Freeman Dyson: speaking out on "global warming"

Freeman Dyson

Freeman Dyson

This is a well written essay by the New York times on Freeman Dyson. Dyson is one of the world’s most eminent physicists. As many WUWT readers know he is a skeptic of AGW aka “global warming”, even going so far as to signing the Oregon Petition, seen below.

This part really spoke to me:

What may trouble Dyson most about climate change are the experts. Experts are, he thinks, too often crippled by the conventional wisdom they create, leading to the belief that “they know it all.” The men he most admires tend to be what he calls “amateurs,” inventive spirits of uncredentialed brilliance like Bernhard Schmidt, an eccentric one-armed alcoholic telescope-lens designer; Milton Humason, a janitor at Mount Wilson Observatory in California whose native scientific aptitude was such that he was promoted to staff astronomer; and especially Darwin, who, Dyson says, “was really an amateur and beat the professionals at their own game.”

You can read an essay about his views on climate change, posted here on WUWT  on 11/05/2007.

Excerpt: from the NYT article:

IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO that Dyson began publicly stating his doubts about climate change. Speaking at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, Dyson announced that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication that is to gravitas what the Beagle was to Darwin, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism. Among those he considers true believers, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”

“The climate-studies people who work with models always tend to overestimate their models,” Dyson was saying. “They come to believe models are real and forget they are only models.”

If only we could get James Hansen to spend an afternoon with Freeman Dyson. (h/t to Alexandre Aguiar )

New York Times Magazine Preview

The Civil Heretic

By NICHOLAS DAWIDOFF

FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY 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,” whereupon the University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner looked through the thick grove of honorary degrees Dyson has been awarded — there are 21 from universities like Georgetown, Princeton and Oxford — and suggested that “perhaps trees can also be designed so that they can give directions to lost hikers.” 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.

But in the considered opinion of the neurologist Oliver Sacks, Dyson’s friend and fellow English expatriate, this is far from the case. “His mind is still so open and flexible,” Sacks says. Which makes Dyson something far more formidable than just the latest peevish right-wing climate-change denier. Dyson is a scientist whose intelligence is revered by other scientists — William Press, former deputy director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and now a professor of computer science at the University of Texas, calls him “infinitely smart.” Dyson — a mathematics prodigy who came to this country at 23 and right away contributed seminal work to physics by unifying quantum and electrodynamic theory — not only did path-breaking science of his own; he also witnessed the development of modern physics, thinking alongside most of the luminous figures of the age, including Einstein, Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Witten, the “high priest of string theory” whose office at the institute is just across the hall from Dyson’s. Yet instead of hewing to that fundamental field, Dyson chose to pursue broader and more unusual pursuits than most physicists — and has lived a more original life.

Full story here

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Just Want Truth...

I hope Michio Kaku becomes a skeptic too. He is a AGW believer now. But I refuse to believe he is going to stay one.

Ray

That is the Dyson that invented the Famous “Dyson Sphere”… which idea was seen on Star Trek Next Generation… when Scotty put himself in a transporter loop.

Ray

Talking of sphere… it’s 10:47 pm Pacific Time and there is a small speck on the sun. But according to the magnetogram the latitude seems right for a SC24 but the polarity is still not well defined: it’s almost horizontal.

DJ

The fact that he signed the discredited Oregon petition speaks volumes – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_petition.
REPLY: DJ It’s only “discredited” by people like yourself. Your brethren warmers set out to crash the list with fake names, just so they could write such things and then have the Wiki entry suitably crafted by William Connelly and Kim Petersen.
At least Mr. Dyson has the COURAGE to put his name to his belief, unlike you “DJ”.
– Anthony Watts

Mark N

This site just gets better and better. Many Thanks

deadwood

Thanks for the story and especially for the link to the full article. I particularly loved the contrast that was provided between Freeman Dyson and James Hansen.

policyguy

A living icon at the Institute for Advanced Studies and still some presume to excoriate his thinking because it does not conform to some poorly formed substitute for scientific theory, research and considered conclusion. These GC models are the ruin of an entire generation of otherwise good people who have let themselves become would be scientific wannabes. But for a moment of FD’s time…

P Folkens

An “eminent physicist” holding merely a B.A., yet sees more clearly through the mist than the “consensus.” It would be interesting to contrast his “inventive spirits of uncredentialed brilliance” to some of the dolts out there with Ph.D.s.
Mendel (a monk); school drop outs Orville and Wilbur Wright; home-schooled Thomas Edison; dropouts/computer wonks Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs all come to mind for their brilliance. Jimmy Hansen wishes he could be so special.
Dyson is surely a hero of empirical science and a spirit of the elightenment.

