Know Your Uncertainty

>> Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Le sigh.

What's the word from the global warming naysayers? There's so much uncertainty. We can't precisely predict the results so why worry?

What they fail to mention is that, the direst and most outlandish predictions mentioned, even in the much hated An Inconvenient Truth (which talked of dire consequences decades down the line), are being overtaken by reality with much more damage, more ice melting, more consequences today than even the most pessimistic scientists predicted back then.

If the trending is all much worse than you ever expected, why in the world would you use that underprediction to justify feeling the end result is less likely? It's like going to your oncologist who tells you, "The tumor is growing faster than we ever expected," and you saying, "Whew. So I shouldn't worry, right? Clearly you have no idea what will happen."

Folks, natural laws have no pity. This planet couldn't care less about our survival. If we screw it up, if we don't take steps now, islands (and the innocent folks who lived there while contributing almost nothing to the problem) will disappear. Glaciers that feed rivers that billions depend on to survive will be no more. It's already happening.

All the pontificating in the world, all the politicians dressed in their birthday suits and extolling their haute couture won't matter a bit. Science is about reality and reality isn't changed with even the most fervent rhetoric, the most impassioned scoffing.

When destruction comes (and it's coming as long as we are idle), we'll have deserved it.

But it's our children that will pay.

Oh, and a fond farewell to one of the most dedicated workhorses in the Shuttle fleet, who came home safely for the last time today. Thank you, Discovery, for all your hard work.
You done good.


  • Shakespeare

    Hear hear!

    So agree. The wild weather patterns over the last few winters are enough to scare me, even if I didn't take the melting ice to heart.

  • Roy

    Ditto from here. If the last few very wet winters, and especially all the snow and rain we got (and are still getting) this year aren't proof enough that something dramatic is happening to this planet's climate, then no proof will ever convince the naysayers. Then again, most of those naysayers have a vested interest in the very industries that are causing the problem in the first place.

  • Project Savior

    "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings. For there is none worthy of the name but God, whom heaven, earth and sea obey". King Canute the Great.
    The king's courtiers were spreading the rumor that the king was so powerful that he could control the waves so he set up his throne on the beach and said those words as the tide came in around his feet. In doing so he showed his people that as powerful as he was even he couldn't control nature. He went on to be the first Viking King of England. Shows what you can do if you work with nature and not against it.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Which goes to show politicians aren't as smart as they used to be. And we know so much more about reality, too.

  • GumbyTheCat

    Glad to see you back, if only sporadically.

  • The Mother

    How sad to see the shuttle sidelined. Such a beautiful ship.

  • Stephanie Barr

    It is sad, but not as sad as another funeral for astronauts lost in an aging craft. There was a good reason to retire the Shuttles, even if many don't seem to recall it now.

    But it's sad to see it go, especially for all those who worked on her.

  • Relax Max

    I, too, am waxing a bit nostalgic about the end of the shuttle program, though I've had the uneasy feeling the past few years that they ran out of needful billion dollar things to do for quite some time now. Hubbel repair excepted, of course. Still, I mourn their passing.

    I suppose it's just as well, though, since the Cape (and most of Florida) will soon be under water, eh?

  • Rocketscienist

    I am always upset by the idea that conservation is bad for business. Waste is a loss and improved efficiency will improve profits. Further, even ignoring the danger of irrevocable climate change there is still the well documented problems associated with polution.

  • Brasil

    This is such a deep blog! What can I say; you’ve hit the nail right on the head! You even added some videos to make it seem so much more real. You’ve got a great way of communicating with the reader, a great way of making me feel like what you have to say is just as important to me as it is to you. Keep it up!

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