The NYT corrects a global temperature mistake – meanwhile, James Hansen’s ‘Jor-el’ complex worsens

First, here is a letter from Harold Ambler which went ignored, he writes:

When I found a rather major error in a New York Times article about climate change, I took the trouble to write the editors. I did so via two channels. One of the two ways was sending a letter to the editorial page editors; the other was writing the Times‘ public editor. As I have not heard back from either, I have decided to publish my own letter below. I will add that it has been my experience that if I don’t hear back quickly from editors then I don’t hear back from them at all.

Dear Editor: 

There is a tendency among those declaring the seriousness of global warming to equate small pieces of the climate puzzle, when those pieces support a narrative of disaster, with the whole picture, but this is neither good science nor good journalism.

In the Jan. 15 online edition Jada Smith falls prey to the temptation: ”With record-breaking global temperatures in 2012severe droughts and several storms and hurricanes on the East Coast, some members of the American clergy are saying that human decisions that contribute to the extreme weather associated with climate change can no longer be left in the hands of politicians.”

The year 2012 was not a record-setting one for global temperatures. The United States, 1.5% of Earth’s surface, did experience record temperatures, and indeed clicking the first link for “global temperatures” brings one to another Times article about the American record.

The United States is a wonderful country, but it is not the world.

Harold Ambler
East Greenwich, RI
p.s. The global temperature ranking for 2012 is available here:

Second, Ambler adds today:

Sunday, January 20, 11:43 a.m. EST, update: Andy Revkin kindly took the time to make sure the right set of eyes fell on a third letter I wrote, and the Times has fixed the piece and issued a formal correction. To Andy I offer my sincere thanks. With my book focusing in part on a century-long habit of promulgating climate fear at the Times it is gratifying to have the paper catch an accurate glimpse of its own reflection in the blogosphere mirror, if even for a moment. By the way, a screencap of the original article with the mistake is below (beneath that the original blog post can be found).

Read his entire post here: New York Times Sets Bar Just a Little Higher for Climate Misinformation

Here’s what the NYT eco-reporter, Jada F. Smith, added to the end of the story:

An earlier version of this post misstated the nature of a temperature record set in 2012. It was the hottest year ever in the United States, not in the world as a whole. (Global temperatures were the ninth or 10th hottest ever, depending on the basis of the measurements.)

Kudos to both Harold Ambler and Andrew Revkin for working to fix this bit of unwarranted alarmism. I have to laugh though, reading the article, because it clearly links climate alarmism and religion together. The photo that was widely distributed of the “pray in” march is hilariously iconic, worthy of some of the parades seen in San Francisco.

Leading the religious parade at the front is NASA GISS Dr. James Hansen, who’s “got the whole world in his hands“.

Hansen_prayin_march

Activists march on the White House demanding action on climate change – Erika Bolstad /McClatchy

Carrying a beach ball-sized Earth, Hansen led the interfaith protesters the two blocks from the church to the White House. Others carried banners saying “God calls to us all: Heal the Earth.” The march along wet streets was silent but for a small troupe of Buddhist drummers.

“We have a dream that our president will understand the intergenerational injustice of human-made climate change,” Hansen said when they arrived. “That he will recognize our duty to be caretakers of creation, of the land, of the life on our planet. And that he will give these matters the priority that our young people deserve.”

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/01/15/2591369/climate-change-activists-turn.html#.UPwo3KxZO20#storylink=cpy

As Steve McIntyre once quipped, Hansen clearly has a “Jor-el” complex, and it seems to be worsening:

It’s as though Hansen, who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, has a Jor-El complex: Jor-El being familiar to young boys of a certain age as Superman’s father who (per Wikipedia):

“was a highly respected scientist on the planet Krypton before its destruction. He foresaw the planet’s fate, but was unable to convince his colleagues in time to save their race. Jor-El was, however, able to save his infant son, Kal-El, sending him in a homemade rocketship to the planet Earth just moments before Krypton’s demise.

It is worthwhile to go back and review McIntyre’s essay from 2007:

Hansen and the “Destruction of Creation”

Maybe when things get ‘really desperate’ NASA’s Dr. James Hansen will send Scott “super” Mandia off in a rocket ship?

