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back to article Climate change will 'CAUSE huge increase in MURDER, ROBBERY and RAPE'

An "environmental economist" has produced a study in which he claims that climate change this century will "cause" millions of violent crimes in the United States, over and above those that would have happened anyway. Matthew Ranson holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy and Economics and a PhD in Public Policy …

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Difficult to take this serious

I would suggest that

* Increasing disparity of wealth ( Rich get richer, poor get poorer)

* Globalisation

* Overpopulation

* Insatisfaction with Governements.

* Corporate Theft. ( Silverstein cough cough)

Were more more likely to cause Murder and Robbery than that that might arrive from a change in climatic conditions.

( Rape is a subject I won't include as it's probably very, very difficult to determine the reasons but I am not sure that Climatic Conditions are the major factor, ymmv)....

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Meh

Re: Difficult to take this serious

But is it not the case that poor management and implementation of at least the first three items on your list are themselves root causes of the quantifiable anthropogenic input to the greater climate change we are experiencing. I think what the author is pointing to is that the richer, better equipped, minority are likely to fair better when things start getting really tough and the growing number of disenfranchised, less well of folk, will be fighting tooth and nail, *between themselves*, for survival, whilst said minority gaze down upon the unfolding scene from their bomb-proof, glass and steel bunkers. The time for humanity to pull together is now, for the sake of future generations, but when has humanity ever demonstrated it's ability to do that - never. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

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Re: Difficult to take this serious

> I would suggest that (examples)

It's a bit potayto/potahto kind of thing. All your examples and global warming all have overpopulation as ultimate cause.

> Rape is a subject I won't include

I believe very often increases in rape is an artifact of increased reporting, e.g. India is seeing an explosion in reported rape right now not because there are more rapes, but because for the first time women can report rape and reasonably hope that the culprit will get punished.

See also Sweden, with sky-high rape statistics because of a uniquely victim-friendly justice system, and Pakistan, which effectively have no reported rapes because the victim is far more likely to be imprisoned than the culprit.

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Re: Difficult to take this serious

There is no doubt whatsoever that increasing access to education for females in the developing world, giving them a voice in the male-dominated cultural and political landscape, is a 'must-do' with regard to getting the largest, and most vulnerable, populations of the planet to realize their own potential and find a way out of living behind the curve. The same can be said for large parts of the developed world as well.

In fact I am confident that given a chance, educated younger minds in the third world would fair better at realizing how to live sustainably, re-using material and seeing 'waste' as a resource, than many in the developed world - they should do, because not only will they have learned lessons from our throw-away culture, but the poor bastards have got enough of our waste to deal with to boot. They also have greater experience of hardship and making-do to fall back on.

(Slightly OT rant over - "nurse ....")

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Re: Difficult to take this serious

See also Sweden, with sky-high rape statistics because of a uniquely victim-friendly justice system

Not to mention that in Sweeden 'rape' includes situations where the 'victim' consents at the time but later changes their mind. At least that's how I understand it.

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Headmaster

Re: Difficult to take this serious

I go along with the main thrust of your argument, but I feel compelled to correct your misuse of a homonym (in two separate posts!)

It's 'fare better' as in 'farewell', not 'fair better' which suggests an honest gambler. (Fair has never been a verb).

Otherwise, yes, alienation (and therefore crime) amongst the lower classes is exacerbated when the conditions of existence deteriorate. (And regardless of the causes of that deterioration).

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FAIL

Re: Difficult to take this serious

In 1996 didn't Al Gore predict the oceans would rise and flood the major cities by 2010?

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(“Fair” has never been a verb.)

Brennan, I suggest that you check Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 before making that claim.

You are correct on the mistaken homophone, though.

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Re: (“Fair” has never been a verb.)

I suggest that you check Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 before making that claim.

Consulting Shakespeare on grammar is like consulting Wikipedia on science. He made up his own grammar rules much of the time. As a man with an acting degree that includes two semesters of classes dedicated to Shakespeare and over a dozen Shakespearian shows under my belt* I feel I can speak as an authority on that subject.

