Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just to chime in further regarding Kevin's post about "deliberate charlatan" George Will, when viewing this chart, it must be evident to even the most reason-challenged of Will's readership that this data set can be easily gamed to make a point. Over the last 100 years, one could've picked any high-temp year and then a few years later claimed the trend in temperature was down. Just look at 1910, a high-temp data blip, and by 1915 the temperature plummeted -- only to spike back up a few years later.

Obviously the primary line of importance is the red line, which is the 5-year moving average that takes out much of the intermittent noise and offers a truer picture of the overall trend. Focusing on the red line, does anyone see a downtrend more recently? And while the red line has dipped in the past, when you consider it's starting point in 1900 to now, the trend has been clearly in one direction: up!

But I'd also like to mention a point I believe gets lost in all of this climate change debate, a point I feel is equally important, and that is: the urgency should not strictly be about temperature. Much energy has been spent arguing about warming versus cooling, but the global warming / emissions debate is also about toxins, pollution, cancer, etc. What comes out of cars, trucks, smokestacks, etc. is not harmless steam, but rather by-product emissions that can kill over time. In this debate, CO2 gets most if not all the attention but it shouldn’t. Why is it children are advised to eat only one can of tuna fish per month, or that asthma rates have been increasing for years? CO2 is solely to blame?

Alternative energy solutions cut down on not just global warming but also pollution and resulting health maladies. Also, last time I checked there is no debate about the content of what comes out of smokestacks, tail pipes, etc.

Perhaps those framing this issue could shift the focus to emphasize that which is of much less dispute, as it would accomplish the same end-game goal.

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