The amount of hate directed at me today due to my appearance on PBS yesterday has been, in climate parlance, “unprecedented”. Most of the objections were not with what I said, but rather that I was allowed to speak at all. Apparently my mere presence in the broadcast has caused such a firestorm of complaints to PBS that they had to put up an apology piece. It is truly bizarre behavior on display. Even more bizarre is the fact that after 230 comments, my comment requesting a couple of simple spelling corrections still has not been approved nor acted upon. This is what my browser shows me today, note the yellow highlight:
Admittedly, I misspelled typographical in my haste to notify them of problems in their own article, but I never expected them to flat out ignore it. Here’s my screencap from yesterday; shortly after the article went up when there were only two comments besides mine:
My request was for them to fix errors that likely resulted in transcription, either by a human transcriptionist unfamiliar with the science, or speech to text software that made the wrong word choice.
My requested corrections were:
heat sync ===> should be ===> heat sink
sighting issues ===> should be ===> siting issues
another that I didn’t mention that should be fixed is:
solar insulation ===> should be ===> solar insolation
But I guess they were too busy responding to threats to cancel donations, angry and sometimes hateful comments, and writing appeasement articles to sooth the fan base to worry about such trivialities.
For the record, here is what I sent to PBS Correspondent Spencer Michels today:
Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 9:48 AM
Subject: Thank you
Overall I’m pleased with the results of your work yesterday, and while some people have emotions ranging from quibbles to outrage about it, I’m appreciative, as are many, that you fought to have me included.
Most of the complaints I’ve seen haven’t much to do with the content of what I said but mostly over the fact that I was allowed to speak at all.
When my new paper is published, I’ll include you on the release list. After going through our second round of review, I’m confident that our results will hold up, and that there is a bias in the surface temperature record, creating an increased temperature trend due to station siting issues.
Thank you again for your fair representation.
I’ll have more to say on this episode later. Right now I’m just reeling from the hate sent my way for daring to express an opinion at the invitation of PBS.
Here’s an example from the “Forecast the Facts” paid political organization who bullies TV weathercasters into saying what they want:
“On September 17, 2012, PBS Newshour provided an unchecked platform for Anthony Watts, a virulent climate change denier funded by the Heartland Institute. This is the kind of reporting we expect from Fox News, not PBS. Please join us in calling on the PBS ombudsman to immediately investigate how this segment came to be aired and recommend corrective action to make sure a journalistic abomination like this never happens again.
The Petition – Below is the petition we’ll send to PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler: “Immediately investigate the NewsHour segment featuring climate change denier and conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts for violations of PBS standards on accuracy, integrity, and transparency, and recommend corrective action to ensure that such reporting never again occurs on PBS.”
“…featuring climate change denier and conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts”
Gosh, I suppose they didn’t read this part of the interview:
SPENCER MICHELS: His conclusion though is that basically global warming exists and that the scientists, no matter what the problems were, were pretty much right on.
ANTHONY WATTS: I agree with him that global warming exists. However, the ability to attribute the percentage of global warming to CO2 versus other man-made influences is still an open question.
ANTHONY WATTS: I’m saying that the data might be biased by these influences to a percentage. Yes, we have some global warming, it’s clear the temperature has gone up in the last 100 years. But what percentage of that is from carbon dioxide? And what percentage of that is from changes in the local and measurement environment?
What am I denying?