Outlets twist study to make wild claim about baseball

April 11, 2023

By Tim Worstall

As everyone knows baseball has been going downhill since Babe Ruth stopped pitching. But now we’ve a new problem, climate change is making home runs easier. If only Babe had been able to be here to hit these days, right?

This is the latest insistence, climate change is going to change baseball. Gizmodo reports:

Climate Change Is Making Baseball Worse

Baseball players are hitting more home runs. Is it sheer talent, or warmer air?

 Also NowThis:

Going, Going, Gone: Study Says Climate Change Juicing Homers

Climate change is making major league sluggers into hotter hitters, sending an extra 50 or so home runs a year over the fences.

By their measure, we must stop having an advanced industrial civilization so that we can eat out peanuts in peace.

But the science itself isn’t very good. Warmer air does mean it’s easier to hit a ball further. But does warmer air inside a stadium to do with climate change? Not so much. We have this thing called the urban heat effect – cities are warmer than the countryside. And we know this is true, we know it so much that the standard temperature measures are adjusted for this. This piece of science doesn’t do that, however. So, we don’t actually know whether this is climate change or bigger cities. This science is, shall we say, less than perfect science when compared with other climate change science.

But what the science does say is that there are many causes of these more homers. Better players, or fitter ones at least, better tactics, and so on. All of which do produce more homers. In fact, the science paper says that only 1% of the increase in home runs might be attributable to climate change.

There are more home runs these days. One percent of them might, maybe, be climate-change-related. So, what do Gizmodo and NowThis run with? Climate change is ruining baseball – rather than being a tiny influence at most.

As to why they run it that way we’ll have to make some assumptions. Ours is that climate change has become the modern religion so much that it’s become the equivalent of making sacrifices to the volcano God when it gets angry. Further, any and every event must be described in terms of climate change in order to keep the story running.

Or, as we might put it, modern journalism mis- and dis- informs by linking absolutely everything to climate change in order to mislead us about the problem.

One of the things that would convince us more here is if people weren’t quite so desperate to attribute absolutely everything to climate change.


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