The American Physical Society had done it again. In a surprisingly repetitive fit of Dunning Kruger they have assembled a subcommittee to guide the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) in a review of the APS statement on Climate Change which is composed of nuclear physicists and others who know nothing about climate relevant physics.
The chair of the subcommittee is Steven E Koonin, former Undersecretary of Energy, now at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Policy, a theoretical nuclear physicist now having moved into the energy futures business.
Members of the subcommittee include
Robert Rosner, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago who was a big wheel at Argonne National Lab, who chairs both the subcommittee and the parent APS Panel on Public Affairs. Rosner is an astrophysicist, who is the closest on this assembly of gibbering know it all physicists who comes closest to maybe renting a clue given his work on fluid dynamics in stars and galaxies. Some of the solar issues might have swum by his eyes at some point.
Susan J Seestrom a neutron scatterer from Los Alamos who is now a lab co-director.
Philip Coyle, an arms control (read nuclear weapons) expert formerly at the Office of Scientific and Technology Policy, and not at a think tank, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, now ain't that just the right background. Coyle is also a member of the APS Panel on Public Affairs
R. Scott Kemp, another refugee from the nuclear complex
No climate relevant stuff there unless you are interested in nuclear autumn.
You might as well have picked a bunch of squeegee guys from off the street. The tragedy is that APS, even in the other divisions such as Chemical Physics, does have a number of experts who have relevant experience and understanding, even if they are not climate scientists. People who understand such things as spectroscopy, energy transfer, fluid dynamics and more. Instead we (Eli is a member) get this bunch of Jason wanna bees who think that they are so bright they can understand complex stuff in 2.5 microseconds. The world is about to relive the tragedy described by Myanna Lahsen
In some respects Nierenberg, Seitz and Jastrow are representative of broader categories of which they are partly part. They share common characteristics with other physicists and with a particular subgroup of physicists and governmental advisers in particular, an older generation of elite physicists shaped by nuclear physicists. The Marshall Institute trio has lived through dramatic changes in popular attitudes towards science and the environment. Their engagement in US climate politics can be understood in part as a struggle to preserve their particular culturally and historically charged understandings of scientific and environmental reality, and an associated, particular normative order. The trio has found support for important dimensions of their worldviews and policy preferences within the backlash and among Congressional Republicans, but they must continuously contend with challenges to the privilege to which they had grown accustomed in science and government.In passing she records a conversation with a young physicist which explains the arrogance
this is a problem with physicists: they think they know everything, because they’re smart. What they don’t understand is that yes, it is true, actually meteorology is a branch of physics. And so you take a physicist, like me, and you can sit him down, and in 2 or 3 years, they could learn meteorology. But physicists confuse being smart and having the ability to learn everything with actually knowing stuff!We lost time to those clowns when they opposed the Montreal Protocols, we lost time to those clowns when they opposed actions on climate change, and we are about to lose more time to them.
The Subcommittee called some witnesses
And, oh yes, who did this subcommittee chose to learn about climate science from?
The best false balance choices since, like forever. Eli has the following question to the Nuclear Subcommittee: Lindzen, Curry, and Christy are about the only three respectable (ok, semi- to vaguely respectable) scientists you could find to talk about denial. Roy Spencer being occupied with shark jumping, but it would be pretty easy to come up with a couple of hundred others who would represent the IPCC consensus position, this should have told you something.
However, what the bunnies can do is look at the transcript of that meeting. It is concerning, the naivety of the panel is not charming. Let us fisk, let us fisk, let us fisk