Friday, May 4, 2007

More IPCC SPM commentary

I like the chart on page seven. First some IPCC 101: Intro to UN speak.

Unlike the Scientific Method I learned in 9th grade biology whose first three steps are Observation, Description, Prediction; the IPCC discards prediction and uses Storylines. The six Storylines are described on page eight of the SPM.

As an aside, I rather like predictions and not just in the markets. Mendeleev with his eka-aluminum, eka-boron and eka-silicon: predicting the physical properties of elements not yet discovered, and leaving room for them in his table, so they'd have a place to reside when they were found, just bowls me over. Other folks have been impressed too:

When I first saw the Periodic Table, it hit me with the force of
revelation-it embodied, I was convinced, eternal truths...I thought
of Mendeleev as a sort of Moses, bearing the tablets of the God-given
Periodic Law.

Oliver Sacks, neurologist and writer in The New Yorker, December 20, 1999.

Enough with genius, back to the IPCC. The A2 storyline is described: "The underlying theme is self reliance and preservation of local identities."
The B1 storyline: "The emphasis is on global solutions to economic, social and environmental sustainability, including improved equity, but without additional climate initiatives."
The A2 and B1 are shown in the graph as the worst and best options in the year 2100 with B2 and A1B in the middle, reminiscent of Sears Kenmore "Good, Better, Best".

Sears knew marketing:

"If you don't find it in the index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue."
-- Sears, Roebuck, and Co. Consumer's Guide, 1897

The U.N. prefers the B1 storyline but it would be a tough sell. "Perhaps madame would consider B2 or A1B?"