Pharyngula

Sokal’d!

Laugh, everyone! A bunch of the people who reject scientific ideas about global warming, including a certain big fat fish and quite a few right wing blogs, were taken in by a fake paper that claimed that “concerns about manmade global warming are unfounded.” If you have even the slightest acquaintance with math, all you have to do is glance at the paper to see that the equations are all gibberish.

Nature has a summary, and an interview with the author of the hoax.

Of course, it’s not exactly comparable to the Sokal hoax since this one didn’t take in the mainstream climatologists at all…only a collection of fringe pundits who oppose an inconvenient reality.

Comments

  1. #1 Leukocyte
    November 11, 2007

    PZ, did you notice that you were listed as an author of one of the other papers in that fake journal?

    http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:cYVN_i_9sUcJ:www.geoclimaticstudies.info/JGS_backissues.htm+site:www.geoclimaticstudies.info+Journal+of+Geoclimatic+Studies&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=uk

    Apparently a “P. Myers” wrote a paper about colonizing the sun: “Plasma samples from the TOAST2 mission: implications for future solar settlement”

  2. #2 Blue Gal
    November 11, 2007

    Last night was great, PZ, thanks.

  3. #3 Dahan
    November 11, 2007

    This reminds me of the Sokal Affair. Just amazing what these people will accept.

  4. #4 AJ Milne
    November 11, 2007

    I have but one word.

    Sweet.

    Wait. I mispronounced that. I believe the proper form in this case would be more:

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

  5. #5 Dahan
    November 11, 2007

    Except it’s even better! Lol!

  6. #6 Dahan
    November 11, 2007

    From now on PZ, you’ll have to use the word “Klein’d” or some such.

  7. #7 AJ Milne
    November 11, 2007

    Still on this subject, I really, really, really want a non-mangled original of the paper, with diagrams. I’m sorry, but the whole ‘Where Q is raw mass, u is area, c is osmotic conductivity, ? is the vertical (neo-Falkian) benthic discontinuity, X is concretised diachronic invariance (P-series), F is trans-dimensional flow structure and jy is the non-rectilineal harmonic regressivity of the constant ?.’ bit has me, let’s just say, very, very impressed.

    Please. Someone. Tell me you saved a whole web archive or a PDF or somethin’ before it being pulled. I’d call this one a collector’s item.

  8. #8 Rob
    November 11, 2007

    This has to be my favourite part amongst the references:
    Tibbold, WR and JD Rawsthorne (1998). Miocene, Pliocene and Plasticine fossil records for eukaryotic mass on the West African continental shelf. Journal of Submarine Research 18:5. 196-203.

  9. #9 Jewel
    November 11, 2007

    The meetup last night was a lot of fun PZ. I enjoyed getting to meet you. :)

  10. #10 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 11, 2007

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Laugh, everyone!

    What a joy it is to obey, Master.

    (Benthic discontinuity? A canyon on the sea floor?)

  11. #11 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 11, 2007

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Laugh, everyone!

    What a joy it is to obey, Master.

    (Benthic discontinuity? A canyon on the sea floor?)

  12. #12 Bob O'H
    November 11, 2007

    I want a preprint of this paper:

    JP Burley, MM Fisher, CR Burke and J Shirley. Submarine lightning strikes in the Hadean Zone: an unacknowledged cause of fish mortality?: 132-138

    If I don’t get one, I guess I’ll have to write it myself.

  13. #13 LostInAsia
    November 11, 2007

    Um… a layman’s question… but could someone highlight some of the giveaways in this for me (and others like me)? I know it’s a joke, but, to be honest MOST scientific papers are rather impenetrable to the average person. Yeah, the math looks ridiculous to me. However, even with 2 years of (long-ago) university calculus, when I see the math in an advanced physics book, THAT looks ridiculous to me too.

    I didn’t catch the plasticine bit. I did like the bacterial mass of 4.3 x 10?²¹g/m², and the periodicity of 450,000 years (peaking NOW?).

    Is X Wu somone? Wu/ woo science?

    I do hope those who’ve been touting this paper as evidence for their side also make lots of claims for scientific expertise.

    (Uh… canyons on the sea floor… yeah, actually, that’s what they’re often called aren’t they?)

