Patterico's Pontifications

12/20/2010

Fox News Presents Both Sides of the Climate Debate; LA Times Says They Are Not Fair and BALANCED

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 12:20 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Buckle up, because this is a long one. But stick around to the end, to see a funny video.

The other day I noted that Media Mutters complained about Fox News accurately describing the public option as the government option, based on an internal memo they obtained.  (Unlike the cheeseball apologists on Climategate, I don’t care that it might have been stolen, so long as we are reasonably certain it is authentic.)  So Media Mutters released a new memo, shockingly demonstrating that when reporting on claims of global warming, Fox news personalities were instructed to inform people that there were other people who disputed the claims.  Now of course Media Mutters calls them biased for that, but that is old hat by now.

But then the LA Times stepped into it.  They explain:

Love it or hate it, Fox News has shaken up the media establishment and achieved financial success by airing the views of strident conservative pundits.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess they don’t “love it.”

Yet while the network has never made any bones about the political slant of opinion shows hosted by the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly, executives often claim that its news coverage is “fair and balanced.” A memo revealed this week by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters calls that into question.

They go on to discuss government-option-gate basically declaring that this complaint was too lame for their blood.  But they decided that questioning global warming is the last straw!

“We should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question,” read an e-mail sent by Sammon to news reporters on Dec. 8, 2009, and revealed this week by Media Matters. The memo went out 15 minutes after a Fox News reporter accurately explained to viewers that United Nations scientists had issued a report saying 2000 to 2009 was shaping up to be the warmest decade on record — even warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s.

Such data aren’t in serious dispute among climate scientists.

Well, gee, what might have been happening right around then that might have been relevant to the issue?  Let’s see here…  why it turns out that a small scandal known as Climategate was exploding all over the place.  For instance, on November 20, 2009, James Delingpole wrote a blog post at the UK’s Telegraph entitled “Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?”  So as a matter of fact there was a very serious dispute right at that time about the veracity of the data itself, with the hiding of the decline and the like.  One might debate just how much damage Climategate rightfully did to the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, but there can be no debate that there was a debate, and a very serious one at that.  And if evidence of bad science, destruction of evidence, obstruction of FOIA requests, massaging and outright fakery of data doesn’t lead those scientists to at least debate the veracity of their data, that is an indictment on the scientists, not on their critics.

The LA Times continues:

The way the data are interpreted can vary; it’s legitimate for climate skeptics to reach conclusions that contradict mainstream theories. But only a crank would deny the underlying temperature data that show the Earth getting warmer…

Well, except for the inconvenient truth that Professor Phil Jones, who is hip deep in this Climategate mess, has admitted that there has been no statistically significant warming for the last fifteen years.  So LA Times, is he not a Climate Scientist (come to think of it…)?  Or is he not seriously debating it?

— records compiled by independent stations around the world…

Three of the four of which have been “irrevocably tainted” last I heard.  And they go on ignorant of, or simply ignoring, these realities.  The LA Times then compares doubts about global warming to doubting gravity, which is a nice change of pace from comparing it to holocaust denial.  But of course the LA Times itself permits denialism in its very terminology.  Right on the sidebar when I viewed that story was another called Make the Big Green Buy, where an op-ed writer tells us that

Now that anti-science Republicans have taken control of the House, and the Cancun climate summit made only modest progress, pessimism about fighting climate change is fast congealing into conventional wisdom.

(emphasis added) Wait, what happened to global warming?  Well, it turns out that the term has become one of derision because every time they predict warmth, God dumps another foot of snow on Al Gore just to be sarcastic.  So liberals progressives, always out to trick people into supporting their ideas by renaming them, renamed global warming as “climate change”—or at least have attempted to do so, to much derision (because after all, the climate is actually always changing).

And the truly laughable thing in this LA Times editorial is the concern that this shows Fox is not Fair and Balanced.  You know, because the “balanced” thing to do is to pretend there is only one side to a debate.  Mind you, of course there are some things that are beyond reasonable debate.  Gravity is indeed one of them, as is the occurrence of the holocaust (although maybe not so much the Armenian Genocide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center).  The problem is that global warming is not nearly so certain.

Ah, but only if we could pretend the science is settled, then we could present alarmist predictions without any contradiction.  You know, like in the good old days, before Climategate.  Like let’s take a walk down memory lane to this assuredly fair and balanced report in the UK’s Independent:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

By Charles Onians

Monday, 20 March 2000

Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

And of course this is not just the hyperbole of a reporter.  No, this is backed up by a respected scientist from a respected university:

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

(Emphasis added.)  Mind you, he said that in 2000.  And what is going on in Britain today?  The headline says it all: Coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C  bringing travel chaos across Britain.  And a few pictures:

This isn’t happening.

