How To Know A Bogus Statistic

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EYELast week, Bill Gates recommended that over the summer everyone should read the book How To Lie With Statistics. Since that’s a book that I’ve also repeatedly recommended, I thought I give an example of how to use the book effectively.

Earlier today, I ran across an opinion piece using a statistic to suggest that manmade climate change is scientifically controversial. This is a business issue because it will (at the very least) determine government regulation and spending for the decades ahead.

For example, let’s suppose you’re writing a business plan for a solar energy startup. If manmade climate change is real, you should forecast sharp sales growth and government subsidies. If manmade climate change is bullsh*t, not so much.

In the opinion piece, syndicated columnist Star Parker criticizes President Obama for publicly stating the oft-quoted statistic that “97 percent of scientists believe that climate change is real, manmade and dangerous.”

Read more at INC.