Monday, January 11, 2010

Cavuto's flawed "global warming alert": "It is freezing across the entire globe"

From Media Matters for America courtesy of

On his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto introduced a segment by saying, "This is our Fox News global warming alert for you," and falsely claimed that "[i]t is freezing across the entire globe"; guest Ben Stein later suggested that "maybe all this talk about global warming needs to be rethought" because of recent cold weather. In fact, contrary to Cavuto's suggestion, it is not colder than average across the entire globe, and climate scientists reject the notion that short-term changes in weather bear any relevance to the global warming debate.

here, with video.

Yeah, I keep hearing this shit, most recently on talk radio when I was driving home from work a couple hours ago.

I mean, it's easy to dismiss when it's coming from obvious right-wing rabble rousers such as Cavuto and his FOX cohorts, but I've also heard intelligent conservatives, like my dad and a few friends, yucking it up about the end of global warming whenever it gets really cold outside. This is very disturbing, and not simply because these global warming deniers are dead wrong.

Anybody who has done even a minimal amount of reading about climate change understands that greenhouse gas spawned upticks in temperature are viewed by climatologists in terms of temperature averages over the span of many years, never in terms of how the weather is doing at the moment. That is, when people assert that a recent cold snap proves global warming is a bunch of hooey, they also necessarily reveal that they have absolutely no knowledge of the subject. In other words, these people have no business intruding on the discussion.

I mean okay, science can get messy and inexact. There's lots of room for reasonable dissent based on actual facts when it comes to a field as vast and complicated as climatology. That's why there are still a few reputable scientists here and there who are global warming skeptics. But at least they know what they're talking about, even if almost everybody else in the field disagrees with them at this point.

But the cold-outside crowd is just straight-up ignorant, and arrogantly so, to boot. Strangely, their voices are heavily magnified by corporate mass communication technology. We really are all doomed.