Skip to content

I’ve Joined The WaPost’s Hall Of Deniers!

May 26, 2017

By Paul Homewood

It appears I’ve joined the Washington Post’s Hall of Deniers!

image

By Amanda Erickson May 25 at 1:21 PM

Amanda Erickson is a reporter for The Washington Post’s Worldviews blog.

Truths are all alike, but every lie is dishonest in its own way.

That could be the mantra of “Not a Scientist,” by journalist Dave Levitan. Levitan has scoured the public record for politicians’ most egregious misstatements, misrepresentations and manglings of scientific fact. He fact-checks and classifies these “alternative facts,” many about climate change, and creates a taxonomy of untruths that may, he writes, help his readers suss out what’s right for themselves.

Among his categories: the “oversimplification” (when a politician says, for example, that 2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record, obscuring the complicated science of assessing global temperature); the “cherry-pick” (Sen. James Inhofe gave a master class on this when he brought a snowball onto the Senate floor in 2015 to prove that climate change is a myth); and the “demonizer” (when, for instance, a public official blames a disease outbreak on illegal immigrants).

In each case, Levitan traces the lies back to the source. He points out that when Rep. Gary Palmer (Ala.) went on the radio in 2015 to say that the government was manipulating climate-change data, the argument in fact came from climate denier (and retired accountant) Paul Homewood. On his blog, Homewood offered no evidence to back up his incendiary claim of massive temperature tampering. Even so, that piece was picked up by Christopher Booker of the British newspaper the Telegraph and then shared hundreds of thousands of times. (Levitan calls this type of fib “blame the blogger.” )

The book offers a common-sense approach for catching misrepresentations. “When a politician makes what sounds like a very specific point — no warming for seventeen years, not sixteen or eighteen — be wary.” And: “Every measurement . . . [has] some margin for error. Pointing that out when it suits a political agenda isn’t an argument; it’s just a smokescreen.”

Levitan’s analysis is accurate and often interesting. But the book feels terribly light on the “why” — why are politicians so willing to mangle science? How do corporations and other special interests back them up? How did we become a country of scientific know-nothings?

While the author spends a lot of time debunking myths around climate change, I wish he’d talked about how companies like ExxonMobil spent millions on phony science and research to create the confusion about global warming that so many people now feel, even in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus.

Instead, though, Levitan sticks to the facts. By doing so, he might miss the bigger picture.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-to-spot-a-misrepresentation-about-climate-change/2017/05/24/fee19c1e-0b0c-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html

Apparently I deny that the climate exists! As for the “accountant” bit, I cannot think of anybody better suited to check the numbers coming out of GISS and co.

The idea that you have to be a paid up climate scientist to read a thermometer is pure conceit and arrogance.

But for the record, my posts on the topic of temperature adjustments all carefully included very detailed evidence, although I never claimed how widespread they were or that they represented massive tampering.

Indeed the GISS website itself actually shows the adjustments made by themselves and GHCN, as for instance at Reykjavik:

image

https://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/stdata_show.cgi?id=620040300000&dt=1&ds=5

GHCN have persistently failed to explain or justify any of the adjustments, which I have identified to them, despite frequent requests.

 

It seems that the book itself is woefully inaccurate, if this paragraph is anything to go by:

When a politician makes what sounds like a very specific point — no warming for seventeen years, not sixteen or eighteen — be wary.

 

Anybody who has been following the climate debate, which apparently does not include the author, Levitan, or the Washington Post’s reporter, can tell you that dozens of papers have been written over the years to explain away the pause.

In fact, the sixteen or eighteen years con is actually a warmist trick, as the Met Office eloquently explained in July 2013 report, “The Recent Pause in Global Warming: What Are The Potential Causes?”:

image_thumb52

In other words, the pause is not dependent on using 1998 as a start date.

Since 2013, we have had two years of the strongest El Nino on record. It is therefore perfectly correct to compare trends from 1998 to 2016.

Using a non El Nino year as a startpoint would have no more scientific validity than working out temperature trends from winter to summer.

For some reason, fake news stories, like this one from the Post, are always reluctant to show their readers any graphs that contradict their disinformation.

They could, for instance, have included the satellite temperature trends from UAH, that show the pause in all its glory:

UAH_LT_1979_thru_April_2017_v6-550x317

http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

 

Erickson talks of ExxonMobil spending millions on phony science and research, but I am still waiting for my cheque. Perhaps she might have a look at the billions going into climate science.

As for the article’s title, I think it describes Amanda’s little piece very well!

Advertisements
41 Comments
  1. Don permalink
    May 26, 2017 4:12 pm

    I’m jealous

  2. Joe Public permalink
    May 26, 2017 4:16 pm

    Will the WaPo be offering badges to be worn with pride?

  3. HotScot permalink
    May 26, 2017 4:53 pm

    Congratulations Paul, international fame.

    Does that mean that, by proxy, I’m also an international celebrity your acknowledgement on one of your blogs. 🙂

    I’ll see you on the Oprah Winfrey show……..err, she’s quit? Letterman then……him too? Parky?……Noooooo……Not Parky as well!

    Who’s left?

