We have often discussed American innumeracy, and still cannot comprehend how anyone can call themselves a college graduate without calculus and statistics. It leaves you helpless handling everyday facts about the world, and it is kind of basic: Readin', Ritin', and 'Rithmetic. Trigonometry does not count as higher education.
Small Dead Baby Seals found a good piece on how the presentation of numbers without context can be abused. One quote, which sums up the entire global climate silliness:
...the portion of the green-house gas global warming caused by human CO2 is about 0.003% or 0.00003 or 30 millionths. Even if we stop producing any CO2 at all, 99.997% of green-house gas global warming will still happen (even if we ignore the Borrello Limit and the saturation effect).
The scare pollution teams never mention that fact. The whole piece here.