Chaos and climate change

Do not worry when scientists predict the future events, particularly those relating to climate change. These predictions are never accurate because the topic is too complex. Accordingly we should always treat predictions that relate to glaciers melting by a specific day or a tipping point being reached at a specific point in time with a large pinch of salt. The time to worry is when scientists qualify their findings on the basis that they might be wrong.

Socrates was reputed to be the wisest man in the entire world and when questioned about the wisdom of other men he said Well, I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems to me that I am wiser than he is to the extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.

We know a great deal about climate change and have much robust data which provides a reasonable base of evidence that the climate is warming and that it is humanity that is causing its warming.

What we do not know is how the inter reactions of small differences affects the whole climate. In physics this is called the Chaos theory or the butterfly effect. I prefer to think of Chaos theory and the butterfly effect as simple and present limits to our ignorance. One day we may be wiser but until then we must hope for the best but plan for the worst.

There are, after all, more things in heaven and earth, Edward Lorenz, than are dreamt of in your science.

One Response

  1. Often many people are blind when they view the world and any problems that might occur through the eyes of thier profession, scientists included, often the answer is staring you right in the face and we cannot see it.

    If one has grown up with nature all around you, you have a much better outlook on how things actually work, natures creatures are one of the very first thing that warns us of any future problems, BEES, yet we are more concerned about sea ice and glaciers, nothing lives there.

    A head in book person like my cousin also a barrister type person misses everything and knows nothing of what he would need to survive in a world that is starting to fall appart, his immediate enviornment falls away and he is totally lost, nature is solid not in a book.

    The butterfly effect is a classic and one that is well under way right now in China today, she beats her wings and we are now going hungry, she is the problem to our distraction and we have no solution, so we simply go with the flow of the beats of her wings, while the planet and its people suffers ever onwards.

    We force the planet her land and its people into submission every day and we ignore nature at out peril.

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