The upcoming wave of misinformed journalists

cartoon gore wrong againThe other day I received an email from a budding journalist still in high school who is “currently attending the James Ansin/Peace Sullivan Workshop for Journalism and New Media at the University of Miami.” He was writing an article on climate change and wanted to do a phone interview. Unfortunately, his email went into my spam folder and by the time I found it a few days later and responded, he replied that he was on a deadline and he had already finished the story. He also tweeted his request, which I did @respond only to hear the murmur of crickets.

Most journalists who contact me give me a timetable of when they need to go to press (or post online), but since he is a student I let it pass. Normally, I give journalists, aspiring or otherwise, the names of climate scientists that they can speak with because, after all, they are the experts in their chosen field. But I missed the chance. At least I thought I did. Yesterday I got this one-line email from our soon-to-be journalist:

“Is it possible that I may be able to interview a climate change denier over the phone?”

So our ‘student’ wasn’t actually writing an article on climate change or looking for opposing viewpoints. Instead he had made up his mind and used the all-too-familiar ‘denier’ label that is popular with environmentalists and activist journalists. Not quite sure what they are teaching him at this school, but if that is the future of journalism, the wave of misinformation is only just beginning.

Here is my response to his ‘denier’ email:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear David,

I’m afraid I don’t know any climate change deniers. I’ve heard of Holocaust deniers, moon-landing deniers, AIDS deniers, and have even read about the Flat Earth Society, but with respect to climate change deniers, I don’t know a single person. I do know of skeptical climate scientists who think “global warming is the theory that increased levels of carbon dioxide and certain other gases are causing an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere because of the so-called greenhouse effect.”

And based on the not-so-subtle word choice in your email, it seems you already have strongly held beliefs regarding climate change. As a journalism student it’s very important you don’t actually express those beliefs out loud lest your tissue-thin veil of impartiality comes crumbling down. It also appears the requisite knowledge you need to write intelligently about the climate change debate is based on a lot of misinformation gleaned from all the obvious sources. So here is a quick tutorial:

The theory of global warming predicts that the “upper atmosphere will warm from trapped heat, just like a greenhouse. The surface of the Earth warms later. But since 1979 we’ve had orbiting satellites that can continuously measure the atmosphere five miles up. They show that the upper atmosphere is warming much less than the ground is. This satellite data have been re-analyzed dozens of times and are probably the most scrutinized data in the world. But the data from weather balloons agree with the satellites. They show much less warming than expected by the theory.”

Study after study shows no increase in extreme weather events over the past century. Or even in the last decade. That changed in the last five years when activists realized you can’t raise money without a good dose of fear.

Here’s how it works: scientists run a computer model showing that Greenland and/or the Arctic will melt and raise sea levels 20 feet or more. What they don’t tell you is that this may or may not happen in the next 1,000 years. Observational data shows Greenland is not losing its ice pack, the Arctic sea ice extent is the second largest since 2006 even now in July (the Northwest passage has been documented as being ice free over varying years since the late 1800s), sea level rise hasn’t increased by a single millimeter and is rising at the same rate it has always risen since exiting the last glacial period, Antarctic sea ice extent has increased over 30 percent since 1979 (when satellite observation began), and any melting that has occurred can be attributed to natural causes such as volcanic activity, deep ocean vents, tectonic plate friction, and so on.

Go back five years and look at all the predictions by all the scientists in all the newspapers of what should have happened by 2015. None have come true. If that little detail doesn’t give you pause, then I’m afraid nothing will. Look at Al Gore’s documentary. It was filled with such flagrant errors that a British judge said it couldn’t be shown in public schools without numerous disclaimers given to students before and after watching the film. The 97 percent consensus has been debunked so many times that it’s akin to being an old wives tale rather than good statistical modeling.

Everything I’ve written can be found by doing a simple Google search. The problem with facts is that they lack emotion and they are what they are: unequivocal. We don’t say we believe the sun is 92,960,000 million miles from Earth or that we believe it will rise every morning; or that we believe the moon orbits the Earth, which we believe orbits the sun; or that we believe light travels at 186,282 miles per second in a vacuum. But for some reason a good number of people say they “believe” in global warming, aka climate change. We know facts to be true. We believe theories to be right or wrong. And like most beliefs, they belong in church, not in science.

