masthead-highres

Friday, July 03, 2009

Climate Policy: No Gain, No Pain

Thanks to a head's up from Climate Depot, I read with interest the following on the weakness of the computer models used to predict climate from the Britsh Number Watch website:
Most computer models are nonsense. This does not include those used by engineers in designing airplanes, bridges etc., which are based on detailed experiments on the systems involved and tested in a variety of real conditions before being used.

The reason they are nonsense is that they tend to be based on guesses of the value of coefficients assumed, particularly and disastrously feedback coefficients. There are few, however, that are quite as bad as climate models, where the physics of the interactions between variables and parameters is virtually unknown to mankind.

...Imagine you settled down in your seat in a jumbo jet and noticed a plaque on the back of the seat in front which reads 'This machine was designed with the aid of a super-computer. We did not know the values of all the parameters, so had to guess most of them.' You would get off in a hurry. Yet the world's political and media establishment are asking you to gamble the economic future of yourself and your descendants on just such a proposition.
Yes, that really is what the global warming debate comes down to. Shall we believe computer models that are at best based on educated guesses (and which disagree with one another), and enact policies that significantly harm the economy based upon them, even knowing that the policies themselves wouldn't affect the climate noticeably?

I say no; it's wrong to hurt people based on a theory you have no idea is correct, especially if you know the solution won't fix the problem even if your theory IS correct.

You've heard of "no pain, no gain" with regard to weight training? The cap-and-trade climate debate is the reverse: "no gain, no pain." That is, as there isn't going to be any noticeable gain from Waxman-Markey and its ilk, why inflict the pain?

Hat tip: Climate Depot.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:43 AM

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