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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The scoop that wasn't

Obama administration holdovers gave the New York Times a fear-mongering report on global cooling/global warming/climate change/climate extremes that the Times implied President Trump was suppressing.

"The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now."

Has not yet been made public.

Umm, there's a problem.

It has.

Since January.

From Alex Pappas at Fox News:
Scientists appear to have debunked the New York Times' claim it has leaked a secret, gloomy climate change report which it published amid fears President Trump would suppress it.
President Trump is not suppressing anything.

The Times corrected the report the next day:
An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report. While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times.
But like all errors it seems (and I am as guilty as anyone of this) the error reflects the reporter's bias. In this case, reporter Lisa Friedman buys into the Sky-Us-Falling scenario despite more than four decades of predictions of gloom and doom proving false.

Billions of people have not died of famine due to overpopulation or global cooling or global warming. The world population has more than doubled over the last 50 years (now topping 7.5 billion) and people are healthier, more prosperous, and freer than ever before.

Predictions also proved wrong that we would be overwhelmed by actual pollution (not this fairy tale about carbon dioxide, which is a nutrient for plants). The air is so clear in Poca, West Virginia, that you hardly notice the large coal-fired power plant across the river.

Friedman reported:
The report was completed this year and is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.
One government scientist who worked on the report, Katharine Hayhoe, a professor of political science at Texas Tech University, called the conclusions among “the most comprehensive climate science reports” to be published. Another scientist involved in the process, who spoke to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.
Notice the scientist quoted by name is a political scientist.

Also, the administration has an August 18 deadline "to release it."

Also, this was a draft report, not the final report.

Also, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said:
“It’s very disappointing, yet entirely predictable to learn the New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy. As others have pointed out – and The New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period. The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.”
So not only are this political scientist and others going half-cocked off about the sky falling, but they are half-cocked about Trump suppressing the final report, which may or may not look like this early draft from January.

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post blasted the Times:
New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller says of the draft report’s status: “We were just not aware that somebody involved in the report had put a draft on this nonprofit Internet site,” she says. “It was not a well-known site to us and the point is that the people who shared the draft with us were not aware of it either. That doesn’t change the larger point that scientists were worried that the government wouldn’t approve the report or release it through normal channels.” When pressed on Sanders’s criticism, Bumiller said, “We spent a lot of time trying to sort out where it had appeared before,” said Bumiller. “Again, we just didn’t know. The reporter just didn’t know and the editors didn’t know and once it was brought to our attention, we sorted it out” and ran a correction.
At a June panel discussion hosted by the Washington Press Club Foundation, CNN senior congressional reporter Manu Raju spoke about the stakes involved with factual integrity these days. “You just cannot screw up in this environment because they’ll use every small mistake to come after you and suggest that you have some nefarious motive in your reporting,” he said.
Ow, ow, ow, ow.

Not only did the Post school the Times, but CNN did.

Fake News about Fake Science. Does it get any better than this?


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  1. The sky has been falling for 40 years.

  2. My Schadenfreude knows NO bounds.

  3. I was interviewed once by a newspaper re local charity I was involved in (still am). Read the article 2 days later & thought, "Did I say that?" It wasn't totally inaccurate, but it was not accurate nor reflected what I said to the young lady who interviewed me.

    It was over the phone, she was a fast-talker, I'm somewhat of a slow-talker, so maybe something got lost in translation. But still, that helped me realize more than anything that you cannot trust the "news" media to get it right.

    1. Look up Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. It describes pretty much what you described.

    2. Excellent, Dan! Just what I was thinking. (Great minds, etc.;)

      Sometimes called the "wet streets cause rain" effect. Here's a talk by Michael Crichton who explains it very well (it's not long, well worth the read.)

  4. Tech seems to be afflicted with some weird ass professors now. Like the Law School dean who left because of campus carry. I hope she feels safer in Chicago.

    1. BTW Don, how about sending our football coach back. I find myself rooting for the Mountaineers too often.

  5. Mr. Don Surber. You can see all the global warmig you want right here at this link from March 15th. 2017 at this link.

  6. Trump is giving 'em 'ell, that's why the failing NYT will soon be flailing.

  7. No link to the other site in the NYT article. "It was not a well-known site to us" Two things: since when is the Internet Archive not known to the NYT? and 2, the Internet Archive downloaded it from the EPA site. Too bad the NYT doesn't employ people who know how to do research.