What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 16, 2010

Stuff We Already Knew (Part II)

Remember this?
Mediamatters published an internal Fox "News" email detailing how a Fox "News" Vice President told his producers how to skew the reporting on Health Care Reform.

Well, there's another email. This time it's about climate change:
In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."
The data is solid, by the way. Do I need to list all the science academies who say so?

Again, this is from the "news" channel with the tagline "We report. You decide."

Another reason why that's complete bull.

Meanwhile in our own hometown, The Tribune-Review editorial page again confuses weather with climate (and makes a silly embarrassing mistake in the process - more on that in a minute):
Predictions of a "mild winter" have been followed by early snowstorms and piercing cold that have blasted the East Coast, Midwest and South. Those forecasts "are the result of poorly understood atmospheric dynamics," The Christian Science Monitor reports. And, "Given our level of ignorance about what's going on, we don't want to compound that with a level of arrogance by saying we know what's going to happen in a month," says Wisconsin atmospheric scientist Jonathan Miller. Yet supposed climate changes 50 years from now are passed off as "settled science" by global-warming-mongers.
There's a difference, my friends, between short term changes (that's weather) and long term trends (that's climate). But this confusion amongst the scientifically challenged isn't new.

NYTimes in 2008:
Many scientists also say that the cool spell in no way undermines the enormous body of evidence pointing to a warming world with disrupted weather patterns, less ice and rising seas should heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels and forests continue to accumulate in the air.

“The current downturn is not very unusual,” said Carl Mears, a scientist at Remote Sensing Systems, a private research group in Santa Rosa, Calif., that has been using satellite data to track global temperature and whose findings have been held out as reliable by a variety of climate experts. He pointed to similar drops in 1988, 1991-92, and 1998, but with a long-term warming trend clear nonetheless.
You'll note that the weather mentioned by Scaife's braintrust is only weather in the US not weather world wide. The global trend is this (source NASA):

See the trend? Now I am sure that within those ups and downs there are even more ups and downs. It's cooler in December than it is in June. It's cooler at night than it is during the day. But the overall trend of the climate is this: it's getting generally warmer all over the planet.

Now onto that embarrassing mistake. Here's the article from the Christian Science Monitor the braintrust is quoting. You might not find the error right off the bat, so let me help you. It's in this stuff, tucked way at the end:
But the pre-Christmas "snow blitz" in the upper Midwest, added to the near-zero wind chills in the South, continue to confound atmospheric scientists like Mr. Martin, who is not keen to make a call on how the Winter of 2011 will pan out.

"Given our level of ignorance about what's going on, we don't want to compound that with a level of arrogance by saying we know what's going to happen in a month," he says.
Martin? Who's Martin? Up the page we find:
"At this point, this winter looks similar to last winter," says Jonathan Martin, an atmospheric scientist at Wisconsin. "The next question is, why does it look similar, and we're currently not in a position to say definitely what's going on. There are some interrelationships between big pieces of circulation anomaly that feed into one another, including an anomalous pattern over Greenland that's tied into convection in the tropical Pacific Ocean."
Oh, that's what happened!

In their zeal to spin the facts to fit their agenda, the braintrust got a simple fact wrong.

It was Jonathan Martin, not Jonathan Miller.

Gee, isn't that embarrassing?

If we can't trust this "news" paper to get such a simple fact straight, then why trust them at all?

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