Freeman Dyson On CO2 & Climate Change

  • Date: 12/10/15
  • The Register

Interview The life of physicist Freeman Dyson spans advising bomber command in World War II, working at Princeton as a contemporary of Einstein, and providing advice to the US government on a wide range of scientific and technical issues. He is a rare public intellectual who writes prolifically for a wide audience. He has also campaigned against nuclear weapons proliferation.

At the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dyson was looking at the climate system before it became a hot political issue, over 25 years ago. Today he provides a robust foreword to a publication by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change co-founder Indur Goklany on CO2 published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.


You were being invited to help solve problems in an era when things looked pretty grim, and those problems looked insoluble, in the Cold War, and before Norman Borlaug

There was

The years before 1914 were a tremendously promising time. Russia was getting richer, [but then

If you could give your own scientific recommendations for carbon dioxide policy at COP21 in Paris, what would they be?

It seems almost medieval to suppose that nature is punishing us, rather than the Enlightenment view, that we can tame nature, and still be good stewards of it.

Because the big, growing countries need fossil fuels, the political goal of mitigation, by reducing or redirecting industrial activity and consumer behaviour, now seems quite futile in the West …

virtue signalling

It seems complete madness to prohibit shale gas. You wondered if climate change is an Anglophone preoccupation. Well, France is even more dogmatic than Britain about shale gas!

It seems almost medieval to suppose that nature is punishing us, rather than the Enlightenment view, that we can tame nature, and still be good stewards of nature.

Full interview

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