Bill Nye is the anti-science guy when it comes to global warming and hurricanes

Bill Nye is the anti-science guy when it comes to global warming and hurricanes” (2011-08-30). Dr. Ryan Maue seems annoyed with how little traction with his denial science is getting, so he’s going to give political whining a try at his Policlimate blog. Why? Because as he says “Anthony typically avoids political issues” (I still rubbing my eyes over that). Luckily Anthony Watts seems willing, this one time, to dabble in politics by cross-posting Ryan’s rant about Bill Nye’s recent appearance on Fox News.

You know the denialists have had their asses publicly handed to them when they try to re-write an event after the fact by nit-picking someone’s live TV responses intended for a general audience (and when we talk about Fox audiences we’re talking really general) and then declare post facto victory because of imperfect grammar or getting a measurement wrong. They can also be reliably expected to complain about “tone”.

The title of this YouTube copy is “Bill Nye insists the earth is warming though data shows it is not.” and has comments disabled. Denialism writ tiny.

Seems Bill Nye didn’t play along with Fox News “Freedom Watch” guest host Charles Payne’s attempt to describe concern about our changing climate as “apocalyptic”, “irresponsible”, or to assert that there’s a bit of warming “but that’s not from man”. When Payne realized that Bill Nye wasn’t serving as a fig-leaf for Fox News’ preferred scientific assertions he pulled out the patented Fox News escape hatch of but… Al Gore! ending thus:

“We brought you on because we knew you could connect the dots,” Payne interrupted. “Although the route you’ve taken is still confusing some of the viewers.” – Fox Business Host Accuses Bill Nye of ‘Confusing Viewers’ with Science

So six minutes of interrupted reality-based answers to leading questions balances endless hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories? That’s “Fair and Balanced” for you.

NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, GISS Admits

NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, GISS Admits“. The latest scientific analysis Anthony Watts has copied-and-pasted is… a Fox News article! This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Blake Snow of FOXNews.com reports as an admission of inferiority a NASA scientist’s assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different global surface temperature analyses. He also presents as definitive the opinion of Christopher Horner, a ‘senior fellow’ from the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute, that “three out of the four temperature data sets stink”. When another ‘senior fellow’ this time at the right-wing Heartland Institute, James M. Taylor, is quoted next and the article ends with our own Anthony’s unchallenged arm-waving about the “quality” of surface stations, you know the fix is in. “Fair & Balanced”, eh?

The only hint of reality comes from Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground: “It would be nice if we had more global stations to enable the groups to do independent estimates using completely different raw data, but we don’t have that luxury”.

The real story? Climatologists have a limited number of long-duration surface temperature stations available to them. They use as many of those stations as possible. It’s a fundamental logical fact that they will all start with the same raw data. The differences will be in how they select representative stations from the entire data set and how they extrapolate from those stations.

As a final thought, I have to draw attention to the use of “accuracy” as the sole valid assessment of a temperature data set. Data can be accurate (very close to a true reading) but not as useful (doesn’t reflect the actual conditions over a wider area). The fundamental difference between the interpreted surface temperature data sets is that some are optimized for accuracy, some for global representativeness. There are good reasons for each approach. There are also good reasons why denialists try to define the argument on such narrow and misleading points.