Because I don’t want this to happen. And even if it will happen, still I will be the last one standing with a house full of lighting.
Peter Gleick of “weak thought” and “let’s-pump-up-some-controversy-exactly-when-my-book-is-published” fame has surfaced again, this time in a comment to a photograph posted by Andy Revkin on Facebook, showing Lord Monckton and Brad Johnson in Cancún.
Sadly, there isn’t much positive to report this time either.
Ironically (or exactly!), Gleick’s comment is posted exactly underneath my quote from Carl Sagan, “the cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas“. Here’s Gleick’s:
I cannot believe that Monckton has a booth. Astounding.
And this is my reply:
Whilst I am not surprised by Peter Gleick’s comment, exactly juxtaposed to Sagan’s quote, a quick google search identifies Lord Monckton as “advisor” to CFACT.
Therefore it is incorrect to claim that Monckton “has a booth” in Cancun.
On the… other hand CFACT describes itself as “a UN credentialed NGO [that] has been sending delegations to UN conferences for many years“. So if anybody is itching for a bit of censorship and has a problem with the UN credentials system, an email or two in the direction of that glass building in Turtle Bay are in order.
As I find myself repeating, AGW has been so far impossible to falsify, in the sense that nobody has any idea of what kind of observation or observations would be needed to disprove it, either as-is or in its catastrophic form.
This is no small detail, as the very existence of catastrophic AGW is used by many people in blatant violation of Cromwell’s Rule:
if a coherent Bayesian attaches a prior probability of zero to the hypothesis that the Moon is made of green cheese, then even whole armies of astronauts coming back bearing green cheese cannot convince him
How many AGWers would be able to accept the famous exhortation, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken“? Very very few, especially among those of an activist variety. And this brings one straight back where I started for tonight’s research, a chance view (via the concept of “scientific allegiance“) of a short, emotional clip from “The Ascent of Man” by Jacob Bronowski, author of the quote that is the title of this post.
Bronowski makes a very poignant point, inviting each and every one of us to reach out to people, instead of transforming them into numbers. And what is the accusation of “denialism” but an attempt to de-humanize anybody that is not an AGW True Believer?
The world being built anybody using the term “denialism” in an AGW context ain’t pretty. Bronowski again:
There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. All information is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility. That is the human condition; and that is what quantum physics says. I mean that literally.