Trick Questions on Climate Change

Blog, Environment, Les Routledge (historic), Uncategorized

The headline reads “Only 2 per cent of Canadians don’t believe in climate change: survey

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technology/Only+cent+Canadians+believe+climate+change+survey/7092844/story.html#ixzz23dPl5UtQ

Now what were the questions?

One asks is climate changing at all?  Well, the answer is that climate has always changed somewhat over time.

Another question asks if human activity is contributing to climate change?

Well the answer to that can be easily observed in urban heat island effects where the temperature in and around cities is higher than rural areas.

Another lesser known regional impact is how forest harvesting and converting land to agricultural use tends to moderate early frosts on a regional basis.  Ask old timers in the Parkland about the climate changes that occurred over the last 100 – 125 years in their region.

So yes, of course human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change.  The unasked questions ares how those partial impacts aggregate up from local and regional to continental and global, how variations in the solar cycle affect energy balances, and how ocean circulation patterns (water-to-water, water-to-air) vary over time.  Indeed, one could even ask if the significant shift towards conservation agriculture and retaining cover on the soil on the Prairies is resulting in a regional cooling effect?

 The nearly hidden qualifier is that this survey uses an online polling methodology that is not representative of the total population.  This technique is subject to selection bias on the part of the participant and can be easily distorted by activists on any side of the questions being asked.

Overall, I wish the media was much more careful about how they report this type of junk political science.