  14. #14 Brian Macker
    November 11, 2007

    A big “So what?”. You don’t think there are idiot environmentalists out there who are suckers? Remember the “Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide” scam. I’m well aware that Rush Limbaugh is not a source for good science. I abhor his tactics as much as I do those on the left.

    If I got Limbaugh on a scam regarding animal testing, which I’m sure he’d fall for, then would you think that reflects on your pro-animal testing position?

    I do think that humans are having an upward effect on temperature but I’m not convinced it’s significant compared to natural causes yet. Even if it were I am not convinced that any of the proposed “solutions” are better than the

    Fact of the matter is that we are going to use up all our oil, coal, and gas, whether it takes 600 years or 2000 years. Nothing you or I can do about it. So in the long run any reduction policies are only going to shift consumption in time and place, and reduce economic efficiency. Limiting immigration and having forced sterilization policies are as likely to succeed and will fail for similar reasons. Actually controlling people in a way that reduces fitness is hard. The incentives all run the other way.

  15. #15 Brian Macker
    November 11, 2007

    Sure it should make anyone who takes Rush seriously on science think twice, which is just fine. But how is this any different then all the fools who were tricked by the hockey stick scam? Surely you are aware that scientists can make mistakes, and can lie for funding. Not sure of the motives in this case.

  16. #16 Blake Stacey
    November 11, 2007

    My favorite part of that interview was the final exchange. “Do you have other such spoofs in the pipeline?”

    “That would be telling.”

    I can’t help hearing that in the voice from The Prisoner.

  17. #17 Dan
    November 11, 2007

    <3

  18. #18 MikeF
    November 11, 2007

    Brian Macker – which “hockey stick” scam would this be? The one where people have tried to overstate the importance of a minor statistical quirk, despite the National Academy of Sciences declaring that the “conclusion [of the original paper] has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence”. Is that the scam you’re on about? Because if you’ve been able to show *clear* statistical proof that they’ve made it up, you should publish that paper as nobody else has.

  19. #19 gg
    November 11, 2007

    Blake wrote: “I can’t help hearing that in the voice from The Prisoner.”

    That was EXACTLY what I thought when I read that. The Village is a pretty good summary of the denialist mentality:

    “Questions are a burden to others; answers are a prison for oneself.”

  20. #20 Blake Stacey
    November 11, 2007

    gg:

    And now that I got myself thinking about The Prisoner, I just had to do a little Web-searching. . . and lo, it’s been done with stuffed animals.

  21. #21 octopod
    November 11, 2007

    Wow. Brian Macker, can you think of no source of energy on the Earth other than fossil fuels? I’ll give you a hint: how about if there were a giant body of low-molecular-weight atoms undergoing nuclear fusion less than ten light-seconds away from a planet? Surely such a planet would never have any trouble finding sources of energy that didn’t dramatically increase its atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide or run out…

  22. #22 Bill
    November 11, 2007

    So, PZ, one question: Am I the only one who thought that mollusks that eat bacteria was a tad odd? Particularly brachiopods – which are mainly extinct. Mollusks whose guts *grow* bacteria I could believe; or even mollusks whose *fight off* bacteria, but *eat* bacteria?

    OK, so nature is stranger than I can imagine, but are there any such critters? The energy and evolutionary processes to produce this seem a bit strained (if you’ll pardon the pun).

    :-)

  23. #23 ivan
    November 11, 2007

    octopod: light-minutes, not light-seconds :)

  24. #24 Ross Nixon
    November 11, 2007

    Laugh, everyone! A bunch of the people who accept pseudoscientific ideas about global warming, were taken in by a fake movie that claimed that “the oceans would rise 20ft because of man-made global warming”

  25. #25 Brain Hertz
    November 11, 2007

    A rather easy way to figure out whether the paper was for real would have been to google “Journal of Geoclimatic Studies” which would have immediately indicated that the Journal didn’t exist.

    Of course, doing the same thing now reveals a list of all those who fell for it…

  26. #26 gg
    November 11, 2007

    Blake wrote: “I just had to do a little Web-searching. . . and lo, it’s been done with stuffed animals.”

    :D

    That is priceless! I guess it’s true that you can find ANYTHING on the web…

  27. #27 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    November 11, 2007

    Apparently AJ Milne and I share the same spoof humor. Apart from the math, I especially liked the “regressivity” (of a constant, no less). No doubt something AGW denialists share alike.

