torsdag 27 augusti 2009

Will Mathematicians Save the World, Again?

The free world was saved from the threat of both nazism, fascism and communism, because of free world mathematicians were able to compute both how to make nuclear bombs and run Star Wars. 

Today we are told that mathematical climate models predict catastrophical global warming by CO2 emission from burning of fossil fuels, which represent 75% of the total energy production in the World. Based on these mathematical predictions US President Obama stated the G8 meeting in Aquila in July:
  • The G8 nations agreed that by 2050, we'll reduce our emissions by 80 percent and that we'll work with all nations to cut global emissions in half. 
Realization of these goals will require a major reorganization of the industrial world and threatens to keep the developing world from development. The necessity of the drastic actions required come from predictions of mathematical climate models, and the question that the leaders of the world must pose concerns the reliability of these predictions. 

This is a question for mathematicians. Are mathematicians ready to once again save the World from catastrophy, by once again focussing on the most urgent question facing mankind?

Let us see what the International Union of Mathematicians IMU has to say about global warming? Nothing it seems. Strange! Are mathematicians not willing to save the World this time? The last International Congress of Mathematicians ICM organized by IMU in Madrid in 2006, had no section on mathematical climate modeling, and the upcoming IMC in Hyderabad, India, in 2010 seems no better. Why?

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