The Associated Press asked eight climate and biological scientists to fact-check the presidential candidates on their statements and tweets about global warming. The results were predictable: The Democrats did well, the Republicans fared poorly.
The list of scientists enlisted by the AP included not one of the numerous identifiable skeptics. There was no Richard Lindzen, no Roy Spencer, no Fred Singer, no Judith Curry, to name but a few of many.
In fact, the only name among the group that might be known outside in the academy is Michael Mann, inventor of the hockey stick graph that has been the source of great controversy. Mann’s graph supposedly shows that global temperatures have soared in our industrial age after moving sideways for centuries. But there is no shortage of scientists, researchers and academics who doubt its accuracy. Some even say it’s a fraud and include Mann among “Big Climate’s Sleazy Charlatan(s) ” who are a “disgrace to the profession.”
Mann has defended his hockey stick to the point of suing columnist Mark Steyn because Steyn had the audacity to call the graph a fraud — so we know how he’s going to find the “facts” in this exercise.
In the final fact count, Hillary Clinton scored a 94 out of a possible 100, while former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley received a 91 and Sen. Bernie Sanders an 87.
The top Republican was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who got a 64. From there scores skidded downward until they reached Sen. Ted Cruz at the bottom with a 6.
The AP said that “to eliminate possible bias, the candidates’ comments were stripped of names and given randomly generated numbers, so the professors would not know who made each statement they were grading.” But this is not compelling. All the “professors” had to do was give those who made statements that agree with their position high marks while giving those who disagree with them low marks. Job done, case closed, Republicans are anti-science.
We’re sure that each one will say they conducted themselves with the utmost honor and did their jobs conscientiously. We write that to save them the trouble of having to tell us.
And that’s not what concerns us, anyway. We’re simply bothered by the makeup of the group. Could the AP not find a single “professor” who doesn’t line up with the narrative that man is causing the planet to warm through his greenhouse gas emissions? Did any member of this fact-check panel have even the slightest doubt about man-made global warming and at least temper any “possible bias”?
If anyone fixed this fact-check, it was the AP. With no interest in facts, it chose the panel, got the result it wanted, then misnamed the entire effort. Advocacy journalism? We’d say so.