Friday, November 16, 2007

More Bogus Climate "Uncertainty"

The Bush administration's war on science continues. Today's Washington Post, "Scientists Fault Climate Exhibit Changes":
Some government scientists have complained that officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History took steps to downplay global warming in a 2006 exhibit on the Arctic to avoid a political backlash, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The museum's director, Cristián Samper, ordered last-minute changes to the exhibit's script to add "scientific uncertainty" about climate change, according to internal documents and correspondence. [...]

In the interview, Samper said "one of his main concerns" was that the exhibit was indicating a level of certainty that he thought went beyond the contemporary science. "I think as scientists we present the information, but we let the people draw their own conclusions," said Samper, who was promoted earlier this year to serve as acting secretary of the Smithsonian.
I wonder what Mr. Samper thinks of Newton's Laws? Should we stick with "what goes up must come down" or should we just present the information and let people draw their own conclusions?

It's phony uncertainties like this that have given the public a skewed perception of the science of global warming. It's not just Bush and his cronies - the media is also to blame. If you want the straight, unadulterated science on global warming, go to


Anonymous said...

Phony uncertainties? About a weather prediction years into the future?

A weather prediction with no uncertainty? Think about what you are saying. LOL

Mosquito said...

Phony uncertainties as in not backed up by scientific facts citizen tom.....

The corporate media and the extremist neocon Republicans who blindly follow Bush and Cheney don't want scientific facts (or reality) to interfere with their world views. So if they can find that rare handful of scientists who worship the god of money (or are just incompetent) they will use this small handful to "dispute" the facts that are well accepted in the field.

The museum director had no valid scientific studies or findings to back up the changes made in the exhibit.

What is so bad about switching to sustainable, alternative energy sources anyway? Okay, maybe the oil barons won't be as rich as they can be (but the oil will still be valuable and saleable but for more limited uses)....but the economy will flourish with new jobs coming about with a new industry that doesn't pollute. In the case of solar and wind energy it's even possible for individuals to become more self sufficient (as well as these technologies to be used to power large sources of energy for cites and industry.

For the life of me I don't understand why "regular" citizens want to halt the advancement of sustainable energy. Wouldn't more choices for all be great?

Instead of our government subsidizing oil, hydrogen, and nuclear (and even short gap measures like ethanol) it would be more veneficial to subsidize solar and wind.


The Green Miles said...

I'll let Gristmill field this one ...

Climate and weather are very different things, and the level of predictability is comparably different.

Climate is defined as weather averaged over a period of time -- generally around 30 years. This averaging smooths out the random and unpredictable behavior of weather. Think of it as the difference between trying to predict the height of the fifth wave from now versus predicting the height of tomorrow's high tide. The former is a challenge -- to which your salty, wet sneakers will bear witness -- but the latter is routine and reliable.

This is not to say it's easy to predict climate changes. But seizing on meteorologists' failures to cast doubt on a climate model's 100-year projection is an argument of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

When you are predicting the world's weather will change based upon a variable (green house gases), you are making a climate change prediction, which is just a type of weather prediction. You are predicting a world-wide weather change.

We use computer models to make weather forecasts. To predict the weather, these models perform repeated calculations. The calculations are based upon known physical laws and fudge factors.

Because of our limited knowledge, our computer models are only so good. Therefore, our weather predictions are only so good.

The computer models that are used to forecast the weather are not so different from the ones being used to predict global warming. Unlike day-to-day weather changes, however, global warming is a weather event with which we have no practical experience. Except for suspect geologic data, we have no easy way of calibrating a "climate change" model with real world data. A trifling problem -- no doubt. After all, only the corporate media, the extremist neocon Republicans who blindly follow Bush and Cheney and don't want scientific facts (or reality) to interfere with their world views, and that rare handful of scientists who worship the god of money (or are just incompetent) have any uncertainty.