It amazes me how many people think Factcheck.org is good place unbiased facts. I guess all you have to do now a days is to have something in your name and people will believe it. Facts are stubborn things, they are always open to interpretation. Like Statistics, facts can lie. By omitting a fact here or interpreting something symbolically instead of literally, you can change what a fact may or may not mean. It goes without saying that when you go to a car dealership, just because the guy calls himself Honest Sam, doesn’t make him honest. The same level of scrutiny should be held to any person, place or organization that calls themselves, Fact Checkers.
Over the course of the 2008 election, factcheck.org just so happened to always be there to “fact check” what anyone said about Obama. How convenient right? Of course, Obama’s speeches and statements didn’t get “fact checked” nearly as often as Hillary’s or McCain’s. What I’m trying to suggest is that Factcheck.org is biased, heavily biased towards far Left, liberal views. This poses a bit of a problem most of the time. They quote sources just fine, like everyone should. But most people don’t bother to read the sources, they stop at what fackcheck.org says. This is a fallacy, an appeal to authority. Here is a good article on why Factcheck.org isn’t reliable as well.
So when Factcheck.org leaves out a fact that might contradict itself, no one knows about it unless they actually read the entire supporting documentation. I call this lying by omission, well not just me that’s actually what it’s called. These charges are hard to prove because the glories of the internets allow a website to update at will. Meaning, they can update later, after their site has been referenced to add the additional information. There are other ways of showing bias, by interpreting words to mean the way you want them to mean. This is a good example of just that.
Needless to say, I’m more the skeptical of whatever Factcheck.org says, I prefer to read the supporting materials myself. I pretty much only use factcheck.org for it’s linkfest. I was surprised though by this article about Ken Blackwell. Blackwell was on the Daily Show, when Stewart mentioned the amount of “czars” Bush had compared to Obama.
Stewart: Not all the so-called czars were appointed by Obama, and again — and this is just from an organization called FactCheck.org, and just because they have “fact” in their title doesn’t necessarily mean anything — but again, George Bush had more czars.
Blackwell: No he didn’t.
This is were Factcheck.org was brought in. Here’s what they said.
That’s not what we did — at all. We applied the same standards to Bush that Fox News’ Glenn Beck applied to Obama when he said the president had 32 czars. Beck said that his list was “based on media reports from reputable sources that have identified the official in question as a czar.” Our list collects the names of every position that was referred to as a “czar” in the media, with links to examples for every one. We did not count multiple holders of the same position, and we also discounted people who were only called “czars” in articles about how many “czars” a particular administration had.
This is where their bias shows. They refer to the media, by doing a lexis search. I won’t say that the idea that the media would use the term deliberately as a smear, didn’t occur to them, because I’m sure it did. They just choose to ignore that question. Blackwell’s comment is in itself a smear against Obama. But so where all those time when the media used it against Bush. A smear is just another term used for a lie that is used to damage an opponent. It’s ad hominem. In essence, Factcheck.org is using ad hominem as a fact check tool.
The honest thing to say would have been to say,” ‘Czar’ is a subjective term used by the media to damage an opponent by ad hominem attack. Since there is no objective definition of “czar,’ we cannot form any rational basis to check these claims. All we can say is they are nothing more than attacks.”
They don’t do that though, they instead see an opportunity to portray subjective opinion as objective facts. They take it, run with it and show their bias. Thomas Sowell has a phrase he uses for such a thing, “verbal virtuosity.”
Factcheck.org’s tell is when they try to counter Blackwell’s claim that, applying the same standard to both, Axlerod should be considered a “Czar” since Rove was considered one.
For example, they list Karl Rove as “Domestic Policy Czar.” In the real word (as opposed to The Daily Show world), Karl Rove was White House Senior Advisor. That’s important because President Obama has a White House Senior Advisor too, David Axelrod. Yet mysteriously, the sage scholars at Fact Check failed to list Axelrod as Domestic Policy Czar for Obama, which would add a 33rd czar to Obama’s list.
