Alert for a potentially interesting report from the Minority members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Their 2007 report was a major advance in the debate, with valuable new analysis. We shall see if this new report does the same. Here is their news alert. The style is too breathless for my taste, but the material looks interesting.   Timing is crucial as the Obama Administration plans vast new regulations, programs, and taxes to fight global warming.

“UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims” (link), Marc Morano (bio), posted at the blog of the US Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, 10 December 2008 — Opening:

The UN global warming conference currently underway in Poland is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN. The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

The U.S. Senate report is the latest evidence of the growing groundswell of scientific opposition rising to challenge the UN and Gore. Scientific meetings are now being dominated by a growing number of skeptical scientists. The prestigious International Geological Congress, dubbed the geologists’ equivalent of the Olympic Games, was held in Norway in August 2008 and prominently featured the voices and views of scientists skeptical of man-made global warming fears. [See Full report Here: & See: Skeptical scientists overwhelm conference: ‘2/3 of presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the UN IPCC’ ]

A hint of what the upcoming report contains:

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.”
 – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.   

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly. ,,,  As a scientist I remain skeptical.”
  –  Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology  and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

{Warming fears are the} “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”
 – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,”
 – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.”
 – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.”
 – Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.”
 – Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet.”
 – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?”
 – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.”
 – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.”
 – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.”
 – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

“CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.”
 – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.”
 – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

The Senate Minority Report is an update of 2007’s blockbuster U.S. Senate Minority Report of over 400 dissenting scientists. See here: This new report will contain the names, quotes and analyses of literally hundreds of additional international scientists who publicly dissented from man-made climate fears in just 2008 alone. The chorus of scientific voices skeptical grow louder as a steady stream of peer-reviewed studies, analyses and real world data challenge the UN and former Vice President Al Gore’s claims that the “science is settled” and there is a “consensus.” The original 2007 U.S. Senate report is available here:  Full Report Set To Be Released in the Next 24 Hours – Stay Tuned…

Meanwhile, while the UN climate conference is in session here in Poznan, the bad scientific news for promoters of man-made climate alarm just keeps rolling in. Below is a very small sampling of very inconvenient developments for Gore, the United Nations, and their promoters in the mainstream media. Peer-reviewed studies, analyses, and prominent scientists continue to speak out to refute climate fears.


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14 thoughts on “Alert for a potentially interesting report from the Minority members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

  1. Fingers crossed. I hope there are enough heavy weight scientists among the 650 to begin rallying the silent skeptics into the open. So that the political influence of the pro-AGW can be met with equal weight and an actual debate can take place.

  2. This list of dissenting scientists makes me aware of a theme I hadn’t thought of before: the interest of developing countries and those about to become mega-economic powers like India and China in NOT curtailing in any way their turn at carbon-based development. Naturally scientists in those countries would opposed the conservative political implications of the AGW thesis. I wonder how many of the six hundred names in the minority report come from those countries?
    Fabius Maximus replies: Questioning of opposing voices’ motives is a frequent theme in laypeople’s pro-AGW literature.

    (1) Of the 12 scientists cited above, 9 were from developed nations (US, Japan, EU); 3 from emerging nations.

    (2) Making up “just so stories” to explain scientists motivations can go either way. Perhaps the developed nations’ scientists want to retain their people’s global dominance, and use global warming as an excuse to restrain other nations’ growth.

    Perhaps we should just hope for good faith by all concerned, then deal with the logic and data — rather than set outselves up as master deciders of the purity and worthiness of other people’s views.

  3. The subtext of Comment #2 is one that one sees all over the place but which in theory should not be so prevalent when discussing issues involving physical ‘science’. One could simply criticise someone making such a comment, but still: fact is that scientists seem to have a very hard time agreeing about things which again points to the underlying fallacy of the method. Whether it’s evolution, global warming/cooling or new medicines or medical technology again and again we find hard-core definitive scientific ‘proof’ surprisingly thin on the ground.

    Which is why there is so much emphasis on the peer review and ‘consensus’ aspects since the method itself leaves often more questions than it provides answers, or even ‘facts’.

    I think we need a 700 billion dollar ‘bail-out’ of the scientific method. Maybe throwing money at it will make it better?
    Fabius Maximus replies: I disagree with all of this.

    “fact is that scientists seem to have a very hard time agreeing about things which again points to the underlying fallacy of the method. ”

    You must be kidding. The vast progress of science over the past 500 years shows the slow growth of knowledge about a great many things. Since we’re not gods, the frontier of science with the unknown has grown — just as the perimeter of a spotlight grows as its area increases.

