Herald Sun War on Science #5: Com-puh-tahs iz evil

Andrew Bolt is onto them…

Andrew Bolt continues to rage against the conveniences of modern life, this time his target of ire are “computer models”. Not just the models used by climate scientists, but computer modelling:

The revolt against the computer models whose warnings shut down Europe’s airlines gets angrier:

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sharply criticized European governments for their lack of leadership in handling airspace restrictions in light of the Icelandic volcano eruption and urged a re-think of the decision-making process.

“We are far enough into this crisis to express our dissatisfaction on how governments have managed it – with no risk assessment, no consultation, no coordination, and no leadership. This crisis is costing airlines at least $200 million a day in lost revenues and the European economy is suffering billions of dollars in lost business. In the face of such dire economic consequences, it is incredible that Europe’s transport ministers have taken five days to organize a teleconference,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO…

IATA criticized Europe’s unique methodology of closing airspace based on theoretical modeling of the ash cloud. “This means that governments have not taken their responsibility to make clear decisions based on facts…..

“Safety is our top priority. Airlines will not fly if it is not safe. I have consulted our member airlines that normally operate in the affected airspace. They report missed opportunities to fly safely…”

The scale of airspace closures currently seen in Europe is unprecedented. “We have seen volcanic activity in many parts of the world but rarely has it resulted in airspace closures – and never at this scale. When Mount St. Helens erupted in the US in 1980, we did not see large scale disruptions, because the decisions to open or close airspace were risk managed with no compromise on safety,” said Bisignani…

This model of volcanic ash spread is maintained by the Met Office, the warmist headquarters whose global warming models are used to justify other disastrous cuts to the world economy.

Andrew would rather risk the catastrophic side effects of aircraft flying in potentially dangerous skies than admit that those “warmists” know what they are talking about.

The IATA is an industry body, whose members comprise over 230 airlines. Yes, they are hurting and their share prices are tumbling. The industry has not been in a good state for some time, and the forced closure of major air routes has hurt their bottom line:

“We are far enough into this crisis to express our dissatisfaction on how governments have managed it-with no risk assessment, no consultation, no coordination, and no leadership. This crisis is costing airlines at least $200 million a day in lost revenues and the European economy is suffering billions of dollars in lost business. In the face of such dire economic consequences, it is incredible that Europe’s transport ministers have taken five days to organize a teleconference,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

However, rather than examine the facts, Bolt assumes the industries position.The outcry had just one aircraft crashed as a result would be enormous.

Still, when one digs a little on the IATA’s position on climate change one is immediately struck by their ambivalence on accepting responsibility:

“Although the natural greenhouse effect is vital for human existence, many scientists believe that additional warming linked to human activity may cause our climate to change irreversibly. However scientists disagree over the amount, probability and nature of these changes.

There is also disagreement over aviation’s contribution to climate change. There is a good understanding of CO 2 emissions, which contribute directly to the greenhouse effect, along with water vapour. Nitrogen oxides (NO x) contribute indirectly by creating ozone in the lower atmosphere. But little is known about the effect of contrails, cirrus cloud formation and the methane-reducing capabilities of NO x.

The best estimate of aviation’s climate change impact is about 3% of the total contribution by human activities. This may grow to 5% by 2050…”

Like our friends over at the Australian Coal Association, the IATA may acknowledge the reality of AGW but really, they aren’t at fault. Note how they play up the supposed uncertainties around the science: “…may cause our climate to change irreversibly”.

So, is computer modelling of any use then?

Let’s have a look at those pernicious “computer models” and just how useless they are. I’m sure Andrew would like to challenge the following applications of computer models:

  • Computer models could personalise medicine: “Professor Michael Katze, presenting at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring meeting in Edinburgh, describes how computer modelling could be a powerful tool to allow treatments to be tailored to individuals. This approach could ultimately prevent future pandemics…”
  • Vehicle manufacturers: “Vehicle manufacturers make use of computer simulation to test safety features in new designs. By building a copy of the car in a physics simulation environment, they can save the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise be required to build a unique prototype and test it. Engineers can step through the simulation milliseconds at a time to determine the exact stresses being put upon each section of the prototype…”
  • Molecular Modelling: Molecular modelling methods are now routinely used to investigate the structure, dynamics and thermodynamics of inorganic, biological, and polymeric systems. The types of biological activity that have been investigated using molecular modelling include protein folding, enzyme catalysis, protein stability, conformational changes associated with biomolecular function, and molecular recognition of proteins, DNA, and membrane complexes…”

One wonders at the practical applications of com-puh-ta models. One really does, don’t they Andrew?

In his single-minded drive to tarnish the reputation of climate scientists, and cast doubt on climate change as a human induced phenomenon, Bolt would tear down public trust in all science.

And this from a journalist whose epithets for those he despises includes terms such as “barbarians”.

What he does not understand, he would have destroyed.

Who, I wonder are the barbarians?

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2 thoughts on “Herald Sun War on Science #5: Com-puh-tahs iz evil

  1. Marion Delgado says:

    Just Me in T website far worse than Plimer alas.

  2. Just ME in T says:

    In Ozzy Land they are looking for the positives:

    He says Iceland’s volcanic carbon emissions are good news for plant growth and the current eruptions give an indication of the potential for carbon emissions from future volcanos.

    “We are living in a period of volcanic quiescence, as we haven’t had a dirty big eruption since 1912; and this is a small eruption but it is giving us the window into what a very big eruption would be like.”

    http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.com/2010/04/volcano-climate-change.html

    [Thanks for stopping by, however Plimer is somewhat discredited down under, he has no real status in the scientific debate. However he does play to the sceptical crowd.]

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