Keith Minto

It seems to be the last refuge of a scoundrel to discredit someone because of their age. I am glad that Freeman Dyson has a friend in Dr Oliver Sachs to help out.
Another great original thinker just turned 90 is James Lovelock ,and still publishing.

Evan Jones

Even as a liberal, I agree with none of the man’s political positions (nukes, “peace”, Obama, whatever). But when it comes to science, I deeply admire his interdisciplinary approach.
Take the one about how CO2 output was flat (or even declined) during WWII.
Think all of the industrialized countries going from depression-level to full war production. Think 100 cities blasted or incinerated (from air raids alone). Incredibly accelerated use of aircraft (leaving comtrails). Everything with an engine running 24-7. Massive amounts of ammo expended, fires set, everything that can emit smoke doing so. Massive increase of fossil fuel use. “Spare Gas Fur Rustung!”
So, no spike in CO2? And if not, no loud questions as to why not? Even on this blog?
/sound of crickets chirping/
Apparently none of those AGW scientists ever took a history course.

REPLY:
“…no loud questions as to why not? Even on this blog?”
Evan, You may recall I’ve offered you a guest post on this subject. – Anthony

Luke

Fantastic article!
When Dyson joins the public conversation about climate change by expressing concern about the “enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories,”

Evan Jones

It seems to be the last refuge of a scoundrel to discredit someone because of their age.
Why, whatever do you mean? We all know about the wild success of US schools in recent years. And how well educated the young are. (They all get A+ in Everyday Math, Commercial Arithmetic, Freeform Reading, and Self-Esteem Workshop, don’t they?)

P Folkens

evanmjones (22:27:33) : “Apparently none of those AGW scientists ever took a history course.”
Many of the loudest AGW voices took few science classes as well. I have heard that Mr. Gore had one college level science course (in which he got a “c”) and Pachauri, an economist, has been titled “chief scientist” at the IPCC, but was trained to manage elements of a railroad.
But then, it’s not about science or history is it?

Claude Harvey

What a breath of fresh air! Freeman Dyson reminds me of the late Hugh Matthews, with whom I worked at the Sperry Research Center (last of the old corporate think tanks) many years ago. His unbridled curiosity, his ability to see past “what everybody knows” and his unflinching regard for “truth for its own sake” without regard to personal fame and reputation is the kind of intellectual purity to which many have aspired at the beginning of their careers, but few have achieved over the long haul. Hugh would be proud of him.
Of course, I am assisted in my gushing appraisal by the fact that Freeman Dyson agrees with my (a rank amateur’s) assessment of “Manmade Global Warming”.

Evan Jones

Evan, You may recall I’ve offered you a guest post on this subject. – Anthony
No, I didn’t. And I’ll be happy to! I’ll be in touch. I’ll even dig up some nice, smoky WWII pictures.
( BTW, I wasn’t referring to you, I was referring to the lack of response whenever I mentioned it in comments. #B^1 )

deepslope

a wonderful article on my favorite heretic!
highly recommended for passing around to ones “intellectual” AGW friends… the perfect “Earth Hour” gift!

hats off to Freeman Dyson – we need more people like him to stand up and speak the truth

Andrew Simpson

Thanks for the article – it was an engrossing read.
What an incredible human. It’s a shame there aren’t more like him.
I loved his reply to his wife when she said she would like a Toyota Prius – he described it as a rich mans toy!
He also took Hansen’s slap down very well.
Good on you Mr Dyson. You have my respect.

John F. Hultquist

I just finished reading the “full story.”
Have you ever been questioned about what famous person you would like to spend the day with? I’ll move Freeman Dyson to the top of my list. I even would like Imme, but she would have to learn about Al Gore lying about the polar bears (and all the rest).