    “Whether it’s evolution, global warming/cooling or new medicines or medical technology again and again we find hard-core definitive scientific ‘proof’ surprisingly thin on the ground.”

    Again, this is absurd. Scientists are people, so there will always be some with fringe beliefs — esp where science overlaps with religon. Even so, very very few biologists disagree with evolution.

    Your last 3 points show astonishingly little understanding of science as a human activity. These are new fields. Science takes time, often long periods of time, to work. It’s only in movies that after 90 minutes a scientist cries “eureka”, having found the definitive experimental evidence.

  4. Dosco: yes. I am not well educated in this unfortunately, but my impression is that Locke’s original objections to the peer-review process as it first emerged were and still are valid: that when all is said and done you are dealing with beliefs, either promulgating or overcoming them. And although beliefs can be formed from observation, they cannot be falsified by observation alone. This relates also to the apriori business as well. The quantum boys made huge progress on this decades ago which has largely been ignored because the conclusions are so disturbing, namely that particles being examined can exhibit various properties according to how the experiment is fashioned. If you want to prove that particles cannot go from A to B instantaneously, you can. But if you want to prove that those same particles can go from A to B instantaneously, voila!, they do.

    What is missing in the scientific method, I think, is that it is based on a monistic fallacy, aka the materialist fallacy. There is more to matter than matter alone, or there is more to the visible/physical than matter alone. The method cannot take into account the context/field/environment, neither by observation or measurement.

    So what we have is a method that can only see ‘yang’ whilst ignoring the existence of ‘yin’ without which there would be no yang in the first place. This is a fundamental fallacy.
    Fabius Maximus replies: First, the examples in your previous comment are nonsense.

    Second, science has in a few centuries reshaped the world more than anything in the previous 10 millenia. What level of effectiveness is required for it to gain your respect? If science “needs a bailout” because it works insufficiently well to meet your standards, what does?

  5. I am not convinced that science has reshaped the world so much as stunning advances in mechanical engineering (combined with the overthrow of feudalism by the rise of the merchant classes/profit motive). Not the same thing.

    And although most biologists do indeed espouse evolution theory as you state, it does not change the fact that there is as yet no definitive proof, no living intermediates, nothing in the fossil record and so forth, which is strange to say the least.

    The philosophical red herring underlying the polemic is the trotting out of the hyper-simplistic dichotomy of ‘either evolution or creationism’. This is because, I suspect, evolution emerged along with the philosophical ascendance of materialism, one of whose thrusts was to finally rid the world of the pernicious dominance of narrow-minded religious dogma. That may have been a worthy goal, but what the preferred substitute is the same gal in a different dress. Similarly, the Nr 1 killer in the US is misdiagnosis and death due to pernicious side effects of ‘scientifically’ developed medicines many of which perform hardly better than placebos and yet are universally heralded as modern breakthrough miracles. Also strange if the scientific method is fundamentally sound, no?

    But I freely admit that mine is an amateur opinion and this is not the place to debate it nor specifically germane to this thread!
    Fabius Maximus replies: This displays terrifying ignorance of the scientific revolution that makes the modern era so different from the rest of our history. Let’s see. Infant mortality way down from public health and medical revolutions. Electricity. Telecommunications. The green revolution. The list goes on and on.

  6. Meanwhile, paradigm-changing developments in the energy sector (NG) whose import is that we really don’t have an energy problem, Martha. Again, politics (including AGW and private-public sector interplay) is the only real factor here. “It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas: The Paradigm Shift in the U.S. Natural Gas Business“, Energy Tribune, 11 December 2008.
    Fabius Maximus replies: That is an interesting conclusion, as a monumental display of ignorance. Esp as the article cited says:

    During their discussion at the IPAA meeting in Houston, Papa of EOG Resources and Jeff Wojahn of EnCana said that their companies needed natural gas prices to be in the $7 to $8 range for their shale drilling programs to be profitable. Obviously, given current prices, all of the gas-focused independent companies are scaling back their drilling programs by as much as 50%. And it’s not yet apparent how many drilling rigs will be idled in the coming months as more and more companies slash their capital expenditure budgets.

    US natural gas prices are largely a function of weather. Mild summers and winters have resulted in high (vs. long-term averages) but volatile prices for the past few years, achieved by a massive increase in drilling activity.

    The US has 1428 rigs drilling for natural gas, an astonishing 42% of the world’s total of 3352 rigs. It’s expensive, gets results — but somewhat of a Red Queen race. (source: Baker Hughes) To keep production flat-ish we must constantly increase the number of rigs. When the race ends, we must tap the LNG markets, at far higher cost. The transition might be painful.

