Evaluating Sources: Fox Can Be Right Too

I regularly post links to background materials and opinion polls. They reflect my personal tastes and interests, but are drawn from across the political spectrum. To my surprise, I get criticism of articles by those who will not read them because of the source. How to they know? I would chalk it up to ideology, but I think it goes deeper. It probably stems from a poor education in evaluating sources.

Everybody should learn to evaluate sources. None of the articles I link are pure polemic or even news. They contain footnotes and reference that you can follow and check. Of course you need not read through every article to determine whether or not it is useful. You do not have to eat the whole egg to know that it is rotten. It is also true that you need not give the same respect to all authors. An article’s provenance should provide advance warning of its bias AND there is no such thing as an unbiased report but the source alone is not reason enough to accept or reject the information included or arguments made.

I will not go into the relative value of primary versus secondary sources. Everybody knows that and few of the sources we consult are primary in the pure sense anyway. Of course we should trace back until we get to the originating source. Nothing can be better than its original source. But let’s just look at what we might find in linked studies and articles. There is an old saying that the Devil can quote scripture and that there are lies, damn lies and statistics, but if you have access to the whole information you can correct for this.

“Trust, but verify” is a good idea. The first place to look in an article is in the sources or the appendixes. Very often the summary is the misleading part. I remember dealing with a source that claimed the U.S. had become more polluted in the last five years. The summary said it. The pictures showed it, but the data included in the appendix indicated the opposite.

After you verify the sources, check the chronology. The simple fact of time as we know it is that effects cannot precede causes. Effects also rarely follow causes instantly. Sometimes the lag time can be significant. Beyond that, every cause needs a method of transmission to create an effect. It was amazing how often this is overlooked. If you come up with some big idea, but never tell anybody about it, it cannot be the basis of anything.

Finally, we get to veracity of the source. Some people do not tell the truth. If you check sources and chronology, you can usually catch them. The bigger challenge is the person who thinks he is passing truthful primary information, but is mistaken. It does not matter if the person thinks he is telling the truth. Some of the most sincere people are not in the position to know the truth and some are not capable of apprehending it. This is not always as clear as it seems. We suffer from a halo-effect where someone is expert or experienced at one thing is thought to be good at others too. There is also a negative halo-effect. This is what we suffer from with my sources. Some people dislike AEI or Heritage and the lefty fear & loathing of Fox News is amazing. (BTW - I rarely link to Fox or any news articles in general, but some people just assume that I do.)

I do not recommend you read even most of the sources I link. They are what I am interested in reading. That's it. I include a couple sentence summaries to indicate what the article is about, so you can click only on the ones of interest to you. Please judge what you read. But rejecting an argument only by virtue of who made it is the mark of a small, closed and probably bigoted mind. If your worst enemy tells you the sky is blue, you may want to look out the window to check, but if he is right it makes no difference who said it.

Those who learn to evaluate sources, no longer need to practice mental hygiene by avoiding unpleasant contact with "right wing" sources. Leftist will no longer need to fear AEI, Heritage or even Fox News. Maybe they can even broaden their minds and learn a few things.

Posted by Jack at April 15, 2007 11:00 PM
Comments
Comment #216739
It probably stems from a poor education in evaluating sources.

You have outdone yourself, Jack, based on a presumed slight of your sources.

So you take it upon yourself to point out the obviously poor education of watchblog members.

The arrogance of this post surpasses expectations.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 15, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #216742

Glad to make you happy.

I always hope to surpass exectations.

The serious question is sources. They must be evaluated but if we just reject other people’s sources, there is not much to talk about and very little chance to learn.

When people give me sources, I generally look at them. I usually find something useful. Very often, I find that the source does not support the argument made. You may remember the example I gave of the pollution being worse today. I had someone quote a source at me, and when I went to the figures, I found it proved the opposite of what my interlocutor thought.

It just is not right to reject information merely because of its source. The source may make you suspicious, but you still need to address the truth.

Re my own sources, I am surprised how far to the left some people can be. I know that AEI and Heritage are right. But Pew, Brookings, & NPR probably lean left. CRS is now more a Dem service. That some people think these are right wing says a lot more about them than the sources.

Posted by: Jack at April 16, 2007 12:23 AM
Comment #216746

Jack,

While the flavor of this post is a bit condescending, I have often been accused of that myself.

I personally feel that you make a great effort to raise the level of debate. I appreciate that effort.

Most of us here are highly opinionated and attempt informed debate. I feel you contribute to that. Thank you.

