Over at an ID blog (I promise I don’t read it regularly folks, blame RPM for pointing it out… looking closer I see the text there is somewhat wrong, this is probably the official version but its much the same) there is the text of “The Need for Heretics: Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey Commencement Address, given at the University of Michigan, December 18, 2005″. And one of FD’s heresies is GW.

In the speech, FD is talking to new PhD’s about how he hates the whole PhD system, so he needs some good heresies, but predictably enough he pushes his point too far: The first of my heresies says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. Well obviously he isn’t qualified to speak. But he doesn’t even give any indication that he knows what he is talking about, which is at least desirable before speaking.

First off, lets suppose that the climate models have absolutely zero value for predicting the future (I don’t believe it, but lets suppose). How does that allow you to conclude that the fuss is exaggerated? How does he know the models are erring on the high side? They may just as well be erring on the cautious side (and there is some reason to believe that, since there may be unexpected surprises that, err, aren’t in the models because we don’t know about them).

Secondly, the climate modellers (unlike, apparently, FD) are aware that the models are uncertain: its hard not to be, when the IPCC report gives a range of 1.5-4.5 for the climate sensitivity (although there is increasing evidence that about 3.0 is probably close to the right answer).

If FD means the fuss over the impacts… then he should say so.

FD continues: climate models… do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust… do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand… the climate model experts end up believing in their own models. All this is well over the top. But it can be re-written, substituting “climate” for “econmics”. Then FD would have something real to complain about: economic models are used far more extensively for policy than climate models are, yet they lack the physical basis that climate models do have. They miss out all sorts of things in the messy muddy world. Why does FD (and indeed so many other septics) have such a blind spot for them?

ps: back to Overpeck et al soon, folks…

Comments

  1. #1 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/26

    Thanks, I linked to this article.

  2. #2 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/26

    The reason why a scientist must assume that the models err on the high side is that the Earth and life have been around – unless you agree with your creationist friends from The Uncommon Descent – for several bilions of years. If someone predicts that there are serious climate problems on the timescale of a century, it is an extraordinary statement that violates more or less everything that we know about the history of this planet, and such an extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence.

    [There is clear evidence from the ice cores of large rapid changes in temperature, so the idea that T can change rapidly is definitely not implausible; so your argument collapses - W]

  3. #3 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/26

    Economics may be similarly fuzzy as climate science, but it is a field that studies a manifestly important segment of existence – the working of the economy – and the question is only whether one approach is better than another.

    Global warming “science”, on the other hand, focuses on one particular bizarre religious fairy-tale about the climate change becoming one of the important issues in the next 50 years. There is no real evidence that the climate change is anything important. This fact contrasts with the economy that is demonstrably and obviously important.

    [Oh Lubos, you were doing so well at being nice... ah well. As to your comments: firstly, they are irrelevant. If, as you say, economics is so much more important, that only makes it the stranger that Dyson should focus on climate. Is he not brave enough to take on the big boys of economics? Is he perhaps scared of being laughed at if he said "we can't model everything so we should throw away the economic moedls?".

    Secondly, from my perspective, you have climate science all wrong: a common septic mistake. I'm not here to tell you that climate science is important; only to explain what it can tell you. Dyson seems to have some of the same confusion. You can agree 100% with all that IPCC WGI has to say, without being obliged to believe that cl ch is the most important issue. Read RP Jr, for example -W]

  4. #4 Dave Munger
    2006/03/26

    Lubos, if you don’t support your ignorant drivel with evidence, you’re no better than the people you criticize.

    The climate is not important? Where do you get that idea? You might want to see how far it gets you, say, in Darfur, or in Alaska, where people’s lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by climate change.

  5. #5 Nathan Myers
    2006/03/26

    There’s also plenty of clear evidence of previous mass extinctions, and we’re in the middle of one now. Sure life (at least the archaea) survived. That’s not much consolation, though, when agriculture collapses, billions starve, and in the ensuing chaos the nukes get used.

    The other primates aren’t doing too well lately. Large species seem to suffer more in mass extinctions, so I don’t suppose the next sentient race will arise from the bears.

  6. #6 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/26

    Dear Dave,

    the reason why I don’t present the same evidence every time we discuss these issues is that it would be childish. Every person who has at least elementary ability to look around or even make internet searches can easily see why your statements are absurd. For example, open any Alaska’s newspaper, such as

    http://www.anchoragepress.com/

    There is not a single word about the “disasters” such as “destruction of human lives” that you try to sell simply because they don’t exist and only people with significantly reduced intelligence can believe things similar to yours.