    Only fools believe that this is sustainable for more than a few years — and a few more after that if we build pipeline(s) to bring down arctic gas (not cheap nat gas, btw).

  7. Before the scientific method-hypothesis, test against reality, result- was embraced, natural philosophers said things like,”It is the nature of a thing in motion to slow down until it is no longer in motion”. Besides contradicting Newton’s laws of motion,these observational “nature” revelations were worse than useless, having not only zero predictive power, but actually misdirecting thinkers away from rational analysis. Fast forward 400 years, and we have the AGW crowd breaking the same rules of scientific inquiry with the same results. If Obama puts an AGW fanatic in a position of power, a lot of top scientists are going to lose respect for the guy. When he needs honest input from those same heavy hitters for science decision making, they won’t trust his judgement or sincerity to our detriment.
    Fabius Maximus: Great observation. We forget how long the road to bring us to our current level of knowledge. I was amazed to learn that the realization that cause must precede effect was an insight of someone so late as Descartes (1596 – 1650).

  8. the law of cause and effect – and in very sophisticated fashion in involving interdependency – was fully articulated in 500 BC by the Buddha and he was building on earlier work. In the West it was a different story.

    “Fabius Maximus replies: This displays terrifying ignorance of the scientific revolution that makes the modern era so different from the rest of our history. Let’s see. Infant mortality way down from public health and medical revolutions. Electricity. Telecommunications. The green revolution. The list goes on and on.”

    Infant mortality: mainly hygiene, largely due to urban engineering (clean water, readily available fuel, sterilisation etc.), not really science. Science gave us flouride in the water and that seems to have been another mistake. Science gave us margarine (an abomination) and so forth! Science has made cheese worse! (You would call it science, I guess, but I would call it production-related engineering.)

    Infant mortality in the US is far higher than much more primitive societies (including Cuba). Not science necessarily, rather common sense.

    Electricity I grant you, but the line between science and engineering there is very thin and a good argument could be made either way. That is also what I call engineering. Telecommunications ditto.

    Green revolution?

    Most advances in science are directly linked to advances in technology most of which derive from machines most of which are powered by electricity, a huge leap forward. It is stupendous what has happened, but it is not due to the scientific method per se although the latter has helped – and been motivated – greatly by the leap forward in industrialised society-building which inspired ever-more-sophisticated of the properties of metals and other elements to improve efficiency. Without that financial incentive, it is not clear this would have happened. Witness the origin of the spinning Jenny which was developed specifically to compensate for the lack of gold and silver from North America and the need to compete in the world’s largest commercial markets – in Asia. It was a wage-arbitrage machine basically, as were most later technological developments that gained widespread development.

    We don’t build better buildings, make better clothes, make better furniture, write better literature, compose better music, enjoy more sophisticated culture, husband natural resources better, grow better food. We do make far, far more creative machines and much larger, more livable cities. So there are significant advances but also no less significant declines.

    However, the philosophical issue I raised earlier was more about how science maintains – and most of us believe – that it has a more definitive handle on ‘truth’ than prior systems which are now regarded as primitive and deluded. This has some merit, but just about as much delusions as the prior systems albeit of a different nature. This position represents a fundamental materialist fallacy that it is somewhat taboo to point out.
    Fabius Maximus replies: You seem to attribute all the fruits of science to other things. That’s one way to wave it away. A bit odd that these wonderful innovations most built on the work of scientists (we call that technology, or engineering), and did not occur in societies which had not developed the scientific method.

    As for the benefits of pre-scientific societies, there are quite a few around the planet. Plus many open areas — for example, many of the areas over which the great western range wars were fought are not almost valueless. You can always set forth and live the primitive life. No need to stick around and tell us about the horrors of modern technology. Watch your children die, your wife grow old at 30 (drawing water from wells aged women quickly), and your family die during droughts and floods. Enjoy the simple life!

  9. Re NG: for me what was paradigm-shifting in the article was:

    Papa said that the Haynesville Shale, which may contain 50 trillion cubic feet of gas, the equivalent of about 9 billion barrels of oil, is one of “the biggest fields found in the entire world over the last decade.”

    And hints that there is more to be found.

    Cost is rather irrelevant since the price can easily be determined based on cost plus reasonable markup basis assuming the US were to take the initiative to switch to NG as the main source of energy, which is a political decision. Once a decision is made to adopt that infrastructure throughout the nation for electricity and auto use, then price can be brought in line.

