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    CNN anchorwoman gets a failing mark in climate science

    CNN anchorwoman gets a failing mark in climate science

    People have been very interested in recent reports that highlight studies confirming the theory that an asteroid impact killed off the dinosaurs:

    [A]n international team of researchers, using the most precise dating methods currently available, have determined that while the asteroid impact wasn’t the only thing that wiped out the dinosaurs, it was pretty much the deciding event – and it definitely happened simultaneously with the extinction.

    “The impact was clearly the final straw that pushed Earth past the tipping point,” said researcher Paul Renne in a press release. “We have shown that these events are synchronous to within a gnat’s eyebrow, and therefore the impact clearly played a major role in extinctions, but it probably wasn’t just the impact.”

    And for mammal-evolved lifeforms, this extinction was probably a good thing.

    However, was the asteroid strike the result of some Cretaceous era global warming?

    A CNN anchor took the occasion of  a report about a near-earth asteroid approaching on Feb. 15th to ask if its orbit projection was a result of global warming.

    From Brent Baker of NewsBusters:

    CNN anchor Deb Feyerick asked Saturday afternoon if an approaching asteroid, which will pass by Earth on February 15, “is an example of, perhaps, global warming?”

    Moments earlier, before an ad break, she segued from the Northeast blizzard to a segment with Bill Nye “the science guy,” by pointing to global warming: “Every time we see a storm like this lately, the first question to pop into a lot of people’s minds is whether or not global warming is to blame? I’ll talk to Bill Nye, ‘the science guy,’ about devastating storms and climate change.”

    No, the orbit of an asteroid is not influenced by the temperature on the Earth.

    I have always felt our nation would be better served if its press members had degrees and/or experience in the fields about which they wrote, especially when it comes to the science and technology so vital to our society. However, until that happens and to assist other CNN journalists, I offer two examples of massive extinction-level-events that were caused by “climate change”:

    • Snowball Earth: Between 750 and 580 million years ago, the earth became completed encased in glaciers — oceans included. Speculation is that this icing was caused by a lowering of atmospheric greenhouse gases to near-present levels through tectonically-mediated rock weathering, when the Sun was considerably dimmer than present. This glaciation wiped out the bulk of ancient life, leaving behind two groups of microbes from which all life is now descended. More information can be obtained from the Snowball Earth website (click HERE).
    • The Permian Extinction: This is recognized to be the most devastating extinction event, in terms of the death of complex life — 95% of all species were extinguished during this period. It occurred 250 million years ago. It is thought that a massive volcanic event in Siberia (essentially a bulge of molten material, instead of a mere hot spot) lead to a 5 degree C rise in temperatures. This temperature increase triggered the release of methane gas from its oceanic methane-hydrate form, and as methane is a “greenhouse gas”, its substantial enhanced concentration raised temperatures 5 degrees further. The toxic volcanic emissions and heating wiped out land-based lifeforms and the methane release then triggered the marine die-off; then, finally, the additional temperature increase contributed to the extinction of many remaining species.

    Interestingly, humans were involved in neither of the above events.

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    Comments


    “I have always felt our nation would be better served if its press members had degrees and/or experience in the fields about which they wrote…”

    Have to disagree with this. Journalism—and therefore the nation—was much better off when it was primarily a last-resort profession for people with no other skills than knowing where the period goes in a sentence.

    It’s been the semi professionalization of journalism (see: J-schools) that have made “journalists” believe they’re members of an elite class whose views are better than the average Joe’s. They’ve lost their skepticism toward power.

    By contrast, take a look at the 23-year-old Ernest Hemingway’s profile of the newly installed Mussolini, in the Toronto Star, at a time when the world was cooing over the incipient dictator.


       
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      Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Joel Engel. | February 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      It’s been the semi professionalization of journalism (see: J-schools) that have made “journalists” believe they’re members of an elite class whose views are better than the average Joe’s.

      Their ability to bulldoze public opinion to achieve their own personal political nirvana figures far more highly in their self-assumed ‘elite’ status.

    In one person you have a simultaneous argument against both intelligent design and natural selection.

    […] Dear Readers: As always, look for my political posts on Legal Insurrection — and a little later this morning, a post about Pope Benedict’s resignation will be up. Until then, a little science: CNN anchorwoman gets a failing mark in climate science […]


     
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    Henry Hawkins | February 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    The practice of cherry picking science to support one’s politics has been going on since the beginning of science and politics, and neither conservatives nor liberals can point an innocent finger at the other. It has long been a standard human political practice to use others’ ignorance against them, which is what happens when a pol co-opts science to their agenda. They do the exact same thing with law, history, arts, etc. – if they believe their audience won’t realize the lie, they lie.

    Don’t blame science. Blame those who corrupt it for political gain. Some bright scientist invented the wheel, which led to the axle, and some other bright scientist put a bucket on top and the wheelbarrow was born. If some amoral degenerate uses the wheelbarrow to haul bodies from the gas chambers, it isn’t the fault of those scientists. If some laudable person uses it to haul food to the hungry, the science garners no praise either. The good and evil of science is in its applications, conducted by humans, to whom the blame or credit accrues.


     
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    Frank Koza | February 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    “I have always felt our nation would be better served if its press members had degrees and/or experience in the fields about which they wrote, especially when it comes to the science and technology so vital to our society.”

    Logical fallacy. Would you rather all those people with degrees pushing these global warming theories on us be there nightly on the boob tube to help better brainwash the masses?

    It was a cute mental fart. Laugh about it and enjoy.


       
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      Henry Hawkins in reply to Frank Koza. | February 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Judges call in objective expert witnesses to explain fields they don’t know, and professional journalists are supposed to do the same (with ‘objective’ being as important as ‘expert’). When journalists deign to use experts at all, they are chosen specifically because they are reliably subjective, in favor of the journalists’ prejudices.


         
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        Frank Koza in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        Yes, they may do so, Henry, but that does not mean such expert witnesses are always entirely objective any more or less so than anyone can claim that all judges are entirely objective. The court itself may appoint such an expert witness upon recommendation by either the prosecutor or the defense counsel to avoid the jury associating such a witness with the side that called him.

        IMHO, the biggest problem with expert witnesses is that the court cannot appoint anyone who refuses consent to testify. That in itself raises a question as to the objectivity of those witnesses who do choose to testify for a multitude of reasons.

        Again, it’s a logical fallacy of appeal to authority. Anybody want Obama giving us our weekly Constitutional authority lesson? He’s got the credentials, doesn’t he? …or so we’re told.


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