What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 28, 2012

More Climate Blah-Blah

Yesterday, Mediamatters named Marc Morano the Climate Change Misinformer Of The Year saying among other things that:
These days Morano is paid by an industry-funded group to run the climate denial website ClimateDepot.com. At Climate Depot, Morano serves as the de facto research department for the right-wing media's attacks on climate science, and mobilizes his readers to target individual scientists and reporters for telling the public about climate change threats. The site was instrumental in manufacturing the 2009 "Climategate" controversy, which Morano incorrectly claimed exposed "deliberate manipulation of facts and data" by climate scientists. Morano is a darling of the organization most committed to climate denial, the Heartland Institute.
The "industry-funded" group mentioned above is called the "Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow" (CFACT) and Sourcewatch has this oh-so surprising bit of info on CFACT:
Media Transparency calculates that between 1991 and 2006 CFACT gained $1,280,000 from 18 grants from only two foundations -- the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.
Actually, according to the Bridgeproject.com, those two foundations controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife have given an even $2,000,000 to CFACT between 1996 and 2009 ($2.433 million if you adjust for inflation).

Which made me curious to see if Mr Morano actually made it onto Mr Scaife's pages and whether any mention is made of CFACT's financial connections to the Trib's owner.

Of course he made it into the Trib and of course there's no mention of the money (there never is)

Take a look at this from this past August where Eric Heyl (Hey Eric, how's it going?) tosses out the first softball:
Marc Morano operates Climatedepot.com, an Internet clearinghouse for information on climate, environmental and energy news. Morano, a former aide to U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., spoke to the Trib on the latest developments in the climate-change debate.

Q: It‘s the hottest year on record so far in the Northeast. Must be global warming, right?

A: Globally, it‘s not the hottest. In fact, here is the problem: The heat they are touting as proof of man-made global warming is occurring in the continental United States, which is less than 2 percent of the Earth‘s surface. So far in 2012, (global) temperatures have been slightly below the average for the last 15 years. So if the Earth isn‘t actually in record warmth globally, why are we looking at 2 percent (of its surface) and then trying to draw extrapolations?
Let's stop right there. They're speaking in early August, 2012 so we can safely assume that the data Morano's commenting on is from the previous month.  So let's have a look at the data.  Heyl was probably responding to this (or something like it):
Aug. 6, 2012 — If you live in the Northeast, welcome to the hottest year on record. New data released by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University shows the Northeast's seven-month average (January through July) of 49.9 degrees was the warmest such period since 1895, the year such record keeping began. It was the second warmest such period in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the warmest first seven months of the year in the rest of the Northeast.
But look at what Morano did.  He sidesteps the data by saying that the Continental US is only 2% of the planet's surface and so it's an extrapolation to make any generalizations about the whole from such a small sliver.  Fair enough  but then he says that 2012 is slightly cooler than the average of the past 15 years.

He's what you call "cherry picking" the data.  By limiting his scope to the last decade and a half, he's able to make a more or less useless extrapolation himself.  In fact, according to NOAA:
The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2012 was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F). This is the fourth warmest July since records began in 1880.
Who's cherry picking the data?  Amazing how much anti-science you can buy for $2.4 million, huh?

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