    Nathan can keep on dreaming about mass extinctions. I prefer to rationally think about arguments of eminent scientists such as Freeman Dyson than about political assertions of crackpots and their readers.

    Best wishes
    Lubos

  7. #7 Jon
    2006/03/26

    Sorry who is this Lubos heretic? Where is the instrument that can measure billions of years. SHOW ME. LET ME SEE.

    You can measure growth rings on a tree – and these tell you how old the tree is in years (as we know them). The fact the rings are wider or thinner is not indicative that the years were longer or shorter than years as we know them of 365 days, but rather of how warm or cold it was that year.

    But there is nothing indicative beyond 10,000 years that a year was of 365 days ie that the earth took 365 days to revolve round the Sun. For all anyone one knows the earth could have been revolving round the sun every 3.65 miliseconds and weaving the whole of billionaire prehistory before that in the wink of an eye. Get it Ludos?

    A year need not have 365 days before the Egyptian or Mayan calendars ‘fixed’ it as such, nor a day 24 hours, which it has not had for very long, nor the hour 60 mins or the minute 60 sec, and I’m not even going to try and measure a milisecond on my chronometer.

    Ludos’ billion years could have been woven in a billion miliseconds, now that I can measure on my chronometer starting now, and ending ………………………… some moment in time later. BYE Now! No, not BUY Now. This is not e-bay or the footsie.

    Even Man has changed & modelled the face of the Earth more in the last hundred years, than Time did before Man.

  8. #8 Steve Bloom
    2006/03/26

    Lubos’ reactionary views have the same solopsistic logic as Calvin Coolidge’s famous dictum: “Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.”

  9. #9 Matt McIrvin
    2006/03/26

    So… Dyson goes emeritus. I always thought he was one of the smartest ones.

    To be fair to him, he may be primarily getting his notion of the climate modelers through the popular media. You’ve documented many cases of newspapers and magazines inflating climate news into we’re-all-gonna-die-soon terror stories, and noted how different those often are from the still sobering but more nuanced papers that they’re actually attempting to summarize. If all you knew of the subject came from those articles, you might well assume that the climatology community was full of hysterical ignoramuses and give the global-warming denialists a listen.

    Still, that doesn’t seem like a mistake that someone of Dyson’s stature ought to be making.

  10. #10 Peter Hearnden
    2006/03/27

    “If someone predicts that there are serious climate problems on the timescale of a century, it is an extraordinary statement that violates more or less everything that we know about the history of this planet, and such an extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence.

    [There is clear evidence from the ice cores of large rapid changes in temperature, so the idea that T can change rapidly is definitely not implausible; so your argument collapses - W]”

    Humm, isn’t the point that very rapid large magnitude change on a global or hemispheric basis, IS unsual? But that, also, there clearly is a growing human input to climate? So, climate does vary but not by much (normally…) over decade/bit longer scales (OK, I know it seems there are exceptions but I’m just talking last few thousand years and about big forcings (get it?)).

    I mean, this planet is 70% covered by water, that’s a huge great moderator of short term global/hemispheric change?

    [Rapid change - Dansgaard-Oeschger events - are "common" during the last ice age - there were 10+ of them. Lubos is getting his stoires mixed up, the correct septic line on them is "rapid ch has happened before so how can it be a problem now"? OTOH quite how global they were is another matter.

    Oceans - yes, modeerate things a lot (just look at continental/maritime climate) - W]

  11. #11 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/27

    Dear Jon,

    how do we measure billions of years? For example, we use WMAP, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe that has just released new data.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/03/wmap-three-year-data-released.html

    From the data we know, among hundreds of other numbers, that the Universe is 13.7 (+-0.2) billion years old and the nearly (0.96) exact scale invariance of its spectrum seems to confirm our theory about the behavior of the Universe when it was approximately 10^{-34} seconds old. For you: it is 0.0000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds.

    If you think that that tree tings are more accurate and reliable than physics, be my guest. But don’t expect me to view you as a sane person.

    All the best
    Lubos, the heterotic heretic

  12. #12 Sylvia
    2006/03/27

    I referenced this and an earlier post at http://www.postnormaltimes.net, re Climate and economic models – (http://www.postnormaltimes.net/blog/archives/2006/03/climate_and_eco.html#more) I didn’t do a trackback because it wasn’t clear from the first few lines but perhaps it explains the divergent views evident also here in the comments. I’m tempted to say something about physicists and plans for world domination but I’m really not qualified for that and it is probably unfair to lump them all together.

