Anti-Science Spin on Climate Change

Science should be a matter for peer reviewed medical journals, not debates in blogs and the media started by right wing ideologues who prefer to ignore science whenever it conflicts with their political or religious views. Since the scientific consensus is clearly against them, climate change deniers have been attempting to politicize the scientific issues with a number of bogus charges.

The scientific method is self-correcting as finding errors leads to better information, but the denialists typically latch onto any small error and use this to attempt to cast doubt on the entire field. Sometimes we might even have cases of individual scientists behaving badly but this still does not change the entire body of evidence.

Climate Change has a good run down of the latest spin, looking at many incidents in detail. They conclude:

Overall then, the IPCC assessment reports reflect the state of scientific knowledge very well. There have been a few isolated errors, and these have been acknowledged and corrected. What is seriously amiss is something else: the public perception of the IPCC, and of climate science in general, has been massively distorted by the recent media storm. All of these various “gates” – Climategate, Amazongate, Seagate, Africagate, etc., do not represent scandals of the IPCC or of climate science. Rather, they are the embarrassing battle-cries of a media scandal, in which a few journalists have misled the public with grossly overblown or entirely fabricated pseudogates, and many others have naively and willingly followed along without seeing through the scam. It is not up to us as climate scientists to clear up this mess – it is up to the media world itself to put this right again, e.g. by publishing proper analysis pieces like the one of Tim Holmes and by issuing formal corrections of their mistaken reporting. We will follow with great interest whether the media world has the professional and moral integrity to correct its own errors.

Alex Knapp also has a good analysis of how the media has distorted this interview.  He concludes, “I think this provides an excellent example of why, when it comes to scientific topics, you’re much better off going to primary sources than you are trusting a newspaper reporter.”


  1. 1
    Clinton Co Democrats says:

    Anti-Science Spin on Climate Change

  2. 2
    swdunn says:

    RT @ClintonCoDems: Anti-Science Spin on Climate Change

  3. 3
    Su Mih Nao says:

    RT @swdunn RT @ClintonCoDems: Anti-Science Spin on Climate Change 😉 #imrs

  4. 4
    Ove Larsen says:

    Under COP15 here in Copenhagen, Denmark many tried to figure out who was behind the climate skeptics.
    Excellent blog post on :

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