(This column is a corrected version. The following correction will appear in the July 5 print edition: "Jack Kelly's July 2 column conflated references to two different Wall Street Journal op-ed articles by MIT professor Richard Lindzen. The first quote from Dr. Lindzen was from a June 11, 2001, piece, but it was incorrectly identified as being published last week. The second Lindzen quote was correctly attributed to his commentary last week (June 26). In addition, the Kelly column referred to a National Academy of Sciences report on climate change and a quote from CNN reporter Michelle Mitchell; they were both from June 2001, not this year. The column should have addressed the NAS report on climate change released June 22, 2006.")Now I don't want to brag (ok, maybe a little), but this is more or less what I wrote on Sunday.
Perhaps I should send the P-G a bill for "fact-checking" services rendered. Maybe I can get a free subscription or a new toaster or something.
Interestingly, the above correction was not found at the Toledo Blade. The Toledo Blade and the Post-Gazette are both run by the same company and this column was published at both papers. As of 7:10 am on 7/5/06 there was no correction posted on the Toledo Blade column. I gotta ask, if Jack Kelly is incorrect in Pittsburgh, doesn't that mean he's also incorrect in Toledo? Maybe things work a little slower in Ohio.
Anyway I'll do some more homework for the now counterfactual Jack Kelly. The last sentence of the above public spanking reads again:
The column should have addressed the NAS report on climate change released June 22, 2006.So what was the report from June 22? Here's the press release from the National Academy of Science and the report's opening statement and the report itself. Took me about 3 minutes to find it.
And even here gets Kelly into hot water. He said in his now infamous column:
The Little Ice Age was preceded by the Medieval Warm Period (roughly 900 A.D. -- 1400 A.D.), when temperatures in Europe and North America were higher than they are today.The report that Kelly should have been writing about (Bad Jack! Bad, bad Jack!) has a handy chart that tracks different types of temperature records. If you look at the chart carefully, you'll see that, again, Jack Kelly is wrong. According to that chart, temperatures are higher now than they were in the "Medieval Warm Period". Perhaps I am misreading the chart. Perhaps due to it's wide range of information spread out over a wide time period, a lot of relevant info is lost.
Perhaps not being a scientist (and I believe I share that characteristic with Jack Kelly), I should pay closer attention to what the scientists actually say and try not to make simple statements of fact that might turn out to be incorrect if I bothered to research the data. I'd look incompetent if I did that.
In any event, the report's opening statement includes these two points:
3. It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.That's from the National Academy of Science. And yet a National Security Correspondent sitting at a desk in Pittsburgh, PA can state with out qualifiers that temperatures in North America and Europe were higher between 900 AD and 1600 AD than they are today.
4. Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.
He should have done a little more research before making such a simple statement of fact. But then again, we're talking Jack Kelly here.
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