Monday, March 20, 2006

A Conversation with a Seven-Year-Old Cub Scout

While in the car this evening after a den meeting, my second grade Cub Scout noticed that the outside temperature was 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A few minutes into the ride to pick up his older sister at the dance studio, he remarked as the temperature was falling, first to 39 then 38 degrees.
I asked him if such rapid temperature change in a short time meant that it would keep dropping until it got below zero tonight. "Dad, don't be silly," he responded. "The temperature can't keep changing like that!"
A few minutes later, the temperature jumped back up to 39 degrees. So I asked him, "Does this mean the temperature will keep rising now?"
"No way!" he shouted from the back seat.

Why is it that a seven-year-old understands that short term trends cannot be extrapolated to predict long term behavior of a particular measurement, but "most scientists" as portrayed by the media ignore this?

Tags: Kids, Global Warming