Intelligent Design

The New York Times Thinks You Are Too Stupid to Understand “Margin of Error” (or at Least Hopes You Are)

Spread the love

Last week we reported on Robert Tracinski’s take down of the New York Time’s misleading reporting on climate data.  Tracinski follows up with the Time’s reporter’s indefensible defense here.

The comparison to 1998 is particularly important, because if the headline is that this year is not significantly hotter than temps 19 years ago, that take a lot of wind out of the “climate change” hysteria. It means we’re not seeing the runaway takeoff in global temperatures that the global warming theory predicted. As Judith Curry has been pointing out, recent temperatures are actually at or below the bottom range for all of the global warming predictions. That is the relevant context for this story, the failure of the data to match the theory, not some infinitesimal difference between this year and last.

The left often hyperventilates about “climate deniers,” by which they mean people who are skeptical of the latest spewings of the climate alarmists.  Perhaps we would be less skeptical if the climate alarmists were not constantly trying to mislead.

 

 

12 Replies to “The New York Times Thinks You Are Too Stupid to Understand “Margin of Error” (or at Least Hopes You Are)

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    But it’s for our own good, Barry, and the good of the planet.

    End justifies the means.

  2. 2
    News says:

    With only 6%% of Americans trusting the news from such sources (or so we hear), the entire effort of such an outfit barely escapes margin of error.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    From Wikipedia:

    Verheggen et al., 2014[edit]
    In 2014, Bart Verheggen of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency surveyed 1,868 climate scientists. They found that, consistent with other research, the level of agreement on anthropogenic causation correlated with expertise – 90% of those surveyed with more than 10 peer-reviewed papers related to climate (just under half of survey respondents) explicitly agreed that human production of greenhouse gases was the main cause of global warming.[3]

    Powell, 2013[edit]
    James L. Powell, a former member of the National Science Board and current executive director of the National Physical Science Consortium,[4] analyzed published research on global warming and climate change between 1991 and 2012 and found that of the 13,950 articles in peer-reviewed journals, only 24 rejected anthropogenic global warming.[5][6][7][8] This was a follow-up to an analysis looking at 2,258 peer-reviewed articles published between November 2012 and December 2013 revealed that only one of the 9,136 authors rejected anthropogenic global warming.[9][10][11]

    John Cook et al., 2013[edit]
    Cook et al. examined 11,944 abstracts from the peer-reviewed scientific literature from 1991–2011 that matched the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’.[12] They found that, while 66.4% of them expressed no position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), of those that did, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are contributing to global warming. They also invited authors to rate their own papers and found that, while 35.5% rated their paper as expressing no position on AGW, 97.2% of the rest endorsed the consensus. In both cases the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position was marginally increasing over time. They concluded that the number of papers actually rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.[12]

    So we have two possibilities, either the vast majority of climate scientists are engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to mislead the world about global warming and its anthropogenic component or the evidence is actually there for a potentially catastrophic warming trend which it would be highly irresponsible to ignore. What position should a responsible journalist take?

  4. 4
    SteRusJon says:

    Seversky,

    Are you positive there are only two possibilities?

    Stephen

  5. 5
    mahuna says:

    Seversky @ 3

    Well, OF COURSE —

    “the vast majority of climate scientists are engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to mislead the world about global warming”

    That’s what the complaint has ALWAYS been about. And as with pro-Darwinist writers, if you want to get published on Climate Change, you MUST agree with the social engineers who see HUGE piles of grant money and UNLIMITED political power just out of their grasp. And all they have to do is shut down ANY discussion of the data and its analysis to get that money and power.

    But at the eleventh hour, just before they locked in laws and an international, non-governmental control board, they were exposed. And the whole game is now over. They can continue to hold conferences if they like, but the control boards are dead and the grant money will soon dry up.

    Oh, also generally not discussed is that the 2008 international economic collapse AUTOMATICALLY cut carbon emissions in the developed world WAY below what the control boards had targeted. So temperatures MUST have fallen accordingly, yes?

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev,

    Oh, yeah, Wikipedia on a politically charged issue. Thanks for bringing an unbiased point of view in. Even the founder of Wikipedia admits that it is extremely biased on all political issues. Spare us please.

    Besides, your comment did not respond to the OP. If the evidence is so overwhelming Sev, why are they always trying to mislead us? Hmmmm?

  7. 7

    seversky asks:

    So we have two possibilities, either the vast majority of climate scientists are engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to mislead the world about global warming and its anthropogenic component or the evidence is actually there for a potentially catastrophic warming trend which it would be highly irresponsible to ignore. What position should a responsible journalist take?

    A responsible journalist shouldn’t take either side. A responsible and ethical journalist (and editorial staff) would realize that there was no story to report seeing as the temp was well within the margin of error, and certainly no cause for such a headline. It’s obvious, however, that the “journalist” and editorial staff have an agenda to push and use any excuse whatsoever to put up misleading headlines to advance that agenda.

  8. 8
    BartM says:

    Only 8% of temperature stations are accurate to within 1 degree: http://www.surfacestations.org

  9. 9
    OldArmy94 says:

    Hope springs eternal among the climate alarmists. It won’t be long before a new charlatan in the image of Al Gore comes along to warn us we are freezing to death. Global warming? Pffft. Never happened, and somewhere, Winston Smith is smiling in sad agreement.

  10. 10
    wd400 says:

    The comparison to 1998 is particularly important, because if the headline is that this year is not significantly hotter than temps 19 years ago, that take a lot of wind out of the “climate change” hysteria.

    Do you think the author looked up the difference between 1998 and 2016 in the surface datasets and didn’t report it, or that he just didn’t bother? 2016 is 0.3C warmer in the NOAA data and 0.4C warmer in GISS…

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    Barry Arrington @ 6

    Sev,

    Oh, yeah, Wikipedia on a politically charged issue. Thanks for bringing an unbiased point of view in. Even the founder of Wikipedia admits that it is extremely biased on all political issues. Spare us please.

    The Wikipedia page was linked to point to the research papers, nothing more

  12. 12
    drc466 says:

    Sev @3,

    So, the first easy question is – if 97% of climate scientists are so knowledgeable about AGW – why haven’t they come up w/ a single accurate climate model?
    The second easy question is – given their inability to provide an accurate climate model, why should we accept their certainty re AGW?
    Third easy question is – if the data is so conclusive, why are they constantly revising it?
    Fourth easy question is – once they’ve revised the data, doesn’t that render conclusions based on the earlier unrevised data invalid?
    Fifth easy question is – once they’ve revised the data, why should we trust this data is better than the previous data?
    Six easy question is – since they had to revise the data, doesn’t that make everyone who previously said their conclusions were invalid correct?
    Seventh easy question is – since the 3% who don’t agree have proven to have better predictive models (based on sun activity, etc.), shouldn’t we trust them more?
    Eighth easy question is – even if they are correct that human activity is primarily responsible for GW, why should we trust what they recommend as solutions, or what the effects of those solutions would be, given their failures listed above?
    Ninth easy question is – if those 97% actually believe what they are publishing, why don’t their personal lives reflect that belief?

    And that’s just the easy questions…

Leave a Reply