As long as skepticism is based on sound understanding of science, it is invaluable, for that is how science progresses

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It is difficult to distinguish between solid empirical evidence and speculation

Skeptics who continue to deride the global circulation models include Jack Hollander, emeritus professor of energy and resources at the University of California. In his most recent book, The Real Environmental crisis, Hollander opines that “computer simulations… do not provide an adequate basis for the catastrophic generalizations about future climate… In any case, for most of us it is difficult to distinguish between solid empirical evidence and speculation based on highly uncertain computer models.”

Hollander’s division of empirical evidence from speculation reveals a poor understanding of how computer models work. All models draw from evidence and incorporate as much empirical data as possible to build testable hypotheses about future change. As long as skepticism is based on sound understanding of science, it is invaluable, for that is how science progresses. But poor criticism can lead those who are unfamiliar with the science involved into doubting everything about climate change predictions.

by Tim F. Flannery (born 28 January 1956)
from The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth (2001)
chapter – Model Worlds
image – Shahram Sharif

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