Monday, September 9, 2013

Remember This Story?

This was the headline on Wednesday, December the 12th, 2007. The BBC warned us all that scientists in the US had made this bold forecast using state of the art computer models. The Polar ice cap was going to be "ice-free" by this time. Along with this dire forecast came calls for dramatic government "action". Al Gore practically gave himself a hernia jumping up and down warning everyone about this new study from the comfort of his 10,000 square foot, 9 million dollar, 191,000 kilowatt-hour consuming Nashville home.

So, imagine my surprise this morning to see this morning's headline in the UK Daily Mail.

I eagerly await Mr. Gore's assessment of this NASA satellite image. I also look forward to the press conference where the scientist responsible for the 2007 prediction will explain to us how he could possibly have been so fabulously wrong.

While I have no scientific knowledge or expertise, what I do have is enough common sense to know that a subject as maddeningly complex as global climate cannot be predicted with anything approaching certainty by computer models. How can we predict climate change fifty years down the road when we can't even get the weekend forecast right half the time? I little humility in discussions of this topic would be nice. Oh, and before we completely scrap the world's economic model based on hyperventilating former Vice-President's grave prognostications, how about a little candor about the flimsy reliability of computer models?