Friday, March 23, 2012

The Climate of Physics

Something to read with your Saturday Morning Breakfast Comics

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! 


very1silent said...

I urge anybody who reads the above comment to actually look in Merchants of Doubt. I see:
> Hansen's case was strange, because he died
> so young—only thirty-nine—so
> perhaps he did have a genetic defect, but
> his disease could also have been caused by
> inhaling beryllium he used in his research

There really is a a pH typo, but its just that: a typo, and it isn't substantially important to the overall story of how Singer and friends have spent decades working for the cigarette industry denying that the inhalation of tobacco smoke causes cancer, and then moved on to assist other industries with PR problem caused by pollution and killing.

susan said...

I hope this will make PW chortle instead of choke. (He's 88 and with his friends and colleagues has supported climate science since he checked out the physics in the mid-70s, but won't pronounce outside his field.) Not all elderly physicists have lost their marbles and/or humility and humor. Thanks!

(Susan Anderson)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

Eli why should I listen to Naomi Oreskes when she gets owned that hard by Fred Singer?

@very silent

Fred Singer is so hell bent on supporting the tobacco companies that he doesn't even smoke. hahahahahahaha

John said...

If Singer doesn't smoke then the implication is that he knows smoking kills and wants as long a time as possible to enjoy the money he's made fraudulently (or is it criminally negligently?) "helping" others to die prematurely.

John Puma

John Mashey said...

Cigarettes: from my Amazon review of Robert Proctor's fine new book: Golden Holocaust:
Winston Man model asks if tobacco execs smoke.
Answer: Are you kdding' We reserve that right for the poor, the young, the black and the stupid."

Tobacco execs also reserved that right for heir rank and file employees.

Neven said...

This comic is so incredibly funny!

Anonymous said...

It's not a two pipe problem-- historians who substitute narrative imagination for interviewing physicists while they are alive and kicking should be viewed in much the same light as folks who shoot sitting ducks or dead bunnies.

Such as use Vanity Fair as a primary source but fail to cite it may deserve John Mashey's critical attention, or in the case of repeat offenders, being seated next to Dr. Jay CadburyPhd on a transpacific flight.

Anonymous said...

Some physicists obviously don't follow the normal life cycle, skip the productive stage and go right from the "juvenile phase" to the "telling other scientists they are wrong" [and crackpots] phase.

Then again, one might argue that the latter just never left the juvenile phase.


Anonymous said...

I'm a bit worried about an octogenarian pet philosopher of language in the neighborhood.

He's begun telling passers by we can recreate diplomacy using transformational grammar.

Anonymous said...

Wait a few more weeks, then we can officially put the old physicists down by one of Obama/Zeke's death panels