This is why conservative media outlets like the Daily Mail are 'unreliable'
Posted on 13 February 2017 by dana1981
Wikipedia editors recently voted to ban the Daily Mail tabloid as a source for their website after deeming it “generally unreliable.” To put the severity of this decision in context, Wikipedia still allows references to Russia Today and Fox News, both of which display a clear bias toward the ruling parties of their respective countries.
It thus may seem like a remarkable decision for Wikipedia to ban the Daily Mail, but fake news stories by David Rose in two consecutive editions of the Mail on Sunday – which echoed throughout the international conservative media – provide perfect examples of why the decision was justified and wise.
Debunked David Rose doubles down, goes full Trump
I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people.
Most importantly, the scientific integrity of the NOAA data is indisputable. The organization’s global temperature data is nearly identical to that of other scientific groups like NASA, the Hadley Centre, and Berkeley Earth.
In fact, a recent paper led by Zeke Hausfather confirmed the accuracy of the new NOAA dataset, and Hausfather noted that the group’s new version mostly adjusted temperature estimates in the early 20th century – and decreased the overall warming.
David Rose’s sensationalist story claiming that “world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data” was entirely without scientific merit. It was a giant nothingburger, or as NASA GISS director Gavin Schmidt called it, “a NOAA-thing burger.”
In his follow-up piece, Rose’s “smoking gun” is that NOAA published its updated ocean temperature data 5 months later than it could have, to coincide with the 2015 global temperature data paper that incorporated it. This is a smoking gun because ... well, it’s not. It’s another pedantic critique trying desperately to make a mountain out of less than a molehill. The few quasi-scientific points in Rose’s new piece are patently false.
Rose’s reaction to the critiques of his first piece are quite reminiscent of Donald Trump’s responses to being called out for spreading misinformation. Both continue to deny the facts. Both brag about the size of their hands, or rally audiences, or Facebook shares (they’re yuge). Both attack the readership of those have debunked them, like the “failing New York Times” or Ars Technica.
Both claim that other people agree with them. Important people – the best people – like in Rose’s case, Lamar Smith. The same Lamar Smith who said that listening to Donald Trump “might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”
Climate misinformation is the Mail norm
This is far from the first time David Rose and the Mail have published nonscience. For example, in 2013 he wrote that because there was more sea ice in the Arctic that summer than the previous year, this was somehow indicative of “global COOLING!”. In reality, about three-quarters of the summer Arctic sea ice has disappeared in less than four decades due to rapid global warming.
In 2014, as Arctic sea ice continued its death spiral, along with disappearing glaciers and ice sheets around the world in a year that would soon become the hottest on record, Rose tried to distract his readers by focusing their attention on Antarctic sea ice. Why is Antarctic sea ice important? For no reason, except it’s bucked the disappearing trend of all the rest of the Earth’s ice. Global warming is actually one reason – melting of Antarctic land ice has freshened and cooled the ocean surface, allowing for more sea ice to form. But David Rose isn’t interested in the physical mechanisms, he’s just interested in giving his readers the impression that something about this global warming stuff just doesn’t seem right.
This past November, Rose tried to blame the record-shattering hot global temperatures of 2016 on El Niño in a piece that the climate scientists at Climate Feedback gave a “very low” scientific credibility score of -1.9. The lowest possible score is -2.0. The scientists described Rose’s article as “incredibly misleading,” “flawed to perfection,” “deceptive,” and “completely bogus.” One expressed dismay that they couldn’t rate its credibility worse than “very low.” When it comes to getting science wrong, David Rose goes to 11.
This past week, climate scientists Richard Betts, Tamsin Edwards, Doug McNeall, and Ed Hawkins revisited another Rose article from 2013 called ‘The Great Green Con.” In it, he showed a graph of climate model temperature projections against observations. The measured data fell within the model range, but toward the lower end. Rose declared in the Mail on Sunday:
The graph shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated … The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data.
Betts, Edwards, McNeall, and Hawkins updated Rose’s graph with the latest temperature data. It now looks like this: