Leprechauns Cause Global Warming?

IT is always dangerous to use a proxy measure to make assumptions about a relationship.  At popular blog The Blackboard, Zeke has used the Irish population as a proxy for the population of Leprechauns …given that Leprechauns are invisible thus cannot be counted accurately.

“After retrieving the historic population of Ireland from Wikipedia which, despite its obvious pro-AGW bias due to the efforts of that disreputable scallywag William Connelley, has good data on other subjects. I plotted Irish population and GISS temperature data from 1930 to present, and the results were astounding!”

Yes, the chart shows a good correlation between the proxy for the number of Leprechauns and global temperatures.  But hey, correlation is not causation, so maybe Leprechauns don’t cause global warming.


Click on the chart, for a larger view of the relationship.

Picture of the Leprechaun from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprechaun

Story via Ian Beale.

38 Responses to Leprechauns Cause Global Warming?

  1. Luke January 25, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    Hopeless again by the sceptics but also ironic – everyone knows that Leprechauns are all male, immortal and constant in number. So population assumption is incorrect.

    Leprechauns are a good proxy for constant solar while the increase in the Irish population broadly reflects world population growth and the truth of greenhouse gases from greater population and energy use.

    QED !

  2. Dennis Webb January 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    Luke Skywalker,
    Where is your evidence for a constant number of Leprechauns? Your comment “everyone knows” suggests you are yet again appealing to some sort of consenus rather than hard data.

  3. spangled drongo January 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    In spite of what Luke says leprechauns have migrated to all ends of the earth since the great famine and they are even living in my rainforest. Amongst the staghorns.
    I heard one call out today in the rain, “walk to work!” [It may have been a Noisy Pitta.]
    However, I think they are busy sequestering CO2 there as much as possible.

  4. Luke January 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Well Dennis – Leprechauns are all male so surely it’s obvious. There is no such thing as a female leprechaun. So their number, given they can’t reproduce, must be fixed as a universal constant.

  5. Jennifer Marohasy January 25, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    Luke illustrates the dangers of using a proxy!

  6. SJT January 25, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    What a pointless topic, that nevertheless still makes a good point. The correlation between the population of Ireland and AGW. As Anthropogenic CO2 is going to be rougly correlated to population increase, (more people, more CO2), we would expect to see a rise in temperature that correlates to population.

  7. Marcus January 25, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    what a sour, dour man? you are, can’t you at least enjoy a bit of fun?
    As to CO2, it’s rising but where is the corresponding temp. rise?

  8. spangled drongo January 25, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    You’re a genius! CO2 correlates with population!
    The solution is sibyl! Simply no more fornication and/or castration and sterilisation!
    Problem solvered.
    Why didn’t I think of that?

  9. tmtisfree January 25, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    1/ National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974, and titled “Implications of world wide population growth for U.S. security & overseas interests,” says:

    “Dr. Henry Kissinger proposed in his memorandum to the NSC that “depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World.” He quoted reasons of national security, and because `(t)he U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less-developed countries … Wherever a lessening of population can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resources, supplies and to the economic interests of U.S.”
    Kissinger prepared a depopulation manifesto for President Jimmy Carter called ‘Global 2000’ which detailed using food as a weapon to depopulate the third world.

    2/ At the Rio 1992 Earth Summit Conference, where he was the Secretary-General of and where on his instigation the foundations for the Kyoto Protocol were laid, Maurice Strong (Wikipedia lists Strong as one of the main partners in the global warming plot, together with Kofi Annan, Al Gore, George Soros, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jacques Chirac, United Nations, Bildergerg Group, Club of Rome, and ecological movements (Wikipedia, 2008))) stated:
    “We have been the most successful species ever; we are now a species out of control. Population must be stabilized, and rapidly”.

    3/ One of the most chilling admissions of deadly intent came from the lips of the late Jacques Cousteau, the sainted environmental icon. In an interview with the UNESCO Courier for November 1991 the famed oceanographer said:

    “The damage people cause to the planet is a function of demographics — it is equal to the degree of development. One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangaladeshes. The damage is directly linked to consumption. Our society is turning toward more and needless consumption. It is a vicious circle that I compare to cancer….””…This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”

    Nothing new.


  10. Lucia January 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    My understanding is that Leprechaunologists have scoured the ancient pre-Conquest Irish literature written in Celtic Runes. Leprechauns multiply by magic but only the the presence of people of Irish descent. Miticlorians are involved.

  11. hunter January 25, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    I think your small illustration using Leprechauns demonstrates rather nicely how AGW operates.
    We see dependence on consensus assumptions, and others missing the point entirely, but yet exposing a rather dark side of AGW.

  12. Ian Mott January 26, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    Ah, to be sure, to be sure.

    How do you confuse a climate wanker?

    Put three shovels against the wall and tell him to take his pick.

  13. sod January 26, 2009 at 12:32 am #

    climate sceptics at a new low point. pathetic.

  14. J.Hansford. January 26, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    No Luke… Leprechauns are like Dwarves… The women have beards too. 😉

  15. hunter January 26, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    One sure sign of fanaticism is when many of the true believers appear to have received humorectomies, and become humorless, self important prudes, incapable of simple humor.
    The low point of fanaticism is reached when any statement by an opinion leader is true, when they say it, no matter if it contradicts what was said just before, or even plain evidence.

  16. Graeme Bird January 26, 2009 at 2:24 am #

    Even if potato-eaters are to blame still one hopes that the relationship doesn’t hold up since that implies a culling of the Irish population as we are clearly going into cooling. Not warming. Cooling.

  17. Jeremy C January 26, 2009 at 4:46 am #

    I see the problem here.

    Its that there is no accepted definition of ‘Leprechaun’. This is why we have been led into a silly argument on proxies when the argument is just speculative. This is what is called an epistemological breakdown.

