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Old 01-12-2013, 03:53 PM
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GIGObuster is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arizona
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As I pointed before in another thread, FOX distorts what most of the climate science experts are reporting:
False balance: Fox News demands a recount on USí warmest year
"Is that just math you do as a skeptic to make yourself feel better?"
When the Berkeley Earth project examined temperature records, they used a statistical method that didn't repair the breaks. Instead, they treated the two sides of the break as independent temperature records. Yet that team came up with a temperature reconstruction that was nearly identical to ones made using NOAA's data. Since that time, NOAA has gone back and updated their records further, identifying additional breaks that had gone undetected and updating its algorithms to take advantage of advances in computing power. If anything, its current data is even more reliable.

And that's exactly what a NOAA spokesperson told Fox News. Yet the Fox News team felt compelled to go out and find three people who don't believe him or the scientists he represents.

One is a blogger who writes under the name Steve Goddard, who told Fox, "The adjusted data is meaningless garbage. It bears no resemblance to the thermometer data it starts out as." But Goddard doesn't explain why he thinks that's the case, nor why Berkeley Earth came up with similar results when they weren't using some of NOAA's adjustments. And Fox doesn't explain why they're putting NOAA's word up against someone who doesn't study the climate and has only bachelor's degrees in science and engineering. A cursory examination would have also revealed that Goddard has attacked climate researchers before, only to find out his criticisms were completely wrong and based on a trivial error.

The report does include one scientist with some relevant experience, Roy Spencer. But again, Fox does not appear to have done any checking of Spencer's background. Spencer has been known to let his personal views cloud his scientific judgement, as evidenced by his wholehearted support of intelligent design and disbelief of evolution. In the case of environmental issues, he's made his personal views very clear, stating, "I would wager that my job has helped save our economy from the economic ravages of out-of-control environmental extremism." A lot of his climate research isn't well respected by the community, either.

But Spencer is brought out anyway and given a chance to blast NOAA for its adjustments. At least he voiced a specific complaint, saying that urbanization has thrown off the temperature records. Unfortunately, that claim isn't consistent with the available data. People have tracked the impact of urbanization both globally and in the US and found that it doesn't influence the temperature record. The Berkeley Earth project, linked above, also found no influence of urbanization. Yet Spencer is allowed to point the finger at it unchallenged.
What are we to make of this chaotic jumble of unreliable sources and internal contradictions? As far as Fox is concerned, apparently nothing; the article doesn't draw any conclusion about the science whatsoever. It's a classic example of false balance, allowing the reporter to present a biased picture while maintaining the appearance of impartiality. But the reporter does let Watts show his biases when he's given the last word, and he uses it to insinuate that NOAA's scientists should probably be in prison, saying, "In the business and trading world, people go to jail for such manipulations of data."
As Ars Technica noticed: "Back in 2010, a memo leaked from Fox News in which its managing editor informed his staff that they couldn't even report on basic temperature measurements without noting they were subject to controversy in some quarters, even if those quarters are out past the fringes of the scientific community. That directive is apparently still in force."

So, yes, they are really that bad, and they do not care that they continue to pile on the evidence.