Fact checkers with an agenda

The local newspaper provides an example of agenda driven ‘fact checking’ in “Fact checker: Don’t see consensus on global warming? Look past Fox News”. The Fox News reference is to a left wing think tank ‘study’ whose intent is to show that those not in their camp are dumb, stupid, or otherwise lacking in some necessary human attribute.

The fact check story does not get into the quality of the study. Instead, it picks up the conclusions and runs with them. In the process, it demonstrates the ‘evil corporation’ bias, shows how the wrong questions can be used as straw men, and provides some very interesting conundrums for any critical reader. For instance. a local climate scientist is cited:

Kelly Redmond, regional climatologist at Reno’s Desert Research Institute, told Fact Checker, “There seems little doubt that the earth as a whole is warming, based on separate evidence from the surface, the lower atmosphere and from satellites.”

Asked if the main causes are human-related, he said, “Without invoking human-related influences, we are at a loss for mechanisms that can account for the observed warming.”

Redmond does have the credentials but one has to wonder about the “loss for mechanisms” idea. The whole climate brouhaha is not about some minor warming of the earth (about a degree over a human lifetime) but rather about its measure and the many mechanisms that are involved in climate and weather. It is unthinkable that a reputable scientist would be at a loss to find any other than just one mechanism involved in something as complex as climate, especially when the whole field involves models trying to balance the influences from a plethora of different mechanisms.

But, the ‘other side is stupid’ fact checking can be stretched into a 3 web pages ‘news’ story to support the politically correct view. Such propaganda is particularly strident now due in part to the predictions of the climate alarmists needing significant post hoc revision in light of recent winters and the revelation about the manner of doing business in the climate research community. People are beginning to take notice that a lot of what they have been fed about climate does not fit with the basic ideas of intellectual integrity that are fundamental to scientific inquiry.

UPDATE: For a good rundown on the real issue and the uncertainties see Strata SphereLet It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow – “the real reason the IPCC’s theories about global warming are losing credibility is because the predictions of what would happen to our climate are proving to be sadly wrong.” – graphs, charts, and data along with a but more nuanced look at climate and whether than you’ll find in the newspaper.

For a rundown on the ‘other side is dumb’ study, see Ace – Fox News Watchers Misinformed? – a 20 minute video explaining the problems with the study.

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