More on Booker

It seems that Christopher Booker as well as being a global warming denier, is also an asbestos-is-harmful denier. George Monbiot has the story (links added by me):

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.

That’s harsh.

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 Coby Beck has addressed it as part of How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

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.

Comments

  1. #1 bi -- IJI
    November 20, 2008

    > as he toed the ground and gazed downward sheepishly

    But if skeptics are being ruthlessly suppressed by the Warmists (like Galileo was by the Inquisition), then how could this even have happened?

  2. #2 Alex
    November 20, 2008

    Monckton’s pretend Nobel. Booker’s pretend prof. There’s a lot of walting going on around these people, no?

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    November 20, 2008
  4. #4 bi -- IJI
    November 20, 2008

    > Monckton’s pretend Nobel. Booker’s pretend prof.

    Of course the awards are real, and we’re merely seeing the effects of a huge worldwide leftist cover-up. The Lisbon asbestos centre was probably overtaken by Che Guevara’s men and converted into a Muslim mosque for Basque separatists or something.

  5. #5 ben
    November 20, 2008

    like Galileo was by the Inquisition…

    From my sister, who possesses a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Texas:

    It is important to understand that there was as much objection to the Copernican model from secular scientists as from the Church. Perhaps more. (For instance, it was a secular rival who reported Galileo to the Inquisition, illustrating that scientific enterprise has always been a little cut-throat.) The objections of the Church were only partially founded on Christian doctrine, which was based at that time on interpretation of Scripture that was consistent with the Aristotelian school of thought. There is, in fact, nothing in Scripture that dictates an Earth-centered system.

  6. #6 Bobclip
    November 20, 2008

    Over the last about 2 years, I have written must be a dozen letters to the DT trying to point out the downright dishonesty of Booker’s Climate reporting. They did publish one about a year ago – it was not my best but I suppose I must be thankful for small mercies.

    I can accept widely varying opinions on ‘political’ subjects but not where clear logic and science are involved.

    If it wasn’t so serious, I’d be chanting something like :-
    “”"”We’ve (UK) got better crackpot deniers than you “”"”
    (Booker, Monckton, Lawson, Phillips, Bellamy …..

    Booker, you have to realise, is a writer & journalist and they see money in controversy.

    I read both sides of his spat with Monbiot and it was a knockout win for ‘Moonbat’ as Booker calls him (does that tell you something also?)

    Good on yer for continually exposing these liars.

  7. #7 Marion Delgado
    November 20, 2008

    I have a prestigious advanced BSC in SC AND a platinum Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine in Physics and Economics pin, as well as being a certified fellow of the zero-point zontek cold fusion institute for natural gold-based firearms therapy and climate space physics.

    And I say the above is sound science! Sound as a pound!

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    November 20, 2008

    There is some more commentary on Booker’s false claims about NASA and October temperatures

    I guess the denialist mindset is that one month’s temperature means a lot because the unusually low temperature in January 2008 meant a lot to them. To denialists, that single month meant that global warming had come to an end.

  9. #9 Chris O'Neill
    November 20, 2008
    It is important to understand that there was as much objection to the Copernican model from secular scientists as from the Church. Perhaps more.

    So Galileo’s persecution by the Church was really the fault of those evil secular scientists.

    Let’s all thank ben for bringing us this exercise in blame-shifting.

  10. #10 Robert
    November 20, 2008

    Chris O’Neill wrote:

    So Galileo’s persecution by the Church was really the fault of those evil secular scientists. Let’s all thank ben for bringing us this exercise in blame-shifting.

    By “secular” he simply meant “not the Pope.”

  11. #11 Bernard J.
    November 20, 2008

    Ben.

    Heliocentricity deniers.

    Round Earth deniers.

    AGW denierss.

    See a pattern?

  12. #12 bi -- IJI
    November 20, 2008

    But, but… if it’s the secular scientists’ fault, then won’t the inactivist mythos of the brave Galileo-like skeptics standing up against the Inquisitional Warmist Church be, therefore, totally wrong? So how does everything even begin to hang together?

    Or is it the secular scientists’ fault except when it’s not?

    (Or maybe that’s just my Aristotlean straitjacket talking. We need to subvert Aristotle, subvert consistency.)

  13. #13 bi -- IJI
    November 20, 2008

    Oh no, I think I just accidentally oppressed someone.

  14. #14 Chris O'Neill
    November 21, 2008

    Robert:

    By “secular” he simply meant “not the Pope.”

    I know secular means not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body so what is your point?

  15. #15 Robert
    November 21, 2008

    Chris O’Neill asked:

    so what is your point?

    [Just trying to be helpful](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/11/open_thread_15.php#comment-1216854).

  16. #16 bi -- IJI
    November 21, 2008

    Chris O’Neill: this?

  17. #17 jodyaberdein
    November 22, 2008

    Marion, unfortunately I don’t think the pound is proving to be all that sound at the moment.

  18. #18 TrueSceptic
    November 23, 2008

    5 Ben,

    Your sister’s interpretation of the Bible is not what many people would agree with.

