Monday, August 04, 2008

QOTD

Joel Achenbach, who believes "the evidence for man-made climate change is solid," in Sunday's Washington Post:
Somewhere along the line, global warming became the explanation for everything. Right-thinking people are not supposed to discuss any meteorological or geophysical event -- a hurricane, a wildfire, a heat wave, a drought, a flood, a blizzard, a tornado, a lightning strike, an unfamiliar breeze, a strange tingling on the neck -- without immediately invoking the climate crisis. It causes earthquakes, plagues and backyard gardening disappointments. Weird fungus on your tomato plants? Classic sign of global warming.

You are permitted to note, as a parenthetical, that no single weather calamity can be ascribed with absolute certainty (roll your eyes here to signal the exasperating fussiness of scientists) to what humans are doing to the atmosphere. But your tone will make it clear that this is just legalese, like the fine-print warnings on the flip side of a Lipitor ad.

Some people are impatient with even a token amount of equivocation. A science writer for Newsweek recently flat-out declared that this year's floods in the Midwest were the result of climate change, and in the process, she derided the wishy-washy climatologists who couldn't quite bring themselves to reach that conclusion (they "trip over themselves to absolve global warming").

Well, gosh, I dunno. Equivocation isn't a sign of cognitive weakness. Uncertainty is intrinsic to the scientific process, and sometimes you have to have the courage to stand up and say, "Maybe."

Seems to me that it's inherently impossible to prove a causal connection between climate and weather -- they're just two different things.

2 comments:

OBloodyhell said...

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> Uncertainty is intrinsic to the scientific process, and sometimes you have to have the courage to stand up and say, "Maybe."


Even more critical to the scientific process is the courage to stand up and say, "Maybe not".

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Lipitor Side Effects said...

My name is Janice Still and i would like to show you my personal experience with Lipitor.

I have taken for 2 years. I am 56 years old. Lipitor worked great lowering cholesterol but the side effects are not worth the benefit.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Achilles peritendonitis and sore ankles, knees and fingers. Stiffness was aggravated by rest and better with activity. After sitting for 15 minutes, particularly with feet elevated, and then getting up to walk, my gait was like someone who could barely walk. Have stopped taking Lipitor and symptoms seem to be subsiding.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Janice Still