Why Climate Gate is bogus and based on lies

Writing for the UK’s Gaurdian news today, Fred Pearce has a very in-depth analysis of how the ‘climategate’ scandal is bogus and based on climate sceptics’ lies.

Pearce explains that,

“Almost all the media and political discussion about the hacked climate emails has been based on brief soundbites publicised by professional sceptics and their blogs. In many cases, these have been taken out of context and twisted to mean something they were never intended to.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. The so-called ‘climategate’ has been hyped by an over-the-top right-wing press and an over-excited gang of bloggers who use everything other than actual scientific research to prove their point.


Jones’ remark about “redefining peer-review” was clearly venting on his part. He was expressing frustration over the fact that several garbage papers somehow made it through the peer-review process and were being touted by deniers as overturning global-warming.

I’ve read a couple of the papers that prompted Jones’ outburst, and the real scandal isn’t Jones’ venting; it’s that those papers were published in the first place.

In particular, the infamous Soon/Baliunas 2003 paper contains blunders that would get a college freshman flunked out of introductory Earth science or statistics. It’s really *that* bad. It is so bad, in fact, that several editors of the journal in which it was published resigned in protest. (Other “contrarian” papers aren’t much better).

But don’t take my word for it. Download the paper (Google is your friend here) and read it yourselves. If you have a common-sense level of understanding of basic statistics and Earth-science, you should be able to identify a couple of major problems with Soon/Baliunas’ methodology. If you can’t, then you are in no position to argue about the science of global-warming.

Unfortunately, “brief soundbites” is how the media operates these days, and the public eats it up. Very few journalist bother to check sources and make sense of what the read or hear. Even fewer bother to read scientific reports. I remember back in the 1980’s how political elections in the US were all about which candidate had the better “sound bite.” Now science is treated that way. It’s a travesty.