My Rebuttal To Politifact

Politifact wrote a hit piece against Steve Doocy and me the other day without doing any actual fact checking or bothering to contact me. I responded to them and they asked me to send over my response. Here it is :

Jon,

Here is my rebuttal to your Fox’s Doocy piece. If you are a legitimate fact checker, you will post it on your site – as you made serious errors.

————————

Politifact accused Steve Doocy of being a liar,  for accurately reporting on a blog post made on my blog (stevengoddard.wordpress.com) which showed how NASA has altered the US temperature record over time.

Politifact’s claim is the result of a failure to understand the topic, for the following reasons.

1. There is no question that the temperature record has been dramatically altered, to turn a long term cooling trend into a long term warming trend. No one disputes this.

2. You cited the explanation for why they do this, but made no effort to verify that their reasons are correct. Their adjustments are highly subjective, and are subject to software and algorithm errors. The adjustments could just as easily go the other way, and make the cooling trend even larger. The adjustments they make are based on opinion, not fact.

3. The expert list you cited was flawed.

Anthony Watts was discussing a different specific topic related to missing station data, and has since admitted he was wrong. If you actually contact him, you will find that out.

Mark Serreze has no experience or expertise with the temperature record

John Nielsen-Gammon and Zeke Hausfather are two people expressing their own opinion about the adjustments, and those opinions are subject to change as new facts emerge.

Jon Greenberg and Politifact did nothing to demonstrate that Doocy’s reporting was inaccurate, much less a lie. This is a scientific debate, which you simply don’t understand. You need to retract your article.

Tony Heller aka Steven Goddard
– Columbia, Maryland

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74 Responses to My Rebuttal To Politifact

  1. emsnews says:

    And this is a typical problem indeed. I have been misquoted and attacked in the press in the past and they merrily refused to allow me a rebuttal or to talk to me further. These are character assassinations.

    You see, if you kick them all in the balls, they will strike back by trying to decapitate you. Left or right, if you irritate the ruling elites and their donkeys who toil for them, they will be quite unforgiving.

    And no, they will NEVER debate just the facts. They can’t. It is impossible. You do have allies but these don’t own Hollywood or the bulk of the media. So good luck fighting the Bilderberg gang. You will need it.

  2. _Jim says:

    Good response.

  3. jeremy says:

    The agwers say the debate is over? What debate?

    • _Jim says:

      Will we have to wade through gobs and gobs of ‘Joshua’ comments and like misanthropes? Like Curry but some of the other personalities that show up turn my stomach … just being honest.

      Regards.

      • Anthony Watts says:

        Just read the article, skip the comments.

        • kbray in california says:

          The name “Anthony” means “Praiseworthy”.
          Both of you Anthonys have lived up to that meaning.
          Glad to see you here to clarify.
          These current events are quite significant.

        • _Jim says:

          But, Anthony, I like the cross examination of the author’s OP; the devil is sometimes in the details, as you know, and it is impossible for one human being to cover all applicable ‘factors’ in any given issue, and especially climate science. Some commenters (really, just a very few) come across as adolescents in need of attention, they detract from the discussion, draining energy from other commenters who should think better and ignore the adolescent … and lest this be misunderstood I’m _not_ talking about the Stokes or Moshers of the world either.You run a good site and very few of the referenced ‘adolescents’ show up there, but for some reason a few have ‘rooted in’ and found a home at Curry’s.

          Regards.

    • Thanks, Anthony.

      I’m blocked from commenting on Judith’s web site – but worth noting that if you cry wolf long enough, eventually some other people will see the wolf. Probably a better strategy than continuing to lose lambs for fear of offending the town folk.

      • omanuel says:

        On behalf of all of the inhabitants of planet Earth, Tony Heller aka Steven Goddard, I express appreciation for your courage.

        If allowed to post on WUWT, I would also personally congratulate Anthony Watts for admiting in public his own confirmation bias and saying “this time Steve Goddard was right.”

        We will work together to understand the source of energy that sustains our lives, or we will die separately.

      • curryja says:

        Steve, I have never seen a comment of yours show up at my site. Note: you are not blocked (in fact no one is blocked but a few head straight to moderation). Not sure what is going on with your attempts to post a comment

      • suyts says:

        Spot on, Steve, spot on.

