Guns are now the leading cause of death for children in the US?

PXL_20230319_092927490 Another in the Gunz Warz. From the sainted Obama, no less: "We are failing our children. Guns are now the leading cause of death for children in the U.S.". But is it true?

You'd hope it was true. Big O is a high-profile saint, with the best advice available to him, and certainly no fool. And yet, he appears to be wrong. He appears to be so badly wrong that I suspect I've made some obvious mistake; if so, please point it out to me1.

My source is the CDC.

Here's a picture (the one below, not the one to the right...) from the CDC site. As expected, the wrinklies die of disease, but for the moment we don't care about them, we care about the young folk.

As sort-of expected, homicide peaks for late-teens / early adult, presumably amongst young men who make regrettable life choices. If I split by sex, we'd probably se something different for the rather more sensible female types <tries it> Ah yes, the sensible women are more likely to kill themselves: H+S = 27% for 15-24, vs 44% for males.

I don't think switching attention to the 10-14 group would help the argument. I wonder if you adjusted the breakdown, you could get something that looked like Gunz-are-Number-One: for 1-14, UI leads, but contains 27 "firearms"; Suicide (#2) has 189 F; Motor Vehicles leads UI as 294... ah, but if you broke MV down into all its constituents, the leading number would be 87, which is less than F. I think that's cheating, though.

You'll be wondering, of course, if "Unintentional Injury" hides some Gunz Deathz.


But no. UI is mostly Carz, with somewhat oddly "Poisoning" coming a very close second. But that's because P includes Drugz. For 10-14, F-in-UI comes up, but only to 5%.



chart (2)

P et al. point me at Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States in defence of O's claim. For the purposes of a pol, that's good enough: for the single year 2020 (though if I painfully search by year, 2021 looks similar to 2020 at least for X95), O's claim is "true". Although you'll notice that is "children and adolescents", not the "children" that O claimed. That's because rather than the what-looks-like-default age binning, that study uses 1-19.

Apart from the age issue, there's another, which is that is all death-by-gun; in the context of school shootings, that's misleading.

But to return to the age issue: why would you use "children and adolescents", if you mean "children"? The obvious reason is that death-by-violence goes up a lot into the 15-24 age group, and including older folk lets you tap into that.

Can I face quantifying that? Oh go on... and so (from the kindly provided https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10-expanded.html) I managed to drag out that graph (which if I've got it right is for X95 - which is most of the death-by-firearms-violence, but doesn't include suicide I think, for 2018-2021 (blue) and then I updated it to add just 2018-2019 in red; and remembered to multiply those latter by two to make them comparable, since they are numbers-of-the-fallen. Data in disorganised form here). This rather clearly shows why mixing up "children" and "those old enough to go out and get into trouble" isn't a good idea. Unless you have propaganda in mind, obvs (PF notices the same problem but is more forgiving than me). It is also rather clear that 2020-21 are anomalous; or at least, not like 2018-2019. The "obvious" "explanation" for that is Covid, but YMMV.


0. The gravestone is from SEH.

1. There was no shortage of kind volunteers. See the comments. And see my update.


I’m not sure people fully appreciate how dire the US life expectancy / mortality situation has got.

War and subsidies have turbocharged the green transition.

On the Rise of the "Economic Style of Reasoning".


* Hourly modelling of conversion of USA48 to wind/solar, with costing and optimisation - Moyhu.

* The Dominion lawsuit showed the limits of Fox’s influence over its audience


IPCC AR6 SYN goes woo?

stop The just released IPCC AR6 synthesis report seems a bit woo to me; the woke folk have got carried away. I don't think that's a good idea6.

I was going to whinge about António Guterres saying dumb IPCC-related things but I discover that he is indeed just a pol so I think I'll have to learn to ignore him2.

Science of Doom has been looking at the AR6 WG1 report and isn't quite happy3; but I want to look at the synthesis report. And life being short, I'll only read the so-called Summary for Policymakers. Some of it is perfectly unexceptionable4: for example, Human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C above 1850–1900 in 2011–2020. But then it veers off into "unequal historical and ongoing contributions". This is undoubtedly true, but being the bleedin' fuckin' obvious, doesn't belong here. Later on, we are astonished to discover that poor people emit less CO2 than rich people5.

We also have "Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected" which is true, but dull. Being poor makes you vulnerable; part of being rich is not being vulnerable; this is what being rich is all about. It would be nice to see the report endorsing the obvious solution: people become richer. But that piece of the bleedin' obvious is beyond them7.

Not something I'm going to rant about, but something I'm dubious about: Climate change has caused substantial damages, and increasingly irreversible losses, in terrestrial, freshwater, cryospheric, and coastal and open ocean ecosystems. My suspicion is that far far more ecosystem damage is at present done by overfishing, deforestation, farming and the like than is done by GW.

I read that "Increasing weather and climate extreme events have exposed millions of people to acute food insecurity and reduced water security". How many is millions? Let us imagine, seven millions: had they meant tens of millions, they would have said so. So that's 0.1% of the world population: a pretty good result, I think you'll agree. 99.9% have not been exposed climatically to food insecurity. Of course there is no space to say that crap government has exposed rather more to insecurity and worse.

