One of the worst consequences of the global warming scam is the corrupting effect it has had on science – to the point where even senior professors and heads of department no longer appear to understand what science actually is.
Take this week’s climate prat of the week, Professor Jonathan Butterworth of the Physics and Astronomy Department at University College London.
Butterworth has just been caught red-handed trying to prevent one of his colleagues holding a conference for climate sceptics because, in his opinion, their views are “rather fringe.”
Here is the snooty email he sent to his colleague Dr Athem Alsabti, former Professor of Physics at Baghdad University, now working at UCL’s Observatory:
“It has been brought to my attention that you have booked a room at University College, London, for an external conference in September for a rather fringe group discussing aspects of climate science.
“If this event were to go ahead at UCL, it would generate a great deal of strong feeling, indeed it already has, as members of the UCL community are expressing concern to me that we are giving a platform to speakers who deny anthropogenic climate change while flying in the face of accepted scientific methods. I am sure you have no desire to bring UCL into disrepute, or to cause dissension in the UCL community, and I would encourage you to think about moving the event to a different venue, not on UCL premises.”
The conference – which is still going ahead, though not now in the university itself but at a nearby venue, Conway Hall – will feature a number of scientists every bit as distinguished in their field as Butterworth presumably is in his.
According to Lord Monckton, who is organising it, they include:
Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, who has published more refereed papers on sea-level rise than Professor Butterworth has had hot dinners; Professor Ole Humlum of the University of Oslo, who publishes a widely-circulated monthly data update on global temperatures and related matters; Professor Jan-Erik Solheim of Norway; members of the Swedish Polar Institute, of the Asociacion Rural de Paraguay; of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, of the U.S. Geological Survey; of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the former president of the Italian National Research Council; the Professor of Paleobotany at the Sapienza University, Rome; a world-leading physicist from the François Rabelais University in Tours; an analytical expert from the Laboratoire Analyse at the University of Paris; the brother of the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the House of Commons; dozens of doctors of science; and a sprinkling of IPCC expert reviewers, including your humble servant.
Butterworth may think he knows better on climate than these experts, though how is not immediately clear given that it’s not his field. And while he’s perfectly entitled to his random, unsupported, prejudiced, haughty, third-hand, groupthink-induced opinions, what’s baffling is his decision to invoke in his own support the principle of the “scientific method”. (Or “methods” as he mysteriously chooses to pluralise it in his email to Alsbati.)
It must be really annoying for a physics professor to be told by an English literature graduate that he doesn’t understand the scientific method. But since what he’s doing here is the rough equivalent of an English literature undergraduate not knowing who wrote Hamlet, I fear I may have to take the risk of bruising his inflated ego.
So, Professor Butterworth. *deep sigh* The scientific method. This is how, traditionally at least, scientists like yourself have sought to expand the frontiers of human knowledge (scientia) by seeking to establish what is true. In order to do this, they conduct experiments which, little by little, eliminate what is false. That is how we know what we know. As you might infer, it’s an ongoing process. Right now we don’t know everything there is to know. If we did, there would be no need for scientists, would there?
Now: given that we accept that we don’t know everything there is to know, it logically follows that some of the stuff scientists believe right now – even scientists as eminent and all-knowing as Professor Jonathan Butterworth of the Physics and Astronomy department of University College London – may be false.
Past examples of this include phlogiston (the substance once thought to cause combustion) and the notion (popular with Medieval scientists) that we are governed by humours.
A current example may well be the concept of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.
How are we going to find out whether or not catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is real or just a false hypothesis?
Same way as all meaningful science is conducted: by continual experimentation and open enquiry.
If at this point, Professor Butterworth is asking himself how trying to censor scientists who question current thinking on man-made global warming theory constitutes meaningful science, then he is absolutely right. It’s not science, in fact, but politics.
Problem is, looking at Professor Butterworth’s Twitter feed I’m getting the distinct impression that, au fond, he is more of a political animal than a scientific one.
The removal of privileges & citizenship from my passport, & those of my kids, will not be forgiven or forgotten. https://t.co/FJg6ipJB6A
— Jon Butterworth (@jonmbutterworth) August 1, 2016
— Jon Butterworth (@jonmbutterworth) July 31, 2016
Have recently been called a member of a “cult” on climate change, it seems appropriate to share this:https://t.co/dFClr1Jb6r
— Jon Butterworth (@jonmbutterworth) July 24, 2016
Are we really sure this left-wing agitator, preeningly self-righteous bloviator and magisterial cockwomble is in any moral position to decide what is and isn’t a suitable subject matter for a scientific conference in his own field – let alone in one he so patently doesn’t understand.