  13. #13 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/27

    William: There is clear evidence from the ice cores of large rapid changes in temperature, so the idea that T can change rapidly is definitely not implausible; so your argument collapses

    Your reasoning is strikingly [deleted]. What does it mean “rapid changes in temperature”? The size of the changes has been what it has been and the word “rapid” does not mean anything. Could you please give us some numbers what you mean by rapid?

    What I am saying is impossible is that the lifetime of the life forms is comparable to 100 years because of the climate change – simply because we know that the life has existed for billions of years. What I emphasize is that the catastrophic (and significantly negative) predictions for the climate are [deleted].

    [Hi Lubos. Back up on the insults a bit or you'll find yourself banned again.

    T changes. Check out wiki D-O, or somesuch. OK, so we're back to the usual: you don't actually dispute the possibility of rapid climate change, you just don't think its going to be any great problem. You're probably wrong (about the second part) but I do wish you'd take the first part to heart, and abandon your ignorant and pointless assualt on the WG I science -W]

  14. #14 Doran
    2006/03/27

    For all those who don’t know of Lubos, he is a rather “enthusiastic” string theorist out at Harvard, and oddly a global warming doubter. I am only slightly surprised at hearing Freeman Dyson question the validity of climate modeling and research, having met the man a few times. He relishes being that heretic, though I think his time would be better served working on the impossibility of detecting gravitons.

    Increases in atmospheric carbon correlate with increasing atmosphere and water temperatures as has been calculated back through geological strata. A number of phenomena can influence the warming besides this effect, each having been studied in detail. Many of these phenomena go in cycles, such as the orientation of the Earth’s axis. Climate change and global warming are based on the fact that the temperature on the planet has risen dramatically over the past 500 years, corresponding to the increase in burning fossil fuels.

    Doubters state that this could be coincidently due to a natural warming process of the Earth rather then an anthropic cause. The hockey stick charts and other publications take these warming/cooling cycles into account and and still confidently state that the current warming in Earth’s oceans, ice melt off, and air temp increases are due to a man made phenomena.

    There is some really interesting research in this subject, studying calcium carbonate contents in limestone layers. The percentage of C12 to C14 is indicative of how much free carbon is available in Carbon cycle. Decay rates of unstable isotopes to measure the ages of ice core samples and organic material. This subject is a wonderful synthesis of geology, chemistry/physics, biology and ecology.

    It is sad that an individual as intelligent as Dr. Motl does have the sense to go ask a geologist how they measure millions of years on earth. Made harvard particle physics is turning his brane into a loose band of strings. (apologies for the horrible pun)

  15. #15 James B. Shearer
    2006/03/27

    The claim that climate models are better than economic models because they have a physical basis makes no sense. Both types of models are dependent on empirical relationships (as opposed to well established fundamental physical laws) and their relative reliability is strictly an empirical question.

    [This is only half true. GCMs at least have some, in fact quite a lot, of physics built into them; together with some empirical relations as well -W]

  16. #16 Eli Rabett
    2006/03/27

    Let me see here, WMAP says that the universe is 13.7 +/- 0.2 billion years old. I think we could read out a tree ring record to 137 +/- 1 year or so. Hmm, I guess that tree rings are more precise than physics….different scales of course..

  17. #17 Jon
    2006/03/27

    Hi Lubos, thanks – but you still haven’t shown me the machine, so unless you turn on the webcam or I go from Cambridge here to Cambridge there (Cardinal Sin all those air miles) then I still have not + cannot SEE the machine.

    But you still have not answered, when did the year become a 365.25 X 24hr X 60 min X 60 second day. Otherwise your machine and your maths don’t add up to much (pun intended).

    If the last 10,000 years were of 365 days, but the
    preceeding 10,000 years were only 36.5 days long, and the
    preceeding 10,000 years were only 3.65 days long, and the
    preceeding 10,000 years were only 0.365 days long …

    get my drift?

    That makes your billion year old world, what around
    12,000 years old in ‘real’ time. Yet the tree, supposing you could find one that old, would still have a billion rings – take one or two. Now, do you get it?

  18. #18 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/27

    Dear Jon,

    I can’t show you the machine through webcam right now because our friends had sent it to outer space. But when she was here on Earth, we took a lot of pictures of her, WMAP. See

    http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_ig.html

    Yes, I think I got it – your exponential calculations. You’re a Young Earth Creationist, aren’t you? Because of certain strong emotional relationships I had in the past (not to Jesus Christ, however), I have a strong degree of tolerance towards people like you.