    Genesis Chapter 1

    1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
    5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
    6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
    8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
    9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
    10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
    11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
    15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
    16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
    17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

    Joshua Chapter 10

    12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
    13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

    None of the above make any sense other than from a geocentric viewpoint (if they make any sense, of course!).

  19. #19 z
    November 23, 2008

    The Bible is nothing if not geocentric. That’s part of my current pet peeve with it (not that i’m a big Bible-basher). But not the faintest hint of a suggestion that just maybe those zillions of stars frequently referred to are each suns like ours, with the possibility of planets, and likely other worlds, maybe even other creatures with souls…. that’s a big thing to forget to mention. On the other hand, think of how impressive a veiled reference to that would have been in impressing people with the Divine Truth of scripture when it got confirmed by science thousands of years later.

  20. #20 Barton Paul Levenson
    November 24, 2008

    TrueSkeptic,

    The Genesis narrative makes plenty of sense. The writer* was adapting the best science of the day, the Babylonian, to his religious narrative. The thrust of the piece was not “here’s how the universe works,” but, “God created the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, light, plants, animals, etc.” It was addressed to people living in a culture where the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, light, plants, animals, etc. were worshiped as gods. The creation narrative is saying, “Don’t worship these things. They are creations with no power in themselves. Worship God.”

    The modern creationist attempt to use the Bible as a science textbook is actually a sort of perverse reflection of the influence of modern science on popular culture. Science is one of the most respected things in the world today, even though most people have no idea how it actually works. By saying the creation narrative is “science” they are attempting to transfer that respect to their religious views.

    Most Christian churches have never been creationist, by the way, which is why Saint Augustine could write that the Genesis creation narrative was written “after the manner of a popular poet.” His De Genesi ad Litteram (written c. 410 AD) still has some of the best logical arguments against creationism.

    *I think there was a single writer of Genesis. The Documentary Hypothesis (JPED) doesn’t stand up well to the arguments leveled against it by Cassuto, Kikawada, Quinn and others.

  21. #21 Barton Paul Levenson
    November 24, 2008

    z,

    It was a commonplace of belief in antiquity and the middle ages that all the planets, and the sun and moon, were inhabited. Any medieval Christian scholar could have told you that.

  22. #22 z
    November 24, 2008

    in addition to St. Augustine, Maimonides also warned strenuously against putting one’s interpretation of scripture in opposition to the dictates of contemporary secular knowledge, or of common sense. It’s the smug and arrogant stupidity of the modern literal “fundamentalists” that’s appalling, not their devoutness. Of course their idiotic claim to represent that old-time religion sits well with the modern ethos that those who lived long ago must have been stupid, or else they would presumably have chosen to live now, like our wiser selves.

  23. #23 Brian D
    November 24, 2008

    Barton, if you don’t mind the brief off-topic, I’ve heard all that you’ve said here before except for the single-author Genesis claim. The sudden shift in terms at Genesis 2:4 (from a consistent “God” to a consistent “the LORD God”, along with a different order of creation) seems to contradict that claim. As prior to this I’d only ever seen fundamentalists say it was from a single author, I’d be interested in hearing your basis for saying so.

    …I’d intended to finish this comment with a quote from St. Augustine (about becoming informed on the topics of which you speak lest your ignorance reflect poorly on your people (here, Christianity, but the parallels to kooks like Gunter and Booker come to mind)), but I can’t seem to track it down, having lost my quote database a few months back.

  24. #24 TrueSceptic
    November 24, 2008

    20 BPL,

    I’m not disputing what you say, only Ben’s sister’s claim that nothing in the Bible suggests a geocentric worldview. This is clearly untrue and indeed a geocentric worldview is what one would expect.

  25. #25 Barton Paul Levenson
    November 25, 2008

    True,

    I agree with that. The Genesis writer clearly thought that the Earth was a flat plain at the center of a rigid sphere of sky. That doesn’t bother me, though. I reject both the extreme literalists and the extreme atheists who take the same view — if anything in the Bible isn’t literally true, the whole thing is worthless.

    Brian,

    The claim that Genesis is a redaction of four (or five, depending on which authors you read) works by separate authors was first advanced, to my knowledge, by Julius Wellhausen in 1878. One of the arguments for it was the appearance of “two creation stories” early on. But we have since found Akkadian and Ugaritic creation myths which have a similar “dual” structure. It was Hebrew parallelism, not two contradictory stories clumsily jammed together. First one gives the broad overview, then repeats it in detail.

    There’s also the empirical problem. No one has a J document, a P document, an E document, or a D document. All the existing texts of Genesis have either the whole thing or fragments too small to guess from. And did you know that literary critics, in the 18th and 19th centuries, also used to break up Shakespeare and Homer into multiple authors? The only place that kind of criticism survives is in the Higher Criticism school of biblical interpretation.

  26. #26 PamB
    April 19, 2009

    There appears to be a lot of people who do not understand the difference between WEATHER and CLIMATE!

    A record cold day brings out all the global warming naysayers.

    Please do some research about the subject of Global Warming before one professes to say it is not Real. There are some great school geared sites, which give very basic information on what it is and how it works. Start there.