Scientists scoff at AP global-warming story
posted at 11:55 am on December 17, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Remember that global-warming wet kiss from the AP to climate-change activists and Barack Obama earlier this week? Even scientists who believe in global warming couldn’t quite believe their eyes. They called the report by the Seth Borenstein a “polemic” and wondered when research stopped being a requirement for science reporters (via Q&O):
James O’Brien, an emeritus professor at Florida State University who studies climate variability and the oceans, said that global climate change is very important for the country and that Americans need to make sure they have the right answers for policy decisions. But he said he worries that scientists and policymakers are rushing to make changes based on bad science.
“Global climate change is occurring in many places in the world,” O’Brien said. “But everything that’s attributed to global warming, almost none of it is global warming.”
He took issue with the AP article’s assertion that melting Arctic ice will cause global sea levels to rise.
“When the Arctic Ocean ice melts, it never raises sea level because floating ice is floating ice, because it’s displacing water,” O’Brien said. “When the ice melts, sea level actually goes down. I call it a fourth grade science experiment. Take a glass, put some ice in it. Put water in it. Mark level where water is. Let it [melt]. After the ice melts, the sea level didn’t go up in your glass of water. It’s called the Archimedes Principle.”
And that comes from Borenstein’s ally on global warming. O’Brien calls hysteria on sea levels “major scare tactic,” the kind one would expect a science reporter to debunk rather than to perpetuate. He wants public policy on climate change to be informed rather than hysterical. The fact that water is less dense as a solid than as a liquid — which is why ice cubes float in your drink — never seems to occur to the AP’s “science” writer, who probably never heard of the Archimedes Principle before now. The only way melting ice would raise sea levels would be if water was more dense as a solid than a liquid, which if true would mean ice would get submerged below water than float on top of it.
Other scientists blasted the entire basis of Borenstein’s reporting as well as his ignorance of research:
“If the issues weren’t so serious and the ramifications so profound, I would have to laugh at it,” said David Deming, a geology professor at the University of Oklahoma who has been critical of media reporting on the climate change issue. …
“The mean global temperature, at least as measured by satellite, is now the same as it was in the year 1980. In the last couple of years sea level has stopped rising. Hurricane and cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere is at a 24-year low and sea ice globally is also the same as it was in 1980.” …
Michael R. Fox, a retired nuclear scientist and chemistry professor from the University of Idaho, is another academic who found serious flaws with the AP story’s approach to the issue.
“There’s very little that’s right about it,” Fox said. “And it’s really harmful to the United States because people like this Borenstein working for AP have an enormous impact on everyone, because AP sells their news service to a thousand news outlets.
Fox understands the problem, but undersells the scale. When the AP produces propaganda rather than reporting, it gets distributed to thousands of publications around the world. Unfortunately, the rebuttals don’t get that kind of distribution, and the lies and propaganda get accepted as truth.
Unfortunately, that’s been the history of the global-warming cult over the last decade. They accept no challenges, demonize those who question their science, scoff at contradictory data (such as the fact that temperatures have stopped rising), and insist on politicizing their science rather than work from facts. The AP has become the cult’s propaganda arm.