Hey Media – Skeptics are Scientists Too
Posted by Jeff Condon on February 16, 2012
I suppose I’m old enough not to be surprised by the behavior of the media anymore, but this garbage coverage of the Heartland scandal has done it again. The media has flatly ignored that the point of the funding for SKEPTICS was to put the temperature data on line. That’s it!! Put it up where people without a computer background can plot it, see it and understand it. How is that nefarious or anti-science in any way?
I’ll answer – it isn’t!
You don’t have to wonder why blogs exist and why Fox News is taking over the news market. People want information, not distortions. Every article I run across has the same tone, the same ‘gotcha’ punch lines about skeptics and the poor naive scientists who were misrepresented in Climategate. They feed this garbage to the public in droves and wonder why their ad revenues drop like stones. It isn’t the paper or internet which is killing the media, it is what they put on it.
So when it is shown that the ‘primary’ leaked Heartland document with the main message is a complete forgery, where are the media reporters now? Where are the retractions? How about a simple investigation of the headers?
In the same place that the nefarious act of publishing the NOAA temperature data is. In the circular bin or the janitorial closet of the New York Times where it won’t see the light of day. There is no need to apologize to conservative groups after all, only to groups that push the correct politics like Media Matters or GreenPeace.
Even though I am regularly disappointed with the biased media coverage of things like Climategate, this time the unprofessional behavior is pretty special. They are only attacking the report because a small amount of money is being donated to a climate skeptic blogger who just happens to be a weather professional!! There is no attempt by the media to recognize that the money was to be put to use to place the primary data, the temperature data so central to the AGW message, on line. Any motivation on the part of the individual after that should be moot. The media and propaganda blogs like DeSmog should be proud to have the dataset on line and pleased that Heartland would invest that money for the common good.
We all should recognize that putting the information on line in a usable fashion, is a strongly pro-science endeavor.
When we read media articles about skeptics, they typically paint us as though we are non-technical, uninformed and motivated by our politics over our minds. “Skeptics need to get real, and do something about climate”, they say. This is despite the in-your-face reality that the IPCC represents exactly those political qualities. The truth is that most of us are technical people from other fields who like to discuss the details of the data and many have realized that there just isn’t much to be alarmed about! Climate Science has failed to alarm us. We are chemists, engineers, programmers, physicists, astronomers, medical professionals, meteorologists, statisticians and even climate scientists. We are not the ones who are uninformed in the debate, we are the ones who are qualified to read the science and where appropriate – disagree. Since we are unfunded by the government for climate and often better statisticians, I would even say we are more qualified to judge the science than those embroiled in the highly funded political morass of “getting the world to do something”. See Real Climate blog for a perfect example of the politics behind climate science.
We read articles from advocate media every day. They are very consistent, and very wrong about people like Anthony Watts. Not much exposes the bias of Climate Science more than the media-wide unabashed smear campaign against him for doing the right thing with data.
I guess I’m still not so jaded that I cannot be surprised. They keep working on it though.