This week Richard Wilson‘s book Don’t Get Fooled Again is published. It contains a fascinating chapter on Booker’s claims about white asbestos. Since 2002, he has published 38 articles on this topic, and every one of them is wrong. He champions the work of John Bridle, who has described himself as “the world’s foremost authority on asbestos science”. Bridle has claimed to possess an honorary professorship from the Russian Academy of Sciences, to be a consultant to an institute at the University of Glamorgan, the chief asbestos consultant for an asbestos centre in Lisbon, and a consultant to Vale of Glamorgan trading standards department. None of these claims is true. Neither the institute at the University of Glamorgan nor the centre in Lisbon have ever existed. His only relationship with the Glamorgan trading standards department is to have been successfully prosecuted by it for claiming a qualification he does not possess. …
It is hard to think of any journalist – Melanie Phillips included – who has spread more misinformation.
There is some more commentary on Booker’s false claims about NASA and October temperatures by John Matson at the Scientific American:
The fact remains that October was significant for its high temperatures relative to the historical record. In other words, the example that climate skeptics seized upon to poke holes in the evidence of climate change served only to confirm that the world is warming because of humans’ actions.
And this opinion piece by Lorne Gunter is amusing:
There had been no reports of autumn heat waves in the international press and there is almost always blanket coverage of any unusually warm weather since it fits into the widespread media bias that climate catastrophe lies just ahead. In fact, quite the opposite had occurred; there had been plenty of stories about unseasonably cool weather. …
So the GISS claim that October was the warmest ever seemed counterintuitive, to say the least. …
October wasn’t the warmest October ever, it was only the 70th warmest in the past 114 years – in the bottom half of all Octobers, not at the top of the list. So why the massive discrepancy between the published GISS numbers and the correct ones?
In fact it was the fifth warmest not the 70th. GISS was out by 4 places, Gunter was out by 65 places. GISS did not make any announcement or draw any conclusions from the October figures, Gunter made a huge fuss about how it exposes “unscientific bias at GISS and elsewhere in the global-warming community”.
Gunter described the GISS correction like this:
Um, some guy – not at Goddard, a GISS spokesman was quick to point out as he toed the ground and gazed downward sheepishly – had supplied the NASA branch with September figures for much of the globe, rather than October ones.
Gunter eventually added a correction at the end of his column, presumably while gazing down sheepishly.