In “Don’t cloud young minds” (22 February 2012) New Scientist’s editors inform us that
Children should be taught honestly what we know about climate change, as well as what we don’t know and where the uncertainties lie.
Sure, but then they say,
There simply is no credible scientific alternative to the theory that humans are warming the atmosphere. In 2010, a survey of 1372 climate scientists found that 97 per cent of those who publish most frequently in the field were in no doubt. They agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that human activity had caused most of Earth’s warming over the second half of the 20th century. By comparison with these scientists, the climate expertise of the small group of contrarians was substantially lower (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107).
Good heavens, it turns out they are defending the fake but accurate document pack, which felled a Darwin lobbyist recently! And there was no uncertainty. The top document was a fake.
Anyway, the fact that the vast majority of scientists are in no doubt about something means nothing in the long run. Stephen Hawking recounts this story about Albert Einstein:
His theories came under attack; an anti-Einstein organization was even set up. One man was convicted of inciting others to murder Einstein (and fined a mere six dollars). But Einstein was phlegmatic: when a book was published entitled 100 Authors Against Einstein, he retorted, “If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!”‘
Recently, Einstein’s claim that nothing could travel faster than light has been under attack, but if Einstein wanted to know the facts, he had nothing to fear from the evidence, and does not need a lobby in his favour.