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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Lack of Consensus on Global Warming

Glenn Reynolds caught the following in an interview with Freeman Dyson, a prominent physicist and mathematician:
You’ve developed a reputation as a maverick scientist with contrarian views. Where do you think that comes from? 
I think the notion that I always like to oppose the consensus in science is totally wrong. The fact is there’s only one subject that I’ve been controversial, which is climate. I spend maybe 1 percent of my time on climate, and that’s the only field in which I’m opposed to the majority. Generally speaking, I’m much more of a conformist, but it happens I have strong views about climate because I think the majority is badly wrong, and you have to make sure if the majority is saying something that they’re not talking nonsense. 
With a majority of scientists on the other side of this issue, what would it take to convince you to switch sides? 
What I’m convinced of is that we don’t understand climate, and so that’s sort of a neutral position. I’m not saying the majority is necessarily wrong. I’m saying that they don’t understand what they’re seeing. It will take a lot of very hard work before that question is settled, so I shall remain neutral until something very different happens.

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