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25 Jul 2012
A Night at the Los Angeles Public Library

We live in times when the different sides in our country speak languages as far apart as Chinese and Italian. … Read More.

18 Jul 2012
Confessions of a Flip-flopper

Do not share this column with your friends, unless you really must. And, please, no Twitter or Facebook. It's … Read More.

14 Jul 2012
Birth of the Cool

Back when I was a kid, I desperately wanted to be cool. I endlessly played my Miles Davis "Birth of the … Read More.

The New York Times against Science

Comment

In a recent op-ed dramatically entitled "Republicans Against Science," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman roots for Jon Huntsman in the Republican presidential derby:

"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. Huntsman has been willing to say the unsayable about the GOP — 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, or AGW. What dunces. Krugman, after all, is an economist, and we all know that economics is the most empirical of sciences — as opposed what those parvenus at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, are up to: They just came out with a new study of cosmic rays and clouds.

The CERN study is turning climate science upside down. Writes UK's The Register:

"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 ...

"Unsurprisingly, it's a politically sensitive topic, as it provides support for a 'heliocentric' (sun-centered) rather than 'anthropogenic' (man-made) 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 were the founders the World Wide Web. What do they know? There are other sources, like the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.

I know that sounds a little exotic.

But not so exotic that it doesn't have the latest article by MIT's resident climate genius, Richard Lindzen, writing with Korean scientist Yong-Sang Choi, to call so many aspects of climate modeling to question that it'll make your head spin. The entire article is available online — 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 tells us that "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 who believe something, the truer it becomes ... Oh, wait ... No.

Sorry, Paul. I have to tell you that 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'll 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, Al Gore now thinks I'm a racist; in a television interview he gave recently attacking global-warming doubters as tantamount to Bull Connors.

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 ever-changing truth. I can't imagine them thinking AGW is anything remotely like settled science.

But, again, what do they know? They're just physicists. They should ask Paul Krugman. He knows.

To find out more about Roger L. Simon and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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