Updating Mark Twain's famous opinion that "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics" were three types of untruths, with "statistics" being the worst, I presented "Lies, Damned Lies, Computer Models, and Government Subsidies" to an astute audience at the Science-Technology Club at The Villages, FL, today. You may download the Powerpoint Show HERE.
COMPUTER MODELS ARE VERY USEFUL (BUT MAY BE MISUSED)
I generally love Computer Models, having produced several useful ones myself *. However, when it comes to the misuse of Climate Models to justify spending hard-earned taxpayer money for unworthy projects, my love has its limits.
I showed the attentive and interactive audience how I was able to model the latest NASA-GISS Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index using two sinusoids and one exponential. (See the graphic, above. The bright red line is the 5-Year Running Mean of the Temperature Anomaly in °C from 1880 through 2014. The blue and red sinusoids, representing natural cycles, have periods of 33- and 70-years, respectively, and the green exponential represents the increasing levels of "greenhouse" gases. Note how the thick black line, which is the sum of the sinusoids and the exponential, fairly closely matches the NASA-GISS Temperature Anomaly.)
Of course, the easy part of computer modeling is retro-dicting the past. As John von Neumann famously told Enrico Fermi, “With four parameters I can fit an ELEPHANT, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”
The hard part is predicting the future, and I make no claims regarding my simplistic model's ability to do that. However, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the rest of the Official Cliimate "Team" do take their models seriously. In the latest IPCC Assessment Report, they continue to predict a catastrophic future based on their failed models.
These models failed to predict the current 15- to 18-year "pause" in Global Warming, despite the increasing -even accelerating- levels of Atmospheric CO2. Furthermore, as Dr. Roy Spencer recently showed, only TWO out of 90 CMIP5 Climate Models, used in the latest IPCC Annual Report, agree with the OBSERVED SURFACE and LOWER TROPOSPHERE TEMPERATURE DATA. Thus, over 95% of the IPCC models AGREE that, in Spencer's satirical words, "the OBSERVATIONS must be wrong" :^)
Climate Alarmists and Warmists have convinced the US, UK, and many other governments to spend tremendous amounts of taxpayer money to study the problem and to impose costly regulations to curtail human production of "greenhouse" gases.
The problem with attempts to model the Climate is that it is a combination of linear and chaotic elements, and the latter makes it virtually impossible to correctly predict the future beyond a relatively short period. See my PowerPoint Show for how I demonstrated that a chaotic model is very sensitive to initial conditions. Indeed, in my chaos model, a change in initial conditions of less than one part in a million, produced very large changes in longer-term results.
GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES MAY BE USEFUL (IF NOT POLITICALLY ABUSED)
My talk concluded with a review of how necessary government spending, such as the vast expenditures on military aircraft during WWII and subsequent conflicts, may benefit industry and consumers, such as the commercial aircraft and airline industries. Similarly, the Space Program and Medical Research expenditures are mostly justified by the benefits they have brought to the taxpayers.
However, there is great danger when the government unnecessarily expends large sums and burdens industry and consumers with un-affordable costs for environmental purposes that are "justified" by failed Computer Climate Models.
Ethanol: The requirement that up to 15% Ethanol, derived from corn, must be blended with gasoline, despite higher costs and reduced MPG, appears to be a politically-motivated subsidy for the agricultural industry and states where corn is a major crop.
Solar Panels: US taxpayers lost $500M when solar-panel producer Solyndra went bankrupt. It appears that political influence was used in 2009 to push through a loan for them to produce solar panels in the US, despite the fact that their cylindrical technology cost several dollars per watt, as compared to flat panels available at less than a dollar per watt. They went bankrupt in 2011, only two years after the loan, and all employees lost their jobs.
There are many other examples, too numerous to mention!
*COMPUTER MODELS BUILT BY IRA