Climate science cranks: Wrong in small things, wrong in all things?

January 23, 2011

Earlier we discussed the political jabs lacking scientific merit at the blogs that have sprung up to harry and heckle climate scientists, especially a relatively new one called, inaptly, “haunting the library.”

The author and commenters have taken to calling Dr. James Hansen “Beijing Jim,” thinking it a cleverly insulting nickname.

What?

James Hansen, at Americans Who Tell the Truth.org

Portrait of James Hansen for James Hansen, at Americans Who Tell the Truth.org

I almost regret asking.  Why “Beijing Jim?”

They started it when Hansen wrote an opposite-editorial page piece for the South China Post, urging China to act against global warming anyway, despite the U.S.’s failure to take aggressive-enough action yet.

haunting the library tries to spin the piece as Hansen moving over to China’s side in all issues, a position they seem to think is somehow unpatriotic (and therefore, insulting to Hansen).

Actually, in the article, Hansen doesn’t let China off the hook at all.  It’s a patient, well-aimed call to China to do the right things.  Only by misreporting and misrepresenting what Hansen said can climate science cranks spin it.

James Hansen takes the honorable high road, calling on the world’s most-polluting nations to take action now to save our children’s and grandchildren’s future.  haunting the library issues schoolyard, childish and churlish taunts.

Oh, but Dear Reader, you’re already guessing at the particular intellectual clumsiness I’m getting to, aren’t you?  It’s about that taunting name, “Beijing Jim.”  It’s unfair and undeserved because Hansen represented America well, and honorably.  “Free Enterprise Jim” would be closer to the facts.

It’s also geographically wrong.  South China Morning Post is a Hong Kong newspaper, not Beijing.  Hong Kong is the Chinese outpost of rampant free enterprise, as you know and the rest of the world knows.  Hong Kong is not Beijing.

The climate science cranks at haunting the library don’t know climate science, don’t know newspaper publishing, and flail at geography, too. They’re cranky, too.  Cranky cranks.  Poetic, almost.

More:

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January 24, 2011:  Others are watching, too.  Tim Lambert at Deltoid makes gentle correction of an Andrew Bolt column relying on misinformation from hauntingthelibrary.  Good discussion there.


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