Posted by: gergle at April 16, 2007 1:25 AM
Comment #216756

Poor education in evaluting sources. Well Jack, since you are the one posting the source, may it be that your evaluation is incorrect and you just don’t want to hear it.

Yes Fox does hit it right every now and then, but anyone can say what a baseball score it. Now if you want a pure republican conservative view of the world they do that also, but that is not always correct either.

Posted by: KT at April 16, 2007 8:31 AM
Comment #216757

I don’t trust thinktanks, for the most part. When the expressed aim of an institute is to back certain points, then groupthink comes into play, and it becomes less likely that people are going to reconsider their point from another angle, or that somebody competing with them, like in the academic or scientific world, will come up with a better answer, a better point of view.

Failing that, I want some exterior points of view backing what they say.

On the subject of FOXNews, what lost me, eventually, was their coverage of WMDs during the Iraq war. I was looking for them to be found, and time and time again, they reported that they had found something, only for the story to disappear and be retracted. After a certain point, I wrote them off. They were too sloppy in their reporting, to interested in reporting a certain message, rather than admit what was in front of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2007 8:35 AM
Comment #216760

Jack,

Rush Lamebrain is correct ten percent of the time, but why would anyone cite him as a source of good information? FAUX News is a lie one hundred percent of the time, so your use of it as a source of good information puts a question to the rest of your citings.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 16, 2007 8:57 AM
Comment #216762

Jack,

The problem with right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation is that they have an explicit commitment to a certain ideology. For example, here is the stated mission of the Heritage Foundation:

Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

By their own description, they are more about advocating a certain viewpoint (“formulate and promote conservative public policies”) than in actually doing research. If you already know the answer then you aren’t doing research.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 16, 2007 9:10 AM
Comment #216765

Woody,

The Heritage Foundation is not researching and educating about these self-proclamed policies, they’re searching and educating about [the best way ] PROMOTING them.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at April 16, 2007 9:36 AM
Comment #216775

” FAUX News is a lie one hundred percent of the time, so your use of it as a source of good information puts a question to the rest of your citings.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 16, 2007 08:57 AM”

I’ll bet you can’t show one lie that Fox News has told. Fox News reports the news and don’t usually create it.

Posted by: tomd at April 16, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #216778

Meanwhile, tomd, when the news they didn’t create but report are found to be wrong, they could “create” retraction and report it. But they don’t.

Except when they’re locked in the corner.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at April 16, 2007 10:35 AM
Comment #216779

I’’ll bet you can’’t show one lie that Fox News has told

tomd,

FOX News reported that Mark Foley was a Democratic Congressman on certain occasions after the page scandal broke and never issued a correction.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 10:36 AM
Comment #216781

Stephen & Jack: Regarding so-called “think tanks,” I have discovered that the writers/researchers involved in any study is more important than the think tank for which they work. The quality of scholarly work is not measured by my agreement or disagreement with the conclusions but, rather, the transparency of the research and the rigorousness of the methodology used in the research design. It is this focus on process that is the Age of Reason’s greatest gift to humankind whether we are speaking of the scientific method or of the U.S. Constitution or of a family of four.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at April 16, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #216784

“FOX News reported that Mark Foley was a Democratic Congressman on certain occasions after the page scandal broke and never issued a correction.”

I googled the above and wikipikied for it without success. Can you provide a link?

Posted by: tomd at April 16, 2007 11:29 AM
Comment #216789

tomd: If you’d searched “‘Mark Foley’ democrat” you would have found the following within the first 3 entries… the same if you search “Mark Foley” on youtube.com:

http://www.bradblog.com/Video/FoxOReilly_FoleyDEMOCRAT_100603.wmv

http://www.bradblog.com/Video/FoxOReilly_Coulter_FoleyDEMOCRAT_100603.wmv

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at April 16, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #216792

Dr. Poshek’

Both references you show are from the Bill O’Reily show. His show is not Fox News.

I did however see the same clip on Fox and Friends which IS a news show. By the end of the broadcast they admitted the typo and corrected it. It wasn’t a “lie”

Posted by: tomd at April 16, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #216795

I did however see the same clip on Fox and Friends which IS a news show. By the end of the broadcast they admitted the typo and corrected it.

tomd,

And where is THAT link?

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 12:36 PM
Comment #216797

Both references you show are from the Bill O’Reily show. His show is not Fox News.

I wish conservatives would make the same distinction about New York Times when referring to its editorial and news division.

I will amend my comment above to read ” on the FOX News Channel it was reported …”

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 12:39 PM
Comment #216798

“And where is THAT link?