Nothing to see here.

The Science! is settled, damnit.

And mind you, this is not a fluke.  As no less than the Guardian has noted, they have had three cold winters in a row across the pond.

And the point isn’t to say that one professor was wrong.  I mean, that happens.  But it is to point out that again and again, Global Warmmongers make predictions like this that turn out to be spectacularly wrong.  But when this prediction was made where were the other voices that might have contradicted this bit of obvious hyperbole?  Apparently they were following the LA Times rules on reporting on Global Warming—that it is as certain as gravity.  But joking aside, where was the outcry?  Where were the respected Climate scientists who said something like this, “Sure, Global warming is real, but Dr. Viner is off his rocker if he thinks that there won’t be any white Christmases.  Surely we will have at least one more by 2010”?  Where was that guy, who did the math and it came out in such a way to predict both the current winter and a generalized warming trend?  Apparently pro-global-warming scientists who opposed this kind of hyperbole were nowhere to be found.

The same can be said for the issue of the infamous “hide the decline” email.  (As if scientists, discussing science should be hiding anything–what happened to show your work?)  As the American Thinker points out, by hiding this decline they committed a fraud against the people of the world.  But no one—except those denounced as deniers—called them on it.

And if all that isn’t bad enough now that we have had these massively cold winters, the climate “scientists” have an explanation for that, too.  Wanna take a guess what it is caused by?

For example, even though it sounds counterintuitive, global warming likely played a bit of a role in “Snowmageddon” earlier this year, Holland said. That’s because with a warmer climate, there’s more moisture in the air, which makes storms including blizzards, more intense, he said.

(Source.)  So if we don’t see any snow, it’s because of global warming.  If we see a bunch of it, its global warming.

This isn’t science.  This is religion.  I mean what else do you call a belief system that is immune to facts?

Now you might say, “but he is a creationist and therefore anti-science” or some silliness like that.  I do believe that God created the Earth, and all life upon it.  I am a bit fuzzy on the details being open to anything from Biblical literalism, to God creating the big bang and letting it all go from there.  But here is one thing I do feel comfortable about saying.  That if you look at the evidence scientifically, the preponderance supports the big bang and evolution.  Now given that I also believe in an omnipotent God, tautologically anything is possible.  But there you go.

But its precisely because I can separate those two questions—what does science tell me about how we got here v. what my faith tells me—that helps me recognize the difference between the two.  For one, science, is responsive to evidence.  When the evidence contradicts your science you know you have something wrong and adjust accordingly.  But when evidence contradicts your faith, you explain it away.  So when scientists found the bones of great creatures that existed tens of millions of years ago, they said, “Aha!  The world must be much older than thought.  And these great lizards—let’s call them dinosaurs—strode the Earth back then.”  Meanwhile religion says, “Nah, God created the bones and even made them look like they were buried before the earth was even created.”  That’s how science and religion looks at the same evidence, and you have to ask yourself, which do these reactions to evidence contradicting Global Warming more resemble?  The approach of science, or religion?

Oh and before you tell me another pious story about the solemn gathering of scientific minds at cancun, you might want to watch this (via Watts up with that):

Before my freedom is limited and my energy bills are artificially inflated, these scientists will have to do better than this.

Hat tip to Powerline for the UK blizzard angle in all of this with their own excellent post A Scientific Theory is Judged by Its Predictive Power.

Remember, in the Soviet Union, the climate changes you!

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

75 Responses to “Fox News Presents Both Sides of the Climate Debate; LA Times Says They Are Not Fair and BALANCED”

  1. You know, I thought to myself, writing this post… if only i could find a way to put Sarah Palin into the story, we would have the ultimate comment bait.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  2. narciso

    Lol, thanks for the assist!

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. The LA Times editorial writers are pseudointellectuals.

    BTW, I also wrote a similar post yesterday. Great minds and all.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc)

  4. Racist anti-science denialists.

    JD (b98cae)

  5. Sarah Palin worked harder than anybody to put a douchebag cap n trader in our little White House in 2008.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  6. and then she endorsed his re-election to the Senate

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  7. If… only there were some natural mechanism for explaining the warming and cooling of the earth.

    It would have to be unreasonably large, however — on an order of magnitude of our own sun….

    dfbaskwill (ca54bb)

  8. I like this post better than the other posts cause of it has dinosaurs

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  9. I can prove, scientifically, that the Washington Senators were a better club than the New York Yankees.

