Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Your Science Doesn't Matter Because ...

Interesting New York Times article on the impact the study of ancient climates is having on global warming theory. As the piece explains, studying the climate of millions of years is far more difficult than studying the climate of the past few hundred years. However, the study of ancient climates has a great deal to reveal about the role of carbon dioxide in warming and cooling phenomona. Of course, this being the Times, we have the typical apocalyptic global warming response:

Some mainstream scientists familiar with the Phanerozoic evidence call it too sketchy for public consumption and government policy, if not expert deliberations.

“In my view, the uncertainties are too great to draw any conclusions right now,” Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton, said. “It could be that when the dust settles some insight will emerge that will be germane to the current problem — how do we keep the climate from spinning out of control.”

Ahhhh, I see. So because the science is uncertain, we should go ahead and make public policies, even though this is the sort of science that could possibly tell us to what extent such public policies are needed or if they're even needed at all. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

I do give credit to the Times for reporting the story- now if only the Times and the rest of the country could wait for the science before jumping the public policy gun.


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