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Global warming and media bias

As someone who is a scientist by training and also happens to be fascinated by media bias, stories on global warming both attract me and sadden me. Modeling a system that is as complicated as the earth's climate is a enormously challenging problem. It is so large that just to try to explain the scope of the problem is itself no easy task. So when the mainstream media tries to explain global warming--excuse me, climate change--using the same techniques they use to bring you the minute-by-minute updates of the Balloon Boy I just have to laugh.

Recently a paper published via Geophysical Research Letters discussed the amount of ice melt in Antarctic this summer. It was found that the ice melt was the lowest ever recorded in satellite history, as shown in the following figure.

Antarctica_icemelt.JPG

As noted at the blog World Climate Report (hat tip: Gateway Pundit), these findings didn't make the press release circuit.

Gateway Pundit also notes that this news comes on the heels of an admission late this summer by Greenpeace that their dire warning of a ice free north pole by 2030 was a mistake.

Although he admitted Greenpeace had released inaccurate but alarming information, Leipold defended the organization's practice of "emotionalizing issues" in order to bring the public around to its way of thinking and alter public opinion.
Given these data points what story did CNN run with yesterday?

Not that the arctic will be free of ice by 2030 as Greenpeace propaganda claimed but that it would happen by 2019.

The scientific method calls for being dispassionate and judging the results of experiments on the data collected and not by the hypothesis trying to be proved. One cannot cherry pick only the results that support your world view. I guess you have to give CNN a A for effort for sticking to the talking points but that is faint praise indeed.


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Comments (13)

I'm not a scientist, but I ... (Below threshold)

I'm not a scientist, but I do read a lot of scientific literature and I keep up with "the news" not only in my local newspaper but at a dozen or more spots on the Internet. One great site (Anthony Watts' Watts Up With That?, posts quite a number of peer-reviewed and non-reviewed articles on climate, weather, and related topics, including some very intriguing new studies on solar variability, sunspot activity (or more precisely, non-activity), and more. It's beginning to be more and more obvious that we don't really have a clue about all the issues that might affect long-term climate. It's also becoming more and more obvious that CO2 isn't the problem, and that "Crap and Tax" is just another Democratic Congressional power-play. It once more illustrates that the current leadership in the EPA is more interested in imposing a political agenda rather than actions that are based even partially on hard science.

There is a nice report out ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

There is a nice report out now on how unreliable the actual temperature data is.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf

I think anyone who seriously believes in global warming needs to address the enormous holes in the science. The revelation last month that the core data used to 'prove' that man was affecting the climate has disappeared following requests for independent scientists to see that data.

It's all fraud.

It reminds me of Michael Bellisles' paper on gun ownership in america and when he was challenged he claimed that the data was lost when his basement flooded. It turned out that he basically made the whole thing up. The same is going on here.

Given improvements in drill... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Given improvements in drilling and detection technologies we keep finding more and more fossil fuels, but the principle is true that all such fuels are finite. If you project the growth in energy needs it's clear that someday NG and oil will become scarce, and after that, even coal.

The question is, what should we do about it? There are those who really believe CO2 causes warming, and a growing number who doubt such a link exists, yet they support carbon cap and tax as a means of advancing renewable (or long lasting) energy technologies. There are also those who see carbon cap and tax as a means of freeing America from dependence on foreign oil. Yes, there are better ways of advancing new energy technologies and much better ways of making America energy independent, but when you try to advance either of those goals directly you find yourself marching with a small group facing overwhelming opposition.

We would all rather fly, drive or take a train to get to the goal, but they are sidelined for now and at least the carbon cap and tax bus is going the right direction. That's the only explanation I can come up with for why so many people support carbon cap and tax. There simply can't be that many people stupid enough to believe Al Gore's load of crap.

Mixing comparisons of antar... (Below threshold)
epador:

Mixing comparisons of antarctic ice and arctic ice are like comparing weather in Rome and Chicago - hey they're both the same distance from the equator.

CNN's accurate reporting di... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

CNN's accurate reporting died shortly after the first Gulf war with Wolf Blitzer taking the lead in inaccurate reporting.

That they could push out a report that states the Artic will be ice free in 2019 doesn't really shock me. Someone needs to point out to them the accuracy of their current biased reporting by showing them the difference between reality and what they believe reality is. It's bound to cause several heads to explode.

It's also becoming... (Below threshold)
Marc:
It's also becoming more and more obvious that CO2 isn't the problem, and that "Crap and Tax" is just another Democratic Congressional power-play.

And that fact should be part of the debate in congress. Just debating the cost isn't enough.

The opponents of crap and tax needs to put on a long line of scientists to testify in congress that reliably disprove AGW, or at least call into question the value of the bill

Libs are all for SCIENCE. ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Libs are all for SCIENCE. As long as that "SCIENCE" supports their beliefs. And if you don't believe their SCIENCE....then you've gotta be a RACIST!