Anyway, meh, it confirms my impression that WG1 is the best part of the IPCC. If you'd like to read someone being nice about Syn instead, big G retwat ZH pointing to CarbonBrief.

We also have "From a physical science perspective, limiting human-caused global warming to a specific level requires...". I think I've said before that I don't like the "a specific level"; I realise that the report is constrained by their policy, but I'd prefer to have them admit that as an explicit constraint: we would have discussed other stuff, but they won't let us. But I'm not surprised they don't get to say that.



* The 1619 Project on Hulu Vindicates Capitalism

Carbon budgets and carbon taxes

* Conservatives Win All the Time: Understanding one of the founding myths of the New Right

* "Climate change is a bit like a policy inkblot on which people map their hopes and values associated with their vision for what a better world would look like... it should not be a surprise that scientific information cannot lead to political consensus" - RP Jr.

* Book Review: Anaximander By Carlo Rovelli; CIP.

Yellen: Sanctions Kill Iranians and Don't Work So Let's Impose More

* But Judith Curry goes too far, IMO.

Prosecuting Donald Trump over Stormy Daniels looks like a mistake. Ref: Orange Man Bad. The problem is that if the crime is trying to overthrow an election, then prosecuting him for mislabelling expenses is wrong. The Rule of Law and the Proliferation of Laws by Pierre Lemieux sounds like it is arguing the reverse, but probably isn't: Trump is certainly wrong to feel some wealth-and-importance-given right not to be arrested,; PL counters with "The danger for the rule of law comes from the proliferation of legal obligations and bans" which is about right: the problem is that Joe Public would get a fine for what Trump is accused of, as many have pointed out; the contorted elevation to a felony is perhaps legally possible but doesn't look like equal justice. Why do Democrats keep helping Trump? continues the Economist, including the regrettable-because-plausible they do want to help him, cos they think he is the most beatable.

* The IPCC Report on the Impacts of Climate Change is Depressing: But not for the reasons you might think; Richard Betts isn't interested in responding... no I'm wrong; he's just a bit slow; see here.

* From the same author: Human Deaths from Hot and Cold Temperatures and Implications for Climate Change.


1. Image in honour of Tom's fine comment.

2. Increasingly I write my posts in arrears, instead of with the white heat of anger burning inside me, which makes this easier. Or you may prefer RP Jr's take.

3. You might prefer RP Jr's take. Although notice that he says "WG1 on extremes was particularly good". More from him: Misinformation in the IPCC.

4. Well, nearly. What are we to make of "unequivocally"? It would be natural to expect this to be part of the "IPCC calibrated language" but it isn't; so it would be better to simply omit the word and say "caused", without qualification. To be fair, WG1 does the same.

5. I scorn, but it is possible to imagine, just as today rich people are on the whole thinner than poor people, a day in which the rich thanks to their rooftop solar and electric cars, emit less than the poor. But we're not there yet.

6. See-also Political endorsement by Nature and trust in scientific expertise during COVID-19.

7. Instead, we discover that maladaption can be cured by long-term planning, which seems unlikely.


Shell rules out more ambitious goal for end-user emissions

PXL_20230319_113549256 Shell rules out more ambitious goal for end-user emissions reports Reuters (arch), and this is sensible on Shell's part. These are non-Shell end-user emissions of course: Shell (SHEL.L) has ruled out setting targets to cut emissions in absolute terms from customers' use of its products, its chair said in a report published on Thursday as the energy company faces increased activist and investor pressure over climate. End-user emissions, referred to as Scope 3, account for about 95% of the energy company's greenhouse gas pollution and some investors have urged Shell to introduce medium-term targets to reduce them in absolute terms.

Shell's business is making and selling things that people want to buy. Making them simultaneously responsible for not-selling those same things is as sensible as putting a heater and an airconn in the same room and letting them fight. The usual idiots aren't happy, of course, which is one way of knowing that the decision makes sense.

If you want less CO2 emissions, tax them more. Trying to micro-manage the entire economy is stupid.


* The Malthusians Are Back: Climate activists who worry that the world has too many people are joining an ugly tradition.


Red team rows over

334109032_742575820756470_7391586374405360439_n Another in the Red Team series, although I seem to have skipped 2020 and 2022; 2021 was Covid. You can have 2022's Mays. This year the Reds weren't troubled by the Minty Blues and all was serene at the top. It's nice to see the strokeman staring at his hands; I thoroughly approve.

I have various vidz which meant I have no good pix; fortunately Giorgio does, and here is one from him.

Thursday was miserably wet, so much so that Friday was cancelled due to high stream; cue much gnashing of teeth on Rowbridge. Saturday went ahead in tolerable weather but the stream still high and the river over the hards, so W/M3 and below didn't row. Jesus are up to three; Clare did well, as did Queens' and Emma; and Red2 and Minty2 both went up, the latter into M1. On the women's side, which I follow with reduced interest, Jesus are now head and Emma two, at the expense of Newnham.