AP Fact Checkers Flag Beto on Climate Doomsaying; Doomsayers Cry Foul

NewsBusters | 3/22/2019 | Staff
chrismpotts (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://cdn.newsbusters.org/images/beto-keokuk.jpg

One of the inherent problems with "fact checking" is the nagging tendency to "fact check" the future, which journalists should agree is not yet factual. AP Fact Check was attacked from the Left by the site Think Progress over predictions on global warming. But none of these predictions are facts! They're "guess-checking."

Politicians can mischaracterize predictions, but there are no "facts" about when global warming will kill us all. AP began a quick check on Beto O'Rourke this way:

O'ROURKE - Chance - Scientists - Years - Action

O’ROURKE, on global warming: “This is our final chance. The scientists are absolutely unanimous on this. That we have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis.” — remarks in Keokuk, Iowa, on Thursday.

THE FACTS: There is no scientific consensus, much less unanimity, that the planet only has 12 years to fix the problem.

Report - United - Nations - Intergovernmental - Panel

A report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, drawn from the work of hundreds of scientists, uses 2030 as a prominent benchmark because signatories to the Paris agreement have pledged emission cuts by then. But it’s not a last chance, hard deadline for action, as it has been interpreted in some quarters.

“Glad to clear this up,” James Skea, co-chairman of the report and professor of sustainable energy at Imperial College London, told The Associated Press. The panel “did not say we have 12 years left to save the world.”

Hotter - Cliff

He added: “The hotter it gets, the worse it gets, but there is no cliff edge.”

“This has been a persistent source of confusion,” agreed Kristie L. Ebi, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington in Seattle. “The report never said we only have 12...
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