  4. Tim Hammond permalink
    May 26, 2017 4:54 pm

    It is amusing but also infuriating, that a piece about fake news has as its central example something that is clearly fake.

    So either this reporter is simply a liar, or she cannot be bothered to find out whether her claims about fake news are in fact fake. Either way, that’s pretty awful.

  5. May 26, 2017 5:10 pm

    So to summarize, you are accused of “making an incendiary claim without evidence”, when actually you presented considerable evidence without claiming malfeasance. Clearly “fact-checking” is not about the facts but about the story.

    • RAH permalink
      May 27, 2017 1:10 am

      That is what the Washington Post is about after all. Even more now that Jeffery Bezos owns it. If your not aligned with their agenda you could walk on water and they would complain that your splashing too much.

  6. sean2829 permalink
    May 26, 2017 5:12 pm

    The WaPo ceased to be a newspaper several years back. They are the PR mouthpiece of the deep state and the party that supports it. No paper in the country adheres to the progressive narrative of the goodness of government quite as religiously as Jeff Bezo’s rag. As such they need to periodically publish articles on why anyone that doesn’t think like them could have gotten things so wrong. It would never occur to them to try and challenge their own assumptions.

    • May 26, 2017 6:36 pm

      Isn’t the WaPo the equivalent of the Grauniad, i.e. an an alarmist generator of fake news? Just like the BBC.

  7. May 26, 2017 5:18 pm

    O/T

    Oh it’s sunny so it’s a new era of solar power and renewables – let’s see how we go next week.

    Fools.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40058074

  8. May 26, 2017 5:29 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    Nearly there then 😁

  9. Pat permalink
    May 26, 2017 5:44 pm

    I love the ‘demonise” example.
    So everyone who uses the term ‘denier’ in the context of climate change is to be ignored.
    Plus of course everyone that claims oil companies are evil.

    • Stonyground permalink
      May 26, 2017 6:49 pm

      People who claim that oil companies are evil have a simple and obvious course of action right in front of them. All they need to do is stop using anything that is produced using petroleum based products and put the ba$tard$ out of business. It might involve dying of starvation or exposure while sitting naked in a field, but when you’re saving the planet it surely has to be worth it.

  10. Curious George permalink
    May 26, 2017 5:57 pm

    The alarmist trick is to wear you down. They manufacture nonsense at an industrial scale. It takes ten times longer to disprove a nonsense than to invent it.

  11. BLACK PEARL permalink
    May 26, 2017 6:02 pm

    Does this mean you’ve been awarded a climate change ASBO !

  12. May 26, 2017 6:21 pm

    Mere bloggers ..a low class species.
    But we have seen scientists thank “mere bloggers” for pointing out major errors that peer reviewers failed to pickup…Although they mostly hide instead.
    “Prof David Karaoke originally thanked Steve McIntyre for pointing out his errors”
    I’m sure we can find similar occasions where Anthony Watts and Paul Homewood have been acknowledged.

    • dennisambler permalink
      May 27, 2017 9:21 am

      “Prof David Karaoke originally thanked Steve McIntyre”

      He was singing his praises 🙂

  13. May 26, 2017 6:48 pm

    “Politicians’ most egregious misstatements, misrepresentations and manglings of scientific fact.”

    Here’s one. OBAMA: ” . . we also know that in a world that’s getting warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by it – more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires, and
    hurricanes . .”

    “He fact-checks and classifies these “alternative facts . . ”

    Really?

  14. May 26, 2017 7:08 pm

    Every propagandist calls their opponents liars, deniers etc. They’re frustrated when they don’t get away scot-free with their nonsense, so someone has to get blamed.

    It makes them and their deluded followers feel better.

  15. May 26, 2017 7:35 pm

    Is there a right of reply?

  16. May 26, 2017 7:44 pm

    Congratulations, Paul. You have having an impact. More WaPo spin.

  17. Athelstan permalink
    May 26, 2017 8:03 pm

    Only because you’re doing the right thing and spiting in the face of the [il]liberal tosserati!

    hip, hip hoo bloody rah!

    In a small way, hanging tight onto coattails……………………. I’m also pround as punch!

    It shows you, they are listening, even if the message “great scam = green crap” hasn’t been hammered and driven home, quite yet.

  18. May 26, 2017 9:31 pm

    ‘How to spot a misrepresentation about climate change’

    If it says ‘Washington Post’ at the top…

  19. Dung permalink
    May 26, 2017 10:01 pm

    Please sir, how do I get into the WaPo’s hall of fame????

  20. Graeme No.3 permalink
    May 27, 2017 12:34 am

    Your line “The idea that you have to be a paid up climate scientist to read a thermometer is pure conceit and arrogance.”
    May I point out that most climate ‘scientists’ are only that by claiming to be one. The vast majority, including the most vocal hangers-on, seem to have qualified in Geography. I doubt that many actually read a thermometer and rely on figures from someone else, which they manipulate to their desired result. [I make no comment on the ‘statistics’ employed.]