Yet Another Pundit

The full article is very good.
By the way, I think the common view of the general public is that a scientist is someone with a Ph.D. , and that a scientist is someone who has lots of scientific knowledge, the stuff that is taught in classes. What is not common knowledge is that that isn’t the most important part. To be a great scientist is a matter of doing (thinking), not just knowing. They do not and cannot teach that in courses. But it rubs off; you can get it from working with great scientists. Follow the path of physics Nobel prizes through the chain of scientists mentoring other scientists.

waclimate

The West Australian newspaper published the following story this morning:
City heat deaths predicted to soar
Heat-related deaths in Australian cities are set to soar as a result of climate change and rising urban pollution, a CSIRO scientist has warned.
Heatwaves could double the number of elderly Sydneysiders dying from heat stress and associated problems over the coming decades, Martin Cope told a conference at Burswood yesterday. The number of days above 30C was set to rise 20 per cent by 2050.
In the same period, the number of people over 65 will rise 25 per cent as the population ages.

Let’s look at the West Australian capital city of Perth:
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the mean temperatures so far in March for Perth, based on combined recordings from Perth Airport and the suburb of Mt Lawley, are min 14.9 and max 29.1 (so far, with the forecasts for the next five days being 16/28, 14/26, 14/29, 13/25 and 12/26 – i.e. both averages are likely to be lower at month’s end).
The combined average March mean from those same locations dating back to 1944 (airport) and 1994 (Mt Lawley) are 16.15 and 29.55.
The earliest March records for Perth are from the Perth Gardens location from 1876 to 1930 (16.1 and 28.4) and Perth Regional Office from 1897 to 1992 (16.8 and 28).
Looking at potential elderly-killing extremes in Perth over the past two months, the lowest and highest min/max were:
Feb 2009 – 10 and 40.1
Mar 2009 – 7.7 and 39.8
For a comparison, it’s worth looking at the raw data from the Perth Gardens location within “The Climate of Western Australia 1876-1899” (http://www.archive.org/download/climateofwestern00cookrich/climateofwestern00cookrich.pdf – 28mb PDF).
Lowest min and highest max 1876-1899
1876 – Feb 13.9 and 44.4 / Mar 10.5 and 37.2
1877 – Feb 12.7 and 41.7 / Mar 13.9 and 39.4
1878 – Feb 14 and 39.8 / Mar 10.1 and 38.3
1879 – Feb 11.7 and 41.1 / Mar 11.7 and 41.2
1880 – Feb 11.9 and 43 / Mar 10 and 34.3
1881 – Feb 11.6 and 41.8 / Mar 10.4 and 40.2
1882 – Feb 12.9 and 45.4 / Mar 9.8 and 40.4
1883 – Feb 11.1 and 41.1 / Mar 9.4 and 33.9
1884 – Feb 12.2 and 42.8 / Mar 9.4 and 40.6
1885 – Feb 10 and 44.4 / Mar 8.3 and 38.3
1886 – Feb 12.2 and 42.8 / Mar 11.7 and 38.3
1887 – Feb 10 and 36.7 / Mar 8.9 and 37.2
1888 – Feb 13.3 and 38.3 / Mar 13.3 and 40
1889 – Feb 11.1 and 37.2 / Mar 11.1 and 37.8
1890 – Feb 12.2 and 36.7 / Mar 10 and 36.1
1891 – Feb 10.55 and 41.7 / Mar 11.1 and 36.7
1892 – Feb 11.7 and 40.6 / Mar 12.2 and 36.7
1893 – Feb 10 and 37.8 / Mar 11.1 and 37.8
1894 – Feb 13.3 and 38.9 / Mar 8.3 and 40
1895 – Feb 11.1 and 38.9 / Mar 10.6 and 37.8
1896 – Feb 11.1 and 38.9 / Mar 11.7 and 36.7
1897 – Feb 9.4 and 40 / Mar 11.7 and 38.9
1898 – Feb 11.6 and 41.4 / Mar 10.2 and 37.6
1899 – Feb 13.4 and 39 / Mar 7.8 and 36.1
The Government Astronomer kept records of the number of Perth Gardens days over 32.22 degrees, averaged over 20 years from 1880 to 1899:
Mean Feb days over 32.22 – 12
Mean March days over 32.22 – 9
This year?
Feb 2009 days over 32.22 – 11
Mar 2009 days over 32.22 – 7
How about the mean temperatures?
Feb 2009 – mean min of 18 and mean max of 31.8
Mar 2009 – mean min of 14.9 and mean max of 29.1 (five days of month remaining)
Rather than a year by year breakdown, following are the averaged mean temps from 1876 to 1899:
Feb mean min from 1876 to 1899 – 17.2
Feb mean max from 1876 to 1899 – 31.44
Mar mean min from 1876 to 1899 – 16
Mar mean max from 1876 to 1899 – 29.3
For a broader comparison instead of just Feb/Mar this year, the average mean min and max temperatures from Perth Airport and Mt Lawley from 1944 to 2009:
Feb 17.4 and 31.5
Mar 16.1 and 29.5
Of course, historic comparisons pre-1910 aren’t accepted by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology but it looks to me as though almost nothing has changed in 130 years, except we’ve had some very cold summer nights this year and it doesn’t get anywhere near as hot during the day. This is despite Perth being an urban heat island… the population in 1881 was 5,044 and this year it is 1.65 million.
More Western Australia historic temperature trends at http://www.waclimate.net

