Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Faith in Cooling or Warming "Science"

There are some policy issues about which the Bible tells us little or nothing, and where science really is of great importance. Global warming ought to be one of these issues. But here, another kind of "faith" gets in the way of science. Here is an interesting article by what the majority of the media would consider an iconoclastic scientist:

1 comment:

C Stevenson said...

People are easily swayed by anecdotal evidence because Probability & Statistics are difficult to understand, often counter-intuitive.
Even for pros, this is a relatively new branch of Mathematics.

2 quick examples:

1. If I flip heads 10 times in a row (ordinary flips of a normal coin), which way are you going to bet for the 11th flip? Compare your own comprehension of this concept with your own deep understanding of (2+2), or (21+17). And that’s a really, really easy probability question.

2. Las Vegas. If it were not counter-intuitive, no one would gamble.

Stats & Probs just don’t come natural. So con men con. Well-meaning true believers make bad decisions.

I suspect the Global Warning advocates are mostly suckers who can’t figure out the stats. Read the book version of Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and look for footnotes. There are none!

The Washington Times article you cite says, “If you think any of the preceding facts can falsify global warming, you're hopelessly naive. Nothing creates cognitive dissonance in the mind of a true believer. In 2005, a Canadian Greenpeace representative explained “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” In other words, all weather variations are evidence for global warming.”

But the WT article itself is just a bunch of anecdotes! The first line is exactly right. It can’t falsify global warming.

If we get this wrong, people will die. If reversible, man-made Global Warming is real, but we do nothing, people will die. If it isn’t real, but we fight it anyway, people will die because economic prosperity will be stifled. Nothing increases life expectancy like prosperity.

We need better mathematic & scientific literacy. This is a technical & scientific age, but policy makers & the general public are snowed because they treat scientists as Priests with hidden knowledge.