Einstein once said that no amount of experimentation can ever prove him right, but a single experiment can prove him wrong. The theory of global warming has been disproved so many times by so many scientists that you have to wonder why it still has legs. As one scientist told me “off the record”, if he wants a tax payer-funded grant to study the mating habits of the New England Tree Squirrel, he simply has to add the phrase “as affected by climate change” for it to get approved. The spigot gets turned on and the money starts flowing from the government and/or environmental organizations. Now that, as a journalism student, should be a story you could sink your teeth into. Or how atmospherically trained scientists at NASA and NOAA have literally multiplied like rabbits and have funneled tax dollars away from other departments (like the VENTS program to oceanography to life sciences) under the dubious goal of “saving the world.”

Scientist Art Robinson has spearheaded The Petition Project, which has gathered the signatures of over 31,000 scientists (including 9,029 with PhDs) who agree that there is “no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.”

So if you truly want to speak with climate scientists who don’t toe the global warming narrative, or believe it is occurring but it’s not the calamity some people want it to be in order to create a “global system of controlling energy production and consumption,” I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Or visit Climate Depot for one of the largest compendiums of factual up-to-date climate information. Otherwise I’m afraid I can’t help in finding something (climate change deniers) that only exists in the minds of environmentalists and a few in the mainstream media.

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Comments (17)

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Well done . Climate changes, let’s hope it involves warming and not cooling .
    If the small percentage of human caused CO2 stopped and the world warmed, as it has long before the Greenies were flying all over the world to conferences , would anyone care ?
    Would anyone sane person suggest we control the earth’s thermostat by adding or reducing CO2 ?

    It is now obvious why from time to time humans wipe each other out . If you buy the scary global warming scam you will buy anything .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Me

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    Right on the mark, I couldn’t agree more. Once other peoples money is gone then you will see the last nail in the coffin of this AGW BS.

    Reply

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      Chris F

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      [quote name=”Me”]Right on the mark, I couldn’t agree more. Once other peoples money is gone then you will see the last nail in the coffin of this AGW BS.[/quote]

      Absolutely. Once the funding is gone so too will the scientists spewing the end-of-world calamities.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Sean

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        [quote name=”Chris F”]Absolutely. Once the funding is gone so too will the scientists spewing the end-of-world calamities.[/quote]

        The problem is that, so long as governments see an opportunity to extend control over the lives of citizens, the supply of money for ‘research’ that supports the AGW agenda will continue; without a continuing stream of ‘falling sky’ pronouncements, the political positions of all the politicians on the AGW bandwagon will collapse — and with it, their credibility. If AGW gets unequivocally shot down, the entire house of cards goes with it, the billions of dollars that governments will have pissed down a rathole and all the legislation to ‘fix’ a problem that never existed will become the albatross hanging around the necks of the politicians that voted for them, crippling their electability. They have to keep pushing out new apocalyptic predictions in order to paper over the cracks in the facade that they’ve built up over the years to keep it from coming down around their ears.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Me

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          Credibility kinda is and isn’t the problem, it’s the knowledge they have and how they use it. Think about it, they maybe experts (SME’s) but their bias leads them somewhere else. So they are credible in their book education, but their practical use of it is a different story.

          Reply

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    There are VERY few true journalists practicing today. Most millennial reporters are now primarily misinformed [b]political activists[/b]. The term [i]journalist[/i] is fast becoming nothing but a cover title intended to convey integrity that does not exist.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Rod Stuart