    Data? I don’t need no stinking data!

    Ed from SFV (6edf50)

  10. happy

    but sadly, there are no dinosaurs with rocket launchers attached.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. Are dinosaurs with rocket launchers distant cousins of sharks with lasers?

    JD (07faa1)

  12. JD

    Of course not. Evolution is a myth, therefore God created the sharks with lasers, but he just put in fake dinosaur bones with rocket launchers near them.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  13. I blame Bush. And Kyoto. And Bush.

    Dmac (498ece)

  14. this is the future or the future is a waste of time

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  15. This just in – Michael Mann’s employer conducted their own internal investigation and concluded that his research is completely exonerated, there’s nothing to see here, just move along now, and stop asking us any more of those pesky and annoying questions regarding veracity and accuracy. Our response? Shut the hell up.

    Dmac (498ece)

  16. George Soros just called to say that Media Nutterz has no relationship whatsoever to him, and that along with making billions off speculation involving bankrupt 3rd World countries and their currency problems, he was a loyal footsoldier in rounding up his fellow Jews back when he was but a wee lad. Really, it’s a heartwarming story of perserverance in the face of adversity, and it even has a happy ending – for Georgie.

    Dmac (498ece)

  17. I blame MTSU. And incestuous midgets.

    JD (822109)

  18. Sorry for the multiple posts, but I got into this “discussion” with some well – meaning but hopelessly out of the loop friends last weekend. As usual, it was an exercise in futility.

    Dmac (498ece)

  19. I blame algore. And Tennessee, on principle.

    JD (07faa1)

  20. dmac

    no need to apologize. every now and then we all have to let off some steam.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  21. Those undercover college kids better not put on a pimp suit or bring a faux-hooker with them, otherwise everything they shoot on the camera will be disputed.

    Birdbath (8501d4)

  22. Steam contributes to global change, er, climate warming.

    Ed from SFV (6edf50)

  23. MediaMatterz never tires of beclowning themselves.

    JD (07faa1)

  24. Jonathan Schell, says you have that wrong Dmac, mind you he’s been wrong about everything since 1965, but it was in the Nation this time. feets,
    you are one step away from Ctuluthu swallowing your state whole, that or the institution of the cadres
    so focus

    narciso (6075d0)

  25. JD

    You would think by now other liberals would know better than to follow their lead, though.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  26. Facts don’t mean anything to them, AW. They cannot be embarrassed or ashamed.

    JD (07faa1)

  27. mind you he’s been wrong about everything since 1965,

    He’s giving Paul Ehrlich a run for his money – and Ehrlich still can’t admit that he was wrong, wrong, wrong about the population explosion and resultant widespread famine. Dishonest hacks, the whole lot of them. Ehrlich even had to pay off on his legendary bet after he lost so badly – but he’s still right, just that now you have to extrapolate even farther into the future and you’ll see the oncoming hordes.

    Dmac (498ece)

  28. Dmac – They won’t admit they are wrong because they believe they just haven’t been proved right yet, just ignore the dates on their predictions, please.

    daleyrocks (a82d72)

  29. dfbaskwill #9

    Nicely snarked.

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (9eeb86)

  30. I’m an old test and evaluation guy, so drawing conclusions about highly complex, stochastic systems such as long term climate, does not inspire in me a high level of confidence.

    In the 1st Test Squadron, we would evaluate Aim-7Es and Aim-9Ls fired at target drones by combat ready aircrews operating mission capable F4 Phantom IIs. There are many variables in this evaluation. Aircraft, radars, missiles, maintenance and aircrews are all slightly different, so to evaluate the chain of events, we instrumented the missiles and recorded intercom voice and radar and gunsight cameras and our chase aircrew collected data on every pass.

    Given a mission capable aircraft, would they ground abort? Why? If they took off, would they air abort en route to the area? Why? If they were paired with a target would they complete the intercept? Why not? If they achieved a launch position and squeezed the trigger, would the missile leave the aircraft? Why not? If the missile left the aircraft, would it guide? Why not? If it guided, would it pass within its lethal range? Why not? If it passed within its warhead envelope, would it fuse? Why not?

    The seven links in our evaluation were complicated and sometimes subjective, but the potential modes of failures were finite, rational and knowable. I would never try to guess how much more complex is climate. One problem is we do not know all the variables.

    Modeling climate is a fool’s errand directed, heeded and funded by fools.

    Arch (24f4f2)

  31. Dihydrogen monoxide is a chemical to fear
    Uncounted thousands die of inhalation every year
    Yet the FDA allows it in our burgers, beans, and beer
    And never questions why!

    Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide,
    Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide,
    Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide
    before it kills us all.

    Copyright 1997 Mark Mandel

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  32. .


    I got into this “discussion” with some well – meaning but hopelessly out of the loop friends last weekend. As usual, it was an exercise in futility.

    Messieur, if I may suggest, it’s never an exercise in futility, it’s only potentially futile in one respect, and you should always grasp this going in…

    Never look upon such a discussion with the expectation that it will change their minds. If that ever does happen, it will be “Man bites dog” news, not the other way around… and even if it DOES manage to “change” their minds, the Liberal Midnight Reset Button® will strike, and eradicate it all anyway (see addendum below, if you are unfamiliar with this device, installed at the base of the medulla as a matter of course whenever one attains one’s Liberal Calling Card®).

    No, the approach is to be performing due diligence on your OWN positions. By going over the facts with the target libtard, the expectation is that you will
    1) Be forced to re-clarify the reasoning behind your position.
    2) Be forced to re-examine the various factual bases for that opinion in light of any new evidence or refutation you have encountered since you last reasoned it carefully.
    3) Expose your position to the light of other viewpoints. It may well be that you encounter another viewpoint, or new data (perhaps via an on-looker, if not the libtard), which calls some or all of your facts into question, and requires you to either re-evaluate your position or seek information to bolster it against the newly obtained viewpoint, data, or question.

    The key issue is that you examine your —OWN— viewpoint carefully, and not assume it’s still fully valid and correct, even if it is likely to be.

    This is one of the primary responsibilities of true intellect: Regularly self-imposed “Reality Checks”.

    ================================================================================
    *The Liberal Midnight Reset Button*
    One primary thing to grasp about liberals is The Liberal Midnight Reset Button®.

    There’s a device built into their tiny widdle brains (such as they are) which acts on their memory processes as it processes the day’s experiences into permanent storage.

    It examines all the day’s learning in light of Officially Accepted Liberal Positions®. If it finds ANYTHING which violates the OALP, it is instantly purged and removed from further affect on the brain (such as it is).

    This explains how you can, with any liberal, start from one of their more Cherished OALPs, take them, step by step, through a reasoning process and show how that OALP is categorically guaranteed to result in exactly the opposite of that thing which the OALP is intended to promote, and have them agree with you utterly and completely every step of the way, even unto the conclusion that the OALP is blatantly, inherently wrong (They’ll weasel it almost every time with “Hmmm. I’m going to have to think about this some more”).

    Then, despite this, when you see them again a day, or two days, or a week, later, they will still be arguing in total and complete support of the OALP you just wasted your time demonstrating to them was utterly and completely defective in every way, shape, or form.

    The Liberal Midnight Reset Button® has done its nefarious work.

    Once you grasp that this is not “exactly” a joke, that it’s an actual, functioning mechanism inside libtard brains (such as they are), you will have a far greater understanding of how it is that liberals make no sense.

    One of the key problems with liberals is that, though many have a great deal of that thing we call “intelligence” — a form of it measurable by an IQ test — they have almost nothing of that form of it we call “wisdom” — the capacity to learn from experience — your own as well as those of others.

    In other words, if there were a Wisdom Quotient test, analogous to the IQ test, most libtards would be flaming Widiots.

    This is a direct outgrowth of that Reset Button.
    .

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (9eeb86)

  33. The LA Times editorial writers are pseudointellectuals.

    Seriously. I commented on this several months ago, but have any of you every looked at the biographies of the members of the LA Times editorial staff? They are right up there on the website (sorry, too lazy/hurried to dig up the link right now). There are something like 10 of them, virtually all of whom are culled from the media/law/academic left-wing farm system. If memory serves, only one or two of them appear to have what anyone could possibly construe as experience in the private enterprise system, and only one of them has military experience (and that was from the early 1960s, back when men were drafted into the service). It is utterly beyond me why anyone would take that collection of namby-pamby lightweights seriously.

    JVW (4463d3)

  34. Don’t blame Tennessee for Al Gore. In 2000, Tennessee went for George W. Bush by about 12 percentage points. Those who knew him best “bitch-slapped” him at the polls.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  35. Longwalker: Indeed. My argument back in 2000 when lefties would say, “Gore got 500k more votes nationwide than Bush did,” was to reply, “Yes, but anyone who loses their home state ought to be ineligible for the Presidency. After all, who knows Gore best other than his fellow Volunteer State residents?” [The answer, of course, is the Washington DC Establishment — Gore’s true homies — but none of them were ever quick enough to come up with that rejoinder.]

