Is the Reuters “news” agency committing fraud?

WUWT | 22 July 2016

Guest essay by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Yet another screaming Reuters headline, this time Earth on track for hottest year ever as warming speeds up, precedes yet another screaming, inaccurate, prejudiced Reuters “news” article about the totalitarians’ current hot topic.

http://sustainability.thomsonreuters.com/2016/07/21/earth-on-track-for-hottest-year-ever-as-warming-speeds-up/, written from Geneva, cites the World Meteorological Disorganization as saying the Earth is warming at “a faster rate than expected”.

Um, no, it isn’t.

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The Global Warming Speedometer for January 2001 to June 2016 shows observed warming on the HadCRUT4 and NCEI surface tamperature datasets as below IPCC’s least prediction in 1990 and somewhat on the low side of its 1995 and 2001 predictions, while the satellite datasets show less warming than all IPCC predictions from 1990 to 2001. Later IPCC predictions are too recent to be reliably testable.

All of the observations have been much affected by the recent el Niño spike, which may yet be followed by a correcting la Niña, in which event it is possible that the Pause may resume, though don’t bet on it yet. Theory would lead us to expect some warming over the medium to long term, though on balance not very much.

Now, was it really too much work for Reuters, which prides itself on its numerical data, to check IPCC predictions against observations, rather than rebarbatively regurgitating a handout that any of its customers could have downloaded from WMD all by their little selves?

“June,” says Reuters’ gripping work of fiction, “marked the 14th straight month of record heat.” Now, let me see, when Ted Cruz displayed WUWT’s Pause graph in the Senate last November, at which time there had been no global warming for 18 years [9] months, was there not a great deal of whining about how a mere 19 years was too short a period to draw any conclusions?

Yet Reuters, the supposedly bankable financial/statistical news agency, unquestioningly recycles self-serving WMD propaganda to the effect that 14 months is enough to confirm what Private Fraser in Dad’s Army had long told us: that “We’re a’ doomed!”

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“We’re a’ DOOMED!”

Next, Reuters unquestioningly reports a WMD spokesman as saying: “What we’ve seen so far for the first six months of 2016 is really quite alarming. This year suggests that the planet can warm up faster than we expected in a much shorter time … We don’t have as much time as we thought.”

Er, no. Just look at the predictions and then look at the measured reality, even after all the data tampering. It ought to be plain even to the meanest journalistic “intelligence” at Reuters that the planet is actually warming up far more slowly than They had expected.

Next, Reuters unquestioningly repeats that “The average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3° Celsius (2.4° Fahrenheit) warmer than the pre-industrial era of the late 19th Century, according to space agency NASA”.

Unh, no. Even if one relies upon the most tampered-with and prejudiced of all the global temperature datasets, that of “space agency NASA”, the rate of global warming since the dataset began in January 1880 has been less than 1 degree, equivalent to a mere 0.7 degrees per century. Not exactly scary. It’s well within natural variability.

Is there no longer anyone at Reuters with enough elementary mathematical knowledge to know that in statistics one should not make arbitrary comparisons between periods of months and periods of decades? Better to determine the trend on the data:

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Next, Reuters unquestioningly “reports” that “under the Paris Agreement, nearly 200 governments agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 C° (3.6 F°) above pre-industrial levels, while ‘pursuing efforts’ for a ceiling of 1.5 C° – a lower limit already close to being reached.” Aargh, no. Taking the mean of all three surface datasets, the warming trend since 1880 is little more than 0.9 degrees, leaving 0.6 degrees to go before the new arbitrary “ceiling” of 1.5 C°” is reached, and 1.1 degrees to go before the pre-existing arbitrary “ceiling” of 2 C° is reached.

Is there no one at Reuters who can do elementary least-squares linear-trend analysis? The quite unnecessary proposed “lower limit” of 1.5 degrees is by no means “close to being reached”.

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Next, Reuters unquestioningly cites an “expert”: “There’s almost no plausible scenario at this point that is going to get us anything other than an extraordinary year in terms of ice (melt), CO2, temperature – all the things that we track.”

Ooof, no, no and thrice no.

As for ice melt, yet another totalitarian propaganda expedition intended to “raise awareness” of climate “catastrophe” by trying to sail around the Arctic in the summer has just come a cropper owing to – er – too much ice. Neither the North-East Passage nor the North-West Passage is open, so the expedition is holed up in – of all ghastly places – Murmansk. That’ll teach Them.