    Now, maybe there really isn’t enough for that, in which case I am simply wrong. But the impression I got from the article is that there really is tons of the stuff out there now that we have learned how to find it in new places. There is not sufficient demand relative to supply given these newly found reserves, but our demand could be much more than what it is were we to adopt this source and were the AGW initiative to fade away.
    Fabius Maximus replies: There was nothing “paradigm-shifting” in that. The story has been for years the exhaustion of low cost sources of natural gas, replaced by higher cost resources. This is the rule in mining: lower quality resources are more abundent than high quality resources — but more expensive. Would you expect it to be otherwise? This is explained at some length here.

    The drastic increase in the number of wells in recent years — accompanied by an increase in the cost to drill and operate — shows the “red queen” aspect of natural gas production. It gets more difficult each year to maintain level production of natural gas in North America.

    There are ample supplies elsewhere. But shipping natural gas is quite expensive (the inefficiency to liquify and de-liquify). When we must draw on global supples the cost will substantially rise, as global prices average far higher — even without the US drawing on the market.

  10. FM: fair enough on the NG, something which I am not especially ‘up’ on. I am not sure why the article cited claimed that these new mega-finds represented a ‘paradigm’ shift if as you say they are not. Again, my impression from reading it and from their thrust of the title was that these new finds significantly change the NG equation long-term, not only because of the quantities but also because they are within American territory. So if that is incorrect (either my reading of or the writer’s intent), everything you say above makes sense. However, if the supply paradigm really has shifted, then my point about the costs is reasonable, for only if a macro-political decision is taken to switch to NG as the main fuel for power would the demand expand sufficiently for the industry to be able to regulate how much is mined how often and brought to market and price will settle around levels that make it affordable for suppliers. Or we could be really revolutionary here and simply nationalise the stuff, but that’s not the American way.

    Similarly, without the AGW business (the thread context), American could simply ramp up coal-generated power stations (the use of coal has been steadily rising in the US and throughout the world even with the AGW concerns), upgrade the electrical grid, promote electric vehicles and so forth and be done with energy scarcity concerns. Get rid of this obsession of having to bury the carbon etc. but spend more money on reducing particulate pollution. I suspect the nuclear/coal combination is the best one pollution-wise.

    The real problem is political because making a switch not only has to overcome oil industry resistance to it (a formidable power bloc) but also show real leadership to instigate such a nation-wide, far-reaching initiative. My alternative technology contributions here are mainly to point out that the technological/supply/material issues are not the main hurdles, rather the political vision and will are the key elements in coming to any meaningful solution.
    Fabius Maximus replies: I strongly agree with your last paragraph, at least over a multi-decade (generational) perspective. For supporting evidence see the many reports about alternative energy on the FM reference page about Peak oil and energy – studies and reports.

    As for the “paradigm shift”, I will state it more clearly. It’s moronic. We are shifting from exploiting high-grade deposits to lower-grade deposits — the trend throughout mining history. As we go down the scale, both the cost and the available volume increase. The increase in drilling activity necessary to obtain the same production is clear proof — one of many — of this relationship.

    This is why Peak Oil is not about “running out of oil”, as I have explained so many times on this site.

    As for coal, the greens opposition to it appears as deep and viseral as their opposition to nukes. The result is that we’re moving away from coal. Since nothing is replacing it as a source of new power, if this continues brown-outs are a big part of our future. As evidence…

    * “Coal plants cancelled in 2007“, Sourcewatch — Excerpt:

    Between 2000 and 2006, over 150 coal plant proposals were fielded by utilities in the United States. By the end of 2007, 10 of those proposed plants had been constructed, and an additional 25 plants were under construction. But during 2007 a large number of proposed plants were cancelled, abandoned, or put on hold: 59 according to the list below.

    * “Coal plants cancelled in 2008“, Soucewatch — Excerpt:

    Since the beginning of 2008, the following 19 proposed coal plants have been cancelled, abandoned, or put on hold, including 18 projects the United States and 1 project in the Netherlands:…

    And the bad news continues for coal, almost weekly:
    * “Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry” — 17 January 2008 interview of Obama by the San Francisco Chronicle.
    * “Dynegy to rethink new coal-fired power projects“, Reuters, 11 December 2008
    * “Steven Chu: ‘Coal is My Worst Nightmare’“, Wall Street Journal, 11 December 2008 — Chu is our new Secretary of Energy.

