Climate ‘Consensus’

Harping on about ‘climate consensus’ really turns me off. Real science has or should have nothing to do with consensus. If it did, we’d probably all still be living on a flat earth or blood letting as a cure all.

Proper science is about support or not for a hypothesis, it is not about support for the apparent consensus about a hypothesis.

How ‘consensus’ can happen irrespective of truth is well explained in a 2017 comment by M Courteney on ‘What’s up with that’ blog site on global warming and climate change.

‘Research Funding will always be targeted proportionally to the expected impact of the work. In many cases that is unknown.

But if a field has many aspects and only one aspect has big implications (like the end of the world) then that aspect will get most of the Research Funding.

  • Research is proportional to the Research Funding. It has to be as it’s not free.
  • Therefore, in a field with only one aspect that has big implications the vast majority of researchers will be interested in that big implication. A consensus is formed.
  • Further Research Funding will be targeted according to the best understanding of the field, which is clearly the consensus. This re-enforces the consensus . The consensus is even more ‘certain’.
  • Eventually, the field is so bloated in the one aspect that there is no other research going on in that field at all. And, if that one aspect is no longer deemed to have a big impact, the field could not sustain enough Research Funding to employ the researchers. This polices the consensus.

How to break this up? Just stopping funding won’t work as there are loads of “experts” who will denounce any politician who tries it. The people will always trust an “expert” over a politician.

What is required is another gravy train to leach the “experts” away. Maybe try to mine the asteroids or build cities under sea. Farming the oceans could be useful. But a big Apollo programme will kill AGW more effectively than a hack-and-slash approach.’ 

In my view rather than ‘leaching the experts away’ with something like a ‘big Apollo programme’, it seems pretty clear that the big programme should be accelerated development of nuclear fusion power.  Indeed if I was a religious person, the fear of AGW could be God’s (or perhaps our alien curators’) mechanism for encouraging human progress to the next stage beyond stone age fire making, which is effectively what we are still doing by burning fossil fuels.

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