There is another group that is not on board with the predictors of doomsday. These are the thinkers who dare to question their colleagues about such a politically charged topic.
I'm reading now a great book, Useless Arithmetic—Why Environmental Scientists Can't Predict the Future, that describes in great detail the difference between qualitative and quantitative modeling... and why in a complex and chaotic world our guesses about outcomes have been so prone to failure. I just read the chapters about fish and AIDS (different chapters). Our numbers were so wrong about what would be sustainable fishing that we have wiped out entire fish populations. Our numbers were very much guesses on the numbers dying of AIDS in Africa. Even the numbers on second hand smoke are very suspect, though we know (qualitatively) that it ain't good to breathe SMS.
I was amused to read about the Oracle of Delphi, who for hundreds of years, told people the truth... always in a stupor. It was later found that the river behind where the Oracle hung out emitted ethylene, a gas that has been used as an anesthetic.
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