Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holy Crap! The AP Does It's Freakin' Job!

AP IMPACT: Statisticians reject

global cooling

WASHINGTON – Have you heard that the world is now cooling instead of warming? You may have seen some news reports on the Internet or heard about it from a provocative new book. Only one problem: It's not true, according to an analysis of the numbers done by several independent statisticians for The Associated Press.

Holy Crap! I can't remember the last time I saw a major news outlet actually verifying the veracity of someone's claims. Usually, the best you can hope for is that they'll quote someone who disputes the claim and say "OK, we've presented both sides, we'r objective!"

But someone at the AP finally figured out that there aren't two sides to every story. If the story is about, say, the budget, you can have someone on one side saying "this is a good budget" and someone on the other side saying "this is a bad budget" and really, neither one can be right or wrong, it's a matter of opinion. But if one person claims "the budget totals 3 trillion dollars" and the other side claims "the budget totals 10 trillion dollars" then you have the responsibility to figure out which is correct. Because they can't both be right. (although they can both be wrong)

So with stories about global warming, if one side says "the planet is getting hotter" and the other side says "the planet is getting cooler," you need to find out which is correct. And damned if the AP didn't actually do just that!

In a blind test, the AP gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time.

The recent Internet chatter about cooling led [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's] climate data center to re-examine its temperature data. It found no cooling trend.

Statisticians say that in sizing up climate change, it's important to look at moving averages of about 10 years. They compare the average of 1999-2008 to the average of 2000-2009. In all data sets, 10-year moving averages have been higher in the last five years than in any previous years.

So thank you, Associated Press, for finally doing your fucking job!

Now where the hell was this when Bush was claiming there were WMD's in Iraq?

Rush Limbaugh has No Integrity

Let's say you had a radio show.

And let's say you read something that was posted on a humor/satire website.

And let's just say that you were dumb enough to believe it and too lazy and perfidious to do any basic fact-checking.

Then let's say that after you reported the joke as fact, you were informed that the joke was, in fact, a joke.

There are a couple of legitimate responses from which you could choose.

You might say something like: "Sorry, folks, it looks like I've been had. That story was made up as a joke. I'll try to be more careful in the future."

Or you could get angry at the person who posted the joke and try to blame him for your mistake.

But what if you were Rush Limbaugh? (uggggh, shudder!)
If you're Rush Limbaugh, you go with the "it's false, but I stand by it" defense.

"So, I can say, "I don't care if these quotes are made up," he said. "I know Obama thinks it.

"You know why I know Obama thinks it? Because I've heard him say it."