An a-scientific paper, poor contribution of NGS to the enlightenment of its members.
Story submitted by Michel de Rougemont
I just finished reading the article « The age of disbelief » in the March edition of the National Geographic.
It is one of the most a-scientific articles about science that I ever could read.
Joel Achenbach, the author, pretends that sceptics have no place in the scientific debates because of their incompetence, their prejudices, their doubts in science, and, last but not least, their alienation to powerful lobbies, as for example the fossil fuel industry in climate matters.
First he makes a nice amalgam between deniers, as for example opponents to vaccine or flat earth believers, and sceptics. He may not have ever tried to learn what a sceptic is looking for, what are the motives of not being satisfied with generally accepted beliefs.
Then he looks for an authority, which we should all obey, that settles the scientific truth, or at least the correct way toward this truth. Here he demonstrates his inability to conceive that such authority cannot exist. Scientific societies can laugh about such pretension, well knowing how chaotic their progresses are. Only IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, not a scientific but a governmental institution created in 1988) and its followers have that arrogance.
Amazingly he affirms: “In this bewildering world we have to decide on what to believe and how to act on that”. I agree with this statement. But for him a sceptic who forged his opinion on contradictory evidences is just making the wrong decision. And since he wants to believe in approximate theories such as the anthropogenic nature of climate change, this is a settled “consensus” that no one dares question.
When he will have looked at disturbing facts that IPCC never explains, as for example that the glaciers began to melt long before the industrial age, that the rate of rise of the seas was already quite spectacular at the end of the 18th century, that two periods of warm have alternated with two cold ones over the past two millennia without having anything to do with the burning of fossil fuels, and that the rates at which temperature or sea level are varying show no correlation with the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, then he may ask why anthropowarmism has installed itself as indisputable dogma within the past thirty years.
He would like science to stay in the realm of rationality, but he is advocating dogmatic views. This article was a poor contribution of the National Geographic Society to the enlightenment of its members.