I once saved the owners of the swank rent-a-suite megaship The World from losing a fortune when her otherwise perfectly sane skipper had conceived the notion of sailing her through the North-West Passage, and had sold them on the idea.

The World was lying in Fremantle at the time. My lovely wife and I were spending a few days aboard. We were grockling all over the ship when, by mistake, we stumbled into the skipper’s day cabin, where he and his brother officers were merrily laying plans to penetrate the North-West Passage.

The skipper took us up to the bridge and, with that faraway gleam in his eye that bespeaks the adventurer, told us all about his idea. I called up the University of Illinois’ global and Arctic sea-ice data on the ship’s computer and gave the skipper a short lecture on the very few occasions over the previous century or two when the North-West Passage had been open.

The Arctic, I said, was unpredictable, wherefore he should not be too ready to join the True-Believers in subscribing to every barmy but transiently fashionable dogma of the New Religion. He saw at once that the thing was impossible and cabled the owners to tell them to think again.

Can we perhaps get just one Reuters “journalist” away from the various global institutional profiteers of doom in whose lavishly-marbled, planet-destroyingly air-conditioned halls they spend their useless days for long enough to check the data from the real world outside?

Here is what the University of Illinois’ data at WUWT’s sea ice page show. Not very scary:

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According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s graph, also available at WUWT’s sea-ice page, it’s possible, though not all that likely, that there will be no Arctic icecap for a week or two this summer:

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Even if the ice disappears for a week or two so what? The same was quite possibly true in the 1920s and 1930s, which were warmer than today in the northern hemisphere, but there were no satellites to tell us about it. Would a couple of weeks’ total ice loss drastically alter the Earth’s albedo? No: the latitude is too high, and in any event nearly all of the Earth’s albedo is reflection from clouds: the surface has very little to do with it, except perhaps during the snow-cover season in the Northern Hemisphere winter, but four-fifths of the snow-cover albedo comes from the land, not from the Arctic Ocean.

As for CO2, notwithstanding all the totalitarian propaganda about the need for the world to repent of its sins of emission (propaganda for which Reuters has been a relentlessly and cloyingly sycophantic cheer-leader), emissions continue to increase at a rate somewhat above IPCC’s do-nothing, business-as-usual case in 1990:

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If the real purpose of all that propaganda had been to reduce the world’s output of CO2, no doubt that output would have begun to fall by now. But the true purpose, which is being achieved, is the war on and destruction of the U.S. coal industry, formerly one of the largest financial supporters of the Republican Party.

As far as I can discover, Reuters’ idle “journalists” have never reported that the one IPCC prediction that has undershot reality is its prediction of the global CO2 emissions rate. The net effect of all those international conferences has been precisely zero.

As for temperature, will this really be an “extraordinary year”? Let us do what no Reuters “journalist” has the knowledge, wit or interest to do, and put today’s temperatures in the geological perspective of the last four interglacial warm periods.

All four of those warm periods, over the past 450,000 years, were as warm as, if not warmer than, the present. All those prehistoric SUVs, one supposes.

As far as I can discover, Reuters has never pointed out that, sub specie aeternitatis, there is nothing in the least exceptional about today’s global mean surface temperature. The world has seen it all – and survived it all – before.

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Next, Reuters gets round to admitting the existence of the recent strong El Niño spike, though, of course, the propagandist who wrote the piece somehow fails to point out that this is a natural and regularly-occurring event, not a sudden consequence of global warming:

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El Nio spikes in 1998, 2007, 2010, and 2016. The rate of global warming since 1990, equivalent to 1.26 K/century, is a long way below IPCC’s predicted 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] K/century interval in 1990.

Instead, Reuters unquestioningly parrots the WMD’s Secretary-General: “Climate change, caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases, will not (disappear). This means we face more heatwaves! More extreme rainfall!! And potential for higher-impact!!! tropical cyclones!!!!”

Well, one might expect warmer weather to bring more heatwaves. But does Reuters really need no less a personage than the WMD’s lacklustre, overpaid Sekjen to tell us that?

And, even then, would it not have been better if Reuters had checked the best weather records in the world, those of the United States, to see when the frequency of record daily temperature maxima – the measure of heatwaves – was at its highest?

The answer, as the mere facts show, was in the 1930s, when CO2 concentration had barely risen above its pre-industrial value.

