January 4, 2009

Climate Change

Several bloggers have noted that the Huffington Post, of all places, has published a slam against Gore and his shtick.
IMO the real issue is not whether warming--ditto for cooling--is real and (if real) humanly caused. The real issue is whether we can make a determination with enough confidence to warrant immediate reengineering of our economy.

I don't question that there are forces that tend to warm (or cool) the earth. I don't doubt that the magnitude of each of these can be estimated reasonably well, but I am dubious that the short- and long-term feedbacks can be adequately quantified. I doubt that every relevant force has been identified.

And I am completely unconvinced that reliable predictions can be made about the resultant of offsetting forces.

It's possible that in the foreseeable future the climate will continue muddling along; it's possible that warming or cooling will emerge as an overriding ecological threat. However, it would be foolish or worse to reconfigure our civilization on the basis of what is understood today.

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