Saturday, March 22, 2008

A highly speculative intelligence

In yesterday's Washington Post, the article Warming scenario sees flooded airport -- as if that's the most important part of the real estate -- took a stunningly stupid statement from Myron.

Get ready to laugh. Here's what was printed:
Despite satellite evidence of shrinking ice caps, some groups say climate-change predictions are exaggerated.

"They are all based on highly speculative computer models," said Myron Ebell, director of global-warming policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit public policy foundation based in Washington.

"Sea levels have been rising at pretty much the same rate since they started to keep records in the early 19th century," he said. "There's nothing new in sea levels rising and there's nothing new to indicate the rate of sea-level rise will increase."
Now, you'd think even a Washington Post reporter would have noticed that you don't need accurate records to tell whether sea-level rise is new or not. If there are lots of ancient towns and villages off the coast and underwater, then sea level rise is not new; otherwise it hasn't happened before.* Also, these "highly speculative computer models" are in fact 3D geographical maps, the same kind as what is used to design reservoirs and dams, and about as "highly speculative" as a wind-tunnel simulation.

Oh, the report, from November 2007, is here.

* Someone who refers back to the geological record of 10,000 years ago to contradict this statement rather than to clarify its obvious meaning as it is expressed in few enough words is a dipstick.


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