Cherry Picking Data From Abritrary Intervals

Much of it spearheaded by climate expert blue jean hating, right wing pundit George Will, there’s been a growing trend by conservatives cherry pick climate change data to make silly rhetorical points. Former commenter Jim Manzi makes one here (which as it turns out, isn’t even true.) As you can see, there’s quite a bit of statistical noise, but the trend is unmistakable.

Anyway, comments like Will’s from the other day (“If you’re 29, there has been no global warming for your entire adult life.”), got me thinking about just how absurd it is to even use the measurements like a single decade, let alone a year. Obviously, the duration of human history has shown us to take a pretty self-centered view of things, but there’s really no basis to expect that trends in global climate change would maintain linear slope through arbitrary (if regular) intervals that we invented. Of course, a “year” isn’t exactly arbitrary in the sense that its period is intuitive, but why would it make any sense for global warming to adhere to a short-term,  anthropocentric measurement?


2 Responses to “Cherry Picking Data From Abritrary Intervals”

  1. Jim Manzi Says:

    I wasn’t trying to make a rhetorical point (and did a follow-up post to try to clarify at TAS). I agree with your basic point, btw.

    More importantly, I thought your review of Entoourage was completely spot-on.

    Jim Manzi

    • Jon Says:

      Jim — thanks for the comment and kind words. I did read your clarifying post later — they are a wonder!

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