David Bellamy's glacier growing myth finally put to rest

Mon, 2008-07-28 12:45Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

David Bellamy's glacier growing myth finally put to rest

This story has history. In 2005, a former UK environmentalist named David Bellamy had a letter published in New Scientist magazine claiming that:

Indeed, if you take all the evidence that is rarely mentioned by the Kyotoists into consideration, 555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, have been growing since 1980.”

Guardian columnist George Monbiot tracked down the origins of Bellamy's claim after the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich told Monbiot that “This is complete bullshit.”

Monbiot traced Bellamy's fantasy of growing glaciers back to a site maintained by climate misinformation specialist Fred S. Singer and his pollution-industry-friendly organization Science and Environmental Policy Project. The SEPP commentary stated:

And indeed there is some evidence of that. The World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, in a paper published in Science in 1989, noted that between 1926 and 1960 more than 70 percent of 625 mountain glaciers in the [mid-latitude] United States, Soviet Union, Iceland, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy were retreating. After 1980, however, 55 percent of these same glaciers were advancing. (my emphasis)

So what of this 1989 paper in Science? Tim Lambert reports that:

” …the source was a paper published in Arctic and Alpine Research, not Science. And it was published in 1988, not 1989. And it wasn't written by The World Glacier Monitoring Service but by Fred Wood of the OTA. And it didn't say that 55% of 625 glaciers were advancing, but that 55% of 446 glaciers were advancing. And it wasn't since 1980 it was from 1979 to 1980. So the only thing that SEPP/Singer got right about the article was the 55% number. And that was the bit that Bellamy turned into 555. So as well as Bellamy's statement being wrong overall (the vast majority of observed mountain glaciers are actually retreating), every single part of it was wrong.”

“Complete bullshit” seems to be a bit of an understatement at this point considering how far this totally incorrect claim traveled around the internet. Even today, some version of the glacier myth seems to be in circulation - making this an outrageous success for the disinformation specialists and another explanation of why people are still confused about the reality of climate change.



For more on the who's who of the climate denial industry, check out our comprehensive climate deniers research database.

 

Comments

This to me is yet another fable about confirmation bias, as well as more lost time for the green shift.

That would be “Green Shaft”

BTW: What in hell does glaciers melting have to do with AGW?

Natural GW causes the same thing. IE Driven by PDO shift and Solar variance.
It means and proves absolutely nothing.
Why is it even brought up?

Yeah of course, Bellamy’s talking point is definitive proof that AGW isn’t real…

…until it gets debunked, then the inactivists tell us it suddenly means nothing!

But I’m sure this sort of `logic’ is perfectly OK, because there’s always the invincible mantra: The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… Om… Om… Om…

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

I would never accuse the Alarmists of being just as bad.
Far Far worse is more accurate.
Look over the spinning of all the records that show cooling. The alarmists have tried to blame each and every one on some sort of instrument failure or “unforseen” effect of AGW.
Bottom line is, for AGW Alarmists everything is caused by Global Warming no matter what it is.

Check it out: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

Look, here’s more proof that AGW is a scam! Except until the “proof” is itself debunked! Then it’s the alarmists’ fault for getting obsessed over it anyway!

The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… Om… Om… Om…

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

[x]

Problems caused by climate change are likely already dangerous and global warming may be irreversible, according to a draft science report by a United Nations committee.

The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) report, leaked earlier this week to a number of major media organizations, said continued greenhouse gas emissions caused primarily by burning oil, coal and natural gas will probably increase the likelihood of  “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

The New York Times...

read more