    • gregole says:

      Anthony,

      Thanks for the link. Rarely read Dr. Curry because my time is limited; but this one is worthwhile.
      ____________________________________

      Please everyone, check out the Paul Homewood link at the judithcurry link. More stations with unexplained “cooling the past” disorder.

  4. geran says:

    Tony/Steven asks: “Are you a UHI denier?”
    >>>>>>
    No way, Jose. But, UHI is a localized phenomenon, lost in the statistical noise of natural variability. (Please email me at your earliest convenience.)

  5. USHCN have increased Jan 2013 temperatures in Kansas by 0.46C, from the actual station data.
    This is in addition to the cooling of historic temperatures.

    There is also 28%of estimated data.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/ushcn-adjustments-in-kansas/

  6. JP says:

    Politifact has conflated 2 different data sets. NOAA’s TOB adjustments and data homogenization is totally different from the many issues with GISS. GISS is a global data set, while the graph they posted for NOAA is US temps. GISS uses its own gridded data, and its own set of adjustments. The many battles between Steve McIntyre and Hansen bear this out. And what is interesting is that Politifact doesn’t deny that the TOB adjustments spuriously cool the 1930s and warm recent decades. Neither do the Alarmists deny that NOAA’s and NASA’s homogenization account for almost all of the warming the past 90 years.

  7. Eliza says:

    Wow looks like you have been vindicated read the whole thing
    http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/28/skeptical-of-skeptics-is-steve-goddard-right/ Keep your cool man! lets not start attacking other skeptic sites. This might be the big one Thanks to SG LOL
    It amounts to a retraction it seems to me anyway. They wiil of course not say you were right along but it really does not matter at this stage.

  8. Dale Hartz says:

    Steve, I am an old guy with some sight problems but I try to read your blog occasionally, WUWT and others about the climate debate. I certainly do not understand all the machinations that go into the temperature adjustments and final reports.

    My question is about the Max/Min calculations and the TOBS adjustments.

    What is the need for the Max/Min calculations? If I take all the daily readings and create a mean average for a month, what effect does the high and low readings have on the average?

    I live in Oklahoma and I look once in a while at the Stillwater daily readings from the two stations on the USCRN. They calculate a daily and monthly average mean temperature along with the Max/Min readings. Sometimes I average the Man/Min just to see if it is different the average mean and it is usually very close and quite often the same average.

    So my question is what is the importance and necessity of the Max/Min temperatures to the current and past temperatures on the climate?

    Incidentally, there are two stations for Stillwater, OK in the USCRN. One is close to the city and the other is a few kilometers further away. The one nearest the city always reads about 1.0 F higher than the station further out in the rural area. Do you know how NCDC handles this difference in their computations? Sounds like a little UHI.

    • JP says:

      The problem lies with what is reported – only the Max/Min for the 24 hour period. There is no running hourly reports, just a Max and a Min. In a perfect world, the Max would occur during the height of the diurnal period, usually 500PM local standard time (right before local sundown). The min would occur within a half hour of local sunrise. However, there are those periods when the Max temp could occur right after midnight (say in the winter before a cold front right after midnight), and the Min temp could occur at 0500PM (say in the summer right after a cold front passes). This would cause some issues. However, those occurrences are rare. Adjusting the entire data set to “fix” this problem is absurd.

      • Dale Hartz says:

        But the question is why would adjusting the Max/Min cause a difference it he temperature for that day (or period)? If you just averaged the Max/Min would you get the average mean for the day?

  9. gregole says:

    Fascinating.

    Anyone who cares to actually look at the temperature data in question can see it is being altered – with what intention I will leave alone for the moment; because it could be for any number of reasons.

    Additionally, alterations of past data will skew a linear trend-line; cooling the past will produce an apparent warming trend generally speaking; this is simple mathematics.

    Without cooling the past, currently, the slope of a linearly interpolated line is close to zero or slightly negative for substantial sets of temperature data and so-called Man-Made Global Warming reduces to close to zero. Observations of global temperature show it is cyclical on various time scales; so of course various linear-trends could be constructed; leading to charges of cherry picking, but two things are undeniably clear concerning our ability to forecast the future and know the past of global climate and temperature:

    1. General Circulation Models (GCM) have failed to make reliable climate forecasts: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Circulation_Model)

    Current global temperature measurements continue to diverge from modeled temperatures.”In the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, it was stated that there was “…very high confidence that models reproduce the general features of the global-scale annual mean surface temperature increase over the historical period.” However, the report also observed that the rate of warming over the period 1998-2012 was lower than that predicted by 111 out of 114 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project climate models…. Among other notable failures of GCM.

