"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Storm King

I've been trying to pull together a history of climatology on WIRED Science - Correlations.

While the large scale behavior of the atmosphere is complex and hard to grasp, it occurred to me that the basic ideas for understanding a rainstorm cloud were in place by the early nineteenth century. I wondered if history had captured the story of the person who had put the pieces together. I wasn't able to find an answer last week, but I inquired on a couple of mailing lists, and my question on the global change mailing list caught the attention of Tom Adams, who came up with some very interesting information.

The genius in question was the American, James Pollard Espy, who published his theory in 1841, to less than universal acclaim.

Read more on Correlations.

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