    Reading an old time thermometer required some training but life is easier with digital meters throwing out figures every few seconds. Just never check that the meter is accurate if the figures are what you want. Modern results are treated as ‘supremely accurate’ because they come from a machine so older results generated by a trained technician or scientist, using careful technique, are discarded as inaccurate and only fit to be adjusted to match the belief that CO2 is causing warming.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      May 27, 2017 12:35 am

      P.S. Congratulations on your fame. Are you now able to refer to yourself as a Master PO?

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        May 27, 2017 12:48 am

        Oops, sorry. I was distracted. Should read Master of the Washington PO.
        As distinct from other similar recepticals.

  21. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 27, 2017 12:44 am

    See: Sean2829 @ 5:12
    Note the term deep state.

    In the Friday May 26 edition of the Wall Street Journal, in the column called Potomac Watch by Kimberley A. Strassel [p. A15], she writes of “Anatomy of a Deep State.”
    This is about an EPA employee (once of the Union of Concerned Scientists) named Francesca Grifo being the EPA’s Science Integrity Official.
    Grifo has invited 45 people, mostly left-anti-Trump and science morons (my word choice) to WASH D C to plot ways of undermining the new administration.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      May 27, 2017 12:52 am

      It is about time some of these government employees were charged with ‘attempting to overthrow the legimate government of the United States’.

      • RAH permalink
        May 27, 2017 1:12 am

        That’s called Treason and is a very difficult thing to prove under the Constitution.

  22. gallopingcamel permalink
    May 27, 2017 5:31 am

    In 2010 I used the NOAA v2 data set to study “Global Warming” at high latitudes:
    https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/dorothy-behind-the-curtain-part-1/
    https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/dorothy-behind-the-curtain-part-2/

    In the course of writing the above posts I met with Tom Peterson who gave me a copy of the NOAA v3 data, I noticed the “adjustments” of past data but failed to get any kind of explanation from Tom Peterson.

    Before I could make progress on this puzzle you and Tony Heller took an interest. Thanks for doing a great job and thereby enabling me to play more golf.

    • bea permalink
      May 27, 2017 7:40 am

      The great Oliver Heaviside (after whom the layer in the atmosphere is named) was an iconoclast electrician and inventor (for example, of the coaxial cable) whose formal education ended at sixteen; but he became a member of the Royal Society. When told that people were saying that he “was a disgrace to the Society” he merely replied “delighted to hear it.”

      • Athelstan permalink
        May 27, 2017 9:44 am

        Bombast, rampant patronizing, hauteur and rank pulling in academia, skullduggery – unrivalled, anywhere.

        Gone are the days………….? what ever happened to humility, getting on with your work, in your own field – publishing your results and welcoming all and any criticism and was Charles Darwin the greatest ever plagiarist, you see there is nothing new – under the sun.

      • bea permalink
        May 27, 2017 11:40 am

        “…accountant…”

        “Have you ever ‘done a shoebox’?” is a useful question to test the mettle of someone. Failing that, “Have you ever finished a practical task?” works.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        May 27, 2017 1:10 pm

        Lovely response, I never think of these in time!

  23. AndyG55 permalink
    May 27, 2017 11:01 am

    No doubt about it Paul..

    You have been a very naughty little boy. 🙂

  24. tom0mason permalink
    May 27, 2017 7:49 pm

    Well done Paul!

    Probably meteorologist Dr Martin Hertzberg and analytical chemist Hans Schreuder will join the list as they have now publish a paper looking at CO2 effects on climate.(available at http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Role_of_CO2-EaE.pdf)

    The data they examined includes:

    (a) Vostok (Antarctica) ice-core measurements;

    (b) rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere;

    (c) temperature changes that precede CO2 changes;

    (d) global temperature trends;

    (e) satellite data;

    (f) effect of solar activity.

    These two highly qualified scientists found that:

    “Nothing in the data supports the supposition that atmospheric CO2 is a driver of weather or climate, or that human emissions control atmospheric CO2.”

    Any changes in CO2 levels are “overwhelmingly natural.”

    Looking at the relationship between CO2 and climate over the past 400,000 years, the data indicate that human-caused CO2 emissions had no influence on the Earth’s temperature.

    • gallopingcamel permalink
      May 29, 2017 5:08 am

      In my amateur way I came to the same conclusions using EPICA data:
      https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-dog-that-did-not-bark/

      • tom0mason permalink
        May 29, 2017 3:42 pm

        @gallopingcamel

        Thanks for the link, very interesting. I enjoyed the comments especially the sparring with that internet irritant DAppell.
        Your comment …

        Here is how I see it. On the one hand we have the Arrhenius theory that fails on all time scales except (maybe) 1850 to 1998.

        On the other hand we have Nir Shaviv with a theory that fits observations on many timescales but does not look good over the last 60 years.

        … says so much!

  25. John Ellyssen permalink
    May 28, 2017 1:17 am

    Awesome. They see you correctly as a threat to their money making agenda.

  26. Bloke down the pub permalink
    May 28, 2017 8:18 am

    Hopefully this Wapo piece will lead to more viewers seeking out your website Paul and the Streisand effect takes hold. I’m glad you found the link useful. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/about/#comment-93395

  27. May 29, 2017 12:19 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: