Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tierney and Pilke On Global Warming and Statistics

Roger A. Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, writes regarding the scientific debate over global warming,
"One can arrive at whatever conclusion one wants with respect to the IPCC predictions. Want the temperature record to be consistent with IPCC? OK, then you like NASA. How about inconsistent? Well, then you are a fan of RSS. On the fence? Well, UAH and UKMET serve that purpose pretty well.”

John Tierney continues,
No matter which line you prefer on the graph, you can’t draw any firm conclusions about the IPCC’s projections — a few years does not a trend make, and the global temperature is just one of the indicators to look at. But the different lines on the graph are certainly evidence of how complicated the climate debate is. If scientists can’t even agree on what has happened in the past, imagine how much more difficult it is to figure out the future. I’m not suggesting that the global warming isn’t real, or that the uncertainties justify inaction — we take out insurance all the time against risks that are uncertain. I’d like to see a carbon tax. But I’d also like to see fewer dogmatists claiming that the scientific debate is over.

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