Science and the fight against mainstream media bias

I came across this piece of journalism today by the now deceased journalist Warren T Brookes, describing the hysteria and hype behing ‘global warming’, directly attacking politician Al Gore and climate scientist James Hansen (click through for a higher resolution).

So what’s so surprising about this particular piece of journalism? Believe it or not, this was written and published back in 1989. For a little perspective, here’s a graph from Wood for Trees showing temperature anomaly data from 1850 – 2010…

… and the green line is the linear trend since the the newspaper piece was published (1989 – 2010). Vindication for Gore and Hansen? In retrospect yes,  but by which time, the damage is already done. In decades following 1989, the media have done a great job in slurring climate change science. The solution?  Andrew Weaver (from the University of Victoria in Canada) is suing the National Post newspaper for defamation following a series of accusatory articles:

University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis, launched a lawsuit today in BC Supreme Court against three writers at the National Post (and the newspaper as a whole), over a series of unjustified libels based on grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet.

In a statement released at the same time the suit was filed, Dr. Weaver said, “I asked The National Post to do the right thing – to retract a number of recent articles that attributed to me statements I never made, accused me of things I never did, and attacked me for views I never held. To my absolute astonishment, the newspaper refused.”

Dr. Weaver’s statement of claim not only asks for a Court injunction requiring The National Post to remove all of the false allegations from its Internet websites, but also seeks an unprecedented Court order requiring the newspaper to assist Dr. Weaver in removing the defamatory National Post articles from the many other Internet sites where they have been re-posted.

“If I sit back and do nothing to clear my name, these libels will stay on the Internet forever. They’ll poison the factual record, misleading people who are looking for reliable scientific information about global warming,” said Weaver.

The suit names Financial Post Editor Terence Corcoran, columnist Peter Foster, reporter Kevin Libin and National Post publisher Gordon Fisher, as well as several still-unidentified editors and copy editors. It seeks general, aggravated damages, special and exemplary damages and legal costs in relation to articles by Foster on December 9, 2009 (“Weaver’s Web”), Corcoran on December 10, 2009 (“Weaver’s Web II”) and January 27, 2010 (“Climate Agency going up in flames”), and Libin on February 2, 2010 (“So much for pure science”).

Hat tip to Deltoid. Will be watching this one closely…

4 thoughts on “Science and the fight against mainstream media bias

  1. hello , hello, hello…here’s something to help fix the echo in this little chamber:interview with Prof Judith Curry.

    Judith states:
    Corruptions to the IPCC process that I have seen discussed include:
    • lead/contributing authors assessing their own work – (e.g. von Storch criticism in 2005), in some cases resulting in an overemphasis on their own papers written by themselves and their collaborators;
    • tailoring graphics and not adequately describing uncertainties ostensibly to simplify and not to “dilute the message” that IPCC wanted to send;
    • violations of publication (in press) deadlines for inclusions of papers in the IPCC report;
    • inadequacies in the review process whereby lead/contributing authors don’t respond fairly to adverse criticism; this inadequacy arises in part to the authors themselves having ultimate authority and in part to cursory performance by the Review Editors;
    • evasiveness and unresponsiveness by the IPCC regarding efforts to investigate alleged violations occurring in the review process;
    • IPCC Review Editors and authors using the IPCC to avoid accountability under national FOI legislation.

    Any comments? Ove, JB?

  2. The idea that the IPCC with a small group of authors that have shoddy practice or an agenda that isn’t to find the truth about climate change, is simply not true. The process is there for everyone to see on the IPCC web site – in all its anally retentive glory. There is no similar rigorous process anywhere that goes so meticulously through the science of climate change and assembles the consensus.

    No process is perfect but the IPCC comes very close. the fact that there are only two errors in over 3000 pages of text is simply remarkable and is testimony to how good the process is. If only the denialist side could point to a better process. They can’t, and they haven’t.

    The recent suggestions that we should have a Wikipedia like process are absolutely laughable. Just imagine, a whole bunch of non-experts with agendas coming up with a consensus driven by gut feelings, baksheesh, and special-interest. That would be a frightening world with fraudulent people like Bob Carter as king! At that point, I would be trying to get a seat on the Obama’s rocket to Mars!

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