Following on a tradition started by Peter Gleick, this is an attempt to review the most misleading climate stories of 2012. As suggested by Eli, we will rename this from the “Bad Science” (or “BS”) award to the “Golden Horseshoe Award”.
Here we are following in the footsteps of Gavin Schmidt, who recalls this snippet describing a bar called the Golden Horseshoe, from a novel of that name by Dashiell Hammett:
I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar:
‘Only genuine pre-war British and American whiskeys served here’
I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more …”
I’ve already collected some nominations in email exchanges, some of them suggested by Peter. The last couple of weeks, alas, have seen a burst of denial activity in quasi-response to the IPCC leak. Possibly more than one credible nominee will emerge from those events. But we’re also interested in similar events from earlier in the year.
While a certain amount of snark is surely called for, we aren’t necessarily looking for the silliest blunders passed of as wisdom on climate denier sites. The point is really to identify places where the malign spin has not been corrected well enough, and to try to dislodge the misinformation from the public discourse. In short, we want:
* An objectively wrong and obviously misleading spin on a substantive matter involving climate
* Picked up credulously by the mass media
* Insufficiently corrected in the mass media
Here’s some of the items suggested. Not all of them fit the mold exactly.
The NIPCC website
James Taylor at Forbes
Heartland in general
Watts in general, and his post showing “best sites are worst”.
CATO in general
Harrassment of climate scientists by American Tradition Institute.
The infamous National Assessment “addendum”
To be fair, there is one genuine piece of over-the-top alarmism that the press nibbled at: the DARA report claiming a mortality of 30 million from climate change by 2030, most of which are attributable to old-fashioned air pollution, not to climate or CO2.
Have we missed any? Let us know.
We’ll announce the winners in the first week of 2013. Meanwhile we welcome additional nominees.