Climate craziness of the week: global warming "leads to more violence"

UPDATE: WUWT commenter P Wilson points out one single map that refutes this entire theory, see below the “read more” at the end of the post. – Anthony

To add to the Numberwatch big list of things supposedly caused by global warming, there’s now an oddball “irrefutable” (their words) story circulating around the net since Friday from Craig Anderson, a psychologist from Iowa State university known for video game violence studies, shown at left.

A Google News search reveals a number of news outlets picking this story up. The source for all these stories seems to be this one article in Newswise:

Researchers Present Study on How Global Climate Change Affects Violence

In that article, they cite it as:

Released: 3/19/2010 1:00 PM EDT

Source: Iowa State University

Problem is when you go to Iowa State to look for the source of the press release, it can’t be found. For example look at the Iowa State News site at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/ it is not listed on the page, nor if you look at the release page http://www.news.iastate.edu/releases/ page. Or do a search using their search engine.

On that search I found a vignette done apparently on Feb 26th, but no official Iowa State news release. Here’s the meat of the vignette, which looks like it was written for an internal newsletter:

He found that increases in average annual temperature or global warming, has an increasing effect on murders and assaults in this country, even after controlling for a variety of other factors.

“For every one degree increase in average temperature, we can expect an increase of 4.58 additional murders and assault cases per every 100,000 people,” Anderson said.

“There are obviously other factors involved,” he continued. “I would never claim that temperature alone would be the main factor that causes violent crime to be higher. However, there is now considerable evidence from a variety of sources that suggesting that high temperature is one cause that contributes to violent behavior, including violent criminal activity.”

Note to Anderson: correlation is not causation

Iowa State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences news page also does not list the story about Anderson’s claims on global warming driving increased violence. I did find a mention that Anderson has a paper in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science but the latest 2010 edition is apparently not online.

It appears Anderson may have done his own press release, because I certainly haven’t been able to find any evidence that Iowa State official made any sort of news release of Friday March 19th, as cited by the “ground zero” Newswise story.

It is odd that Iowa State doesn’t have any official release. Maybe something will turn up Monday at the Iowa State News site.

In the meantime, his last offical news release on video games and violence gets a thorough drubbing from Techdirt:

===================================

Long Time Video Game Critic Claims Conclusive Evidence That Violent Video Games Cause Aggression; Conclusive Except That It Isn’t…

from the except-for-the-details dept

excerpt:

So it seems a bit ridiculous for anyone — especially a professor who has been solidly on one side of the debate for many years, to stand up and claim that he has conclusively shown that violent video games make kids more “aggressive” (found via Slashdot). First, note the choice of words: not violent, but aggressive. Iowa State psychology professor Craig Anderson, who has already staked his reputation on saying that violent video games have a negative impact on kids, isn’t about to back down. He claims that he went through 130 studies and concluded that the support is unequivocal:

“We can now say with utmost confidence that regardless of research method — that is experimental, correlational, or longitudinal — and regardless of the cultures tested in this study [East and West], you get the same effects,” said Anderson, who is also director of Iowa State’s Center for the Study of Violence. “And the effects are that exposure to violent video games increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior in both short-term and long-term contexts. Such exposure also increases aggressive thinking and aggressive affect, and decreases prosocial behavior.”

Of course, reality is a bit more fuzzy. The same journal that is publishing Anderson’s new paper is also publishing a commentary from other researchers who disagree and suggest that Anderson has a pretty bad selection bias problem. But the biggest problem — as we noted above, is that all of these “violent video games are bad” studies seem to show incredibly weak effects that don’t appear to be significant in any meaningful way. As the commentary shows:

Psychology, too often, has lost its ability to put the weak (if any) effects found for VVGs on aggression into a proper perspective. In doing so, it does more to misinform than inform public debates on this issue.

Meanwhile, just last year, two Harvard Medical School professors also went through a whole bunch of different studies on violent video games and came to the exact opposite conclusions as Anderson did. It found little actual evidence to support Anderson’s claims, and found significant problems with research suggesting there was a serious link between violent video games and actual violence. Among that report’s findings:

  • In the last 10 years, video games studies have been overwhelmingly popular compared to studies on other media.
  • Less than half of studies (41%) used well validated aggression measures.
  • Poorly standardized and unreliable measures of aggression tended to produce the highest effects, possibly because their unstandardized format allows researchers to pick and choose from a range of possible outcomes.
  • The closer aggression measures got to actual violent behavior, the weaker the effects seen.
  • Experimental studies produced much higher effects than correlational or longitudinal studies. As experimental studies were most likely to use aggression measures of poor quality, this may be the reason why.
  • There was no evidence that video games produce higher effects than other media, despite their interactive nature.
  • Overall, effects were negligible, and we conclude that media violence generally has little demonstrable effect on aggressive behavior.
======================================
Well I’ll give him some credit, in a news release I could find on his video game-violence conclusion, at least he didn’t use the word “robust”. Though when your link between violence and global warming is “irrefutable” why use a lesser word?

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. Dr. Anderson has apparently embraced a whole new type of science called “Human Thermodynamics”. Here’s an encyclopedia cover at the  EoHT Wiki of which he is a member:

There’s even has an equation to quantify the human thermodynamic effect, nicely presented in a non-violent manner. From the EoHT Wiki main page:

Tattoo (or inking) of the Clausius inequality; photo by Marco Fantoni (March, 2008); an example of art thermodynamics. In the photo, showing a hand holding both a new and burnt match, “the hand represents the capacity of the human mind to analyze and understand natural phenomena [such as] the power and imperative of irreversibility.” [3]

He found that increases in average annual temperature or global warming, has an increasing effect on murders and assaults in this country, even after controlling for a variety of other factors.

“For every one degree increase in average temperature, we can expect an increase of 4.58 additional murders and assault cases per every 100,000 people,” Anderson said.

“There are obviously other factors involved,” he continued. “I would never claim that temperature alone would be the main factor that causes violent crime to be higher. However, there is now considerable evidence from a variety of sources that suggesting that high temperature is one cause that contributes to violent behavior, including violent criminal activity.”


UPDATE: WUWT commenter P Wilson shares this map circa 2009 and asks:

What does it show? Rather than Austrialia havin inexorable crime rate, the highest crime rates seem to be in relatively cool countries.

WUWT?

Source: Maps of the World click for original source

Indeed, according to the map, the top ten countries for crime are:

1. Iceland

2. Sweden

3. New Zealand

4. Grenada

5. Norway

6. England and Wales

7. Denmark

8. Finland

9. Scotland

10. Canada

With the exception of Grenada, all are cooler climate countries. So much for Dr. Anderson’s theory of heat in the form of AGW = crime.

Maybe that’s why Iowa State never published a press release, they were just too embarrassed to do so.

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150 thoughts on “Climate craziness of the week: global warming "leads to more violence"

  1. “For every one degree increase in average temperature,”
    Good Lord, how did we ever make it from winter to summer?
    Question, did this become crack pot science before or after Al’s movie?

  2. Okay so one would probably have to read the article to figure out the whole story but in general the connection between temperature and crimes (violent and non-violent) is relatively settled (very old research). Its very common for temperature rise to trigger more aggressive behavior in the animal kingdom as well (anybody with tropical fish can attest to this).
    Mostly for humans this normally revolves around warmer night time temperatures making crimes of opportunity more appealing to those that would commit them.
    Obviously connecting AGW to violent behavior is sketchy at best… but correlating UHI to criminal activity isn’t.

  3. When people are forced into poverty by cap and trade (better known as tax and raid?) regimes I could see how this study might play out to be true, but that has nothing to do with 1 C increases in global average temperatures
    /sarcoff

  4. ““For every one degree increase in average temperature, we can expect an increase of 4.58 additional murders and assault cases per every 100,000 people,” Anderson said.”
    HAHAHAHAHA! That’s science?

  5. Harlem has seen a reduction in violence over the last 20 years because the weather has gotten colder there and their kids aren’t playing Xbox anymore.
    If you disagree with me you’re disagreeing with consensus science.

