PAGE 2 CALAMITIES 2 - John Wawrzonek


For Those Who Really Want to Know

I would like to put us on a good scientific footing, and that means clearing up some misconceptions, which means doing a little teaching. If you want to learn solid science without politics, then stay with me. However, the title is a bit ironic since those for which this intended, the deniers, are those who not only do not want to know but will do everything possible to scramble their thoughts to avoid knowing anything. You can find them quite easily. They are putting together arguments that make no sense whatsoever, or seem to make sense on the surface.

The climate is one of the most insanely difficult scientific problems ever, and possibly the most difficult. Scientists often distinguish somewhat jokingly between hard and easy problems. If you follow science you will know that two extraordinarily difficult experiments were recently completed successfully: the detection of the Higgs Boson by the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, and the detection of gravity waves by the LIGO detectors in Louisiana and Washington. (I had the stunning good luck to sit at dinner after a lecture with Rainer Weiss of MIT who received one half of the three person Nobel prize for detecting gravity waves. The detection happened in 2015 and the prize was probably Fedexed the next day.) These are examples of easy problems because the path from question to answer is known. You just have to execute which may take hundreds or thousands of physicists a lifetime, but it is doable.

Hard problems are those like consciousness and sentience for which you can watch brain cells do their thing on a functional MRI but for which there is not a hint of you get to the phenomina of sentience and consciousness. Back to the climate.

I would give anything if I could make global warming not be true. It cost me two years of depression when I first read about it and has cast a real shadow over my later years (I am 77) and it has taken me away from my real love which is landscape photography for now a year and 7 months.. (You can look the pictures at I have barely touched it since starting this work and that has cost me considerable money.

I often find myself taking on projects because I have to do them or go bonkers. They are rare, but this is one of them. No one asked me to do this and I get nothing for doing it except a tiny piece of mind.)

Since I don't have degrees in climatology you can easiy argue that I am not qualitied, but in reality I think I am well qualified. Please read my biography.

Often the question comes up from skeptics about proving something was caused by climate. The answer is that it is usually not possible. Real proofs are possible in mathamatics and logic where at the end of the proof you see "Q.E.D." which is Latin for "quod errat demonstratium "or "which is what I sought to prove." I did lots of those in geometry in high school.

Physics, which is the science that is most important to climate change works like this. It usually starts with experimnents, becomes mathamatical, and the math becomes a concrete version of a theory. "Theory" drives scientists nut when dealing with non-scientists since it has two meanings which bounch around like ping-pong balls in any discussion. There is Einstein's theory of relativity for example, which has been established as true beyond doubt. Then there is "theory" usually voiced by non-scientists as "I have a theory" which is a conjecture and usually goes nowhere.

The matamatics of phyics, once you have put your theory into mathamatical equations, needs to be tested. A good example is Einstein's theory of relatavity. Einstin was amazing. He developed the whole theory with "thought experiments." Much of physics is done this way because nothing else is practical. Out of the imaginary thought experiments come equations. What is critical here is that the equations predict (yes, tell the future} something about the relevant subject. Out of Einstein's thinking comes probably the most famous equation in all of science: E = mc2, which shows the relationship between mass and energy. How do we know it work? Well atom bombs work. There is infinitely more, But I hope that will do.

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