Sir John Maddox (1925-2009)

Sir John Maddox

Sir John Maddox

Story here

John Maddox, a former editor of the journal Nature, who attended

yesterday’s meeting, said the sceptics might have a point. He did not

dispute that carbon dioxide emissions could drive global warming, but said: “The IPCC is monolithic and complacent, and it is conceivable that they are exaggerating the speed of change.”

–David Adam, The Guardian, 25 January 2005

30 thoughts on “Sir John Maddox (1925-2009)

  1. John Maddox famously took on Erhlrich’s Population Bomb exaggerations and was proved right in the 1970s. We could do with more of the ilk of John Maddox today, people who are willing to declothe the “Emperor’s Clothes” regarding our changing climate by using facts aginst rhetoric. A sad day indeed.

  2. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
    And let perpetual light shine upon him.
    May he rest in peace.
    Amen.

  3. RIP
    For every open minded, non-trendy scientist that passes away, at least 2 or more will take their place. It’s becoming awfully clear that the CO2 theory is sinking faster than the Titanic. Even NASA now attributes the warming in the 80s and 90s to fine aerosols.

  4. “CO2 theory is sinking faster than the Titanic”
    If the world does get colder then the CO2 will be sinking to the same place as the Titanic.

  5. A sad loss indeed. In my line of work, I am lucky enough to be able to converse with many over the age of 70. Across the board, none believe the AGW rhetoric, claiming to have seen this type of BS (bad science) before. Monsieur Gosselin is absolutely correct about the trace gas theory. Perhaps we will see people like Dr. Sallie Baliunas rejoin the fight now that her job may no longer be in jeopardy. We all have to earn a living. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face a (snip) storm. I admire my father more and more everyday for sticking to his guns, at a substantial financial and emotional cost. Everything he believes is coming to pass. Despite all the tactics used to thwart him, the truth shall set him free. I ask again, who are the deniers now? Funny how a guy with a Doctor of Science in CLIMATOLOGY can be shouted down by people like Suzuki (a geneticist who hasn’t published ANYTHING of value to his field), Gore (who has NO scientific credentials whatsoever), Hansen (who is a Physicist and climate MODELER) . The reason that I most believe that my father has been right all along is that both the AGW side(carbon credit agenda), and the Big Oil side (who make much more money when oil prices are higher agenda) have tried to marginalize my father and his research. When truth is your only agenda, as is evident by the cost of such belief, there is no other conclusion that can be reached.

  6. John H., what a foul and disgusting display by those two idiots, “Pippi” and “barefoot”. I can’t even imagine the ignorance required to pollute someone’s Obituary with that disgusting, foul crap. I sincerely wish the newspaper would have just deleted those comments.
    I truly despise AGW alarmists who continually post all of this misinformation, and parrot outright lies constantly, at every opportunity, in every venue. For those who don’t want to muck into that cesspool, here’s an example from these shining lights of intellect:

    If there were poetic justice in the world, then the grandchildren of Fred, Art, Chuck and other denialsaurs would starve to death in a famine induced by global warming.

    “False claims of the existence of errors in the Mann et al (1998) reconstruction can also be traced to spurious allegations made by two individuals, McIntyre and McKitrick (McIntyre works in the mining industry, while McKitrick is an economist)….
    Unlike the original Mann et al (1998) reconstruction, the so-called ‘correction’ by McIntyre and McKitrick fails statistical verification exercises, rendering it statistically meaningless and unworthy of discussion in the legitimate scientific literature.”

    Oh yes, they’re quoting monbiot. And getting increasingly shrill and disrespectful, as AGW proponents always seem to do.

  7. Much of contemporary journalism, like much of contemporary science is dominated by advocacy, not truth or objectivity.
    The mainstream media doesn’t bother itself with whether or not evidence supports the AGW hypothesis, or whether the hockey stick is a trick of poor analysis or whether or not computer models have any predictive (scientific) value.
    The mainstream media only cares about what it sees as the greater truth, that civilization is destroying the environment, that capitalism is bad, that humanity itself may be a disease that infects the planet. Facts would only get in the way and confuse the issue. They see these truths to be self-evident. Anyone who doesn’t see these truths is either stupid, ignorant or evil.

  8. John Galt (09:57:25) :
    The mainstream media only cares about what it sees as the greater truth, that civilization is destroying the environment, that capitalism is bad, that humanity itself may be a disease that infects the planet. Facts would only get in the way and confuse the issue. They see these truths to be self-evident. Anyone who doesn’t see these truths is either stupid, ignorant or evil.

    Keep in mind while you excoriate the MSM, which I do regularly, they are wholly unprepared for scientific reporting of any kind. They are also human, and as humans, use their “best judgment” when it comes to reporting on issues such as these. Their “best judgment” will obviously follow their belief system, rather than the truths that are self-evident to you and I, simply because they are incapable of discerning what really is the truth. Most, I would say, are simply ignorant, though there are a few I would classify as truly “evil” in this debate.
    Mark

  9. David Ball said:It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face a […] storm.
    Indeed.
    In another era: Whittaker Chambers: “Witness”.
    “That [haunting fear of being wrong] is the fate of those who break without knowing clearly that Communism is wrong because something else is right, because to the challenge: God or Man?, they continue to give the answer: Man.… They are witnesses against something; they have ceased to be witnesses for anything.”
    http://snyders.ws/alan/quotes/chambers.htm

  10. “People can and do elect to hide from the unpalatable, the uncomfortable and the subversive. In the process, they cheerfully misrepresent what science or scientists are saying. The distrust of science is really intentional obfuscation of what science is about. The threat of global warming is an unpalatable piece of science from which people readily seek escape.”
    Sir John Maddox, 1925 – 2009 “The Prevalent Distrust of Science”

  11. The journal Nature has been part of the alarmist nonsense ever since they declared the science “settled”, and have steadfastly refused to publish any contrarian research or enforce their own data retention and availability requirements. Something that has been well documented by Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit.org
    I wonder if Mr. Maddox ever had any comments on that?

