Global Warming

The traffic whore in me is noticing that you seem to be able to get a lot of attention by denying global warming. So I’ll offer a bit of my perspective. I work in a business where we attempt to model very complex systems. We don’t do it very well, but it’s enough that billions of dollars are chasing after ideas which look really good when presented to outsiders who don’t know science as well. Climate is a very complex system, and a lot of the claims that climatologists make do not pass the smell test as far as I’m concerned. I will remain very skeptical of many claims regarding global warming.

I should point out that I think global warming is probably happening, and that we’re probably contributing something to it. The evidence here seems pretty solid. But I don’t find the science convincing enough to start shaping public policy around it, because I don’t think we can really know enough to do it. How much CO2 to we need to stop emitting to make a difference? How much exactly are we contributing vs. natural contributions? How much can we expect sea level to rise? Temperature to go up? I don’t believe anyone who claims they can answer these questions with any accuracy.

I’ve seen way too many scientists claim to be able to model complex systems, who turn out to be wrong or misleading, to lend too much credence to wild claims. And if you don’t think scientists chase after grant money, you haven’t been around them enough. Don’t get me wrong, we need to keep the process going, keep learning, and keep trying to understand. But let’s not get all chicken little just yet. If we can do easy things to reduce our carbon footprint, let’s do it, but let’s not start talking about restructuring civilization just yet.

4 thoughts on “Global Warming”

  1. From the evidence I’ve seen, I doubt a few countries completely rearranging their lives will affect any warming trends that are happening. They are trying to use it as a scare tactic to force people to change the way they are living, which I deplore.

    I’m all for cleaning up the air and the environment. It actually amazes me how much Cairo smelled, Philly is a lot cleaner. I live right next to two oil refineries, I can see the progress made in cleaning up the area over the last few decades. Just don’t tell me that if we don’t clean it up my house is going to get flooded, I don’t really buy it.

  2. Well, as you know Z, I am a graduate of the Alex Jones School of Conspiracy Theories. Global warming disaster scenarious are all a giant ploy by “The Globalists” to get everyone to move back into cities, where they can be more easily controlled. Notice how they like to tie global warming to many facets of the suburban lifestyle. The solution is to push people back into the population centers – studies have shown that city dwellers use 17% less energy than their suburban counterparts – and once they’re complancent…BOOM…the hammer falls.

    What exactly the hammer is, I have no idea.

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