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A family correspondence about global warming

October 14, 2008

I received an email from my nephew today, in response to a weather report I sent to family members which described our recent unseasonal blizzard in Reno and which made some sarcastic comments about the Global Warming scam. This was his reply:
"Wow, I get enough wacky emails from the rest of the family, now you too. What about the fact that the north pole has practically melted? What about the fact that the people of Greenland can, for the first time in their lives, plant flowers early enough to actually watch them bloom? What about the fact that the polar bears futures look bleak as their frozen hunting grounds keep evaporating?"
There was more but you get the gist of it. I fired off my answer immediately:
Dear Jay,

Number one, I work for the government agency that made the decision about the polar bear. The decision embarrasses me. Since the 1960s, biologists who study arctic fauna have periodically met and compiled a synopsis of polar bear populations. Every time they've met, the total number of bears has increased. To go from the fact that you have a healthy population which is increasing, to the idea that climate change is threatening polar bears, takes a leap of faith. It has nothing to do with the state of polar bears.

Number two, certain systems are not subject to analysis by statistical methods. Mathematicians know this but biologists and United Nations bureaucrats are not mathematically educated enough to know this. If you want to read an interesting essay on this, I can provide you with a link. The guy who wrote it, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, refers to Black Swan situations and tells a funny story about turkeys:
"The turkeys had an economist who analyzed statistics and made predictions for the other turkeys. He confidently told them that they had been well fed for 1,001 days and therefore, statistically, it was 99.9% certain that this state of affairs would continue into the foreseeable future. Day 1,002 was Thanksgiving."
There is a pertinent point to that story: the turkey was applying statistics to a situation where statistics do not work. The past is absolutely no guide to a turkey's future. Similary, the past is no guide to an economy's future. More importantly, in the story, if the turkey population had KNOWN they were in such a situation, their decision-making might have improved with regard to their future. So the turkey economist didn't just make a bad prediction, he caused actual harm by spreading a false premise.

Climate is another Black Swan situation. The past is no guide to the future and statistical analysis is mathematically incorrect before it even starts. The fact that the IPCC's main champions, like Michael Mann and James Hansen, are not mathematicians and continually make mathematical mistakes in their statistical analyses is therefore irrelevant (although incredibly irritating).

In simple terms: the periodic crashes in the economy overwhelm the minute statistical differentials in between the crashes; and in climate, the periodic ice ages overwhelm the statistics about temperature in between the ice ages. Mathematically, statistics do not apply and any "trend" you manage to coax out of the numbers is simply a mirage.

In the economy, Nassim Nicholas Taleb claims that U.S. banks lost more money in one month than they had earned in the whole history of their existence. He quotes numerous politicians and economists, including Bernanke the Fed chairman, asserting prior to the economic collapse that, statistically, banks and mortgage loans were safe and dependable. In retrospect, we know that the banks were all turkeys and September was Thanksgiving.

If all this hasn't reassured you that Global Warming is a scam, let me ease your mind by pointing out that we have been setting records for cold all over the west lately, Alaska set cold temperature records all summer long, and the glaciers all over Alaska have already been announced as having increased in mass for 2008, even before October, November, and December are in the books.

There, now you know better than to reply to one of my emails.

(Oh, by the way, the Vikings landed, colonized, and farmed Greenland as well as naming it. They lasted there from the tenth century until the Little Ice Age (approx. 1600-1850) froze them out. Now we may be seeing a return of the weather that existed when they first landed. And hey, does that 1850 date sound familiar? It should. That's the year the IPCC and Global Warmists love to use as the starting date for their models and statistics. It shouldn't be a big surprise to anybody with a lick of common sense that climate models show a warming trend, statistically, when their starting date is the end of an ice age. What else could they show?)

Love, Uncle J.P.

From Reno, Nevada, USA

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