Looks like someone has inserted a couple of coins on Leif again over at Watts Up With That?
Thank you for linking this Watts Up With That? post.
The physical dynamics of Saturn's aurora is interesting in its own right, but what I also found interesting is the comments section of the post.
A number of plasma dynamic friendly comments were posted, but even more interesting is that towards the end of the comments section, it becomes a duel between a Dr. Leif Svalgaard and another commenter and the debate is about Electric Double Layers and so-called "magnetic reconnection".
The other commenter presents a number of peer-reviewed scientific papers, a couple are explicitly Electric Double Layer papers and several are so-called "magnetic reconnection" papers, which he then compares to each other. The commenter makes a compelling argument that the two processes are actually the same physical event -- the Electric Double Layer physical process which results when two bodies of plasma come into contact with each other.
After reading the thread, I'm struck by the intellectual dishonesty of this Dr. Svalgaard. Svalgaard seems in denial or just doesn't care about "truth for its own sake" (I suspect the latter) regarding the physical similarity of the two sets of papers and is willing to deny some basic principles of plasma physics -- if other goodfaith scientists read the post they would see that Svalgaard is acting duplicitly in a determined fashion to prevent the truth about Electric Double Layers from being more widely known.
Is this what it's come to, a supposedly reputable scientist resorting to intellectual dishonesty to maintain that Electric Double Layers and "magnetic reconnection" are two distinct physical processes?
Hannes Alfven stated that Double Layers are a basic physical process in space plasma dynamics.
Seems, that some so-called scientists (even supposedly plasma physicists) will dishonor themselves to prevent the Electromagnetic Paradigm from gaining traction. But judging from the papers presented, other plasma physicists are coming to the conclusion that Hannes Alfven was right all along about Electric Double Layers (even if they still use the term "magnetic reconnection").
The undeniable establishment that so-called "magnetic reconnection" is actually the Electric Double Layer structure & process is one of the key building blocks for greater acceptence of the Electromagnetic Paradigm.
Prove the wide-spread existence of Electric Double Layers in space plasma dynamics and it gets much harder to deny the rest of the Electromagnetic Paradigm.
I suspect that is exactly the reason this Dr. Svalgaard is willing to dishonor his scientific entegrity...he knows that should the obfiscation of "magnetic reconnection" get discarded and replaced by the transparent Electric Double Layer term and its electromagnetic framework, the walls of ignorance and denial will begin to crumble.
Strange that a scientist would want to enslave the scientific community and the general public in ignorance...or not so strange after you have studied the dynamics of Group Think so prevalent in today's astronomical science community.
But I also take hope from the peer-reviewed, published scientific papers, they are eloquent testimony to the power of empirical observation & measurement.