Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Complexity of Global Climate

Boing Boing tipped me to an interesting essay on global warming by Freeman Dyson.
HERETICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT SCIENCE AND SOCIETY. He starts the essay out with this statement,
My first heresy 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 computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They 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.

This is the biggest problem I have with the global warming alarmist crowd. They pick and choose the little bits and pieces of science that they can mold into the models they want to create. The papers I read portray a world that is extremely complex and interactive and no scientist has any idea how everything works together to create the world's climate.
When I listen to the public debates about climate change, I am impressed by the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories. Many of the basic processes of planetary ecology are poorly understood. They must be better understood before we can reach an accurate diagnosis of the present condition of our planet. When we are trying to take care of a planet, just as when we are taking care of a human patient, diseases must be diagnosed before they can be cured. We need to observe and measure what is going on in the biosphere, rather than relying on computer models.

Unfortunately we are suffering with politicians and activists who are bound and determine to subject us with policies that are attempting to correct a problem that doesn't seem to exist. For the past forty years politicians have made some bad decisions which have created the current energy crisis for the United States. They still continue down that path which could cripple us even more. I really hope that the "crowd of deluded citizens" smarten up before it's too late.

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