In the Science Fiction Story “The Cold Equations”

BY TOM GODWIN we get a concise demonstration of the supremacy of reason over emotion. The girl, stowing away in a space ship in order to go see her brother, represents emotion — attempting to override reason by the power of love and hope. Arrayed against her are the iron facts of physical law. Woven in there, too, is the moral reality that she had taken on her own risk, albeit unwittingly, and placed a greater number of individuals at increased risk as a result.

One can imagine that, these days, a liberal witling might threaten legal action against the pilot who insists that the only solution is for her to take a walk in the vacuum of space, and even possibly — through the politically-correct manipulation of ignoramuses in power — force the pilot to accept her presence aboard the ship, thus dooming not only herself and the pilot, but the entire colony to whose rescue the pilot is flying.

Those would be the same kind of people who are pushing Agenda 21 and the whole lame old CAGW Wheeze.

And, of course, not having reason on their side, they descend RIGHT away into ad hominem attacks — calling skeptics “deniers” in a total appeal to emotion and fuzzy thinking in an attempt to redirect attention away from the utter bankruptcy of their case.

I’ve been angered by the mendacity, of course, and enraged by the attempts to keep comity with such blatant liars. And acting out. But… Thank Grid I’m not alone.

And, perhaps, my intemperate ways would not have served the cause as well anyway. I’d call these scathing replies — from Chiefio and Dr. Robert G. Brown far more like unto Reasoned Discourse than my rantings.

This is a hard problem. Not settled science, not well understood, not understood. There are theories and models (and as a theorist, I just love to tell stories) but there aren’t any particularly successful theories or models and there is a lot of competition between the stories (none of which agree with or predict the empirical data particularly well, at best agreeing with some gross features but not others). One part of the difficulty is that the Earth is a highly multivariate and chaotic driven/open system with complex nonlinear coupling between all of its many drivers, and with anything but a regular surface. If one tried to actually write “the” partial differential equation for the global climate system, it would be a set of coupled Navier-Stokes equations with unbelievably nasty nonlinear coupling terms — if one can actually include the physics of the water and carbon cycles in the N-S equations at all. It is, quite literally, the most difficult problem in mathematical physics we have ever attempted to solve or understand! Global Climate Models are children’s toys in comparison to the actual underlying complexity, especially when (as noted) the major drivers setting the baseline behavior are not well understood or quantitatively available.

I hesitate to disagree with Dr. Brown, but. Far from being difficult, the problem — not of working out the facts and issues of warming, but of dealing with the believers — far from being difficult is quite simple: they haven’t proven their case.

And, of course, I don’t believe that they can, for these reasons.

  • The instrumentation for most of the temperature record is and has been incapable of producing precision on the order required to return the delta-T claimed by the warming believers.
  • The ideal resolution of the temperature reporting grid is far too coarse to have any real meaning, and by several orders of magnidtude.
  • The actual TRG is far too spotty, both in spatial array and in timescale to even provide the service — local weather prediction — for which it was intended, let alone for providing any basis for global weather and/or climate modelling.
  • Even as the actual temperature record exists, it does not show a real warming trend. All of the so-called warming in the record comes from manipulation of the data. ALL of it. And ALL of the biases are in the direction of warming.
  • Any temperature recording/reporting array which was sufficiently large and of a high enough resolution to provide accurate and meaningful data would, of necessity, approach the size, complexity, and chaotic effects of the actual atmosphere. This would tend to obviate its utility for the purpose of modelling the atmosphere.

Which leads me to conclude that, A) we don’t know — and can’t know — the temperature of the globe to any meaningful extent, B) we cannot predict weather or climate to offer a real picture of the outcomes claimed by the warmists, and C) WHEN we have looked, WHERE we have looked, there appears to have been an insignificant amount of change, but even the sign of that change is unclear.

By all of which, I refuse to countenance turning the global economy on its head, and the potential resulting deaths in the billions, the warmists call for. And, bearing in mind that there IS that potential for mass death, I will call and continue to call the warmists evil.

No unintended consequences.

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