Tuesday, June 24 2008

“Back off, man, I’m a scientist”

Way to bolster your credibility, Hansen:

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

Actually, I’d like to see this happen, because the defense teams would quickly subpoena the source code for all of the computer models being used to project future climate conditions, opening their assumptions up to real independent investigation. You know, “science”.

I spent too much time working in a university computer science department to have too much faith in the results of highly-tweakable computer models. Between twiddling the knobs to get what you want and simply leaving out variables that are inconvenient or too difficult to model, I suspect most sophisticated models could be replaced with:

10  PRINT "WORLD ENDING, PLEASE FUND MY RESEARCH"
20  GOTO 10