About these ads

62 thoughts on “The NYT corrects a global temperature mistake – meanwhile, James Hansen’s ‘Jor-el’ complex worsens

  1. My guess is, Jaded errr Jada Smith, has a good idea of the lifetime of an article, ie, how much time needs to pass, before a correction to a Deliberate error, will never be seen by the vast majority of readers.

  2. I have a problem even saying “Global temperatures were the ninth or 10th hottest EVER,” since this site and others have noted that old fashioned mercury thermometers were hardly accurate and cannot be compared to today’s more accurate thermocouple thermometers.

  3. I must say, Hansen has clearly slipped through the cracks. He’s loonier than a box of frogs. I say that in a nice way.

  4. John M says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:01 am
    Would the German pronounciation of Jada be Yada?

    —–
    Yoda Think so….
    (Must get the puns in where I can. Now, time to make some banana bread)

  5. Uh, perhaps they ought to correct the corrections “ninth or 10th hottest ever” to ninth or 10th hottest ever in the instrumental record which is but a snippet of time in the geological sense.

  6. Could someone point me to the passage in the bible where God has called on me to heal the earth and/or implies I should stop burning coal oil and gas? I think I missed it.
    Cheers

  7. Since she is a political reporter, not an environmental reporter, I suspect the mistake was inadvertent. Also, if you click on the contact us link at the bottom of any page you will find a phone number for reporting errors which need corrections.

  8. Thankfully we have six inches of snow outside which means that the BBC, Met Office and the other doom merchants shut up until it has thawed. For once the Met Office has got their forecast right. I wonder if they have removed 16 years of global warming from their computer models, because Hansen obviously hasn’t?

  9. Hansen’s “We have a dream” speech:
    “We have a dream that our president will understand the intergenerational injustice of human-made climate change,” Hansen said when they arrived. “That he will recognize our duty to be caretakers of creation, of the land, of the life on our planet. And that he will give these matters the priority that our young people deserve.”
    Heh. I guess he fancies himself some sort of Martin Climate King. Megalomania anyone?

  10. In the image above I see just behind Dr. James Hansen a banner that reads:

    “STOP BURNING COAL, OIL AND GAS”

    I also read in the news today the following.

    BBC – 20 January 2013
    Frozen UK braced for more ice and snow
    Ice and freezing temperatures are continuing to affect the UK as further snow falls…………

    In County Down, power has been restored to homes after engineers worked through Friday and Saturday. The power cut due to heavy snow and high winds had affected more than 2,000 homes

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21106626

    How many UK MPs would keep their seats if they voted to stop burning coal, oil and gas? Would excess winter deaths increase? These nuts are really playing with fire and have no practical answers except

  11. Stephen Abbott says:
    January 20, 2013 at 9:53 am
    ======
    “Ever” is a long time. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. That’s just slipshod journalism. That word shouldn’t be used. Ever.

  12. Maybe some psychologist can comment on the significance of Hansen’s funky hat. Who is he trying to role play?

  13. somebody in the big office at the NYT decided to disband the clique at the environmental desk
    i wonder if suppressed memories of the nature of business and journalism are resurfacing soon enough to save it from bankruptcy.

  14. I have taken the historical newspaper corrections data and have homogenized it using the scalpel technique. My results will soon be published in the journal Geoinformatics and Geostatistics Volume 2 Issue 2 (as soon as the check clears) in a paper titled “NYT — worst correction EVER!”.

  15. There was a guy in an old movie playing with an inflatable Earth. Now what movie was it….

    PS: Apparently there is only a 1 in 20 chance of snow during the Inauguration tomorrow. A shame, because it would have been fun to see Obama trying to ‘reconnect’ to his eco-fruitcake wing by mentioning global warming, while his teeth chattered and the snow fell on the assembled multitude.

  16. Michael in Sydney says:

    January 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Could someone point me to the passage in the bible where God has called on me to heal the earth and/or implies I should stop burning coal oil and gas? I think I missed it.
    ————————————–
    Michael in Sydney must be a Theologian.

