November 08, 2013
June 30, 2013

# Lessons in basic statistics needed for climate alarmists

Sierra Rayne
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE During the summer of 2012 in the heat of the climate hysteria over the US drought, Seth Borenstein -- apparently the "Associated Press science writer covering astronomy, climate, & disasters" and an instructor at "NYU's DC campus" -- sent out the following tweet: Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE   It read as follows: "Globally, July was 329th straight month hotter than norm. Flip coin for 329 heads in row. Odds it's random: 1 in 1.1 followed by 99 zeros." See any basic statistical problems with analogizing coin flipping to climate patterns? There is a major one: independent vs. dependent events. Let us quote some relevant text from a university website on the topic at hand: "People often misunderstand the notion of independent events. This is a probability term meaning that past events have no influence on future outcomes. For example, when flipping a coin four consecutive times, the probability of getting four heads is: (1/2)(1/2)(1/2)(1/2)=1/16. This is because.... (Read Full Article)