Do “the gays” cause rain?!

This blog post is the fault of Harper Elliot: she suggested I should write something political during a Twitter conversation that was soured by a grown adult throwing a tantrum: the tit; he acted like Nigel Farage at a radio interview and thoroughly embarrassed himself.

So anyway, here is the post. For those that don’t know, the UK – and indeed most of Europe – elects the European Parliament today, and the last few years have seen the rise of UKIP: the UK Independence Party.

UKIP have risen in the past twenty years from a minority party attracting the anti-politics, protest vote to now being a major force in British politics. Their increase in popularity has also sparked much greater investigation into their policies, and far from being just an anti-EU party, their representatives have repeatedly proved to be aggressive, racist, homophobic, xenophobic and a whole host more; they are a despicable bunch that is to tolerance, what relationship counselling was Henry VIII.

However, it was the message from one UKIP counsellor – as half of Southern England was deluged with six months rain inside a few days – that “the gay marriage” caused the rain, which caused an outpouring of uproar. It’s God’s doing, the hapless David Silvester argued, as punishment for the UK’s progressive step towards permitting homosexual marriages.

It’s incredulous, although somewhat entertaining that it’s always the far right that seem to want to link extreme weather events to God’s wrath and the country not submitting to their ideology. If there is a God, and he sent the West Country storms, could it not be punishment for inflicting the Wurzels onto the population? God could be a music fan, and I Am A Cider Drinker is surely worthy divine retribution?!

However, because David Silvester wasn’t the only person associated with UKIP to tout this belief – or indeed the only person in the world – a bit of scientific analysis is in order.

So …

Do gays cause rain?

I feel utterly stupid for writing that headline, but I have approached this in a pseudo-scientific manner and took the rainfall data for 176 countries on the planet from the World Bank site. I then created, for every country, a Homophobic Index that ranged from 0 to 100.

Questions such as, is homosexuality illegal, and what are the punishments if so? Are homosexual same-sex relationships recognised? Are same-sex marriages allowed? Can same-sex couples adopt? Can gays serve in the military? What anti-discrimination laws exist and are there laws permitting transgender status? Wikipedia and the Internet assisted in collating this information, with the legality question influencing the Index score by a factor of 5:2.

Why? It felt right. I said pseudo-scientific didn’t I? This is the subjective element to this post, but there has to be. There are 176 different laws, statuses and nuances and I had to squeeze them into something I can graph, so Brunei and their punishment of stoning to death LGBT people with no rights, got 100 while the liberal progressive New Zealand got zero. And everything in between.

So, if David Silvester is right, then there will be a clear relationship between the rainfall of the country and the Homophobic Index, ie the more scared of the LGBT community the country is, and the more rights they curtail, the less storms and rain will fall.

There will be a clear trend that is unarguable against, surely.

Well … no.

DGCR_01

More a Politician’s lie detector test than a correlation, but just to be sure I calculated the correlation coefficient: this is the number between 1 and -1 that is the strength and direction of a linear relationship between two data sets. Basically, the further away from 0 the number is, the stronger the relationship.

For example, the correlation coefficient between smoking and lung cancer is between 0.7 and 0.9, depending on the study: there is a clear, causal link.

The Correlation Coefficient between Homophobia and Rainfall is 0.004.

Neglible.

Nothing.

Disproven Mr Silvester. Utterly disproven.

But what about looking for other causes of “the rain.” I then plotted the percentage of the country counting Christianity as their religion, against the rainfall recorded in 2011, and the results were astonishing.

DGCR_02

That’s a correlation coefficient of 0.27, which means pseudo-scientifically, church-goers are sixty times more likely to be behind rainfall than the homosexual community.

So, Mr Silvester: stick that up your pipe and smoke it. It’s you. It’s you and your God causing Somerset to be like Atlantis and absolutely nothing to do with “the gays.”

😉

Now, there is a degree of mischievousness, and two bottles of fine Somerset cider about this post, obviously. It’s done with the cheek firmly in the mouth, and I know that while the stats are sound, the premise is bollocks, I know this. But unlike UKIP’s manifesto I’ve gone to some lengths to prove/disprove my claims, irrespective of the suspect methodology; how’s that claim about the EU foisting same-sex marriage onto the UK, Nigel? Or the influx of immigrants?

So anyway, the next time a member of any political party cries into his copy of The Daily Mail – “It’s the gays causing all the rain”- please do prod them here. After all, politics should be based on sound logic and facts rather than emotional appeals about things the ignorant are scared of, or the intolerant can’t abide.

But there is a serious point here too: the LGBT community have all manner of emotional allegations thrown at them from the established church, the political elite and right-wing morons; if, what is likely to be the country’s second largest political party in the European elections, will make and repeat ludicrous allegations then in my opinion, we haven’t made nearly as much progress as we all had hoped.

