Monday, September 24, 2012

Why PBS should be de-funded

A very strange thing happened a week ago.  PBS' Newshour program did a 10 minute segment on Global Warming.  Nothing strange there.  What was strange was that they played the journalistic bit straight - they not only interviewed the ZOMG Thermageddon types, but they also interviewed Anthony Watts, of the Watts up With That blog - according to Alexa, the #1 Climate Science blog on the entire Intarwebz.

Watts, you might remember, is the organizer behind the Open Source project, where volunteers have been visiting (and photographing) the weather stations used to collect climate data.  Their biggest finding has been to document (photographically) the fact that only 8% of weather stations are sited according to NOAA standards, and a full 70% of stations have siting mistakes that cause them to read temperatures off by 2°C or more.

Remember, we're trying to detect a warming signal said to be 0.7°C over the course of the entire 20th Century.  The Surfacestations team has contributed to the scientific discussion in a very meaningful way.

So why should PBS be de-funded?  After all, they played it straight with their viewers.  And their viewers went insane:
A PBS NewsHour global warming report that allowed a climate change contrarian to “counterbalance” mainstream scientific opinion is worth criticizing, according to PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler, who said he received hundreds of emails and calls about the program.

Getler said he is penning a column on the issue that is likely to be posted late today or Monday, and hinted it will be critical.

“There’s just a lot of…hundreds of emails about it,” Getler said when asked why he is writing about the issue.
It seems that 15,000 people have signed a petition to the PBS Ombudsman demanding an investigation into how a skeptical voice was allowed in a "news" piece (scare quotes intentional).

And so, PBS ought to be de-funded.  Not because it's a hopelessly twee purveyor of feel-good liberal SWPL, but because its viewers seem to expect that actual, you know, news that makes them uncomfortable should be excluded while people like me who actually, you know, respect the science should be forced to pay to keep dishing up biased feel-good un-scientific propaganda.

The sense of entitlement is all that you need to know.

A more Progressive argument is that this represents almost half a billion dollars a year.  You could take half of that to reduce the deficit that our children will have to repay, and use the remainder to fund tens or hundreds of thousands of health insurance policies for uninsured children.  Come on, Progs - do it for teh Childrenz!™

And more pragmatically, it would be a very public demonstration that losing your s*** does not advance the cause of science, or the Progressive Agenda:
The degree of intolerance and fascism among the climate alarmists is just striking – I apologize to less radical fascists for the comparison. Well, after all, Michael Mann, in an interview for Scientific American, was dreaming about a future in which it is illegal to deny "climate change".

These people simply don't belong to the Western civilization with its traditions of freedom, democracy, and enlightenment. They belong to a medieval civilization controlled by ultimate cults that can never be questioned, divine entities and beliefs that have the right to create a whole hierarchy of power here on Earth.
 "Punching back twice as hard" will, quite frankly, lead to a more intelligent Left than we have today.  A less vicious (cf Michael Mann's statement to Scientific American, above) Left will engage more on the facts, and will therefore present fewer, but stronger arguments.  This will be a net win for society.

And so, de-fund PBS.  Q.E.D.

Bootnote: You can  watch the PBS segment at PBS' website here.  I have to say that I simply can't see what's so controversial about it.  In fact, Dr. Muller comes off very badly here: his assertion that all warming since 1750 is man-made entirely novel (and not supported by any CO2 measurements that I've seen, and I've studied the history of the Industrial Revolution).  And Watts skewers him that his paper hasn't been peer-reviewed.  Muller's reply?  He put it on the Internet, and so that makes it peer-reviewed.

[blink] [blink]

I guess that means that this blog is peer reviewed.  Thanks, y'all!


Paladin said...

All wonderful reasons to slam the coffers shut on PBS and NPR. I'd also add that messing about with Public Broadcasting in its current form is outside the lines of what the Federal Government is Constitutionally empowered to do....

But that reason doesn't seem to get much traction these days, so we'll go with yours :)

sth_txs said...

Funny how the Muller's seem to live in some pretty nice digs for people concerned about global warming.

Typical of that group. It would be very interesting to know the demographics of who believes in global warming, what square footage their home is, how much they drive each week, etc.

Old NFO said...

Can't happen soon enough for me...

Broken Andy said...

Sir, when it comes to blogging about the hypocrisy in global warming science I assert that you have no peers, unfortunate as that may be.

kx59 said...

Wonder how Mann's lawsuit is progressing...
I vote we defund NPR as well.

Critter said...

my name is Critter and i approve this message.

/peer review

NotClauswitz said...

I vote we also de-fund the stark-raving bananas NPR viewership.

Anonymous said...

There should be no state-supported media in this country. Doesn't matter how small the amount.

Anonymous said...

How could anyone doubt the N P R announcer's with the little lisp in their perfect diction and smacking lip's ?.