Thursday, December 11, 2008

Relax! It's the Age of Computers!

So I was quite honestly baffled when I saw these attendance graphs that they passed out at church on Sunday.
Granted, it has been ten years since I last took a course in which we had to work with statistical analysis or normalized projections, but I felt like the projected growth could not possibly be justified by the 23 years of data presented.

Baffled, that is, until I received this week's e-agronomy update, which included information from a study conducted by KU scientists for the Climate and Energy Project of the Land Institute of Salina, KS. Apparently they were using U.N. (co-Nobel-peace-prize-winning) I.P.C.C. approved computer models. (I know what you are thinking, lobiwan's three preferred sources for scientific breakthroughs: the IPCC, KU, AND the Land Institute all involved in the same study?!!?) Just look at this fine graphical representation of temperature change in Kansas using three carefully handpicked computer models (of the 21 carefully handpicked IPCC approved computer models) and carefully handpicked IPCC approved "middle-of-the-road" future greenhouse emission projections.

The fifty years of actual (human recorded) data on the left, the one hundred years of computer projected data on the right.

Aren't computers great! Just a few short years ago, in order to glimpse the future, we had to rely on science fiction writers and crazy hobos on the streets whose predictions were obscured by their own socio-economic agenda and/or daily alcohol intake. Now we can accurately predict everything from next week's weather to the rightful college football champion to the relative risk involved in mortgage-backed-security investments using computers who are unaffected by the whims, common sense, and logic which so cloud the average human being's judgment.

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