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I see you pitched into the thread where this idea was floated for the first time here...

A swedish kind of death:

Physicists

Is it just my impression or are physicists common among climate change opponents?

I have a theory about that. I would today consider physics to be the science with the highest prestige among sciences. I think it is that way because of physics big funding, stemming from a close relationsship with big government and big industry. Physics gives guns and toys. The problem with climate change (from a physicist perspective) is the lack of solutions involving big piles of money to physics reserach. Hence the denial.

The alternative solution is to claim that it is an astronomical effect, where the sun is causing increased heat (nevermind that pouring out ghg should have some effect), because that would get astrophysics institutions more money.

Now, I am not saying that individual physicists are trying to shut down a theory that would hurt them. It is probably not that easy. It is more that a theory that hurt physics (as an institution) gets disliked among physicists and therefore a greater number of physicists then people in general becomes climate change deniers. Add the credibility of physics in general and you get prominent climate change deniers.

JakeS:

Re: Physicists

Eeer... When did climate modeling cease being physics?

The physicists among the AGW denialists probably have higher profiles than the rank-and-file (for much the same reasons that creationist engineers and doctors get more press than creationist pastors), but I very much doubt that scientists of any stripe are over-represented in the denialist community.

There does seem to be a small number of astrophysicists who are sufficiently enamored of the solar-forcing theory that they seem like AGW denialists, but I would not be surprised to find out that the newsies and politicians who reference them exaggerate their claims.

- Jake

"While the truth is always revolutionary, the revolutionary is not always true." - Proverb

BTW, JS, are you at NBI?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 01:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, had not noticed Jakes answer.

It still is an impression of mine, but I agree that I do not have much foundation for it. However, there is  another valid point.

Eeer... When did climate modeling cease being physics?

In my neck of the university woods climate modelling is related to meterology, which is related to earth sciences (geology and such). Why I do not know, but probably some historical reasons. Which means that climate modeling may use physicis but is not in the physics sciences club, it is instead over there with the weathermen and the stone lovers. If this is a general phenomena (as I presumed) or not is an open and possibly interesting question.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 17th, 2007 at 02:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, JS, are you at NBI?

I'm a student there, yes. Why do you ask?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 08:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to know a number of people there.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 06:23:02 PM EST
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