    “God blessed them and said to them, `Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Gen1:28, NIV

    Of course, lots of folks far prefer the first 6 words … and then make things up after that.

  17. @ andrewmharding says:
    “Thankfully we have six inches of snow outside which means that the BBC, Met Office and the other doom merchants shut up until it has thawed.”

    Fool, you have six inches of global warming outside…

  18. ”With record-breaking global temperatures in 2012, severe droughts and several storms and hurricanes on the East Coast, some members of the American clergy are saying that human decisions that contribute to the extreme weather associated with climate change can no longer be left in the hands of politicians.”

    There are MANY problems with this statement. Not only was 2012 not the warmest, we have actually been having a very long period WITHOUT major storms on the East Coast and are generally in the longest period since the Civil War era without a major landfalling hurricane in the US. We are having a LACK of “extreme” weather. And clergy are now the authority on climate science? And if we can no longer leave the making of laws in the hands of politicians, who is being implied here that should make these decisions? The UN? Give me a break.

  19. Interesting that clerics and presumed creationists are involved in the above nonsense but the influence of blind faith is not exactly new in the CAGW field since John Houghton has made it pretty clear that his Christian faith is a sufficient reason to do ‘whatever it takes’ to right what he sees as ‘our’ human failings… I was present as this 2010 lecture:

    http://www.bangor.ac.uk/news/full.php.en?nid=2882&tnid=2882

    and he was perfectly candid that, in his view, the end justified the means… The end appeared to be the re-distribution of wealth – no surprises there then!

  20. If God created the Earth for mankind (what an arrogant thought)… but IF…

    then HE put the coal and oil there for us to use and it was there, ready, just when we needed for our advancement.

    It would be against HIS design for us not to use it.

  21. Stephen, that graph you link to is only for the month of May, not the average temperature for the entire year. Oh, and October 2012 was colder than average.

  22. The planet moves from an Ice Age to an inter-glacial Holocene and back again over long periods of time. The highest temp in an inter-glacial is the “Holocene Climatic Optimum”.
    Geological data from the previous five Holocene’s show they were all warmer than today.
    The Optimum for the current Holocene was 10,000 years ago…so we have been cooling for 10,000 years, thus a comment that a year in more recent times was the “warmest ever” is not only wrong but is made in total ignorance.

  23. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:51 am
    “Since she is a political reporter, not an environmental reporter, I suspect the mistake was inadvertent.”

    And as she is working in one of the most alarmist newspapers of the world, it is entirely excusable that she naturally thinks the world is going to hell in a handbasket if not saved RSN by a progressive socialist leader. Come on, let’s find more excuses for every “inaccuracy” in the Grand Old Rag.

  24. Lets see.. in 1900, screams of Ice age, 30-40’s were burning up, 70’s we were freezing again, 2000 we were burnin up, by 2030 or so .. Ice age will be the prevalent theory, just in time for it to warm up again…. it really is rather comical that there are so many generational chicken littles. I don’t know. . . but it seems to my unscientific mind there might be a real climate pattern emerging:P But wait…. that doesn’t fit with the models so lets adjust, right?

  25. When Hansen lives in a house like this. Has his wife make his cloths starting like this and wash them like this. When he uses this for all his transportation, then he can get back to me. Otherwise he and the rest are nothing but hypocrites.

  26. Congratulations, Harold Ambler, for persistence in the interests of the Truth in the blind face of ignorant Editorial NYT policy. A retraction, even if delayed and half-hearted, is a victory against CAGW madness.

  27. JabbaTheCat says:

    January 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm
    ===========
    Well, I’ve got four or five inches of the stuff, and it’s still falling – but I though global warming was a browner colour . . . .

    But, seriously, folks, if the NYT is seeing some sense, might the WSJ follow?

