June 10, 2002
What were your credentials again?

The Poor Man points me to this post in Quark Soup which discusses why you shouldn't rely too strongly on political writers for environmental policy:

"There is no democracy in physics," the physicist Luis Alvarez once said. "We can't say that some second-rate guy has as much right to opinion as Fermi."
The same goes for any field of science.
And if that's true within fields, it's even more true between fields. Anthropologists have very little useful to say about high-energy physics (which I'm sure they'll be the first to admit), and physicists are very unlikely to be credible on the subject of angiogenesis. Science has gotten too deep, the questions are too specialized.
The world is complicated. Science is complicated. The scientific method is a time-proven process that has lead to a great understand, and mastery, of the natural world.It takes time for it to reach conclusions, and scientists put in that time. As I've written before, the IPCC Assessment Reports are some of the most peer-reviewed scientific documents in history. When I've attend conferences such as those of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I see little debate on the fundamentals conclusions of climate science in the sessions.The skeptics aren't there.
Of course, this subject has now taken on a life of its own, and it's the polemical battlefield that [Thomas] Sowell et. al. are fighting over. But just be clear it's not the scientific battleground. If our society and our politicians decide they want to ignore the scientific findings of climatologists, that is of course their right -- it certainly happens with other scientific topics. But that doesn't make the consequences any less grounded in science. To borrow a phrase from the early days of Los Alamos, that doesn't mean you're not tickling the dragon.

Very well said. I note that I expressed similar concerns awhile ago, in a slightly different context.

Anyway, Quark Soup is worth checking out. Scroll down from that link to see much more about global warming.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 10, 2002 to Technology, science, and math