  6. Anthony – Perhaps it is this paper:
    13th Sydney Symposium of Social Psychology
    15 -18th March, 2010
    SOCIAL CONFLICT AND AGGRESSION
    http://www.sydneysymposium.unsw.edu.au/2010/chapters/chapters.htm
    Craig Anderson (Iowa State University)
    The General Aggression Model (GAM) and three ways that global climate change will likely increase aggression and violence
    http://www.sydneysymposium.unsw.edu.au/2010/chapters/AndersonSSSP2010.pdf
    REPLY: Thanks for that. One still has to wonder though why there’s an attributed but missing press release from Iowa State. If anyone finds one, I’ll post it up. -A

  7. are not most episodes of societal upheaval during times of cooling/famine?
    and
    times of relative health and stability are during warm/well fed climate epochs?

  8. As for gaming, what these ninnies who are against violence in movies and games don’t realise is the very obvious : if you want people to hate violence the best thing to do is expose them to violence until they are either bored or sickened by it. Many peaceful people had strict forceful parents.
    If you hide violence away from an inate carnivore they will fantasise and yearn for it and then act out their fantasies. Many violent people had completely benign childhoods.

  9. I’d say the UN should chuck over a couple mil of US taxpayer money to Prof. Anderson so he can continue in his pathbreaking work. Maybe he could produce a graph showing how, over the past 1,000 years, violent acts remained remarkably stable but then began to rise rapidly in the middle 1900s and how this graph is a mirror image to a graph of CO2 levels. Have at it professor.

  10. I guess all those famine fueled wars during the Little Ice Age don’t count. By this equation how much colder would it have needed to be to have stopped Napoleon from attacking Russia? It was certainly cold enough for most of his men to die while trying to leave Russia.
    What was the temperature when Hitler and Hirohito killed 25 million, the old Soviet Union killed 50 million and Mao some 75 million? Seems to me that there is a lot less killing with the increase in CO2 since 1970.
    So are the drug wars in Mexico really a reaction to heat?
    Did taxpayers pay for this?

  11. Well, I don’t know what it is like in the States, but here in Blighty, the phrase “long, hot summer” is usually associated with some kind of civic unrest. Who wants to protest / demonstrate / brawl in the snow, gale force winds, and driving rain?
    The danger is that people believe that this correlation continues forever. I think perhaps a plateau may be reached at about 25 C. Beyond that, it is just too hot, people are more likely to be snoozing on a sun lounger than rioting in the streets.

  12. Andy Scrase: From the Daily Mash:
    THE COMMUNITIES LIVING IN FEAR OF GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTISTS
    I guess that proves it! Global warming DOES lead to an increase in violence, but not quite the way Dr. Anderson describes it.

  13. Man-made global warming causes Restless Leg Syndrome.
    When I first saw the RLS commercial I thought it was a SNL parody. I still do. Why must we be assaulted with this BS 24/7/365? They are trying my patience.
    PSA: Consumer Reports RLS Drug Ad Remix

  14. Base on this research you must be able to track a steadily decreasing crime rate as you move from the equator toward the poles.
    Do these researchers laugh behind their hands when they apply for funding and then present results that tie everything to AGW? Do they believe it themselves or is it the ‘open sesame’ for funding?
    REPLY: That’s true, the murder rate at 90N is zero. 😉 – Anthony

  15. Presumably the Iowa State Centre for the Study of Violence need to keep finding things that make people more violent (like video games) otherwise there would be no need for a Centre for the Study of Violence and Dr Anderson would be filling potholes for a living. Now waiting for some computer models showing a correlation between use of computer models and increased credultity in scientists.

  16. Irrefutable statistics show that over 85% of all murders take place within 6 days of a new or full moon! These studies are robust. The science is settled. Something must be done. The time for action is here. We must institute a moon tax to pay for moving it into orbit around Al Gore or a similar planet.

  17. Did you misread the study? I skimmed it and what it appears to say is the global warming STUDIES cause viloence. The more AGW studies that come out, the angrier people get. And there’s a positive feedback loop from the number of degrees the average study claims.

  18. “For every one degree increase in average temperature, we can expect an increase of 4.58 additional murders and assault cases per every 100,000 people,” Anderson said.”
    Your grasp of Science and Mathematics is breathtaking and only surpassed by your intuitive ability to press a sequence of calculator buttons to the point when you get bored and hit the equals sign!
    Your logic and phalangic abilities when combined with your titled credentials indicate that your grant applications are frequently successful and inversely proportional to your understanding of common-sense.
    Sir, as much as I admire your chutzpah, I find your intellectual honesty, strangely AWOL.

  19. REPLY: That’s true, the murder rate at 90N is zero. 😉 – Anthony
    You’re wrong. Polar bears kill anything that moves.

  20. Volcano eruptions cause cold, famine, French revolutions, and death.
    Global warming causes heat, famine, irritable bowel syndrome, and death.
    No matter where you look, you’ll find science to prove it.

  21. Marlene Anderson (14:46:47) : “Do these researchers laugh behind their hands when they apply for funding and then present results that tie everything to AGW? Do they believe it themselves or is it the ‘open sesame’ for funding?”
    Marlene, I am not kidding when I tell you that some time in the mid-1980’s a friend who was a graduate research student at Boston University laughed when I asked him about global warming, and said it was the best way to get funding for research projects at BU. That would have been around 1985, give or take a few years.
    I remember it because (a) it is my first recollection of discussing global warming with anyone, and (b) his reaction surprised me.

  22. Mr Nevada (15:15:47)
    given the flat-downward global temperature trend over quite some years, it must something in the water. Actually, its the government propaganda machine and not what they put in the water.
    sad story

  23. “Michael (14:45:51) :
    Man-made global warming causes Restless Leg Syndrome.
    When I first saw the RLS commercial I thought it was a SNL parody. I still do. Why must we be assaulted with this BS 24/7/365? They are trying my patience. ”
    Great, the ad as well as the commentary. BTW sodium chloride helps against muscle cramps and restless legs. But beware, it’s chemically identical to evil salt.

  24. You can fool some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people some of the time. No, wait I meant. You can’t not fool all the people some of the time without sometimes getting mixed up.
    Anyway, forget the words, think about the images. A half-fried and yellow-furred almost humanoid mammalian, claws desperately holding onto a rare ice-floater phantasises about a mythical food-source, tastes like swan, called penguin.
    As much as the WWF pushes its self-seeking, greedy and anti-human-other-than-WWF sponsors as the saviour of the planet, they are to morality as the Nigerian Bank of Trust and Probity are to Free-trade!

  25. So the vulcanos are in principle reducing violence?
    Who could know! Maybe that is what ended the viking era?
    hehe

  26. Thanks to P Wilson (not me) for the map. However as a citizen of New Zealand I would question whether the information re crime rates is correct. While this is not exactly a crime free paradise, to suggest that NZ (or Canada, for that matter) has a higher rate of crime than, say, South Africa or even the USA, flies in the face of all the other evidence I am aware of.
    We typically have about 60 murders a year in NZ, in a population of about 4 million. I’m not sure how many murders the average US city of that population has, but I’m sure its more than that.
    The statistic is for “reported crime”, whatever that means. In New Zealand the arrest statistic are artificially inflated by many thousands of minor Marijuana busts, most of which result in no significant sentence. This doesn’t really make us a hotbed of crime.
    May of the warmer countries would have low “reported” crime, I suspect, because there is no trustworthy authority to report crimes to.

  27. Garry (15:20:25) :
    I fully believe it and it ticks me off just thinking about it. I don’t know whether I’m angry or just discouraged. One has to wonder what scourge might we have conquered if only the research funds were available but weren’t because it was all spent on AGW. Do we blame our dimwit politicians, our complicit media or the corrupt climate science industry?

  28. I’m reminded of a National Post article a few weeks ago. The moderator of the United Church had a tearful meltdown because of her fears for all the millions dying from CAGW and Canada didn’t pony up at Copenhagen. She wrote a tearful letter to the government (and presumably phoned a reporter at the Post) beseeching them to save all these dying people.
    I’m told there’s a lot of people suffering vicarious trauma from the frightening scenarios being described by the IPCC and their cadre of climate scientists. Now add in more of the sterling research in the article above and the faint of heart must be nigh onto throwing themselves off a bridge in despair.

