21 November 2014

A little patch of denial

The above map (found via Green Eagle; click for bigger version) shows how temperatures so far this year have varied relative to previous years.  As you can see, most of the world was warmer or much warmer than average, and some areas had record-breaking high temperatures.

Given variations of climate, there were also a few small patches that were cooler than average.  Unfortunately, one of those patches covers the eastern (and more densely populated) half of the United States.  Remember this map when some denialist points to conditions within just the US as evidence that global warming is not happening.  They don't seem to realize that the US is only about 2% of total planetary surface area, or that it can't be kept insulated from the effects of what happens to the other 98%.


Blogger Unknown said...

Also note that it generally shows more warming at higher latitudes, just as even the simplest climate models have predicted for the last 40 years.

21 November, 2014 11:02  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...


Do you think this evidence will get through to those who are determined to stay ignorant?

Wait...I think I can answer that.

21 November, 2014 19:43  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Frank: Right -- where unfortunately there aren't a lot of people to see it, but a lot of ice to melt.

Shaw: We can never reach people whose minds are already made up, but there's always a certain number of people in the middle who are undecided or unsure or at least open-minded. Those are the people to work on.

22 November, 2014 08:07  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Unfortunately, the problem lies not so much with individual people as with the hundreds of millions of dollars that the energy industry and allied Conservatives are willing to spend, decade after decade, to sell their lies. Scientists, no matter how right they are, cannot compete in the public arena with lavishly funded propagandists who know no boundaries when it comes to fabricating untruths, engaging in personal attacks and otherwise smearing their opponents. And with the current makeup of the Supreme Court, there is no hope that these liars won't be able to hide behind absurd misinterpretations of the first amendment, in order to keep pumping out their poison.

22 November, 2014 12:57  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Yes, the biggest problem is that there's a torrent of money being spent to spread lies about this subject, because the fossil-fuel industry has such huge profits at stake.

In that sense, the problem is most analogous to the fake research that used to be funded by the tobacco industry to "prove" that smoking wasn't harmful.

But remember that, in the end, they lost too.

22 November, 2014 17:24  
Blogger Woody said...

When I was in the middle, unsure about the science or the quality of the evidence, I could have slid further either way.
But over the space of a couple of years I started exploring skeptical blogs and scientific literature. In this time many great habits developed in me like often taking a different path to reach my conclusions, different from the 'what I feel like' path I had trod before.
An illustrated map much like that was one of the major steps toward my better understanding of what global warming means and why its denial is in error.
We all travel a path to better or worse understanding depending on how we let ourselves learn.
I've gained great habits of learning the difference between good and bad evidence and how directly it relates to the subject I am studying.
The simple understanding of what 'global climate change' means, as opposed to just local weather is something I think could be a very beneficial step towards anyone's conclusion on the subject.
As logical as my points may often be, as scathing my rants and incisive my skeptical points, i'm learning to use my mind better, as may be the case with a lot of the people I call gullible or brainless or wing-nuts or ding-bats.
It may be a common mis-perception about skeptics, that we naturally have a very narrow viewpoint and deny everything. The truth is, as with me, they're getting better at considering evidence and weighing its value in the debate.
I know how to assess a scientific test, but that's not what really makes me a sceptic. Avoiding the bias and logical fallacies that I have and am still learning about, logical errors that I have also been so guilty of in the past, THAT is what makes me a sceptic.

I had to get all of that out of my system so I appreciate your indulgence, another great thing about sceptical blogs !

All the best folks,

27 November, 2014 20:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Woody: I'm glad your quest ended up in the right place -- not a specific truth, but a specific way of finding the truth. The key is not a skeptical stance as such, but a recognition that it's hard evidence, and only hard evidence, that can tell us what the truth is.

28 November, 2014 06:35  

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