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 12:36 PM”

There is no link I’m aware of. As I said, I saw it.

Fox News was called a lie “100%” of the time. So far you have shown one typo on a graphic that was quickly changed. Hardly a lie.

Posted by: tomd at April 16, 2007 12:44 PM
Comment #216800

tomd,
Who called Fox News a lie 100% of the time?

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 12:47 PM
Comment #216806

Jack,
“Leftist will no longer need to fear AEI, Heritage or even Fox News. Maybe they can even broaden their minds and learn a few things.”

What the heck are you talking about, Jack?!* If the left “broaden their minds” then they wouldn’t be able to argue anymore. :-)

Posted by: rahdigly at April 16, 2007 1:16 PM
Comment #216807

If the left “broaden their minds” then they wouldn’t be able to argue anymore. :-)


rahdigly,
As someone who consistently ignores evidence when it is brought to your attention on this board, that’s a pretty bold statement, even in jest. Perhaps you enlighten us leftists regarding some relevent facts we don’t address.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 1:20 PM
Comment #216809

“tomd,
Who called Fox News a lie 100% of the time?

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 12:47 PM”


Marysdude did.

” Comment #216760
Jack,

Rush Lamebrain is correct ten percent of the time, but why would anyone cite him as a source of good information? FAUX News is a lie one hundred percent of the time, so your use of it as a source of good information puts a question to the rest of your citings.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 16, 2007 08:57 AM”


Are you going to defend it?

Posted by: tomd at April 16, 2007 1:50 PM
Comment #216811

Bobo,
“As someone who consistently ignores evidence when it is brought to your attention on this board, that’s a pretty bold statement, even in jest. Perhaps you enlighten us leftists regarding some relevent facts we don’t address.”


You can pretty much take any argument against Bush as lacking “broaden minds”; you can add anything in Iraq in the same category, as well. By the way, back it up where I “ignored evidence”; you’ll (more than likely) have to distinguish between disagreeing with someone and ignoring someone’s argument (entirely) b/c of blind-partisan (kool-aid drinking) responses. I’ll tell you right now, you’re not getting the rahdister on that one!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 16, 2007 1:53 PM
Comment #216815

rahdigly,

Here is one place in another thread where you completely dismiss the collective work of the world’s scientific community without bothering to even read what they have to say:

http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/004906.html

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #216817

tomd,

No, I don’t defend Marysdude’s comment. But neither have I seen Fox News Channel correct their error on Foley’s party affiliation, despite your claim to having seen it.

If you open to page 2 of the New York Times you will find, every day, a list of corrections. I’d like to see Fox News Channel get into that habit as well.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #216818

Bobo,
“Here is one place in another thread where you completely dismiss the collective work of the world’s scientific community without bothering to even read what they have to say:”


What the heck are you talking about?! I was the first one on that thread to comment; where (the heck) did I ignore it or the facts?! I (clearly) disputed the argument and backed it up with a source.


Posted by: rahdigly at April 16, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #216820

What the heck are you talking about?!

rahdigly,
I’m talking about how you completely ignore the research on global climate change. You write “I do not believe the IPCC” but utterly and completely fail to address the facts they present, despite the fact their reports are presented directly to you.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #216822

Bobo, I clearly responded to the fact that thousands of scientists dispute global warming; I’ve evened sourced and quoted some of the facts that scientists have said.

Your trying to attack me b/c I have an opinion; one that you disagree with. That’s not how it works! I’ve backed up and sourced the facts to my argument on that thread and I (certainly) didn’t ignore it.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 16, 2007 3:17 PM
Comment #216827

rahdigly,

Your “thousands of scientists” do not exist. They are names collected over the Internet by a bogus group and you can read about this silly organization’s background here

Just because someone writes a web page that says “thousands of scientist …” does not make that web page true.

If you want to express an opinion, fine. But please do not masquarade what you present as fact without checking out the background. You need to get facts from a trusted source, and on this matter I suggest you start with http://www.nationalacademies.org/. The National Academies presents facts on this subject, not you.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #216835

Bobo, first off, I’ll dispute the “thousands of scientist” in a moment. You’re getting off the subject. You insinuated that I ignored or “dismiss the collective work of the worlds scientific community without bothering to even read what they have to say”. You didn’t prove I didn’t read what they’ve said! Disagreeing and ignoring are two different things. I simply argued the point that there are thousands of scientists who dispute “man-made” global warming; here’s another source that’s not a “bogus group”.


Posted by: rahdigly at April 16, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #216837

Jack:
“I had someone quote a source at me, and when I went to the figures, I found it proved the opposite of what my interlocutor thought.”