  29. Did you stop for even a second to question the provenance of this map? It is completely insane to think that Iceland has the highest crime rate in the world – laughable beyond belief. If you know anything at all about the world, you know that Scandinavia is extremely safe. I find it appalling that you would promote this obviously nonsensical map as somehow supporting your point of view.

  30. @ Peter Wilson (15:49:15) :
    You are correct to focus on the “reported” crime aspect of the statistics. The notion that this has anything to do with actual crime or violent crime or serious crime is ludicrous. What common elements do
    Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Grenada, Norway, England and Wales, Denmark, Finland, Scotland, and Canada
    share? Deference to authority, trust in civic institutions like the legal system, social attitudes that mix a kind of polite concern for neighbours with a lack of interest in getting directly involved.
    These are societies that are more likely to report crime, not experience it.
    Put it this way. Make a list of countries where if you lost your wallet, you would be most likely to get it back with nothing missing. How strongly would it correlate to the above list?
    Thought so.

  31. Curiosly, in Argentina crime rates and violence have been increasing exponentially during the years temperature averages have been going down steadily.
    One friend of mine moved last week to a new “safer” and “classy” neighbourhood and as he does not a gun he’s been already assaulted in his new home three times in the last four days. My advice was: “Don’t buy a gun: buy three”.
    Perhaps it is because South Americans don’t like cool weather and enjoy hot days when cold and delicious beer can send us to paradise… 🙂
    Did the “scientist” mentioned at the end of the study that “more studies are needed…”, and he volunteered to keep researching –if adequate funding was availabe?

  32. Mark Wagner (14:17:31) :
    are not most episodes of societal upheaval during times of cooling/famine?

    Yes, and as the good times come to an end, the greed goes off the scale, making things even worse.

  33. Question: What bad thing isn’t made worse by global warming? I’ve seen global warming blamed on everything from more acne to World War 4 (apparently, global warming is so bad that it skips World War 3). So it seems like the shorter list to these eco-crazies would be a list of what isn’t made worse by global warming.
    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  34. Steve Goddard (13:46:12) :
    All those murders in Chicago and Detroit must be due to the warm weather.

    That’s the UHI effect. As soon as you enter any large city from the countryside, the murder rate goes up anywhere from 22.90 to 45.80 per 100,000 people. If you have to commute into a city for work, the government should mandate that you be given hazardous duty pay.
    Don’t go to work! Stay at home, you’ll live longer!

  35. To repeat my comment from the ‘CO2 Domes’ item : Is there some kind of competition to see how much AGW believers will stomach without actually employing any intelligent thought?

  36. And if this were true, then it would be possible to find a temperature where violence tapers off. This could be the climatic ‘norm’ for people.

  37. I loved this part of his article …

    Similarly, routine activity theory cannot account for the finding that Major League Baseball pitchers are more likely to hit batters with a pitched ball on hot days than on cool days, even after statistically controlling for the possibility of sweat influencing the pitcher’s control (Reifman, Larrick, & Fein, 1991).

    Statistically controlling for sweat??? How on earth would you do that? Haven’t these guys heard of the smell test, or its cousin, the laugh test? Because that paper doesn’t pass either test.

  38. “Austrialia [sic] havin [sic] inexorable [sic] crime rate …”
    Inexorable: Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer; firm;
    determined; unyielding; unchangeable; inflexible; relentless (as in relentless increase?)
    P Wilson must have been very tired when he posted.

  39. @ Willis Eschenbach (16:55:53) :
    Easy, you sweat onto the baseball, and then crank off a 90mph heater, and if it doesn’t hit where you threw it, then it was sweat, or you were trying to kill someone. Did these guys even consider that most baseball is played in ‘sweating weather’? I have an idea for a study. Me and you. We will prove that warmer temperatures cause people to drive faster, and as proof, we will compare peoples driving in the winter to people’s driving in the summer, and conclude that global warming is causing an increase in speeding tickets.

  40. No warming in NZ last few decades, so no link here. I know quite a few of these nations have high rates of tax relative to income, could that be the link? Taxation and meddling governments?
    I can not believe NZ ranks to high, might be the fact that most of NZ’s population is located in only a handfull of cities which skews the results?

  41. hunter (16:18:21) :
    Actually yes, it is very easy to believe. Per capita crime in Sweden is very high compared to many places for a variety of reasons that it is not relevant to discuss. However it is fair to note that the map leaves out most of the world; parts of Africa wouldn’t have particularly good records and the reported crime rate vs the actual crime rate would probably vary quite a bit, I’m sure. Russia is no doubt much more violent and criminal than western europe and north america, for instance.
    However, that really does prove the thesis doesn’t it? Russia is bloody freezing, on average, yet it has one of the highest per capita crime rates in the world if I remember my figures right.
    Another map linked above posits a crime rate per capita for the United States that doesn’t ring true: the reason it doesn’t ring true is because it’s been assaulted with statistics – the US should be considered per-state rather than as a single gelatinous blob (no sniggering at the back). Again I don’t recall the exact figures, but I believe that Texas, with the highest rate of gun ownership, has the lowest crime rate in the united states, and New York, with relatively strict gun control, has the highest or second highest.
    But again this can all be proven in any direction you like with statistical manipulation. The biggest manipulation is reported vs actual crime. In some places it’s not worth reporting most crime, as the police don’t usually bother to deal with it, which leads to a very low reported crime rate. Sweden is one of those places.
    And Iceland? A law-abiding nation with a very efficient and responsive police force. Reported crime per capita will be higher as a matter of course, because the police actually do something about it.

  42. Dave F (16:53:47) :
    And if this were true, then it would be possible to find a temperature where violence tapers off. This could be the climatic ‘norm’ for people.

    Rates of violence tend to approach zero once you go past plus or minus 100 deg C. There are however factors like time to be considered. For example, as you leave a group of people at 0 deg C with minimal clothing (for modesty only), the rate of violence will also approach zero but there may be spikes until the sample settles down. You may have to wait five or more days before the readings will stop arbitrarily changing.

  43. That mess about temperature and criminality somehow bound is bullshit (of course). However, the map is the same case – It is first time I see Scandinavia, Iceland, New Zealand as top 10 countries with crimes (not crimes, but relevant ranking:
    http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/results/rankings/2009/ ) If the data are not made up completely (I wouldnt be suprised), it says something about quality of police statistics only…
    Dont ruin your posts with such mess…

  44. A quick Google reveales this data on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate which gives a very different crime rate (intentional homicides). This list does seem to relate more to our daily experiences.
    This list (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri_percap-crime-total-crimes-per-capita) provides different data.
    One wonders what data set(s) was used to arrive at their conclusions. In that sense, this story fits well within more regular climate change discussions.

  45. This is silly. These people have NO SHAME and they are nothing more that climate prostitutes, selling themselves to the highest funder.
    Why not look at suicide rates and see if there is correlation between warming and suicides? I bet they won’t find it; perhaps the opposite. What a joke.
    Sorry, I can’t be bothered to find references as I got to go to bed, but I think that some of the highest suicide rates in the world are in the colder countries. Eg Finland, Belarus etc., but I can’t be sure right now.

  46. peterr (16:26:58) :
    @ Peter Wilson (15:49:15) :
    You are correct to focus on the “reported” crime aspect of the statistics. The notion that this has anything to do with actual crime or violent crime or serious crime is ludicrous. What common elements do
    Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Grenada, Norway, England and Wales, Denmark, Finland, Scotland, and Canada share? Deference to authority, trust in civic institutions like the legal system, social attitudes that mix a kind of polite concern for neighbours with a lack of interest in getting directly involved.
    These are societies that are more likely to report crime, not experience it.
    —————
    Last time I looked, the US is south of Canada, and I believe that the legal system is no more respected in one nation than in the other, yet Canada has a higher reported crime rate. What a phenomenally brain-dead study.
    Of course, what these studies ignore are human social factors: Canadian justices are notoriously soft on crime – one of the Toronto terrorists even merited a sentence of just one day on top of time served while awaiting trial. Because we do not have enough prisons, prison sentences are short, and life is cheap in Canada – murder can net you a sentence of as little as two years. Our Youth Criminal Justice Act soft-peddles consequences of even violent crime for young offenders, so with few consequences for crime, there is little incentive to moderate one’s criminal behavior. The theory is that placing offenders in prisons will train them to become more effective, violent criminals. Go figure. Temperatures don’t even enter into the equation: murders happen year-round in Toronto in the club districts.
    Craig Anderson is an argument for academics (especially those in the social ‘sciences’) being more productive if they stopped doing ‘research’ and publication.