  28. Kim Landers, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Washington correspondent, broadcast her radio story entitled: ‘White House report urges action on climate change’ (Landers 2009). The piece claimed that climate change produces increasing frequency in earthquakes and other natural disasters. Immediately after the broadcast, this writer contacted ABC Complaints, stating there was no scientific proof that global warming caused earthquakes. Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit separate to and independent of ABC programming, investigated and acknowledged that the connection was unlikely and so noted the error under the reporter’s closing comment in the online version of the story. Two sources in the story were from press releases: the United Nations and the US government. One of these sources was Dr John Holdren, then the Science and Technology adviser to President Barack Obama. Holdren is famous for his wild predictions on sea level rises, higher than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the scientific intergovernmental body established in 1988 by the United Nations.

    LANDERS, KIM. (2009) “White House report urges action on climate change”, ABC Radio National, PM Program. Accessed 28 December 2011: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2600327.htm

  29. @rattus norvegicus

    Since she is a political reporter, not an environmental reporter, I suspect the mistake was inadvertent.

    Wow. I’d have hoped that the US political class – including reporters for the NYT – would have had a reasonably clear understanding of the difference between the USA itself and the rest of the world.

    But, on second thoughts, history over the last 20+ years suggests that I may be over optimistic on this point, Canada – watch out!

  30. I wonder if the Climate Science Rapid Response Team also tried to get a correction published …

  31. John R. Walker says:
    January 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    “Interesting that clerics and presumed creationists are involved in the above nonsense but the influence of blind faith is not exactly new in the CAGW field since John Houghton has made it pretty clear that his Christian faith is a sufficient reason to do ‘whatever it takes’ to right what he sees as ‘our’ human failings… I was present as this 2010 lecture:

    http://www.bangor.ac.uk/news/full.php.en?nid=2882&tnid=2882

    and he was perfectly candid that, in his view, the end justified the means… The end appeared to be the re-distribution of wealth – no surprises there then!”

    Great post! I am pretty well versed in Christianity and I would advise Houghton and Hansen that neither Jehovah (OT) nor Jesus (NT) suggested that the conscious recognition of the sinfulness of an act should point one to doing whatever it takes to right what the sinner sees as his human failings. After Nathan rebuked King David for adultery and murder, David dressed in sack cloth and covered himself in ashes.

    Houghton seems to follow the religion of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and others.

  32. andrewmharding says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:58 am
    Thankfully we have six inches of snow outside which means that the BBC, Met Office and the other doom merchants shut up until it has thawed. For once the Met Office has got their forecast right. …..
    ===========================================================
    Yes, they forecast it a day or so beforehand. But look at the forecasts from 3,4,5, … days previously.

  33. ‘Maybe when things get ‘really desperate’ NASA’s Dr. James Hansen will send Scott “super” Mandia off in a rocket ship?’

    We can but hope.

  34. Hansen’s “modified” we have a dream” speech:

    “We have a dream that our president will understand the intergenerational injustice of human-made climate change,” Hansen said when they arrived. “But you must realize that I’ve been cooking the climate temperature record since 1981, and that I’ve worked under Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), George Bush (1989-1993), Bill Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001-2009), and Barack Obama (2009-present) – that’s 32 years, and 5 presidents – and I haven’t been able to convince any of them, no matter how hard I stamp my feet.”

    Maybe he should just take his ball and go home.

    /sarc

  35. By what means of transport did Hansen and his band of unhappy curmudgeons get to their prayer group parade in the first place? Did they perchance use fossil fuels, riding a bus, tram, motor vehicle etc.? Or did they show commitment to their own anti-fossil-fuel cause by walking or riding a mule into town? How did these twerps make their way home afterwards? I hope they all walked. Hansen… did you walk or take a car? Speak up!

  36. eric1skeptic says:
    January 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    “james griffin, the current . . .

    Holocene

    It helps to know what such terms relate to and how they are formed. A useful start is to say such terms have not been based on climate and a casual reference to Holocene being an “inter-glacial Holocene” is a mis-direction of sorts. The names relate more to life forms – that is, what lived when. The names of the not to distant past are not very helpful in this respect. They are Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene. The root ‘cene’ means recent (new) while the prefix for each is ‘More’, ‘Most’, and ‘Entirely’, giving More recent, Most recent, and Entirely recent. The Holocene is generally stated to have now existed for 11,700 years. If we could travel back in time to that point we should not encounter living things that are greatly dissimilar from those we recognize today.