*Admittedly the classes and the plays were all about one and a half subjective lifetimes ago. Certainly they were two careers and an entire second run through college ago. On a somewhat related note if anyone ever invents a time machine go slap some sense into my 19 year old self for me so he'll pick a realistic major.

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Facepalm

Re: Difficult to take this serious

"greater climate change we are experiencing"

What experiencing? Temperatures haven't gone up in over 10 years.

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Re: (“Fair” has never been a verb.)

sisk, I did not claim that Shakespeare introduced fair as a verb; I simply provided an example of his use of it. The OED shows its first documented source as a verb from c. 1175, and its most recent source was from 1959, each of which stands as a counterexample to Brennan’s claim that it has never been used as a verb.

You’ve piqued my curiosity. Since you’re speaking as an authority on that subject, which grammar rules did Shakespeare make up, in comparison to the grammatical rules of Elizabethan English?

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Re: Difficult to take this serious

>>"I think what the author is pointing to is that the richer, better equipped, minority are likely to fair better when things start getting really tough and the growing number of disenfranchised, less well of folk, will be fighting tooth and nail, *between themselves*, "

That's not at all what the author of the paper is "pointing to". Just read the actual abstract linked in the very article you are replying to. In the entire time it took you to write what you imagined the author was saying, you could have checked. They basically studied crime statistics and correlated them with changes in temperature and found that more of these crimes happen in hot weather than cold. They then concluded that if average temperature rises, so will such crimes.

They included more numbers and statistics in their paper, but that's the basic principle. When did reading go out of fashion and become replaced with trying to sound authoritative?

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Re: Difficult to take this serious

> In 1996 didn't Al Gore predict the oceans would rise and flood the major cities by 2010?

Not as far as I can find.

However, in 2007 he said that according to one study arctic sea-ice could be gone as early as 2014, which currently seems like it might.

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Re: (“Fair” has never been a verb.)

Since you’re speaking as an authority on that subject, which grammar rules did Shakespeare make up, in comparison to the grammatical rules of Elizabethan English?

He basically invented an entire pidgin of Elizabethan English. The differences between what he wrote and the way others spoke and wrote at the time are far too numerous to list.

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Holmes

Re: (“Fair” has never been a verb.)

Consulting Shakespeare on grammar is like consulting Wikipedia on science.

+1 for that

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Re: (“Fair” has never been a verb.)

sisk, the differences are so numerous that none of them can be listed? Thank noun that we have you here as an authority on Shakespeare’s pidgin English.

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Optional

"There is no doubt whatsoever that [...] giving [females] a voice in the male-dominated cultural and political landscape, is a 'must-do' with regard to getting the largest, and most vulnerable, populations of the planet to realize their own potential and find a way out of living behind the curve. "

Ha ha ha, that's a cracker. Every western nation that has been infected with the cancer of feminism is rapidly unravellng as we speak. To think that having more of it will make the world even better despite all evidence to the contrary is just crazy.

You give females a voice and they go straight to voting themselves a big daddy government. In other words the first thing they say is "give me your stuff you beastly male" Then they spit on you.

Stop being a beta Scott and take the red pill, you will be all the better for it.

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Re: Optional

Oh look, another moron who lives on the internet too much and has lost sight of what life is like in the real world.

The tumblrites and the braindead reactionarys (that's you by the way) are the only ones talking about this retarded lop-sided feminism in any serious way, and thank the lord that you're both exteremely marginal parts of society, because otherwise I might have to hear your mindless prattling elsewhere, too.

Why don't you wake up and smell what you're shovelling? Supporting the education and rights of women in countries that routinely brutalize them and refuse them education is being "beta" now?

I think you'll find that being unable to move past your neolithic ideas because you're such a fucking child that you can't handle a different worldview is a bit more beta than sucking it up and admitting there's a clear problem in some parts of the world, and that maybe being a "redpilled" regular of /pol/ and other reactionary, circlejerking sites where you and 50 others can congratulate yourselves on being enlightened isn't representative of whats actually going on outside your basement.

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The global warming catastrophists are truly getting more desperate every day.