  47. latitude (13:44:52) :
    “For every one degree increase in average temperature,”
    Good Lord, how did we ever make it from winter to summer?
    ———–
    Indeed, how did we make it from night to day? The Medieval Warm Period should be known as the Very Violent Warm Period. Forget the Roman Warm Period. :o)

  48. Now wait a second.
    First he says that video games cause more violence.
    Then he says that global warming causes more violence.
    Did he subtract the video game contribution from his data? Has it not increased exponentially in the last 50 years just like global warming?
    ….and back there a few. I see little value in your experiment with people with minimal clothing at 0 degrees. Of far more interest is starting with fully clothed people and raising the temperature slowly to determine if there is a linear relationship with amount of clothing shed. I’ve tried to do this but my obervations only seem to be complete for about half the people….

  49. While I agree that video games don’t cause aggression may I respectfully disagree with Al Gore’s Holy Hologram’s statement that “Many violent people had completely benign childhoods.” If my memory serves me (it doesn’t always) I recall reading that in prison populations 80% of inmates reported being abused as children. Since humans naturally tend to suppress the memories of particularly unpleasant experiences (i.e. victims of particularly brutal crimes oftentimes don’t remember the event), and for survival will unconsciously befriend the aggressor (aggressor identification) I would suggest the real number is virtually 100%. While some abused children may seek not to replicate that behaviour it is a Herculean task since they have no reference point. A child from a kind and considerate home does. That is their world and they will know nothing else.
    And that poses a question for Mr. Jacobson (I will no longer refer to him as Prof). Lots of otherwise decent parents when faced with a stressful situation (such as foreclosure due to job loss) may actually become abusive may they not? So, what are your calculations on the increase in abuse rates should job dislocations and other “wrenching transformations” in society occur due to carbon legislation. What are your calculations on the resultant violence rates? Care to give it a go? Or too much work?

  50. So 20 years of AGW has caused a dramatic ……decrease in crime in America. While Europe has seen a dramatic increase. The American decrease is associated with a very large increase in law enforcement and imprisonment. The European increase is associated with a large decrease in imprisonment and predatory behavior by Muslim immigrants. Neither has to do with the weather.

  51. peterr (16:26:58)
    It is not the case that these are the only examples of civic minded countries, as France and the USA are built on civic identity – England being one of the most surveilled people in the world, outside Russia and China.
    Otherwise, the only criteria which Craig Anderson could possible use are official statistics – which show the 10 leading crime rate nations. The USA or France are not in the top 10, although chilly Scotland is certainly one of the most violent countries in the world.

  52. What constitutes violence in Iowa? Someone doing donuts in the cornfield? Might as well have Eskimos study palm trees.

  53. incidentally since you ask, I always feel safer in Istanbul than in Glasgow for some reason.
    perhaps the correlation is between cool climate and civic mindedness in your books, although you’ll find there are civic manners regardless of temperature. Must say – its a novel causal connection to make.
    DCC (17:16:35)
    inexorable in the sense of unyielding crime rate as related to temperature re: this supposed correlation with temperature. Thanks for pointing it out nonetheless

  54. I skimmed all the comments. Not one person noted that most of the countries in the top ten crime list are some of the most socialist countries on the earth. Coincidence? I think not. It’s my experience when travelling through socialist countries (Wales, England, Norway) that petty crime is rampant. It sort of makes sense since socialism is a form of crime anyway (i.e., steal from the productive to give to the nonproductive).

  55. Jimbo (19:19:44) :
    “Steve Goddard’s comment would appear to falsify this crazy hypothesis / specualation / tom foolery.”
    Well, no, it wouldn’t. Most crime rates, including murder, are a function of age almost more than anything else … crime rates rose with the boomers reaching puberty and declined when they hit maturity. Culture models of crime note that the South and the Southwest, with higher murder and violence rates, were settled by different kinds of people than those that settled the North and Midwest. Anomie theory is supported by higher crime rates in urban areas than rural.
    Let’s try this approach (sometimes referred to as “differential opportunity”)… crime most often occurs in summer rather than winter… when more people are out… hotter weather, more people outside their homes and interacting with more people… more opportunity for fender benders, spilled drinks, misinterpreted looks… or predators doing what predators do.
    This is why psychologists should stay out of criminology. Crime is a SOCIAL phenomenon, not a psychological one.

  56. Again I don’t recall the exact figures, but I believe that Texas, with the highest rate of gun ownership, has the lowest crime rate in the united states, and New York, with relatively strict gun control, has the highest or second highest.
    I like picking cherries for cherry pie. Otherwise it is a bad thing to do. Especially if you aren’t good at distinguishing cherries from poisonous fruit.
    The biggest Texan cities have a very high crime rate. Meanwhile Buffalo, NY has a low one.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate
    Make of it what you will, but the relationship between gun control and crime is close to zero. By city, by state or by country come to that.

  57. Steve Goddard (16:59:06) :
    You will find that this was addressed quite well by Stephen Levitt (best known for his publications and blog called “Freakonomics”). Levitt demonstrated that crime statistics correlated very well with the introduction of abortion legislation in the USA*. I believe there was some debate on his use of statistics in that particular paper, but upon later review the discrepancies did not affect the conclusion.
    In a nutshell crime statistics dropped off in each of the states of the USA according to when the Roe vs. Wade legislation was brought into effect (it is a generationally lagged effect). This is by no means an argument for or against the legislation, but simply pointing out the objective fact that this lagged relationship occurs. So folks, please don’t go O/T and start a flame war on the issue 🙂
    It also begs the question what is going to happen to Australian crime rates in about a decade as a result of the $5,000 baby bonus the previous government introduced – in effect a reverse of the roe vs. Wade legislation, as it increased birth rates. One has to sit back and objectively muse which people would alter their procreative choices based upon a $5,000 government hand out, and then ponder the long-term effects of such a policy. But I digress O/T…
    * http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=174508

  58. Robert E. Phelan (20:19:56) :
    If crime rates are, in fact, rates such as murders per 100,000 population, then they would not necessarily be related to the size of the population, no? Unless one were to argue the fact that increased population densities leads to higher crime rates … hmmm, UHI relates to population density… no, just not going there LOL 😀

  59. Scratch that about Buffalo being low. I sorted badly. Houston still isn’t good though.
    St Louis is surprisingly large. I wouldn’t have picked that one.

  60. Hotter climates foment aggression? How many times have armies perished in large numbers in the bitter cold? Napoleon, Hitler’s Russian voyage? How many times has there been an equivalent in hot regions? Lawrence of Arabia?

  61. The map doesn’t prove anything because it’s talking about crimes *reported*, and not all of those crimes are violent. In many high crime countries, crimes occur but just aren’t reported because the population doesn’t feel like the authorities will do anything about it. If you look at the places where people report the most crime, it has a lot to do with how people view the police in that country.
    Another thing it has to do with is the fact that in many of the Scandinavian countries as well as in the UK, people insure a lot more of their belongings (laptops, cameras, bicycles, etc), much more so than we do in the USA. In order to claim that insurance, you need to report the crime. I’m willing to wager that bicycle theft (usually not a violent crime) probably pushes some of those Scandinavian countries much higher than they normally would be!
    Anyway, regarding the connection to global warming…. not so sure about that one. But crimes reported isn’t such a good statistic, maybe you want to look at violent crime rates, because that’s what the guy’s theory is about.

  62. Bulldust (21:51:09) :
    Yeah, I’ve loaned my copy out, but from memory Levitt titles one of his chapters like “Why drug dealers live with their mothers”.