And as for me, I’m now awaiting a visit from the Police. After all, I committed the cardinal sin of talking about UKIP policy! 😉

If anyone wants a copy of the spreadsheet that I used for shits and giggles, drop me an email! Here’s the full list

Country Name 2011 Rainfall (mm) %age pop. Christian Homophobic Index
Egypt, Arab Rep. 51 18 92
Libya 56 2 92
Saudi Arabia 59 5 100
Qatar 74 13 84
United Arab Emirates 78 9 84
Bahrain 83 9 53
Algeria 89 2 100
Mauritania 92 0 100
Jordan 111 6 47
Kuwait 121 15 84
Oman 125 2 84
Niger 151 5 50
Turkmenistan 161 9 81
Yemen, Rep. 167 0 100
Uzbekistan 206 2 81
Tunisia 207 0 89
Iraq 216 3 53
Djibouti 220 6 50
Cape Verde 228 95 47
Iran, Islamic Rep. 228 0 97
Mongolia 241 2 47
Kazakhstan 250 51 50
Syrian Arab Republic 252 10 84
Mali 282 5 50
Somalia 282 0 100
Namibia 285 90 73
Chad 322 34 50
Afghanistan 327 0 84
Morocco 346 2 89
Eritrea 384 62 81
West Bank and Gaza 402 11 78
Botswana 416 71 70
Sudan 416 10 100
Israel 435 3 25
Azerbaijan 447 5 47
Moldova 450 97 38
Russian Federation 460 76 50
Pakistan 494 1 86
South Africa 495 81 3
Cyprus 498 79 41
Kyrgyz Republic 533 17 50
Australia 534 61 13
Finland 536 81 13
Canada 537 67 3
Malta 560 97 3
Armenia 562 98 50
Hungary 589 82 13
Argentina 591 92 47
Turkey 593 0 50
Poland 600 94 31
Bulgaria 608 84 31
Belarus 618 55 50
Macedonia, FYR 619 65 47
Sweden 624 67 22
Estonia 626 24 31
Kenya 630 85 92
Spain 636 79 0
Romania 637 99 34
Latvia 641 55 31
China 645 5 44
Greece 652 97 34
Lithuania 656 91 38
Zimbabwe 657 85 73
Lebanon 661 39 53
Czech Republic 677 11 31
Senegal 686 7 81
Tajikistan 691 1 50
Germany 700 70 13
Denmark 703 83 25
United States 715 73 19
Burkina Faso 748 23 50
Mexico 752 92 13
Netherlands 778 51 0
Lesotho 788 90 50
Swaziland 788 82 73
Slovak Republic 824 86 34
Italy 832 85 34
Vatican 832 100 47
Gambia, The 836 9 92
Belgium 847 64 53
Ethiopia 848 63 89
Portugal 854 94 6
France 867 63 0
Comoros 900 2 81
Luxembourg 934 70 31
Angola 1010 90 81
Zambia 1020 97 89
Georgia 1026 88 38
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1028 52 41
Antigua and Barbuda 1030 74 92
Mozambique 1032 56 44
Benin 1039 42 50
Korea, South 1054 29 41
Tanzania 1071 62 89
India 1083 2 86
Austria 1110 83 6
Croatia 1113 92 31
Ireland 1118 94 31
Paraguay 1130 96 50
Bolivia 1146 97 41
Nigeria 1150 50 100
Slovenia 1162 79 13
Togo 1168 29 81
Uganda 1180 88 100
Malawi 1181 80 89
Ghana 1187 68 92
Rwanda 1212 93 50
United Kingdom 1220 59 3
Uruguay 1265 58 0
Burundi 1274 75 81
Korea, North 1274 4 47
Bahamas, The 1292 96 47
Cuba 1335 85 41
Central African Republic 1343 80 50
Cote d’Ivoire 1348 32 50
Dominican Republic 1410 95 53
Norway 1414 86 22
Barbados 1422 95 92
Haiti 1440 84 53
Albania 1485 18 34
Nepal 1500 1 34
Timor-Leste 1500 98 47
Madagascar 1513 41 50
Chile 1522 87 31
Switzerland 1537 83 9
Congo, Dem. Rep. 1543 95 50
Guinea-Bissau 1577 10 50
Cameroon 1604 69 89
Thailand 1622 1 41
Congo, Rep. 1646 90 50
Guinea 1651 10 81
Japan 1668 2 41
Belize 1705 76 92
Sri Lanka 1712 7 92
El Salvador 1724 81 28
New Zealand 1732 55 0
Peru 1738 92 34
Brazil 1782 90 3
Vietnam 1821 8 16
Gabon 1831 72 50
Lao PDR 1834 2 47
Ukraine 1875 83 44
Venezuela, RB 1875 98 41
Cambodia 1904 1 47
Iceland 1940 95 22
Maldives 1972 0 100
Honduras 1976 87 53
Guatemala 1996 97 25
Mauritius 2041 32 67
Jamaica 2051 65 92
Puerto Rico 2054 97 34
Dominica 2083 88 92
Ecuador 2087 99 13
Myanmar 2091 7 92
Equatorial Guinea 2156 98 50
Bhutan 2200 1 77
Trinidad and Tobago 2200 58 92
Seychelles 2330 94 83
Suriname 2331 50 50
Philippines 2348 93 53
Grenada 2350 97 92
Guyana 2387 58 61
Liberia 2391 85 81
Nicaragua 2391 89 44
Singapore 2497 18 75
Sierra Leone 2526 30 89
Fiji 2592 64 44
Colombia 2612 97 6
Bangladesh 2666 0 86
Panama 2692 92 53
Indonesia 2702 8 63
Brunei Darussalam 2722 11 100
Malaysia 2875 12 92
Costa Rica 2926 84 13
Solomon Islands 3028 96 92
Papua New Guinea 3142 99 92

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