New Feature: Planet Gore Disinfotainment Watch

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"New Feature: Planet Gore Disinfotainment Watch"

Someone just told me about National Review Online‘s blog Planet Gore. I first thought its goal was to spread disinformation about global warming, but given how unintentionally hilarious it is, I think its goal is to spread something entirely new: disinfotainment.

Consider the absurdity of one of its first posts–Weather vs. Climate. Here is the entire post:

The Center for American Progress has just released a report [sic!] explaining the difference between weather and climate. The gist of the report is that you can’t detect large-scale global warming merely by observing local weather. You may find yourself stuck in a blizzard, for instance, but you can still be darned sure we’re causing catastrophic global warming: “The chaotic nature of weather means that no conclusion about climate can ever be drawn from a single data point, hot or cold.” OK, but then why don’t the global warming Chicken Littles ever make this point when we’re having a heat wave?

This is absurd on many levels. Planet Gore (PG) seems to have the impression that the Center’s email mini-newsletter of the day (titled ProgressReport) was a major report “just” released. No doubt that is why they, amusingly, give the link for the newsletter’s home-page, not the permalink for that day.

Like most people concerned about global warming, I don’t cite a single warm day as evidence of global warming. But I–and many others–do see events such as the 3-week heat wave in Europe that killed 35,000 people as the kind of extreme weather events that warming makes more likely–a point made in a 2004 Nature study, “Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003.”

PG, as we will see again and again, can’t be bothered to read an actual scientific study. Why should they? It is just the work of Chicken Littles.

PG also conveniently left out the reason why the Center wrote its “report”:

In a recent headline, the Drudge Report joked, “Hearing on ‘warming of planet’ canceled because of ice storm.” Many on the right have cited the joke as actual proof that climate change isn’t occurring.

I will backtrack to look at PG’s “mission” in a later e-mail. In fact, with this post, Climate Progress is launching a new regular feature, a PG “disinfotainment watch.”

I will be combing the past three months of posts–as well as tracking their new material–for howlers. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it. At least it won’t be hard, kind of like finding a needlepoint carpet in a haystack.

That said, PG seems to have a dozen or so bloggers–a dirty dozen?–whereas Climate Progress is, for now, just me and my intrepid assistant, Kari. All we’ve got going for us is, as Al Franken would say, the truth. So feel free to help me out by identifying your favorite PG error.

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