A Spurious Correlation …

Climate changes, there’s no doubt about it. The overall trend since 1659 when the Central England temperature series begins has been upward. Indeed the world is about a degree warmer now than it was 360 years ago. In certain quarters this has caused considerable alarm.

It is worth noting that the world was a lot warmer during the Cretaceous and a lot cooler during the ice ages of the recent geologic past.

Every day there seems to be a new disaster awaiting us because of climate change. Any minute now we will drown and/or fry while having to forgo coffee. In the last couple of weeks it has been the turn of the crocodiles. The problem for them is that the gender of their offspring is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated. Change the world’s temperature and all the baby crocodiles will be female and the species soon extinct.

It has often been the case that data has been tortured until it yields the result desired. The motivation has often been another grant or to fill the coffers of some activist organisation.

Returning to the point, at a certain temperature sweet spot crocodile eggs hatch to be a good mix of boys and girls. At extremes either up or down they tend to be girls.

The first crocodilians appear in the fossil record about 20 million years ago. Modern crocodiles are Eusuchians, a group that appears more recently, about 120 million years ago. This was the Cretaceous. Tropical oceans were about 10°C warmer than they are today. Their descendants survived the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs and three-quarters of the world’s plant and animal species. And the fluctuating cycles of the ice ages.

They have demonstrated a certain resilience but can they survive another Democrat President?

From the website Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science  comes another instance of extreme cruelty to data …

I was looking at the global temperature record and noticed an odd correlation the other day. Basically, I calculated the temperature trend for each presidency and multiplied by the number of years to get a “total temperature change”. If there was more than one president for a given year it was counted for both. I didn’t play around with different statistics to measure the amount of change, including/excluding the “split” years, etc. Maybe other ways of looking at it yield different results, this is just the first thing I did.

It turned out all 8 administrations who oversaw a cooling trend were Republican. There has never been a Democrat president who oversaw a cooling global temperature. Also, the top 6 warming presidencies were all Democrats.

Supported by this set of graphs, unintelligible at this scale so forget reading it on your phone. On a real computer or even a tablet selecting it might enlarge it enough to give you a laugh …


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