There have been further sightings of Dr. Johnson’s dog walking on its hind legs – or, rather, mainstream media outlets attempting to ‘fact-check’ climate science – “Sir, it is not done well, but you are surprised to see it is done at all.” Both Reuters and USA Today have weighed into our October 2nd article on the causes of the recent rapid slow-down of melting on the Greenland ice sheet, with the usual misgivings expressed about our opinions, not our facts. In of themselves, the ‘fact’ checks are tiresome, but they do provide an interesting insight into the substantial fault line that lies at the heart of the pseudoscientific proposition that the science around human-caused climate change is ‘settled’.
At one end of the green extreme is Professor Tim Osborn from the University of East Anglia who told a recent Daily Sceptic ‘fact’ checker that warming since the late 1800s to the present is all due to human-caused climate change “because natural factors have changed little since then”. However, in their ongoing work, many scientists track the substantial involvement of natural influences on the climate. This can be problematic for the climate alarmists since any natural explanation of climate change runs the risk of putting the human contribution in its proper context. It might, for instance, mean that a wider audience would become aware that the only significant global warming over the last 24 years in the accurate satellite record was caused by a powerful, and entirely natural, El Nino spike around 2016. Needless to say, all such doors has long been closed in the interests of promoting a settled political dogma.
Squaring this circle is well beyond the pay-grade of agenda-driven ‘fact’ checkers, so they tend to ignore it by limiting their checks to opinions, not facts. For some inexplicable reason, their work is often cited as definitive proof that climate emergency sceptics are wrong by social media companies like Facebook, and it’s possible that this is the main reason for their continued existence.
Read More: When Will Climate ‘Fact Checkers’ Stop Pretending Honest Differences of Opinion Are Factual Errors?