USAToday Reports More Bluster on Hurricanes, Global Warming
The 1800s wrought mass industrialization and technological marvels. Weather satellites, obviously, were not one of them.
But that point didn't bear repeating until deep in Dan Vergano's July 30 article, "Study links more hurricanes, climate change."
Reads the lede:
The number of hurricanes that strike each year has more than doubled over the past century, an increase tied to global warming, according to a study released Sunday.
It took to paragraph nine of the 13-paragraph story to bring around a dissenting opinion:
The new study drew criticism from experts who dispute the merits of combining data from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when hurricane-tracking satellites didn't exist, with statistics gleaned from more modern technology.
"Looking for trends in noisy count data is fraught with problems," says researcher James Elsner of Florida State University in Tallahassee. "I agree with the message, but cannot recommend the science."
Of course for the liberal media, the message is more important than the science. For example, the fact that at least one 2007 hurricane forecast has been downgraded went unmentioned by Vergano, while 2006's relative quiet was dismissed as one that would have been considered "stormy" in 1906.
While it was appropriate and commendable for Vergano to find critics of the new study, it would have served the reader better for him to note the controversy in the lede and then to alternate the following grafs between supporters and detractors of the study's conclusions.