That’d be me he was referring to here. But the way I saw this incident was that Jack was purposefully twisting away from addressing the real point I’d been trying to make with my link. And so, he continued to argue on and on from a completely dishonest position, play-acting as though he didn’t understand what my actual point had been, until I finally became so fed up, I had walk away from that particular thread in disgust.

As for this article, “poor education in evaluating sources” is a crock. The truth is, there are only so many hours in the day, and life is just too damn short — so why on earth would liberals want waste so much time reading and trying to sort the wheat from the chaff on links that we all know have been produced by dishonest rightwing ideologues? No doubt you righties often feel the same distrust about links to info that we choose to share with each other.
It’s not wise to take such things personally, and if you’re trying to address everyone, make an attempt to use links that will be viewed as non-partisan by the majority of readers.
If I was an editor for this blog, that’s what I would do.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 16, 2007 4:14 PM
Comment #216871

rahdigly,

Your “other source” is a blogger who cites — surprise, surprise — the same source you cited before. You are presenting opinions, not facts.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 5:59 PM
Comment #216897

AEI? Didn’t they accept tobacco money and then attack as “junk science” those who said second hand smoke was bad for people? They are not just often wrong but a propaganda orgon Like asking Tokyo Rose how the war is going.Not part of a serious debate.

Posted by: BillS at April 16, 2007 7:26 PM
Comment #216901

Bobo, you still have not proved where I “ignored” the article or “didn’t read it”. Prove it! Don’t make accusations and then try and debate something else.


Posted by: rahdigly at April 16, 2007 7:42 PM
Comment #216910

Adrienne

That was my point about evaluating sources. A good source has references that you can check and make up your own mind. You do not need to accept the conclusions of the person who wrote the article.

Very often what we have is a framing disagreement. That also leads to interesting lines of argument.

For example, the rich pay most of the income tax in the U.S. This is a fact. But you could make normative argument in two opposite directions. For example, you might take it at face value and say the rich are paying too much. You might take it to mean that the rich make too much money and the fact that they pay so much is a sign that they should pay more in order to flatten the income distribution.

I enjoy taking apart studies done by the other side. I am often not questioning their facts. I am just using their facts to argue for a different interpretation. Others could do the same to my sources, but many foolishly reject the sources themselves.

Articles from Heritage are very well referenced. A smart guy could make a variety of interpretations; a dumb one just rejects the whole package.

Posted by: Jack at April 16, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #216913

rahdigly,
You’re right: I haven’t proved anything. But then neither have you bothered to indicate that you’ve read anything from the IPCC or NAS. If you’ve read either of their works, tell us where these scientists are wrong.

Posted by: bobo at April 16, 2007 9:06 PM
Comment #216980

Bobo, thank you for (finally) conceding that you haven’t proved that I ignored the article; I mean that, I’m not gloating at all. Now, to respond to your comment that I didn’t “indicate I read anything from the IPCC or NAS”, here’s my response to the (original) comment in that thread. You can (also) click on his link of the comment he made, so you can understand the context to which I was responding to.


Also, I read your National Academies.org link you provided a few comments back and I didn’t see where they talked about global warming. Maybe, you can show me what article you were referring to. Thanks.


Posted by: rahdigly at April 17, 2007 8:27 AM
Comment #216999

Rahdigly-
According to Scientific American, Of that number, only 1400 claimed to hold a PhD in climate science (which would mean they knew of that which they spoke.)

They randomly sampled 30 names from that list, of which

26 could be identified.
11 said they still agreed.
1 of them was an active climate researcher
2 had expertise in a related field
8 signed after an informal look at it

6 of the total number would reject it if presented with it today
5 did not answer repeated inquiries
1 was dead
3 did not remember signing.

Their conclusions?

Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers—a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

200, eh? Not so impressive as 17,000.

The problem that Republicans have with sources is that they’re often trying to vindicate themselves on some not widely accepted bit of theory. Often enough, their sources, which will share their ideology, try to do the same. Result? you have people who hype things spreading the word to those who want things to be hyped.

Global Warming is accepted by a consensus of most climate scientists. To fight back against this, the contrarians writing up that petition put out one where the vast majority of the people, though scientists, aren’t trained in the discipline.

That’s no quibble. You don’t send a particle physicist out to predict the weather. You send a meteorologist. The meteorologist has made it his or her life’s work to study the subject, to be familiar with the research. While the particle physicist is busy studying Kaons, Mesons, and Pions, and debating Supersymmetry and GUT’s, the Meteorologist is keeping track of regional microclimates, pressure changes, seasonal shifts, and the like.

