I saw this article yesterday and immediately began to wonder if there really was some new data that could change the projections on human-caused global climate change. As a supporter of science new data always has to be considered and evaluated. Science is not dogma, like religion, that never changes (one of science’s virtues, but denounced by religious types since their “truths” are eternal). So I had to consider the article, but something just didn’t smell right.
So I started a little research yesterday. The first thing was there were no other confirming articles from known reputable sources. A finding as big as this would be front-page news in any science journal and unlike denialists I don’t believe scientists would attempt a coverup. So lack of confirmation is a clue, but not decisive.
But already the title probably just got to me a little: ” … reveal Met Office report quietly released …”. Note the use of “quietly” lending an air of conspiracy, that some scientific group was forced to release real results but, of course, tried to keep it quiet. The right, or denialists, or religion, would use such a tactic (I’m sure in the unlikely case the Daily Mail ever does a retraction, they bury it), so naturally they attributed it to science, even another doggie treat to the “conspiracy” wingnuts.
Now the facts are that the “announcement” by the Met office were utterly routine and got the same amount of attention as usual especially as the fresh set of data showed no such thing as “Global warming stopped 16 years ago”. But even that phrase “stopped 16 years ago” is suspicious, a precise date that warming stopped – impossible! Have they ever seen any of the data? It’s noisy as can be so to assign a precise “stopped” date is absurd. Especially as I’d just seen an article indicating September 2012 was the hottest September on record and have been following the record drop in Arctic ice. Strange to think warming all came to an end 16 years ago. And if it had been 16 years ago why do we need a new data set now to confirm that, couldn’t this claim have been made last year? (Turns out they’ve been making the same claim over and over, despite getting it debunked, including that has-been idiot George Will who is desperately trying to court the wingnuts).
So without much more data the smell from this article just escalated and I was pretty sure it had to be some denialist propaganda.
So who is the Daily Mail or Mail Online (I haven’t found yet, but is this Murdoch? but still looking). So I checked another section today of MailOnline (instead of their “science” section). Now I see denialism about Romney’s flub in the debate. In fact the MailOnline is freaking out as much as FauxNews is. Ah, the picture is beginning to form. Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd., who’s that? It appears not to be Murdoch but instead another billionaire, Viscount Rothermere, supporter of the conservative party in UK and David Cameron. So now we’re getting somewhere finding out who is making this absurd claim.
But finally this article, from a credible source, appeared today with rather complete and direct debunking of the MailOnline lies. In fact it seems there is relatively little rebuttal needed since this is an old tactic of an already discredited lie. Probably few in the climate change community even paid any attention to the MailOnline propaganda any more than any reasonable person would pay attention to any “claims” of FauxNews or RushBot.
So it appears that just my unfamiliarity with a right wingnut propaganda organ in the U.K. allowed me to be briefly suckered in. But here’s the thing. What if I were a way more casual reader, not already skeptical of this type of claim? Would I have taken the time to look for rebuttals? Would I have read the article carefully, looking for the dog whistles that show it’s propaganda? Of course not. Some “low-information” person would glance at the article and leave with the take-away, certain they’d read the truth. Interesting, some of these idiot Repugs making really stupid statements get fooled exactly the same way; they’re pre-programmed to be gullible and also with their gnat’s attention span they do no work to try to find the truth.
So this is why the right wingnut media continues to put out these stupid lies – just on the hope they can occasionally catch someone gullible. And it almost worked for me.