Freeman Dyson is a 91-year-old theoretical physicist who was a contemporary of Einstein at Princeton, has received multiple international awards for his scientific efforts, and has published numerous books and papers on a wide range of topics.
Dyson is criticizing scientists who advance what he describes as an 'agenda-driven' perspective on global warming.
“That is to me the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?”
Dyson, who describes himself as 100% Democrat, strongly disagreed with President Obama:
“It’s very sad that in this country, political opinion parted [people’s views on climate change]. I’m 100 per cent Democrat myself, and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on this issue, and the Republicans took the right side.”
Part of the issue, according to the interview and the CO2 paper, is that the scientific models that have been used to predict climate outcomes have been wrong:
“What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what's observed and what's predicted have become much stronger. It's clear now the models are wrong, but it wasn't so clear 10 years ago. I can't say if they'll always be wrong, but the observations are improving and so the models are becoming more verifiable.”
Explaining why this refusal of scientists to adjust their opinions when confronted with facts that seemingly refute their manmade global warming hypothesis, Dyson gives a couple of reasons.
He suggests that there has been a confusion between “pollution,” something definitely man-made and solvable, and “climate change,” a feature of nature and mostly beyond the control of humanity.
Furthermore, he also asserts that there's not only a “large community of people who make their money by scaring the public,” but an element of groupthink at play, as well:
“Real advances in science require a different cultural tradition, with individuals who invent new tools to explore nature and are not afraid to question authority. Science driven by rebels and heretics searching for truth has made great progress in the last three centuries. But the new culture of scientific scepticism is a recent growth and has not yet penetrated deeply into our thinking. The old culture of group loyalty and dogmatic belief is still alive under the surface, guiding the thoughts of scientists as well as the opinions of ordinary citizens.”
Dyson concluded with an assertion and an appeal to dispassionately evaluating facts:
“Climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial. I am hoping that the scientists and politicians who have been blindly demonizing carbon dioxide for 37 years will one day open their eyes and look at the evidence.”
If anything, Dyson's disputation of manmade global warming just adds to the list of scientific voices who are bucking the received “consensus” on temperatures.