Green Weenie of the Week: The Weather

Okay, by now we’ve done to death all of the things caused by climate change (the Warmlist is up to 883 items now), but the newest claim is that global warming will increase the violent crime rate.  From the Beeb:

Shifts in climate are strongly linked to increases in violence around the world, a study suggests.  US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.  The team says with the current projected levels of climate change, the world is likely to become a more violent place.

The crime rate in the United States has been falling steadily for the last 20 years, during which time, we are told daily, we’re notching the hottest years since Satan lit up his sulfur pits.   Hmmm.

The best takedown of this so far comes from William M. Briggs (“statistician to the stars!”), who notes the following:

Problem with computers is that they are irredeemably stupid. The computer doesn’t know anything: it can only do what it is told. And if it is told to take this set of numbers and that set of numbers and to mix them in a certain way, it will do it, creating pretty pictures of the result. And as computers get better, it can do these blind operations faster and produce prettier pictures. . .

They mixed data from sources as disparate as the MSNBC and Fox News, they compared apples to roller blading, they contrasted black with semiotics. Data from last Tuesday was said to be equal in veracity to that culled from 8000 BC. They dumped into a computer a bunch of numbers lots of people found from all over the place, measuring God knows what, and produced lots of sharp graphics and one big quantitative result that hot, rainy weather is bad for you.

Which is exactly why everybody is moving from Michigan to South Carolina (at least 2σ difference in mean temperature): to get to where the action is and join a gang.

Responses