Italiano Scienza

Linee Guida per una Scienza Libera

Mentre la debacle sul riscaldamento globale causato da CO2 e’ pronta a esplodere, in settimane se non in mesi, e’ interessante andare a vedere cosa suggeriscono due autorevoli scienziati dalle pagine de Le Scienze/American Scientist, sulla base della loro esperienza nel trovarsi di fronte una comunita’ scientifica sostanzialmente chiusa a ogni risultato che andasse contrario al “consenso”.

L’articolo originale e’: Ronald K. Chesser e Robert J. Baker, Crescere con Chernobyl, Le Scienze, maggio 2007, n.465 (qui il testo in inglese)

Ecco la ricetta di Chesser e Baker per una Scienza piu’ libera dalle mode del momento (commenti in corsivo):

  • Ricuperare attendibilita’: aborrire ogni influenza della politica nella scienza, identificare per meglio difendersi dai preconcetti, e migliorare tutte le procedure che usino standard troppo permissivi
  • Stabilire (appunto!) standard molto severi, e riconoscere ed eliminare tutti i fattori che possono minare il rigore scientifico
    • Archiviare tutto per permettere sempre la replicazione
    • Lavorare in “doppio cieco”, in modo che chi rilevi i dati non sia tentato di “trovare cio’ che sta cercando”
    • Chiarire molto bene la provenienza di ogni campione
    • Riportare risultati negativi (succede su pochissime riviste scientifiche)
  • Lavorare rendendosi conto del fatto che belle teorie sono distrutte da fatti sgradevoli
  • Ricordarsi che spesso un vero progresso richiede un cambio di prospettiva
  • Non dimenticare la Storia, per non ripetere gli errori degli scienziati passati
  • Mantenere una certa umilta’ (per ascoltare il mondo invece che cercare di imporsi)
  • Cercare di avere un unico obiettivo: la verita’
  • Pretendere che risultati straordinari siano accompagnati prove straordinarie
  • Non pensare che basti avere una buona idea per attirare finanziamenti (e viceversa, che cio’ che attira finanziamenti siano le buone idee)
  • Prepararsi a essere scomodi e impopolari

Chesser e Baker (secondo i quali la zona intorno a Chernobyl non e’ poi cosi’ malaccio, anzi e’ un paradiso per ogni specie di animali visto che non ci sono esseri umani) non sono certo il Vangelo e non hanno detto l’ultima parola riguardo gli effetti positivi e negativi di quell’incidente nucleare. Proprio alcuni giorni fa e’ uscito uno studio che sembra smentire i loro risultati.

Ma non e’ quello il punto: l’importante e’ imparare, da Chernobyl e dalle facilonerie sul riscaldamento globale da anidride carbonica, che il metodo della scienza va difeso contro ogni “consenso” forzato.

Altrimenti torniamo al periodo pre-galileiano, quando gli “scienziati” studiavano la natura sui libri di Aristotele.

catastrophism Climate Change Democracy English Environment Ethics Humanity Politics Science Skepticism

A Fred Fisher Moment for Climate Supremacists

The beginning of the end of Senator McCarthy’s 7 years in the spotlight was surely and improbably his mentioning of young Boston lawyer Frederick G. Fisher, Jr.: whose left-wing past the Senator unwarrantedly used to undermine US Army’s attorney Joseph Welch. On live TV, June 9, 1954, Welch famously retorted “Have you no sense of decency, sir?

Having seen what excesses the Senator could reach in his campaign to uncover Communists, public opinion turned against him.

Are we witnessing something similar about Climate Change? Have the catastrophists finally overreached, to the point of toppling themselves over? The indications are all there: because after Newsweek’s 9-page-tirade against anybody that dares to doubt anything about anthropogenic climate change (Aug 13, 2007), the tide is starting to turn.

In fact, no less commentators than Jeff Jacoby on the Boston Globe, and Robert J Samuelson in the next issue of the very same Newsweek magazine, have recently denounced the absurd attitudes of people apparently allergic to any form of dissent in matters of climate change.

For years, in the best of circumstances one has been labeled a “skeptic” (as if there were anything wrong with that!) at the first hint of not following the exact line behind the likes of Al Gore, James Hansen and the IPCC. Some of us had to repeatedly answer charges of “denialism”, a slur meant to create the impression of equivalence between those skeptical of a _possible_ FUTURE catastrophic change in the climate caused by human activities’ carbon dioxide emissions, and those still doubting the historical, PAST _fact_ of the Holocaust.

Note that I haven’t even mentioned the veiled and not-so-veiled threats of future trials ‘a-la-Nuremberg.

Between that and a complete picture of Climate Change Supremacism, only violence appeared to be missing in the actions of those carrying out a hard-headed campaign bent on stifling any hint of opposition to upcoming grand, poorly-thought-out lifestyle-changing plans such as carbon-emission-rationing.

Who knows, perhaps crosses will start burning on somebody’s lawn as soon as a zero-carbon-emission flame becomes readily available? But then, psychological violence has already started creeping in. How else to characterize President of the American Council on Renewable Energy, Michael Eckhart’s threat of career destruction against Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute?

That must surely be the most egregious example of the poisonous atmosphere concocted up by climate totalitarians. But it is just the latest and the biggest in a series.

Martin Durkin, author of the Great Global Warming Swindle documentary found himself under an unduly heavy barrage of condemnations of various sorts, including highly-browed calls for censorship by esteemed Professors. Steve McIntyre, the blogger/statistician that has recently discovered a bug in the software used by NASA to incorrectly attribute the warmest of US years to 1998, has seen his website crushed by an apparent DOS attack just hours later.

My own views (a basic question: if the climate is changing, where is the change in weather, not just temperature?) have been abused at times to “demonstrate” I wasn’t worthy of engaging in a discussion in a completely different area.

We literally live in the middle of an escalation of tones. Even people genuinely worried about Global Warming must understand how dangerous and ultimately self-defeating the attitudes of climate totalitarians and climate supremacists are.

If there really is an upcoming disaster, shouldn’t efforts concentrate on getting the world prepared, rather tan on stamping out differences of opinion?

Jacoby is right when he specifies that good intentions are not an excuse. All revolutions are avowedly meant for the betterment of Humanity. But whilst the American one led to the Constitution, the French Revolution brought years of guillotined Terror.

There is no need to remind the horrors perpetrated by Italian Fascists, German Nazis and Russian Communists, believe it or not all in the name of great ideals of peace and prosperity.

Justice Louis Brandeis is quoted by Jacoby as saying “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

We are the children and grandchildren of the millions that either fought to contain and defeat dictatorships, or were misguidedly seduced into selling out their freedoms to monomaniacal, homicidal types with illusions of omnipotence.

History will not and cannot forgive us, if we let that happen again.