BBC Horizon 26 Jan 2011 Science Under Attack
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Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse examines why science appears to be under attack, and why public trust in key scientific theories has been eroded - from the theory that man-made climate change is warming our planet, to the safety of GM food, or that HIV causes AIDS.
He interviews scientists and campaigners from both sides of the climate change debate, and travels to New York to meet Tony, who has HIV but doesn't believe that that the virus is responsible for AIDS.
This is a passionate defence of the importance of scientific evidence and the power of experiment, and a look at what scientists themselves need to do to earn trust in controversial areas of science in the 21st century.
Great part where Paul Nurse blows a swivel-eyed climate change denying journalist out of the water.
Jan 26, 2011, 04:09:33
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2d , 10h 57m 16s ago
The BBC is not to be trusted anymore.
If you want to find out some truth about global warming then try here www.weatheraction.com.
The interview you mention with the "swivel eyed denier" was originally 3 hours long, but the BBC edited to make it look as it did. The journalist being interviewed has just won an award for his writing.
I say again - you cannot trust any output from the BBC anymore.
Jan 26 2011, 09:00 CET
Salparadise, I just looked at the website you posted and it referred me to Christopher Monkton for evidence - are you kidding us? The guy is a loony. As in the programme, on the one side you have the scientific process with a huge amount of data and on the other side you have a few crackpots and journalists. Who are you going to trust?
Jan 26 2011, 12:22 CET
Piers Corbyn, so called astrophysicist, and solar weather forecaster, runs his weatheraction.com website with the financicial assistance of the Koch brothers and other carbon/chemical corporations. Hmm wonder why he dosen't believe global warming is man made?
Jan 26 2011, 13:28 CET
mimo1860, the Wikipedia entry for Piers Corbyn is quite amusing:
'His first papers were published as an undergraduate in the Royal Meteorological Society's magazine Weather discussing his brine-filled barometer; in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association for his home-based measurements of the eccentricity of the earth's orbit; and in the Geographical Journal (of the Royal Geographical Society) for a study on the size of pebbles along Chesil Beach.'
Jan 26 2011, 14:06 CET
More to the point - weatheraction has at least an 85% accuracy record for long term weather forecasting. As versus the rather dreary figure that the MetOffice has - the MetOffice - who can't get tomorrow's weather right, are the main propagators of climate change science.
Who am I going to believe?
The person whose theories come true time after time after time.
Jan 26 2011, 15:23 CET
Corbyn does not do very well at forecasting at all:
"It is unusual for most of the detail to be completely correct, but equally it is rare for nearly everything to be wrong ... Some forecasts are clearly very good, and a few are very poor, but the majority fall in the gray area in between, where an optimistic assessor would find merit, but a critical assessor would find fault."
Jan 26 2011, 15:45 CET
Chomsky made a nice point about the meteoroligists refuting climate change in “Human Intelligence and The Environment” speech. (at 28min:34sec):
"The media contribute to this too.
So if you read, say, a typical story in The New York Times it will tell you that there is a debate about global warming. And if you look at the debate, on one side there is maybe 98% of the relevant scientists in the World, on the other side are a couple of serious scientists who question and some handful, and Jim Inhofe and some other senator. So it’s a debate, and... citizen has to make a decision between these two sides.
The Times had an almost hysterical front page article maybe couple a months ago, in which headline said that meteorologists question global warming, and it discussed the debate between meteorologists...
Meteorologists are these pretty faces who read what somebody hands to them on television and say “it’s gonna rain tomorrow” – that’s one side of the debate. The other side of the debate is practically every scientist who knows anything about it.
And, again, the citizen is supposed to decide whether I trust these meteorologists They tell me whether to wear a raincoat tomorrow. So, what do I know about scientists sitting in some laboratory somewhere with computer model.
So yeah, people are confused, and understandably
It’s interesting that these debates leave out almost entirely a third part of debate, namely a very substantial number of scientists, competent scientists, who think that the scientific consensus is much too optimistic. The scientists at MIT came out with report about a year ago, I guess, describing what they call in the scientific publications - the most comprehensive modeling of the climate that had ever been done, and their conclusion which was unreported outside the science journals was that the major scientific consensus of the international commission is just way off, it’s much too optimistic, and if you add other factors that they didn’t count in properly, the conclusions are much more dire. And their own conclusion was that unless we terminate use of fossil fuels almost immediately, it’s finished, we’ll never be able to overcome consequences. Well, that’s not part of the debate."
Of course, there's no need skipping Chomsky.
Jan 26 2011, 19:12 CET
"Into my lap fell a story that changed my life and quite possibly saved Western civilization from greatest threat it has ever known. That story - climategate."
James Delingpole von The Telegraph
(26min:35sec, here, BBC Horizon 26 Jan 2011 Science Under Attack)
He ain’t suffering from ego deficit, that’s for sure. (Why would anyone be coy about saving the World anyway?)
And he saved the civilization by blowing the trumpets, urbi et orbi, that scientists skipped the trees as reliable witnesses of atmospheric temperature in the 20th century.
Firstly, what’s his (Dalingpole’s) evidence that the trees must be trusted since 1900 over all the alternative evidence of - thermometers, satellites & whatnots and their measuring carefully logged all around the world? Technically speaking, how come trees trump the thermometers?
Secondly, what is his evidence (reasoning) that the tree-rings are not reliable before the 20th century and must not be taken into account in gathering data about the Earth’s temperature before the 20th century, but must be used for measuring atmospheric temperature for the last hundred years and even to the exclusion of all the other methods available in this period?
Without those two points proven, he’s left with not much beside severe IQ and/or morality challenges. As noted, he’s ego soars intact, for the time being.
Pity Paul Nurse of The Nobel Prize did not challenge James Dalingpole of The Telegraph on these two key claims Dalingpole, perhaps unwittingly, made.
Jan 27 2011, 01:07 CET
Noam Chomsky is awesome on politics and foreign policies.
But, he is not 100% right all the time (he cannot, for example, face up to the possibility that 9/11 was orchestrated by the US).
He may, as so many others do, quote the tired old maxim that "most scientists agree with man made climate change" but this is somewhat untrue. There are many who don't, but, the campaign for this nonsense is widespread and the media is complicit in the cover up of dissenting voices - unless it's in the form of the mockery and sneering on display in this particular program.
You can believe what you like - makes no difference to me. As for me, I'll err on the side of caution and disbelief until I see some people from the pro-global warming brigade behaving like mature adults and not spoiled children.
Jan 27 2011, 07:43 CET
Jan 27 2011, 14:46 CET
You speak of 'the tired old maxim that "most scientists agree with man made climate change"'
This is not just a "tired old maxim, it is a fact:
"Most" turns out to be around 97-98%.
Moreover "the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers".
Jan 27 2011, 18:06 CET
I would imagine most people would acknowledge that industrial waste is both harmful to the environment and probably have an effect on the levels of green house gasses / ozone or what ever. But more might agree that there are larger influences in 'global climate' change.
Trust no one. Especially those that exercise 'power' over others.
Jan 27 2011, 18:23 CET