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Now do climate theory

14 Apr 2021 | OP ED Watch

National Geographic “SCIENCE executive editor” Victoria Jaggard gushes that “One of the things I love about particle physics is how much scientists really want to find cracks in some of their most widely accepted theories.” Funny how one thing her magazine, and she personally, doesn’t hate about climate science is how little scientists really want to find cracks in some of their cherished theories.

In the piece Ms. Jaggard, who does at least have a “B.A. in Science Writing/Journalism” and with a “Minor in Earth & Environmental Science”, then fumbles the philosophy of science rather badly. She says “In most fields, having observations match your theory is a big win. But for particle physicists, finding a result that does not match predictions is when things really get interesting.”

In fact all scientists like having observations match their theory. It means you’re onto something and haven’t been wasting your time and possibly making a fool of yourself. But even there, the way to test a theory is less to look for confirmatory evidence and find it than to look for contrary facts and not find them.

More broadly, in particle physics and almost anywhere else in science, the exciting bit is finding flaws in the accepted wisdom. As we noted in February, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …’”. It’s that moment that opens the door to new and better theories and, indeed, the path to scientific advancement and glory.

As the New York Times noted about the same story, “Experiments with particles known as muons suggest that there are forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science.” And the excitement was palpable: “Evidence is mounting that a tiny subatomic particle seems to be disobeying the known laws of physics, scientists announced on Wednesday, a finding that would open a vast and tantalizing hole in our understanding of the universe.” Tantalizing. Indeed. Apparently “physicists say” this discovery “could eventually lead to breakthroughs more dramatic than the heralded discovery in 2012 of the Higgs boson, a particle that imbues other particles with mass.” And one named physicist, Graziano Venanzoni of Italy’s Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and a “spokesman” (yes, the Times carelessly used that term) for this muon project, said “Today is an extraordinary day, long awaited not only by us but by the whole international physics community.” Awaited.

As Willis Eschenbach then tweeted, “You mean the ‘consensus’ is wrong? But, climate!” Which might seem a slightly sour note but it is warranted. Because it only seems to be in climate science (or the Soviet Academy of Sciences) that you’d better toe the line if you want money, praise and indeed survival. And it is surely strange that even those who purport to love the scientific spirit in all other areas aren’t bothered by its absence among the scientific, journalistic and political guardians of orthodoxy in this one.

4 comments on “Now do climate theory”

  1. No, it's not just climate science where you have to toe the line. It is also in sociology when it comes to the alleged disadvantages suffered by women (e.g. domestic violence); it is medical science when it comes to the Wuhan flu and its treatments (e.g. ivermectin and HCQ and many others); it is wherever "science" has been politicized. When you mix politics with science, you get politics.

  2. The trouble is that Climate Change isn't a theory, it is holy writ and has gathered around it all of the trappings and myths that make it a faith. Questioning this faith will get you burned at the stake, or burned by pellets since they're carbon neutral, after a trial by the Woke Inquisition. Politicians invoke climate change as their forebears made the sign of the cross and not to do so will bring the Woke down on your head faster than you can say Global Warming.

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