It is a sure sign that they are losing the argument.

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Thumb Down

Or is Lewis getting more desperate to prove his view of the argument...?

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He's always been cherry-picking and misrepresenting studies. This study is utterly unimportant but since it agrees with his prejudices he writes a piece on it instead of, say, this.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that a pseudoscientific interpretation of "too hot to handle"?

(Yes this is a slow Monday morning...)

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Is that a pseudoscientific interpretation of "too hot to handle"?

It's a carbon copy.

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Time to get the calculator out

> Between 2010 and 2099, [ a period of 90 years ] climate change will cause an additional ...1.3 million burglaries

And we are told¹ there are 2.2 million burglaries in the USA every year. So climate change will account for an extra 1,300,000 / 90 = 14,400 more per year or a rise of about 0.6%.

First thing: pardon me if I don't get too concerned about this

Second thing: this guy quotes his "results" to 2 significant figures: 1.3million, 22,000 etc. That alone tells me he is quantifying far beyond the accuracy that crime forecasting OR climatology is good for. Whether that is down to cluelessness, an economist's traditional sense of humour, or that he thinks it adds credibility - I couldn't say. But none of those possibilities are true (except maybe the "in joke" about the significant digits).

[1] ref: prweb.com "every 14.4 seconds, a home in the U.S. has been burglarized"

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Re: Time to get the calculator out

> burglarized

Ew. I know you're quoting but that's horrible. What happened to "burgled"?

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@dogged Re: Time to get the calculator out

It's not nice but it's not as bad as being murdererfied.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @dogged Time to get the calculator out

Surely you mean Code 187? MurderDeathKill?

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Headmaster

Re: Time to get the calculator out

@dogged

I used to think "burgled" was correct, too. On investigation it turned out that it's a back-formation based on the incorrect assumption that "burglar" is just a funny way of spelling "burgler".

See http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2011/01/17/entanet_stepney/#c_959179.

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Re: Time to get the calculator out

> What happened to "burgled"?

or the less contentious "robbed"?

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Re: @dogged Time to get the calculator out

Sorry Andrew but a down vote for even mentioning such a 'crap-crap' film even in an oblique way.

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Boffin

Re: Time to get the calculator out

Shirley a much simpler explanation is that the crime rate total figures go up because the population has increased.

Not only will contemporary infants have matured to crime capable ages, but 90 years is 4-5 generations in the socio-economic groupings where these types of crime are more prevalent and more likely to increase instep with hardship.

Just linking the expected rise to climate change probably got the grant which would not have been the case for a report on the expanding population of the criminally inclined.

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Re: Time to get the calculator out

Burgled and robbed are not synonyms, although both involve theft.

Nobody was ever burgled at knifepoint.

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Re: Time to get the calculator out

"... and don't call me Shirley..."

(Airplane)

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Re: Time to get the calculator out

Burglary and Robbery are 2 different offences.

Burglary is the intent to break into a building without consent with the intent of committing a crime inside (including theft).

Robbery requires both theft and a form of violence or threat of violence used to deprive someone of their property.

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WTF?

I know this one.

It's the old CSI thing.

Temperature rises ---> violent crimes rise as people get more short tempered and aggressive.

All temperatures everywhere rising --> Permanent rise in crimes.

Beware simple explanations for complex problems.

I think my icon says it all.

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Re: I know this one.

> It's the old CSI thing.

Yes.

> Beware simple explanations for complex problems.

Yes. And also remember that correlation is the weakest evidence there is.

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Re: I know this one.

"Temperature rises ---> violent crimes rise as people get more short tempered and aggressive."

Only up to a certain temperature (~body temp IIRC) - above that point it falls again as people are too hot to do anything.

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Re: I know this one.

> correlation is the weakest evidence there is.

Not as weak as a total lack of correlation, surely?

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Re: I know this one.

Not wishing to state the sort of obvious, but if it's warmer, won't more people just leave their windows open and then forget they've done so...?

BTW I think the whole global warming thing is bollocks but it tends to get warmer in the summer which is when windows tend to be opened and thieves take advantage.

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Re: I know this one.

