No cause for alarm – if you cherry pick

This cartoon from The Australian (17 January 2013) seems quite topical (thanks to  No cause for alarm | Kudelka Cartoons).


The issue of global warming and its possible role in the increase in numbers of fires has been debated of late on the internet. President Obama mentioned the problem in his inaugural address and the climate change deniers mobilised to discredit him. They even dragged out their “scientific evidence.”

Cherry pickingFor example, George Wills in a Washington Post opinion piece ( see Recipe for conservative revival) argued that the number of fires has not increased. He said specifically:

“There were a third fewer U.S. wildfires in 2012 than in 2006.”

His link doesn’t seem to go directly to anywhere meaningful – but persistence pays. Search around the site linked to (the National Interagency Fire Center) and you find  the annual data for U.S. acreage burned.

Quark Soup by David Appell plotted the data (see below). As David Appell says:

Notice any trend?

Notice why George Will might have picked 2006 at his year for comparison??


I guess that 2006 has the same mantra status regarding fires in the US as does 1998 for global temperature.

And here’s Christopher Monckton again, saying silly things about 1998.

Christopher Monckton and the Summer of 98

Thanks to New Anthropocene: Christopher Monckton and the Summer of 98

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One response to “No cause for alarm – if you cherry pick

  1. Nice post! I have cherry-picked your “Danger” graphic for my own post:


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