Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Global cooling? Look at the numbers

The world isn't warming, it's cooling, goes this argument. Just look at the (temperature) numbers. Ignore the ice sheets melting, the kids swimming at the North Pole, the weather patterns and dozens of other indicators and just look at the numbers. Well, the Associated Press took the deniers at their word and just looked at the numbers.

Global cooling? Look at the numbers

While it's amazing to consider that there's still a huge bloc of people bending over backwards to deny the reality of global warming, there sure are - and these people have most recently latched onto a throwaway line in the contrarian-statistics anthology Super Freakonomics to bolster their pollyanna worldview.

The world isn't warming, it's cooling, goes this argument. Just look at the (temperature) numbers. Ignore the ice sheets melting, the kids swimming at the North Pole, the weather patterns and dozens of other indicators and just look at the numbers.

Well, the Associated Press took the deniers at their word and just looked at the numbers. The news organization had two independent statisticians look at only the numbers involved in global temperatures over various periods of time, from nine to ten to eleven to thirty to 130 years, without telling them what the numbers represented. In other words, a blind study, to remove the influence of any bias on the parts of the humans examining the data.

The statisticians found an upward trend to the numbers in all cases - except if you start following the data exactly in 1998, one of the hottest years, if not the hottest year, ever, in which case you can get a small downward trend. But notably, starting in either 1997 or 1999 gives you an upward trend, i.e. warming. And to reiterate, neither of the statisticians found the ten-years-after-1998 aberration to contradict the overall pattern of upward movement in the numbers.

Though it will obviously take a while before the climate-change deniers come around, they're only hurting their own cause - because everything they spout about "cooling" trends is just a bunch of hot air.

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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