Inconvenient Thermometers




Surfacestations.org and this is a project that is photographing and documenting the quality of the stations in their placements around the United States.

GLENN: All right, you sick twisted freak. We told you last week that there is a big global warming convention going on in New York with, all the scientists getting back together to talk about global warming, except this one is different. These are all the scientists getting together saying I don't think so but tonight the press just won't cover it. Tonight we're covering it as if it's the second coming of Jesus. We're spending a whole half hour on it. We have the president of the Czech Republic on with us and a couple of other scientists. Right now we have Anthony Watts on. He is a meteorologist and he is a guy who decided to look at all of the temperature readings because remember, temperature's going up. So he wanted to look at all the thermometers and every thermometer that is taking these readings and Anthony, what exactly did you find?

WATTS: Well, Glenn, I kind of stumbled into this. This was a project started on serendipity. I started out looking at paint. You may call seeing some of the early weather shelters that are housing the thermometers. They look like chicken coops on stilts that are white with slots and so forth. Anyway, to make a long story short, the weather bureau designed them back in the 1800s and they lasted until now, some of them still in use. They changed the paint in '79. A long time ago I had a conversation with the state climatologist of California about them and we wondered if the change in paint, the original spec was the old Tom Sawyer whitewash because they were designed in the 1890s and they changed the paint check in 1979 to latex. So I wanted to do an experiment about finding out whether that paint made a difference. The first thing I had to do was determine if, in fact, the stations had been repainted. So I went around to look at three of them in my area and the first one I went to had been automated but it had the radio transmitter, the electronics right next to the temperature sensor, six inches away and I thought that was really odd. Who puts electronics that makes heat next to the temperature sensor. I figured it was a fluke. I went on to the next station about 30 miles to the West Orland, California and it was perfect. Everything looked good. So I just assumed it was a fluke. And then I went to another station in Marysville, California at the fire station and it was a new design and I discovered that the fire chief parked his vehicle, radiator end, right next to the sensor within about two feet of the sensor. And the sensor was next to this cell phone building that they had put in there. They dropped in these portable cell phone buildings because the city had rented out space there, the fire station, for a cell phone tower and I could feel air conditioning exhaust from the air-conditioners cooling those electronics, blowing around the sensor. So I had two out of three now that said, wait a minute, these aren't good measurement environments.

So my project changed from looking at paint to looking at stations all around the country.

GLENN: And so -- and you did. And is it surfacestatistics.org?

WATTS: Surfacestations.org and this is a project that is photographing and documenting the quality of the stations in their placements around the United States. There are 1221 official climate monitoring stations in the United States operated by NOAA. The data that come from these is used by researchers worldwide and so it's extremely important to know what the environment that the temperature is being measured in.

GLENN: Okay. So now I'm looking at this and you have pictures and graphs and everything else and some of the pictures of the -- well, here's the picture of the one with the firehouse. I mean, it's -- I mean, look at that. It is sitting there on asphalt. I mean, who -- how much -- have you looked at all of them yet here in the United States?

WATTS: So far -- I have a volunteer organization and these are just people that are just interested in finding out just like myself, a volunteer organization that has covered a good portion of this, the network. We're now up to 502 stations out of 1221. We still have a lot of them to go, particularly in the Midwest because a lot of the stations there are located in the agricultural belt on farms and private ranchers and things of that nature and a little more difficult to locate and get to. But out of 502 stations surveyed thus far we found the vast majority of them to be out of compliance of NOAA's own published specifications for station sighting and these stations at the bare minimum, they have something called the 100 foot rule. The 100 foot rule says if you are going to place an official thermometer for use in measuring climate, weather, whatever, it needs to be 100 feet away from asphalt, concrete, automobiles, buildings and other such influences that might bias the temperature.

GLENN: My gosh, I'm just looking at some of these pictures on the website. You've got one in Oregon that is -- I mean, it's just surrounded by equipment and asphalt and it's -- is it on top of a roof as well?

WATTS: I think you may be looking at the one in Roseburg, Oregon?

GLENN: Yeah, yeah.

WATTS: Okay, that was taken by the state climatologist in Oregon, George Taylor, who was just recently under fire from the governor there.

GLENN: Yeah, I know.

WATTS: To step down because George was saying things the governor didn't approve of. Yes L with, yes, that one's on a roof. It's at a radio station in Roseburg, Oregon. It is on the roof next to an air conditioning unit and that is the official climate monitoring station for Roseburg, Oregon. And yes, it is used in the records.

GLENN: So what is the -- so what do you think the total variance is of, you know, plus or minus so many degrees Celsius? What is the error rate, do you suppose?

WATTS: Well, I can tell you individually about stations. NOAA has a reference that they do --

GLENN: You know what? I don't mean to be -- I don't mean to be rude, Anthony, but I'm being told I've only got about 10 seconds. Do you have a short answer?

WATTS: Short answer is I don't know the total for all the United States but I can tell you that things that are on a rooftop are typically going to read as much as 5 degrees higher.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Anthony, thank you so much. We'll look for you at the convention in New York. These are the scientists that are saying, wait a minute, hold your horses on global warming.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

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Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.

'The fool builds walls': China blasts Trump over tariffs

NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

I can picture it now: Thousands of years ago, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, standing before hordes of his followers, in the Qin Dynasty, with a bright red bamboo hat on, and chanting, "Build that wall!"

It took a couple centuries to build the thing, but it got built. And it has been carefully maintained over the last 2,000 years, but, today, the Great Wall of China is so massive that astronauts can see it during good weather conditions from the lower part of low Earth orbit. The wall boasts over 3,000 miles of towers and brick embankments, with over 1,200 miles of natural defensive barriers. It's worth mentioning that the Chinese government is also exceptionally good at imposing digital walls, so much so that China ranks worst in the world for internet freedom.

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So it's a little strange to hear an editorial run by a major news network in China criticized President Trump for his proposal to build a large wall along the southern border of America.

"Following the path of expanding and opening up is China's best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world," the author wrote. "The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls."

Similarly, the Pope told reporters in 2016, "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel."

Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

If you've been to the Vatican, you know that it is surrounded by enormous walls. The same goes for all the celebrities who live in heavily walled compounds—a safety measure—but who have also vehemently criticized President Trump's plans to build a wall.

You know the adage: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at other people's glass houses." Perhaps the phrase needs an update: Don't throw stones at people who want to build walls when you live in place surrounded by walls.

An immaculate Nazi doctor hovers over newborn. He probes and sneers at it. "Take it away," he says. This is the very real process that Nazi doctors undertook during the era of Nazi Germany: Nazi eugenics, the studious, sterile search to find children who would define a pure breed for the German lineage. The Übermensch.

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During a speech to a delegation of Italy's Family Association in Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis referred to this cruel Nazi practice, which he used as a comparison to the increasingly popular process throughout Europe of "ending" birth defects, by offering abortions to women who have babies with chromosomal defects.

Here are two passages from the Pope's remarks:

I have heard that it's fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let's send it away.

And:

I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.

When CNN got the quote, and it shocked them so much that they had to verify the quote with the Vatican—in other words, it didn't fit the usual narrative.

It didn't fit the usual narrative.

The Pope also addressed claims that he has dedicated himself to LGBTQ causes:

Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of "diversified" families: different types of families. It is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of stars, family" of trees, "family" of animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don't believe.

The media have largely seen Pope Francis as the cool Pope, as the Obama of Catholicism. It'll be interesting to see how abruptly and severely that perspective changes.