A new paper released recently on climate was based on a computerized climate model with the world’s oceans removed. They then drew conclusions about how some parts of the climate drive others based on the remaining data. Anthony Watts has an article up on WUWT appropriately titled in part “the tail wags the dog”. For a reading of the science, take a look http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/02/new-atmospheric-model-says-tail-wags-dog/
Now if you want it in simpler terms that make the point, I proudly present The Researcher and the Diptstick:
Researcher; we removed a whole bunch of variables from our model and can now isolate This and show that it is well correlated with That. Since This always follows That, it is clear that there is a possibility for more research to understand how This is caused by That. Send money.
Dipstick; Cool. Hey, what if they have nothing to do with each other? I mean like what if This and That are both caused by Another Thing? Then they’d be correlated with each other but the cause would be Another Thing. Hey, it could be even more complicated than that. What if Another Thing doesn’t actually exist as a Thing, but as any one of 5 combinations of Stuff, you know, Stuff, like those variables you were talking about, maybe there’s 5 different combinations of Stuff that can each cause This and That.
Researcher; You clearly don’t understand science, so shut up and send the money.
Dipstick; You clearly don’t understand money, so shut up and go find some science to show me.
Researcher; You are just a dipstick.
Dipstick; Yes I am. You can even model me. Start by drawing me with my hands in my pockets firmly clenched around my wallet and billfold.
Researcher; You were a lot easier to deal with a couple of years ago.
Dipstick; Yeah, well that was before I read your emails and found out that you made This up, invented That, hid Another Thing, tricked me into believing some Stuff, presented Other Stuff like it was part of Stuff but wasn’t, and now it turns out you can’t find the data you used to calculate Stuff, but there’s tons of data that you Trashed that adds up to Something Else, not Stuff. That’s when I figured out what a dipstick I’ve been.
Researcher; So no money?
Dipstick; Oh lotsa money. Congressional hearings are very expensive.