John F. Hultquist

O/T Anthony, See ICECAP — LEFT COLUMN

Aron

Now this guy wants to be a modern prophet of doom
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7964880.stm

Allen63

I did not know the Dyson story. Great and inspiring read. I particularly liked the point that at a certain level of intellect and accomplishment, a PhD in a subject is superfluous — better to be a brilliant “so called” amateur with an open mind.
In any case, a person who taught himself calculus in a few days at the age of 13 and then followed a multi-disciplinary professional life has far more credibility regarding AGW than any climate scientist who has not followed the same path.

Richard Heg

Freeman Dyson on Global Warming 1of2 Bogus Climate Models

Freeman Dyson on Global Warming 2of2 Stratospheric Cooling

Bruckner8

Stephen Hawking is a critical thinker, no? His credentials are certainly on par with Mr Dyson. Stephen Hawking believes that man is accelerating Global Warming. Just google his name and GW.
My point is that scientists and ametuers of all ranges of credential can be found on both sides of the issue. This is what we need to focus on, so that we can use that fact to stop politicians from MAKING POLICY on science that is clearly NOT SETTLED.
Saying “AGW exists” or “AGW does not exist” is the same is saying God does or does not exist, IMO. From my agnostic perspective, either one is plausible, but it’s UNKNOWABLE. Atheism takes just as much “faith” as Christianity, but both sides argue that the case is settled.
It’s not settled, and policy should not be based on things that are not settled.

rxc

It is quite surprising that the NYT is going to publish this. I guess it will be in the Magazine, and not the science section (probably because of the length), but they are the standard-bearer of the AGW message, and to publish a clear critique of AGW by someone whose motives are not impeachable is startling. Maybe they just want to be able to show that they are “balanced”…

Aron

Stephen Hawking hardly ever has time to research climatology. If he is told that CO2 traps heat, which it does, then he’ll go the full hog and believe the models too. That’s how many of us used to believe in AGW until we saw that things are much more complex.

Stefan

Whilst calling something “religious” can be an insulting attack, perhaps we are getting to the point where we start acknowledging things for what they are.
Functionally, religion tells us how we should live and what is moral and immoral.
The parts of the environmental movement which take the approach that they need to change our behavior, and change our values from consumerist to green care and “balance”, these are moral demands. They require that we place the environment as the thing which is of ultimate concern.
Bear in mind that not every traditional religion has a god figure, but they all concern themselves essentially with telling us how we should live our lives and what our moral choices should be. Environmentalism is functionally religious.

B Kerr

The full article is certainly worth a good read, wow!!
The second “chapter”:
2. Climate and Land Management
“Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do.”
“They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in.”
He is some man.
I am going to printout the article and sit back and slowly read my way through it.

Aron

Saying “AGW exists” or “AGW does not exist” is the same is saying God does or does not exist, IMO. From my agnostic perspective, either one is plausible, but it’s UNKNOWABLE.
The analogy doesn’t work.
AGW is real, not a matter of faith. Man does contribute to climate change, and even though we must minimise our negative effects (because we can also cause positive changes) on the climate, our activities contribute to only a small portion of the perceived warming (though it is almost all in or around urban areas), not all of it as the Alarmist camp makes out.
If we were responsible for all global warming and climate change, then the Alarmists would be “deniers” of natural climate change, not the Realists/Skeptics.

