Science uses a tough system to correct errors and prevent frauds. Peer-review makes it difficult to get a paper into a journal, period, let alone one with hoaxed-up data or conclusions. Still, out of the tens of thousands of serious science papers published each year, a few sneak through that shouldn’t, sometimes due to researcher error, sometimes due mix-ups in peer review, sometimes — rarely — due to outright fraud.
In the past 15 months political action to fight global warming took huge hits around December 2009 when a few thousand e-mails were hacked from computers at the Hadley Climate Research Unit in England, one of the leading groups in climate research that indicates a warming Earth. Critics of Hadley made great hay about how the alleged wrong-doing in the e-mails meant that all climate research was wrong, or at least questionable.
None of the top retractions had anything to do with climate research. One of the most under-reported stories of 2010 was that the claims of error and fraud by climate scientists were, themselves, hoaxes. Looking at the list of top retractions, unless you were really looking for the climate papers, you might never notice.
Most of the retractions were in medicine and health. Several were in cancer research. False science in climate studies does not appear to be a major problem, measured by retractions.
Those who accuse climate scientists falsely don’t really have anything to retract in a formal sense. They did no science work that was published.
When do people wake up and realize that global warming is a real problem, and we shouldn’t be fooled by political smears of the scientists who discover the data?
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
Somebody stole hundreds of e-mails from one of the climate research clusters in England, and the anti-action activists claimed that the messages would reveal wrong-doing on the part of scientists, perhaps even criminal action. Instead, five separate investigations discovered no wrong-doing on the parts of scientists, but a lot of hard work gone for too little action because of the anti-science shenanigans of the anti-action crew. The science showing global warming remains untouched, with no significant body of research showing contrary.
So, the anti-action activists are sore. They don’t take criticism well, and they especially don’t like anyone who points out their errors.
Sadly, they didn’t learn from the their past hoaxes. So if even a lowly high school teacher should point out an error of history, they resort to making false claims and censorship against the teacher. They have no data to back their case, nothing but invective to rebut with.
The movement against the science of global warming is rotten to its core. (Seriously — most sites would be happy to note the pingback from this blog; the blogger had to act to block the pingback from showing up. What are they so afraid of?)
Legend says that Galileo, backing out of the audience with the Pope in which he was put under house arrest after having “recanted” any claim that the Earth orbits the Sun, said quietly, “Still, it moves.” Even the Pope’s powers through the Inquisition could not stop the Earth orbiting the Sun. No matter how powerful the denial propaganda machines, no matter how many anti-science bloggers they recruit, the Earth keeps on stubbornly warming up.
hauntingthelibrary resorted to a variation of the “Al Gore is Fat” fallacy, claiming that a turn for the better in the pestilence of bark beetles, in a small area of British Columbia, means that Gore was wrong when he properly cited the two-decades of damage from the insects as evidence of the sorts of problems global warming can cause. In short, bark beetle infestations devastate forests; cold winters have traditionally limited bark beetle populations and damage; winters with too few days below freezing allowed and maybe encouraged an explosion in the bark beetle populations, and enabled their spread across North America to previously untouched forests, where they destroy vast tracts of forest. In British Columbia, the beetles appear to have eaten all the thick-barked pine trees, and so they are dying because the thin-barked, younger pine trees they must now infest do not protect them as well from the cold, though the cold isn’t as cold as it used to be. It’s a minor victory for trees and humanity against the bark beetle infestation. hauntingthelibrary claims this minor victory means Gore predicted erroneously. Of course, Gore’s prediction was made over a decade ago, and he’s been more than right for the past ten years — a one year contrary data point is not a trend. Check it out for yourself, though — don’t take my word, unverified.
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Teacher of law, economics, history, AP government, psychology and science. Former speechwriter, press guy and legislative aide in U.S. Senate. Former Department of Education. My blog, Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, is a continuing experiment to test how to use blogs to improve and speed up learning processes for students, perhaps by making some of the courses actually interesting. It is a blog for teachers, to see if we can use blogs. It is for people interested in social studies and social studies education, to see if we can learn to get it right. It's a blog for science fans, to promote good science and good science policy. It's a blog for people interested in good government and how to achieve it.
BS in Mass Communication, University of Utah
Graduate study in Rhetoric and Speech Communication, University of Arizona
JD from the National Law Center, George Washington University