At the turn of the 20th century, the experts believed that Physics was a settled science. We were either at a solution, or very close to one. There was simply nothing new to learn in physics, was the consensus. As soon as the loose ends were tied up, our understanding of the universe would be complete.

Then light acted up. Oops. Physics is still reeling from the relativistic and quantum effects discovered since.

Likewise, we’ve been told that climate science is settled. It’s a consensus. Shut up. Man-made effects will be magnified by oceanic currents, and the world is doomed.


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Susan Wright

Then the ocean acted up. Oops. It turns out that not only was our model of the ocean vastly oversimplified and our predictions on its behavior were wrong, but researchers believe the correct oceanic currents may be more difficult even to reach and study.

It sounds to me like every climactic model has to be rewritten, and if it were an honest science, it’d be reeling for some time. As one commenter at Slashdot put it, “Who would have ever guessed that we would have trouble forming an accurate model of a vast, complex, chaotic system?”

Not Al Gore. He was more interested in generating a good crisis, than in publishing a true representation of science.