Thursday, March 6, 2014

Read ThinkProgress for classic NEWSPEAK

(cross posted at

Sometimes my students and liberal friends cite articles from ThinkProgress, which is a leading source of NEWSPEAK. Here I assess some of the typical misleading information in ClimateProgress, part of the ThinkProgress web page.

ThinkProgress last year published an article by Matt Kasper, Center for American Progress.

How Climate Change Is Damaging The Great Lakes, With Implications For The Environment And The Economy
He wrote this:

Great Lakes Michigan and Huron set a new record low water level for the month of December, and in the coming weeks they could experience their lowest water levels everIt’s becoming certain that, like the rest of the country, the Great Lakes are feeling the effects of climate change.
Last year was officially the warmest year on record for the lower-48 states. The hot summer air has been causing the surface water of the Great Lakes to increase in temperature. One might think this causes more precipitation around the lakes, but the warmer winter air is causing a shorter duration of ice cover. In fact, the amount of ice covering the lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years. Last year, only 5 percent of the lakes froze over –- compared to 1979 when ice coverage was as much as 94 percent.

It's difficult to imagine a more deceitful piece of writing (unless you click on any other article in ThinkProgress). Here is the reality.  In 2001, the ice coverage was even less than in 2012--so 2012 was actually an increase of about 20% from 2001. The dupes who read this would never suspect that Kasper was misleading them so thoroughly because readers of ThinkProgress seek one thing: confirmation of their biases.

This year (2014), the ice coverage is nearly as high as it was in 1979 (which was the highest in 33 years).

Most of the climate alarmists I know will accuse me of "lying" or "making things up" because they don't like the facts. Take it up with the Canadian Ice Service, where Kasper got his data:

Kasper also claims "Furthermore, the continuing effect of the historic drought in the Midwest is causing increased levels of evaporation. This combination of climate change side-effects results in low water levels for the Great Lakes....As climate change continues, fueling more frequent and more extreme droughts, we will continue to see more reductions in the extent and duration of winter ice cover."

Now, "Federal officials Wednesday marveled at the size of the ice sheet that as of this week covered 91 percent of the Great Lakes. That ice cover could produce problems long into the spring."Lake Superior is expected to rise 9.5 inches.

I hope everyone reading this now recognizes that the facts demonstrate the duplicity of ThinkProgress.

ThinkProgress is typical of "progressive" media, including the NYTimes.

How about this article that completely (and dishonestly) ignores Pielke's rebuttal?

Or how about this article on Chipotle that Chipotle itself said was overblown?

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