Merrick

Nice article, but the antiquity is wrong. Dyson published the headline article in Physics News (a suppliment co-mailed with Physics Today to APS members) criticizing global warming models (back when it wasn’t politically incorrect to say “global warming”) and arguments for anthropogenic influence a good 10 years ago.

Aron

Environmentalism is functionally religious.
And there is nothing wrong with that. Dyson said it is a religion we can all get behind. Nearly all religions have concerns about man’s impact upon the environment and wildlife. The problem is admitting that Environmentalism is a religion in the first place. Many are scared to do that because they think they won’t be taken seriously, especially the Marxists who guise themselves in Green language yet have contempt for religion.
A religion puts itself apart from the field of science, so why should Environmentalists be allowed to take part in scientific debates? So they would not call themselves a religious movement, officially.
The other problem with them declaring themselves as a religion is that they would not be allowed to guide or force government to adopt their policies because the US Constitution bars such a level of religious interference, and that they would also come into conflict with traditional religions who will want the same level of government, media and celebrity attention.
Those environmentalists who advocate Direct Action are already being equated with jihadis. And like Islamic extremists they are not so much a grassroots movement but are guided and financed by wealthy profiteers and rent seekers.

This is a great story, very uplifting! Thanks to Anthony for posting it.
The NY Times is now requiring signing in to read it, but it’s well worth the minor inconvenience to be able to read this article and compare a real scientist [who was a contemporary and friend of Oppenheimer, Bethe, Feynman, Einstein, Fermi, etc., and who unified quantum and electrodynamic theory] with some of today’s self-aggrandizing grant chasers [Mann, Hansen, etc].
Many years ago I read “Infinite in All Directions”, and was so impressed that I read all Dyson’s other books. He has a way of explaining science and the universe in a way that’s easy for anyone to understand.

Eric

rxc (01:08:38) :
wrote
“It is quite surprising that the NYT is going to publish this. I guess it will be in the Magazine, and not the science section (probably because of the length), but they are the standard-bearer of the AGW message, and to publish a clear critique of AGW by someone whose motives are not impeachable is startling. Maybe they just want to be able to show that they are “balanced”…”
Your mindset is so conspiratorial. The reporting of the NY Times reflects the fact that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists believe the AGW is real. I don’t see that reporting this makes them a “standard bearer”.
This story is only tangentially related to global warming. Most of It is basically the life story of Freeman Dyson, if you read the whole thing, rather than the excerpt. It is a fascinating and well written piece of work, and Dyson is a very interesting man, who could be right or wrong about global warming.

Robert Bateman

Dyson is spot-on about observation: There are critical gaps in it. The Sunspot record is one of them, and no amount of proxy-magic can replace those gaps.
I see it. Infinite in all directions, including solar.
In a world of blind models, the one-eyed observer is king.

Bruckner8

AGW is real, not a matter of faith. Man does contribute to climate change, and even though we must minimise our negative effects (because we can also cause positive changes) on the climate, our activities contribute to only a small portion of the perceived warming (though it is almost all in or around urban areas), not all of it as the Alarmist camp makes out.
If we were responsible for all global warming and climate change, then the Alarmists would be “deniers” of natural climate change, not the Realists/Skeptics.

Who do we insist on seeing ourselves as agents of destruction? I see man as nothing more than another factor in the entire scheme of life, Earth, Sun and universe. To say man does contribute to climate change is equivalent to saying volcanoes contribute to climate change: OF COURSE THEY DO. THEY ARE BOTH (volcanoes and man) part of the entire system!
We (humans) are not creating something from nothing. I see it as a large-system conservation of matter-energy, with the Earth, Sun and Universe so large, we’re completely arrogant to think we can understand it. (Not that we shouldn’t try!)
Forget about the argument of YES/NO on AGW: Should we be making policy on it? If your answer is “yes,” then your motives are purely ego and control, and have absolutely nothing to do with saving Earth…Earth can save itself, whether we’re here or not.

