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Re: [Phys-l] Phys-l madness

I think one should look at the web and see that Lewis has achieved something
with his resignation. His letter is now being posted on the religious
anti-global warming web sites. As to religion on this list, the 95 thesis
analogy is precisely what the religious sites are comparing it to. Rather
than igniting reasoned discourse the resignation is empowering the
anti-science nuts. They will say things like of course carbon dioxide is
not dangerous because it is necessary for plant growth, so it can not cause
global warming.

I consider his use of the word pseudoscience as intemperate and pejorative.
It is designed to cut off debate. I think his wording is sparking even more
madness and unreasoned debate. Unfortunately very good scientists can make
large blunders, especially outside of their field of expertise. Remember
Einstein rejected a lot of quantum theory on philosophical grounds.

When dealing with a complex subject like global warming or possible
catastrophic climate change we need more reasoned debate free of profit,
religious, or political motives. But unfortunately we have entanglement
with those motives. For example Spencer is convinced apparently on
religious grounds that the Earth is a stable system with negative feedback
that keeps it stable. So he has concentrated his efforts at proving this.
While he has come up with some very interesting ideas, this is not how
science should proceed.

If the model of global warming is correct, then there should be alarmism,
but if incorrect complacency is OK. We can not know for certain which is
correct. Should we err on the side of caution? The consensus at present is
that global warming is real, and that it could have catastrophic effects,
but there is a reasonable minority view. The evidence in favor of long term
global warming seems to be increasing, and we have mechanisms for it.
Unfortunately the climate system does have positive feedback that can drive
things to an extreme. For example melting ice reduces the albedo which
increases warming. Once this happens it may not be possible to turn back
the clock within a reasonable time frame.

We often deprecate people outside of our field, but climate scientists are
not stupid, and they do consider a large number of factors in their models.
So most of us do not have enough expertise to really pick holes in their
predictions. Like it or not we are dependent on the scientific process in
other fields. Are there any bonafide climate researchers on this list???

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

A firestorm of religious fervor then erupted on phys-l - most of which I
have not and will not read. Intelligent, otherwise reasonable people feel
obligated to make intemperate statements regarding topics on which they
feel deep moral commitment can inform natural law.

Can't you guys separate physics from superstition? Please acknowledge that
political philosophy has nothing to contribute to scientific knowledge,
and that the magnitude of the scope of our ignorance is, perhaps, greater
than we would like to believe it is - especially in the area of climate

For myself, I am glad that Hal Lewis nailed these 95 theses to the wall.
Global warming alarmism seems to have run its course, and perhaps we will
be treated to another age of enlightenment in my lifetime.