research. Managing a budget of more than $3 billion, Happer said he felt compelled to make sure it was being spent properly. “I would have [researchers] come in, and they would brief me on their topics,” Happer explained. “They would show up. Shiny faces, presentation ready to go. I would ask them questions, and they would be just delighted when you asked. That was true of almost every group that came in.”

The exceptions were climate change scientists, he said.

“They would give me a briefing. It was a completely different experience. I remember one speaker who asked why I wanted to know, why I asked that question. So I said, you know I always ask questions at these briefings … I often get a much better view of [things] in the interchange with the speaker,” Happer said. “This guy looked at me and said, ‘What answer would you like?’ I knew I was in trouble then. This was a community even in the early 1990s that was being turned political. [The attitude was] ‘Give me all this money, and I’ll get the answer you like.’ ”

Happer said he is dismayed by the politicization of the issue and believes the community of climate change scientists has become a veritable “religious cult,” noting that nobody understands or questions any of the science.

He noted in an interview that in the past decade, despite what he called “alarmist” claims, there has not only not been warming, there has in fact been global cooling. He added that climate change scientists are unable to use models to either predict the future or accurately model past events.
That last statement is not exactly true. The models predict that politicians will have to take more control over our lives. And that is a prediction that is hardly ever wrong.

Happer does get into the prediction business himself though.
“[Climate change theory has] been extremely bad for science. It’s going to give science a really bad name in the future,” he said. “I think science is one of the great triumphs of humankind, and I hate to see it dragged through the mud in an episode like this.”
And that is a the real shame of politicized science. It is no longer the search for truth (or as close as we can approximate it) it is a search for money.

Which is why of all the scientific disciplines, I like engineering the best. If your bridges don't hold up people notice and the mistakes are researched and corrected rather quickly. On the other hand mistakes in "pure" science can get carried along for decades or longer. So my attitude is that it is not real science until it can be converted into engineering i.e. you can do something useful with it. That does not mean pure research is without value. It is just that the truth or value may not be known for a long time. A very good recent example of that is the "butter is bad, margarine is good" consensus. We are now 180 out from that consensus. It is now "butter is good, margarine is bad". Until some new research enters the field.

So how should one look at any scientific claims? If you are a true scientist you should be a sceptic. Because the ways of being fooled are uncountable. Myself? I'm a believer in doubt.

“I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” - Aleister Crowley

H/T IceCap

Cross Posted at Classical Values


rumcrook said...

that whole read was depressing.

good thing the worlds comming to an end in 2012.

(they said so on the history channel)

finn said...

Great article! Landed on it by accident, looking for articles about german-gaschamber-holocaust denial.

Obviously all sorts of holocaust-hysteria should be taken for bogus until proved otherwise.