Roger Knights

If you click on the YouTube videos of Dyson, it appears that they were shot quite a while ago and are a bit out of date. (He comments that CO2 in the stratosphere is a threat to ozone, which I think is no longer believed, for instance.) In the “related videos” panel on the right of the Dyson TV screen several other global warming pro and con videos are listed. Here’s the first one of a five-part series called “Global Warming: Doomsday Called Off”:

Eric,
The fact that AGW is real does not make it consequential, and framing the argument that way misrepresents the situation. AGW is so minor that it can be disregarded. The real question is: will human produced CO2 lead to runaway global warming and a climate catastrophe? All the available evidence says No.
As you say, I suppose it’s possible that Prof. Dyson could be wrong, and therefore the UN/IPCC’s political appointees could be right. But that’s not the way to bet, is it?
I could scare you by telling you that there is a rabid dog in a bedroom in your house — and for $1,500 I will take care of the problem. Would you hand over the money, or would you want some solid evidence first?
That’s the alarming AGW situation that the public is being sold. Don’t ask questions, just hand over your money so we can save the world. Given the choice between those demanding $Billions to fix a non-problem, I prefer to trust Freeman Dyson’s view:
“There is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Robert Bateman

Coal, Dyson says, contains “real pollutants” like soot, sulphur and nitrogen oxides, “really nasty stuff that makes people sick and looks ugly.” These are “rightly considered a moral evil,” he says, but they “can be reduced to low levels by scrubbers at an affordable cost.”
I could not agree more. Why do you think catalytic converters were invented for cars?
When the toxins are taken out, the effect is dramatic on cleaning up the air.
They don’t sequester C02, they convert the toxins, S02 and N02.
I really do like this man.

Robert Bateman

Scrub it, stupid. (in the vein of it’s the real toxins, stupid).
This is achievable.
AGW plans are foolish and utterly wasteful.
Go back to your superfunds, Mr. Gore.
Put some factories to work making SuperCatalytic Converters, Mr. President, and call it a day.
You’ll be glad you did.

jon

How can you doubt climate change? Climate has always and will always change!

Pearland Aggie

speaking of Physics, here is an article dealing with cosmic rays and ozone depletion. If true, do we really want to repeat the mistakes of the Montreal Protocal with CO2? I hope not……..
Correlation between Cosmic Rays and Ozone Depletion
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~qblu/Lu-2009PRL.pdf

