I’m a computer programmer. I have been programming computers since 1966. My first programming job was at the Iowa State Highway Commission in Ames, Iowa. My first project was a computer model, similar in concept, if not complexity, to the computer climate modeling programs we have heard so much about. The purpose of my program was to predict when all of the roads and bridges in Iowa would need maintenance, and what kind of maintenance they would need. It was written in IBM 360 Basic Assembler Language on a million dollar IBM 360 computer that was less powerful than the Apple I.
The predictions were based on a set of data, and a set of algorithms. Data, such as when the road or bridge was built, what materials were used, how much traffic there is, etc. And algorithms that estimated, based on the data, when a particular road or bridge would begin to wear out and require refurbishment or replacement.
Of course the data, as is always the case, was incomplete and inaccurate to some unknown extent. And the algorithms were based on speculative engineering assumptions, and past experience, which was also incomplete and inaccurate. It wasn’t perfect. Computer models never are.
The current global financial crisis was brought about largely by computer models in which, obviously, too much faith was put. Unlike the executives at Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, nobody thought my computer model was infallible. Still, it was better than nothing. It helped the Highway Commission prioritize road and bridge maintenance. It was a useful guide for where to look for possible problems.
That’s as far as you can go with computer models. That is all they are capable of. Comparing my Iowa road and bridge maintenance model to an attempt to model the climate of the Earth for hundreds of years into the future, is like comparing a virus to the human organism, in terms of complexity and unknowns.
Even those complicated financial models that got us into so much trouble are nothing compared to the complexity and chaos and infinite variables of the global climate. The completeness and accuracy of Iowa road and bridge data, and the engineering algorithms applied to them, are perfect relative to what we really know about the Earth’s climatological past, and the formulas of its future.
As soon as claims were made, based on climate computer models, that the “science” was settled, the debate was over, and the consensus was unanimous, it was abundantly clear to me that something was rotten in Denmark.
Computer models are not science. They are useful, but they are not proof of anything. They are not scientific evidence, especially in the case of a system so complex and unpredictable, so little understood, as global climate. Long before the revelatory CRU emails, it was obvious that there was another agenda here that had nothing to do with science.
The extent to which this criminal hoax has been perpetrated is nothing short of astounding. It reminds me of the Y2K hysteria. I had friends who were stockpiling food and other essentials in caves, preparing for the year 2000. I tried to tell them everything was going to be alright. There was no dissuading them. But this “climate change”, end of the world, cult has gone way beyond the Y2K delusion.
There is so much invested in it at this point, that it will probably take awhile to wind down. Declining temperatures for the past 11 years (not predicted by the models), and unprecedented blizzards in Copenhagen and Washington, D.C., are helpful, but not sufficient. It will probably take at least a couple more years of unusually cold winters before the con is blown.