Every once in a while a spasm of easily debunked but headline grabbing climate change denial splashes across the mainstream media. The last couple of days was one of those times, with a simply factually incorrect piece in the Wall Street Journal and another one in the Daily Mail repeating the tired meme that there hasn't actually been any recorded warming on the planet in over a decade. Never mind that NASA released data showing quite starkly the exact opposite earlier in the same week.
So that's what we're reading all about this morning. The responses, a question about News Corps corporate responsibility, and video from NASA showing, yes, the planet is actually warming.
Skeptical Science Lays Deconstructs the Wall Street Editorial
Friends-of-TreeHugger Skeptical Science have done a thorough deconstruction of the WSJ piece, starting with a look at the 16 people signing the editorial (11 of whom have never actually published anything in a climate science journal, at all) and moving onto the science itself. The stark conclusion:
If we boil down this op-ed to its basics, we're left with a letter signed by only two scientists with peer-reviewed climate research publications in the past three decades, which exhibits a serious lack of understanding of basic climate concepts, and which simply regurgitates a Gish Gallop of long-worn climate myths. The letter claims that climate "skepticism" is growing, and yet only has 16 signatories, at least 43% of which have received funding from the fossil fuel industry, and not one single new argument which hasn't been long-debunked. If this is the best today's climate fake skeptics can do, perhaps, as Patrick Michaels suggests, they are losing the battle. We can only hope that this is the case.
Climate Progress Takes On the Daily Mail
Over at Climate Progress, Joe Romm lays into David Rose's piece for the Daily Mail wherein Rose asserts that there hasn't been any global warming in over a decade citing figures from the UK's Met Office to back him up. Too bad the Met Office says Rose is entirely wrong (emphasis below is mine):
Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.
This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.
Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997. [...]
“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”
All of which brings us to the question raised by Triple Pundit:
Should News Corps CSR Rating Be Affected By Its Anti-Climate Stance?
The gist of that:
News Corporation has set a goal to be “zero carbon” and therefore climate neutral. But at the same time, the editorial side of News Corporation’s media properties has taken an anti-climate-change stance.
And CSRHub's ranking of News Corp, attempting to incorporate the disconnect between News Corp's corporate and editorial stance:
We show News Corporation as average within its industry and well below average on employee and community issues. Interestingly, at the subcategory level (we report 12 detailed ratings subcategories, as well), News Corporation is fairly good on Energy & Climate Change and Environment Policy & Reporting (a 58 on both or about 10th out of 57 Broadcasting & Advertising companies we follow). However, it is weak on Resource Management (a relatively poor score of 45 that suggests the company does not control its actual use of resources well) and a weak 47 on Leadership Ethics (confirming that it may have inconsistent internal policies). We certainly don’t put News Corporation at the top of its industry and we show fairly clearly that the company’s recent focus has been primarily on environment and governance issues, rather than on achieving broader social goals.
NASA's New Video Illustrating Observed Global Warming From 1880-2011
Mongabay is highlighting this new video from NASA, should you still need graphic convincing that the planet is warming, whatever a half-baked editorial in the Wall Street Journal and a shamefully, woefully, inaccurate piece in the Daily Mail would have you believe:
On the map, blues represent temperatures lower than baseline averages, while reds indicate temperatures higher than the average. As the 131 years pass, the map turns from bluish-white to increasingly yellow and red. Caused by the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, agricultural practices, and other human impacts, climate change has currently raised temperatures 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.44 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the Industrial Revolution average.