    JVW (4463d3)

  36. But when evidence contradicts your faith, you explain it away.
    This is sort of off topic, but:

    It is true that experimental science and religious belief operate in different spheres with limited overlap, but that does not mean all people of religious faith choose to ignore evidence. Sir Isaac Newton would have never subscribed to this view of the interaction between faith and science.

    In most endeavors we have more to learn. In school, even through an undergraduate degree, there can exist the belief that “since it is in a textbook it must be true”. I do not believe I have “explained away” anything, but there is much where I have suspended a conviction of absolute truth because of lack of information and clarity. For example, if someone would show me a tomb with a skeleton inside and claim it was the remains of Jesus, I would not be settled by “explaining it away”, but it would take a tremendous something to prove to me the claim was legitimate. Someone telling me that carbon dating placed the skeleton as being alive 1980 years ago and an artifact with the writing, “Jesus, King of the Jews” was found nearby would not be adequate to convince me that this was indeed the body of Jesus and that he did not rise from the dead as His disciples claimed. One could say that I was “explaining away” a conflict, I would say one can only be certain of so much from any single bit of evidence.

    I’m not sure if we actually disagree, or whether you took a short-cut in stating more or less what I am saying.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  37. As often happens, IIRC Gore was elected senator on a conservative values/pro-life platform and morphed on becoming VP.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  38. More like morphed on coming to Washington.

    Socratease (a13a7c)

  39. Let me get this straight. Warning: Long stentence ahead: You’re saying that because James Delingpole, a self-proclaimed “libertarian conservative” (read: not a scientist) who actually writes BOOKS(!) wrote a blog item declaring there to be controversy over global warming, indeed saying there was a final nail in the coffin of the understanding (belief isn’t appropriate here, it is understanding in the sense of standing under something objectively knowable) of the overwhelming majority of actual real scientists, particularly those studying climate, that thus there is legitimate controversy.
    Yeah, like a few years ago when the American Enterprise Institute got found out for offering $10,000 to any academic type (oh, maybe even a mere doctoral candidate in some aspect of Proustian metaphysics) who would publish an article casting doubt on global warming. Here’s the premise, here’s the money, bring us back some store-bought controversy. If you go back and look a bit more objectively (yuk-yuk), that so-called climategate scandal to which you refer and about which James Dingleberry was writing turned out to be of no substance. Though of course you can blow some hot air into it occasionally and try to fluff it up.

    There is no controversy over global warming. There are only global warming itself, and the chilled bullshit you find in places like this little room.
    You will indeed find a handful of scientists with actual credentials who will tell you there is no global warming. They comprise a fraction of one percent of the whole. But do, sir, hold fast to that and try to inflate it into statistical signifcance. I expect you could even find a scientist of some credentials who would say this blog will someday replace Scientology as the world’s greatest religion, or whatever. Just sayin’.
    Hey, new topic. How about those fools that think God (the one true God, of course)didn’t fashion, I mean intelligently design, this ‘ol earth and all its critters in seven days?

    Larry Reilly (ae99e7)


  40. Remember, in the Soviet Union, the climate changes you!


    This is less comical than you think. I recall reading a popsci essay by Jerry Pournelle MANY years ago in which he quoted, iirc, Amory Lovins, about how, when the windmill is operating at a high value, why, you don’t go to sleep, you get up and do things with that energy!

    In other words, the energy changes you, not the other way around.

    I’ll see if I can find the exact quote and page at some future time.

    IGotBupkis (cb7450)

  41. JVW
    Today, I read an LA Times story on desalination. It was shallow and in places just inaccurate, and not in the conventional left-wing way.

    I cover desalination as part of my water beat, and got the sense the writer didn’t know the subject very well, at least when it came to the desalination project in Carlsbad that was a major theme of the story. It contained outdated information on the project and lacked balance and perspective. I have my own biases informed opinions on desalination — I’m generally for it — but was disturbed by the short shrift the opponents were given.

    But the most blame belongs not to the reporters, but to the editors, who are not serious people. Well, seriously ignorant.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  42. __________________________________________________

    Meanwhile, also in the LA Times:

    It was substantially cooler than average this spring and summer. Then in late September, Los Angeles registered its hottest day ever recorded. Now, Southern California is in the throes of a rainstorm that could result in its wettest December on record.

    The sharp changes have even veteran forecasters scratching their heads and searching for answers. Many forecasters had predicted the region would have a dryer than normal winter.

