But they really need to watch him better at the P-G. Take a look at the column this week. We read:
On June 6, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report on climate change. It "represented a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is due to man," said CNN reporter Michelle Mitchell. "There is no wiggle room."When Jack Kelly writes "June 6" you'd have to assume he meant this June 6th and when he writes "Monday" you have to assume he meant this past Monday, right?
Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and one of the 11 scientists who prepared the report, says this wasn't true:
"We are quite confident that (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the Earth.
"But -- and I cannot stress this enough -- we are not in a position to attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future," he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday.
Not so fast, fella.
Take a look at this article by Richard S Lindzen. The first paragraph reads in a very familiar way:
Last week the National Academy of Sciences released a report on climate change, prepared in response to a request from the White House, that was depicted in the press as an implicit endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol. CNN's Michelle Mitchell was typical of the coverage when she declared that the report represented "a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is due to man. There is no wiggle room."Here are the 4th and 5th paragraphs:
Our primary conclusion was that despite some knowledge and agreement, the science is by no means settled. We are quite confident (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the earth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds).Look familiar? Special attention should be paid to the first sentence of that last paragraph. Remember, Jack Kelly said was written Monday.
But--and I cannot stress this enough--we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future. That is to say, contrary to media impressions, agreement with the three basic statements tells us almost nothing relevant to policy discussions.
Take a look at the date of the article.
June 11, 2001.
That's more than 5 years ago (three months before 9/11, in fact). For such an important column on such an important issue by someone sitting at such an important desk, isn't it incredibly embarrassing for Jack Kelly to get such a simple fact wrong?
I've asked this before: Don't they have a fact-checker at the P-G? They really need one for some of the columnists.
Here. I'll do some of Jack Kelly's work for him. The article on Monday was this piece by Richard S. Lindzen. Unfortunately, it's only available to WSJ subscribers.
However, we can learn from the Majority Press Release from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, that it is from that piece that Kelly takes this quotation:
"A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the Earth and its climate are dynamic. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse."At best, this is an embarrassing mistake. At worst he's lying about the date to make it all seem more current.
Some of the other points that Kelly tries to assert are:
Mr. Gore blames the recent increase in hurricanes on global warming. But Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, says that warming has nothing to do with it.But like most everywhere else in this column, Kelly is over-simplifying. Take a look at something from Whitehouse.gov from June 16 of this year. When asked whether global warming increases the severity of hurricanes, this same Max Mayfield responded:
[T]here is an ongoing scientific debate about the relationship between man-made global warming and hurricane frequency and intensity. Hurricane theory does predict that global warming will cause hurricanes to become stronger, but only by about 2% more intense per degree Fahrenheit warming. There have been some studies published that suggest a large increase in hurricane winds over the last few decades, which is not consistent with the theory. However, Atlantic hurricanes also have been observed to have decades that are very busy (such as the late 1920s to the late 1960s as well as since 1995) and other periods that are quiet (such as the period of the early 1900s to the mid 1920s as well as the 1970s to the mid-1990s). Knowing how much of the increase we have seen in the Atlantic hurricane activity in recent years is due to natural cycles and how much is due to global warming is a very important issue and one that many researchers both in NOAA and elsewhere are trying to better understand.Now remember that Kelly said that Mayfield said that "warming has nothing to do with it." Here Mayfield actually says:
Hurricane theory does predict that global warming will cause hurricanes to become stronger, but only by about 2%...And
Knowing how much of the increase...is due to natural cycles and how much is due to global warming is a very important issue..."Doesn't look like "nothing" does it? Looks like Mayfield is arguing with the amount of change due to the rise in water temperature, not whether there's any change at all.
Kelly got another one wrong.
I think I found a major source of Jack Kelly's "information." He seems to have carefully read this piece by Tom Harris from June 7 of this year found at the National Post in Canada. There's a great deal of overlap between Kelly and Harris.
Harris' piece for instance contains Reiter's quotation about the "pure mind-bending propaganda" as well as quotations from de Freitas and Mormer on sea levels and Carter and Morgan about the thickness of Arctic ice. It should be noted that both Kelly and Harris mention all four in the same order.
And who is Tom Harris? Here's how he's described by the National Post:
Tom Harris is a mechanical engineer and Ottawa director of High Park Group, a public affairs and public policy company.And the High Park Group? That's a PR/Consulting firm in Canada.
Now here's what the National Academy of Science says:
Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century. Secondary effects are suggested by computer model simulations and basic physical reasoning. These include increases in rainfall rates and increased susceptibility of semi-arid regions to drought. The impacts of these changes will be critically dependent on the magnitude of the warming and the rate with which it occurs.Notice that it says that "we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability." So when a wingnut points out (as Kelly does) that there was a "Little Ice Age" 3 hundred years ago, this does not refute the findings of the Academy.
How much do they pay Kelly for this "work" at the P-G?
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