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Ohio State Beats Michigan State Where It Counts: In Buckeyes, For Now

Buckeye nutI’m not talking about basketball. Ohio State beats Michigan State for now in a competition of greater long-term significance than some game over who can put a ball in a hole. Some creative environmentalists are shamelessly exploiting the Ohio-Michigan rivalry to point out that according to gardening experts, it won’t take but a few degrees of warming for the beloved Ohio State Tree, the Buckeye, to travel north to Michigan and out of Ohio. Ohio still has the buckeyes, but that could change. Will Ohio have to take the mantle of the Bluegrass State?

Is the movement of one tree reason enough to shift the basis of our world energy production? Of course not. But really, we’re not just talking about one tree. The tree is an example that hits close to the heart of Central Ohio. Is talking about the Buckeye a smart way to get Ohio State fanatics to think in broader terms about the effect of climate change, to raise the profile of the problem just a little bit more? Definitely.

4 comments to Ohio State Beats Michigan State Where It Counts: In Buckeyes, For Now

  • qs

    What book or movie would you recommend if you wanted to convince someone of global warming?

  • Jim

    I would recommend they stay away from books or movies. The book An Inconvenient Truth, to take one example, has too many dramatic graphs with unlabeled or misleadingly labeled axes. Michael Chrichton’s book on the other side of the debate suffers from even more faults. Once someone’s attention is drawn by popular media, I’d recommend she or he reads scientific reports. It’s my hope they’d be able to to do so. Every college student who graduates without statistical literacy these days has been sold a crummy education; statistical literacy is indispensable for understanding what’s going on in the economy, in science, in politics… and maybe even for understanding what’s going on in the arts.

  • You said “statistical literacy is indispensable.” What book(s) or courses would you recommend to become more statistically literate?

    • Jim

      A good statistical literacy text? Good question; I don’t think it’s the same thing as a good introductory statistics textbook. Understanding Multivariate Research by William Berry and Mitchell Sanders is a pretty good place to start if you’re looking for an inexpensive… HOLY SHIT! $31? OK, buy a used copy. Bayesians and HLM freaks might say this is a hopelessly primitive text, but for 90% of the liberal-arts educated population who don’t want to originate analyses but who do want to figure out how to read a report by an epidemiologist or the Pew Research Center, it’s a good book to read.

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