Toles on scientific uncertainty

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"Toles on scientific uncertainty"

The Washington Post‘s premier political cartoonist offers his take on the issue of the day:

Related Post: “What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?

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8 Responses to Toles on scientific uncertainty

  1. Dennis says:

    I didn’t enjoy the cartoon. The original value should not have been 100 percent. It should have been 99.9 percent. It perpetuates the myth that scientists know everything, and get hammered for making small mistakes.

  2. Don says:

    Will WaPo publish this cartoon next to Will’s obfuscation, on the editorial page?

  3. Esop says:

    I think it is most excellent. An effective way of communicating to the scientifically challenged (ie. most people).

  4. Andy says:

    OT, but I think we may have peaked on Artic sea ice cover. The ice in the Bering Straits is starting to melt and is offsetting slow accumulations in other areas. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to hear from one regarding this.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  5. GFW says:

    Andy, there are often “wiggles” around this time of year, in both directions. So, you may be right or wrong. The NSIDC won’t call it until late March, although the peak has been shifting earlier, and is most likely to be between now and two weeks from now. The real story will be how the bulk of the spring melt compares to 2007. If the 2010 curve tracks 2007 through early July, it may not go as deep as 2007 for the minimum, but the so-called “recovery” will be over.

  6. Barry says:

    How about a roulette wheel for an image everyone can instantly relate to?

    The black slots are “disaster”, the red slots are “misery” and the two green slots (0 and 00) are “get out of CO2 free”. A few loud deniers are badgering and berating everyone around the table to pile all their homes, kids, biz, ecosystems and hope onto 5% chance on green. After all the ball “almost” landed in double zero once recently. Kinda. If you squint.

    The ancient gambler’s lament — “sorry kids for gambling away your future, but these guys kept insisting that 1 in 20 odds was the smartest bet as it would make us all a tiny bit richer.”

  7. fj2 says:

    wording could have been better:

    “99.5% of climate change predictions are certain.”

    [after response from viewer learning that they are not 100%]

    “Of course, rapid destructive climate change is 100% certain.”

    [viewer’s room starts to flood. walls crack. roof catches fire. dog goes bezerk.]

  8. I liked this one quite a bit. I think that cartoon satire is a very effective tool to educate the public. Here is another example related to glaciers that I particulary liked:

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/glaciers.jpg?w=500&h=295