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As for “More extreme rainfall”, even IPCC, both in its special report on extreme weather and in its Fifth Assessment Report, has been compelled to concede that there is little evidence for “more extreme rainfall” to date, and not much reason to expect it.

Could not Reuters’ “journalist” have sobered up for long enough to totter along from the marble halls of the WMD (headquartered in Geneva, where she is supposed to have written the story) to the marble halls of IPCC (also, conveniently, headquartered in Geneva, where the authorities are more indulgent of official corruption than anywhere else on the planet)?

As for “more high-impact tropical cyclones”, the graph of accumulated cyclone energy over recent decades gives the lie to that one:

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The accumulated cyclone energy index from weatherunderground.com

Next, the Reuters’ propagandist provides her own opinion that “Repeated extremes, such as heatwaves! downpours!! or droughts!!!, could encourage more action to limit greenhouse gas emissions.”

We’ve dealt with heatwaves and downpours. As for droughts, the most comprehensive recent survey, Hao et al. (2014), shows that there has been something of a decline in the fraction of the global land area under drought:

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Finally, the open propaganda proposition: Reuters quotes a “climate expert” [x, an unknown quantity; spurt, a drip under pressure] at the International Institute for Applied Taxpayers’ Money Gobbling in Vienna: “Research shows that for the general public extremes make climate change more tangible, more understandable. It could help to motivate people to engage in climate action, and do something.”

Translation: “The data don’t support our climate profiteering. The facts don’t support it. The graphs don’t support it. Even the weather doesn’t support it. There has not been enough bad weather to let us get away with using it as an excuse for gobbling still more taxpayers’ money. Something must be done, and soon, or we shall have to work for a living.”

Is Reuters’ story, like so very many others it has published in sullenly prejudiced furtherance of the the climate scam, downright fraudulent?

Just type the words “Reuters disclaimer” into a search engine. What comes back, in with-knobs-on capitals, is this:

“THOMSON REUTERS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY OF ANY THE CONTENT PROVIDED, OR AS TO THE FITNESS OF THE INFORMATION FOR ANY PURPOSE.”

It’s not as though we hadn’t been fairly warned that Reuters is just another junk website peddling totalitarian propaganda rather than mere facts.

However, Reuters takes money – and a lot of it – from various organizations on the premise that, even if it does not always achieve accuracy and disinterest, it will at least attempt these things. Its “Handbook of ‘Journalism’” opens with these ringing words:

“Everything we do as Reuters ‘journalists’ has to be independent [eh?], free from bias [what?] and executed with the utmost integrity [really?]. These are our core values [values?] and stem from the Reuters Trust Principles [principles?]. As a real-time, competitive news service [news service?] whose reputation rests on reliability [coulda fooled me], we also value accuracy [pull the other one, squire, it’s got bells on] …”

The Ten Absolutes of Reuters “Journalism” include these: always to hold accuracy sacrosanct, to correct errors openly, to strive for balance and freedom from bias, to reveal conflicts of interest, to guard against putting “journalists’” opinions in a news story, and not to fabricate. [Pass the anti-giggle potion, Hermione!]

Notwithstanding the capitalized, butt-covering disclaimer, then, Reuters is holding itself out as an organization whose news “journalists” will at least make an effort to be accurate, honest, impartial, unbought, factual and truthful.

Except on climate change, it seems.

Now read this posting again. Does wafting around the gilded palaces of Europe’s corruption capitals and vomiting out, year after year, totalitarian rentaquotes about Man’s imagined (and largely imaginary) influence on climate that are manifestly, repeatedly and materially at odds with the facts and the data, and are challenged by an increasing body of published scientific research, including 250 “consensus”-busting papers this year alone, demonstrate any recognizable effort whatever to be accurate, honest, impartial, unbought, factual or truthful?

If, like me, you don’t think so, go to https://reuters.zendesk.com/anonymous_requests/new, leave a comment telling them what you think, and send monckton {at} mail.com a copy of your message and any answer you get.

Many years ago, I used to know the then Chairman of Reuters, Lord Barnetson. He was an honest man and would not have tolerated garbage like Reuters’ latest. It may be that someone in the organization still has a conscience, as he did.

Give it a try. We should not only talk to each other here but also quietly let the outside world know the truth. The truth will prevail eventually, but the more we call out the peddlers of falsehoods the sooner it will prevail, and the fewer innocent people the terrible policy consequences of their falsehoods will kill.

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