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Plans to tear down old Cole County jail and sheriff's house move forward April 16, 2014

Your Opinion: Newspaper accused of denying evidence

Dear Editor:

Cartoonist Dyke and the News Tribune have joined climate-deniers in touting the premise that our current record cold debunks the scientific community’s universal agreement that our climate is changing and warming. Dyke and the News Tribune are performing critical disservice in fostering this denial of scientific reality.

This scientific nihilism is based upon the laughable concept that because it is snowing and cold in January in the lower 48 there cannot be a case for global warming. I would suggest that Dyke and the editors of the News Tribune study the concept of a statistical anomaly. Essentially, if all the evidence and data supports a premise and an isolated piece of data contradicts the premise; that is a statistical anomaly. And that is the case here.

Dyke and the News Tribune have elevated the fact that this cold wave has broken records dating back 20 years to unwarranted status.

First, this elevation ignores the fact that 10 of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. They are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. Elevating five days of record cold when 10 years of record heat are compacted in this short time frame is logically fallacious.

Additionally, it is important to remember that we are talking about a global data set. Currently above-average temperatures are occurring in much of Eurasia, Africa, Central America, South America, parts of the North Atlantic, the southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean. Record heat right now is occurring in southern Russia, Kazakhstan, southern India, southern Madagascar, parts of the central and Southern Indian Ocean and sections of the Pacific.

Let’s put the concept of statistical anomalies in terms more easily comprehensible. Imagine research of a medication for children with learning deficiencies. In the study 95 percent of the results indicate no positive impact or serious negative results including death. Isolated data however indicates some improvement. In the alternative, an auto model is studied for crash-impact safety. In 95 percent of the tests, the vehicle fails miserably with a high likelihood an occupant will be seriously hurt or fatally injured. In a small percentage the model performs admirably. In tests of a food-additive 95 percent of the tests produce nausea and occasionally death. In some cases the results are more hopeful.

Dyke and the News Tribune encourage you to administer the medication, purchase the vehicle and consume the additive.