Mathematics

1 May 2017

The Institute of Mathematicians publication, Mathematics Today, volume 53:2 (April 2007) has a couple of interesting pieces (www.ima.org.uk - where there is a link to most of the current crop of stories, from cheese rolling to Vulcan bombers. We have a piece on mathematician Katherine Johnson.s role in the first manned flight by NASA (made into a film with Taranji P Henson playing her ole and Kevin Costner that of John Glenn). On page 50 we have 'A Doctor Writes ... which is one of those columns choosing to masquerade as a crusty old guy and with a keen eye for looking which way the pea is being played. He starts by chiding Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his various forays into science - such as homeopathy and climate change. He then moves on to the subject of hoaxes - and infers climate change is one of them. However, he is not strictly correct as he adds as a caveat that sceptics are no saints either, funded by the fossil fuel lobby. This shows the success of alarmist propaganda as most sceptics are individuals and therefore do not qualify for subsidies. It is all done in their own homes, outside office hours. Not only that there is ample evidence that fossil fuel corporates joined in the alarmist hype simply not to be out on a limb - and in the process financially profited. The fact they did not look further than their snouts and only saw the gelders stacked up is immaterial. They benefited by the demise of Big Coal. They benefited from carbon credits. Why on earth wold they have financed a disorganised bunch of contrary scientists and political misfits. Even now they are in the process of persuading Trump not to abandon the Paris agreement. They are part of the swamp. Always have been. All you have to do is look at who is funding the NGOs running the alarmist camp. 

'A Doctor Writes ...' is astute enough to know a hoax when he spots one but like everyone else is as susceptible to casual propaganda as the next person. The fact that he has been able to say there is a hoax in a major science publication is the big news as it means there is a seismic shift going on behind the scenes. We will know when it really kicks in as the hoax will become an editorial rather than be confined to a grumpy columnist. Having said that, and the reason most people keep the debate at arms length, is the political angle to the alarmist cause. The alarmist cause has now developed into an openly political animal and perhaps it always was - but until somebody spills the beans we won't know for sure. Various conspiracy theories exist but most sane people shy away from them - which is how it should be. 'A Doctor Writes ...' makes the point that has now emerged out of the swamp that rising co2 levels in the atmosphere is not necessarily as alarming as the alarmists have claimed. The environmentalists have consistently exaggerated the threat of global warming/ climate change for years and have been able to get away with it primarily because they have shouted the loudest - and drowned out dissent. Nothing they have predicted can be shown to be remotely true - and in fact all they have achieved is the blighting of the landscape, the mass killing of wildlife, and expensive bills on consumers of energy and expensive commitments on governments. They have in effect created their own version of doom and gloom - in the here and now. We don't need models that purport to be crystal balls just as we don't need astrologers to tell us how our love life is to pan out. They are both subject to faith rather than reason. This is exemplified when 'The Doctor Writes ...' says that 'persistent over statements have resulted in no growth in wisdom' which comes from a wise owl it would seem. Some scientists think the science is solid, he says, -others, not so. The true change in global temperatures at the end of the 21st century is just as likely to be quite small - so what justifies the vast amount of spending on reducing emissions (the real question that should be addressed).