This was posted Tuesday, December 6, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Last week, Breitbart posted a story with this enticing red meat headline for climate change deniers: “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.”
It even used video from Atlanta-based Weather.com to prove its point. (IBM now owns the website and it’s technically separate from the Weather Channel cable network. But IBM licenses the Weather Channel name so it can use it as well. Totally confusing.)
Today, Weather.com icily responded with this headline: “Note to Breitbart: Earth is not cooling, climate change is real and please stop using our video to mislead Americans.”
Though we would prefer to focus on our usual coverage of weather and climate science, in this case we felt it important to add our two cents — especially because a video clip from weather.com (La Niña in Pacific Affects Weather in New England) was prominently featured at the top of the Breitbart article. Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it.
The Weather Channel said Breitbart “cherry picked” a single item out of context to build a misleading case that the climate is not getting warmer due to man-made causes, that scientists are just making this stuff up.
The story then goes point by point over the Breitbart story, noting various falsehoods. After a strong El Nino event, temperatures do drop, the Weather Channel said. But this alone is not indicative that the climate as a whole is getting cooler. 2016 is now considered the warmest on record and 2015 the second warmest, according to climate scientist Zeke Hausfather.
And it ended with this: “Finally, to our friends at Breitbart: The next time you write a climate change article and need fact checking help, please call. We’re here for you. I’m sure we both agree this topic is too important to get wrong.”
Breitbart as of this writing has not responded.