  28. #28 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    November 11, 2007

    Apparently AJ Milne and I share the same spoof humor. Apart from the math, I especially liked the “regressivity” (of a constant, no less). No doubt something AGW denialists share alike.

  29. #29 octopod
    November 11, 2007

    ivan: oops! I saw that a moment after I clicked “post”…teach me to mouth off thirty seconds after I wake up. Ah, dangers of having your laptop right next to your bed.

  30. #30 Tyler DiPietro
    November 11, 2007

    Laugh, everyone! A bunch of the people who accept pseudoscientific ideas about global warming, were taken in by a fake movie that claimed that “the oceans would rise 20ft because of man-made global warming”

    And apparently you were taken in by a particularly stupid and easily debunked anti-Gore smear, try reading something outside of the denialist circle-jerk.

  31. #31 ChemBob
    November 11, 2007

    Good grief, the trolls are here too? I’ve expostulated extravagantly and nearly exponentially (in length, not in quality) on the other thread that they hijacked. No stomach for them anymore.

  32. #32 Geoffrey
    November 11, 2007

    Fact of the matter is that we are going to use up all our oil, coal, and gas, whether it takes 600 years or 2000 years… any reduction policies are only going to shift consumption in time and place

    ‘Only’?

    “Fact is, if I fall out of a third-floor window, I’m going to come to a dead stop, whether I land on concrete or an airbag. Any ‘soft landing’ is only going to shift that deceleration in time and place.”

    Whether we’re talking about changing temperatures or reducing fuel usage, a gradual transition is much easier to survive than an abrupt one. Delaying the oil crunch gives us more scope to develop alternatives (and more effective technologies to make the most of what we’ve got); delaying CO2 release gives the ecosystem more time to absorb what’s already been released.

    and reduce economic efficiency

    A little economics is a dangerous thing.

    An unrestrained free market will, under certain specific assumptions, produce an efficient allocation of labour and resources. If you don’t know what those assumptions are, you probably shouldn’t be relying on that result; if you do know what they are, you should already know that it’s not reliable here. See, in particular, ‘lack of externalities’ and ‘imperfect knowledge’.

  33. #33 Neil
    November 11, 2007

    Off topic, but the Sokal hoax wasn’t interesting. A professor of physics got a paper, in which he claimed that there were connections between postmodernism and physics, published in a non-refereed journal? Of course the editors were going to accept it: they weren’t in a position to assess it.

  34. #34 Bokanovsky Process
    November 11, 2007

    Neil,

    Sokal’s hoax went far beyond “connections between postmodernism and physics.” With a brilliant combination of intentionally bad physics, ideologically charged buzzwords and general puffed-up PoMoSpeak, Sokal basically “argued” IIRC that physics is just another “narrative” that “privileges ‘objectivity’ and ‘facts’,” reinforces gender divisions, and Oppresses The Subaltern (or something like that – I have never understood, let alone mastered, postmodern-speak). In fact, at one point I recall him arguing about “reality” as a subjective construction, and he finished off with a plea for an “emancipatory physics” to be used in the battle against capitalist-male hegemony (it’s worth noting that in real life Sokal is a lefty, btw).

    It was savage, and hilarity ensued. And though the editors were not in a position to asses it, they SHOULD have sent it out to peer review, as all good journals do. They did not, and what I recall was their arrogance in assuming that, since physics is just a narrative, they didn’t *have* to. They got burned, and deserved everything they got.

  35. #35 Ian
    November 11, 2007

    Neil,

    I agree. The Sokal affair is an excellent demonstration of why it’s a bad idea to publish a journal without a peer review process, but not a lot else. This Journal of Geoclimatic Studies paper is far more entertaining, since it’s actually taken people in rather than just being published without being looked at first.

  36. #36 qubit
    November 12, 2007

    Looks like the denialists have made this a regular hangout. Guess they couldn’t take a hint. At least they’re somewhat tragically entertaining.

    However, I would like to commend Brian Macker for being the first AGW contrarian I have come across who has actually stated a specific position on where he parts ways with the consensus. Hats off to you, Brian. This allows for actual debate and is a refreshing change from the usual lawyerly (no offense, JD’s) arguing from the alternatives of “Earth isn’t warming”, “CO2 doesn’t cause warming”, “humans aren’t causing the warming”, “predictions of further warming are wrong”, and “warming is a good thing,” even if it is accompanied by some classic bad economics and the non-sequitur about eugenics.

