"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?"

Monday, December 7, 2015

100th Anniversary of Birth of Vern Suomi

Vern Suomi's 100th birthday was yesterday.

Vern brought an engineer's perspective to climate science, and was the inventor and first leader of satellite meteorology. I had the great privilege of his acquaintance. He remained a constant presence at UW-Madison's Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department until weeks before his passing.

A man both startlingly unassuming (he was normally seen wearing a plaid shirt) and remarkably competent with a variety of talents technical, scientific and administrative, he also was instrumental in making Wisconsin a long-time leader in observational meteorology and space science, which continues today. He also was the organizer of the Charney report in 1979 which was the foundational document of global warming studies.

Vern Suomi was one of the great figures of 20th century science.

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