Gaia’s Fever

December 16, 2009

I can’t figure out whether to post this under false analogies, accident, or anthropomorphism, but it certainly falls under at least one (if not all) of those categories. I suspect it loses its intended effect because it is such a stretch to make the comparison. Nevertheless, here it is, allegedly from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division of Sustainable Development (though I can find no link to it on their official website).

Vodpod videos no longer available.


  1. COP15 and AGW are imploding, unraveling like an old sweater.

    The UN can’t manage a press conference

    Oh, and that big red patch of temp anomalies thats been hanging over Russia

    RUSSHadley Center “probably tampered with Russian climate data”

    • Dear Windandsea,

      Why are NASA’s GISStemp, the Hadley Center’s HadCRU, Remote Sensing Systems’ RSS, and the University of Alabama, Huntsville’s UAH temperature data concordant?


      The former use ocean and land measurement stations and the later use satellite measurements. When multiple lines of evidence suggest a common conclusion that is good reason to believe the conclusion. And, that is why your worries about CRU are not terribly important in the larger context.


  2. FYI: At the end of the video, the credits say it was from the Alliance of Small Island States, not the U.N.

    • Good eye, Tom. Seems pretty simplistic and charged for an official UN video.

  3. Funny…just couple of days ago I thought that the next time someone asks me “Why should I care about climate change, if the change in temperature is so small?” I would bring that very same analogy. Just few degrees can make a huge difference.

    • I think it’s okay to make the point that small temperature changes can make a big difference, but that’s different than drawing this analogy as explicitly as they have. Seems to me that they’re saying that the earth is like an organism, or the earth has a fever, or something to that effect. That’s overreaching. The earth will survive a significant amount of global warming. It may look quite different than it does now, but it’s not going to die.

  4. […] this morning about what “works.” He offers this post, in part a response to my earlier Gaia’s Fever post, querying whether the “framing” of the offending video does the trick. (Hah! […]

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