About Tanoro

Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.

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HOME > Tanoro's Blog  >  Fox News Can't...
Fox News Can't Decide if Climate Change is for Real
Posted by: Tanoro - Apr 30, 2012 2:23pm

Just last week, I was arguing with someone on Facebook that when an organization with a clear-cut bias that claims to report the news cannot even get its own position straight, we should become less inclined to take said organization seriously. At the time, I was talking about NaturalNews.com, the Fox News of alternative health. This time, it's Fox News doing what it does best.

My boss told me this morning that Fox News released an article indicating that new research shows that wind farms may cause global warming.

New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.

The title of the article is very misleading and doesn't quite reflect what the study's author actually said.

"Overall, the warming effect reported in our study is local and is small compared to the strong year-to-year changes" that result from natural variation, said Liming Zhou.

This means that a big enough wind farm could cause small, but noticeable, change in local meterology, a warming effect quantified in the study as 0.72°C per decade in the regions containing such wind farms. That doesn't mean climate change! As usual, Fox News is trying to sensationalize the story.

What I find troubling, however, is what story was right below this one on Fox News' homepage.

The article highlighted here discusses a blog by climate change denier, Steven Goddard, a former guest author on WattsUpWithThat. The blog questions whether or not greenhouse gases cause severe weather patterns attributed to climate change. Now, this is not a topic with which I am familiar, so I cannot comment on it. What I found most laughable is the author's introduction in the Fox News article.

Steven Goddard, who runs the skeptical climate blog Real Science and has a background in geology and computer science, has spent thousands of hours studying bad weather events around the world.

What is wrong with this picture? First of all, Fox News is quoting an expert in geology and computer science on the subject of meterology and climatology? I can actually hear my brain cells shriek in pain.

Secondly, Fox News has no trouble spelling out the pseudo-science claptrap of the anti-science minorities, but they fall flat on their faces when trying to transmit a simple message from the peer reviewed literature. What's worse, the message they successfully conveyed is by a stark opponent against climate change while the headliner is an article suggesting alternative energy causes climate change. Fox News, if I "head desked" everytime you got something hopelessly wrong, I'd have brain damage that strongly correlates with the frequency in which I read your content.

Sources:
http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1505.html
http://grist.org/list/wind-farms-do-not-cause-climate-change/
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/30/wind-farms-are-warming-earth-researchers-say/
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/30/proof-global-warming-isnt-making-weather-wackier/

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