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    I like the way you have composed this. The other day I was asked similar questions and this was my answer. Unfortunately, it was apparently not convincing:
    “Climate” is a concept intended for the comparison of weather in one region with another. It is by definition determined from such parameters as temperature range, humidity range, typical wind speeds and frequency, etc. A classification system called Koppen-Geiger, developed in the nineteenth century is used to define the climate of a region. Another classification system is the Trewartha system, which uses plant species to determine the classification. Thus a reference to climates being “global” is not possible.
    Change may only be determined in a parameter if there is a metric for its measurement. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, and you can’t be sure that it changed, or obviously by how much. Regions of a specific climate might change in size and shape from time to time. Changes of an entire region from one classification are extremely rare, at least within a time frame as brief as a century.
    The purposely vague and obtuse terminology “climate change” purposely replaced the term “global warming” about twenty years ago because it became obvious that “global warming” is an illusion. In the vernacular, global warming is intended to reference some sort of “annual average surface air temperature”. Such as parameter is mathematically and thermodynamically impossible. Estimates of temperature variations have been deduced by geologists for decades. The century on century standard deviation of temperature variation since the Holocene optimum 8,ooo years ago is about one degree K. Even the IPCC claims a temperature increase of less than a degree K since 1850.
    For that reason the term Climate change” is technically nonsense. In the vernacular, it is conflated through obfuscation with sea level, hurricanes, “extreme weather”, tornadoes, and as many things as can be conjured in the imagination. In fact, any change in sea level in the last century is insignificant. There have been no hurricanes in the continental US for 117 months now. Even the IPCC admits that “extreme weather” has no correlation with whatever it is that the IPCC identifies as “climate change”. The incidence and ferocity of tempests and floods are little different than they ever were, and for the most part significantly less than sixty years ago.
    I am a scientist. I learned the ‘scientific method’ fifty years ago and have used it for an entire career. There is no room for opinion and belief in science. Science is a process; it is not an authority and it is not a Diety. “Science is reason, logic, data, and analysis. If it is consensus, it isn’t science. If it is science, there is no consensus”…Michael Crichton. ”Belief”, or faith, belongs to religion. Opinion belongs to politics. There is no space for either in science. There is no such thing as “scientific proof”. Science is a process which is used to DISPROVE an hypothesis. The first step in any such endeavour is to disprove the null hypothesis. If the hypothesis in question states that anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide affects atmospheric temperature significantly, the null hypothesis is that any such effect is merely natural variation. To date, no one has been successful in disproving the null hypothesis. There is no empirical evidence that carbon dioxide, (of which the anthropogenic variety is only 3%) causes any variation in temperature. In fact, there is a host of empirical evidence that points to variation in temperature being the CAUSE of variations in atmospheric CO2.
    The phrases “climate change is real” and “do you believe in climate change” are at best nonsense and at worst religious dogma. They are no more reasonable than plausible peurile phrases such as “aliens are sociopaths” or “Do you think Santa Claus abuses his reindeer?”
    (to be continued)

    Reply

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      Ivan Murray

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      Hi Rod,

      A list of 100 things caused by Global Warming (www.dailysignal.com) and growing.

