Thursday, February 11, 2010
  Agreed-on Lie #1

At least in terms of media coverage, the most obnoxious of all the agreed-on lies is this one: "Fox News is a right-wing network."

Conservatives believe this and like it, lefties believe this and want to bomb Fox down to bedrock to eliminate its "right-wing" voice.

It just ain't so.

On the Carbon Cult, Fox is consistently the greenest of the green.

This morning Fox ran a little feature on the claim being made by every other media outlet, that the current blizzard in NY and DC is caused by Evil Doctor Carbon.

If Fox were truly an opposition network, they could have called on a hundred different authorities to debunk this nonsense.

They could have debunked the "spongy warm air" argument by showing this graph:



This shows departures from normal temps for the last 30 days. Only the northernmost states have been warmer than normal; everywhere else has been normal or unusually cold for a month. So where is all this Magical Global-Warmed Super-Hot Moisture-Holding Air coming from? Is it jumping from Spokane to DC through a time warp?

Or they could have used Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather, who shows in this clip that the decade-scale ocean variations (el Niño and its Atlantic counterpart) are completely sufficient to account for the event. AccuWeather had predicted an extremely snowy season in advance, verifying as usual that real science works.

[Real Science = Find patterns from actual measurements, calculate a curve from those trends, use the curve to predict future measurements based on previous experience.

Cult Science = Develop a theory that gives you money and power. Find separate equations for each new event, to show in hindsight how every single event and phenomenon was caused by your pet theory.]

Or they could have listened to their own "news" reports and used facts and elementary logic. According to "news", the last time DC had a blizzard like this was 1899. By these maps the eastern half of North America is VERY SLIGHTLY COOLER now than in 1899, not enough to make a real difference. NOT WARMER. NOT WARMER. NOT WARMER. Just a little bit cooler. Most of the intervening years were much warmer. So it shouldn't be surprising that we are returning to the snow amounts of 1899, given appropriate storm patterns, because we have returned to the same temperature.

Nope, Fox didn't do any of that. No scientists, no maps, no facts, no logic. Instead, their "fair and balanced debate" featured five different Carbon Cultists. Four of them said Yup, this event proves Global Warming, just like we've been saying. (Except of course that they hadn't been saying Global Warming would produce blizzards; they had been saying that Global Warming would produce droughts and heat.) The last one, the atrocious and slimy Bjorn Lomborg, said that this particular event probably doesn't quite 100% prove Global Warming but we still need to destroy the Western world to eliminate CO2.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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