Onward Glorious Conservatives! Don’t retreat from the librul modelers!!!
By now, you might have heard about the Bush Administration’s massive ‘editing’ of the CDC testimony about the health consequences of global warming. Over at Science Progress, there is a copy of the unedited, original CDC text. At this point, no one in the Coalition of the Sane should be surprised that every single one of the specifics about what global warming would actually do was expunged–we wouldn’t want the public to worry their purdy lil’ heads about all of that scary stuff. What did interest me was the…edited section about modeling (bold is deleted):
Modeling: Currently sophisticated models to predict climate and heat exist. For example, CDC has conducted heat stroke modeling for the city of Philadelphia to predict the most vulnerable populations at risk for hyperthermia. In light of these projections, CDC has initiated efforts to model the impact of heat waves on urban populations to identify those people most vulnerable to hyperthermia. Modeling and forecasting represent an important preparedness strategy, in that it can help predict and respond to the most pressing health vulnerabilities at the state and local level. Armed with modeling data, we can target response plans for heat and other extreme weather events to the most vulnerable communities and populations. In light of these projections, CDC has initiated efforts to model the impact of heat waves on urban populations to identify those people most vulnerable to hyperthermia.
It is clear why the minions of Little Lord Pontchartrain felt the need to strike the first sentence: they can’t publicly admit that we can use Math With Letters to predict the future climate. The Bush White House correctly recognizes that if you admit that some modeling is reliable and useful–“Modeling and forecasting represent an important preparedness strategy, in that it can help predict and respond to the most pressing health vulnerabilities”–then you start down a slippery slope of other models, and the next thing you know, you have an IPCC report or something.
But the second deleted part also reveals how similar global warming denialists are to creationists. It is the tired old gambit of “if I can’t see it happening in front of me, then it is not real” that creationists routinely play against macroevolution. Of course, this administration was quite willing to invade the wrong fucking country based on far more specious ‘models.’ Maybe it’s the math that scares them?
Seriously, I can think of few things more critical to science than models, whether they be formal (mathematical) or informal. To criticize modeling–which is what the Bush Administration edits did–is a full-frontal assault on science.
The Republican War on Science marches on….