JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Nobel prize winner — Ivar Giaever — “climate change is pseudoscience”

It was for a moment the clash of the Nobel Prize winners on climate change… just barely, but nothing like this has happened before in the debate-that-isn’t. Normally this is not a show the heavyweights turn up too. But there were three Nobel winners in the room at the same time.

Paul Crutzen, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland won the 1995 Nobel  for work on Ozone. Both of the first two are fans of the man-made global warming theory and they both spoke just prior to notable skeptic Ivar Giaever (who won a Nobel for tunneling in superconductors in 1972). [UPDATE: Watch Giaever speak - the whole speech - it's excellent. h/t Roberto Soria]

As usual, the core arguments of believers comes down to argument from authority. Can they attack the credentials of the dissenters? The skeptics, the real scientists, talk about evidence.

From Scientific American by Mariette DiChristina

Crutzen:

“The scientific evidence is really overwhelming. Most experts agree; maybe two or three in 100 disagree.” He added, “I know who they are and why they are wrong.”

[...]

How arrogant art thy name-callers?

Ivar Giaevar

The guys at Popular Tech have done a Very Nice List. They’ve put together seven names of eminent scientists who are skeptical of man-made climate catastrophe, along with their stellar biographies and quotes. It tells us nothing about the climate, but before you write it off as just a fallacious appeal to authority, ponder that these eminent people are the same people that teenage tree-huggers would call “deniers”.

To see just how mindlessly puerile “denier” is, try the thought experiment of putting those-who-use-it in the same room as one of the more notable “deniers”.

Julia Gillard (the new PM downunder) used “denier” 11 times in one recent speech. So imagine she’s in a room talking with, say, Ivar Giaever. She studied arts and law, he got a PhD in theoretical physics two years before she was born, and won a Nobel Prize by the time she was nine. Picture him talking atmospheric physics and her telling him he’s a denier.

Julia Gillard, PM of Australia. Source: The Daily Telegraph

A Nobel doesn’t mean he’s right, but when Gillard says “Denier” she is referring to thousands of people including Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaever (Nobel Prize), Robert Laughlin [...]