Too many people use science... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Too many people use science as their religion. Just like any religion has their true believers no matter what (and I happen to be one of them), science should not be treated like a religion.

Science should not be based on emotion or preconceived ideas, but rather on always questioning, always re-examining. There are some core beliefs such as gravity, which are accepted as forever answered, but even that could be disputed if new facts came to light.

The global warming (em, climate change) crowd have told us "it is settled." There are scientists who dispute that statement, but they are marginalized, defunded and sidelined. That is what we have come to expect of politicians, but it is not, and never should be the attitude of good scientists.

Unlike other newspapers, St... (Below threshold)

Unlike other newspapers, Stopthepresses is not afraid to interview experts who don't fall in line and repeat the same old mantra Global warming, Global Warming. So today we bring you an interview with Professor Quincy Wagstaff.
.
Stopthepresses: Good morning Professor Wagstaff.

Professor Wagstaff: Here.

Stopthepresses: I'd like to start this interview by asking you what school you graduated from?

Professor Wagstaff: That's fine; I'd like to start this interview by ending it.

Stopthepresses: But Professor, I understand that you have an interesting theory on Global Warming?

Professor Wagstaff: All right, I'll give you one more chance, P.S. 37 Brooklyn, New York alt 61.

Stopthepresses: We understand that you hold many different degrees; can we call you a doctor?

Professor Wagstaff: Why wait for A Doctor, why not just call me an ambulance, a fine friend you turned out to be. Do I look sick? Quick someone get me a mirror. Now, I am in a hurry. The ponies are running at the track today, don't you know? So here's my theory in a nutshell, on Global Warming Global Cooling whatever. If a beaver builds a dam, what is that dam? Its part of nature, of course. If a bee builds a beehive, what is that beehive? It's part of nature. If a bird builds a birdhouse, what....ah? Wait, never mind that. We don't want to get the unions involved.

Stopthepresses: Oh I get it, if a prairie dog builds a burrow.......

Professor Wagstaff: Yes, yes I was born in Chicago the city on the prairie for which I've returned, but I'll thank you to leave my Father out of this conversation. Now back to humans, if a man builds an office tower what is that office tower?

Stopthepresses: Nature.

Professor Wagstaff: That's it, you got it. You see whatever a man does is part of nature. When a man builds something?

Stopthepresses: Nature.

Professor Wagstaff: When a man destroys something?

Stopthepresses: Nature.

Professor Wagstaff: When a man makes a machine that makes a steel can?

Stopthepresses: Nature.

Professor Wagstaff: When a man makes an auto and then drives that auto?

Stopthepresses: Nature.

Professor Wagstaff: And the exhaust that comes from that auto?

Stopthepresses: Nature.

Professor Wagstaff: Because a man is nature then whatever that man produces is part of nature. Just like the birds and the bees. So don't get all excited about this global warming thing. Its only nature in action. Now just think of it son, you don't have to waste all that time dragging your wife and kids out to the woods to commune with nature, you sleep in it every night. Just think of all the money you'll save by camping in your own home.

Stopthepresses: So a man is nature, therefore, whatever a man produces is natural, a part of nature. It's such a brilliant and simple theory, why wasn't it brought out before?

Professor Wagstaff: Because there's no money in it. You can't make money by saying everything is ok, the sky is not falling, just use a little common sense. That's why I am broke; can you lend me five bucks until Friday?

Stopthepresses: Ah...

Professor Wagstaff: Well, think on it a minute. Plus who in their right mind would listen to a person like Al Gore. You know Al Gore, he's the one who says he invented the Internet, Well that's nothing, I invented the Inter-Hair-Net. What is the Inter-Hair-Net you ask? I glad you asked. Most hair nets sit on top of your hair; you see that's very unsightly. My Inter-Hair-Net sits on your head and then your wig sits on the Inter Hair-Net. No more unsightly hair nets. It will sell millions, moohahaha moohahaha (evil laughter, rubbing his hands together).

Stopthepresses: Thank you Professor for this fine interview. We understand that you now live in Chicago and we look forward to many other interviews so you can depart your wisdom on our readers.

Professor Wagstaff: Oh yeah, well you'll have to find me first! But never mind that, what about them five bucks?

Thanks for that link to the... (Below threshold)
Alan:

Thanks for that link to the surface stations info -- I didn't know about that before and its an exceptional piece of information to use when "arguing with idiots". =)

Commenting on the commentat... (Below threshold)

Commenting on the commentator: Good job on this one Dan. With cap-n-trade still threatening in the Senate we need all the objective evidence we can get.

Anthropogenic Global Warmin... (Below threshold)
Dan Pangburn:

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) (and therefore ACC) is a mistake. All of the global average temperatures are readily calculated for the entire 20th century and until the present with no consideration whatsoever of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The method and graphic results are shown in a pdf at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true

Antarctica is getting colde... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Antarctica is getting colder despite all this poppycock about this global warming GLOBAL WARMING THE BIGGIST LIE OF THE 20th 21st CENTURY




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