  63. Mooloo (21:50:06) :
    I seem to recall Michael Moore (now shoot me because this is a dubious reference, as I am the first to admit) saying that Canadian gun ownership per capita is higher than in the USA, but the murder rate is far lower. These would be interesting stats to verify.
    Also interestingly, if morbidly, Australia has the dubious distinction of beating the USA in the number killed by a single gunman in a killing spree, this despite our relatively low gun ownership and murder rates. Go figure…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia)

  64. Bulldust (21:54:56) :
    Unless one were to argue the fact that increased population densities leads to higher crime rates …
    Yeah, Bulldust, in fact they are. Urban crime rates are always higher than rural crime rates.

  65. Geoff Sherrington (21:59:58) :
    I sympathise – my copy of Freakonomics is out on loan and I get the feeling it isn’t coming back. I must stop loaning out my text books. Maybe if I owned a gun the books would come back…

  66. The question is…will Al Gore…blame the crazy antics of a few University of Arkansas students in in erecting [arww bad choice of words] a snow-p****s in a spring snowstorm in the good ole’ south…on Global Warming?
    Probably.
    http://www.uark.edu/home/11136.php
    You have to pan around with the webcam a bit….but it is there. Focus on the center of the pan….and you will find it. Heh you can’t miss it.
    Hilarious! Quick…”before I melt away.” [To borrow words from Frosty the Snowman].
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  67. Bulldust (21:54:56) :
    Sorry, I don’t mean to be either abrupt or cryptic even when in fact I am. You are right about rates, they are generally measured in incidents per thousand or hundred thousand. If you check the FBI’s Unifrom Crime Reports which are available here:
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm
    you’ll see that crime rates differ: the cities have higher rates than rural and suburban areas, blacks and hispanics have higher rates of both crime and victimization than whites, men are both the perpetrators and victims of violent crime more often than women (oddly enough, men murder men far more often than women murder women…. in fact, 90% of the victims of female murderers are men). The vast majority of street crime (crimes counted by the UCR) are committed by young men and the vast majority of these crimes appear to be committed by a fairly small cadre. Population Density does seem to have an effect, but the link to UHI would be spurious at best…

  68. Ando, you do not have the remotest idea what you are writing about. Europe under-reports crime by an incredible factor. In Britain you are likely to be arrested if you report a crime by a Muslim or ‘black’ against you. France no longer keeps statistics on minority versus minority crime. There are many places in Europe that no longer keep statistics on real property crime. In fact trespass has been written off the British books. Norway now has a rape rate many times higher than that of America. So they deal with it by not cataloging it. Sweden has a crime rate in excess of South Africa or Brazil in at least three districts. Please.

  69. Robert E. Phelan (22:20:33) :
    Bulldust (21:54:56) :
    Unless one were to argue the fact that increased population densities leads to higher crime rates …
    Yeah, Bulldust, in fact they are. Urban crime rates are always higher than rural crime rates.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    So this must be as a result of the ebil UHI! (Urban Hate Island?)

  70. So thats what the Hockey stick is for,i get it now.
    You can get a good swing out of a hockey stick.

  71. so there’s a correlation between temperature rise and violent behavour?
    hmmmm,
    Global warming is caused by violence!
    Pass the Nobel please
    /Mango

  72. “davidmhoffer (18:59:03) :
    Now wait a second.
    First he says that video games cause more violence.
    Then he says that global warming causes more violence.
    Did he subtract the video game contribution from his data? Has it not increased exponentially in the last 50 years just like global warming?”
    I think he uses one dataset for two papers; using two different hypothesises. Probably he’ll come up with more.

  73. @Mooloo (21:50:06) :
    As I said: …this can all be proven in any direction you like with statistical manipulation.

  74. I’m sorry, even as a long time reader of this blog who enjoys reading the articles, i can’t take seriously the map that P Wilson has put up as evidence refuting this theory of higher violence in warmer countries etc.
    you only have to start looking at other pieces of crime data that are violent (rather than all crime data), say murder rates instead of total reported crime rates to see that the map is total rubbish.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate)
    While i agree that the theory that global warming causes violence is probably nonsense, using that map, and trying to justify that norway/iceland etc is a more dangerous place than south Africa or iraq, makes this whole site look very amateurish. With your map you are comparing apples with oranges.

  75. ot,
    Saatchi & saatchi founded by Maurice and Charles saatchi is a world class advertising agency, the saatchi brothers now own M&C Saatchi another world class agency.
    Question to Charles Saatchi,
    How do you feel about Global Warming?,
    Answer, Global warming is obvious nonsense but it makes nice people feel good about themselves to do their bit for the planet. It`s vanity of the grotesque kind to believe that mankind and our carbon footprint has more impact of the future of earth than nature, which bends our planet to it`s will, as it sees fit.
    This would be just a harmless fad, exept it is now costing the west trillions of dollers to go greener with the blessing of the caring souls and the Kyoto protocol, while much of the world sill lives in grinding poverty or simply staves to death.
    Dail Mail 21/3/2010.

  76. ” 4.58 additional murders and assault cases ” – This is how the media normally phrase such things but what they mean is 4.48 assault cases & 0.1 murders”. Conflating the 2 & putting murders first is simply scaremongering which is what the media & much of government are there for.
    In America every day thare are 12 million cases of human cannibalism & eating burgers.

  77. Many years ago a type of rotary engine was known as a Lenin Trotsky engine,
    or two cranks per revolution, maybe an update to a Gore Anderson would be
    timely anyone agree??

  78. Neil Craig (04:33:45) :
    ” 4.58 additional murders and assault cases ” – This is how the media normally phrase such things but what they mean is 4.48 assault cases & 0.1 murders”. Conflating the 2 & putting murders first is simply scaremongering which is what the media & much of government are there for.
    ….
    Aggregating perormance measures is very interesting. I have often considered why casualties in battle were always ‘killed and wounded’ when there is a huge distinction. In the British MSM now we rarely get any wounded stats. I believe it’s because the ratio od wounded to dead is much higher than previous wars [body armour, med-evac, toepopper mines etc, small calibre rounds etc]. 1 dead doesn’t sound as bad say as 21 ‘dead and wounded’. Whereas a similar action in WW2 may have had 6 dead so adding in the 15 wounded dilutes the impact of the stats.
    cheers David

  79. “There are obviously other factors involved”
    Yes. Like unemployment and poverty, to name a couple. If we try to stop global warming, based on the the ridiculous notion that it is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, there will be a hell of a lot more of both. So, even if Professor Anderson is correct, it is doubtful that any attempt to stop global warming will lead to a net reduction in violent crime.
    Regards,
    Trevor

  80. Phil B (04:08:47) :
    You’re quite right. The map is nonsense and refutes nothing. The fact that Iceland MAY have the world’s highest crime rate says nothing about crimes of violence. One source here
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita
    ranks Iceland at number 42 for murders, #12 for assaults and #10 for rapes. The United States, which did not make the top ten on Wilson’s map, ranks 24th, 10th and 9th respectively. Wilson’s map compares apples to potatoes.
    There is in fact a correlation between crime and temperature and crime and seasonality that has been the subject of analysis and debate for at least a hundred years. The following link provides a quick summary of the issue as viewed by sociologists and criminologists:
    http://www.odum.unc.edu/odum/content/pdf/Bollen%20Hipp%20Bauer%20Curran%20Bollen%202004%20SocForces.pdf
    Dr. Anderson goes off the rails when he links the issue to Global Warming…. but then, perhaps it just shows that any field can get better funding when it can be linked to global warming.

  81. Well, you know, the Romans were plundering and pillaging everything. Gladiators, Feeding people to Lions, and Orgies everywhere. Maybe the heat made them randy too? Just one problem…. zealots would have to admit the roman period was warmer.

  82. If you told me warmer weather encouraged more people to leave their homes, take vacations, go out to dinner or a movie and that allowed more opportunity for criminals to victimize them… I might buy that premise, up to a point.
    I lived in southern Nevada for a few years and people tended to be less active when it was really hot out.

  83. Here’s the next irrefutable proof about AGW to be discovered :
    Do you know that men fertility has been dropping dramatically over the past 30 years in western countries? that’s right, my boy, from the moment the hockey stick went up. And who’s responsible for most of the current CO2 increase? yes, the Chinese commies! Do you see the pattern? they are threatening the purity of our bodily fluids.
    We must act now… to save the planet, of course. Let’s bomb those commies… they will stricke back and the nuclear winter will ensure cooler temperatures and stop the AGW. Its more efficient and faster than any Al Gore plan!
    Cheers

  84. John Galt (06:18:34) :
    Now, that is as good a summary of Routine Activities Theory as I’ve seen anywhere. Criminology is not rocket science, but then again, I’ve heard rocket science isn’t either.

