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April 20, 2011


Citing Matt Yglesias, Brendan tweets, "We need editors to take responsibility for factual misinformation in op-eds." Accord, PowerLine, which has been on a campaign to correct the New York Times's repeated, flagrant misstatements of facts in editorials and op-ed pieces about the Koch brothers.

Re: @mattyglesias on Fred Hiatt and
Pawlenty spokesman: "We don’t know [the] cause of climate change." Yikes

I really don't understand yours and esp. Yglesias dogmatism on the causes of climate change.

I am open to the possibility that the biggest culprit is human action and even strongly suspect this is that case - after all, we don't understand the unintended consequences of all the technological advances of the past 100 years.

But I am surprised any thinking person wouldn't be skeptical of the current politicized state of science, with researchers incentivized to report "crises" in order to get more government funding and recognition.

The obvious manipulation of science apparent in the leaked emails several years ago should not have been a surprise to anyone.

Besides there are respected scientists that see other more powerful natural suspects for climate change, so I see no reason to just "accept" the supposed consensus. Always remember that many other "consensus" opinions have later been proven false.

Yglesias criticism of Hiatt is particularly ridiculous, as his "crime" is only letting George Will publish his "skeptical" opinion. Will could be wrong, and will look ridiculous if one day proven so, so why should Hiatt try to censor him?

Yglesias dogmatism here is even deeper than I noticed on first read -

"why did Hiatt publish the op-ed in question if he knew it to be inaccurate?"

No-one can "know" climate change skepticism to be inaccurate. They can only have a differing opinion.

Here Yglesias sounds way too much like a religious zealot who thinks he "knows" as a fact his view of God is the right one, so no one s/b be able to express any other opinion.

Quite startling...

As more facts suggest a degree of skepticism on AGW, some warmists respond by acknowledging the problems. E.g., physics professor Judith Curry continues to believe in AGW. However, she has enough scientific expertise to admit that there has been scientific misconduct involved in hockey stick models. Professor Curry has sufficient integrity to acknowledge that UN predictions of 50 million climate refugees have proved incorrect.

OTOH Yglesias simply doubles down on his previous position. He ignores the problems and instead suggests preventing the publication of dissenting ideas.

Yglesias seems not to know what the word "fact" means. It's a fact that the globe has warmed since 200 years ago. However, it's not a fact that "the planet is getting warmer", if by that Yglesias means that the warming will continue indefinitely into the future. None of us can predict the future with certainty.

Yglesias says the science of global warming is "quite clear." Clear to whom? Certainly not to Yglesias. He's not qualified to review and interpret the science of warmists and their critics. AFAIK he has never attempted to do so. Quite a few highly qualified scientists do question the science of global warming, so it can't be that clear.

Another type of comment that annoys me is Fred Hiatt's:

But if you asked 1,000 scientists, 998 of them would say that climate change is real and that human activity — the burning of oil, gas and coal — is a significant contributor.

First of all, that's the wrong question. The right question is whether something like Kyoto or like Cap and Trade is needed to prevent disaster and is sufficient to prevent disaster. AFAIK most scientists would not agree. The skeptics don't think these programs are needed. And, honest warmists will acknowledge that if the disaster models are correct things like Kyoto or Cap and Trade are utterly inadequate to save us.

Second, instead of guessing at the level of scientific support, how about taking an actual survey? I doubt the 98% figure, because 31,487 American scientists have signed a petition stating that there is no convincing scientific evidence that man's activity will cause catastrophic heating of the earth's atmosphere. No doubt many non-signing scientists agree with them.

Even if the petition signers were the only scientists to question AGW, there would have to be 1,569,350 scientists who are certain that AGW is real and disastrous in order for their number to comprise 98% of all scientists. I've seen no data identifying this many scientists on the warmist side.

My apologies. Hiatt said 998 out of 1000, not 98 out of 100. To offset just the 31,487 petition signers, there would have to be 15,743,500 scientists who are warmers in order to reach that ratio.

I was disappointed to read that Newshour gave credibility to the false and damaging theory that vaccines cause autism. Newshour usually does a more responsible job.

On Diane Rehm's radio program this morning, MacNeil acknowledged there's no epidemiological evidence that vaccines cause autism. He said, however, that his daughter believes they do. He did not explain why he failed in the program to point out the lack of evidence for his daughter's belief and failed to challenge her to support her belief.

MacNeil's comment was in response to an emailed question from a listener. Diane Rehm lacked the knowledge or inclination to raise the issue herself.

Brendan faults a Pawlenty spokesman for saying. "We don’t know [the] cause of climate change."

However, science is by no means settled on the causes of climate change. E.g., a study to by published in Science Magazine reports that researchers at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science found that , "[the ozone hole, which is located over the South Pole,] has caused a great deal of the climate change that’s been observed.”

Yet, “The ozone hole is not even mentioned in the summary for policymakers issued with the last IPCC report,” noted Lorenzo M. Polvani, Professor of Applied Mathematics and of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and co-author of the paper.

The British Press Commission has in effect ruled that AGW is not a fact, by rejecting a complaint made by the University of East Anglia

"that three blog posts by James Delingpole were inaccurate and misleading and contained distorted information in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code.”

The BPC ruling said that global warming was a "controversial topic."

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