    Okay, so you are unconvinced human causes are significant compared to natural ones. Which forcings do you take issue with in the AR4? Do you think the natural forcings are severely underestimated, that human forcings are seriously overestimated, or some combination of these?

  37. #37 Dan
    November 12, 2007

    The basic purpose of the Sokal hoax, I believe, was to show that the editors of an immensely influential (even if non-reviewed) journal would publish papers for the sole reason that the submitter had credentials and flattered their political sensibilities. Actually having good arguments and/or writing sentences that have meaning were beside the point, and even months after publication no one had criticized his obvious errors.

    Anyone actually interested in the Sokal hoax should read Sokal’s site, he collected all the relevant (and awesome) material: http://physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/

  38. #38 Who Cares
    November 12, 2007

    It is funny to see how the people taken in by this hoax react. My favourite conspiracy nut site reacted as follows:
    —-
    Someone is writing up fake reports claiming global warming is a fraud solely to sucker in global warming skeptics and discredit them.

    Which means that the global warming cult is agenda driven rather than science driven.
    —-

    I find this a hilarious (and sad at the same time) reaction. Someone shows that these people are not interested in science so the science has to be a cult. But when you give them data showing they are wrong you get claims of the world wide scientific conspiracy.
    Even funnier is that they later link an article about increased snowfall in a part of the antartic as a proof that Gore is and his movie is wrong while the article itself explains that it can only happen due to increased temperatures.

  39. #39 Ross Nixon
    November 12, 2007

    Speaking of Gore, there is an article by Monckton listing 35 errors in his film, http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html
    but I can’t find a site with point-by-point rebuttals. Has anyone got one?

  40. #40 MikeF
    November 12, 2007

    The 20 foot comment isn’t helped by the errors of the British judge who ruled that 9 points in Gore’s film were inconsistent with the predominant scientific judgement – this included the one about polar bears drowning, which polar bear researchers have stated that Gore’s description was indeed their conclusions. The judge also claimed that Gore stated the 20foot sea level rise was imminent, which he did not – he stated that if West Antarctica or Greenland melted, rises of up to 20 foot would be possible.

  41. #41 Josh
    November 12, 2007

    #35: basically correct about what Sokal achieved, except that I’m not sure the “months after publication” claim holds up –didn’t he reveal the hoax in Lingua Franca right around the time of publication? Also, “immensely influential” is a stretch: I’d say “generally respected.” Although Andrew Ross’s anti-science bias had not gone uncriticized before.

    Whether PZ’s claim that Sokal took in “the mainstream” in the field in which he published the piece is, to my mind, possible but not readily provable. Ross, Robbins, and (arguably) Aronowitz are not the mainstream in “science studies” (their arrogation of the power to make judgments on a field they didn’t know well was a huge part of the problem), and anyone who is mainstream and was taken in by the article is unlikely to admit it.

  42. #42 Stinky Wizzleteats
    November 12, 2007

    Just glancing at the page you linked to, Ross, I don’t think it should be too hard. I can take a crack at a few of them just off the top of my head:

    3. I can’t be sure about the paper because Monckton refuses to cite his sources, but the quoted sentence doesn’t say what he wants it to say. That is about observed changes in thermohaline circulation. The point in question is what massive fresh water inflows will do to thermohaline circulation.

    4. This is such a silly bit of sleight of hand it shouldn’t get past anyone’s bullshit detector. Monckton acts like he’s disproving that CO2 contributes to global warming (see the title), but goes on to dispute the strength of the forcing. I can’t assess these claims immediately, since Monckton again refuses to cite sources.

    7. This is a blatant lie about what Gore said, so there’s really nothing to address.

    8. Too much to tackle entirely, since Monckton does the Gish gallop, spouting such a rapid string of lies, non-sequiturs, and mischaracterizations that it’s hard to know where to begin. I guess the most important points are a) read the paper for yourself (hey, he sort of cited this time), Monckton very deliberately misrepresents it, and b) notice the careful choice of year interval and pretending the net increase was monotonic.

    10 and 11 are essentially repeats to pad the list.

