Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why do denialists and skeptics believe as they do?

Why do AGW denialists and skeptics (and agnostics like me) believe as they do?

SquanderTwo has some highly relevant thoughts. Here are some excerpts:
...as a computer programmer, I agree with Feynman's philosophical position that you shouldn't use computer models as a source of new information and I also take the practical position that even the world's best software is buggy. I've not seen any evidence that climatologists' software is orders of magnitude less buggy than, say, Excel. Two weeks ago, I saw evidence that it's buggy as hell...
I object to the way that the science has been inseparably attached to authoritarian politics. Herman Van Rompuy said the other day that "2009 is also the first year of global governance," giving Copenhagen as an example of this. That's an unelected president of an unelected body asserting that he is going to exercise more power over me via policies that I will never be allowed to vote on. And I'm told that the only reason to object to this is because I hate the planet and want all our grandchildren to die...

The consensus thing. My objection to the constant use of the word "consensus" is not that the consensus itself is meaningless; obviously, it's relevant. My objection is the way that the consensus's existence is routinely presented as a scientific argument in its own right. It amounts to "You shouldn't be sceptical because none of us are, and that proves it." Yeah, go science.

2 comments:

JR said...

Squander makes some excellent points. On the buggy software point I've often wondered how much software engineering discipline (quality control, etc) has gone into the model software. Would it pass muster if audited? Is it even auditable? I'll bet most of it has been written by "scientists" like Andrew Weaver twiddling away over the years without ever having given a thought to any standards of quality. And based on the output of these claptrap models governments are proposing to squander billions. Scary.

Halfwise said...

Use buggy software to massage questionable data (see next post below) and then use the results to overturn the world's economy, while scaring the bejaybus out of schoolkids. What's wrong with that?