Last week, the official Twitter account for the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tweeted a link to an inaccurate and hyperbolic article published by Breitbart – the far-right, white-nationalist-supporting news outlet that spawned Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist. The tweet proclaimed: “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” It should go without saying that the linked article was deeply misleading.
The piece was based on a misleading Daily Mail story by climate denier David Rose, which used satellite measurements of atmospheric temperatures over land only (completely ignoring the oceans that make up 70% of the planet) to argue that global temperatures had actually dropped over the course of 2016. Of course, if you look at the complete dataset that Rose cherry-picked his information from, you’ll clearly see a long-term warming trend, with 2016 set to become the hottest year in recorded human history.
This isn’t the first time the House Science Committee has tweeted dubious material. Just the day before the Breitbart tweet, the account posted a tweet accusing a climate change support group of valuing “politics & emotion over facts.” It’s not the first time the account has tweeted links to anti-climate articles from Breitbart, either.
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It’s deeply troubling that an official US government account would be posting such biased and poorly-sourced articles to begin with, but the fact that it’s the “science” committee makes matters even more frightening. If our legislators can’t be bothered to understand the science underlying important environmental policy, how can we be expected to take effective action against climate change? Unfortunately, with the Trump administration readying to take office, this problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Via Ars Technica
Images via William Warby and Joakim Berndes