Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dilemmas of a climate denier

The scientists over at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN may announce the discovery (or likely discovery) of the Higgs Boson tomorrow. I've been quite amused reading the comments beneath an article on the subject over at WUWT. Some of the folks there are having trouble reconciling their disbelief and distrust in climate science and climate scientists, with the possibility of accepting the scientific discovery of another group of scientists. They're trying to have their cake and eat it too, but it's not that easy. After all, many of those CERN scientists will have colleagues and friends that work on the issue of AGW.

Most of the attacks on the blogosphere and on conservative media against climate change predictions are not actually attacking the science, but instead focus a lot on portraying the various well known scientists and the climate science community as being dishonest and even fraudulent. I do think that one of the better arguments to use against such nonsense is to point out that the same reasoning used to criticize the climate scientists could also be used to criticize all other disciplines in science, from particle physics, to medical science and even my own field of plasma physics. Yet, for some (not so) mysterious reason, the climate deniers don't harass the folks in those other fields. The comments over on WUWT about the LHC seem to expose that dilemma in all its ugly glory.

Anyhoo, I decided to add my own tongue-in-cheek comment. I'm not sure everybody over there will get the joke. Here's what I said:

Obviously there’s no Higgs boson. It’s a hoax. It’s existence is derived from “models” and the experimental “evidence” is not directly linked to the Higgs. Instead, they use theoretical “simulations” to infer the particle’s existence from the data. If we start believing in this sort of science, then we’re on a slippery slope to believing that other models and simulations (such as those in AGW) could infer scientific “facts” from data. We can’t have that now, can we?
They’ll probably also want to build a bigger “laser” and ask tax payers for a million … sorry, strike that … a billion dollars!!

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