It seems logical right. If one person is a “Czar” then another person, acting in the exact same capacity, in function and in form, should be considered a “Czar” as well right? Of course not, if you listen to Factcheck.org.
That’s because Harold Meyerson called Rove Bush’s “domestic policy czar” in an August 15, 2007, op-ed in the Washington Post, whereas we found no instances of the media using the same term for Axelrod. “Czar” is a title bestowed by the media, and they have so far declined to bestow it on Axelrod.
Again, they are right only in that “Czar” is a media term. They don’t tell you how subjective that term is and how it’s used by the media as ad hominem. The most we can say between Obama’s and Bush’s “Czars” is that the media has been far kinder to Obama than Bush. Which of course is no surprize at all!
Of course, you know I can’t not say anything about AGW and Factcheck.org right!
Here is their “fact check” on ClimateGate.
In late November 2009, more than 1,000 e-mails between scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the U.K.’s University of East Anglia were stolen and made public by an as-yet-unnamed hacker. Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming. We find that to be unfounded:
- The messages, which span 13 years, show a few scientists in a bad light, being rude or dismissive. An investigation is underway, but there’s still plenty of evidence that the earth is getting warmer and that humans are largely responsible.
- Some critics say the e-mails negate the conclusions of a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but the IPCC report relied on data from a large number of sources, of which CRU was only one.
- E-mails being cited as “smoking guns” have been misrepresented. For instance, one e-mail that refers to “hiding the decline” isn’t talking about a decline in actual temperatures as measured at weather stations. These have continued to rise, and 2009 may turn out to be the fifth warmest year ever recorded. The “decline” actually refers to a problem with recent data from tree rings.
If you go to the bottom, you’ll notice that the factcheck.org site was “corrected” on December 22, 2009. Why didn’t they make any corrections or updates on how the IPCC report relied on biased data? Why did the author use the Union of Concerned Scientists as a source? Doesn’t he know how biased that group is, which you can become a member for only a $25.oo, tax deducable “gift.”
Of course the author does, he knows exactly how biased Union of Concerned Scientists are. Which is exactly why he defers to them as a “source”.
Just remember all this the next time you go to Factcheck.org or any other site for information, including mine. Everyone and everything has bias. The best thing to do, is read read read, get as much information as possible, knowing that most of it will be biased based on the presenter of the information (the Author or group writing the article), then form an opinion. Don’t just parrot what you hear on the news or media.
It’s not secret that I’m not a Alarmist. I do think the Earth is warming, but mainly due to natural forces. Man is contributing, but we don’t know with any real certainty how much compared to natural forces.
The AGW took a big big hit this last week. You wouldn’t know about it watching the US Media. They have instituted their own version Earth Hour on any type of coverage that might damage the AGW cult.
Over in Germany, which has to deal with the effects of Climate legislation already, they aren’t taking the US approach, they are actually reporting and it doesn’t look good for the AGW warmists.
Der Spiegel’s peice first talks about Phil Jones, if you don’t know who he is by know you probably won’t ever care anyway.
Life has become “awful” for Phil Jones. Just a few months ago, he was a man with an enviable reputation: the head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, an expert in his field and the father of an alarming global temperature curve that apparently showed how the Earth was heating up as a result of anthropogenic global warming.
Those days are now gone.
His days are now shaped by investigative commissions at the university and in the British Parliament. He sits on his chair at the hearings, looking miserable, sometimes even trembling. The Internet is full of derisive remarks about him, as well as insults and death threats. “We know where you live,” his detractors taunt.
Jones is finished: emotionally, physically and professionally. He has contemplated suicide several times recently, and he says that one of the only things that have kept him from doing it is the desire to watch his five-year-old granddaughter grow up.
Don’t cry for him Argentina, he did it all to himself. It was all completely voluntary, and he has to face the consequences for his actions. Although, any death threats are just plain dumb. We don’t need any martyrs for the AGW cause, it’s too religious already.
