His piece of s*%t writing reminds me of Emily Litella

Is Ed Wallace’s Business Week column a “Crock of S*%t”?:
[Via Climate Progress]

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) - Mauna Loa or Keeling curve (map/graphic/illustration)

The status quo media has a new anti-science columnist, Ed Wallace. He had a column yesterday in Business Week, “Is Global Warming a ‘Crock of S*%t?’ “ Here is a typical pearl of disinformation:

“Then, on the last day of 2009, Wolfgang Knorr of the Earth Sciences Dept. at the University of Bristol released new research showing the possibility that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has not risen in the past 160 years. Maybe he’s wrong, but at least he published his views for peer review in the Geophysical Research Letters.”

Not even close. As anyone with access to Google knows, that is not what Knorr said at all (see “Yes, the atmospheric CO2 fraction has risen at a dangerously fast rate in the past 160 years, reaching levels not seen in millions of years“). See also the single most famous chart of observational data in the entire climate arena (above), the Keeling Curve of “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2).”

Knorr’s study merely suggested the fraction of human-emitted CO2 that stays in the atmosphere may have stayed flat for 160 years. It had a bad headline and confused many folks for a few days, but it was pretty quickly straightened out for anyone paying attention.

To write this piece and not even bother using Google for 30 seconds to fact-check it is a sign of utter disdain for the truth.

That Business Week doesn’t bother to fact check their columns puts them dangerously close to the non-existent standards of the Washington Post op-ed page, which has become a laughingstock (see “Will the Washington Post ever fact check a George Will column? and WashPost goes tabloid, publishes second falsehood-filled op-ed by Sarah Palin in five months).


Denialists, and those who write for them, keep repeating the same misleading fabrications and outright lies long after they have politely been told the facts. The paper that is quoted showed that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere that human processes has caused has not increased. NOT that CO2 has not increased.

It is obvious to anyone who has half a brain that CO2 in the atmosphere has increased. The question was what percentage of that increase was due to humans and if that percentage changed over time. The paper indicated that the percentage of the increase due to humans had not changed.

NOT that there had been no increase to begin with. Yet these guys keep writing the same crap. They are not interested in spending any time at all to get their facts correct. Because correct facts are not necessary at all for their arguments.

That is the easiest way to tell when someone is writing for denialists. They are like some bizarro Emily Litella, who when informed that the word is “violence” not “violins”, react by starting over again rather than saying “Nevermind.”.

Think this exchange on constant repeat:

Over and over again they start back jabbering about violins, no matter how often they are corrected. It becomes obvious that they are not speaking to the average person out there but to all the other Emily Litellas that ‘hear’ the world incorrectly just like them.

‘And they won’t drink milk.’ Facts be damned.

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One thought on “His piece of s*%t writing reminds me of Emily Litella

  1. Google “How to lie with statistics” and “Y-axis”

    “Just for interest, we looked at some ways to deceive using statistics. The little book, “How to Lie With Statistics” was written about 1954. You can still get it today! It may be 50 years old, but the funny business that Darrell Huff described in the 50’s is still going on today. The book is just as useful now as it was in 1954. Everyone ought to read it. It’s listed in the auxiliary reading page. A number of class members write their first book reviews about it.

    “You are used to seeing graphs illustrating numbers. Done right, they are VERY helpful in interpreting data. Done in a fishy fashion, they can deceive. The first basic trick is to have the Y axis (vertical) start at some value above zero. This allows you to magnify (vertically) the display. Very small variations (with time, for example) can be made to look very large. The plot is legitimate as long as the axes are correctly labeled, although the reader who does not catch the labeling will be misled by the visual appearance even if the axes are labeled correctly!”

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