Sunday, March 18, 2007

Beldar weighs in on Megan

Beldar addresses Megan:
If you genuinely have a thorough-going education in the science relevant to issues regarding claims of dangerous man-made global warming (a phrase I'm using without at all accepting its premise, mind you), then why does your being convinced depend on proponents of the theory convincing someone else, be that Mr. Bailey or anyone else? Isn't that another way of saying that you don't have the thorough-going education in the relevant science? (In Ms. McArdle's case, I reject the alternative explanation, which is laziness.)

I don't have to be a climatologist, for example, to understand this two-part argument made by some well-credentialed climatologists: First, current science is still a long way from having any thorough-going understanding of the mechanisms of long-term climate change or short-term weather, and such understanding as we do have can lead to calculations that tie up the most powerful supercomputers for weeks on end. Second, the margin of error for the extrapolations being made from the very limited amount of genuinely reliable historical data on weather and climate which we do have substantially exceeds the degree of climate change being postulated as attributable to man-made causes (as opposed to climate cycles that have occurred before man could even arguably have much affected them).


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