The Register | Interview The life of physicist Freeman Dyson spans advising bomber command in World War II, working at Princeton University in the States 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 America's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dyson was looking at the climate system before it became a hot political issue, over 25 years ago. He provides a robust foreword to a report written by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cofounder Indur Goklany on CO2 – a report published[PDF] today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).
An Obama supporter who describes himself as "100 per cent Democrat," Dyson says he is disappointed that the President "chose the wrong side." Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does more good than harm, he argues, but it is not an insurmountable crisis. Climate change, he tells us, "is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?"
We invited Dyson to talk about climate change and other matters, including a question from your correspondent's kids – how will we do interstellar travel?