Sunday, April 17, 2011

Eli Literates

Bart plays Newton propounding the Harry Potter theory of boating

Consider a boat at sea. It has both a sail (being dependent on the wind – i.e. natural variation) and an engine (i.e. radiative forcing).

The skipper puts the engine on full blast and steers the boat from, say, Holland to England.

Would anyone wonder whether it’s just the wind that’s pushing the boat over the Canal?

That would be the Harry Potter theory of boating.

and sharper becomes Einstein

Would anyone wonder whether it’s just the wind that’s pushing the boat over the Canal?

Ahh but what speed is it going at? How good is the data? What are the uncertainty bars? What about the drag from movement through the water? Can models reproduce that? How good or how fraudulent are they?

What about the radiation pressure exerted by the sun and cosmic rays? Were they measured in that location at that time? How good is that data? What’s the uncertainty? Where can I download the last 20 years worth in Excel format?

This is obviously a very wicked problem to solve. There are so many factors and so many complexities that it doesn’t seem like we can say with certainty there’s even enough speed to need your “catastrophic anthropogenic acceleration theory”.

Besides how you attribute a cause to speed anyway? The motion of the boat at any particular instant might be purely natural so you can’t say there was any non-natural acceleration overall.

Plus boats have always been accelerating long before there were engines. The Romans got around just fine!

And that’s why I don’t have to pay my share of the fuel cost to get us here. You can’t prove it got us here.

this is a thread so good that even Roddy Campbell has the bunnies ROTFLOAO

For the more serious minded Brian Schmidt solves the US budget crisis

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If we gives Tony Watts a wind sock will he become our house elf?