The latest C-Poll is closed. You can read all about it here!

December 28, 2004

The Six Degrees of Global Warming

The trivia game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is based on the assumption that any person who has acted in a movie can be connected to actor Kevin Bacon in a finite number of links:
The concept is simple, but finding the fewest number of links can be difficult. The way you link an actor with Bacon is like so:
  • Pick a film actor, any film actor.
  • Link the actor you've chosen to Bacon via the movies they've shared with other actors until you end up with Kevin Bacon himself.

Here is an example, using Elvis Presley:

  1. Elvis Presley was in Change of Habit (1969) with Edward Asner
  2. Edward Asner was in JFK (1991) with Kevin Bacon

Therefore Elvis Presley has a Bacon number of 2.

The environmentalist Left seems to be playing a variation of this game regarding global warming. Whenever a Bad Thing happens in the world, it's just a matter of time before somebody trots over to the news cameras to announce either that: (a) global warming caused it, or (b) global warming made it worse. All they have to do is come up with a finite series of links between the theoretical effects of global warming and the Bad Thing, and their work is done. (Aside: This is also highly reminiscent of the way Jesse Jackson appears to work himself into every controversy that gets a lot of press coverage)

Our latest example of the Six Degrees game regards the horror that struck southeast Asia this past weekend. The earthquake-generated tsunami that caused such devastation to islands and coastal areas has become another reason to excoriate President Bush for his failure to push ratification of the Kyoto Protocol (the article linked above doesn't actually include this criticism, but you watch -- it's coming). Here are the links, as presented in this Reuters article:
  • Global warming leads to "a creeping rise in sea levels"
  • Higher sea levels made the tsunami worse
Therefore, this natural disaster has a Global Warming (GW) Number of 2. Although players of the Kevin Bacon game can try for either the highest or the lowest Bacon Number, the object of the Global Warming game is always to get the lowest GW Number.

Last summer's deadly hurricane season was also given a GW Number of 2 by MoveOn.org. Actually, they achieved the 2 in two different ways:
  • Global warming "makes sea levels rise"
  • Higher sea levels make the hurricanes worse
  • Global warming leads to warmer surface temperatures on the ocean
  • "Warmer water makes more violent hurricanes"
See how easy it is? With a little thought, anybody can link any natural event to global warming!

Additional games are scheduled throughout the year for more commonplace events like: when the winter is warmer than usual somewhere; when the winter is cooler than usual somewhere; when it snows more than usual somewhere; when it snows less than usual somewhere; when there is a flood somewhere; when there is a drought somewhere; etc. Check your newspaper or favorite news channel for details.

No comments: