An Iain Dale post seeks to show "no evidence of any warming trend" using data from the Met office. The problem is that the methodology has no statistical basis.
With the failure of global leaders to get a legally binding agreement in Copenhagen, you would think that all those engaged in the debate would place a premium on good evidence. Not so Iain Dale.
The prominent Tory blogger posted last night a message from one of his readers, who sought to show “no evidence of any warming trend” using data from the Met office. The only problem is that the methodology has absolutely no statistical basis whatsoever although that didn’t stop Iain Dale in the comments saying:
“As far as I can see Victor has calculated the figures very well. I have now been on the site to check myself. Not sure how a “professional” coudl do it differently to him. But feel free to try!”
Giles Wilkes, a trained economist, has done exactly that on Freethinking Economist. He also puts Dale’s folly in context:
“I haven’t checked out Iain Dale’s CV, but I suspect it does not include a period studying statistics. Because he seems to believe in a recent post that taking one month every ten years from one location in the UK is a sufficient reason to justify statements about the effect of carbon dioxide throughout the entire globe over a 150 year period”
Meanwhile, in a detailed post, Unity on Liberal Conspiracy shows what the real trend in Oxford looks like using the data more accurately:
When Left Foot Forward has got things wrong in the past, we’ve been grown up enough to admit it. But will Iain Dale do the same?
And while pseudo statistics continue to be used to argue against the scientific consensus on climate change, a far better use of all our time would be spent taking action to abate our global emissions – for example, heeding Claire Spencer’s advice and signing a petition to reduce food waste and therefore 10 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissionsLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.