Tuesday, December 15, 2015

And speaking of environmental propaganda, a lesson in bad math from National Review

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 3:51 PM

There's something satisfying about seeing a lie deflated so completely as this.

The conservative intellectuals at National Review, committed as they are to backing the increasingly absurd position of the Republican Party on climate change denial, recently tweeted out a graph that claims to show global warming is a hoax. See? Global temperatures have remained flat from 1880 to today, so what's the big deal?

Here's the secret: Anything looks flat if you zoom out far enough. The scale used on the graph is so large as to render the data meaningless. As the Washington Post says, "It's akin to suggesting that Shaquille O'Neal and Mini-Me (aka Verne Troyer) are the same height because they're both tiny compared to the planet Jupiter."

Remember, this is an average of temperatures across the entire planet. A rise of even a couple degrees has dire consequences for sea levels and the stability of entire ecosystems, which is why world leaders in Paris just set a goal of keeping warming beneath 1.5 degrees Celsius (something that may not be achievable). For a more accurate depiction of the same temperature data, turn to NASA, which has a decent grasp of math.

Twitter's collective response: The National Review has a Y-axis problem. Responses abound, including this one:

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