aesop’s fables for a modern age

I had missed this from the May issue of the New Scientist on the 26 myths (or rather misconceptions) of climate change.

I was particularly attracted to the myth about computer models and whether or not we should put our faith in them.

Climate modellers may occasionally be seduced by the beauty of their constructions and put too much faith in them. Where the critics of the models are both wrong and illogical, however, is in assuming that the models must be biased towards alarmism – that is, greater climate change. It is just as likely that these models err on the side of caution.

And I like the following retort to those who see no value in modeling:

Finally, the claim is sometimes made that if computer models were any good, people would be using them to predict the stock market. Well, they are!

I wonder what our fables will be in 100 years time. Will we be telling stories of the little boy or girl who didn’t heed the broad trends shown in the climate change models and that’s why we’re experienced bad weather today? Or perhaps the little girl who was seduced by the beautiful computer model, which explained all the bad (stingy?) choices she subsequently made in her life.

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