Monday Morning Quarterbacking

So I was talking with a treehugger hippie friend of mine over beers during the football game yesterday. I do have friends like that, though I know they are clueless. But I usually can convince them to see the light and change their minds. This is how our conversation went.

Treehugger hippie: What if Newton's personal communications had been stolen and held up to the same scrutiny as the Hadley CRU climate scientists? Would we then not have learned gravity theory and possibly missed out on the Enlightenment entirely?

So I sez: Look, the worst that would have happened in that case would have been that we didn't know why the apple hit us upside our heads. With climate change legislation, we're facing trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars in costs, millions of jobs lost, and people shooting themselves in the head. That's why we need to have absolute certainty about the climate models. No questions should remain, all bloggers must be entirely satisfied that catastrophic warming will lead to impending doom.

Treehugger hippie: So the economic models used to forecast economic doom and gloom...aren't they also subject to interpretation and to bias? Are we sure that they 100% correct?

Me: Of course they are. Plus, there's consensus amongst economists. Not a single one of them disagrees. I'm sure that if you were to hack their e-mails, they'd be all like:
--Are you absolutely certain we should publish this study at this time, or should we run another analysis before frightening the public? You do know how important our work is. Has the model been tested under all sorts of different consumption patterns?
--Why yes. This model will stand up to anyone's scrutiny. I have already sent the code to skeptical, AGW-leaning economists for pre-publication review and critique.

Treehugger hippie: Well OK, but just to be safe, couldn't we simply begin by reducing our own per capita emissions down to maybe the level of the Europeans. They seem to be living a fine life.

Me: The Yurpins? The reason their carbon emissions are lower than ours is because they are ruled by reptilian overlords of mankind who force them into a sad life of socialism.

Treehugger hippie: Reptilian overlords?

Me: Yeah, I was told to slip that in somewhere. But you know what I mean. Modern environmentalism can be traced directly back to Hitler, Stalin, Goebbels and Carlos the Jackal. They all wanted to reduce carbon emissions, and look what happened to them! Besides, if you want to see more babes in bikinis, then you should be all for global warming!

Treehugger hippie: I don't care about babes in bikinis.

Me: Oh, yeah.

Treehugger hippie: So if the economic models used to forecast the effects of global warming legislation are always correct, and the climate models are often incorrect, how come when we allowed a large increase in carbon emissions these past 10 years we didn't see the economy boom? Did the models predict the housing bubble? Did anyone listen to those who came up with forecasts predicting the housing bubble?

Me: Of course there were people predicting that, but those were also the same people who said we should be listening to the AGW modelers, and since we know those models are crap, we also knew that the predictions of a housing bubble must be wrong. Something about sustainability and other such crap.

Treehugger hippie: Oh, OK.

Me: Glad I could set you straight on all this malarkey.