Tags: Climate Change | Wall Street Journal | climate | change | hottest

WSJ: 'Media Idiocy' Continues on Climate Change

By    |   Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:55 PM

Media malpractice is alive and well on the issue of climate change, according to The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. wrote that The Associated Press "committed a howler" by claiming that "nine of the hottest 10 years" in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration global records have occurred since 2000.

The AP added that "the odds of this happening at random are about 650 million to one, according to University of South Carolina statistician John Grego."

That might be true, according to WSJ, "if Earth's climate were dice, where rolling a six has no effect on the odds of the next roll being a six."

But climate ordinarily a process of incremental change is nothing like playing dice.

A "unified theory of media idiocy on climate is beyond the scope of this column, but even someone with the apparently parched intellect of an AP editor should be able to look at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charts and notice that cool years are grouped with cool years, warm years with warm years, and in-between years with in-between years," WSJ said.

Grego told the newspaper that the AP specifically asked him to assume that all years had the same probability of being selected as one of the 10 hottest years.

But the assumption itself is farcical, the WSJ observes, akin to "assuming that because you weighed 195 pounds at some point in your life, there should be an equal chance of you weighing 195 pounds at any point in your life, even when you were a baby."

The more serious problem is that evidence of warming tells us nothing about what causes it or what to do about it.

"Even if humanity could assert some bureaucratic control over climate, the cost-benefit case would remain problematic the costs being huge and the benefits necessarily being as uncertain as man's role in causing climate change," WSJ said.

The climate problem if there is one most likely won't be solved by global bureaucrats issuing decrees. But one could imagine it being solved "by the normal, unwilled progress of technology" capable of storing the vast amounts of solar energy that reach the Earth each year, it observed.

Yet that reality, the newspaper added, appears lost on the climate reporters who "robotically insist, as they did again this week" that the 2000s represent the hottest period in the short, 134-year historical record and that large-scale government action is urgently needed to avert catastrophe.

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Media malpractice is alive and well on the issue of climate change, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Wall Street Journal, climate, change, hottest
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:55 PM
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