The classic mark of antiscience thinking is the cherry picking of sciency-sounding bits of data to support a rhetorical argument designed to convince someone of a predetermined conclusion. Rhetorical arguments are OK and are the way most of us navigate life to get what we need. But they become antiscience when we use them to attempt to refute data-based arguments by only presenting the data that support our position, instead of also considering the data that do not support it.
The urban heat island effect was first noted in 1833 by Luke Howard, an amateur meteorologist, who noticed that urban London was at night about 3.7o F warmer than the surrounding countryside. One of the favorite arguments of climate change deniers is that the urban heat island effect is unduly biasing global temperature readings.
Because of this, climate change deniers have been especially excited about the prospects for the BEST project (Berkeley Earth Surface Group, a part of the Novim Group, which is friendly to the idea of geoengineering) headed by physicist Richard Muller. Judith Curry is also involved, as is 2011 physics Nobel laurate Saul Perlmutter. It is funded by, among others, the Koch Brothers. The project's goal is to create a separate global temperature estimate, and to carefully examine whether urban heating has had any impact on global temperatures. To do this, they analyzed temperature data from 39,028 meauring stations around the world.
The bombshell is that this Koch-funded group has not been able to show that the urban heat island effect has had any influence on temperature measurements of global warming. In fact, the group found in a paper just released that both urban and rural areas "show significant warming."
This is significant because the BEST group was widely expected to take a contrarian stand.
Another favorite climate change denial argument bites the dust.
Get Shawn Lawrence Otto's important new book: Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, "a gripping analysis of America's anti-science crisis." --Starred Kirkus Review. An "incredible book" -- Starred Publishers Weekly review. Like him on Facebook. Listen to him of Science Friday. Join ScienceDebate.org to get the presidential candidates to debate science.
Follow Shawn Lawrence Otto on Twitter: www.twitter.com/shawnotto
|AJEnglish Programmes: The US disconnect over climate change http://t.co/Ae92dJrzp7|
@Marty_Caine @NigelAlanSmall @srpnor Jokes are best when they are funny but I guess you think climate change & inequality are not serious
15 hours ago from web
|globebusiness Ignoring the cost of climate change is bad business http://t.co/wkQSmGqtcc|
|joedgoldberg UK's climate change team cut from 38 officials to just six via @guardian <--we have more than this in Haringey http://t.co/v62uXMvNB5|
Barely any stories about #Climatechange & when there is, they aren't given much attention. Here is one -Energy future http://t.co/jeUlExpqgw
18 hours ago from web
|NRDC Who pays for #climatechange? U.S. taxpayers outspend private insurers 3-to-1 to cover climate disruption costs http://t.co/hPOb5yNgAc|
|natalieben "UK's climate change adaptation team cut from 38 officials to just six". Remember the "greenest govt ever?" http://t.co/72d84DmV13|
|NRDC Scientists Agree On #ClimateChange, Why Doesn't The Public? http://t.co/nuNrus8key via @NPR|
|RepHankJohnson 97% of scientists agree on climate change: http://t.co/T8c7aO9Yjp http://t.co/QGOezFneon http://t.co/X1LC4T5d3Z|
While many in Congress continue to deny the science on #climate change, Alaska's Columbia Glacier continues to melt: http://t.co/ZlCYyuuokP
1 day ago from web
|kuminaidoo Climate Change and the Future of the Arctic http://t.co/7YYnR6s0ja via @HuffPostGreen #obama #arctic #savethearctic|
|kuminaidoo Bad News: for insurers, no doubts on climate change http://t.co/F9pzo0zpLt #climate #insurance|
|Finkenbinder Just this week @OFA volunteers held 99 local meeting across the country preparing to take action on climate change: http://t.co/5ISFrGMKSB|
|ThurrockPolly Final nail in the coffin of "greenest government ever" as Peter Lilley - arch climate change denier - joins no 10 as foreign policy adviser|
|gdnpoliticswire UK's climate change adaptation team cut from 38 officials to just six http://t.co/BKJYBge3tj|
|JoeTrippi The Coming GOP Civil War Over Climate Change - http://t.co/ookSGzyzwC http://t.co/AZYsorUAg7|
|sara_ela This week at #ofa: climate change action planning meetings, planning for immigration nxt wk, gun violence prev organizing cont. #loveourwork|
|BarryGardiner Superb explanation of Climate Change by Prof James Hanson on Today Prog. Focussed on the big issues and cut through deliberate confusion|
|kuminaidoo Oil demand in developing nations overtakes industrialised world http://t.co/F33gsXlycw via @guardian #oil #climatechange|