  12. woodNfish (10:36:42)
    Maddox did not comment enough. I have little to say to laud a man’s life when he was only “half-way” to the truth on AGW. There are many others much more worthy of praise. He also made strange statements (see the YouTube video “A book for burning”).

  13. @Mark T
    I agree with you, except on the point that I don’t view the MSM as evil for disagreeing with me, Rather, my point is the MSM seems to follow the rabid left’s belief that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid, ignorant or evil.

  14. John Galt (11:47:33) :
    I agree with you, except on the point that I don’t view the MSM as evil for disagreeing with me, Rather, my point is the MSM seems to follow the rabid left’s belief that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid, ignorant or evil.

    I wasn’t saying you were calling them evil, just pointing out that I don’t either. They are ignorant even if they are correct about AGW in the first place. In other words, they are making their proclamations without any justification for their own beliefs other than the guess that “their side” is correct. Not only the media do this, as I see it in here often from the standard trolls, but the media at least have an excuse: they aren’t doing so knowingly (at least, not always).
    Mark

  15. MarkT, Yup. I could fill several blogs with the (snip) my father has faced over the last 30 years. The lies told on DeSmog alone are incredible. It is painful for me, but he remains undaunted. You know he is viewed as a threat when the Suzuki foundation has 2 people on staff whose full time job it is to marginalize my father in the media. They are responsible for majority of the lies, i.e., doctorate is faked, hasn’t published in many years, etc. The list goes on and on. I will leave it at that as I do not want to highjack this thread any further than what I have done. You may now understand why blogs such as Anthony’s are so very important to me, as the truth is so far removed from what has been written about my father. Just so you know, my mother and father are the most eco-conscious people I have ever known. About 1/50 of Suzuki’s footprint.

  16. We should all remember the candid remarks of one editor when he revealingly said that it is not the obligation of the media to tell the truth, merely to report liars accurately.

  17. David:
    I’ve told you before, I think your father is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Tough to shut him up though!! (that’s a compliment). Tell him Mike from BCIT still owes him a beer and if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, he has my e-mail.
    Love his articles and the hour we chatted after one of his presentations was one of my most memorable.
    Regards,

  18. Thank you once again Mike from Canmore. I can tell you that I would be very wealthy if I had a nickel for every time I heard that. I will let him know. He is a VERY busy man for someone who is supposed to be retired, lol !! Sometimes I cannot even pin him down. This does not bother me because I see the importance of his work. Cheers !!

  19. Well.. I’d have to say…. its better that people fight over something so silly as AGW than religion or WWI or WW2! At least they ain’t killing themselves LOL..

  20. Tom P (10:29:51) :
    “People can and do elect to hide from the unpalatable, the uncomfortable and the subversive. In the process, they cheerfully misrepresent what science or scientists are saying. The distrust of science is really intentional obfuscation of what science is about. The threat of global warming is an unpalatable piece of science from which people readily seek escape.”
    Sir John Maddox, 1925 – 2009 “The Prevalent Distrust of Science”

    It is a great quote, and it does belong here. I’m certain that those words were written in the days when global warmism was not in the ascendancy as it is today; and when it was not (obviously) dominated by an IPCC turning the whole issue into politicised fake science. Many of us here have done two U-turns; no doubt some will have done both U-turns at times when it was inviting abuse to do so.

  21. Let us not forget that Sir John Maddox also admitted that, in all likelihood, 50% of what he published would be subsequently proved wrong. By implication the editor of the world’s foremost scientific publication is admitting that “peer-review science” is wrong half the time.

  22. Saraswati, the goal in science is to have your work replicated by others. More often than not, scientists are corrected along the way. It is very humbling, but that is how it works. Sometimes they don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle and their work is sidelined by increased knowledge in that field over time. Every scientist is aware of this. Maddox just had the cajones to say it out loud. The hardest thing to admit is “I was wrong”. Wish Hansen, Mann and their cabal had the guts to admit they are wrong, ………

  23. “Peer-review” is not the same as having “your work replicated by others”. Hansen, Mann, Gore et al rely on the “peer-review” process set in motion by amongst others Maddox/Nature. That is why his admission that half of what he published is likely to be proved wrong is worth emphasising. Maddox handling of Sheldrake was highly amusing. I still cant determine the degree to which he was being ironic in calling the New Science of Life the best candidate for book burning this [20th] Century. Given Maddox admission that half his publication is nonsense perhaps Nature is the best candidate for burning? But then again not all of us behave with the dogmatic cabalistic aggression deployed so frequently by Maddox, Hansen, Mann, Gore et al.

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