    Best wishes :-)
    Lubos

  19. #19 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/27

    Dear William,

    I agree with the way how you edited my comment: indeed, your reasoning is strikingly [deleted]. :-) I also like that the catastrophic predictions for the climate are [deleted]. Hopefully, the Time magazine will delete them, too.

    Incidentally, do you like that Dembski’s creationists celebrate the heretics today? Some things about the life are changing and the roles are getting swapped but the essence is evolving only slowly continuously.

    Best
    Lubos

  20. #20 Jon
    2006/03/28

    Hi Lubos, age is a relative term (as is time) to those older I am young, and to those younger I am old. However since I was in the beginning, I don’t know exactly how old that would be according to your WMAP.

    I’ll take your term young as a compliment. Yes the picture is rather beautiful, perhaps more striking is the colour – what did you say it was made of (from).

    I can now say I have SEEN the machine, as to what it does, what it measures – and the relative measurements it does measure. Pity trees do not live to be older and that we have not found one with 13.7 +/- 0.2 billion rings. That would be a Mighty Oak would it not. Though it still would only tells us the number of rotations of the Earth around The Sun, not the speed at which those rotations took place

    Just as well it slowed down. Imagine if we were spinning around The Sun every 3.65 milisecons or nanoseconds even.

  21. #21 Anonymous
    2006/03/28

    Lubos from your site:

    In 1979, Freeman Dyson showed that if there were a problem of global warming, it could be easily solved – for hundreds of millions of dollars per year (1,000 times less than Kyoto that moreover solves nothing)

    So it is all a matter of will – or it is all a matter of dollars. If the US and the dollar is so Mighty that you can even control climate – America really must be a God

    Only a minor one though if it has to invade Iraq to secure its Oil – what increase output from 3 million to 6 million barrels a day. That saddam just wasn’t efficient enough at running that pump was he. Plus why pay if u can invade, uh?

  22. #22 Chris O'Neill
    2006/03/28

    “13.7 (+-0.2)” is “more accurate and reliable” than “tree rings”.

    What law of physics says that?

  23. #23 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/28

    Dear Jon,

    in the phrase “Young Earth Creationist”, it is the Earth, not the creationist, who is young. ;-) These people believe that the Universe can’t be 13.7 billion years old because the Earth is about 6,000 years old as counted in the Bible.

    Dear Chris,

    the fact that fundamental physics is more accurate than complex quantities in biology or climate science follows from a general principle of reductionism. Our Universe only follows simple and quantitatively exact laws at the fundamental level – elementary particles, the age of the Universe, etc. For example, in particle physics, a discovery must be made at 99.99995% confidence level, otherwise it is not treated as a scientific result. Climate scientists find 70% enough. This difference is due to both a different level of scientific expertise in these fields, as well as inherent differences between what these two fields can and cannot determine accurately.

    Dear Anonymous,

    in the slow section under the article on my blog, I linked to a scientific article by Edward Teller et al. who precisely calculate and estimate the costs and abilities of various methods to change the overall reflectivity of the Earth. Whether or not you like the idea that the U.S. can do such things is irrelevant for the scientific discussion. The same adjective refers to your opinion about Saddam. In the latter case, I can be more general and say that your opinions are irrelevant for any discussion.

    Best
    Lubos

  24. #24 Lubos Motl
    2006/03/28

    I forgot to mention that James is exactly correct. The accuracy and the crucial dependence of the conclusions on empirical tests is very similar in climate science and economics, indeed. William et al. want to build some “extra authority” because their theories and models are “related to physics” which is an exact and well-established science.

    Why don’t you ask a physicist whether physics gives them this extra status? For example, I am one. The answer is, of course, no. Economics is also describing physical systems and extracts some simplified, emergent, approximate physical laws about these physical systems: the laws of economics.

    A bound state of electrons and quarks called a U.S. citizen does not have to be described by string theory if you’re only interested in some low-energy quantities. You describe him by several quantities such as the banking account, interest rates for his mortgage, and his desire to buy Coke. Then you insert these quantities to your very low energy effective field theory, also known as economics, and you get some results. If you choose a good effective model, you get good results. If you choose a less good ones, you get worse results. Just like in climate science.

    One can’t establish any qualitative difference between climate science and economics in this way and the fact that the climate scientists are more likely to have been physicists’ classmates in the past is completely irrelevant for the question about rigor and reliability of different conclusions.

