Friday, November 22, 2019

Ronald Bailey Can't Get the Simple Stuff Right

Ron Bailey at Reason wrote a long essay about global warming in which he saw fit to cite Tony Heller (aka Steve Goddard), the Washington Examiner and other drips who have no intersection with the scientific realm. Maybe he's been a denier at-heart so long he just can't help it.

Even still he couldn't get the most simple part of the science right:
A February 2018 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences based on satellite altimeter data reported that sea-level rise at 3 millimeters per year has accelerated at a rate of +0.084 millimeters (about half the thickness of a penny) since 1993.
This isn't just a typo -- Bailey clearly does not understand what acceleration means. (It's not a length, i.e. acceleration isn't measured in units of length [millimeters]. It can't be compared to a penny, anymore than a quart can be compared to an hour.)

I'm a firm believer that if a science writer (or anyone) can't understand the most basic parts of the science, he/she gets no say on the more complicated stuff -- regardless of his/her ultimate conclusion.

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