Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My sentiments exactly ...

... Should You Trust the Government?

My idea of a high-trust society differs from that of many elites. Elitist journalists think that a high-trust society is one where we trust the mainstream media. Elitist politicians and activists think that a high-trust society is one where we trust legislators, regulators, and experts to exercise broad authority. In contrast, I believe that a high-trust society is one in which processes ensure that elites are subject to checks and accountability. It is particularly important for legislators, regulators, and experts to have their authority limited and their accountability assured.
My impression is that no single climate model enjoys the confidence of a large number of scientists. Instead, many climate scientists are willing to endorse a "consensus" that takes a range of estimates from some models. I would like to read an essay written for an intelligent layman that explains why this is a persuasive approach. What is the rationale for including some models while excluding others? Do predictions based on the "average" or "consensus" model out-perform the predictions of any individual model, as in a "wisdom of crowds" phenomenon? Or is the purpose of a "consensus" is to strengthen a political coalition, rather than to improve accuracy?
Here's an idea: How about taking all the most reliable meteorological data from, say, 1950, and feeding it into one of these climate models and seeing if the results describe what in fact took place weatherwise in, say, 2000?

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