A climate Scientist would also study things like ocean currents, thermoclines, thermohaline conveyors, albedo and the like.

The writers of the petition don’t care about that. They want something that says global warming is a crock. They assume, somewhat rightly, that when people say 17,000 scientists disagree with Global warming, that folks will be impressed.

Unfortunately, they’ve chosen to impress people with what amounts to a rhetorical trick. It’s empty and meaningless as a real scientific statement, and that makes their position a flimsy one, despite its impressive facade.

The people who write up things like this have a job: it’s manufacturing the reasons for folks like you to oppose policy directions that are in reality well-founded.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2007 10:11 AM
Comment #217026

Stephen, you’re putting all you “eggs in one basket” with this “consensus” crap. It’s ridiculous. It’s not the republicans, conservatives or independents that’s the problem; it’s the enviornmentalist wackos and the left that have “sold their souls” to the “religion” of global warming. It’s sad. The IPCC, Gore and others have made this more about a “political” agenda rather than a “scientific” one (which it is)?!! Can you (please) explain why there have been 5 major ice ages on this planet?! And, what caused the “warming” in between those Ice Ages?! Was it man?! Can you answer that?!!!


“But surely Carter is merely part of what most people regard as a tiny cadre of “climate change skeptics” who disagree with the “vast majority of scientists” Gore cites? No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. “Climate experts” is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore’s “majority of scientists” think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field. Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. “While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change,” explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. “They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies.”

Posted by: rahdigly at April 17, 2007 11:02 AM
Comment #217042
Leftist will no longer need to fear AEI, Heritage or even Fox News. Maybe they can even broaden their minds and learn a few things. Posted by Jack at April 15, 2007 11:00 PM
The ears of AEI, Heritage and Fox and their minions are long closed. It is they who need fear the light of truth as the black fog of their mistruths is corrupting and their corruption of truth will bring corruption of the flesh as well as of the soul. Har har Har, hear ye well! Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 17, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #217047

Dave120, last week, on the openning monologue of the Leno Show, Leno made a joke about the democrats and Fox News. He was quoting a report that said “Edwards, Hillary and Obama declined to debate on FNC”, to which he replied “how are they going to fight the terrorists if they’re afraid of Fox News?!!” It was hilarious and something I’ve said to you a few times. I’m not sure how to download that or where, but it was funny.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 17, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #217056

rah,

I wasn’t trying to be funny, and, yes, you’ve mentioned it a few times. The difference is, of course, that I hear the joke as sarcasm through absurdity (as in; Fox likes to position themselves as the only ‘balanced’ network who are patriotically holding the flag into battle while us liberals know fox is just pandering and full of crap). Whereas what you hear it that the Democratic candidates are scared of fox, so they must be scared oliellyless of the terrorists.

The reality of the situation is that Fox is viewed as a bunch of lying school yard bully asswipes by the left and if a Democratic candidate gives legitimacy to Fox by going on a debate they will be viewed as a tool.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 17, 2007 1:13 PM
Comment #217082

Dave120,

“The reality of the situation is that Fox is viewed as a bunch of lying school yard bully asswipes by the left and if a Democratic candidate gives legitimacy to Fox by going on a debate they will be viewed as a tool.”


So, it’s not Fox that they’re afraid of; it’s their “far” left constituents?!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 17, 2007 2:57 PM
Comment #217090

The real reason they won’t appear on Fox is they don’t remember which side of their mouth to speak out of. Kinda like doublespeak.

Posted by: tomh at April 17, 2007 3:59 PM
Comment #217095

rah,

No, not “far” left, anyone not “far” right. And, again, not fear. Respect, for themselves and hopefully others.. But the wing you’re on doesn’t remember anything about that.

tomh,

As a sufferer of doublethink, you should know.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 17, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #217098

sorry tomh,

Making it a personal statement was uncalled for on my part. I will stand by my opinion that Fox deserves no credibility and appearing in a debate with one of their talking heads will be a negative for someones candidacy in my view.
Now, if they want to debate with one of those buttwipes in an arena where there’s a fair debate, I’d watch that. But a fair debate on Fox just doesn’t happen.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 17, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #217103

“The reality of the situation is that Fox is viewed as a bunch of lying school yard bully asswipes by the left”

With you being on the left, is it safe to say you view Fox News that way too?

I’ll challange you to show a lie comming from Fox News. (I’ve challanged this twice and so far have gotten one photocrop and one typo on a graphic.) Show me a real lie.

