There are plenty of climate science-denying trolls out there happy to dump their logical fallacies and partisan hyperlinks all over your social media feeds. You know, just for kicks.
They’ll litter Twitter with claims that global warming has stopped and fill Facebook with conspiracy theories like climate change science is a secret socialist plot.
But it seems there’s a new addition to the climate science denial trollerati — the Twitter account of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
The @HouseScience Twitter handle has been pushing out partisan talking points and attacking “climate alarmists” in a series of posts in recent months.
Back in December, the committee Tweeted a link to an article on the hyper-partisan conservative Breitbart website written by climate science denial activist James Delingpole.
Delingpole’s polemic was itself based on an article in the UK’s Sunday Mail newspaper, written by David Rose, that seven climate scientists rated “very low” on Climate Feedback’s credibility scale.
Now in its latest missive, the @HouseScience Twitter handle has claimed the global satellite temperature data “tells a story climate alarmists don’t want to hear.”
Pointing to a blog post by contrarian scientist and creationist Dr. Roy Spencer, @HouseScience said the data “doesn’t fit their climate narrative.”
Sat data tells a story climate alarmists don’t want to hear. It doesn’t fit their climate narrative! https://t.co/Myrev2QtW9
— Sci,Space,&Tech Cmte (@HouseScience) January 3, 2017
This was peculiar because the chart the committee wants its followers to look at shows that the planet has warmed since satellites started collecting data in the late 1970s.
The data, compiled by contrarian scientists Spencer and Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, tend to be a favorite of climate science deniers because they suggest less warming than other data sets.
But even then, the data still shows that all but one of the ten hottest years on the 38-year-long satellite record have occurred since 2002.
Climate scientist Dr. Victor Venema of the University of Bonn in Germany responded to the committee’s Tweet with a chart showing how the satellite data it uses shows much less warming than other sets of data.
Climate scientists, including those who manage the data that Spencer and Christy use, have explained how land-based, rather than atmospheric, temperatures are more relevant for climate change discussions. Temperatures taken on land go through fewer analytical adjustments, are more direct than the proxy measurements taken by satellites, and are taken on the ground where humans live.
Pointing to just one set of data to back your argument — while ignoring all the other evidence that shows you’re wrong — is called cherry picking, and the @HouseScience tweet was a classic example.
The committee has not posted links to the many lines of evidence that contradict its points, such as the warming oceans, temperatures taken on land, melting ice sheets, melting glaciers, heat records, or the rising sea levels.
The GOP-led committee is chaired by Texas Republican Lamar Smith — a climate science denier who has built a reputation for attacking government scientists while defending oil giant ExxonMobil’s funding of attacks on climate science.
The Twitter account’s posts have not gone unnoticed, with hundreds describing the Tweets as shameful, embarrassing, anti-science, appalling, shocking, irresponsible, and misleading.
And those are just the nice comments.
Main image: Original image of Rep. Lamar Smith by Ryan J. Reilly, CC BY 2.0