    2. What temperature increase we have seen is neither outside historic precedence in rate of heat change over time, nor is there credible evidence that global temperatures are at historic highs as copious paleo and historic evidence shows a warm world in the historic past; reference Medieval, Roman, and Minoan warm periods. Point is, these changes in temperature have happened in the past and are small in value with warm periods being good; cold bad; in the most general terms.

    In summary, looking forward in time, if we use IPCC GCM we have no accurate idea of global temperature. Looking backwards in time, global temperatures have stayed within a relatively narrow range; only since the invention of the the mercury thermometer in 1714 have we been able to measure to the degree F or C and a fraction thereof. Global temperatures, in real measurable numbers, do not vary much; another way to say the same thing, is that small changes in average temperature are difficult to measure; the best evidence we have is that temperature change (climate change) has gone on as far back as can be seen.

    With a small deta T over time, changes to historic records can create spurious trend-lines. Finally, no one, claims alterations to raw data, again, for whatever reason, are not being done. And yes, mathematically, cooling the past produces a warming trend; and or, erases a cooling trend.

    Whew.

    A lot of words for something very simple:

    Climate changes, always has, and further, the changes are small; difficult to measure; and difficult to quantify cause and effect. Since the changes are small and hard to quantify, alterations to data, alterations made for whatever reason, can have a large effect on any given trend-line. Not too hard to figure out. Cooling the past warms the future. This is mathematics. Simple mathematics. Spreadsheet simple mathematics.

    And there is a horrible failed track record so far on predicting future global temperatures. Producing spurious warming trends from whole cloth won’t improve forecasting.

    What is fascinating to me, is how Politifact can turn this dry number crunching into a nasty little hit piece on our gracious and hard-working host who has done nothing more than dig up the data.

    What is going on in with these media types?

    If they want to tell a good story with data, Politifact could do a lot better than this nasty little piece of ignorance. Perhaps they are just weak-minded and cannot fathom the simplicity of just looking at data sets. Maybe they’re bored.

    Weak minded simpletons. Bored. No wonder I gave up on all news media some years ago.

  10. northernont says:

    Well, looks like from reading the curry link in this posts comments, that vindication of a sorts is coming down the pipe for Heller. The issues identified by Heller will be acknowledged, just that he won’t get any mention or credit because he cried wolf to many times or something along those lines (seems petty to me). Keep up the good work Heller, it does make a difference.

    • ROFL – I cried wolf until people started paying attention to the wolf

      I’m blocked from commenting on Judith’s web site.

      • Brad Rollans says:

        Apparently you are not blocked.

        • Brad Rollans says:

          Brad | June 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Reply
          I would also like to add if Heller is blocked from commenting on your comments of him, you should give him the platform here to comment on your comments.
          curryja | June 28, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Reply
          Heller is of course welcome here
          Brad | June 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
          Let me rephrase, allow Steven Goddard/ Tony Heller comment here? Semantics are sometimes important.

          I missed the word “to” but who’s counting.

        • geran says:

          Brad, Curry might ban you next! (Once censorship gets in their blood, there is no cure.)

        • Brad Rollans says:

          Banning. It’s all the rave now.

        • Tel says:

          Steve’s blog is pretty well known, I’m sure anyone can read it should they choose to.

  11. Latitude says:

    This was a good thing……You got a lot of press from the first…….but……You’re getting a lot more traction from Anthony’s screw up

  12. markstoval says:

    Let me see if I understand the dynamics of all this.

    Steve Goddard has been showing us all the blatant manipulation of the temperature sets for a long time. Curry and Watts ban him from commenting on their sites. He gets noticed by some media and then attacked as a “kook” by those who claim to be skeptics. The Paul Homewood writes up a post about one horrific example of a particular Texas station. Now the “big league” skeptics admit that there just might be something now right going on in a few places. Do I have the story about right?

    Today, Paul Homewood writes a great post on Kansas and “adjustments” that don’t make scientific sense and others are now coming around to at least admitting that the “adjustments” are happening.

