22 Dec 08 - William Katz at
http://urgentagenda.com/ recently asked Frank Tipler, the
distinguished mathematical physicist at Tulane University, for his view
of the global-warming controversy, and he was kind enough to send this
thoughtful reply. Here are sin excerpts:.
“As regards global warming, my view is essentially
the same as yours: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scam, with no
basis in science.
(1) I am particularly annoyed by the claims that the "the debate is
over," because this was exactly the claim originally made against the
Copernican theory of the Solar System.
(2) It is obvious that anthropogenic global warming is not science at
all, because a scientific theory makes non-obvious predictions which are
then compared with observations that the average person can check for
himself. As we both know from our own observations, AGW theory has
spectacularly failed to do this. The theory has predicted steadily
increasing global temperatures, and this has been refuted by experience.
NOW the global warmers claim that the Earth will enter a cooling
period. In other words, whether the ice caps melt, or expand ---
whatever happens --- the AGW theorists claim it confirms their theory.
A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology.
(3) In contrast, the alternative theory, that the increase and decrease
of the Earth's average temperature in the near term follows the sunspot
number, agrees (roughly) with observation. And the observations were
predicted before they occurred. This is good science.
(4) I emphasized in point (2) that the average person has to be able to
check the observations. I emphasize this because I no longer trust
"scientists" to report observations correctly. I think the data is
adjusted to confirm, as far as possible, AGW. We've seen many recent
cases where the data was cooked in climate studies. In one case, Hanson
and company claimed that October 2008 was the warmest October on record.
Watts looked at the data, and discovered that Hanson and company had
used September's temperatures for Russia rather than October's. I'm not
surprised to learn that September is hotter than October in the Northern
When I first starting teaching astronomy at Tulane
in the early 1980's, I would show sunspots to my students by pointing a
small $25 reflecting telescope at the Sun, and focusing the Sun's image
on the wall of the classroom. Sunspots were obviously in the image on
the wall. I can't do this experiment today, because there are no
(5) Another shocking thing about the AGW theory is that it is generating
a loss of true scientific knowledge. The great astronomer William
Herschel, the discoverer of the planet Uranus, observed in the early
1800's that warm weather was correlated with sunspot number. Herschel
noticed that warmer weather meant better crops, and thus fewer sunspots
meant higher grain prices. The AGW people are trying to do a
disappearing act on these observations. Some are trying to deny the
existence of the Maunder Minimum.
(6) AGW supporters are also bringing back the Inquisition, where the
power of the state is used to silence one's scientific opponents. The
case of Bjorn Lomborg is illustrative. Lomborg is a tenured professor
of mathematics in Denmark. Shortly after his book, "The Skeptical
Environmentalist," was published by Cambridge University Press, Lomborg
was charged and convicted (later reversed) of scientific fraud for being
critical of the "consensus" view on AGW and other environmental
questions. Had the conviction been upheld, Lomborg would have been
I find it very disturbing that part of the Danish
Inquisition's case against Lomborg was written by John Holdren, Obama's
new science advisor. Holdren has recently written that people like
Lomborg are "dangerous." I think it is people like Holdren who are
dangerous, because they are willing to use state power to silence their
(7) I agree with Dick Lindzen that the AGW nonsense is generated by
government funding of science. If a guy agrees with AGW, then he can
get a government contract. If he is a skeptic, then no contract.
See (8), and entire commentary, at:
Thanks to Hans Schreuder for this link