22 June 2021

How NOT to do Science Journalism

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Take a look at this:

It’s been a while since I read a news article so full of falsehoods, (and just plain ignorance of science) but this one takes the cake.

This is not journalism.

It’s written for people who cannot think for themselves.

Just some points. Were the two photos taken at the same tide cycle? High tide, low tide?

Hint, no one knows!

The image, therefore, is totally meaningless.

Did the reporter look at the tide gauges to see how the sea level has changed at that beach?

Bet not!

Oh, and is the beach seeing isostatic rebound?

Areas under thick glaciers at the end of the last ice age are still rising after being depressed into the Earth’s mantle. In some cases, this isostatic rebound is raising the beach faster than the sea level is rising! I’d bet the writer of that article has ever heard the word.

If he had asked any competent Earth scientist about it, he would have.

Now onto the Arctic ice.

The area of Arctic ice is different than its extent. Al Gore does not publish climate science, and I do not know what he said. I do know that nearly all of the old multi-year Arctic ice is now gone, and the area and extent are still running at record low levels. For the first time, Russia moved shipping from the Arctic coast across the top of the world and through the Bering Strait last year.

They mention the NSIDC, and look at the graph showing the sea ice extent in August, the summer month when we see the lowest ice.

You can see how fast it’s dropping. The writer of this piece

1. Had no idea what they are talking about.

2. Asked no scientist to explain it to them.

This is trash journalism. Note: The writer did not even put his name on the piece. If they are that bad with a simple news story like that, I don’t think I could trust them with a local story either.

They owe their readers an apology.