masthead-highres

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Palm Beach Post Attacks Rush Limbaugh & National Center

Bob King of the Palm Beach Post has a rather bizarre piece out attacking first Rush Limbaugh, and then us, for what Rush and husband David said about hurricanes this week.

Well, better to be attacked with Rush Limbaugh than praised with almost anybody else, I say.

As to the particulars, in our case, Bob King says:
Limbaugh’s not alone in questioning the hurricane center’s storm numbers. The conservative National Center for Public Policy Research is also alleging a conspiracy, claiming that the meteorologists are “inflating the count of tropical storms and aiding a political campaign to regulate energy use in the process.”

In other words, they say, the NHC is just trying to hype global warming.
Um, a little detail. We didn't "allege a conspiracy."

When organization X (in this case, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) takes an action that has effect Y (in this case, providing rhetorical fodder for global warming alarmist advocates of energy restrictions), that's not a conspiracy. It's a straight cause-and-effect situation.

I suspect Bob King claimed we "alleg[ed] a conspiracy" because people who believe in conspiracies often perceived as nuts. This allowed King to belittle our statements without reviewing them on the merits.

As it happens, we don't believe that NOAA as an agency has changed the criteria by which it names storms in order to promote energy-restriction legislation advocated by global warming alarmists. We rather suspect NOAA is increasing the number of named storms to justify its budget, and lay the groundwork for budget increases. The more named storms there are, the more Congress may see fit to toss taxpayer dollars at NOAA.

The bureaucratic imperative, in other words.

The promotion of the global warming theory and aid to special interests lobbying for energy restrictions is simply a byproduct of the bureaucratic imperative at work.

Nonetheless, it is an important byproduct, and one worth pointing out, which is what we did.

(I should note that we acknowledge the possibility that an occasional NOAA employee, perhaps in the press office, hypes global warming on purpose. It is a little odd that NOAA issues very few disclaimers warning people that comparing the number of named storms from one year to the next -- since the criteria by which storms are named has not been constant -- is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.)

As for Bob King's comments about Chris Landsea, Max Mayfield and William Gray, we accuse them of nothing except being great guys. America could use more people like them. And Rush. And us too. :-)

P.S. Bob King does a service by referring readers to an informative Houston Chronicle story by Eric Berger that explains (among other things) how NOAA's propensity to name more storms now than it did in the past can raise homeowners' insurance rates.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:20 AM

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