The Daily Show Versus

The Daily Show with Jon StewartI 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:

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Roy Spencer On Record Cold And Global Warming

The cold in the United States had the climate science deniers going all out to cast doubt on the simple fact that our planet is warming and we are the main cause for that. With folks like Trump saying some interesting things:

donald trump tweet

Of course, a single weather event in one place cannot be used to show that our planet isn’t warming; after all it’s called global warming for a reason.

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Winter, Weather, And Climate Science Deniers

Snow Storm, Night, Brooklyn by Steven Pisano

Snow Storm, Night, Brooklyn by Steven Pisano

It’s winter again for us in the Northern Hemisphere, which means the occasional cold spell and maybe even some snow. Though the weather you get depends on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere. But there’s one thing you can count on when it gets cold or snowy anywhere on our planet: climate science deniers will not be far behind to misrepresent what it means.

Which is understandable, after all most of the public doesn’t know how to make sense of extreme cold and heavy snow fall in a warming world. They look out of the window and wonder why this is happening. Climate science deniers then jump on this to cause further confusion and distort what experts say on this. But climate science deniers haven’t been jumping on cold weather events where I live (The Netherlands).

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Watts Up With Global Warming And Atomic Bombs

sks-widgetAnyone familiar with Watts Up With That will have noticed that anything published on it that mentions Skeptical Science often displays a rather obvious dislike for Skeptical Science. Both for the Skeptical Science website and the people who are involved with it.

It shows with the language used and all the attacks on the materials created or used by Skeptical Science. Often it doesn’t really matter if it’s valid criticism as long as it in some way critiques or undermines what was released. Especially when it’s something that is easy to understand and helps with communicating the science behind global warming. Which showed with the attacks towards the Cook et al. paper that measured the scientific consensus on global warming in the scientific literature.

This time Watts isn’t happy because of a widget Skeptical Science released that puts into context how much heat our planet is absorbing:

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Responding To Criticism

I’ve always liked getting comments with feedback, criticism, or that give interesting commentary. It has helped me learn new things, hone my position, and helps me correct statements. It also acts as a great source for inspiration for new blog posts.

As long as you abide by some simple rules everyone is welcome to engage me on YouTube and my blog. It’s the reason why my comment sections are filled with critical comments and my responses and/or corrections to those comments. I especially appreciate feedback that points out a statement that isn’t correct, because they help me weed out incorrect positions and prevents me from inadvertently spreading incorrect information.

Which brings me to the criticism I received from Brandon Shollenberger (archived here) on my blog post ‘The 97% Climate Science Consensus Reality‘. Like I said I don’t mind criticism, but I can have an issue with how you give criticism. I already had an issue with how he engaged me because of how he started the blog post with his criticism (bolding mine):

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The 97% Climate Science Consensus Reality

97_piechart_smallSeveral months ago Cook et al. released a paper in which they analysed the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

What they did in that study is examine 11,944 abstracts from 1991 to 2011 that included the words “global climate change” or “global warming” in their abstract. What they found after analysing these abstracts is that among those that expressed a position on global warming, 97% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

Not a surprising result at all as this was a bigger literature survey than the one done by Oreskes in 2004. It found that all the selected abstracts (928 in total) that stated a position on the cause of global warming said humanity is to blame.

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YouTube Comments: The Scientific Consensus Rejected Heliocentrism

YouTubeFor this blog I already have the Mail Call series for messages that I receive that I want to respond to publicly. Strangely enough I didn’t have anything similar for the comments I get on YouTube. Despite me already having reacted to those comments on this blog. There’s more than enough material in my comment sections that I can use as inspiration for blog posts.

So lets kick off this new blog post series with one comment that already starts with one of my pet peeves:

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CFACT’s Factless Attack On The IPCC

cfactThis time I can thank Wotts for making me notice some content that was being pushed on social media by one of the usual misinformers. It was a tweet sent from the official CFACT twitter account stating “Politics always “manages” science at the IPCC“.

CFACT, short for Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, is a conservative organisation that spreads the usual incorrect claims about environmental issues and global warming. Though they claim to infuse “the environmental debate with a balanced perspective on environmental stewardship”. According to their about page (archived here) they to do this with the help of “an influential and impressive scientific advisory board” which contains Christopher Monckton (archived here).

A lot of familiar names like Sallie Baliunas, Craig T. Idso, Patrick J. Michaels, and Willie Soon advice CFACT on environmental issues and policy matters. Which doesn’t bode well for the accuracy of the materials spread by CFACT.

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Fox News Defends Its False Balance With Climate Science Denial

fox-news-logoYou can trust on Fox News for misrepresenting climate science or the science behind environmental issues in general. They are one of the media outlets that are burdened with most of the blame on misinforming the U.S. public on these matters. What they say almost always has no bearing whatsoever on what is in the scientific literature.

Often the misinformation they spread is in the form of what is called false balance. This is the balancing of one position with another so that they don’t seem to be biased towards one particular position. And yes this is a deliberate tactic by them to sow confusion on global warming.

Yesterday Fox news defended this false balance in a severely flawed opinion piece (archived here) that contains some good examples of the misinformation they spread. I’ll dive into the more egregious parts of this opinion piece by Marlos Lewis:

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Mail Call: A Corbyn Supporter Speaks Up

Piers CorbynSometimes I get email from visitors to my site in which they ask my opinion on something or sent me something interesting to watch/read. And sometimes I get an email that’s critical about something that I wrote. Most of the time I react to those message privately, but the email I received this time I found interesting enough to write a public response for.

The email in question is a response to my blog post ‘Piers Corbyn: The UN IPCC And All It Stands For Must Be Destroyed‘ and the email is quite critical towards what I said in my blog post. I’ve lifted the text as is from the email and you’ll find my responses below the quoted segments:

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