The large computer simulation studies that have become so much a part of the resource management and environmental assessment literature are part of the problem, not of the solution. Large-scale modelling activities meant to inform decision and policy processes are not fulfilling their promise. Such work is more adversarial than most realize. It is one-sided, presenting but one perspective on a future rich in potentialities. Quality control and professional standards are low. Data inputs tend to have obscure, unknown, or unknowable empirical foundations, and the relevance of much data, even if valid, is unknown. Such work tends to ignore the most interesting aspect of any analysis, namely the assumptions through which it was elaborated.
Computer models have the potential for handling large amounts of technical information in a reproducible systematic way.