    “Just when you think you have Mother Nature figured out, she sticks a finger in your eye,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    There are no easy answers for the strange weather this year, scientists say. In general, as the globe warms, weather conditions tend to be more extreme and volatile, Patzert said.

    More than 5 inches of rain have already fallen in downtown Los Angeles this month, and the record of 8.77 inches for December is within reach. Mammoth Mountain has already recorded the highest December snow levels ever.

    Until now, Patzert and other forecasters had been predicting a La Niña winter, defined by cooler than normal temperatures in the Pacific and lower than average rainfall in Southern California. Jamie Meier, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said it’s too early to assume that the region’s traditionally wettest months, January, February and March, will be similarly rainy. But with this month’s storms, Los Angeles’ rainfall is already well above average.

    Oh, so as the globe warms, climate becomes more extreme?!! I guess that theory is about as reliable as, uh, the assumption that 2010 was going to be dryer than normal.

    What next? The conclusion that the sun and, in turn, the tilt of the Earth have only a modest impact on Earth’s climate?! That the planet’s four seasons are due to the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus?

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  43. Mark, good find. The obtuseness of most LA Times reporters about climate and science (and just about everything else) never ceases to amaze me.

    The LAT story
    cast doubt on whether we’re having a La Nina winter, which is characterized by cool waters in the tropical Pacific. To repeat part of your quote from it:
    There are no easy answers for the strange weather this year, scientists say. In general, as the globe warms, weather conditions tend to be more extreme and volatile, Patzert said. . . .

    Until now, Patzert and other forecasters had been predicting a La Niña winter, defined by cooler than normal temperatures in the Pacific and lower than average rainfall in Southern California. Jamie Meier, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said it’s too early to assume that the region’s traditionally wettest months, January, February and March, will be similarly rainy. But with this month’s storms, Los Angeles’ rainfall is already well above average.

    But strangely enough La Nina’s weather events appear to be manifesting in New Jersey, characterized not by extremes, but by less extreme weather.
    After a year of extremes, early signs are pointing to a milder winter.

    That assessment comes from State Climatologist David Robinson, who said that recent weather indicators in the tropical Pacific Ocean may lead to roughly average precipitation and temperatures but below-average snowfall.

    Robinson said the indicators appear to signaling a so-called La Nina event, which historically are consistent with storms that travel west and northwest into the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes, he said. Those storms combine with counter-clockwise winds that bring “mild air up the East Coast, and with it rain, not snow.”

    That storm pattern has been seen a few times so far during November and December, he said.

    “That’s exactly what we have right now,” Robinson said. “We have a moderate to strong La Nina. And while you can’t take it to the bank, in general, La Nina’s have about average precipitation, about average temperatures and below average snowfall.”

    If more “extreme” weather in SoCal during a La Nina year is evidence of global warming, what does milder weather in New Jersey mean?

    In the Pacific Northwest, it’s a La Nina year:
    This is a La Niña year in the Pacific Northwest. That results is wild and unpredictable weather. The temperature yesterday was 61, today it was in the low 40s. Cold moist air meant thunderstorms – heavy rain and hail. But south of Portland there was something else.

    Tornadoes are rare in Oregon – we average about two a year and they normally just tear up some Willamete Valley farm land and perhaps an occasional out building. But this one was different it hit a small town south of Portland, Aumsville.

    La Nina is also in evidence in Australia.
    SYDNEY Dec 21 (Reuters) – The strongest La Nina weather event in nearly half a century, resulting in heavy rains and flooding which has damaged crops and flooded mines in Australia and Asia, may be at its peak, the Australian weather bureau said.

    “Long-range models surveyed by the bureau suggest that this La Nina event may be at its peak and will persist through the southern hemisphere summer,” the Bureau of Meteorology said in its weekly tropical climate note on Tuesday.

    “La Nina conditions continue to dominate across the tropical Pacific. All climate indicators… remain above La Nina thresholds,” it said.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  44. Brother Bradley – Global warming causes everything.

    JD (07faa1)

  45. “This isn’t science.”

    Yeah, that’s true. If you can’t conduct an experiment to verify a proposition, then what you’re doing isn’t science.

    Climatology isn’t a science (interesting field of study, IMO, especially paleoclimatology which I enjoy delving into from time to time…but, it isn’t a science).

    AGW theory can’t be tested scientifically, all arguments that involve the use of the term “science” in this issue are simply appeal to authority arguments, and it doesn’t matter what the opinions of “scientists” are.

