In Fumento’s latest article he accuses the leading science journals of delivering “Political Science”. His examples are a mixture of genuine problems discovered by others (like the Korean stem cell fraud) and bogus problems “discovered” by Fumento. Like this:
Fast forward to September 2005, right after Hurricane Katrina. Activists — including those in white lab coats — saw a grand opportunity to tie the exceptionally violent hurricane season to global warming. A study in Science declared, “A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5.”
But again, the researchers simply cut off their data at 1970, although public statistics go back to 1850. As with the gender ratio study, using the full data set would have reversed the conclusion. Why did the editors and peer-reviewers at both JAMA and Science not insist on use of the full data set? Because slicing off inconvenient data is a time-honored tool of advocacy science — precisely what these and other “scientific” journals now promote.
Fortunately Fumento provided links so anyone can see how he screwed up. The study in Science examined all the hurricanes in the entire world, while the data that goes back to 1850 is just for hurricanes that strike the US, which comprise a tiny fraction of hurricanes in the world. Did the researchers cut off their data at 1970? Here’s what they said:
we conducted a comprehensive
analysis of global tropical cyclone
statistics for the satellite era (1970-2004).
So they used all the available satellite data. If you just look at the hurricanes striking the US mainland, it doesn’t matter whether you start at 1970 or not — the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes striking the US mainland has not increased since 1970.
But that’s not the best bit of Fumento’s column. Who can ever get tired of seeing Fumento step on a rake? Observe:
Some journal editors are completely unabashed about their chicanery. In 2004 The Lancet released ahead of publication and right before the 2004 U.S. presidential election an outrageous report claiming 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed since the U.S. invasion. Yet other calculations showed a range of 15,000-24,000 — and even bin Laden claimed just “over 15,000.”
His link goes to one of Fumento’s innumerate critiques of the Lancet study which I dealt with here. As for the rest, Fumento does not seem to realize that the “other calculations” were measuring a different subset of deaths over a different time frame.
The moral of the story is that the leading scientific journals have been taken over by liberals who value politics over truth. So any time you see a news report on a “scientific” journal article that ostensibly has political implications, you should greet it with skepticism.
No, the moral is that every time you see an article by Fumento, you should greet it with skepticism. And optionally with some derisive laughter.