The Daily Show Versus Breitbart.comBy Collin Maessen on comment
I like the Daily Show. They combine good humour with a lot of facts that helps explain why some people are the target of their satire and jokes. what scores them even more points in my book is that they go after everyone with the same amount of gusto; no matter what your affiliations are.
This is something that makes a lot of people not like them, especially those that become the target of one of their segments. But every time the Daily Show touches on subjects I’m familiar with I’ve seen them criticise someone who deserves it. They are truly a breath of fresh air among what counts as journalism these days. It’s just a shame that it’s a comedy show that is this breath of fresh air.
Of course the climate change deniers using the cold weather to cast doubt became a segment on The Daily Show:
I found it very funny, yet I was also a bit disappointed in this segment. They didn’t include a lot of information to put into context what was happening and why. If they had done that it would have been a perfect combination of satire and informing your audience.
But still, because it was so funny it was shared a lot (next to the more scientific articles). Which of course meant that it caught the eye of climate science deniers, with them trying to discredit what Jon Stewart was saying. One of the articles that caught my eye was ‘Ripping Fox News: 5 Global Warming Facts Jon Stewart Covered Up’ from Breitbart.com, which start with the following:
Left-wing comedian Jon Stewart ripped into Fox news Monday for daring to question The Man; The Man in this case being the media, Democrats, our government, and a bunch of climate scientists whose climate models are evaporating before our very eyes. The only thing more disheartening than a comedian mocking those who do question authority is one who aids The Man in the cover-up.
I’m sorry, but when you start with suggesting that it’s all a conspiracy you’ve already lost the argument. You’re basically showing that you don’t have anything to argue with. Something that’s rather obvious when we take a look at the ‘5 facts’ that breitbart.com mentions:
1. Stewart does speed-talk through the fact that the planet isn’t warming as quickly as scientists predicted. What he leaves out is the most important piece of information: The scientific models Global Warming alarmists base their alarmism on are proving to be just plain old wrong.
What they are referring to with the models just being ‘just plain old wrong’ is the ‘hiatus’ we’re experiencing. However, this only focusses on surface temperatures and ignores that our planet is still warming. It’s again a variant of confusing weather (internal variability of our climate) with actual climate trends. Which becomes rather obvious when you look at the amount of energy our planet is still absorbing, which is about 4 Hiroshima sized bombs per second.
2. Forty years ago, many of the same people were screaming about Global Cooling.
No, they weren’t.
This was mostly the media spending a lot of attention on this. And it’s irrelevant what the media says on climate science. They can and do get science reporting wrong, or distort scientific findings. Scientists know that this happens and it’s one of their biggest pet peeves.
What you need to look at is the scientific literature and what it predicted in the 1970s. And lo and behold if you do that you see that the majority predicted global warming:
This whole argument also ignores why some scientists were predicting global cooling. One of the more known predictions was Rasool and Schneider (1971) which stated:
“An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5°K.”
Their global cooling projection was based on a quadrupling of atmospheric aerosol concentrations. Which wasn’t an unrealistic projection if the trends of for example sulphur dioxide emissions (SO2) continued to accelerate at the same rate.
Due to the environmental problems these emissions were causing a number of countries implemented sulphur dioxide limits through clean air acts. This stopped the rapid increase of aerosols and as a result emissions started to drop in the late 1970s:
That’s why those global cooling predictions didn’t pan out. We acted to reduce emissions of these pollutants and that changed how aerosols influence our climate system.
3. Ice build-up in the Antarctic is currently at record levels.
The “ice build-up in the Antarctic” is tiny compared to the amount of ice that’s melting, and it can’t be used to cast doubt on global warming. The Southern Ocean is warming and one of the reasons the sea ice extent has slightly increased despite of that is the ozone hole. The hole in the ozone layer is causing the stratosphere to cool which then strengthens the cyclonic winds around the Antarctic continent. These winds interacting with the ocean and sea ice is what is causing the slight increase in coverage.
4. The climate scientists Stewart holds up as paragons of virtue have engaged in the kind of cover ups that would put a financial institution out of business and its officers in a federal prison.
Climategate 2.0 was nothing more than more out of context quotes, the media didn’t even pay much attention to it. They had learned from the mistakes they made with Climategate. But of course it doesn’t matter that the scientists involved were cleared from any wrongdoings and that context was provided for what was said in the e-mails.
5. Not only has the atmosphere stopped warming, so have the oceans.
No, they haven’t.
That’s a claim you can only make when you focus on the surface of the oceans and ignore the total heat content. The detail is that most of the warming of our oceans, and our planet, is currently going in the deep oceans. And that’s just one of the many mistakes made in the article Breitbart.com cited.
Facts unfortunately don’t matter with websites like Breitbart.com; they only care about keeping their ideological armour intact. Which is also the reason I have such a low opinion of Breitbart.com.
0 reader comments
Constructive and on-topic comments that move the discussion forward are always welcome, no matter what line of argumentation they take. Comments that add nothing interesting or which try to derail discussions won't be allowed. The rules for commenting are defined in our Community and Discussion Guidelines and Site Terms and Conditions of Use.