March 26, 2009

A Civil Heretic

A nice profile of my favorite scientist, Freeman Dyson.  I first started liking Dyson after reading the wonderful story of him and his son, George, The Starship and the Canoe back in the early 80's.

the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson has quietly resided in Prince­ton, N.J., on the wooded former farmland that is home to his employer, the Institute for Advanced Study, this country's most rarefied community of scholars. Lately, however, since coming "out of the closet as far as global warming is concerned," as Dyson sometimes puts it, there has been noise all around him. Chat rooms, Web threads, editors' letter boxes and Dyson's own e-mail queue resonate with a thermal current of invective in which Dyson has discovered himself variously described as "a pompous twit," "a blowhard," "a cesspool of misinformation," "an old coot riding into the sunset" and, perhaps inevitably, "a mad scientist." Dyson had proposed that whatever inflammations the climate was experiencing might be a good thing because carbon dioxide helps plants of all kinds grow. Then he added the caveat that if CO2 levels soared too high, they could be soothed by the mass cultivation of specially bred "carbon-eating trees," . . . Dyson's son, George, a technology historian, says his father's views have cooled friendships, while many others have concluded that time has cost Dyson something else. There is the suspicion that, at age 85, a great scientist of the 20th century is no longer just far out, he is far gone — out of his beautiful mind.

And this is what passes for scientific discussion in the world of global warming... if you have ideas that don't include ruining the economy, or that don't agree that global warming is all that bad for Mankind.. you are, no matter how smart you once were, a twit, a blowhard, a cesspool, an old coot or too old to think straight.  Yeah, those comebacks really blow his ideas out of the water, don't they.  Just remember, they only call you names when they can't refute your statements.

1 comment:

MikeR said...

Interesting. I happen to read "A Civil Heretic" today along with "The UN Makes it Official: Global Warming Hysteria Is All About Redistributing Wealth". I have often wondered how they can say with such certainty we are headed for catastrophic global warming when meteorologists hedge their forecasts for the next day. I've also noticed they are calling it climate change now instead of just global warming, hedging their bets too I suppose.