  85. I just realised what we are looking at here is a paper on Post Normal Science. The facts are not in evidence, but the stakes are high and the matter urgent. If Global Warming doesn’t destroy the ecosystem after all, it will cause rioting and bloody insurrection. Thought the chance that this may happen is small… the matter is urgent, the stakes are high… we must take action.
    My I point out that UNLESS you have a degree in sociology or psychology, there is NO WAY you could get put something like this out in the public domain. It is magic elevated to, and stamped with respectability, by science.
    Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.

  86. P Wilson (15:14:46) :
    “http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-highest-reported-crime-rates.html
    What does it show? Rather than Austrialia havin inexorable crime rate, the highest crime rates seem to be in relatively cool countries.”
    That crime rate map is garbage in that it really doesn’t give a valid picture. It’s probably not a good idea to make a ratio of crime vs. the entire poulation of a nation. It probably needs to be broken down by municipality. The map suggests that that some unpopulated part of Canada if crime ridden while some place like Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (one of the most dangerous places on Earth) is virtually crime free.
    The professors study falls down due to his Whipp and Ward like linear extrapolation of the crime rate vs. temp. There is a point at which the crime rate would plateau and stabilize.

  87. This is chemically pure Astrology: The influence of stars, sun and planets on the EMF and this, in turn, affecting human behaviour.
    Perhaps somobody is thinking in these terms: “Global warming increases violence against global warmers”….In any case, as the Jose Minimum increases global warmers will decrease in numbers.

  88. @ Robert E. Phelan (20:19:56) :
    This is why psychologists should stay out of criminology. Crime is a SOCIAL phenomenon, not a psychological one.
    This is not entirely true. Unbalanced individuals commit crimes because they are in no need of rationalizing their actions. Without the necessity of motive, every incident can turn into a criminal one if the unbalanced would so choose. This is because this person would not, in their mind, be choosing between committing crime and not committing crime. They do not understand the concept of crime, so they are simply making a decision, metaphorically speaking, between the red shoes and the blue shoes. It only makes sense to involve psychologists in this situation. The problem is, it is impossible to tell that you are in this situation until after the crime.

  89. @ Enneagram (07:21:09) :
    Yes, he forgot to correct for the effect of the full moon on human behavior.

  90. More fighting will result from one of two things: not enough food to go around (animals kill when they are hungry and humans are animals at heart); or screwed-up amygdalas.
    Now if there is some proper research showing that amygdala stimulation is the finest temperature sensor yet known to man, it existing within a skull in a homeostatic organism, then I will consider it on its merits.
    Until then: WALOFB.

  91. Garry (14:15:46)
    A suggestion. Anderson is interested in the situation reported of violence in Australia. He has tagged along. It is likely that sociology, criminology, health and law are attracted to climate-change arguments, funding and studies.
    A recent abstract demonstrates similar interest in climate change and mental health studies. Hunter E (2009) ‘Radical hope’ and rain: climate change and the mental health of Indigenous residents of northern Australia’ Australasian Psychiatry, Dec 17(6) pp445-52
    http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10398560903062927
    Two of the three organisers for the conference where Anderson’ paper was delivered have connections to University of New South Wales (UNSW, Sydney, Australia). http://www.sydneysymposium.unsw.edu.au/2010/invitation/invitation.htm
    UNSW researcher, Prof Any Pitman http://www.climate.unsw.edu.au/ was very outspoken during Lord Monckton’ visit to Australia, particularly that the trip had been funded by industry. Note WUWY 9/8/2008 View from AGW from The Australian
    Back to the symposium organisers:
    Professor Arie Kruglanski http://kruglanski.socialpsychology.org/
    University of Maryland (UM) http://www.umd.edu/
    UM has a study ‘Violent Race Crime Gap Narrows – but Persists in US’
    Longitudinal study 1960-1990 on 80 US cities racial homicide arrests/decade ratio. The study does not cite C Anderson as an author.
    Maryland – highest median h/hold income in US, National Institute for Health, biotechnology, agriculture [food production], ports, rail to west, coal, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)/NE states group developing cap n trade, Obama 61.9% vote (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland)
    Professor Jo Forgas – reviewer for 22 journals including Asia-Pacific area
    (?Mead/anthropology/linguistics/communication/IT) http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/jforgas-profile/
    Prof Kip (Kipling) Williams http://williams.socialpsychology.org/
    1995-2004 in Australia inc UNSW 1997-2000
    University of Purdue – aviation and spaceflight, alternative aircraft fuels/aircraft testing (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Purdue)
    Indiana (prior to 1880 NW Territories) steel, pharmaceuticals, coal, agriculture, ports and rail (shipping) observer of Mid-West Greenhouse Gas Accord. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana)
    GHG Accords are managed by the Climate Registry http://www.theclimateregistry.org/
    Likely the social psychologists are of the Herbert Mead school – symbolic interactionists (SI), a sloppy outgrowth from the earlier school of pragmatists who were critical. Which included of culture. The SIs are interpretivists – ‘shared worlds, intersubjectivity and communication’. Criminology has similar divisions in their theoretical bases, hence the directions which policy and funding programs take and the subject of much heated debate in the analysis of crime.
    Professor Kipling is involved with Society of Australiasian Social Psychologists http://www.sasp.org.au/content/blogcategory/1/59
    The summer school is to be held this year in Brisbane, Queensland (Qld), Australia.
    Generally the summer schools are held outside major cities in very nice locations. http://www.sasp.org.au/content/view/33/53/
    Brisbane had (has?) a a number of world leading computer games
    entrepeneurs, biotech, mining, ports, agriculture and large areas of World Heritage listed rainforest and coral reef (Barrier Reef). Recently there has been uproar over the ‘Wild Rivers’ legislation, a deal done between the Greens and the Qld State government. Google ‘Wild Rivers WWF’
    The Australian (national newspaper) has been publishing on the neglect and violence in remote indigenous communities of Australia. The highly urbanised population of Australia had never known the extent of the dreadful situation for many indigenous people in these places. Qld for eg has major reports on violence and incarceration rates within particularly the indigenous population. Previously the argument for horrendous morbidity and mortality (55yrs and <) had centred on colonisation, lack of funding and need for self-determination. Books such as this were written: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AboriginalLB/1983/14.html
    In more recent years there is greater knowledge of what is occurring in these remote places as the media has focussed on the issue, resulting in a national intervention into one area, the Northern Territory. Until these events occurred, the academic publications written by anthropologists and social researchers predominated. These academics had the funding and entry permits to access and study areas, often for years. Telecommunication did disrupt some of this monopoly, but the debate on IT infrastructure has also been a rather contentious and lengthy debate in remote Australia.

  92. The$e crazy Warmi$t$ do have $uch wild imagination$! In Warmland, no $tudy connecting $ome future purported man-cau$ed warming to $ome di$a$ter $cenario $hould be overlooked. They de$erve kudo$ for their ingeniu$ne$$.

  93. 007 (07:33:36),
    They’ve got all the bases covered. From your link:
    “Dr Abdul Latif Mahmod said recently the extreme weather change might affect the life span of trees as a result of lighter or heavier rain.”

  94. Steve Goddard (06:58:25) :
    Steve, if you read the rest of my postings you’ll see that there is nothing in that table that contradicts anything I’ve said. Take a look at another table from the UCR for the same year:
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2008/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_03.html
    Murder rates peak in the 20 – 24 category and decline rapidly thereafter. Murder rates started to climb dramatically in the 1960s when the boomers started to hit their teens and twenties and peaked in the late 70’s. The rates began to decline as the boomers aged out of their peak crime years. This does not mean that there is not a heat/seasonal effect, rather (to borrow a term) the aging of the population has masked whatever effect heat / seasons have. A table showing the distribution of murders by month doesn’t seem to be easily available and if someone were to locate one I’d be grateful. My guess is that it will show a decline in winter months and an increase in summer.
    I really dislike “mad dogs and Englishmen” explanations, however. Routine Activities Theory, a social theory, fits the facts better than do theories suggesting that the heat has some sort of baleful psychological effect. The much lower murder rates in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for example, suggest that heat, by itself, is a very poor predictor of murder.

