Is the sky falling?

23 Oct 2011

David Morrison, a NASA senior scientist, is well known as a sceptic of fringe science. In particular, he is disparaging of Velikovsky. As a result of this he is also highly critical of Clube and Napier too - claiming they derived their ideas from Velikovsky. That may well be so - they do have a remarkable amount of similarity. In 1997 David Morrison wrote a Book Review for an American publication - therefore outside my box. The story comes from a commenter on the Cosmic Tusk blog. This review casts an eye over ten books that had recently appeared in print - in the years approaching 1997*. They all concern various comet and asteroid doomsayings - and this appears to be what irks Morrison the most, the scaremongering factor. In that respect, we can but agree - after all AGW is often criticised because it exagerates the impact a few degrees of warmth might have. It is worth reading what he says, if only to get a handle on his train of thought - right or wrong. The link is at www.csicop.org/si/show/is_the_sky_falling.html and SIS is actually mentioned, and the Cambridge Conference which featured Clube and Napier, Duncan Steel, and others. 

However, to get the opposite flavour, Bob Kobres, at the same point in time, or roughly so, was particularly taken by the Clube and Napier model - see for example http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/bronze.html 'Comets and the Bronze Age Collapse' which is an article that was printed in SIS in 1992, a shorter version. The online version has been updated - but not recently. 

* as a matter of contemporary interest, Richard Muller of Berkeley University is one of the authors reviewed by Morrison in 1997. This seems to be the same Richard Muller that is behind the BEST temperature re-analysis. It seems he has a history of making a name in a contentious debate.