Watts Up With Conspiracy Ideation

Anthony WattsThe website Watts Up With That run by Anthony Watts always was a website that uses conspiracy theories to support their argument that global warming isn’t a cause for concern. They try to keep what they publish on the website somewhat scientific, but that’s just a thin layer. That they are a conspiracy theory website sometimes becomes very obvious.

Their take on the loss of Cuccinelli in the Virginia elections is a good example of this. The title of their blog post ‘The big green machine: McAuliffe, Mann, and Megadollars‘ (archived here) alone hints at what is to come:

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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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Earth Hour

Earth Hour 60+ LogoToday is the 6th time Earth Hour will be held to raise awareness about the need for action on global warming. Considering this event started in just one city the current number of participants is a testament to how effective this awareness campaign is:

Earth Hour is the single, largest, symbolic mass participation event in the world. Born out of a hope that we could mobilize people to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires a global community of millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment.

A campaign so effective that it has become the focus of a lot of the so-called sceptics, who are currently attempting to reframe the message of Earth Hour.

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Equal Pay For Unequal Work

The past few months I haven’t been releasing any new content. This is due to me working on a big project, and a few other reasons. So I didn’t expect to see the following when I read “Equal Pay Should Be For Equal Work, Not Unequal Work” by Hans Bader on the Competitive Enterprise Institute blog:

Yesterday, I criticized the assumption that people should receive equal pay for unequal work, such as requiring the average woman to be paid exactly the same amount as the average man even though the average male employee works more hours than the average female employee. (I am talking here about averages, not generalizing about every individual case; there are obviously male part-time employees, just as there are women who work 80 hours a week.)

But apparently this point was too subtle for some people. Collin Maessen of Real Sceptic tweeted my blog post, with the preface, “apparently CEI is against regulations that allow women to earn the same wages for the same work as men do.” I didn’t write about such regulations at all. To me, it’s not “the same work” if it’s not the same number of hours. Why should a full-time employee be paid as little as a part-time employee? Why should an employee who works 60 hours per week be paid the same as an employee who works 40 hours per week?

Being mentioned on the CEI blog really surprised me. As I just tweeted my impression on the argument being presented without any context as to why I got that impression. Not strange considering a tweet can be a maximum of 140 characters long.

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Climate Change Deniers, The Merchants Of Doubt

Denial of the scientific evidence for Anthropogenic Global Warming was the running theme during the 24 hour broadcast of the Climate Reality Project. One of the shorts that was broadcast, called “Doubt,” is wel worth a watch. It’s about how the fossil fuel industry took the tobacco industry’s playbook to confuse the public on the science of climate change. Not by disproving the…

A New Little Ice Age

Apparently people have found something new and interesting to use as evidence against global warming, albeit a bit different than a cold winter. This time it’s a potential drop in solar activity that will counteract all the warming we have seen. And will very likely, according to them, put us in a new little ice age.

It is true that during a meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society an announcement was made that the sun might enter an extended period of low activity. A period similar to the Maunder minimum, which is also known as the Little Ice Age.

During the maunder minimum temperatures were lower than normal, predominantly in the northern hemisphere and most noticeable lower during the winter. And the lower solar-activity at the time has long been suspected as one of the major causes of this. Although other factors, like strong volcanic eruptions, played a role in lowering temperatures.

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