    13. Just take a look at the free switching between present, past, and future tense. ‘Nuff said.

    17. This is rich beyond belief. He accuses Gore of not understanding radiative transfer while either being ignorant of it himself or flatly lying. I’ll try a short version of correcting his misinformation. Any bulk matter with non-zero temperature radiates what’s known as “blackbody radiation,” dependent ideally on temperature, and the ocean is no exception. “Ideally,” is the operative part here — the frictionless surface here is an object that absorbs all light incident on it. Real objects aren’t like that, so we have factors to correct for this in the equations, like emissivity to describe the propensity to simply not emit (having the energy go somewhere else). The important one for this is “albedo” — how reflective the material is. When something has a high albedo, it doesn’t absorb much of the light falling on it, but this particular factor doesn’t directly affect blackbody radiation, so it ends up at a lower equilibrium temperature (less incoming energy but just as much outgoing until it cools). Ice has a higher albedo than the water or land under it, so if you melt the ice, it raises the equilibrium temperature. Interesting that Monckton tacitly admits to a greenhouse effect, but goes out of his way not to call it that.

    27. This is a great example of how to lie with graphs… poorly. Just look at the country names — only one is included in both year groups.

    30. I invite Mr. Monckton to breathe from a CO2 tank for a few days. His excuses would certainly be more amusing than his silliness about geological time scales, seeing as we live in and have adapted to (I don’t mean just evolutionarily) this climate. Besides, he’s not even actually claiming an error here, he’s quibbling over definitions based on associated value judgments.

    35. IPCC AR4, page 750 (emphasis added): “Ocean surface waters are projected to exhibit undersaturation with regard to calcium carbonate for CO2 concentrations higher than 600 ppm, a level exceeded during the second half of the century in most of the SRES scenarios.” (Took me about a minute of “find” in Acrobat to get that, but then again, I already knew what chapter it was in.)

    That’s just a few off the top of my head. There are a lot more repeats padding out the list and straw-men aplenty. You get the idea. Someone else with more patience can deal with the rest.

  43. #43 EMR
    November 12, 2007

    #12: I agree that a great deal of mathematical equations in scientific journals look like gibberish to the layman (and to scientists working in other fields, for that matter). However, the giveaway for me was when I tried looking up the reference they gave for that equation (Katsu, 1986) and found that the “Journal of Applied Oceanography” doesn’t even exist. :-)

  44. #44 Blake Stacey
    November 12, 2007

    Alan Sokal’s merry prank was probably going to become topical again anyway, what with his new book coming out, but this makes it all the sweeter.

  45. #45 Hyrum
    November 12, 2007

    I know Algebra but I can’t tell it its gibberish. Although I’m a little biased and paranoid cus all the global worming propaganda would only help the people in charge to get more power over us.

  46. #46 Bill Arnold
    November 12, 2007

    An interesting aspect of this hoax story is that most of the deniers who figured out that it was a hoax did so by doing credentials checks, rather than simple nonsense checks. Try googling for some of the unusual terminology in the first few paragraphs. “saprotrophic eubacteria”, “genus Tetrarhynchia”. Or for that matter “benthic bacteria”. A biologist (not me) would spot these and a few of the red flag sentences in the first 2-3 paragraphs without needing google.

  47. #47 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 12, 2007

    So, PZ, one question: Am I the only one who thought that mollusks that eat bacteria was a tad odd?

    Why?

    Particularly brachiopods – which

    aren’t mollusks at all…

    Laugh, everyone! A bunch of the people who accept pseudoscientific ideas about global warming, were taken in by a fake movie that claimed that “the oceans would rise 20ft because of man-made global warming”

    20 ft? How much is that, 7 m? That’s how much the sea level would rise if Greenland would melt completely. And that’s going to continue happening over the next few hundred years unless we somehow manage to stop it.

    (Did Gore say that? I have no idea — I haven’t watched the movie.)

    Try googling for some of the unusual terminology in the first few paragraphs. “saprotrophic eubacteria”, “genus Tetrarhynchia”. Or for that matter “benthic bacteria”. A biologist (not me) would spot these and a few of the red flag sentences in the first 2-3 paragraphs without needing google.

