Democracy Has Prevailed.

December 2, 2016

Post-Truth, Truthiness, And The House Science Committee

From The Washington Post, we read:
Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016's international word of the year, after the contentious “Brexit” referendum and an equally divisive U.S. presidential election caused usage of the adjective to skyrocket, according to the Oxford University Press.

The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
A little while later they write:
For what it's worth, “post-truth” is not to be confused with “truthiness,” a subtly different term popularized by Stephen Colbert more than a decade ago that described the phenomenon of “believing something that feels true, even if it isn't supported by fact.
And then finally:
And if anything, the rise of truthiness cleared the path for “post-truth,” as in: “In a post-truth world, truthiness is all that matters.”
Which brings us to the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and this tweet yesterday:
And as HuffingtonPost points out:
The tweet linked to an article posted on hyper-conservative Breitbart News, which points to the oft-used and completely incorrect assumption that because it’s getting cold out (i.e. winter) the climate can’t be changing.
Breitbart is where Steve Bannon, President-elect Pussy Grabber's chief strategist, came from.

Let's look a little deeper at that Brietbart truthiness.

From its first paragraph, you should know something goofy is going on:
Global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year – the biggest and steepest fall on record.
Note the time frame (6 months "since the middle of this year") and the geographic frame ("Global Land Temperatures") - each is a limit on the data.

But first let's look at the source of Breitbart's piece - it's a piece in the Daily Mail about how the most recent el Nino could be the cause of the recent higher global temperatures.  What's left out, of course, any acknowledgement that the climate still is getting warmer despite the localized ups/downs of el Nino/el Nina.

Something that's shown in this tweet by an actual climate scientist:
I'm sure that within those rising red rectangles, there were el Nino peaks and valleys.

Still doesn't change the fact that this decade is warmer than the last, which was warmer than the one before that and so on.

In the end, I am not sure if this is Post-truth or just "truthiness" but what the Republican-led House Committee on Science tweeted is still something untrue masquerading as a fact.

Fair is foul and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.  (Let's hope we fare better than Macbeth.)

Science in Trumpistan - the new normal.  I will resist the new normal.