From the WSJ’s “Best of the Web” section on April 8th:
“New Warning on Arctic Sea Ice Melt” reads a headline on the BBC website. Ho hum, another global-warming alarm, right? But it turns out it’s even less alarming than you think. The “new warning” is the same as the old warning, only less urgent:
Scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer sea ice will probably be gone in this decade.
The original prediction, made in 2007, gained Wieslaw Maslowski’s team a deal of criticism from some of their peers.
Now they are working with a new computer model–compiled partly in response to those criticisms–that produces a “best guess” date of 2016.
Well, our best guess is that in 2015 they’ll have a new best guess of 2020; in 2019 it’ll be 2024, etc. This is what’s known, in another discipline, as “salami economics,” in which economists make repeated minor revisions to their estimates and hope you won’t notice that when added up they are a major revision.
Or let’s try this another way. Our best guess is that Wieslaw Maslowski will die before the end of the year. If he’s still alive in December, we’ll modify that and guess he’ll die in 2012. We can keep changing our guess every year. The difference between our guesses and his is that one of ours is bound to be right sooner or later.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.