Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Global Meltdown

I sent off a article that was amusing, "Allegre's second thoughts", with the tag-line:
Drat, even the pointy headed socialist frogs are figuring it out... But, much as I LOATH socialists, when your right, your right.
What a funny reply, exhorting me to read the source:
Ah, before you go jumping off ze deep end along with the National Post of Canada you should perhaps actually read ze article in questions, oui? Voila, l'article! I do not see a recantation here, I see a we don't know for sure, let's wait and see.....and not simply follow fad and fashion. Ze good researcher always checks ze resources primarie, oui?
Apparently my humorous and sarcastic motivation for forwarding the 'news' article was not recognized in its brilliance. Alas, the direct approach in return is called for:
Hello? Your telling me to not jump off the deep end? I have read a multitude of primary source articles on said topic, along with corroborating seminars and discussions from self same leading experts, and your trying to say I am missing something? You get your opinion on the topic from pop science, and your telling ME not to jump off the deep end? Please, don't mess with it. So, you go read a article and its conclusion is "we don't know for sure", while at the same time the IPCC has declared for an absolute certainty of anthropogenic forcing, and even has a panel discussing a 'maximum temperature' target, and you don't think that is a recantation? It's a full on revolution if he has the cahones to stick with that message. And how in the hell do you figure that a position of critical skepticism concerning man made global warming is "jumping off the deep end" anyhow? How many freaking blue 'Al Gore' flavor global warming pills did it take for you to get there? Or have your priors caused your brain to drift away from science? And the exhortation to not 'simply follow fad and fashion' is absolutely hilarious! The 'pop science' blue pill cruncher mentality is entirely fad and fashion!

Unfortunately, many in my own scientific community have embraced fad and fashion for fame and profit! Blasphemy you say? Look at the billions they are getting for global climate change, and the accolades poured out on those willing to 'speculate' in the correct direction. On the other hand, vocal skeptics are shunned in many places, and can plan on rejection when submitting proposals along those lines. What happened to the real core of scientific investigation in this regard? I think it is quite simple, when 'private' conjecture within the climate sciences during the seventies leaked out into public forums, activists and alarmist jumped on it quickly with popular result. The same scientists reacted to that public exposure in a natural way, and began to investigate speculative projections more closely. They were able to do this in conjunction with the massive increase in computational resources, but not with a concurrent increase in data. Model resolution far outstripped actual data long ago, and has exponentially exceeded it with today's supercomputers. That is our greatest physical failing, albeit not intentionally. One supercomputing center, with diverse uses, can run into the tens of millions. Conversely, a single project to measure a few data points in the ocean over months of time consumes the same amount of resources, and is useful to very specific investigators. For even regional coverage, hundreds of square kilometers, it would require hundreds of millions. And what is necessary is long time series of global measurement.

The best global measurements we have regarding climate change have only a short few decades of coverage. And those measurements are primarily atmospheric and ocean surface, as satellite instruments cannot penetrate ocean depths at this time. This is the equivalent of trying to determine how a car works by filming it from a distance. You can see it move, tell what color it is, and watch it stop for gas, but what makes it go? Additionally, even the short records of global coverage have raised new issues of complexity regarding climate modeling. To sum up, we know very little about what controls the climate. And even more interesting, some of it could be entirely random and chaotic. Predict that... So populist alarm-ism as is the cry of the day has little going for it. All major players in the debate have vested interest in the short term public perspective, most of which is motivated by money.
Concise and well crafted, if I don't say so myself. (pat pat... with arrogant smirk)

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