“I am 100 percent confident that the climate has warmed,” Jones says imploringly. “I did not manipulate or fabricate any data.”
His problem is that the public doesn’t trust him anymore. Since unknown hackers secretly copied 1,073 private emails between members of his research team and published them on the Internet, his credibility has been destroyed — and so has that of an entire profession that had based much of its work on his research until now.
I’m “confident that the climate has warmed” as well. But that isn’t the AGW debate. The Debate has and always has been centered on Man’s involvement. Also at stake is how much of the research was based on the East Anglia data set. I cannot stress enough, that garbage in equal garbage out, especially in science. When your basing your research off of a faulty base, everything built on that base (East Anglia’s and NASA’s data sets) are going to be off as well. They are all using a faulty assumption. I don’t know how to stress that enough.
The Climategate affair is grist for the mills of skeptics, who have gained growing support for their cause, particularly in English-speaking countries. What began with hacked emails in the United Kingdom has mushroomed into a crisis affecting an entire scientific discipline. At its center is an elite and highly influential scientific group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Since then (Nobel), the IPCC has experienced a dramatic fall from grace. Less than three years after this triumph, more and more mistakes, evidence of sloppy work and exaggerations in the current IPCC report are appearing. They include Jones’ disputed temperature curve, the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers — and the supposed increase in natural disasters, for which no source was given.
Very sloppy work, based on unscientific reports and new articles. Remember that glacier assurtion was based on a noted environmentalist’s very biased article for an environmental group. While I don’t think that automatically presumes they are fudging anything or that their conclusions are false (That’s something only Warmists do.), it does mean that it should have been subject to more scrutiny. Especially to get in the IPCC report, that every Government uses to justify complex and imense legislation controling energy, which effect everyone on the planet.
No other branch of science is as politically charged. A religious war is raging between alarmists and skeptics, and it threatens to consume levelheaded climatologists. But it is a critical conflict, because it revolves around something as massive as the total restructuring of industrial society, a venture that will cost trillions of euros. Powerful economic interests and unshakeable fundamental beliefs come into play.
Meanwhile, there are growing concerns in Berlin that German citizens could become less willing to pay for costly efforts to protect the climate. A poll conducted on behalf of SPIEGEL already signals a dramatic shift in public opinion and suggests that Germans are losing their fear of climate change. The strong majority of 58 percent who said they feared global warming about three years ago has declined to a minority of 42 percent.
The Germans are quite right, that the debate is political and fought with religious zeal. Those two things should be enough for anyone to think twice before passing any sort of legislation. The Germans are also, thinking twice about their own efforts to battle Climate Change. Remember Germany is the Leader in the battle of Climate Change. They have a huge stake in it. If they are starting to doubt the validity of AGW, the world needs to notice.
So no wonder the media, here in the US, isn’t reporting on the Germans about face on AGW.There is just too much money at stake, too many careers on the line, and too much ego.
There are also growing concerns at Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research, which is spending €250 million ($338 million) to support climate science this year. Research Minister Annette Schavan has already summoned German IPCC scientists to attend a “meeting to clarify the situation and improve quality assurance.” Officials at the ministry are horrified over how unprofessionally the IPCC is organized. “The IPCC’s results must be above suspicion, because their impact can cost trillions and have serious political consequences,” says Wilfried Kraus, a senior ministry official.
Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam near Berlin and the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, believes that basic values are now under threat. “Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings,” he says.
It is a great article, everyone with an interest in AGW needs to read it. I’m still convinced that 2010, will be the year that AGW is put to rest.
One of the biggest threats to liberty and freedom today is Enviro-Fascism, of the kind that James Lovelock thinks is necessary.
One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”
From this Washington Times piece on the NAS.
In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of “being treated like political pawns” and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.
