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Roger L. Simon

Krugman Against Science

August 28th, 2011 - 10:39 pm

Tedious New York Times reactionary (sorry for the redundancy) Paul Krugman is rooting for Jon Huntsman in the Republican derby in Krugman’s new column, “Republicans Against Science”:

Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.

Krugman’s all hopped up about those yahoos Rick Perry and Mitt Romney not being on board with anthropogenic global warming. What dunces. Krugman, after all, is an economist and we all know that is the most empirical of sciences — as opposed to the methods of those parvenus at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) who just came out with a new study of cosmic rays and clouds, which is turning climate science upside down:

CERN’s 8,000 scientists may not be able to find the hypothetical Higgs boson, but they have made an important contribution to climate physics, prompting climate models to be revised.

The first results from the lab’s CLOUD (“Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”) experiment published in Nature today confirm that cosmic rays spur the formation of clouds through ion-induced nucleation. Current thinking posits that half of the Earth’s clouds are formed through nucleation. The paper is entitled Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation.

This has significant implications for climate science because water vapour and clouds play a large role in determining global temperatures. Tiny changes in overall cloud cover can result in relatively large temperature changes.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a politically sensitive topic, as it provides support for a “heliocentric” rather than “anthropogenic” approach to climate change: the sun plays a large role in modulating the quantity of cosmic rays reaching the upper atmosphere of the Earth.

Oops. I guess Krugman hasn’t been keeping up with the latest issues of Nature.

Well, no matter. Forget CERN. They’re only the world’s largest particle physics laboratory and the world wide web began there, etc. What do they know? There are other sources like the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. I know, it’s a little outré. But not so outré that it doesn’t have the latest article by MIT’s resident climate genius Richard Lindzen, writing with Korean scientist Yong-Sang Choi, that calls so many aspects of climate modeling to question that your head spins. The entire article is available here, not that Krugman should have to read it. He’s a busy guy.

But wait a minute. I don’t want to be unfair to Paul. He may not be up to speed on the latest findings, but he knows how you prove things scientifically. He tell us “…the scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting.”

I get it. The more people that believe something, the more it is true…. Oh, no. Sorry, Paul. I have to tell you you just flunked seventh grade general science. Or you forgot it. The number of people who believe something is irrelevant. What proves something to be true is that it can be replicated by experiment. If you read the Lindzen article above, you would see just how far we are from that goal.

Look, I apologize for bringing all this up. I’m not a scientist either. I’m not even an economist. I’m a screenwriter — of all fantasy-built occupations. And it’s even worse. Just because I’m skeptical of AGW, some people think I’m a racist, even though I was in the civil rights movement.

Well, that’s the way things are these days. Everybody’s accusing everybody of something. Perry and Romney are “anti-science” because they’re not convinced of man-made global warming. Who knows the truth? As I said, I’m not a scientist. But I did live around them. My father was a radiologist who worked with the Atomic Energy Commission. He treated the “Hiroshima Ladies” and I knew J. Robert Oppenheimer and Lisa Meitner when I was a kid. I idolized them. They were great minds, always searching for the truth which is ever changing. I can’t imagine them thinking anthropogenic global warming is anything remotely like settled science. But, again, what do they know? They’re just physicists. They should ask Paul Krugman. He knows.

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