Glenn Beck Passes Along Discredited Memes

25 October 2007

If you like listening to hysterical people on the radio, then have I got a treat for you. This is from CNN host Glenn Beck's radio show:


BECK: We'll tell you the truth. We'll tell you the things that are politically incorrect. I'll go on and I'll tell you the fires have very little to do with global warming, if anything. The globe was the hottest in 19 -- was it 1934, Stu [executive producer Steve "Stu" Burguiere], or '37? -- '34, 1934 was the hottest year. A stat, by the way, that was, I believe, intentionally distorted by the guy the left holds up as the scientist on global warming. America's temperature peaked in 1934. Since 1934, the hottest year on record was 1998. It has not gotten warmer since 1998. That's a fact.
Nope. The globe was not the hottest in 1934. Earlier this year, NASA corrected its data for the continental United States only. Whereas previously 1998 was thought to be 0.01ºC warmer than 1934 in the U.S. rankings, it now turned out to be 0.02ºC cooler after the temperature correction.

The story was immediately picked up by FOX News columnist Steve Milloy, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, etc. They all shouted this story from the hilltops, conveniently leaving out the part where the global temperature rankings did not change at all, and the continental United States temperatures changed only by a statistically insignificant amount. Rather, they chose to pretend that 1934 was the new hottest year for the globe, and that global warming must surely be a hoax. This claim is apparently still reverberating in the echo chamber.

Also, what's this about James Hansen "intentionally distorting" the data? Do you have any reason to think that, other than the fact that this guy (a NASA scientist with many peer-reviewed papers on the topic) disagrees with you on a matter you know nothing about?

Beck goes on:
BECK: Now, why are these fires burning out of control? Al Gore and everybody else will have you believe that it is all about global warming. Well, really? A one-degree temperature change that happened at the first part of the century, not in the last part of the century, at least most of it, and a temperature change that hasn't changed since 1998 is causing superfires in California and only California? Only America? It's in the American borders. How is that possible?
Actually, let's take a look at the global temperature graph from the past century:

[Note: This is actually the pre-correction temperatures overlaid on top of the post-correction temperatures - notice how they are identical to within 1/1,000th of a degree]

According to a recent NASA report:
Global warming is now 0.6°C [1.08° F] in the past three decades and 0.8°C [1.44° F] in the past century. It is no longer correct to say that "most global warming occurred before 1940". More specifically, there was slow global warming, with large fluctuations, over the century up to 1975 and subsequent rapid warming of almost 0.2°C [0.36° F] per decade.

Whoops, I guess you got that one wrong, too.

Also, who are these "hippie California environmentalists that won't let you touch the landscape, wont let you clear the brush on the side of the hills where your house is because that's natural"? I've certainly neither seen nor heard of these people. Perhaps next time, you can cite something to back up your reckless claims that the California wildfires were caused by environmentalists.

One more thing: Why does CNN give this guy his own show? This seriously puzzles me.

No comments: