Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bad news bearers for another year

At New Year's, all sorts of assessments are made. Some people look back and and some forward. When making forecasts (and if reputations in such things matter), go for the safe bet.

John Tierney does this in today's NY Times ("In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm"). Any extraordinary weather occurrence will be linked by someone somewhere to climate change. And reporters will find that individual.

I have no idea whether CO2 causes warming or whether warming causes CO2 accumulations. If CO2 accumulations lag warming by hundreds of years, then Granger causation tests would be interesting.

Aside from all this, what I find remarkable is the tendency to extrapolate today's technology for many years into the future. Never has technology changed as fast as in our time. Those unwrapping their cameras, computers, TV's, cell phones, GPS gadgets, etc. know the score. Lynne Kiesling reports on new ways to store electricity -- and that advances in storage technology are auspicious.

But the bad news bearers will be with us another year.