Sunday, May 28, 2006

Scientists and Global Warming

In the above article, they have actually done a pretty good job discussing the ambiguities with global warming. The problem with the discussion is that it relies on the consensus of scientists. As someone very smart once said. Consensus is not science, and science is not consensus.
My problem with the scientists who rely on computer models, is that from my experience, you can make the models say anything by tinkering with the assumptions, and the weight given to the variables. For instance, if you increase the amount of heat, and assume that will result in more moisture being pushed into the air, you get more clouds, which serve to reflect sunlight back into space, and can actually lead to global cooling. So, which is correct? Darned if I know. But until they can tell me with 95% accuracy what the weather will be like in two weeks, why should I believe them when they say it will be warmer in 100 years?
Part of the problem is that science is being mixed in with politics. The same people who say that Creationism shouldn't be taught in schools are saying that Kyoto is the only way to save the planet. Just one problem though, Kyoto does nothing to reduce emissions of CO2. It just transfers it to Russia, China and India.
I did find it interesting that the scientists were complaining that the argument was taking on a legal nature, in that they were arguing like lawyers. Too true it seems. The problem is that as a lawyer, I have to argue for my side by maiximizing the positive side of my argument, and minimizing the negative, and hope that the jury can sort out what the truth is. Scientists are supposed to be open to the idea that they might be wrong. The way this argument is shaping up, neither side is willing to admit that they may be wrong, all to the detriment of real science.
Too bad.

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