Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rumble in the lab!

Iran isn't the only place where a complacent theocracy is getting its shins kicked by an angry groundswell of rebellion. The American Chemical Society, a sort of related gang to my (former) crowd the American Physical Society, recently had an eruption of dissent concerning the editor-in-chief, a certain anthropogenic global warming editorial, and an enraged mob of chemists who very much resented the anti-science exhibited by the party of the first part in the pages of the second part. (h/t Watt's up With That, a great climate science clearinghouse). See, scientists of all flavors break out in hives when someone who should know better, like a fellow scientist, says silly things about "the science is settled" (it NEVER is completely settled) or that a "consensus view" has any validity or interest outside of deciding where to have lunch. One measly pile of data can, and should, refute any "consensus", because data is fact and consensus is opinion. Science != opinion. The consensus *used* to be that the earth was flat and witches rode brooms.

My bunch haven't been shy either. (from the blog post cited above ..)
On May 1 2009, the American Physical Society (APS) Council decided to review its current climate statement via a high-level subcommittee of respected senior scientists. The decision was prompted after a group of 54 prominent physicists petitioned the APS revise its global warming position. The 54 physicists wrote to APS governing board: “Measured or reconstructed temperature records indicate that 20th – 21st century changes are neither exceptional nor persistent, and the historical and geological records show many periods warmer than today.”
The angry chemist letters are great. What they lack in profanity they more than make up for in icy pointed insults. Trust me, the translation into civilian-speak is something like "yo mamma".


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