James Roscoe wrote:
Yes, but it's still science, and if us regular morons can't trust the scientists to come up with an accurate forecast for Detroit's weather for tomorrow, let alone the DC area, how are we going to trust the scientists with forecasts for weather 50 years from now?
That's like asking why, if we can predict that the average life expectancy of an American male in 2006 will be 75 years, we can't tell you how many more years you've got left. Predictions dealing with large numbers of events are amenable to statistics, with a predictable average and standard deviation; individual outcomes are not. Does that make sense?
It all sounds like weather forecasting to me no matter how much you say it's apples to oranges.
If you're not willing to trust the opinions of people who do understand the subject, nor to make the effort to educate yourself so that you don't have to, then you're living in denial and are abdicating your responsibility to future generations.
Too often, as the Stossell article adeptly points out, there have been warnings that have been overdrawn by the news media for its own benefit. I am not necessarily disagreeing with anyone, I would just like an honest answer rather than pompous posturing from Al Gore and John Stossell.
Why do you think that my answer wasn't honest? That's pretty harsh language. My single point was to take issue with the "why should we trust climate models when you can't forecast the weather?" Actually, it seems to me that that's akin to asking "Why should I take this anti-cancer drug when you haven't cured the common cold?" Sometimes, things that are apparently simple are far more complicated than may be obvious. Weather forecasting is a case in point.
Regarding your issue with media hype: it's out of control on both sides of the issue. No one can say for certain what the consequences of a 2°C rise in global temperatures will do to the world. My view, as a scientifically literate person, is to acknowledge that global temperatures are rising at an alarming rate and ask what we can do to mitigate that rise and/or ameliorate its likely consequences. That seems to me to be the least that we owe to future generations.