Predictive science and the dangers of ignoring warning signs

One of the more common critiques banded around by the media and skeptics is that climate models are useless, and that “nature is too complicated to predict“. Here is a seemingly stark warning on the dangers of taking the advice of politicians over science:

An Italian scientist who predicted a major earthquake near L’Aquila a few weeks ago was forced to remove warnings from the internet after being reported to the police, it emerged today. The first tremors in the region were felt in mid-January and continued at regular intervals, leading to concerns that a large earthquake was imminent in the medieval city.

Giampaolo Giuliani, a seismologist at the nearby Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Abruzzo, predicted, following months of small tremors in the area, that a much bigger jolt was on its way. The researcher had said that a “disastrous” earthquake would strike on March 29, but when it didn’t, Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, officially denounced Giuliani in court last week for “false alarm.” “These imbeciles enjoy spreading false news,” Bertolaso was quoted as saying. “Everyone knows that you can’t predict earthquakes.” (Read more)

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