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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense: The BlogCzar Years. Er, Months., Record of all the bans and threats at UD< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 128
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 28 2008,03:34   

Deletion without comment is the Czar's sincerest form of flattery. Formerly, and ever so briefly, at Wanted: More Greenhouse Gases:
DaveScot and GilDodgen,

Like most guys who know a lot about computing, you know precious little about statistical inference. A downward spike in the latest sample of a time series that has shown a long-term upward trend is no basis for saying that you are "proven right." This is not to say that you are not right -- it's just to say that it's foolish to trumpet on the basis of so little information. It's obvious that neither of you has ever worked in prediction of nonlinear, nonstationary time series.

I genuinely do not know what to believe about anthropogenic global warming. But I do know that there is so much scientific uncertainty in the matter that any layperson who claims to have resolved it absolutely is pure bluster. And I know also that there are hugely different costs associated with different errors in inference. If CO2 emissions are in fact causing global warming, and we do nothing about them, then the cost of the error is astounding. If the emissions are not responsible for global warming, and we reduce them needlessly, the cost of the error is relatively low. Given the present scientific uncertainty, and the possibility that severe cost is associated with allowing CO2 emissions to rise, a prudent course would be to look for approaches to reducing emissions that are a) relatively high in efficacy and b) relatively low in impact on the economy.

Nothing forces us to do everything possible to reduce CO2 emissions or to ignore them totally. Only simpletons and blow-hards insist on giving all-or-nothing responses to ambiguous scientific information.

A funny aspect of my head-butting with Dave is that he doesn't know, and seems incapable of discerning, that my IQ is identical to his. Of course, I have four degrees that he does not, and a bunch of teaching, research, reviewing, etc., to boot. And unlike him, I can allow that some of you outclass me.

It happens that I once published results in prediction of annual sunspots numbers (a classical problem in statistics) that improved greatly on all in the literature. When I tell Dave he's an IDiot to claim "proof" that global temperatures are not rising when temperatures dip sharply for a year, he really should listen. But I think we all agree that Davie's wee-wee would have shriveled and fallen off if he had left my comment on the blog.

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth about them, and they think it's hell. Harry S Truman

  1072 replies since July 29 2007,19:21 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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