Year 2, Month 8, Day 26: King Canute Redux

The August 7 Sacramento Bee (CA) describes the importance of computer modeling in the future of climate science, and notes that a certain group of political types don’t like the idea:

Better computers should help with the difficult climate problem of clouds, which interfere with energy flow between the Earth and the sun in two ways, Kinter said. They reflect some of the sun’s energy back to space, a cooling effect, but also absorb and send back some energy the Earth emits, a warming effect.

Computers also are used to simulate how particles known as aerosols scatter or absorb heat in different ways, and how they interact with clouds.

Thousands of scientists around the world are working on better climate models. Kinter and his group focus on how predictable extreme events such as floods, droughts and heat waves will be as the climate changes.


“Almost overnight, the question changed to ‘What is the impact of this climate change on our human and natural systems?’ ” said Lawrence Buja, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “We need to (present) as convincing a case as we can.”

But in the latest sign of distrust for computer models, House Republicans put a provision in a foreign aid bill to eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Naturally. Psychopaths, all of ’em. Sent August 8:

Has there ever been a major political party in America that has been so loud and proud about not being based in reality? It’s not just computer models that Republicans distrust, it’s any and all forms of verifiable information and research, as witness the anti-factual bias of Fox News, the GOP’s house media organ.

The climate crisis is real, growing and extremely urgent. The long-term consequences of a runaway greenhouse effect are far more significant globally than any other so-called “security” issue (an assessment with which Army and CIA analysts concur). Yet conservatives continue claiming the problem doesn’t exist. Of course, once the evidence finally overwhelms them, they’ll start yelling that “free-market solutions” (along with tax breaks for the very wealthy) are the only way out. My question: why would anyone want advice from people so hubristic they claim to be exempt from the laws of physics and chemistry?

Warren Senders

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