    I must admit to being gobsmacked at the “surprise” by “skeptics” to learn that government drones are cooling the past and warming the present to keep the CAGW myth alive.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Judith Curry will want to protect her academic position and reputation above all else. How could she question the federal government and its Official keepers of the data? But the rest of the skeptics attacking Steve for pointing out that the F’ing past keeps changing all the F’ing time? Unbelievable.

    • Latitude says:

      Mark, except for the part that Anthony was told over and over “do not trust Zeke”….Zeke is the one that set up the strawman that Goddard was trying to reconstruct temps…Anthony fell for it and it took a few days to get it out of his head

      Read Anthony’s two articles on it….it’s obvious he doesn’t have a clue what Goddard was talking about

      • squid2112 says:

        The other problem, that I believe Mark hits on well, is that there are a faction of people, Watts included, they deem themselves the “big league” skeptics. They have become the skeptic “gatekeepers”, and appear to like to attack those that step ahead of them in line. LIke the kids fighting to be first in line for the ice cream truck. I am fairly well certain that if Willis had presented such information, Watts would have run out of the gates preaching it as gospel, since Willis is on Watts’ team. Shows me a weakness in their proclaimed positions and convictions, and more of a strength towards opportunism and notoriety. IMHO.

    • omanuel says:

      The problem, markstoval, is that 97% of the scientific community accepted the false consensus models of nuclei and stars that were designed in 1946 to hide the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      The key to Climategate is unreported CHAOS and FEAR that Earth might be converted into a star by uncontrolled release of nuclear energy in Aug 1945

      Fifty-seven years later, in 2002 BBC News admitted that Japan’s secret design for building atomic bombs went missing in 1945.

      • Tel says:

        I might point out that India, Pakistan and Israel all seem to have figured out this “top secret” trick for making nuclear weapons (and nuclear power) and they did their work after 1945. More than a few people think the Iranians will also figure it out, so I’m inclined to say this is not quite as secret as you think it is.

  13. Eliza says:

    Guys/gals:I Think SG has not been blocked from either sites! LOL check it anyway.

      • gregole says:

        Oh my.

        • _Jim says:

          LOOKS LIKE A SIMPLE WORDPRESS SECURITY REJECTION. Yeah .. some of us have seen it before … see comment further below … doesn’t mean he isn’t banned though, just saying some of us HAVE seen this before.

      • squid2112 says:

        Color me shocked…/sarc

      • _Jim says:

        Before everyone ‘goes off’ on a tangent on this, realize a few things first.

        In the past, I have had the same ‘response’ from WordPress when posting on WUWT on occasion *while* I thought I was ‘logged’ into WordPress (with the ‘control bar’ at the top of the screen showing; WordPress uses know what I mean.)

        By logging into WordPress again, I was then able to successfully post … all the while I thought *I* had been banned from WUWT (who would ban me? I’m not that important or vile so what could be the issue?)

        Anyway, to make a long story short, Curry seems to be using WordPress, I get the same ‘control bar’ across the top of the screen so, MY SUGGESTION is to log BACK into WordPress and give it another shot ..

        .

    • _Jim says:

      Possible premature proclamation; all the votes have not been counted yet …

  14. Scott says:

    You probably already know, but in case you don’t, the always execrable Media Matters seems to have instigated the Politifact hit piece.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/06/24/fox-news-cites-birther-to-claim-nasa-faked-glob/199871

  15. Eliza says:

    Well Chile lost but they played well LOL

  16. Brad Rollans says:

    Now that Watts recognized his error(s), I wonder if the folks at Politihack will write a retraction. And I wonder if this cause any changes in the way temps are reported.

    Good work Tony. It would be great to have a beer with you sometime.

  17. Tel says:

    Politifact say:

    Doocy exaggerated the findings in this blog post when he applied it to global warming. The post itself only talks about U.S. land temperatures and what happens in the United States is separate from global shifts

    Very difficult to believe that the NASA adjustments to US temperatures have no effect whatsoever on the global charts. Also, the question of adjustments is clearly a global question, for example the famous adjustments made to the Darwin temperature record. If one lot are doing it, entirely likely others are as well. Doocy made the right call.

  18. As an editor at PolitiFact Bias I can assure you that PolitiFact is unlikely to revisit its fact check.

    The skepticism of PolitiFact I see in some of the posts above is well founded.

    We’ll highlight this issue at the site, of course.

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