There’s a small community of bloggers and activists who spent the weekend scratching their collective heads in hopes of figuring out what was behind a story that came out of a little place called Beeville, Texas. Last week word came from a local paper than a fourth-grader had won a “National Science Fair” prize by “Disproving Global Warming.”
The story immediately drew skeptical analysis, as there hasn’t been a “National Science Fair” for some time. More curious was the notion that a fourth-grader could manage to do what thousands of climatologists who make their living trying to find holes in each other’s research couldn’t.
Well, thanks to the diligence of “In it for the Gold’ blogger Michael Tobis, we are starting to get an idea what happened. As suspected the notion that Earth is not warming did not beat out “50,000 other projects submitted by students from all over the U.S.”
Believe it or not, it looks like someone faked a National Science Foundation letter, plaque, medal and trophy and sent them to the young student’s family, who then alerted the principal at their daughter’s school. The principal called the Beeville Bee-Picayune (yes, that’s the paper’s name), which assigned a rookie reporter to cover the news.
With the imprimatur of a genuine news organization behind the story, a long list of climate change denial bloggers propagated the news, with almost no doubts being expressed whatsoever, despite the red flags. Marc Morano of Climate Depot, Tom Nelson, the American Spectator, climatechangefraud, globalwarminghoax are among the more familiar names to be taken in. I’ve come across just one anti-AGW blogger, at NCTimes, who expressed some reservations.
At this point, it’s still unknown who’s behind what can best described as a cynical and cruel hoax, but we do know the NSF has confirmed the material sent to the family was fraudulent. A motivation confounds me. There is no way this hoax could not have been exposed for what it was. Michael Tobis went beyond the call of duty to suss out the facts, but they would have come out eventually. All that was accomplished was much embarrassment — the student, her family, the principal, the Bee-Picayune and it’s reporter and the climate change denialist community can only hope the whole thing is quickly forgotten.