In the wake of the eruption of Iceland’s asdfjasdfl;kasjdfsfkljs [sic] volcano and the cloud of ash that emerged therefrom, airlines around the globe grounded their planes for as many as six days, affecting an average of 1.2 million passengers per day and costing the industry at least $1.7 billion.
“For an industry that lost $9.4bn last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8bn in 2010, this crisis is devastating,” said Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of [International Air Transport Association.]
Bisignani also blamed the governments for overhaste in closing airspace, and costing the airline industry over $100 million a day, as a result of atmospheric models that proved to be flawed. Now airlines want to be compensated for their losses:
“Airspace was being closed based on theoretical models, not on facts. Test flights by our members showed that the models were wrong. “[The crisis] is an extraordinary situation exaggerated by a poor decision-making process by national governments. Governments should help carriers recover the cost of this disruption.”
So atmospheric models have in a crucial instance failed to make accurate short-term predictions in a way that cost the world economy $1.7 billion. How many hundreds of billions — or trillions — are we to spend based on atmospheric modeling that reaches out centuries into the future?