  11. PS. My ex-military (i.e. non-bleeding-heart-liberal) next door neighbour and I have had a running debate about GW for a few years, with him supporting it and me not. I studied this issue somewhat back in the 1980’s when cooling was all the rage. Iben Browning’s Climate and the Affairs of Men book made a good case for poo-pooing man’s ability to have a significant impact on long-term climate trends.

    Anyway, around the dinner table last night I had an epiphany: even though I have been more or less convinced for years that AGW is a fad/mistake, I suddenly realised that what it represents is the first and only substantive political/intellectual movement that will make it politically possible to unseat the dominance of the oil industry. And only when the latter happens can substantive changes in the energy infrastructure move forward. It’s a pity that the insistence on avoiding carbon emissions (no easy thing) is in the mix, but if this movement does get us to change the overall energy infrastructure, it’s a good thing even if, as I believe, it’s factually challenged.
    Fabius Maximus replies: The dominance of the western oil companies is long gone. Both deposits and production have shifted to the national oil companies — esp those of Russia and the Middle East. Their role will only increase in time for the foreseeable future.

  12. Well, I suspect you are right on coal and nuclear. Pity. I hope you are right about the oil industry but my impression that the recent administration was oil-dominated and that our wars in the ME are not unrelated to that sector and still enjoy heavy ‘pull’. Witness also how they pulled GM’s EV1 out of production a few years back with Exxon buying the patent!

    As to: “Fabius Maximus replies: You seem to attribute all the fruits of science to other things. That’s one way to wave it away. A bit odd that these wonderful innovations most built on the work of scientists (we call that technology, or engineering), and did not occur in societies which had not developed the scientific method.

    As for the benefits of pre-scientific societies, there are quite a few around the planet..”

    I think we are talking across each other here. My original objection to the ‘scientific method’, probably badly articulated, is that it claims to have a new handle on determining ‘truth’ or ‘fact’. It’s basis for contending this is a materialist fallacy, a point I still maintain.

    However, in the remarks above it appears that what you mean by science is basically the same as what I differentiated as being more involved with ‘engineering’. So on that level we agree. However, I do not think that the inventors who developed the spinning Jenny and steam engines and so forth were necessarily ‘scientists’ in the sense that they were going through hypotheses, peer-reviews etc. They were simply making things that worked. Later on, as our machines became ever more sophisticated, we could start to delve into the physical world with extraordinary depth and precision out of which further technological advances evolved and during which processes the role of scientists certainly played a seminal part. But here again the emphasis is more on ‘what works’ than ‘what is true’.

    I take issue with your statement about ‘non-scientific’ societies and suggest you read up on pre and post medieval China, for example. They did not get into machines as much as we did but they did not need to since their huge populations (India and China mainly) did not need wage arbitrage to sell into their own markets. I highly recommend Gunder Frank’s flawed but ground-breaking work ‘Re-Orient’. Most of us have been brought up with deeply ‘Eurocentric’ view of history and society. It is factually and philosophically inaccurate, as your comment about cause and effect demonstrates.

  13. bc wrote: “Before the scientific method-hypothesis, test against reality, result- was embraced, natural philosophers said things like,”It is the nature of a thing in motion to slow down until it is no longer in motion”.

    Certainly there were mistaken notions flying around, especially in the West, although we have little idea of what went on for many centuries leading up to around 1100 AD or so. Libraries were burned, kingdoms razed and so forth. However, that is not the picture in Asia, which few of us are familiar with. They DID have a hard-core scientific tradition, albeit not based on materialism like ours. One small example:

    Many successful heart transplants were done around 100 BC (or thereabouts) in China. However, they were quickly rejected as viable medical practice because they did not effect true cure. The role of the doctor is to ensure that a patient never gets to the point where the heart has become so dysfunctional in the first place.

    We now all know that the printing presses were first invented in China although 50 years ago everyone thought it was in Europe. We now know they invented mechanical clocks as well (water-powered I believe), but until the advent of far better sources of fuel for machines, they didn’t get far. However, my main two points here are
    a) we seem to believe that only materialist-based science is ‘scientific’ and that any other systems are not
    b) we have a general ignorance of pre-modern scientific/technological capabilities, not to mention societal/intellectual sophistication so that for some reason we now mainly seem to believe that pre-‘scientific’ societies were both technologically backward and intellectually challenged because we are clearly the ‘most advanced’ in human history.

    Human population has steadily increased since the last major ice age. This is not due to science but breeding over time. Larger populations gradually – and inevitably – created urban clusters which naturally promoted ever-increasing technological advances. ‘Science’ is a natural outgrowth of this over-arching development but it still has systemic flaws, which the AGW debate illustrates in spades.

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