He was hated by the religious cult members of the anti-human CC/GW industry…
Rather than demonize energy and energy producers, Dyson focused on equity, human development, and the need for more energy so that more poverty-stricken people can live better lives. “The humanist ethic begins with the belief that humans are an essential part of nature,” he wrote. “Humans have the right and the duty to reconstruct nature so that humans and biosphere can both survive and prosper. For humanists, the highest value is harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.”
The essential line in Dyson’s 2007 essay is this: “The humanist ethic accepts an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a small price to pay, if world-wide industrial development can alleviate the miseries of the poorer half of humanity.”
Freeman Dyson, RIP
He endorsed the ‘humanist ethic.’
The death of physicist Freeman Dyson on February 28 has been noted by many publications, all of which highlighted his many contributions to science. Dyson, 96, was, without doubt, a genius. He was a polymath whose interests included mathematics, number theory, biology, physics, nuclear energy, space travel, weaponry, and arms control.
While all of those accomplishments are important, Dyson’s view of climate change — or rather, his view on carbon dioxide, economic development, and what he called “the humanist ethic” — also helped spark a new type of environmentalism, one that rejects the idea that carbon dioxide is the supreme villain.
Dyson was a skeptic on the issue of catastrophic climate change, a fact that was prominently noted in the obituaries published in the Washington Post and the New York Times. The Post called it his “apostasy on global warming.” It went on, saying that while Dyson did not “deny the Earth was warming,” he broke ranks because he didn’t believe “global warming is particularly dangerous.” That view, the Post said, “is not shared by the overwhelming majority of scientists.” The Times said Dyson “confounded the scientific establishment by dismissing the consensus about the perils of man-made climate change.”
Dyson could afford to be a skeptic. Few academics dare to break from the orthodoxy on climate change because the pressure to hew to the majority view is so intense. For proof of that, look no further than the experiences of Judith Curry at Georgia Tech or of Roger Pielke Jr. at the University of Colorado, both of whom were effectively blacklisted for questioning that orthodoxy. Dyson had no such qualms. His position at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, where he spent more than 60 years, was secure. That job security, and his own long history in science and physics, allowed him to carve his own path on climate issues. In 2007, he published an essay at Edge.org that is perhaps even more relevant today than when it was published.