Climate Denial Should Face the Microscope

Last week, I discussed some inaccuracies in the work of Donna Laframbiose, Jo Nova and Andrew Bolt when they discuss science. For some time now, Mike has also been reporting on their inaccuracies at Watching the Deniers. It’s certainly questionable whether these people are simply unaware of scientific thinking (yet feel that they have some authority to write opinion pieces on scientific matters) or deliberately misinform to promote certain agendas.

What is clear is that all three loudly screamed for blood in the wake of the stolen email event that became known as “Climategate”. Now that this event has been investigated to death, there is a growing call for a similar microscope to be used to look over those who present misinformation. The three mentioned above have quite publicly published inaccurate statements that promote inaction in regards to climate change and ecological conservation. Their efforts can be seen as counter-productive to long term standard of living and species protection. I feel that they should be held accountable for their inaccuracies which will ultimately be at the detriment to life on this planet.

A similar response has developed in the wake of Monckton’s bizarre reply to John Abraham’s rebuttal. Last Friday I made the point of how damaging Moncktonian logic is to scientific investigation. Scott A Mandia has put together an excellent post, “Turn the Tables on Monckton”, in which his supplied an example letter and nearly 60 media email addresses. He is calling for people to “email bomb” the media as Monckton has asked his fans to do to John’s university.

I feel it is time that we indeed turn the tables on such anti-science. The scrutiny that has followed climate research, both in the forms of formal investigations and citizen scientists, has largely clouded the reality of our influential impacts on climate change. Denial has been loud and has enjoyed far less prosecution than professional science.

Examples:

Many people have dismantled What’s Up With That?, Wott’s Up With That? being a good example, and yet denial continues from the former. John Cook and others put together an excellent Scientific reply to Jo Nova’s Skeptical Handbook and yet Jo celebrated that her handbook survived!?! Donna busily works on her book, “Decoding the Climate Bible”, when authoritative bodies have come to quite a different conclusion than that of her citizen audit of the 4th IPCC report. Andrew Bolt just continues being himself; falling for legend rather than facts… all the while a group of grumpy readers cheer him on. Monckton’s only response to John Abraham’s deconstruction of his presentation is an overly excited list of questions and attacks (no scientific basis at all) and when John’s presentation is shortened by 10mins, to remove some of the statements that hurt Monckton the most, Christopher’s supports cheer that Monckton wins again (see WUWT Abraham climbs down and Nova’s Abraham surrenders to Monckton. Uni of St Thomas endorses untruths), without at all addressing the fact that John’s presentation continues to demonstrate a wide range or errors in Monckton’s work (oh, wait; Nova links to his presentation as the newer but “still incorrect version” – so I guess she’s blown Abraham’s presentation out of the water just as well as she avoided the Scientific guide… hmm…).

Many of us may see how flawed the scientific basis is in this loud denial movement, however, no-one can deny that within popular media, this movement is given far too much freedom and weight. The three writers above are openly opposed to the science. In Scott’s piece he opens with fighting words and I can’t help but agree. I think we need to fight fire with fire and demand accountability where obvious misinformation is allowed to be published – both of the writer and the publishing agent. We who blog might demonstrate the inaccuracies of these writers, but unless our work goes viral, there is no way our word travels as far as their print. It’s time for denial to face the scrutiny it demanded of the science.

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6 thoughts on “Climate Denial Should Face the Microscope

  1. Do you mean that you expect *me* (and others) to read the Herald Sun and The Australian??

    I cancelled my ‘Australian’ order back at the time of the Mabo decision (the right wing bias with its TM nasty-after-taste is not a new thing.) I’ve only ever picked up the occasional copy at a cafe since then.

    Then we have to write to the paper? I’m really going to have to think about this one.

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    1. I don’t really expect anyone to read any of these newspapers.. They’re absolute rubbish for the most. However, when journalists are caught out spreading misinformation they should be held accountable.

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  2. Gee pity about the Internet being free of any tyrants who would imprison dissident thought…eh? Pesky denialists being free to express their opinions…Bring on the gulag I say. Our future must be green..Hang the deniers..Vee haf vays of making them believe…You tinpot dictator..lol

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    1. Taking it a bit far. I just believe that misinformers should face the same scrutiny as they placed climate scientists under.
      I don’t think that’s asking too much. What we need is better understanding and education not what Nova and Bolt write.
      It’s not about belief, it’s about understanding.

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    2. i might also add that when the emails where stolen, the call for blood was insane. Yet it happened and the people involved faced a lot of criticism unfairly. Everyone else seemed fine about this. It’s caused a lot of damage to addressing climate change.
      Yet as soon as someone asks the same of writers who present false articles in national papers he’s labelled a dictator and trying to limit others free will.
      If you click on the initial 3 links regarding the writers, you’ll see that I’ve clearly demonstrated that these people are wrong and are misinforming the public. I prefer information over propaganda. You may feel different.
      Laframboise says on her site that climate skepticism is free choice. That it is. The science however isn’t. It is based on the evidence. Everyone has the right to believe what they want to but they don’t have the right to deliberately misinform others.

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    3. Michael Damiani , why is point out the error in a denialists claims an attack on free speech but when the same thing is done by denialists it is exercising your right to free speech , sounds like a bit of doulbethink going on there ? !! . Like Moncktons argumentum ad hominem attack on Abraham for attacking him with ad hominems .

      As far as Iam concerned you can put forward as many its not CO2 /not warming arguements as you like , but just get the facts right and be prepared to defend your conclusions with facts without have a tantrum if someone asks a difficult question .

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