Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
There is a problem with “Science”. It has to do with two definitions for the word, one of which is more reasonable but falling out of favor, the other of which is counterproductive but rapidly achieving complete dominance.
I wonder which word this blog is trying to use?
Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval.
Thus speaketh Dr. Heidi Cullen, climate change expert. Thank you for proving my point, Dr. Cullen. Science is not about what is known, what is unknown, what is theorized, etc…it’s about opinions, and institutions awarding seals-of-approval for having the correct ones.
This becomes abundantly clear when one reviews what set her off:
Capitalweather.com, a website for hard-core weather junkies in the DC area, recently published an interview with a local meteorologist that highlights the unfortunate divide that exists right now between the climate and weather communities. Yup, that divide is global warming. When asked about the science of global warming, the meteorologist responded:
“The subject of global warming definitely makes headlines in the media and is a topic of much debate. I try to read up on the subject to have a better understanding, but it is complex. Often, it is so politicized and those on both sides don’t always appear to have their facts straight. History has taught us that weather patterns are cyclical and although we have noticed a warming pattern in recent time, I don’t know what generalizations can be made from this with the lack of long-term scientific data. That’s all I will say about this.”
Yeesh. “I don’t know what generalizations can be made from this…” and away she goes. For withholding your seal of certainty, you should be defrocked of the seal of approval. Only those who are certain, and say so, can be approved. You want to stay approved — be certain. That’s the job.
Science? Is it? Is it really?
Dr. Cullen responds to her critics:
I am a scientist. And I’m a skeptic.
AND after more than a century of research — based on healthy skepticism — scientists have learned something very important about our planet. It’s warming up — glaciers are melting, sea level is rising and the weather is changing. The primary explanation for this warming is the carbon dioxide released from — among other things — the burning of fossil fuels.
With that knowledge comes responsibility.
Here at The Weather Channel, we have accepted that responsibility, and see it as our job to give YOU the facts on global warming.
Our position on global warming is supported by the scientific community … including the American Meteorological Society. Their official statement says:
“There is convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents in the atmosphere, have become a major agent of climate change.”
I’ve read all your comments saying I want to silence meteorologists who are skeptical of the science of global warming. That is not true. The point of my post was never to stifle discussion. It was to raise it to a level that doesn’t confuse science and politics. Freedom of scientific expression is essential. [emphasis mine]
Excuse me — this poor s.o.b. says, and I quote…”I don’t know what generalizations can be made from this with the lack of long-term scientific data. That’s all I will say about this.” And Dr. Cullen goes off on him. She wants the AMS credentials withheld. The guy doesn’t have the right position on this to be blessed by the AMS.
Now she says the point was never to stifle discussion.
Am I characterizing her screed unfairly? She doesn’t want to “confuse science and politics.” The object of her criticism lacks confidence in something, and simply comments that he doesn’t have the confidence in it to comment beyond a certain point. It seems well-established that Dr. Cullen has castigated the poor fellow not for what he did say, but for what he did not say. There is not, so far as I can tell, a substantial disagreement about what evidence has been presented; the issue is what to make of the evidence. Heidi Cullen’s entire argument is based on the premise that some kind of line has been crossed — all who express doubt, are political propagandists and should be labeled as such. “True” scientists have their minds made up.
That’s the exact opposite of what “science” used to be.
It’s sad, really. She’s trying to invalidate the perception of critics like me, and just about every sentence she puts down provides greater support for what we’ve said. Through authorities like Dr. Cullen, science is getting into the opinion business.
Throughout most of recorded human history, we’ve had something called “science.” It’s steered us in a beneficial direction, and it’s plunged us deeply into thickets and bunny-trails that have been proven wrong hundreds of years later. The pattern that emerges, is that it’s had an illuminating effect on things when it sticks to the facts, and it’s sent us off in the wrong direction when it’s done what Dr. Cullen wants it to do.
The lesson seems to be that if you want to know how things work, you’re only going to make sound progress in figuring this out if you keep in mind what is certain and what is not. In other words, know what it is you don’t know. Based on everything she’s written about this, Heidi Cullen hasn’t impressed me as doing as good a job at this, as those placed under her criticism.
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