Global Darkening

The Daily Show made great work last week out of our tendency to confuse short-term fluctuations with long-term trends, shining a particularly bright spotlight on the it’s-cold-outside-so-global-warming-isn’t-real crowd. I found the clip so effective, I downloaded it, and tucked it safely away in my vault.

Click through to view embedded content.

BTW: xkcd on the same issue.

BTW: Not for nothing, this is exactly how my mind worked. When I was ten.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school teacher, former graduate student, and current head of teaching at Desmos. More here.


  1. Can we really beat down the “cold snap = no global warming” argument as childish, then immediately turn around and call the “warm trend = global warming” argument enlightened? Isn’t that using the same linear logic? What happened to “weather goes in cycles”? I’m not trying to defend one side or the other. I’m merely pointing out inconsistencies (sorry, Al, gotta borrow your tagline for a sec) when I see them.

    We may be warming, we may be cooling. I personally don’t know. But I am disturbed by how polarizing this topic has become. The media has taken this and turned it against us (on both sides).

  2. There’s snow in Cleveland. Obviously, there’s no such thing as global warming.

    Wait a minute, in July, it will be 95 in Cleveland for 25 straight days. . .

    So, is there global warming?

    I’m so confused.

  3. Dan,
    How do you capture videos not on youtube? I can do that, but I have not been able to capture these videos?

    Thank you for posting it. It will be perfect in AP Stats!

  4. @Dan, You can also get the daily show clips from their website. This particular clip can be found at (you beat me to a post). There is however some questionable content leading up to the clip above. But if you insist on getting or using it legally you can do so from their site.

    IANAL but in the clip that you saved, if you included some commentary relating to the clip, it might be covered under fair use.

    I’ve also used their clips from their site in the past when I covered bias in surveys. Being able to keep a copy is a huge plus. You never know if the Internet will hiccup where you are and who knows how long the clip will be there. For now I make do with the clip from their site.

  5. @A. Mercer, thanks for the link.

    From reading the PDF, it seems in the context of this post the clip falls under fair use. Dan has kept only the sections necessary to illustrate his point. What’s not clear to me is whether the clip itself without an accompanying editorial or lesson would fall under fair use if shared by Dan and downloaded by me.

    I guess what I was thinking is that if Dan added a commentary to the clip, it would be clear what the context is even if I only came across the clip and never visited this blog. Maybe this is not necessary and is just my misconception of what fair use is.