    The above is the major problem with the term “Anthropocene” that is supposed to reflect human influence on the atmosphere so significant as to show up in the lithosphere. That neglects the fact that human influence shows up in the lithosphere before Drake drilled that first oil well in western Pennsylvania. And are there many really-really new life forms that characterize our time. Okay, Robby the Robot. What else?

    Investigators in other fields have appropriate naming conventions – think Epipaleolithic versus Neolithic. If there is a name needed, go in this direction. Perhaps Plastiolithic [see The Graduate].

  37. I got Mann to correct his facebook “about” page today!!!!

    I commented on this story [1] indicating that his “about” page was misrepresenting him as it stated he was “Co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize”. A few hours later my comments are deleted but his “about” page was changed to state ‘Contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize”.

    But congrats to Harold Ambler on getting a correction, I’m still working on getting PBS to correct a statement Dr Collins made in the NewsHour program that Anthony appeared on.

    [1] https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist/posts/476037815785759

  38. Re grants to States and Universities, If your credit cards were maxed out would you not use some discretion as to how you dole your $$ out for things that are not necessities? This administration has no concept of cutting spending until the borrowing limit is addressed. Instead they threaten to cut Social Security and Military pay.
    Possibly they need some help on establishing priorities.

  39. For me the Rapture can’t come soon enough, so that we finally can get rid of these mis-believing lunatics…

  40. Being an Australian of the very old school we aknowledged rank through earned respect then they were our mates and we would follow them to our death. This Hansen person would have an extremely hard time getting me to address him as sir let alone Dr, my god, of all the use full idiots ever created this fool takes the cake.

  41. Also on that word *ever* : A hundred or couple of hundred years is not ever and they know using that word is lying at the time they use it.

  42. ***
    paul says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:08 am

    an environgelic movement
    ***

    I was thinking another kind of “movement”….

  43. Nice to see Hansen now envisions himself as the green MLK, with his “dream”. On this day, worth wondering what MLK would have thought about making energy more expensive for the poor.

  44. NYT quote:

    “Carrying a beach ball-sized Earth, Hansen led the interfaith protesters the two blocks from the church to the White House. Others carried banners saying “God calls to us all: Heal the Earth.” The march along wet streets was silent but for a small troupe of Buddhist drummers.”

    NYT quoting Hansen,

    “We have a dream that our president will understand the intergenerational injustice of human-made climate change,” Hansen said when they arrived. “That he will recognize our duty to be caretakers of creation, of the land, of the life on our planet. And that he will give these matters the priority that our young people deserve.”

    – – – – – – – – –

    It is legend in history that righteous calls for good action emanate from religious groups. That kind of thing is not surprising news even when a former** science leader of NASA’s GISS is the religious protesting group’s leader.

    What is disturbing for me is that a supernatural being is believed to support just one highly uncertain thesis out of many in a healthy ongoing scientific dialog . Does it seem just one step out of the Dark Ages . . . maybe only a blink from the Dark Ages?

    ** he is, as seen from his claims, no longer scientific in any objective way.

    An often relevant quote from ‘The God of the Machine’ by Isobel Paterson,

    “Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends… …when millions are slaughtered, when torture is practiced, starvation enforced, oppression made a policy, as at present over a large part of the world, and as it has often been in the past, it must be at the behest of very many good people, and even by their direct action, for what they consider a worthy object.”

    -Isabel Paterson, ‘The God of the Machine’

    The potential of stelf-regulation by the science community is perhaps the litmus test of our reported departure from the Dark Ages.

    John

  45. Oops, a spelling correction needed in the final paragraph of my comment on January 21, 2013 at 9:04 am.

    Here is the correction:

    The potential of stelf-regulation self-regulation by the science community is perhaps the litmus test of our reported departure from the Dark Ages.

    John

  46. Give James Hansen a break. He is known to be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

    REPLY:
    I doubt that, and you have provided no reference to back it up. if you have such a reference, provide it – Anthony

Comments are closed.