Using Statistics to Mislead

Take a look at the National Safety Council’s statistics on your odds of dying.

I’m not even on the “guns” yet. There is a basic flaw with this chart, and that flaw is the assumption that the event that causes your death is random- that is, they are assuming everyone is equally likely to experience one of the events. So looking at “opioid overdose” for example, if you don’t take opioids, your chances of dying of an opioid overdose are exactly zero.

Now that we have exposed the flaw, note that “guns” is the only cause of death that is listed as an object, and not an event or action. You will also note that the math doesn’t work. Firearm assault and accidents aren’t even close to equaling your odds of dying from “guns.” Doing the math, there is a 1.1 percent chance of being killed by “guns,” but your chances of dying from a firearm assault or accident are only 0.049 percent. The other 0.61 percent? That is from suicides. So you cut your chances of being killed by “guns” if you take the simple step of not comitting suicide. We see that on the next line, where you have a 1 percent chance of killing yourself.

Taking other steps, like not being a gang banger, a drug dealer, or a violent criminal likewise reduce your risk of death by “guns,” but we won’t mention that because it doesn’t fit the agenda. This is a great example of how people can be mislead by what appears to be solid facts and mathematics applied in a scientific appearing article, when it is really just hokum that is designed to manipulate the reader.

This Is Stupid

The left is claiming that so much ground water has been pumped out of the Earth, that it is causing the planet’s rotational axis to tilt and is contributing to global warming/climate change. This is absurd, for multiple reasons.

First, the amount of water humans have pumped out is claimed to be 2.15×10^12 tons. The entire planet has a mass of 5.97×10^21 tons. The mass pumped is equal to 0.00000000036% of the mass of the planet, or 3 parts in 10 billion.

However, that mass didn’t simply disappear- the water is still here. In fact, with the exception of a couple of thousand gallons that went into space on spacecraft, man hasn’t removed any water from the planet. That isn’t what the idiots interviewed for CNN had to say:

In 2016, another team of researchers found that drift in Earth’s rotational axis between 2003 and 2015 could be linked to changes in the mass of glaciers and ice sheets, as well as the planet’s reserves of terrestrial liquid water.

In fact, any mass change on Earth, including atmospheric pressure, can affect its axis of rotation, Seo told CNN in an email.

The water that has been pumped out of the ground, the ice sheets, the glaciers, all of that mass is still here. It didn’t disappear.

The redistribution of groundwater tilted Earth’s rotational axis east by more than 31 inches (78.7 centimeters) in just under two decades, according to the models. The most notable driver of long-term variations in the rotational axis was already known to be mantle flow — the movement of molten rock in the layer between Earth’s crust and outer core. The new modeling reveals that groundwater extraction is the second most significant factor, Seo said.

31 inches in 20 years. That works out to 1.55 inches per year, with the circumference around the poles of about 15,800 miles, or just over 1 million billion inches. This means that the “shift” in the rotational axis is one part in a million billion. They use the position of Quasars to measure the position of Earth’s rotational axis. (this paragraph was edited to correct the error you see as a strikethrough)

The current gold standard for measurements of Earth’s rotation vector comes from very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), which involves radio receivers around the world. The receivers use the slight differences in the times at which they detect sudden changes in the microwave emissions from very distant quasars to precisely determine their own positions. This information allows them to monitor small changes in Earth’s orientation with respect to these far-away objects. But it can take days to translate VLBI observations into the final, useful results. A rotation sensor at a single location could provide an independent measurement and could allow the data to be available continuously.

It’s a pretty precise measurement. They claim that they can use that to determine shifts in the rotational axis going back to the 1800’s.

Future models can use observations on Earth’s rotation to illuminate the past, Seo added. “The data is available since the late 19th century,” he said. With that information, scientists can peer back in time and trace changes in planetary systems as the climate warmed over the last 100 years.

