Climate Change and Statistical Fallacies
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The paper relates that some say global climate change is a myth, whereas others predict that the climate change will end life as we know it. This author researches studies on this issue and finds that the author or organization representing the material and related statistics will use certain data to prove their argument while ignoring or misrepresenting data to the contrary. The paper argues that researchers need to report all data involved in their research and use absolute, not relative values, while ensuring that the variables represent the true objective of their research. The paper concludes that while climate change is a documented occurrence that quite likely could have major consequences on the earth and mankind, one must be careful not to jump to conclusions when reviewing statistical data. The paper includes two graphs.
From the Paper:"The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is an organization that solicits funds for research in global warming and policy change. The organizations website immediately announces "Climate change: Catastrophe in the making;" it then highlights three statistics. The first is that "159 people were killed by Hurricane Sandy," 650,000 homes were damaged or destroyed" and "8.5 million lost power, some for months" (2013). When doing a general search on the internet for the number of deaths as a result of Hurricane Sandy, numbers between 71 and 285 are reported which is quite a dramatic difference. The EDF does not cite where their data derives from which makes it difficult to determine its accuracy and it is quite likely that the data presented is likely misrepresented for "shock value." Furthermore, the deaths may or may not have been a direct result of the hurricane and this is the same for the damaged homes. The greatest fallacy represented on the homepage of the EDF is that the hurricane which caused these dramatic statistics was the result of global climate change which is a cause/correlation fallacy.
"The second example for review is the state of the Science Fact Sheet (NOAA, 2012) which argues the increased occurrence of Atlantic hurricanes as being a result of climate change. This is a publication of a federal agency which one would expect to have reliable data representations however; even this publication has some discrepancies. Although it definitely provides more existing evidence to back up its claims, there are data sets that are accompanied by phrases such as "have very likely" or "may have," or "is expected to" which takes away from the legitimacy of the claim. Given that agencies such as the NOAA must compete for funding with other government agencies, it is likely that the data is presented in a way that will provide a sense of urgency and immediacy in order to solicit more funding."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Climate change: Catastrophe in the making. Environmental Defense Fund.Retrieved from http://www.edf.org/climate/climate-facts-dangers-and-what-you-can-do-1?s_src=ggad_gw_test2013.06&gclid=CLmdppWMhrkCFZKk4AodcncAXg
- Hybrids better for climate than Leaf, Tesla in most states. Climate Central. Retrieved from http://www.climatecentral.org/news/a-roadmap-to-climate-friendly-cars-2013-16318
- State of the Science Fact Sheet: Tornadoes, Climate Variability, and Climate Change. National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. Retrieved from http://nrc.noaa.gov/sites/nrc/Documents/SoS%20Fact%20Sheets/SoS.Fact.Sheet.Tornadoes.and.Climate_FINALv2_May2013.pdf
- What is the link between hurricanes and global warming? Skeptical Science. Retrieved from http://www.skepticalscience.com/hurricanes-global-warming.htm
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Climate Change and Statistical Fallacies (2013, October 03) Retrieved July 13, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/climate-change-and-statistical-fallacies-153684/
"Climate Change and Statistical Fallacies" 03 October 2013. Web. 13 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/climate-change-and-statistical-fallacies-153684/>