Nafeez Ahmed, Pluto author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation writes a regular blog post for the Guardian. During the British summer, he interviewed leading arctic expert, Professor Peter Wadhams, who warned that within two years the Arctic will be experiencing ice-free summers. Nafeez’s interview interrogates some of the competing scientific methodologies; scientists using models argue that melting ice is a long-term problem, not an urgent matter. As Prof. Wadhams explains, however, the empirical method shows a far more urgent impending catastrophe.
The modellers did not pay sufficient regard to observations, especially of ice thickness. They considered certain physical processes in the model, then when the rate of retreat greatly outstripped the predictions of the model, they ignored the observations and stuck with the model. A very great physicist, Richard Feynmann, said that when a model comes up against measurements that contradict it, it is the measurements that must be preferred and the model must be abandoned or changed. Scientists who have a lot of their credibility bound up in a model are reluctant to do this.
To read the full Guardian interview, follow the link here.
To find out more about Nafeez’ book, or to purchase a copy, go to the Pluto website, here.
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development in London. He has taught international relations, contemporary history, empire and globalisation at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex and the Politics & History Unit, Brunel University. His previous books include The War on Truth: Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (2005) andBehind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq (2003).