  95. Dave F (07:33:59) :
    Dave, you are assuming that people who commit crimes are “unbalanced”. In fact, very few are. The “criminals are crazy” approach is just plain unsound.
    I’d like to continue this, but if I don’t pry my fingers from the keyboard there will be a class meeting without its instructor. I should be back on-line after 4:00 EDT.

  96. Iceland, Sweden, highest violent crime rate? Did anyone even proof read? Where in the heck could anyone get such a rediculous idea? Are they claiming these are rather countries with the greatest increase? These countries are in fact some if not most of the world’s lowest crime rates.

  97. Robert E. Phelan
    The much lower murder rates in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for example, suggest that heat, by itself, is a very poor predictor of murder.>>
    Yeah, its a predicter of stonings, beheadings, honor killings (that aren’t prosecuted in many cases) and there is that whole thing before the Saudi courts recently where they decided that husbands have the right to beat their wives, its only a matter of how much. Then there was that Arabic prince FILMED torturing a business accosciate over a deal gone bad and being found innocent. The notion of tying gradual temp increases to violence is ridiculous at best, trying to compare crime rates between different areas that have completely different cultures and legal systems is equally ridiculous. Under Sharia law in some countries a woman is required to present 4 witnesses to prove a rape. Then they brag that they have low incidence of rape.
    C’mon.

  98. That crime rate map is so biased! Canada only has 10% of the population that the US does. Iceland has 1/1000th of the population. So what I conclude is that crime is a constant, divided into the population. The factor that causes crime is something constant and does not scale in proportion to population.
    Also, my University professor argued down that heat=violence. He showed that the number of sporting events in a city positively correlated with violent crime much better than the temperature.

  99. @ Robert E. Phelan (08:06:29) :
    Not at all, I was just saying that it isn’t always a social phenomenon. I have read enough to know that there are many levels that contribute to criminal behavior.
    Most of the time, yes, but there are enough cases of just plain crazy to prevent claiming it is entirely one thing or another. Here is what I said in the “Mean Green” post about criminology:
    “I think that first, we are born with certain tendencies. Some people are genetically inclined to not care, and automatically dehumanize others. Some people are far more altruistic than others. I do not think that these tendencies are strong enough to overcome environmental factors that are extreme in the positive, negative, or neutral sense (the lack of environment actually enhances the original tendency, like allowing kids to act however they wish).
    These people are then placed into their environments, and raised in them. This creates another layer from where we can draw interactional personality. Was this person subject to constant abuse? Excessive affection? Proper balance? Finally, there is the situational determination to make. Given these first two things, how is a certain person and their genetic and environmental background going to react in a given situation?”

  100. We live in a messed up world. It is hard to get research money. If you couple it with some aspect of global warming and attach it to urgency for the melting planet, the odds of grants being funded go up.
    If I do the same study and couple it with minorities, poverty and boys raised in fatherless homes, it is going to be disadvantaged for funding because of 2-3 politically incorrect presuppositions or racism.
    Is the EPA sending us money to study the automobile accident death rate for light weight high gas mileage cars?

  101. There’s a big difference between:
    Violent Tendencies;
    Aggressiveness;
    Crime;
    Murder.
    You could plot/map all of these things and each of them could be at odds with one another.
    I’ve done a bit of research into the crime/murder stats for the UK versed the US (As I’m a Brit by birth, but an American Citizen). One thing to note is that crime against the person is 4 times higher in the UK as the US, but murder rates are 4 times higher in the US than the UK.
    But almost any statistic citing ‘violence’ in general will always be skewed by intangibles: such as the relative ineffectiveness of UK police forces leading to crimes being reported less, leading to statistics of crime built upon surveys (how do people ‘feel’ about crime). Or, the fact that most US states do not disallow personal ownership of firearms.
    If the causation of actual, documented, crimes cannot be established (e.g. is gun ownership in the US a causation of lower crime?) how on earth can you then demonstrate a causation of ‘violent tendencies’ in climate change or violent video games, without simply regurgitating anecdotal evidence?
    Considering this study, I would suggest that we are more sensitive to violent tendencies today than we have been previously. Matters of conflict were often resolved through the parties involved, with no outside influence (meaning the conflict, with aggression involved or not) means that the record of aggression is not made.
    Indeed, I believe we have become hypersensitive to indicators of ‘aggression’, particularly with respect to children and young adults. The political climate has polarized people: when you mix politics with anything, you generate an innate defensive mechanism for people to defend their ideals. Measuring the physiological response you could interpret the results as aggression (eg. a heated argument).

  102. This whole thing is useless. See here for an introduction to the problems with comparing crime/violence/etc statistics.
    Reported crime rates can’t be properly compared between jurisdictions. Period.
    In fact, often they can’t be properly compared within a single jurisdiction.
    Just a few real-world factors to consider:
    – Crime rates are based on resident population. So a popular tourist area will automatically have higher crime because of the visiting population that is not considered.
    – Reported (vs “real”) crime rates vary based on willingness and resources to report. Higher rates may indicate more care and resources devoted to crime reporting, while lower rates may indicate reticence to report what’s happening. Or not.
    – Technology improvements enable better crime reporting. Thus, one would expect higher rates in recent decades. This same factor also affected data about disaster reporting, sufficient to force Al Gore to retract the AGW-disaster link in his presentations.

  103. Jason (08:31:42) :
    That crime rate map is so biased!

    I’m not defending the map, as I usually take such things with a pinch of snuff, but crime rate is usually defined as ‘crime per 100,000’ normalizing the crime being measured, as the map states.
    But, it doesn’t really indicate what a ‘crime’ actually is (perhaps Iceland has a lot of jaywalkers going to jail, or being fined…). It also is an indicator of the effectiveness of crime reporting and not necessarily crimes.
    While I know, from doing my own research, that crime in the US is far lower than people believe, I do think this map pushes the boundary of credibility.

  104. John Galt (06:18:34) :
    I lived in southern Nevada for a few years and people tended to be less active when it was really hot out.

    Even criminals take siestas.
    Not that I’m saying Nevadians (?) are criminals… 😛

  105. I’m glad to see that the reported crime rate map was well criticized. It demonstrates that Climate Skeptics unlike the warmists won’t accept any crap even if it marginally supports the skeptics point. The eco-maniac crowd will uncritically accept any absurdity if it advances their agenda.

  106. Mooloo (21:50:06) :
    I seem to recall Michael Moore (now shoot me because this is a dubious reference, as I am the first to admit) saying that Canadian gun ownership per capita is higher than in the USA, but the murder rate is far lower. These would be interesting stats to verify.

    I couldn’t find anything to verify this as fact when it was pronounced by Moore himself. But even so, it’s ironic that if this statement were true, then it would act against what he was campaigning for. That is it’s Americans which kill one another at a much higher rate than Canadians, irrespective of gun ownership or distribution.
    When you attach an emotion to a cause, you can say or do anything to support that cause and it will be accepted as a reason to further that cause. I thought Gun Ownership was that ‘perfect storm’, but Global Warming/Climate Change is ramping up to push it out from the number one spot.

  107. @ OceanTwo (09:07:13) :
    Don’t make me smack you! 😉
    I agree with most of what you have said. Another poster said @ MrPete (09:14:35) : essentially the same things. Crime statistics is one way to look at why this paper is bunk. Another is the actual reasons people commit crime. Violence is not caused by temperature. Junk science.

  108. The problem here is associating crime with violent behavior.
    A death metal concert can be very violent, but it’s not a crime.
    Likewise, in the USA we pride ourselves to have the finest white-collar criminals in the world, they’re in congress. They’re not very violent people.

  109. Evidently CO2 in the air is associated with SOME psychological changes; look at all the cranks that have appeared out of nowhere ever since people noticed CO2 levels in the air have risen
    I’m confident that the investigator under consideration here was at one time a rational individual; I don’t know what else to suggest

  110. It seems obvious that when it’s cold outside most of us prefer the indoors, particularly at night – probably when most crime would otherwise be taking place. Nobody on the street would seem to indicate not much crime. On the other hand, in the warm months, everybody is out on the streets. There’s gonna be more violence.
    Not to worry. The coming ice age will keep us indoors – at least until we have to get out and compete with the polar bears for food.