Since quasars weren’t discovered until 1960, the means of measuring the rotational axis were limited until that time, and precise measurements of the Earth’s rotational axis were impossible to within 1 part per million, which is the precision needed to detect a 1 inch per year shift. In fact, the first measurement of the change of the rotational axis of the planet wasn’t made until 2011.

This is junk science.

Because F- You, I’m Rich

Bill Gates made some comments on why he will continue using a private jet while demanding that you stop producing so much CO2 by driving to work. His comments boil down to, “Because I’m rich, that’s why, you peons.”

Well, I buy the gold standard of, funding Climeworks, to do direct air capture that far exceeds my family’s carbon footprint and I spend billions of dollars on … climate innovation. So, you know, should I stay at home and not come to Kenya and learn about farming and malaria? I’m comfortable with the idea that, not only am I not part of the problem by paying for the offsets, but also through the billions that my Breakthrough Energy Group is spending, that I’m part of the solution.

It isn’t an either or situation. If he really believes that he is helping, he can still help without flying all over the world in a private jet. Also, we have seen the Climeworks people on this blog before. It’s a bullshit grift that purely exists to take money from gullible people.

This is like most green energy/climate stuff- you can’t get more out of a process than you put into it. These companies are collecting billions, and Bill Gates gets to go on being a hypocritical asshole.

CNN to Black People: You Were Born Stupid and Poor, But It’s White People’s Fault

A recent study found that black children have less grey matter in their brains than white children. They researchers then came to the conclusion that this was the result of the stresses of poverty, drugs, and violence, which was caused by systemic racism. How can you draw that conclusion? It seems to me as if they began with the conclusion, then went looking for the support.

I can think of several alternative conclusions.

  • Cause and effect is reversed. Perhaps it is the lack of grey matter that causes the poverty and violence.
  • Perhaps it is that poverty and violence were caused by something else. Why does it have to be racism, and what supporting evidence do you have?

The study itself said this:

Black children experienced more traumatic events, family conflict, and material hardship on average compared with White children, and their parents or caregivers had lower educational attainment, lower income, and more unemployment compared with those of White children. Black children showed lower amygdala, hippocampus, and PFC gray matter volumes compared with White children. The volumes of the PFC and amygdala, but not the hippocampus, also varied with metrics of childhood adversity, with income being the most common predictor of brain volume differences. Accounting for differences in childhood adversity attenuated the magnitude of some race-related differences in gray matter volume.

OK. So how did you determine cause and effect? Were the black children born with less grey matter than whites? Did the amount of grey matter decline over time? Did you compare black children who were wealthy (say, Jayden Smith or the Obama girls) to white children who were poor, to see if there were correlations there? How about including other races? Asians?

Nope. Instead, the study began with the following assumptions:

Current U.S. Census data show that Black households, on average, have a lower median income, lower educational attainment, and higher rates of unemployment and poverty compared with White households. Moreover, research suggests that Black children are more likely to be exposed to trauma and domestic violence and are more likely to have a parent who died, an incarcerated parent, or divorced or separated parents compared with White children. Additionally, research has shown that Black children live in disproportionately disadvantaged neighborhoods and are more likely than White children to be exposed to neighborhood violence. These racial disparities are not random. Rather, they are deep-rooted structural inequalities that result from a history of disenfranchisement of racially minoritized groups (e.g., slavery, segregation) that reinforce themselves through societal norms and practices (i.e., systemic racism)

(highlighting added)

I was with them on the other evidence. Yes, there is evidence that black children are likely to be poor, have incarcerated parents, and lower intelligence. I agree. What they are essentially saying is that blacks are poor, less intelligent, and more likely to be criminals than are whites, and that there is a biological and physiological basis for this. That’s exactly what I have been saying for years. What I have a problem with is the conclusion that is unsupported by any evidence presented by this so-called study- that it’s white people’s fault.

This seems like junk science with no control group and little in the way of actual, well, science. When I was a teacher, had one of my students turned in an unsupported conclusion like that one, it likely would have received a poor grade.