      1. The deaths of Aspen trees in the West
      2. Incredible shrinking sheep
      3. Caribbean coral deaths
      4. Eskimos forced to leave their village
      5. Disappearing lake in Chile
      6. Early heat wave in Vietnam
      7. Malaria and water-borne diseases in Africa
      8. Invasion of jellyfish in the Mediterranean
      9. Break in the Arctic Ice Shelf
      10. Monsoons in India
      11. Birds laying their eggs early
      12. 160,000 deaths a year
      13. 315,000 deaths a year
      14. 300,000 deaths a year
      15. Decline in snowpack in the West
      16. Deaths of walruses in Alaska
      17. Hunger in Nepal
      18. The appearance of oxygen-starved dead zones in the oceans
      19. Surge in fatal shark attacks
      20. Increasing number of typhoid cases in the Philippines
      21. Boy Scout tornado deaths
      22. Rise in asthma and hayfever
      23. Duller fall foliage in 2007
      24. Floods in Jakarta
      25. Radical ecological shift in the North Sea
      26. Snowfall in Baghdad
      27. Western tree deaths
      28. Diminishing desert resources
      29. Pine beetles
      30. Swedish beetles
      31. Severe acne
      32. Global conflict
      33. Crash of Air France 447
      34. Black Hawk Down incident
      35. Amphibians breeding earlier
      36. Flesh-eating disease
      37. Global cooling
      38. Bird strikes on US Airways 1549
      39. Beer tastes different
      40. Cougar attacks in Alberta
      41. Suicide of farmers in Australia
      42. Squirrels reproduce earlier
      43. Monkeys moving to Great Rift Valley in Kenya
      44. Confusion of migrating birds
      45. Bigger tuna fish
      46. Water shortages in Las Vegas
      47. Worldwide hunger
      48. Longer days
      49. Earth spinning faster
      50. Gender balance of crocodiles
      51. Skin cancer deaths in UK
      52. Increase in kidney stones in India
      53. Penguin chicks frozen by global warming
      54. Deaths of Minnesota moose
      55. Increased threat of HIV/AIDS in developing countries
      56. Increase of wasps in Alaska
      57. Killer stingrays off British coasts
      58. All societal collapses since the beginning of time
      59. Bigger spiders
      60. Increase in size of giant squid
      61. Increase of orchids in UK
      62. Collapse of gingerbread houses in Sweden
      63. Cow infertility
      64. Conflict in Darfur
      65. Bluetongue outbreak in UK cows
      66. Worldwide wars
      67. Insomnia of children worried about global warming
      68. Anxiety problems for people worried about climate change
      69. Migration of cockroaches
      70. Taller mountains due to melting glaciers
      71. Drowning of four polar bears
      72. UFO sightings in the UK
      73. Hurricane Katrina
      74. Greener mountains in Sweden
      75. Decreased maple in maple trees
      76. Cold wave in India
      77. Worse traffic in LA because immigrants moving north
      78. Increase in heart attacks and strokes
      79. Rise in insurance premiums
      80. Invasion of European species of earthworm in UK
      81. Cold spells in Australia
      82. Increase in crime
      83. Boiling oceans
      84. Grizzly deaths
      85. Dengue fever
      86. Lack of monsoons
      87. Caterpillars devouring 45 towns in Liberia
      88. Acid rain recovery
      89. Global wheat shortage; food price hikes
      90. Extinction of 13 species in Bangladesh
      91. Changes in swan migration patterns in Siberia
      92. The early arrival of Turkey’s endangered caretta carettas
      93. Radical North Sea shift
      94. Heroin addiction
      95. Plant species climbing up mountains
      96. Deadly fires in Australia
      97. Droughts in Australia
      98. The demise of California’s agriculture by the end of the century
      99. Tsunami in South East Asia
      100. Fashion victim: the death of the winter wardrobe

      The descriptor of climate change equating to just an overvalued idea has long been supplanted into the territory of delusionary intensity. I should know. I’m a psychiatrist.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        GR82DRV

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        [quote name=”Ivan Murray”]Hi Rod,

        A list of 100 things caused by Global Warming (www.dailysignal.com) and growing.

        1. The deaths of Aspen trees in the West
        2. Incredible shrinking sheep…
        … … …

        100. Fashion victim: the death of the winter wardrobe

        The descriptor of climate change equating to just an overvalued idea has long been supplanted into the territory of delusionary intensity. [b]I should know. I’m a psychiatrist.[/b][/quote]

        Thanks Ivan. Even a casual observer can now appreciate how delusional and frankly goofy the climate change left has become. Nevertheless, it’s good to have professional verification!

        BTW, If you want to play a deadly drinking game just cozy up with any recent copy of [i]National Geographic Magazine[/i] and drop a shot for every article that punctuates its ending with dire warnings of global climate change. It will make your attached list look sane by comparison.

        Reply

      • Avatar

        William Bill Fish

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        Finally a like mind…thanks!

        Reply

      • Avatar

        amirlach

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        That list is almost as long as the list of excuses for why the invalidated GCM’s failed to skillfully predict recent or any climate.