> Not as weak as a total lack of correlation, surely?

That's absence of evidence, that dreaded "one time out of 20 the result will be statistically significant because of random chance" territory in which spurious results dwell.

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Re: I know this one.

"Not as weak as a total lack of correlation, surely?"

You have that wrong.

Correlation on its own will often set you off on completely the wrong path. That is often far worse than being left in the same place looking for more proper evidence.

FAs a flippant example, if you look at the cars in the KFC parking lot you will see a lot of real bangers. There is a high correlation (at least in NZ anyway) between eating KFC and having an unroadworthy car.

The immediate evidence suggests that eating fried chicken causes your car to become unroadworthy. We can then jump the gun and start acting on this evidence and end up with crazy govermnent policies (vouchers for tyre discounts with every bucket of chicken).

That is one of the problems with the really fancily names epidemiological studies - they only identify correlation and not causation. Often ideological biases of the researchers then make the leap to suggest causation.

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Given that the causes of crime are so opaque, these are very bold predictions indeed. For example, there is only a very limited understanding for why the crime rate in the western world has fallen since the early to mid nineties.

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causes of crime are so opaque?

Hradly.

if(opportnity(crime) && chanceOfGettingAwayWith(crime)>0.97)

commit(crime);

else

expressInnocenceAndLawAbidingNature(self);

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Facepalm

If crime levels are falling, then it is because Global Warming is actually Global Cooling. Correlation is after all correlation.

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Lead pollution is the cause of quite a lot of crime, and we have the USA to thank for proving this. Lead in petrol (tetra ethyl lead as a fuel enhancer) was phased out by different states of the USA at different times, and at differing rates. Interestingly the rate of reduction of crime in the young male population fairly closely mirrors the decrease in exposure to lead very early in life.

It seems that men are much more sensitive to pollution than are women (or merely lack brain redundancy to cope with minor brain damage) and are also much, much more likely to turn criminal as a result of minor damage caused by pollution. Lead is the chief cause here, as it is a neurotoxin, and the damage seems to happen in the first year or so of life.

Now that we've phased out lead and are getting much, much more savvy about other environmental pollutants such as phthalates and the like, we can expect crime to reduce further. Every improvement has about a fifteen year lag between the improvement and the crime reduction, hence this correlation has hitherto been missed, but it is there and is measurable.

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Anonymous Coward

Over-population increases stress, of course. Fairly sure the only way to counter the obvious consequences of cramming people beyond the critical density would be to tranquillize them.

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Re: causes of crime are so opaque?

Correction:

chanceOfGettingAwayWith(crime) > riskThreshhold(self)

I've known some people for whom riskThreshhold is as low as 0.1 and others where the risk threshold is infinity. Just saying.

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"Lead pollution is the cause of quite a lot of crime, and we have the USA to thank for proving this."

You don't know that and it hasn't been proved.

Claiming correlation is causal with no evidence or pulling numbers out of your arse to make predictions like the subject of this article - don't know which is worse.

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Unhappy

@Dr Dan Holdsworth

" Lead in petrol (tetra ethyl lead as a fuel enhancer) was phased out by different states of the USA at different times, and at differing rates. Interestingly the rate of reduction of crime in the young male population fairly closely mirrors the decrease in exposure to lead very early in life."

Very much in the way that sprinkling pepper on my custard stops the risk finding a live pike in my bowl.

It's worked perfectly so far.

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"Lead pollution is the cause of quite a lot of crime, and we have the USA to thank for proving this."

You don't know that and it hasn't been proved.

Playing devils advocate here.

There is more than a casual relationship between lead levels and violent crime. There is the correlation, which of course is weak, but it becomes much stronger when you pair it with the well known fact that one of the most prominent symptoms of lead poisoning is heightened aggression.

So, basically, you take the well known and documented fact that lead poisoning causes aggression, combine it with a chart that shows a strong correlation between violent crime rates and environmental lead, and you have a pretty strong case, even if it's not rock solid proof.

Correlation may be weak, but it's not something to be dismissed entirely, especially in the presence of other supporting evidence.

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