Sunday, January 20, 2013


A fan with a thrilling name writes to John Ransom:
Moonbat Exterminator wrote: JR, your assertion that computing a single number for the average temperature of the planet is mathematically impossible is incorrect. It would in fact be a simple, straightforward calculation. In statistics, it's called the mean of sampling means. The weakness of such a statistic is that the enormous variability in the data far exceeds the variability in that number. Even the 90 % confidence interval would be much larger than the variations in that average, making it useless from a practical standpoint.

Dear Moon,

I think we are talking about two different things, but your post actually proves my point.

I live in Colorado where temperatures can vary quite a bit from place to place, even covering only short distances.

I drove about 5 miles yesterday and experienced a temperature difference of about 7 degrees Fahrenheit. And that’s not because of huge altitude differences.

Unless you can account for those differences everywhere, and map them according to the area occupied for each temperature, which you can’t possibly do, there is no real average temperature for the planet. Not one that has any real significance.

The larger point, which I think we both agree on, is that for purposes of global warming, no actual “average” temperature has been calculated that’s meaningful in the debate.
Even if you DO account for every area, you then have to account for HALF that area. So let's imagine we do that. BUT THEN! Yes, my friends, you have to account for half of that area as well.

And this is why John Ransom knows that trying to order a steak cooked the way you like it is impossible.

Stolen from Courtney Gibbons!


mikey said...

I guess you gotta hand it to people so deeply committed to their specific ideology that they are happy to look like incredibly stupid dummies in order to support it.

It's the same as the economists who happily informed us that lowering tax rates increases revenue, or that the debt will lead to hyperinflation any. day. now...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

yeah! the temperature here varies all DAY! There's no possible way to arrive at an average, or even a mean (whatever that is)!

Temperature goes up, temperature goes down, you can't explain that!

Substance McGravitas said...

Well look, even in a single place, do you take the temperature at 5pm? You do? WELL WHAT ABOUT 5AM SMART GUY?

Smut Clyde said...

your post actually proves my point.

Jonah Goldberg has imitators. Scary, innit.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I knew there was a pair of docs in there somewhere.

Hamish Mack said...

Well maybe there's no temperatures in the dark. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best one.