        Reply

  • Avatar

    Rod Stuart

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    (continuation of previous)
    The hypothesis that human activity has an impact on the “climate” (being a property that many people misconstrue as belonging to the entire planet) is generally blamed on “greenhouse gases”. The idea that our atmosphere behaves like a greenhouse makes a mockery of the laws of thermodynamics. The only gas in our atmosphere that regulates its temperature is water vapour. Through the peculiar unique physical properties of H2O, the temperature has been regulated precisely throughout this interglacial and those which preceded it. The link commonly associated with human activity is carbon dioxide, and as I provided earlier the only conceivable correlation of temperature with CO2 (of which that associated with the combustion of fossil fuels is insignificantly small) conflates cause and effect.
    One of the most inane delusions bandied about is that human activity causes “ocean acidification”. Sea water is alkaline. It has always been alkaline, and always will be. Although the pH of the ocean varies quite dramatically from one location to another, it has not changed in a hundred years. Any suggestion that atmospheric CO2 has the capacity to affect the pH of the seas merely illustrates a complete misunderstanding of Henry’s Law.

    “What should we do about it?” What should we do about what? Even if slight variations in temperature were a concern, homo sapiens should do what he has always done: adapt.

    What concrete evidence can you provide that “the denial of climate change by spokes-thingies for the fossil fuel industries just might be tainted by self interest?” To even propose such a question is illustration that you have been hoodwinked. At least seven thousand times at much effort is thrown a finding solutions to a non-existent problem as there is expenditure, usually through the efforts of volunteers, to actually determine the Truth.
    If you doubt anything that I have stated, I can recommend many manuscripts. Those that I would recommend first are the current best seller on Amazon “Climate change: the facts 2014” edited by Alan Moran (shameless plug: you will find my name on the back cover) and “The Real Global Warming Disaster” by Christopher Booker. Both are loaded with references.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Gator

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      Thanks for the thoughtful commentary Ian, I have notified our host, as this would make a nice addition.

      I was a Sierra Club member for many years, but I have always been a skeptic, due to my background in geology and climatology. I have always been fascinated by ice ages, and the Earth’s ability to shake them off from time to time.

      When the Sierra Club started focusing on “climate change”, I let my membership lapse. Where once I supported a number of environmental groups through regular donations, I now channel all my monetary gifts to starving kids, who have been victimized by the leftist ambitions of those same groups I used to support.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Kelly Mitchell

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    You totally disavow any effect on climate by humans, but even Watt’s agrees we have an effect, however minimal. (I’m agnostic – I don’t believe in any catastrophic warming, but I do believe some effect is possible, but unproved). Perhaps your position is too strong. People are much more likely to listen to someone willing to meet them in the middle, rather than shouting at them from a distance.
    And the tone with the journalist was extremely aggressive and contentious. If you wish to object to the term denier (fair enough to object), then it could be pointed out without implying the person is an idiot – that won’t help them see better. Friendly skeptics are far more convincing.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Gator

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      Even Watts? Watts is a [i]reluctant[/i] skeptic, and likes to play footsies with lukewarmers.

      I was a climatology student three decades ago, and spent 7 years as a geology student. I have closely followed the [i]actual science[/i] ever since, and believe it or not, there is science that says that CO2 also acts as a coolant.

      Where we can say man definitely effects climate is through land usage, but that is [i]not[/i] global. Weather stations in the midwest that are not effected by UHI show zero warming over the past century.

      Natural variability in climate is so very large, that until we can identify and quantify [i]all[/i] climate drivers, it is impossible to say that man has any global effect whatsoever. AGW remains a hypothesis at best.

      We started recording climatologiocal data at about the coldest period in the past 8000 years.

      https://player

      Now considering that 7 million people die needlessly every year because alarmsists funnel hundreds of billions of dollars annually to a nonproblem, maybe being nice is not the right approach anymore, we tried that.

      It’s time we call the frauds and accomplices to murder what they really are. Evil people do not respond to “nice”.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        Oh look, Bill the serial liar is back.

        Regional MWP? Nope!

        [img]http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/Globe%204650×2847%20mit%20Graphen%20und%20Linien%20JPEG.jpg[/img]

        And thanks for making an ass of yourself several times over, again.

        The cooling effect to which I referred has nothing to do with your assertion. Can you find it genius?

        Now, as to the 7 million dying each year, why should we have to come up with [i]more[/i] money when it is already available in the form of fighting a nonissue? Would you care to argue with a Nobel Laureate, or several, over this?

        Go pollute another web site with your lies.

        Reply

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