Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why are Engineers Often Skeptics of Climate Change?

If you do a survey of the professions of skeptics of man made Climate Change you will find that there is a large number of engineers and statisticians that consider themselves skeptics or lukewarmers. I can't speak for them all, but engineers use proven science to do their jobs. They don't risk customers money on unproven designs. Some will push limits, but not without a reasonable margin of error or safety factor. It is bad for business to screw up. Limiting the probability and possible magnitude of your screw ups is sound engineering practice.

There is a lot of complex statistics involved in climate science, so there are many statisticians that are not only interested in climate science, but understand a great deal of the complexity of determining the degree of expected warming. Economists are also well versed in statistics and are interested in the economics and economic impact of climate change.

So convincing these professionals that will be most involved in dealing with various aspects of climate change, would seem to be an important issue for climate scientists. The climate scientists are not doing a very good job communicating their facts with these groups.

The worst thing a climate scientist can do in the eyes of these professionals is screw up their math and not deal with it logically and with some humility. Engineers and statisticians know about screw ups and good ones know how to deal with them. For some odd reason this is totally lost on most of the more outspoken climate scientists. They will NEVER earn the respect of these professionals attempting to baffle them with bullshit.

So if you know an engineer or statistician, you may want to ask their opinion on the climate change debate.

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