Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, December 22, 2008


To the shops to get meat thermometer. Panic: is it too short to reach the the radius of a large turkey? I get a (longer-shafted) pizza oven thermometer which does, however, cover many more degrees and thus has much less accurate fine gradations.
Also kitchen thread, needle, and boning knife.

With global warming, John, the question is surely not "Is 2 degrees plus global warming if we do nothing certain?" but rather "Is there more than a 5% chance that 2 degrees plus global warming is coming if we do nothing?"
In view of the unequal balance of pro and con in the scientific community I'd find very it hard to say that the chance was less than 5%. If it's at or over 5%, that's warrant for strong action. In any case, I think the first step in any dispute over this is for some kind of numbers to be applied to statements of probabilities. What's your estimate?


Anonymous said...

Like you, I don't have an estimate (looking at the unequal balance of pro and con in the scientific commumnity is not a basis for deciding it is greater than 5 per cent). I was querying your assessment that to ignore low-probability risks was somehow irresponsible.
Let's say for sake of argument Chris B ascribes 5 per cent probablity to global warming. What does that entail? First up what the consequences of the warming by 2 degrees? If you want to apply a Spinoza test (like Garnaut) you have to have some way of quantifying the outcomes.
Before you could make any sense of action based on ascribiing a probablity you would have to assess a whole lot of "complex modelling" of a kind you probably wouldn't trust in other circumstances.
So I think there's still a lot to be clarified before we can say "5 per cent is a warrant for strong action".

Good luck with the terducken: are you able to eat any of it after such close exposure to cooking it?

Anonymous said...

Oops: Pascal, not Spinoza.

Tarun Kumar said...

i really impress with you blog and plz keep writing for this blog. i also start collection of information about causes of global warming in my blog.

Anonymous said...

That Caroline Kennedy, eh? What's your take?

The transcript is at

Tony said...

You have discussed the technical and ethical aspects of roasting large birds, but you should really consider the aesthetic and epicurean side as well. These are covered here.

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