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Fookin’ amazing…

I don’t know if anyone saw the interview with former D*Ream pop merchant and BBC “accessible” science flavour-of-the-month Brian Cox – sorry, Professor Brian Cox (he’s an actual scientist, you know) – in yesterday’s Telegraph. It was in the magazine thingy, so I doubt if it’s online. It contained this cracker:

I’m guessing he finds climate deniers [sic] frustrating?

“Yeah, they’re incredibly irritating.

Right back atcha there, Coxie, but do continue…

Climate modelling is a difficult science, but there is a consensus about the modelling. Putting CO2 into the atmosphere will warm the climate.

Duh. But by how much? That’s the several trillion dollar question, and the answers we’ve heard from the “Consensus” (ha!) so far have been – and I say this with confidence – wildly wrong. It’s all about the forcing, Bri: does it accelerate the warming, or is it just bollocks?

But here’s the kicker. You’re going to love this:

Science makes no claim to be true, what it does is give us theories and models of nature that work, given what we know. It’s also about finding data that disagrees with the model, that way you can make a better model.”

Brian, Brian, Brian… where to begin? Have you, a physicist, even been following the debate? Because a believer bringing up the notion of falsifiction is, to put it mildly, a bit fucking rich. You want data that disagree with the model? Try looking at sea levels. Or upper-atmosphere temperatures and humidity. Try reading WUWT. Or Climate Audit. It’s all there if you look for it. The last thing the Consensus wants is data that disagrees with it. It doesn’t want a better model; it wants one that fits with its political agenda. This is not normal science were talking about, pretty-boy.


(Actually, on that note, his take on atheism – Dawkins is too shrill, if you want to believe something that isn’t true that’s fine as long as you don’t force it on anyone else – is pretty good.)


  1. Lynne says:

    Climate modelling is science now?

    Like buggery it is.

    And if he can’t find data that disagrees with the models then maybe he should pay a visit to specsavers because there’s tons of the bloody stuff; Mama Nature herself being the prime example.

  2. Permanentexpat says:

    Got there before me, Lynne.
    Do these types get air only on the BBC or is it endemic….I don’t get UK TV….Degrees in science must be cheap these days.

  3. john in cheshire says:

    On reading the above, I’ve lost any respect for Mr Cox that I might otherwise have had. He’s obviously been knobbled by the bbc group-think.

  4. Surreptitious Evil says:

    No, he’s been nobbled by the fact he belongs to one of the vast number of science specialities that don’t get their grant funding on the basis of lying to the public. He doesn’t expect J Random Blogger to know more about cosmology than him and he doesn’t tinker with, say, his computer models of exoplanets to make them meet some political imperative.

    So he doesn’t believe, on a tribal basis, that climate scientists would, any more than biologists do with genetic evolution models or geologists do with mineral ages. He just hasn’t realised that many became climate ‘scientists’ some time ago …

  5. Ian B says:

    Seems to me the problem is a lack of self scrutiny by scientists. When they talk about how they work, they speak in ideals. So you often hear them say they are always sceptical, and every scientist would like to disprove a great theory (e.g. AGW). They never ask whether this ideal is what they are actually doing in real life.

    Like, judges are supposed to be unbiased. But in real life we know they aren’t, that is why e.g. in the States, there is such excitement about “liberal” and “conservative” appointments to the Supreme Court. But scientists are still deluding themselves that because they are *supposed* to be entirely unbiased, that is what they are.

    This kind of mindset always requires somebody to come in from outside the groupthink and hold up a mirror and say, “this is what you really are”. There are lots of conceivable mechanisms by which Science, the institutional real world system, could be improved in its workings. But to get it to do so is a bit like the psychiatrist cliche about the patient having to first admit that they have a problem.

  6. Paul Byrne says:

    There’s a certain lack of self awareness about his comments on God. Its ok to believe in God aslong as don’t inflict your religious beliefs on other people, yet it’s ok to inflict pseudo-religious beliefs like that of AGW on them?

  7. Stonyground says:

    “… if you want to believe something that isn’t true that’s fine as long as you don’t force it on anyone else – is pretty good.)”

    Such as indocrinating your children in state schools at your own expense, having unelected Bishops in the Lords influencing policies that affect my life, expecting me to foot the bill for visits by the Pope, that kind of thing?

  8. Derrfes says:

    Let’s remind ourselves that this brian cox figure did admit to having a political agenda earlier in the same telegraph article. So what he says on the matter has to be taken with a pinch of salt because we can realise that he is anti-cuts , with a Liberal political agenda ( meeting rowan willians and being on the bbc) . there is perhaps the considatatory point that is made that most scientists are numbskulls . which obviously fits himself very well.

  9. Jamie says:

    This is a genuine question and I am not trying to say that your point is incorrect – but could you please explain what you feel is the “Consensus’s political agenda”? I don’t fully understand your idea on this and since it must be a cornerstone of your entire viewpoint on AGW I think it would be helpful. Thanks.

  10. NickM says:

    This is Sam’s post but this is my take.

    I prefer the term “convergence” to “consensus”

    The greenies are luddites so they don’t like power generation.

    For (some) businesses there is an awful lot of pork from the taxpayer to fund madcap schemes like wind farms.

    For many scientists it is a massive source of funding. Not just climatologists although they’ve been catapulted into super-star status from a veritable scientific backwater. Any biologist, agronomist, physical geographer etc is now much more likely to get research funding if they, however spuriously, claim their research is linked to AGW. From my personal experience scientists would put their granny on the game for funding. Especially the mediocre ones.

    Politicians see it as a means of control on revenue generation.

    Many in the West are self-loathing about or greater material wealth than the third world.

    Some people are just control freaks who think you must have a permit to do anything.

    For all these sets of people (not mutually exclusive) AGW is the perfect enabler. They may have different agendas but they converge on a consensus on this one subject.

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