  111. Chris, you talk through your bottom. England and Wales are not socialist countries, they are rampant free market capitalist countries. And what petty crime did you see that made Baltimore or south Philly look safe, huh? did somebody cut you up at the traffic lights, or ring your doorbell and run away?
    If you want to look at the effect of socialism on crime rates, go to North Korea. It could be the only socialist country left.

  112. Robert E. Phelan (22:44:25) :
    No offence was ever taken BTW – if anything I was being a tad pedantic about the use of the word rate… I just wanted to make sure there was no confusion. I always assumed you knew what you were talking about.

  113. Robert E. Phelan (07:53:49)
    Henry chance (08:54:23)
    Good points
    Violence/Crime -requires definition please
     Blue collar
     White collar
     Individuals eg homicide, manslaughter
     Groups [victims or perpetrators] eg mass slaughter, genocide
     isms eg racism, genderism, ethnicism
    Data collection agencies and sets:
     Police eg reported offences, successful charges,
     Criminal courts – lists of offences, successful prosecutions
     Community courts (community orders after face-to face victim/perpetrator); local religious/cultural sentencing
     Local NGOs or community groups and media reporting of work thereof
     Statutory and/or regulatory bodies eg Environmental Protection Authorities (EPA), Consumer Complaints Commissions, professional associations, municipal public health (water, sewerage, food preparation/sale and disease) prosecutions etc
     Unreported
    What’s the metadata premise?
     Rule of law
     Respect for individual
     Democratic principles/processes
     Freedom of speech
     Law/Justice and Governance structures inc transparency n accountability with separation of powers
     Citizens regard for above?

  114. “Rupert (14:27:23) :
    I presume that free access to firearms has nothing to do with the murder rate in the US…?”
    I don’t think there is any question that there is a relationship–incidents like the massacre at the Von Maur store (in a gun-free zone) here a few years ago.
    There is at least one case documented where a trained person had a clear (all senses of the word) shot at the killer after the first murder. But was helpless because he was not allowed to carry in the mall.

  115. This is Science???!!!
    I just saw this on Science Daily:
    Bird Bones May Be Hollow, but They Are Also Heavy
    ScienceDaily (Mar. 23, 2010) — For centuries biologists have known that bird bones are hollow, and even elementary school children know that bird skeletons are lightweight to offset the high energy cost of flying. Nevertheless, many people are surprised to learn that bird skeletons do not actually weigh any less than the skeletons of similarly sized mammals. In other words, the skeleton of a two-ounce songbird weighs just as much as the skeleton of a two-ounce rodent.
    It remind me of the old joke: What weighs more a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?
    Is this for real? Or have we gone down the rabbit hole?

  116. I’d guess that I would need to know the volume of air displaced by the bird and the rodent before I could say anything intelligent.
    Seems to me that the bird might have more weight in feathers than the rodent does in fur, for example. How many ounces of water in each?
    I am guessing that the pound of feathers displaces more air than rhw pound of lead does.

  117. Yes, a pound of lead and a pound of feathers both weigh a pound.
    A two ounce bird weighs the same as a two ounce rodent…
    … but the bird could be 3 feet tall and the rodent 2 inches.
    It’s over all density will be different.
    This is the first lesson in any science text book… density…
    How could this even get published?
    Is is me? Am I crazy?

  118. davidmhoffer (08:23:37) :
    Your point is acknowledged, but it also serves to reinforce the point another commenter made that comparisons across jurisdictions are sketchy at best. Different societies define crime differently, even when they use the same names. Methods and mechanisms for reporting are uneven. Here in the U. S., the official crime statistic is the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, which is based on reports from all law-enforcement jurisdictions in the country… except that it covers only eight categories of street crime and not all jurisdictions report. Here in Connecticut, for example, almost half the jurisdictions don’t report, including the city of New Haven. Kind of skews the statistics, but we have to work with the information we have and acknowledge its shortcomings (something Michael Mann and Keith Briffa might want to ponder).
    The point of the thread was that a psychologist specializing in violence linked global warming to a specific increase in criminal acts of violence. That, to put it charitably, is a stretch. Posting a map that “disproves” the good professor is also a stretch. The subject is a great deal more complex and cannot be settled in a few comments, as the length of this comment thread attests. For what it’s worth, and despite your distaste for some of their cultural practices, they do seem to have lower over-all crime rates in Saudi Arabia and Qatar than we do in America.
    Rupert (14:27:23) :
    I presume that free access to firearms has nothing to do with the murder rate in the US…?
    Cross-cultural comparisons, as well as before-after comparisons here in the States suggest not (although, to be fair, there are others that do – the evidence is not conclusive either way and I suspect that many researchers find exactly what they were prepared to find in the first place).

  119. Well just one look at that guy, and you can see you don’t want to turn your back on him.
    And in good old NZ, we are so sick of stupid people, that we just have to go after every one we meet; hence the large number of people who get tossed in the harbour; and we have lots of harbours. That’s where the saying about “Harbouring Criminals” comes from.

  120. He found that increases in average annual temperature or global warming, has an increasing effect on murders and assaults in this country, even after controlling for a variety of other factors.
    I wonder if he controlled for Drug Prohibition?

  121. Rhys Jaggar (07:39:38) :
    CB1 receptors are thought to be the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain.
    From the wiki on CB1
    The amygdala has a particularly high concentration of CB1 receptors.

  122. Veronica (England) (16:20:19) :
    The variant of socialism where the government doesn’t nationalize the means of production but controls it through law and regulation is called fascism.

  123. Veronica (England) (16:20:19) :
    Chris, you talk through your bottom. England and Wales are not socialist countries[….]

    As some coal miners and steel mill workers often wryly observe, “Sure, and the Pope isn’t Catholic.” There was a recent news article someplace, don’t remember where, which asserted Britain’s economy was more socialized by nationalization than some East European nations while they were still under Communist governments controlled by the Soviet Union. Despite the undoing of part of the nationalized economy of Britain, there is no shortage of Brits who are voting with their feet to emigrate to a less socialist nation at the rate of about 3 people per day, and many who are quite vocal about Britain’s status as a so-called Democratic socialist government.

    I have a lot of respect for Bill O’Reilly, but to a Brit who has seen his fair share of socialists and lives in a socialist country run by a self-described socialist party by a self-described socialist prime minister who has taken over for another self-described socialist prime minister, it is puzzling why self-described independents like Mr O’Reilly are doing backflips in an attempt to avoid the obvious fact — President Obama is quite clearly a socialist.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/obamas_socialism.html

    As for the violent crime, there are innumerable sources reporting the consequences of the current state of affairs. One of the really poignant stories was the British family who worked so hard for so many years to save the money needed to restore and remodel their home during the Christmas holidays only to find illegal immigrants illegally squatting in their home upon their return home. Adding insult to injury, the police authorities were unkind and insulting to the family when they complained about the trespassing thieves being illegal immigrants. Refusing to promptly evict the trespassers, the family owning the home were in dire risk of becoming homeless in the streets themselves if the authorities continued to refuse to evict the trespassers.

    LAWLESS BRITAIN TOP OF THE LEAGUE FOR VIOLENT CRIME. Chris Grayling blames Labour; Thursday July 2,2009; By Macer Hall
    YOB-RAVAGED Britain now has a higher violent crime rate than America or any nation in the European Union, official figures revealed last night.
    The UK suffers more than 1.15 million killings, knife attacks, shootings and other assaults every year, an international survey released in Brussels revealed.
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/111305/Lawless-Britain-top-of-the-league-for-violent-crime-/

    Perhaps the BBC is not reporting this news?

  124. That is rather dumb.
    BUT just because people are bieng wierd
    doesnt make climate change fake!
    The problem is that people dont like to think that stuff is thier fault and that it might take something called WORK to make it right again.
    Unfortunatly people will continue bieng stupid untill it actually shows how dire the situation is a.k.a untill its too late.

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