Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Charles Non-science on Climate Change Again

My new buddy Charles at LGF has posted again on climate change. Once again, he takes sides without considering why his side might be dumb. In this instance, he links to a Times article about the latest snow storms back east. Charles writes in this regard:
One of the most ignorant (and often intentionally deceptive) “common sense” talking points promoted by the climate denial industry is that cold weather proves global warming theories are a hoax. Every time there’s a blizzard, this hoary old chestnut is taken out of the freezer, thawed out, and hyped by all the usual suspects, including the Republican Party. And every time they defrost it, it smells worse.
Charles has apparently not noticed how the opposite "common sense" talking points have been dragged out for years by the media every time there's a heat wave somewhere. Now, anecdotal evidence pro or con AGW is not science and the number of scare stories, heat waves, snow storms, etc doesn't affect my opinion on the subject of AGW.

Then Charles trots out the Times story. Here we find:
Brace yourselves now — this may be a case of politicians twisting the facts. There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm. As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter — in December and during the first weekend of February — are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.
Hey Charles, brace your own self now — but that's the same stupid argument that you always rally against in regards to intelligent design / creationism: "Hey, whoa, the odds of that happening are really small, hence..." It's dumb in creation / ID, and it's dumb here.

And if you really want to talk about probability, the probability of any particular thing happening at some time or other that is not the expected outcome in a system with randomly varying aspects is small. But big-whoop, the probability of the exact expected outcome occurring is also quite small. The likelihood of the occurance of an event is pretty weak evidence. So quit being dumb.

UPDATE: I should have thought of this sooner. If one checks the weather forecast at for yesterday in DC, we find that the blizzard conditions are accompanied by daily temperatures ranging from a high of 36 deg F to a low of 21 deg F. The seasonal average temperature this time of year in DC ranges from a high of 45 deg F to a low of 29 deg F. So I'm to understand that global warming caused the below-average temperatures in DC as well as the accompanying snowstorm? I thought the Times article said that colder air was drier air. And we're supposed to believe that the 1.4 deg F change in temperatures in the last 150 years lead to the snowstorm back east, eh?


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