Coinciding with the failed climate talks in Durban, mainly due to the European Union's bizarre and kamikaze negotiating stance, another European marvel of government spending - CERN - announced its research teams could or might have glimpsed the Higgs boson. They say it might well exist. Only might exist, note it well. Most people neither know or care what a Higgs boson might be but it should have a partner thing out there in the Universe, called the graviton. The boson would "explain" mass while the graviton would "explain" gravity, in the same way other government-paid scientists and the politicians who pay them say that CO2 "explains" climate change, which exists, but their explanation needs global warming - which might not exist.
This is already complicated. History buffs compare the CO2-climate change-global warming subject, and its add-ons like a forced stampede into green energy, with the Schleswig-Holstein question. This was so complicated that only three men in Europe ever understood it, according to Lord Palmerston, then Queen Victoria’s entertaining prime minister. He said: “One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor, who went mad. I am the third, and I have forgotten all about it.” Since bosons have plenty of mass even if they cant explain it, this brings up the Woody Allen quip on neutrinos. One character explains that physicists are trying to prove that neutrinos have mass, which provokes Allen's reply: "Neutrinos have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic!"
STAY SANE - FORGET ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
Even as the Durban talks broke up after a ritual last-ditch 72-hour talkathon, during which the Europeans scuppered any prospect of getting what they pretend they wanted - worldwide and uniform emissions standards and limits with financial penalties for exceeding them - big changes were taking place. The ice cliff of seamless and total support by mainstream media to the most extreme, so-called scientific stances on, or explanations of "climate catastrophe" was breaking up and floating in the dangerously warming, ever more acidic oceans of the world. The media seemed to have forgotten about global warming, after a long and insanely obsessional flirt with the subject.
Durban reporting was as they say "low key". Rearguard action included a few ritual 20-minute-specials on evening primetime news shows in Committed Nations, almost exclusively European, showing the ice cliffs, polar bears, factory chimneys, windmills and bicycles, and what have you, but it was clear this was a bow-out phenomenon. News of latest developments from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was given almost as much airtime. Explanations of What It All Means were deliberately humorous. Ringing funeral chimes for the Climate Crazies, humour is also slipping into residual and remaining media treatment of "the most massive crisis of all time".
You see the problem? The so-called God Particle is as hard to understand as why a gas making up a princely 0.04% of the atmosphere - the deadly toxic gas CO2 - could lever up average global temperatures by 6 degrees celsius, in the next 20 (30, 50, 70 or what you like) years. Why would it do that to us ? To be sure, the God Gas or Devil's Gas had done what it could in most northern hemisphere countries through the summer and autumn, with sometimes record high temperatures, and as we know the N. hemisphere is about 60% water and 40% land, while the S. hemisphere is about 80% water and 20% land, allowing an awful lot more persons to live in the north. Any change in solar insolation would rather likely heat the north more than south, especially with increasing (or recently known) massive cloud cover on most oceans, and think how many more heat-generating cities there are in the north.
PLAYING THE SCIENCE GAME
But this is already playing the Climate Crazies science game. European government owned media, as well as government friendly media was pitiless until only the past few months. The pseudo-science propaganda was Stalinesque. There was no alternative to global warming. "The planet is burning" was a favoured one-liner from the same mouths that, today in Europe, are whining "Buddy can you spare me a hundred billion euro ?".
The average physics genius who can talk about Compact Muon Solenoids may, or may not talk down and around the position of Nobel physics prizewinner Ivar Giaever. His take on global warming and climate change is No and Yes. As simple as that. Interested readers can find out what Giaever says about the first and ultra basic question: what is "global average temperature" ? One hint is that the "average" temperature of Mercury varies (up and down) by about 175 degC, if you mean surface temperatures. To be sure, we can apply Planetary Discrimination, and treat Mercury (or other Earth-type planets) as minor planets with no vote at the UN because they dont have human beings.
As in particle physics however, there is a distinct chance of near-minimal supersymmetry in future climate talks, and talks about talks - due to the Europeans. The European position - call it a "package" most intensely applied in the 2008 EU Climate/Energy package - in fact moves lightning fast from the global warming crisis which all persons of Good Faith believe, to a vast and vastly unworkable Green Energy plan, which everybody in Europe will pay for. For simple persons lacking sophistication it can be difficult to understand what a high-ranking Indian delegate to the Durban climate said about the European stance: "Naive, hypocritical and aggressive".
Child psychology rather than physics would explain it rather well, but we can use the Higgs boson, also, to explain the European climate-energy package. In 1993, the UK science minister William Waldegrave challenged physicists to produce a one-page answer to the question: “What is the Higgs boson, and why do we want to find it?”
The winning entry compared the universe to a cocktail party of political workers hosting Margaret Thatcher. Moving around the room, she has more mass than anyone else. Once she is moving, she is very hard to stop, but once she has stopped she is very hard to get moving again. That is basically the Higgs mechanism. This also worked with the "fundamental packet" of vague climate change fears, real fear of high and rising oil prices, and real fear of Gazprom cutting off gas supplies to Europe. This massed up through the period of around 2004-2007, to become a political rumour that circulated faster and faster, getting heavier and heavier. Travelling in clusters, the Climate bosons gave those carrying the rumour extra mass, political clout and spending power - exactly like PM Thatcher.
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