  25. #25 sidd
    2006/03/28

    Lubos Motl wrote:
    “If someone predicts that there are serious climate problems on the timescale of a century, it is an extraordinary statement that violates more or less everything that we know about the history of this planet…”

    i disagree that such a statement would violate our knowledge
    of paleoclimate.

    Or would you not consider a sea level rise of 1 meter every 25 years continuing for 500 years a “serious climate problem” ?
    thats what happened in MWP1A

    i see that this weeks issue of science have several articles that
    further indicate the Greenland and Antarctica (both east and west)
    ice sheets are out of balance by several hundred km^3/yr. The result for East Antarctica (from Vellicogna and Wahr) is new.

    Lubos Motl continues:
    “…and such an extraordinary claim needs extraordinary evidence.”

    agreed, i do not contend that the evidence is, as yet,
    extraordinary. i do worry however that Mercer and Weertman were
    more correct than we knew.

    sidd

  26. #26 Chris O'Neill
    2006/03/29

    “Our Universe only follows simple and quantitatively exact laws at the fundamental level – elementary particles, the age of the Universe, etc. For example, in particle physics, a discovery must be made at 99.99995% confidence level”

    Hmm, so 13.7 (+-0.2) billion years old Universe has a confidence level of 99.99995%.

    That’s a new one on me.

  27. #27 Jon
    2006/03/29

    Hi Lubos,

    I think you are missing a crucial point on Climate change. ie the effect of Man on Climate.

    Some people used to argue that the earth could not sustain 3 billion people and there would be severe shortages of food. Two World wars and a couple of Vietnams plus interventions by Russian & Chinese dictators, limited population growth (or perhaps promoted pro-creation) to its now 6 billion, and bar a few conomic/politically led discrepancies we actually have food surplusses on a day to day basis. But who knows, tomorrow is another day.

    The point with CO2 and Climate Change, is that yes we have cleaned up the smog and pollution from old industry and dirty industries in our more modern Cities, but it is still there in China & India (where half the pop live). And more important if we double car ownership in the next 20 years, we will be doubling the emissions from petrol driven car exhausts until Oil does run out. Or at least until prices rise to US$7 or US$8 a gallon in the US like we are having to pay in the EU (in case you hadn’t heard).

    As to Anonymous’ reference to Texaco now pumping Oil out of Iraq – because you cannot be an Oil Company if you do not extract Oil (and there is little left in Texas), the point being made was that at a time we should be looking at reducing CO2 levels, the US (the real heretics) are actually doubling output in Iraq, and forcing doubling of output elsewhere – and confounding economists by actually keeping oil prices per barrel high. Free Market? I don’t think so. You can fool some people some of the time, you can fool fools all of the time.

    Funny that someone who can look back 13 billion years in, how long did it take you (the blink of an eye) – cannot comprehend that you can have the same effect on the planet in modern industrial society in less than a century, than Man did in previous recorded (written) history.

    PS – if you can tell me when the world began in billions of years and I presume when the world will end. You should also be able to tell me how long ago it was the combustion engine was invented (in billions of seconds) and when it shall become obsolete (his or herstory) redundant, and the petrol driven motorcar no more a reality than vynil records, as in ‘collectors’ pieces or items of memorabylia.

    Or doesn’t your Mind see that far back or that far ahead. I am glad you & Son of Bush share the same faith in man’s technical ability to overcome whatever >>> what did you say those cheap flights across the US will be running on in 50 years (is that in your lifetime). And you were aware that for the three days after 9/11 when flights criss crossing the US were stopped, an event of biblical proportions itself with Good Friday coming up – the actual skies were noticeably clearer. There was less refraction and the effects of CO2 further above meant there was a very real possibility of Climate Warming by as much as 5 or 10 degrees on the US land mass from this act alone, if it had continued. What would be the effect on weather patterns, crops and daily life for normal american’s?. Or is that so close to home that it is beyond physics.

    So, you have a nice day now! I personally like sunny days, and sea level rises just mean I’ll be able to tie my boat outside even though I live 50 miles inland. So it really does not bother me personally either way – though I’m not sure the level of food shortages loss of crops and difficulty of transport may cause. Can you not have a look in your crystal ball?

    Still as I think you gathered, I like fish. Man cannot live on bread alone – but may have to live without bread.

  28. #28 Jon
    2006/03/29

    Hi Chris,

    I did note that 13.7 +/- 0.2 is rather less accurate than 99.99995%. But percentages and stats can mean so much or so little depending what you are trying to prove or disprove. I think far more important for accuracy sake would be the actual +/- 0.2 billion years. I mean I’ve heard of missing millions in banking, even in economics, and even in population, but 200 million years missing?