Posted by: tomd at April 17, 2007 4:32 PM
Comment #217120

Dave, good posts. I’m personally so glad the Dems finally know enough not to keep treating Fox as though they’re an actual perveyor of “News.” We all know they’re nothing but a rightwing propaganda machine whose basic purpose is to lie and smear everyone on the left.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 17, 2007 5:49 PM
Comment #217126

Adrenne

Sure would be nice to see some of those lies and smears you talk about. I don’t watch Fox all that much but I find that they put lefites and righties on all the time. Does ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN et.al. put lefties and righties on the same slot. I have never seen it there.

Posted by: tomh at April 17, 2007 6:07 PM
Comment #217192

All news agencies get it wrong once in a while. CNN called Black Republican Michael Steele a Democrat during the Maryland Congressional elections. What about Dan Rather’s blunder on CBS?
Jack is right! You have to be careful about your sources. One of the reasons FOX News is so popular is that it is usually correct, and tells both sides of the story when reporting news. In fact, O’Reilly will debate anyone. You certainly don’t have to agree with him to get on his show. He also has the intestinal fortitude to go toe to toe on his own. He doesn’t load up some panel three to one Democrat against Republican like most other news shows.

JD

Posted by: JD at April 17, 2007 9:40 PM
Comment #217210

Rahdigly-
The reason why Democrats are skipping these debates on FOXNews is the same reason you don’t play poker with a player you know has cards up his sleeve. We are not stupid enough to play games with those who intend to stack the deck.

As for your climate questions? CO2 doesn’t care whether it comes from the burning of a forest, the activity of a volcano, the weathering of carbonate rocks. It acts the same way regardless. Our release, though, stands as one of the most most profound redistributions in recent times. We’re essentially taking millions of years worth of buried carbon and liberating it into the atmosphere. Our talent for uncovering these sources and releasing them are unmatched in natural history among any other animal. Show me any other mammal capable of piercing thousands of feet of rock to get at petroleum.

The presence of CO2 in the atmosphere is not always constant, nor is it at all the only factor at work. Climate is a system influenced by landmasses, wind patterns both global and local, ocean currents, ice masses, and other things. Some of these things, and some of the variability we can’t effect. We can’t move Panama, nor stop the sloshing around of warm water that both causes the atmospheric changes of El Nino and La Nina and is in turn caused by it. We can’t change what direction Earth faces during the year.

Natural variability does occur, and El Nino is one example. But it’s not either/or. Our own influence can build on, counteract, or react in any number of unpredictable ways with the natural variability already in place. The CO2, while not the only influence, can be a strong one, and Nature can turn around and build on what we do, and make it even worse.

One example of this is the melting of the ice. Ice, as compared to Ocean and Land, reflects more radiation, giving it what scientists would call a high albedo. That reflectance lowers the amount of energy that remains in the atmosphere. When the darker land and sea are exposed, they absorb more heat, which melts more ice in turn. This is what scientists call a positive feedback, a system whose changes build on themselves.

Clouds can provide another example. More heat in the atmosphere evaporates more water vapor, which absorbs heat just like CO2 does. But Water Vapor also condenses to form clouds, which can both reflect and absorb heat, depending on how they work. When they reflect it, they act as a negative feedback, a system that inhibits itself as a result of an influence.

Climate is a complex combination of all these phenomena, naturally variable, but sensitive to any input that just provides the right kick to it. CO2 doesn’t care what source it comes from, it absorbs heat, and absorbs it incredibly well. just a trace of it warms our planet by thirty or fourty degrees. As we add it in record concentrations, it will have its effect.

The models that forecast global warming are well refined enought that people feeding in data about past climate events can get events in simulation to turn out much like they did in reality- a sign of a good model. These models are not perfect, but they’re converging with reality, rather than diverging from it.

As for political agendas, it’s nice that you’re feeding me a source whose own political agenda is supported by the energy companies of our neighbor to the north, and whose politics evidently steer towards the right. Convenient for you. You know, the trick is, many of the skeptics publish their papers in humanities journals, rather than submit them to the scrutiny of peer reviewed journals in their own fields (when they’re in their own fields at all).

Why, if they are so right, do they not submit their work like that? You would say politics, and without a shred of evidence, posit this huge conspiracy among scientists to back Global Warming for political purposes.

That’s not how science works. There is politics, but politics can’t make tests turn out the way people want them to, and credibility is ultimately built on scientific, not partisan vindication.

