The most strident voices in the global warming debate base their (pessimistic) arguments on models that purport to forecast what will happen. In my work (which has nothing to do with climate) I also try to forecast the future and would note that such models are wrong more than 90% of the time. If you don't believe me, try to forecast the results of the next batch of soccer matches, the oil price and the stock-market.
The models turn out to be wrong either because input data was incorrect (the known unknowns); or something that should have been included was not (the unknown unknowns). That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to forecast the future, only that we need to show some humility on our ability to do so.
I suspect that global warming will go the way of fear of US-Russia nuclear obliteration (the 1960's), global cooling (the 1970's) and Y2K problems (remember them?). However, it might not. So let us keep the debate rational and think with our minds not our emotions.
Lord Lawson has several advantages over most of the Greens who disagree with him. He is older than they are, seen more, done more and made mistakes. I suspect when they reach his age, they will have made many more mistakes. I hope they will also have learned from them.
Hi Abusam, The correctness of your model obviulosy depends on what you are trying to model. One can for instance quite easily construct a model of what happens when one drops an object from 2 m height, and that model would be correct 100% of the time. On the other hand, I don't think anybody has ever even tried to make an actual model for predicting the outcome of a football game, except in the crudest sense (e.g. looking at previous scores between the teams). Regarding global cooling: there never was any strong scientific support for that. It was mainly a media thing. The situation regarding AGW is quite different.
That's a fair comment, Lars. Clearly our ability to model accurately depends in part on what we are modelling. What other examples of systems as complex as the global climate over the course of centuries can you identify that we can demonstrably model with accuracy?