    And there are female Leprechauns. They just don’t want to be short, wear bad clothing with beards, have a disagreeable attitude and get a kick out of jumping out at people as they approach footbridges. I have evidence as there is a female Leprechaun serving behind the bar in my pub here in London. She is tall, statuesque and blond. My evidence? She has an Irish accent and using the magic contained in both words and a smile easily deflects the attentions of 20 something males who think they are God’s gift to women and by so doing raises their IQ for the benefit of society.

  18. Boy on a bike January 26, 2009 at 5:45 am #

    The solution is simple – we must run around killing something that we cannot see. If that is the answer, then it should keep the global warming crowd busy for the next 10 years or so.

  19. cohenite January 26, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Leprechauns are parthenogens; hence little will and sod; the humourless strain; NT and luke the ‘funny’ variety; there is also an indirect correlation between AGW and the Austrlian cricket team;


    This graph will need to be updated as the ACT is now losing; oil is cheaper, less is being used, therefore less AGW; cooling ahead.

  20. bazza January 26, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Its the pill, you dill – a perfect fit for the post 1970s explosion. Previous contributors bring to mind the famous lines of WB Yeates:
    ‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.’
    That was perhaps incidentally, perhaps not, in the poem “The Second Coming”.

  21. Jan Pompe January 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Is it possible that there is a causative correlation between Leprechaun population and the consumption of Irish Whiskey?

  22. Michelle January 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Of course! Why didn’t anyone see it before?

    Everyone knows that Leprechauns need rainbows in order to hide their pots of gold. Rainbows are formed from water vapour, the key Greenhouse Gas. Therefore more Leprechauns means more water vapor and more global warming!

    The clue is in the green clothing!

    I love it!

  23. James Mayeau January 27, 2009 at 6:38 am #

    According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Penny Wong, the Minister for Climate Change, plans to spend 10 million AUD (approx. 6,5 million USD) to look at what will happen to human health as temperatures rises due to global warming.

    The leprechaun chart shows that climate change has been very good for Irish health.
    Zeke, you should get over to Sydney and claim some of that money.

  24. NT January 27, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Oh the Irony!
    From people that spend all their time denying that global warming is happening.

    How can Leprechauns make something that apparently isn’t happening happen?

    This is comedy gold!

  25. NT January 27, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Hey Cohenite, get over to the Blackboard (with that naught word-game playing Lucia). DeWitt Payne gave a really good description of the ‘saturation’ of CO2 and why it’s an important ghg:

    “DeWitt Payne (Comment#9489)
    January 26th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    anna v,

    CO2 absorbs in fairly narrow lines at low pressure where Doppler broadening dominates. In the troposphere, though, pressure broadening dominates and the lines have a Lorentz profile and are about 15 times broader than the Doppler width at sea level. And there are lots of lines with very high line strength. The result is that over distances ranging from a few meters or less at sea level to kilometers at high altitude, the lines overlap a lot and transmittance is effectively zero. This then gives the appearance of band rather than line absorption when plotted as percent absorption or transmittance rather than absorbance. The Spectracalc site lets you play with different molecules and conditions for free with some limits (transmittance only and frequency range for any single calculation of 100 cm-1 or less).

    So what would the path length of the CO2 in the atmosphere be at STP? If I did my sums right it’s 30 m or 3,000 cm. Plug that number into the Spectral Calculator for CO2 and you get effectively zero transmittance over the 100 cm-1 central part of the band. The 50% transmittance frequencies are at about 580 and 760 cm-1, very similar to the CO2 emission feature in the spectrum observed at 20 km looking down. That trough in the emission spectrum, btw, has to be made up by emission elsewhere in the spectrum which can only be obtained by an increased surface temperature. And that is why CO2 is an important greenhouse gas even at its relatively low concentration in the atmosphere.”

  26. James Mayeau January 27, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    NT, my barometer says otherwise.

  27. NT January 27, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    You have a talking barometer!?!? WOW!

  28. janama January 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

    The beautiful thing about Leprechauns is that if you don’t believe in them you won’t see them……..just like global warming .

  29. NT January 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Janama, you know that’s quite true.
    A 30C day looks identical to a 38C day… Just like leprechauns, you can’t see temperature rises…

  30. janama January 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    you are kidding NT – if you can’t tell the difference between a 30C day and 38C day you should see your local doctor and have your reality checked.

  31. NT January 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Janama, yes it was a joke. You said we had to “see” Global warming… I was playing on your ‘see’ comment.


  32. janama January 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    Ok – I see. 🙂

  33. NT January 27, 2009 at 5:45 pm #



  34. Louis Hissink January 27, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    “What a pointless topic, that nevertheless still makes a good point. The correlation between the population of Ireland and AGW. As Anthropogenic CO2 is going to be rougly correlated to population increase, (more people, more CO2), we would expect to see a rise in temperature that correlates to population.”

    Sooo, more humans, more CO2 and thus a tipping point.

    Hmmmmm, Miscorrelation here methinks.

    Oh, it’s SJT, sorry 🙂

  35. janama January 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    we are such birdbrains aren’t we……..


  36. Louis Hissink January 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm #


    heh heh, good one. Actually the bird might be more intelligent.

  37. tjs March 18, 2009 at 3:49 am #

    stj – “As Anthropogenic CO2 is going to be rougly correlated to population increase, (more people, more CO2), we would expect to see a rise in temperature that correlates to population.”

    So what’s the equation between Anthro CO2 concentration and temperature? Do tell.

  38. Roger September 25, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    This is not factual data,
    the truth is Global warming took leprechauns out of hidding.

    If you can catch one, you will find they still keepers of earths treasures.

    Global Warming does not exist, leprechauns do…

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