My Turn: Hockey stick comparison – Al Gore vs. Ben Bernanke
October 15, 2013
Al Gore made himself a political name, and a personal fortune, by widely disseminating hyperbole on manmade global warming. His famous hockey stick chart depicting exponential growth of global temperatures, directly related to emissions of man-generated gases, has had major political and economic repercussions.
As a firm believer in the scientific method, a former instructor of statistics, and one that has used statistical modeling extensively for military applications in radar design, I approached this topic with healthy skepticism. I went back to the original data samples and evaluated the original mathematical modeling.
Unfortunately, different than the conclusions reached by the International Commission on Climate Change, and in alarming disagreement with the economic impact resulting from the political fallout from this statistical modeling, I believe that politics and money drove desired conclusions not founded in the data.
Given the amount of public opinion that has been persuaded along the lines of global warming created by man's actions, stating a contrary opinion is not done lightly.
However, fundamental flaws in the research, such as establishing a deterministic causal relationship indicating high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere indeed led to higher global temperatures, and not the other way around, was not done. And whereas one would not doubt the irrefutable evidence that global warming is indeed occurring with Arctic ice melt at record highs, determining a causal relationship by man-made evidence being more than a trivial factor has not been established.
Other factors, for example, well known periodic sun activity, appear to be much more significant contributors and well documented in core sample data. And although I am a conservationist, and believe firmly in pursuing clean air and water for our environment and health, the economic impact brought on by EPA and State mandates are direct contributors to our debt issues today. Which brings up our second hockey stick, Ben Bernanke's. As opposed to global warming, the national debt is not based on a politicized statistical model. It is real and increasing exponentially.
The national debt slowly increased up through 2005. Starting in 2006, under Bernanke's lead as Fed Chairman fulfilling the progressive spending surge of Barack Obama and creative "Quantitative Easing" stimulus plan, the national debt has indeed taken on the look of Al Gore's hockey stick.
As indicated above, there is a direct relationship between Al Gore's hockey stick and Ben Bernanke's hockey stick. I finally got what all the hoopla is about. Thanks Al.
Jeff Ridgel is a Truckee resident.
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