You mention five ice ages. that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas does not preclude ice ages, anymore than summer, or the solar variability you talk about precludes winter when at its height. Climate is complex enough, and it’s feedbacks complex enough, that a series of natural changes, like the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, or the positioning of the Landmass of Antarctica over the South Pole can drop or raise temperatures in different places.

The models are helping us to discern our own contribution to the warming of the planet, from this background of variability. Variations still occur while we add the CO2, but our addition pumps more energy into the system, which means that the natural variation is acting with all that additional heat feeding in.

You and others are being suckered into opposing global warming on faulty logical grounds, on visions of warming being either entirely artificial or entirely natural. That you question whether the presence of CO2 and the ice ages can show up together indicates the kind of deterministic, 19th Century conception of all this that you have. Climate is the kind of system that when you push on it, it push packs in seven different ways you can expect and seven more you had no idea would occur.

But your sources want to convince you that if we maintain the status quo, nothing will happen. Nature has to ignore everything we do, behave predictably, natural cycles and everything explaining everything. Yet, examination of the climate records of the past indicate that cycles are anything but predictable, anything but precise in their behavior. They’re selling you a bill of goods so they can sell you other goods.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #217233

Stephen

Does that bill of goods also apply to the company Al Gore started so he could buy carbon credits, which have a vague definition? And AG can go from a multi-millionare to a multi-billionare. Kinda like Enron execs.

Posted by: tomh at April 18, 2007 1:11 AM
Comment #217311

Stephen,

“The reason why Democrats are skipping these debates on FOXNews is the same reason you don’t play poker with a player you know has cards up his sleeve. We are not stupid enough to play games with those who intend to stack the deck.”


Oh, whatever! The left are the ones that are always touting the 1rst Amendment and “voicing” opinions; yet, now Dem presidential candidates don’t want to voice it b/c of a TV station (to them) is biased?!! Hell, conservatives wouldn’t be on any of the networks if that were the case! And yet, the conservatives still go on the “left” networks and programs all the time. Remember, debate and dissent is good in this country; we shouldn’t have one party shunned out b/c we don’t like what they say or do. Let the voters decide!!! However, Leno was right; if the Dems are afraid of Fox news, how are they going to deal with the terrorists. It’s comical, yet (ohh) so(oooo) true! I thank you (and Dave120) for proving it true.


“You and others are being suckered into opposing global warming on faulty logical grounds, on visions of warming being either entirely artificial or entirely natural.”


No Stephen, quite the opposite, we are not being “suckered” that global warming is caused by humans when there’s a good number of (renown and respected) scientists out there that don’t believe humans are responsible; that global warming may (in fact) be natural. It’s not for this “consensus” bullcrap to tell us that it’s man’s fault and that’s the way it is, so now we have to change our lifestyles and pay taxes. That’s complete and utter bullsh*t!


By the way, you didn’t prove anything about the 5 ice ages; you should show scientific proof that they were caused naturally or that the dinosaurs (indeed) caused the global warming due to all the SUV’s and “big oil” consumption like us humans are doing!!!******

Posted by: rahdigly at April 18, 2007 2:04 PM
Comment #217396

Rahdigly,

I did see Dino driving the car on the Flintsones

Actually, no you don’t. Your assumption that humans can be the only source of global warming is not made by the IPCC.

What exactly is your theory that refutes the IPCC report?


Posted by: gergle at April 18, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #217414

Out of 20,000 scientists only 3,000 put together the pro global warming pack. Many called that a consensus. I would think that 17,000 scientists would constitute a consensus. Much more is falling out aabout calculations, time lines, etc., enough to cause one to rethink about the facts and fiction of the situation.

Posted by: tomh at April 18, 2007 10:12 PM
Comment #217425

O.K., Tomh,

Please cite some fact or fiction. I get you don’t like 3000 people’s opinion, but why?

It’s fine to question authority, but how about some hard contrary evidence that holds up to challenge?

Posted by: gergle at April 18, 2007 10:41 PM
Comment #217460

Because 17k is 5 times the 3k. The numbers speak. Does 3k measure up? Does 17k measure up? After reading much on the subject, I will side with the majority of 17k.

Posted by: tomh at April 19, 2007 1:25 AM
Comment #217466

Actually, tomh

You’re guilty of exactly what you are accusing the other side of…blind allegiance to authority. You trust your guys, they trust theirs. I don’t trust either of you. As Reagan said, “trust, but verify”
It seems to me you need to do some reading.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2007 2:01 AM
Comment #217519

Gergle

The topic is exhaustive. I have read thousands of pages. There is a cyclic change upward in the glogal temperature. The global change per AG is not happening. I have to go to a meeting. When I return I will give you some sources.

