Oh good grief. OK. I’m not a climate scientist. I’m not a statistician. I don’t really want to enter into a wider debate about climate change. I haven’t verified who drew this graph or when, or whether the information on it is correct. I just want to point out that this graph, which appears in the Mail on Sunday today, which is purported to ‘finally show’ that scientists are wrong about global warming, taken on its own terms, makes the following prediction: ‘5% of the time, the black line will fall outside the pink area’. The black line is consistently in the pink area. 100% of the time. The graph says the exact opposite of what the story says it does.
A quick google of the ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ quoted in this story suggests – if the forum, headline and general tone of the article didn’t – that this isn’t simply a case of innocent idiocy.
Here’s the point, though. You can generally prove anything you want with statistics – just add some data or take away some context, or spin the result with some emotional language. Did you know that over 99% of immigrants to the UK have a higher than average number of feet? That’s true. Yesterday, the Nike Air Jordan 13 Retro sold out after just a few hours of release. The headline ‘Are Immigrants Leading to a Shoe Shortage Crisis?’ practically writes itself, doesn’t it?
That graph is meant to be ‘irrefutable’. That’s the best shot. That’s the proton torpedo they think will zoom down the reactor shaft and blow up the whole climate change edifice. It’s an argument presented entirely in their own terms, using only data they presented, framed in language of their choosing. It’s been spun and distorted and shaped as much as they possibly can to get the result they want to get and it still says that the scientists who have consistently and accurately predicted that the world is warming were right. That’s their best shot? It’s rubbish.