Paul N. Edwards


On his book A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming

Cover Interview of March 06, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Virtually everything we know about anything complex depends on computer models.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Climate science proceeds by constantly inverting its own infrastructure.  All is turned upside down to find out how old data were collected, interpreted, and combined with other data—then the data are adjusted based on the findings.”

On the second:

“Virtually everything we know about weather and climate depends fundamentally on computer models. Simulation has become a principal technique of investigation—not merely a supplement to theory, but an embodiment of complexities that can’t be fully reduced to well-understood principles.”