Eli Rabbett coined the usage “to Rasool”, to refer to the practice of attributing papers to just one of the authors in order to target the only author mentioned:
A very famous paper by S. Ichtiaque Rasool and Steven Schneider in the early 70s modeled the effects of aerosols on global temperature. For years it has been used by denialists to attack Schneider and by claiming that global cooling was predicted in the 70s to attack the fact that global temperatures are warming rapidly. As part of their strategy, Rasool often disappears, much as has happened with Michael Mann, whose first papers on multiproxy modeling were co-authored by Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. Mann was out front on the issue, Bradley and Hughes have been Rasooled.
I think a new word needs to be coined to describe what the Investor’s Business Daily editorial staff did with Rasool and Schneider:
Did NASA scientist James Hansen, the global warming alarmist in chief, once believe we were headed for . . . an ice age? An old Washington Post story indicates he did.
No it doesn’t. Rasool and Schneider didn’t predict another ice age, but more importantly, Hansen was not one of the authors of their paper. What twisted logic does the IBD use to claim that Hansen said we were headed for an ice age?
Aiding Rasool’s research, the Post reported, was a “computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen,” who was, according to his resume, a Columbia University research associate at the time. …
Hansen has some explaining to do. The public deserves to know how he was converted from an apparent believer in a coming ice age who had no worries about greenhouse gas emissions to a global warming fear monger.
Apparently the IBD thinks that if someone uses a program you wrote as a tool in their analysis you must agree with their conclusions. By their logic, if I borrow a pen from you, you must agree with everything I write with your pen. The public deserves to know how people this stupid get hired to write editorials.
The IBD continues:
People can change their positions based on new information or by taking a closer or more open-minded look at what is already known. There’s nothing wrong with a reversal or modification of views as long as it is arrived at honestly.
Well, that’s what Schneider did (from Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming”):
Rasool and Schneider also believed the greenhouse effect would not counteract the cooling, since according to their model, adding even a large amount of CO2 would bring little warming. The dip caused by aerosols, they exclaimed, “could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!” In fact their equations and data were rudimentary, and scientists soon noticed crippling flaws (as did Schneider himself, see below).
And again, Rasool and Schneider’s paper does not present Hansen’s position.
The IBD lumbers on:
But what about political hypocrisy? It’s clear that Hansen is as much a political animal as he is a scientist. Did he switch from one approaching cataclysm to another because he thought it would be easier to sell to the public? Was it a career advancement move or an honest change of heart on science, based on empirical evidence?
There is no evidence that Hansen switched positions, because Rasool is not Hansen and Schneider isn’t Hansen either.
If Hansen wants to change positions again, the time is now. With NASA having recently revised historical temperature data that Hansen himself compiled, the door has been opened for him to embrace the ice age projections of the early 1970s.
The revision made not visible difference to the temperature graphs (see here), which still show global warming. A strong global warming trend does not seem to me to lead to a projection of an ice age. But apparently it does if you write for the IBD.
Now, at this point, some of you might be thinking: “Tim, why did you waste your time debunking something so obviously stupid?”. Well, Matt Drudge linked the piece so the usual denialists are yammering away, for instance, Tim Blair, Lubos Motl and one of the junior Aces. The last one features this clueless comment:
Hansen is now in competition with Stephen Schneider for the title of “World’s Biggest Climate-Change Addict.” See: http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm
But Schneider is a true champion. Back in the 1970s, he co-authored a paper (with the same Rasool) that pooh-poohed the idea that carbon dioxide could cause enough warming to cancel out aerosol cooling.
Yes, he thinks that Rasool and Schneider is a different paper.
Expect bogus “Hansen predicted an ice age” claims to start appearing in right-wing pundits op-eds this week.