Camille Paglia on “fancy-pants, speculative, climate models”

Camille Paglia is listed as one of the top 100 intellectuals in the world today, in fact she’s at number 20.  So, it is with some surprise that I read her response to a question on climate change in a column on Salon.com. See page two on this link.

The computer models make predictions based on a mathematical estimate of how our planet works. All well and good. But as a TV and Radio Meteorologist who’s job its been for 25 years now to delivery timely forecasts to the public, I’d point out that my work relies on computer models every day used to forecast weather days ahead. How often are they right? Well how often is it that I nail a forecast perfectly one week in advance?

How often do you hear me telling you what the weather will be two weeks from now, or a month from now? I don’t do those things. Yet surprisingly, computer weather forecast models exist for those time periods, but they aren’t often correct. Chaos theory doesn’t lend itself well to computer modeling of weather forecasting, and it isn’t taken into account in climate modeling, which tends towards more linear processes. One of the biggest criticisms of climate models, such as NASA/James Hansens Model E, is that it doesn’t handle clouds at all well in it’s calculations.

Here’s what Camille says about climate modeling: (H/T Lon Glazner)

Commenter: I too grew up in upstate New York. I am an environmental groundwater geologist (who almost majored in fine arts). Your take on the Al Gore/global warming pseudo-catastrophe was right on target. Anyone can read up on Holocene geology and see that climate changes are caused by polar wandering and magnetic reversals. It is entertaining, yet sad to read bloviage from Leonardo DiCaprio, who is so self-centered that he thinks the earth’s history and climate is a function of his short personal stay on this planet. Still he, Al Gore, Prince Charles and so on, ad nauseam, continue with their jet-set lifestyles. What hypocrisy!

Hanson

Camille Paglia: Thank you for your input on the mass hysteria over global warming. The simplest facts about geology seem to be missing from the mental equipment of many highly educated people these days. There is far too much credulity placed in fancy-pants, speculative computer modeling about future climate change. Furthermore, hand-wringing media reports about hotter temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are rarely balanced by acknowledgment of the recent cold waves in South Africa and Australia, the most severe in 30 years.

Where are the intellectuals in this massive attack of groupthink? Inert, passive and cowardly, the lot of them. True intellectuals would be alarmed and repelled by the heavy fog of dogma that now hangs over the debate about climate change. More skeptical voices need to be heard. Why are liberals abandoning this issue to the right wing, which is successfully using it to contrast conservative rationality with liberal emotionalism? The environmental movement, whose roots are in nature-worshipping Romanticism, is vitally important to humanity, but it can only be undermined by rampant propaganda and half-truths.

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16 Responses to Camille Paglia on “fancy-pants, speculative, climate models”

  1. Evan Jones says:

    Pfft! to any list which touts Noam Chomsky as the #1 intellectual in the world!

  2. Gary says:

    Camille, as always, gives a nice, pithy critique that cuts right to the core of the matter. Not that she’s always right, but here its good to see she’s telling it like it is.

    Anthony, isn’t there a qualitative difference between the 2-week-out weather prediction models and the next-century-out climate prediction models? The former seem to be trying to specify conditions at a locus whereas the latter are trying to come up with averaged global conditions.

  3. George M says:

    So, there!

  4. Sylvain says:

    This is the first part of what Anthony linked to

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2007/04/11/global_warming/index3.html

    Very interesting.

  5. bigcitylib says:

    Camille also argued with great passion that, while Madonna had the very right to strip in public, Britney did not. Her best days are behind her.

  6. wattsupwiththat says:

    BCL, one could say the same about you. By eating a scorpion and then blaming Native American Indians for your own ill feeling and lapse of judgement, this also seems to indicate your own powers of logic may have waned. By your own application of logic towards Paglia, by your own making of a mistake in public view, should we then discount anything further you have to say?

    Check it out here: http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2007/10/i-bigcitylib-will-now-eat-bug.html

    Not to worry though, there are others on that 100 list saying similar things. More on that soon.

  7. Steve Moore says:

    Ah, Camille!

    I’ve always loved her.
    Not because I always agree with her (I don’t), but because she has STYLE!

  8. Tom Davidson says:

    “Even a broken clock will be right twice a day.” But to know when its right you need to know yourself just what the time really is.
    This time Paglia is right.

  9. bgraef says:

    Climate change, global warming, extreme weather may well be regarded 100 years from now as one of the most incredible hoaxes of our era.
    That such a sophisticated, educated generation could actually beleive this hoax may make the Dutch Tulip Craze and other great hoaxes look insignificant in comparison.We may be the laughingstocks for generations to come.
    And this huge swindle has cost mainly western governments hundreds of billions of dollars already, in the form of silly electric vehicles that no one wants, forced lifestyle changes, subsidized urban transport that few people desire, rube goldberg schemes of pumping carbon dioxide gases into the ground, insanely expensive “alternatives” for fossil fuels, grain ethanol manufacturing which will cause global food shortages and higher prices,etc. I could go and and on…….and dont forget about the huge Kyoto swindle, the most elaborate socialist extortion scheme ever devised.

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  11. Evan Jones says:

    I doubt it. I guess that in 100 years GW will be as forgotten as Limits for Growth or The Population bomb.

    No doubt by then we will have found (or made) some other bugaboo(s) which is (or is not) threatening all existence.

  12. Evan Jones says:

    Climate not being the only thing that goes in cycles. #B^1

  13. Tina says:

    That such a sophisticated, educated generation could actually beleive this hoax may make the Dutch Tulip Craze and other great hoaxes look insignificant in comparison.

    Sophisticated and educated?

    The “number of years attended school” numbers may be up and wearing Armani, & livin large may pass as sophistication but I still think of my generation of Americans as those half naked, drugged out, writhing rock and rollers playing in the mud at Woodstock…the corker is they think it “meant” something, and still do!

    This hardly qualifies as sophisticated or educated. These require a level of enlightenment and depth that preening in front of mirrors, and styling for the cameras, just doesn’t bring.

    Loved the tulip craze comparrison…and I agree with you completely…we are a generation of many fools.

  14. Evan Jones says:

    Oh, the tulips were valuable, actually. As were cowrey shells.

    It just got to the point where (mega-) inflation kicked in!

    Theorectically there’s nothing wrong with using flowers or shells for exchange (after all, we use paper) so long as the money supply is kept under control . . .

  15. Evan Jones says:

    I think the credit mobilier scandal or Lesseps’ canal shares is more like it.

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