    What did they called a 500 year gap in recorded or written history – the dark ages. What would a recorded gap of 200 million years in the Universe’s history be called?

    I have no problem with a machine that can measure how many light years away something is or isn’t, but a chronometer to measure time on that scale, – hmmm?? what is the half life of a computer? I know the average life of a car is less than 10 years bar a few exceptions (collectors pieces) and the average life expentancy depends wholly on which country you are living in, what world war you are fighting, and climate disasters, whether Natural or Man made. The US may not always be the culprit on the latter but US planes & US gaz guzzlers are still the main culprit.

    I have no particular bias – I look forward to living there sometime. I’m just having difficulty pinpointing a safe spot where I’d be comfortable my children may be able to live without extreme or violent weather changes + chaos.

  29. #29 Babak
    2006/04/23

    Jon,

    Your fixation with a flawed view of time scale can be easily addressed if you can convince yourself that the unit of time can be fixed by measuring how fast light travels, how minutely far away are the spectral lines of hydrogen gas and how strongly two massive balls are attracted towars each other. You can still make a fuss about, well, how do we know this was the case 100 years ago or 10,000 years ago, but that’s simple to answer: exactly the same theories that we used to make sense of our measurements above to fix the unit of time tell us so, and we cannot simply abandon this part of our theories, unless we come up with ta different theory that give the same results regarding our previous measurements. The logic is that simple.

    For a simpler discussion, you can recall Newton’s law of gravitation, which for all purposes regarding the rotation of the earth around the sun, is all we need even today with all the improvements, and it will tell you that the earth had to go around the sun every 365.24 days at its current distance from the sun, which we know could not have changed for at least as long a time as we have fossils of living organisms, appropriately carbon-aged, i.e. millions of years.

    Or if you still do not wish to accept these truisms, you are of course free to do so. But please, just presnt your theory that is supposed to tell us otherwise and make a case for it. If you wish to submit your exponential construct above for the varying unit of time, you must also explain the consequences arising from changing the ratio, sqaure root of G times h over c^5 (the natural unit of time explained in the first paragraph).

  30. #30 John Samford
    2007/06/10

    High side, Low side, Wrong is WRONG.
    Garbage in equals garbage out.
    On some things it really doesn’t matter, those things being an intellectual exercise, but since the Watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) solution to the non-problem of global warming will bring about the death of millions (reduce the eath to a 19th century pre-OIL technology and you will also reduce it to a 19th century population. that is about 5 BILLION less people then we have today give or take a Chinaman) and unwarranted suffering for many times that number ( anyone that thinks sucking 18 TRILLION dollars out of the global economy of the next decade won’t cause suffering needs to go back to nursery school).
    So there needs to be some caution displayed here, since the cure is worse then the disease.
    No, the whole climate change thingie is nothing more then an attempt by Socialists to destroy capitalism. It won’t work, since capitalism will make a profit, no matter what.

    Dyson is correct when he says that what is needed is more data. More and better data is the only known way out of a GIGO feedback loop.
    It looks like the adults are finally taking an interest in Climate change;
    http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2007/02/global-warming-truth-or-dare.html

    [Well, on the off chance that you're interested, I did bother read some of that. A lot of words and little science. The first bit I got to was:

    "This means that determining an average of a quantity (Earth surface temperature) that is everywhere different and continuously changing with time at every point, using measurements at discrete times and places (weather stations), is virtually impossible; in that the resulting number is highly sensitive to the chosen extrapolation method(s) needed to calculate (or rather approximate) the average."

    This isnt true; there are problems calculating a good T rec but this isn't one of them. Ships heights and buckets: yes indeed, there are corrections, but its all science: you could even read the papers if you were interested. And so on:

    "For example, many high altitude glaciers are receding. Some glaciers are growing but it appears that more studied glaciers are receding than growing. The next question is why? There are no reports of average air temperature increases in the vicinities of these glaciers"

    Not true, of course. The entire page seems to be a long rant by someone who is saying "we have other problems besides GW, therefore GW is not a problem". Thats just sloppy thinking -W]

    I saw an on-line petition that Global warming was greatly overstated that had been signed by 17,000 real scientists.

    [You mean the Oregon petition: try reading it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition

    The rest cut -W]

  31. #31 guthrie
    2007/06/10

    Why are we getting benighted fools posting on old posts? Are they googling for these things?