Despite the crushing enormity of scientific research all pointing to the fact that the Earth is rapidly heating and human beings are largely responsible, some people still refuse to believe that climate change is real.
Those people (let's call them "idiots") probably loved it when Breitbart News published a story on a recent temperature drop as definitive proof that global warming is a hoax. The article featured a video of Weather Channel atmospheric researcher Kait Parker talking about the La Niña weather pattern—the implication being: "See! Real meteorologists are on our side!"—and was even shared on Twitter by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (who have a blue check mark, so you know they're, like, super legit).
Wow! Case closed!
Only, this week, the Weather Channel—typically known for Doppler radar green screens, and videos of people shoveling out their driveways—took the unusual step of rolling up its sleeves to slap the absolute bejeezus out of the climate change deniers at Breitbart—with science!
"Last week, Breitbart.com published an article claiming that global warming is nothing but a scare and global temperatures are actually falling," explained Parker in a video posted to Weather.com on Tuesday. "The problem is they used a completely unrelated video about La Niña, with my face in it, to attempt to back their point."
With that, Parker specifically hits Breitbart on three of their assertions:
- "Global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year – the biggest and steepest fall on record."
- "It can be argued that without the El Niño (and the so-called "Pacific Blob") 2014-2016 would not have been record warm years."
- "Many think that 2017 will be cooler than previous years."
Each conclusion, Parker explains, is drawn from misinterpreted, incomplete, or out-of-context data—which she then corrects, contextualizes, and uses actual scientific reasoning to back up.
Or, as she put it succinctly on Twitter:
While Weather.com notes that Breitbart was allowed to use their video clip "as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company," the station leaves little to the imagination when it comes to where they stand on the issue:
"Thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet’s climate," an article accompanying Parker's message said. "And will keep doing so."
Or, as Parker herself says, in the closing moments of her video dunk-a-thon: "Next time you're thinking about publishing a cherry-picked article, try consulting a scientist first."