    Dave Surls (f9cacf)

  46. And regarding the LAT desal story, I noted that the lead itself appears to be false:
    Chugging a cool glass of California tap? It could be seawater flowing from that faucet.

    The story doesn’t name any place in California that provides tap water from desalinated sea water. As far as I can tell, there’s no such place.

    And the cost estimate of desalinated water is questionable. It cites an estimate of $3.00 per 1,000 gallons for desalinated water. That amounts to to $978 per acre-foot, which is about 326,000 gallons. That is close to the number from Poseidon Resources. However, the San Diego County Water Authority, Poseidon’s prospective customer, estimates the cost at between $1,600 to 2,000 an acre foot. The Water Authority isn’t quoted in the article. I’d guess the LA Times reporter got the information from Poseidon, either directly or by looking at its Web site, and didn’t verify it with the Water Authority.

    Also, the story says fresh water not from desalination costs “pennies” for 1,000 gallons. Actually, untreated fresh water sold for agriculture in the Valley Center Municipal Water District in northern San Diego County sells for $800 to $1,000 per acre-foot, not just “pennies”. And treated water for residential customers cost more than $1,000 per acre-foot.

    The more I look at this LA Times story, the more I see what a defective piece of journalism it is.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0c96d2)

  47. The LAT wouldn’t know an accurate accounting of the Global Warming/Climate Change debate if it crawled up its collective A$$!

    AD-RtR/OS! (c0ea0d)

  48. #47

    After years of kicking the idea around, looks like they actually have a desalinaztion plant online in California.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=california-desalination-reverse-osmosis

    Dave Surls (f9cacf)

  49. I meant “desalination” not “desalinaztion”.

    Don’t know where that z came from.

    Dave Surls (f9cacf)

  50. .

    Better yet, it’s summer in Australia… right?

    And the majority of Australia is closer to the equator than the majority of the USA is… correct?


    So why the F*** is it —snowing— in Australia at the Summer Solstice?

    .

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (9eeb86)

  51. I spoke to my mother in Melbourne tonight, and she said they’ve got the heater going! It’s about 11°C, in late December!

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  52. What the LAT is really whinging about

    “CNN, MSNBC Plunge as Fox News’ Ratings Surge”

    http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/cnn-fox-msnbc-ratings/2010/03/29/id/354175

    Typical headline and story relating to Fox News.

    And, it just drives the lefties absolutely nuts.

    Dave Surls (71990c)

  53. Well it’s going to be another extremely pleasant warm mid to high 70s day here in the gorgeous Texas hill country. Only snow I’ll see will be my rainbow snow cone this afternoon.

    My point: if the climate changes, people can relocate if they are as intelligent as I was to actually consider such a thing when choosing where to live.

    A warmer climate also means more food. Sadly, global warming is turning out to be a myth, but we can still focus on nuclear power, reducing reliance on oil, and cutting pollution when it doesn’t harm our ability to have a good life (which is very often not a big problem).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  54. Dustin

    imho, harming your ability to have a good life is what this is really all about.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  55. igot

    Well, maybe there is something special in having antarctica below them, causing issues you don’t have in the north pole. beats me. i mean that seems pretty weird and extreme, but maybe to aussies, this is perfectly normal.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  56. Yeah, that’s true. If you can’t conduct an experiment to verify a proposition, then what you’re doing isn’t science.
    Climatology isn’t a science (interesting field of study, IMO, especially paleoclimatology which I enjoy delving into from time to time…but, it isn’t a science).
    AGW theory can’t be tested scientifically, all arguments that involve the use of the term “science” in this issue are simply appeal to authority arguments, and it doesn’t matter what the opinions of “scientists” are.

    Comment by Dave Surls — 12/20/2010

    I think your comments would be agreed to by many in the sciences, but I believe a little differently. I think for science to occur one needs to observe events and judge whether the observations are consistent or not with the current understanding. By the definition you give, (and I’ve disputed this with a friend who has had a major textbook on cell biology out for multiple editions) science can only exist when the observer can control all of the conditions. I don’t think that is necessarily true. There is much in the way of natural phenomena that can be studied but not controlled, and a credible hypothesis based on observation can be made and is verifiable (or at least able to be proven wrong) if it accurately predicts other observations.

    I myself have never claimed Climate Science can’t exist; my main objection is the pitifully small sample set of recorded temperatures (in terms of time span) to work with and otherwise dependence on a host of indirect measurements where the methodology is in dispute. Their sample of data from roughly 1900 until ~1975 made everybody predict global cooling, another ten years they started predicting global warming. Ten years of climate data for the earth is smaller than small.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  57. Once again, Larry Reilly supplies us with a comment that shows he is ignorant of the actual issues.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. Larry Reilly,
    There is no controversy over global warming.

