Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Comparing numbers, the good and the bad

Two stories crossed the AP wires on Monday dealing with comparing current numbers to past ones, one raising alarms and the other offering a positive spin on a bad story.
First the bad news with the good ramifications.
With the struggling economy, Americans are driving less, especially after getting a taste of $4-a-gallon gasoline. While prices have fallen back to normal levels, motorists are slow to forget, helping drive the American auto industry to the brink of extinction.
But there is good news: deaths on highways are way, way down.
Officials credit less driving along with increased seat belt use, continued crack downs on drunken driving and also on improved auto technology.
I always think of auto crashes, which kill 40,000 a year, or more than 100 a day, when there's a story involving an outrageous death. People want to jump up and change laws, but there is little outrage when thinking of 40,000 people a year dying.
There's also bad news today, on the environment, though those who continue to dismiss global warming will see more evidence in today's snow fall (though some of Michigan's most intense snow and ice events have been in April, perhaps because more rain and storms).
The other news is that the Arctic ice is thinner.
The concern is that if the thinner and new Arctic ice fails to last through the summer, then more of the sun's head will go into the oceans, heating them up further and affecting ocean life (and eventually food sources) and weather patterns.
I guess I hope that a couple strong winters can help keep the ice there, but this one will have to be a wait and see. 
Of course, if the globe warms as fast as some fear, we won't have to worry about car crashes, though I still wear my seat belt.


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