Freeman Dyson and Global Warming &c.

| No Comments
A bit of a puff-piece but good to see that he is still kicking around. From the Princeton University Town Topics:
Freeman Dyson Debunks Dire Forecasts on Global Warming and Other Tenets
Freeman Dyson gets around. Last Wednesday, for example, the 85-year-old �retired� physicist regaled a lunchtime audience at the Nassau Club with his �heretical� ideas about global warming. Just a few hours later he could be found once again sharing his thoughts on global warming, as well as on intelligent design, nuclear warfare, extraterrestrial life, and HAR-1 (a DNA component that distinguishes human beings from other animals) with a standing-room-only crowd at Labyrinth Books.

Mr. Dyson�s credentials are venerable: the British-born scholar received a BA from the University of Cambridge in 1945, and was, from 1953 until his retirement in 1994, a physics professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. The absence of a PhD in his resume has been more than compensated for by the 21 honorary degrees he has received over the years.

He seems happiest, however, when he is working at being the rebel, and indeed, one of his books, a compilation of essays published earlier in The New York Review of Books, is called The Scientist as Rebel. Wearing an effusively-colored tie that set off his gray suit, Mr. Dyson began his talk at the Nassau Club by encouraging the audience to interrupt him as he spoke, since, he declared, �it�s much more fun to have an argument than do a monologue.�

In the absence of audience interruptions, Mr. Dyson had an argument anyway with the scores of people (like Al Gore) who weren�t present to defend their belief in the dire consequences of global warming. (�There�s no accounting for human folly,� Mr. Dyson said when asked about Mr. Gore�s Nobel Prize.) Saying that on a recent trip he and his wife found Greenlanders to be delighted with their warmer climate and increased tourism, Mr. Dyson suggested that representing �local warming by a global average is misleading.� In his comments at both the Nassau Club and Labyrinth, he decried the use of computer modeling to make �tremendously dogmatic� predictions about worldwide trends, without acknowledging the �messy, muddy real world� and the non-climatic effects of increased carbon dioxide. �There is no substitute for widely-conducted field operations over a long time,� he told the Nassau Club audience, citing the �enormous gaps in knowledge and sparseness of observation� that characterize the work of global warming experts.

Mr. Dyson�s fearless commentary continued later at Labyrinth, where, standing for over an hour and without a microphone, he delighted a full house by declaring the existence of 10,000 string theorists to be �sociologically dangerous� (�one thousand would be enough�), and balked at an audience member�s query about what he would do with a $700 billion grant. �When science gets rich it becomes political,� he observed. As an example of the most expensive efforts not necessarily being the most worthwhile, he pointed to CERN�s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, the subject of much recent attention, noting that it was designed to identify only certain particles, losing much potentially interesting information in the process. �The important things are the ones you don�t expect,� he noted.
What he said. His son, George, lives in Bellingham and that fruit did not fall far from the tree.

Leave a comment

May 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
Jennifer Marohasy
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
New Scientist
Next Big Future
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 20, 2008 9:00 PM.

50 words and eight 8 material mistruths and misrepresentations about the Environment was the previous entry in this blog.

Time for some heads to roll - literally is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9