    Here’s a controversy for you: Where’s the missing heat predicted by AGW?

    Answering this should be no trouble for such a scientific expert as yourself.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  59. “…look like they were buried before the earth was even created.”

    What do you mean?

    Gerald A (138c50)

  60. Attempting to argue with Mawy O’Reilly is akin to drinking a gallon of seriously spiked eggnog.

    Dmac (498ece)

  61. Try a pan galactic gargle blaster instead

    narciso (6075d0)

  62. “…science can only exist when the observer can control all of the conditions.”

    That’s correct. If you can’t conduct an experiment to test a proposition where you can control for variables…then it ain’t science. There is no climate science. All you can do in climatology is make careful observations and then make some educated guesses when you’re theorizing. You can’t really test by experimentation,

    “Dave Surls, thanks for that link.”

    You are most welcome, sir.

    Dave Surls (e3a4a0)

  63. Dave, one can still attempt experiment by predicting a new observation that would be unexplained by the null hypothesis, much as Einstein did with relativity. The AGW crowd has avoided that.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. Gerald A.
    What do you mean?
    Omphalos!

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 12/21/2010 @ 2:15 pm

    He seems to be completely misunderstanding what Morris was saying about different species in different environments. But the Omphalos! part is pretty powerful.

    Gerald A (9ef895)

  65. It’s useless to talk about science in regard to AGW theory. You can’t take a climate, stick it in a lab, where you can control all the variables, and then see what happens when you change the co2 levels while every other variable stays the same. In order to prove or disprove AGW theory that’s what you would HAVE to do. There is no other way.

    That’s what science is. That’s how REAL scientists figure things out.

    Climatologists are not scientists. They don’t do that, because they can’t do that. There is no such thing as climate science.

    And, that’s bad, because without the ability to do that we have a much worse chance of being able to know what’s going on, and what’s going to happen next…

    ‘According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.’–A non-scientist, who can’t use scientific method to verify his theory trying to make a prediction in 2000

    I rest my case.

    Dave Surls (c6c66c)

  66. Hmmm, A post of mine has not appeared from last night.

    As I stated previously, I am of the opinion as SPQR that one does not have to be able to control conditions in a lab to do science. By that definition, I’d have to think astronomy, astrophysics, much of biology (anything done observing living things in their natural environment) is “not science”. What one does need to have is detailed observation with adequate sample size, a humility about what one can claim to know, and a healthy respect for what one doesn’t know. If one can make predictions using a hypothesis and test if the predictions are accurate, one can do science.

    I think the problem with “Climate Science” is they have tried to use a pitifully small data base (when it comes to direct observation) and indirect measurements of questionable methodology (tree ring data) to predict changes in an incredibly complicated system. And, as has been pointed out, their hypotheses have not been confirmed by observations going forward, nor by accurate correlation with measured values in the past. So I’ll call it bad science based in inadequate information, faulty assumptions, and falsified hypotheses. Our bottom line evaluation as far as climate science goes is the same- it’s not believable.

    It just goes to show if someone with education can make things sound complicated enough and somehow get your attention and trust, they can make you believe all kinds of stuff, be it in science, law, politics, etc.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  67. Dave Surls, are astronomy and astrophysics sciences? You can’t do experiments there either. But you can make predictions, and if they don’t pan out then your theory is broken. Relativity was first proven, not by a lab experiment, but by observing the orbit of Mercury to see whether it obeyed Newton or Einstein.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  68. “…someone with education can make things sound complicated enough and somehow get your attention and trust…”

    Well, except for the trust bit, I think that pretty much sums up “Post-Modernism”:

    Credentialed Gobbledygook!

    AD-RtR/OS! (9b49f3)

  69. Credentialed Gobbledygook

    I believe that is the newly accepted technical term for the phenomenon. The less technical term will remain “BS” or some less polite equivalent.

    If they could only get attention it wouldn’t be too bad, but too often enough of the public (self at times included, depending on the subject) to take them seriously. Perhaps “trust” isn’t exactly the right word, but it is the ability to gain acceptance, belief, confidence, trust or the like that causes the problems.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  70. Time to quit calling climatologist scientists. They do not follow the scientific method, as they base projections on computer models and UN produced data that can not be verified. They are selective on who qualifies as “peers” and are not replace scientific proof with “consensus”. What climatologists are are politicians, with an agenda, and they get rewarded with some 74 billion dollars in federal funds.

    Wayne (abab27)


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