Sunday, August 12, 2007

A graph is worth 1,000 words

This weekend has been kind of fun. First, the anti-evolution blogs jumped all over the hominid study that was in Nature. And, then when they were challenged by scientists to clarify why they thought this was a 'hit' against evolution....well, they couldn't. Some mostly good discussions ensued from there of a more philosophical bent (which I enjoy). See more coverage and links here, here, and here.

And, in a strikingly similar fashion, the global-warming-is-a-hoax crowd* has been having an orgy over the announcement of an error in temperature data from the NASA GISS lab. All of the sudden, the basis for global warming has been completely shattered! I'm not gonna go into the details here; you can get more information here and here (and updated more here). And just for kicks, check out the numskulls on this blog....yikes.

What I do want to point out is that Tamino over at Open Mind has yet again boiled all the hub-bub down to its essence (by the way, Open Mind one of the best climate science blogs out there). Please follow that comment thread if you want to get into the nitty gritty.

Here, he plots the temperature data before the correction (in red squares) with the now corrected data (open diamonds).


Alrighty then.

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UPDATE: This is just too good to not mention. I'm not sure why I did it....maybe I was bored, but I went onto the blog I mention above (the numskulls) and got into some back-and-forth commenting. I was being civil (at least compared to the tone of the rest of the commenters), and I simply pointed them to Tamino's graph and asked them why the error and its correction is proof that global warming theory is all of the sudden invalid. I got a response that didn't address the data or my question; it was a ranting non sequitur (and I even tried to pre-emptively discourage non sequiturs to focus the discussion). Then I was called a "leftist". Good argument. And then, finally, the blog owner removed my comments. If you go down to the comments numbered in the mid 80s or so, you'll see my comments clipped with a snarky response, but the actual full comment was removed. But, I just hit refresh and some other comments were further manipulated....so, who knows.

People can do whatever the hell they want on their blogs. But, if you say this...

Comments are welcome, even those that contradict the main post. However, comments may be deleted for profanity, racism, threats, harassment, spam, or if they are deemed inappropriate.
...and then delete them anyway, you're completely misrepresenting yourself. I guess my comments were deemed "inappropriate" because they challenged their narrow-minded view. Plus, i'm sure the blog owner didn't want that pesky link to a graph for his followers to see....they might be educated and leave his blog. Go on over to this post at Deltoid to see "The Ace" in action (starting around comment #110 or so)....very entertaining!



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*I've said it before, and i'll say it again. The mixture of the evidence for warming, attribution, and policy in this global discussion is unfortunate. I do think that the real debate to be having now is what should we do and how should we do it (i.e., policy). But, the denialists continue to muddle that serious debate with nonsense about the scientific basis, claims of conspiracy, or simply their hatred for Al Gore. When having discussions with people I always try and "tag" each aspect into (1) data; the measurements, (2) attribution; the cause, and (3) policy; what to do about it. I found this clears up the mud significantly in serious discussions and causes nonsensical and emotional partisan arguments to be revealed rather quickly.

2 comments:

Laelaps said...

Thanks for the link Brian. Things certainly have been interesting, although I don't know if I'll ever hear from our friend Jerry again about the papers I sent him. Either way, thank you for all the thoughtful comments on my blog in that thread.

Brian said...

Laelaps...yeah, i tried to get Jerry to really lay out his position, but never got an answer...oh well