Sunday, May 06, 2012

Kelly on Earth Day

As I mentioned recently that instead of reining Jack Kelly in (fact checking or limiting his shilling for the Tea Party), the PG has expanded Jack Kelly's column's. On Tuesday Jack Kelly suggested that Earth Day was ignored this year because people realize Climate Change is a hoax. Now, I have to agree that Earth Day was not a big event this year. Would it surprise you to know I disagree about why that was the case?

Kelly starts with by slamming the turnout for an Earth Day rally at the DC mall. I have no idea where he got his information, since the five hits I found in Google search I made never mentioned a number for turnout. In fact, only two of the five were about the DC rally, and the Washington Post talked about the rain that day instead of the turnout. Fairly clever of Kelly to talk about something difficult to verify.

Kelly mentions "Gallup's annual environment poll" where he claims that concern about Climate Change has declined since 2000, and that of seven issues (not defined), "global warming" ranked lowest. I couldn't find that particular poll, but I did find other Gallup polls that indicate a slim majority believe climate is real and something to be concerned about, and has since 2000. Kelly does go on to suggest that in a difficult economy and with a violent occupation still going on in Afghanistan, "People who worry where their next meal is coming from tend not to worry much about polar bears or the rainforest" Not that Climate Change is concerned solely with polar bears or the rainforest, but being snide is much more fun than being accurate. Kelly's next sentence - "But it's due mostly to the collapse of hysteria about anthropogenic (man-made) global warming." sets the tone for the rest of the column.

As part of that tone, Kelly also takes a cheap shot at a favorite conservative target - "As recently as 2006, former Vice President Al Gore could claim that as a result of melting polar and glacial ice, sea levels could rise as much as 23 feet in a century, and draw a respectable audience. That's inconceivable now." I can't be certain but I guess Kelly is referring to Al Gore's Climate Reality event last September. As before, I made a Google search and found some conservative claims that there wasn't much of an audience, but little in the way of impartial analysis of the audience.

So I have spent a lot of time on the first six or so paragraphs of this Kelly column, with several more to go. But I think I can deal with them more succinctly. Kelly next quotes several "climate scientists" who (I suppose) reveal the truth about global warming (so to speak). He first mentions a James Lovelock, "perhaps the most prominent scientist among the alarmists". Lovelock apparently said "We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now" and that would be interesting if a) anyone had actually said that by 2012 we would be halfway to a "frying world" (whatever that means) and b) I could recall ever having heard of James Lovelock before. Apparently he was a visionary in the 1970's, back when everyone was talking about Climate Change(?). Oh wait, the seventies was overpopulation, which of course has not panned out (even though we are almost seven billion now, but fortunately the populaiton rate is declining).

Kelly goes on to mention "climate scientists" Richard Lindzen, John Christy,Roy Spencer and Gordon Fulks. They are identified by several sources as climate change deniers, yet Jack Kelly identifies them as climate scientists, essentially intentionally misleading his readers.

Now, as far as I know, Kelly is not far off when he says that "In March, the CRU said a study it has completed for Britain's Met(eorological) Office indicates global temperatures have risen just 0.75 degrees Celsius (1.35 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1900.". What I will say is that really smart people, all the National Academies of Science, NOAA, NASA, the American Meteorological Society, the UK's Climate Research Unit, etc, all say that the level of warming we have experienced and will continue to experience (even if we stop burning fossil fuels now) are significant. To accept what Jack Kelly says, you have to agree that the National Academy of Science, NASA, NOAA, the American Meteorological Society and the rest are captive to a vast liberal conspiracy, that their so-called science are nothing more than lies.

Is that what the PG wants to tell its readers?

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