What do economists and meteorologists have in common? They are both trying to predict a very uncertain future in the context of a present that continues to confound us.
As David Ropeik points out, we predict the future because of "the deep psychological need for a sense of control, to keep ourselves safe." Furthermore, we end up making all kinds of errors when we make predictions because "we think we’re smarter than we are."
And yet, the cost of not being able to predict the future can be just as fatal. Consider that the World Health Organization attributes 150,000 deaths per year on the effects of global warming. Or consider that 15,000 weather records were broken last month alone, and we are still trying to understand the global impact of this "Meteorological March Madness."
The ancient practice of forecasting the weather has evolved frustratingly slow over the course of thousands of years. And yet today we are employing super-computers to predict the weather with a level of precision undreamt of before.
And yet, it remains to be seen what role tools like this can play to help us predict long-range climate patterns and react appropriately.