Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth


with 4 comments

Jon Stewart had a so-so bit on the CRU hack last night, but I was annoyed to see him make the same mistake the right-wingers keep making regarding “hide the decline”: this idea that some sort of global cooling is happening but being masked by data manipulation. (This is a purely Limbaughian fantasy, last seen pouring out of the logorrheic mind of Michael Steele.) The opposite is actually the case: the problem is that post-1960 tree-ring data suggest temperatures that are lower than the real temperatures. The “decline,” that is to say, is in the theoretical temperatures as extrapolated from post-1960 tree-ring data, and not in the temperatures that were actually recorded.

Maybe it’s less funny that way, but Jon really shouldn’t feed the trolls if he can help it.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

4 Responses

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  1. The great divide over AGW is not so much between left and right as between long and short views. Jon Stewart took the short view for an instant payoff (a laugh) just as many other businessmen might snatch a quick profit. Too bad about the long term.

    S. B.

    December 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

  2. Come to think of it, the Left sure turned against biofuels, didn’t they? That was so illogical, so short-sighted, I am still ticked off.

    S. B.

    December 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm

  3. S.B., what do you mean? Most of what I’ve read about biofuels suggests that they’re a very bad idea except in very limited circumstances (Brazil, some recycling). Do you think corn ethanol has a future? I haven’t seen anything suggesting it does.


    December 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm

  4. Biofuels are conceptually sound. In application, results have been mixed. Done right, biofuels work. Done wrong, they don’t. Accepting these limitations, the environmental movement has urged public support for biofuels for over thirty years. Then, I think it was last year, a couple new papers questioned full-cycle carbon accounting methodologies. Good stuff. Worth our attention. Valuable additions to an ongoing dialog–but hardly the stake through biofuel’s heart bloggers made it out to be.

    The public’s not good with nuance. No wonder some atmospheric scientists apparently shy away from total transparency: the crowd’s insatiable hunger for simplification twists even the most serious debates.

    Corn ethanol has no future. It has currency. We’re burning it now.

    It’s internal combustion itself that has no future.

    S. B.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:41 am

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