The contrarian views of Pulkovo Observatory’s head of space research

Posted on timeJanuary 16th, 2007 by userPali Gap


In the context of global warming (“climate change”) we so often hear the mantras “the debate is now over” and the “overwhelming scientific consensus is blah blah“.

But there are plenty of scientists who don’t follow the supposed party line. One such is Habibullo Abdusamatov, the head of the space research laboratory at the St. Petersburg-based Pulkovo Observatory.

In an interview with the Russian News & Information Agency Dr Abdusamatov stated:

“Global warming results not from the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but from an unusually high level of solar radiation and a lengthy – almost throughout the last century – growth in its intensity. It is no secret that when they go up, temperatures in the world’s oceans trigger the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations” [Jan 15 2007]

The point is not so much that he is right (though of course he may be). Rather it gives the lie to the idea that the men in white coats are of one mind on this (apart from a few big-oil-financed lackeys!)

Of course fanatical warmers are prone to respond to this kind of counter-example by saying “ah, when we say consensus we don’t mean by that that you can’t find academics with top qualifications in mathematics, physics, or whatever who disagree with us. Rather we mean that if you look at a select list of peer-reviewed journals, then you will find consensus. Oh, and by the way, we’ll tell you which are the ‘good’ journals in which to look for the consensus

I think this is a key battle line in the debate. The concept of “peer-reviewed consensus” is being put forward as lying at the heart of the methodology of science. It is essential for the warmers’ case that that are able to hold the line on this.

But can “peer-reviewed consensus” carry the weight that the warmers want to put on it?

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