Posted by: tomh at April 19, 2007 10:26 AM
Comment #217522

Climatologists believe there is evidence which proves that at one time the Saharra Desert was green and lush much like the Midwestern U.S.!
This was well before man had ever started digging for oil. What happened that made the Saharra a desert? It certainly wasn’t man.
Scientists can not promote talk of massive temperature and climate changes such as this, and then try to blame man for some disastrous change in the weather and climate over the next ten years. People are naturally going to assume it is all fantasy. Climatologists have agreed for centuries and eons that weather and climate has undergone numerous changes. Now, like the sand of the once Saharra River delta, to say that climate change is caused by man is a little hard to swallow for most people.

JD

Posted by: JD at April 19, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #217524

I just heard of a new excuse of why we didn’t have a heavy hurricane season this past year.

It seems WIND SHEAR done it. Cut the tops off of all the hurricanes we were going to have. Of course global warming caused the abnormal wind shear too.

Why didn’t their models predict the wind shear and it’s effects BEFORE the hurricane season?

Posted by: tomd at April 19, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #217544

Tomd,

You are not differentiating between local effects and climate change. This link might help. The problem is, Tomd, the subject is complex, and not able to be explained in a few quick ideas. I sincerely hope you look over the rest of the site.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2007 11:52 AM
Comment #217550

“You are not differentiating between local effects and climate change. This link might help. The problem is, Tomd, the subject is complex, and not able to be explained in a few quick ideas. I sincerely hope you look over the rest of the site.”

I’m not differentiating anything. The global warming people have warned us many, many times about the comming bad hurricanes that were comming. When we had a mild year and questioned why, they scrambled and came up with the “wind shear” excuse. Why didn’t their models account for wind shear before the hurricane season?

I’ve visited your link. It didn’t answer my question. Can you?

Posted by: tomd at April 19, 2007 12:00 PM
Comment #217570

JD,

Actually, scientists can and have. There is a difference between thermolyne circulation effects and the CO2 effects of the 20th century.

I sincereley hope you read around through the site. It doesn’t dumb down the science which makes it hard to read, but it doesn’t patronize you with “believe me” B.S. either.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #217580

tomd

Who are the global warming people that have warned you Tomd? Dr. William Gray is not a global warming person, he disagrees with it. He is the guy who newspapers quote for hurricane prediction. There are increased probabilities for more intense, not more numerous hurricanes. That was in the link. There are multiple factors involved in Hurricane creation. That was in the link. Some have nothing to do with global warming, some do. The link I gave you spoke directly to that. You say it didn’t answer your question. I have lived on the Gulf Coast for over 20 years, wind shear is a well known phenomenon, not something “scrambled up”. When I lived in Dallas for 10 years, I noticed that there was no discussion on TV of hurricane prediction except the number. Down here if you watch the news, especially when a hurricane threatens there is much more detail about the complexity of hurricanes. You say you read it, but these issues were addressed. What part didn’t you understand?

Climate prediction is not about predicting tommorrow’s thunderstorm. Climate change is about global effects, not local weather.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2007 12:51 PM
Comment #217649
to say that climate change is caused by man is a little hard to swallow for most people. Posted by: JD at April 19, 2007 10:32 AM
Actually, MOST aware people in the world BELIEVE that GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE is EFFECTED by MAN. Only in this country have enough people been fooled that there is any significant denial. Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at April 19, 2007 4:39 PM
Comment #217673

Dave1-20-09
You have been duped

Gergle
Here are a fraction of the sources that I have read and re-read.
Dr. Tim Ball, former professor in Dept. of Climatology, Univ. of Winnipeg

Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, Univ of Alabama

Richard Lindzen, climate scientist, MIT

Dr Ian Clark, professor isotope hydrogeology & paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences,
Univ. of Ottawa

Dr. Chris de Freitas, climate scientist, Univ. of Aukland, NZ

Mr. George Taylor, Dept. of Meterology, Oregon St. Univ., Oregon State Climatologist

Dr. Patrick Michaels, professor of environmental sciences, Univ. of VA

Dr. Marcel Leroux, professor emeritus of climatology, Univ. of Lyon, France

Dr. Vincent Gray, reviewer for IPCC

Dr. sallie Baliunas, climate researcher, Boston, MA

Dr. richard Courtney, IPCC reviewer, climate consultant

These people have published peer review articles. They are esteemed by peers. I do not expect you to agree with them. I do for the most part. One cannot agree with another on an extended article or conversation 100% of the time.

Posted by: tomh at April 19, 2007 6:29 PM
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