What’s the similarity between economics and climatology?

Posted by William M. Connolley on April 21, 2013

Answer: both are complex disciplines. But because they deal with every-day events, amateurs regularly assume that they know enough to dismiss the entire field.Gambar

Suppose you wanted to know what was wrong with climatology: how far is it really understood, what can it usefully describe and what not, what can it usefully predict: who would you ask? Not, I hope, one of the many “climate skeptics” whose meaningless ranting echoes around the wub. If you really wanted to know, you need to ask a climatologist. Preferrably, I’d admit, one slightly outside the mainstream and prepared to be forthright. Do we know any of those?

Now suppose you want to know what’s wrong with economics: does it understand the discount rate fully, for example. Where would you get your information: from people who just didn’t like the consequences of having a discount rate, or from people who had actually studied economics? What about the people who don’t like the discount rate but have never studied economics: would you take their views seriously?

You know who you are. Anyone else who wants to know can look at the comments on The ETS is stupid, part n.

To push this further: there are any number of people out there who don’t believe in Relativity, Special or General (some of them might even know the difference, many not). What 99.9% of such people have in common is that they’re utterly clueless about the theory they don’t believe in. So they should be ignored; on that subject.

I’ve said all this before of course. Perhaps I’ll get into the habit of saying it once a year.

This isn’t, BTW, an attempt to end the discussion on the ETS post, merely to provide a more obvious forum to continue it. Because I want to win over the “economics skeptics”.

[Updated: to add the pic. Which is the important bit, not the post behind it.]


* Models versus radiosondes in the free atmosphere: A new detection and attribution analysis of temperature – Lott et al., JGR 28 MAR 2013, DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50255.


One comment on “What’s the similarity between economics and climatology?

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