If their so tired of “being treated like political pawns” now, why weren’t they tired of it back when the science was continuously being touted as “settled?” The notion of settled science is a political notion, not a scientific one. If anything, hopefully, people should have learned that by now.
“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.
This is the same Ehrlich, whom I mentioned in a previous post, that believes in the Malthusian nonsense of a Population Bomb, and wrote a book with the same name. This is the same Ehrlich that lost the famous Ehrlich-Simon bet, that still beguiles the Peak Oil crowd to this day. This is a guy driving the AGW crowd, no wonder they are nuts. Ehrlich is also the mentor of John “Let’s Sterilize the Population to keep it under Control” Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Don’t you feel safer in the hands of the experts?
Now back to the NAS story. In all honesty this is a non issue. This is the kind of e-mails that the CRU apologists try to pin on the ClimateGate e-mails, just an exchange/debate between scientists on what to do. ClimateGate was about scientists playing Gatekeepers with the information going into the journals. It was about scientists openly discussing how to violate Freedom of Information Act laws
These NAS emails are not on par with the CRU, but they do show how absent minded these professors really are. I mean a New York Times ad? Really? Do those “smart” people not realize that the people that are skeptical of AGW are also skeptical of the NYT as well? The NYT has been pushing AGW and Cap and Trade for years. (Yes, that’s the same Revkin mentioned in the ClimateGate emails.) So spending, $50,000 on a back page ad of the Times isn’t going to do much for their cause. Well except maybe it will help them get their op-eds published more often.
Who’s politicizing whom again?
Last month, President Obama announced that he would create a U.S. agency to arbitrate research on climate change.
Oh yeah, it was only Bush that politicized science, my fault. I forgot to refer to rule number 1.
The Rules according to Obama.
- Blame Bush
- Refer to rule number 1
- Don’t ever mention that your doing the same things Bush did.
Back to the NAS story again, I get off track a lot don’t I? The NAS emails are more debate than anything else, because there is dissenting opinion. The CRU e-mails were about silencing dissenting opinion, the NAS one’s are not. BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!
Not all climate scientists agree with forcing a political fight.
“Sounds like this group wants to step up the warfare, continue to circle the wagons, continue to appeal to their own authority, etc.,” said Judith A. Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Surprising, since these strategies haven’t worked well for them at all so far.”
She said scientists should downplay their catastrophic predictions, which she said are premature, and instead shore up and defend their research. She said scientists and institutions that have been pushing for policy changes “need to push the disconnect button for now,” because it will be difficult to take action until public confidence in the science is restored.
Imagine that. At least someone has some common sense. Just to be sure that the scientists involved with the NAS e-mails are acting on their own, we have this.
“These scientists are elected members of the National Academy of Sciences, but the discussants themselves realized their efforts would require private support since the National Academy of Sciences never considered placing such an ad or creating a nonprofit group concerning these issues,” said William Kearney, chief spokesman for NAS.
Maybe so. Yet, I think we have our own mini-version of a Phil Jones in George Woodwell.
In his e-mail, Mr. Woodwell acknowledged that he is advocating taking “an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach” but said scientists have had their “classical reasonableness” turned against them.
“We are dealing with an opposition that is not going to yield to facts or appeals from people who hold themselves in high regard and think their assertions and data are obvious truths,” he wrote.
So apparently it’s bad when you don’t “yield to facts” from people that hold themselves in high regard? Is he talking about himself or Gore, cause I’m sure both hold themselves in a much higher regard than anyone that disagrees with them. Of course, Woodell must be looking in the mirror when he talks about people who “think their assertions and data are obvious truths.”
One thing for sure, is the fall out, not only political but the fallout in the scientific community over what happened at CRU is far from over. The public trust has been eroded. That’s what happens when you lend yourself to ethical lapses. If the Climate Science community had got their shit in order from the get go, they might have been able to avoid this PR disaster. But they didn’t, they had an agenda and did sloppy science to support that agenda. The chickens are coming home to roost, as the good Rev. Wright would say.