Aron
Dr. Gerhard Loebert

Climate Change Cycles, Galactic Vacuum Density Waves, and the Orbital Periods of the Planets
Dr. Gerhard Löbert, Otterweg 48, 85598 Baldham, Germany. April 4, 2008.
Physicist. Recipient of The Needle of Honor of German Aeronautics.
Conveyor of a super-Einsteinian theory of gravitation that not only covers the well-known Einstein effects but also explains, among many other post-Einstein-effects, the Sun-Earth-Connection and the true cause of the global climate changes.
Abstract: In a previous Note (see Ref.) it was shown that climate change is driven by solar activity which in turn is caused by the action of galactic vacuum density waves on the core of the Sun. Irrefutable proof of the existence of these super-Einsteinian waves is given by the extremely close correlation between the changes in the mean global surface temperature and the small changes in the rotational velocity of the Earth – two physically unrelated geophysical quantities – in the past 150 years (see Fig. 2.2 of http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y2787E/y2787e03.htm or Ref.). In the present Note it is shown that the orbital periods of the planets provide further evidence.
In an excellent paper by the late Dr. Theodor Landscheidt (see http://www.schulphysik.de/klima/landscheidt/iceage.htm) it was shown that the Sun’s Gleissberg activity cycles are closely correlated with the oscillations of the Sun around the center of mass of the solar system. The first and second space derivatives of the gravitational potential of the planets in the vicinity of the Sun are, however, so minute that it cannot be envisaged how the extremely slow motion of the Sun about the center of mass of the solar system could physically influence the processes within the Sun. It is much more likely that a common external agent is driving both the Gleissberg cycle and the related oscillatory barycentric motion of the Sun.
The small motion of the Sun is, of course, determined, almost entirely, by the motion of the large planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune that revolve around the Sun with periods of 11.87, 29.63, 84.67, and 165.49 years respectively. Note that the sunspot cycle has a mean period of 11.07 years (see T. Niroma in http://www.personal.inet.fi/tiede/tilmari/sunspot4.html) and in my previous Note “A Compilation of the Arguments that Irrefutably Prove that Climate Change is driven by Solar Activity and not by CO2 Emission” of March 6, 2008 (see Ref.), I pointed out that the mean surface temperature of the Earth is changing in a quasi-periodic manner with a mean period of 70 years, approximately. If we stipulate for the moment that there exists – in addition to the 70-years wave – a galactic vacuum density wave of 11.07 years period that is driving the sunspot cycle, then the addition of both waves leads to a periodic amplitude modulation with a period of 2/(1/11.07 – 1/70) = 26.3 years.
If two galactic gravitational wave trains of 11.07 and 70 years period were to pass through the solar system, the gravitational action of these waves on the revolving planets would slowly relocate these celestial bodies until the orbital periods were close to 11.07, 26.3, and 70 years, the periods given by the combined wave train. The orbital periods of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus are 7%, 13%, and 20% higher than these values. A cose lock-in cannot be expected because of the gravitational actions of the neighboring planets and because of the large variability of the periods of the vacuum density wave trains (see the large variability of the sunspot and surface temperature cycles).
If one considers all of the documented sunspot cycles, the mean Gleissberg cycle length increases to 78.5 years (see T. Niroma) which is 7% smaller than the orbital period of Uranus. Note also that the orbital period of Neptune is 5% larger than 2 times the mean Gleissberg period and that of Pluto is 7% larger than 3 times Gleissberg.
Now to the remaining planets. The following table shows the ratio of the mean sunspot cycle period of 11.07 years to the planet orbital period.
Mars = 6 – 0.11 Earth = 11 + 0.07
Venus = 18 – 0.01 Mercury = 46 – 0.04
With an average error of 6% of an orbital period, the orbital periods are whole-number fractions of the mean sunspot cycle period.
As can be seen, the 11.07 years and 78.5 years galactic wave trains have brought good order into the Solar System. The degree of order increases with the number of orbital revolutions per million years.
In my opinion, the orbital periods of the planets provide — in addition to the extremely close temperature-rotation-correlation — further evidence for the existence of galactic vacuum density waves with mean long-term periods of 11.07 and 78.5 years.
Ref.: http://www.icecap.us/images/uploads/Lobert_on_CO2.pdf

bsneath

This part really spoke to me: … ” The men he most admires tend to be what he calls “amateurs,” inventive spirits of uncredentialed brilliance like Bernhard Schmidt, an eccentric one-armed alcoholic telescope-lens designer;…”
I never once thought of you as being one-armed! 😉

schnurrp

There is enough in the article characterizing Dyson as “old”, “not a credentialed climate scientist”, “contrarian”, etc. to provide fuel for those that wish to discredit him (this is the NYT, after all). Also, he does not deny that AGW exists just that the negative effects are exaggerated and that carbon can be controlled using plants.
Particularly liked this passage: Dyson has said that it all boils down to “a deeper disagreement about values” between those who think “nature knows best” and that “any gross human disruption of the natural environment is evil,” and “humanists,” like himself, who contend that protecting the existing biosphere is not as important as fighting more repugnant evils like war, poverty and unemployment.

> If only we could get James Hansen to spend an afternoon with Freeman Dyson.
Hansen wouldn’t listen, though they might agree with various topics like there are better energy sources than coal, or a cap and trade tax with the proceeds going back to individuals would be better than one where the government keeps the money.
Personally, my thought is “If only I could get to spend an afternoon with Freeman Dyson….” 🙂

fred

If only we could get James Hansen to spend an afternoon with Freeman Dyson.

It is not possible to reason someone out of an opinion that they were not reasoned into.

No offense intended Anthony, but I think you give James Hansen too much credit.

novoburgo

waclimate (23:20:27), provides a comprehensive list of historical Western Australia temperatures but fails to Hansenize the readings by applying a negative .5 to 1.0 UHI factor. Additional, he fails to account for TOBS and other corrective elements that would prove that modern warming is unprecedented and a global threat to all creatures great and small. To believe this unverified data is to relegate the old, the young, and the infirm to an uncomfortable passing through future record-setting heat waves…..unless they leave the A/C on. [sarc off}