    Erm… “saprotrophic eubacteria” means bacteria (actual bacteria, as opposed to archaea) that live off detritus, “benthic bacteria” means bacteria that live on the seafloor (though using “bacteria” and “eubacteria” in the same paper is a red flag), and despite meaning something with four beaks, Tetrarhynchia is the name of a genus of Early Jurassic brachiopod, as the 996 Google hits attest. The terms are not made up.

  48. #48 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 12, 2007

    So, PZ, one question: Am I the only one who thought that mollusks that eat bacteria was a tad odd?

    Why?

    Particularly brachiopods – which

    aren’t mollusks at all…

    Laugh, everyone! A bunch of the people who accept pseudoscientific ideas about global warming, were taken in by a fake movie that claimed that “the oceans would rise 20ft because of man-made global warming”

    20 ft? How much is that, 7 m? That’s how much the sea level would rise if Greenland would melt completely. And that’s going to continue happening over the next few hundred years unless we somehow manage to stop it.

    (Did Gore say that? I have no idea — I haven’t watched the movie.)

    Try googling for some of the unusual terminology in the first few paragraphs. “saprotrophic eubacteria”, “genus Tetrarhynchia”. Or for that matter “benthic bacteria”. A biologist (not me) would spot these and a few of the red flag sentences in the first 2-3 paragraphs without needing google.

    Erm… “saprotrophic eubacteria” means bacteria (actual bacteria, as opposed to archaea) that live off detritus, “benthic bacteria” means bacteria that live on the seafloor (though using “bacteria” and “eubacteria” in the same paper is a red flag), and despite meaning something with four beaks, Tetrarhynchia is the name of a genus of Early Jurassic brachiopod, as the 996 Google hits attest. The terms are not made up.

  49. #49 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 12, 2007

    Well, as mentioned above, other terms are made up, such as “benthic discontinuity”. Others are meaningless together, like “regressivity of a constant”.

  50. #50 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 12, 2007

    Well, as mentioned above, other terms are made up, such as “benthic discontinuity”. Others are meaningless together, like “regressivity of a constant”.

  51. #51 Bill Arnold
    November 12, 2007

    “Tetrarhynchia is the name of a genus of Early Jurassic brachiopod”. Jurassic, not extant. Unlikely to be a significant contemporary “bacterial predator”. The other pairs of terms are so uncommon that they only appear in this “paper” or in commentary about it. It takes special effort to be this far out of the mainstream. I was guessing that the author deliberately picked vocabulary pairs with no Google hits.

  52. #52 truth machine
    November 13, 2007

    A big “So what?”. You don’t think there are idiot environmentalists out there who are suckers?

    I think there are idiot Mackers wielding tu quoque arguments. The so what is the intellectually dishonesty of yourself and your fellow denialist wankers.

  53. #53 Brian Macker
    November 13, 2007

    “However, I would like to commend Brian Macker for being the first AGW contrarian I have come across who has actually stated a specific position on where he parts ways with the consensus.”

    To my understanding that it the consensus with the scientists who understand that Mann, et all, can’t do proper statistics. Sorry if what the opposition actually believes doesn’t match your straw man arguments.

    All this talk of peer review and what I’ve seen looks more like pseudo-peer review. When one of the most respected statisticians in the US, Wegman, says your methodology is crap then I suppose you should listen. But that would be me.

    What kinds of scientists don’t include the data in their reports, nor their methodologies, and have confidentiality agreements to conceal the process. None of the stuff going on in this incestuous group sounds like proper scientific protocol to me.

    I visited Climate Audit for the first time and they have some real good arguments. In fact I’m embarrased for the other side.

  54. #54 Brian Macker
    November 13, 2007

    Truth Machine,

    If you bought the hockey stick statistical scam I’m selling a dyhydrogen monoxide spanning device?

  55. #55 Brian Macker
    November 13, 2007

    Geoffrey,

    You think too simplistically. If you reduce the rate of consumption that implies a reduction in the number of supportable scientists. So you’ll have less of them working over a longer period.

    Of course, when you start trying to force other people from using their resources you are going to get a lot more conflict, which means more waste, so the total number of scientist hours supported would probably be quite reduced over the longer period. Maintaining armies overseas to keep oil sheiks from selling their goods to others who don’t share your concerns is carbon intensive.

    “A little economics is a dangerous thing.”

    Which I see you have.

    Some other guy mentioned solar. If he knew economics he’d understand why it doesn’t matter to my argument. Sadly he doesn’t.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.