Not content with publishing George Will’s fabrications about the stolen emails (for which, see Carl Zimmer), they now have a piece by climate expert Sarah Palin. The Washington Post simply does not care about the accuracy of the columns it publishes. Let’s look at just one paragraph:

The e-mails reveal that leading climate “experts” deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. What’s more, the documents show that there was no real consensus even within the CRU crowd. Some scientists had strong doubts about the accuracy of estimates of temperatures from centuries ago, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate.

I didn’t add the link to this paragraph. It’s a link to the WaPo‘s own report on the email theft and it directly contradicts Palin. For example, the WaPo‘s news story says:

Phil Jones, the unit’s director, wrote a colleague that he would “hide” a problem with data from Siberian tree rings with more accurate local air temperature measurements.

But Palin says that he tried to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, when in fact he showed the increase in global temperatures since 1960.

The Wapo‘s report does not support any of the false claims in Palin’s paragraph. No they didn’t deliberately destroy data, no, they didn’t try to stop their critics from publishing. And while the emails show there are many things that the scientists disagree on, they doesn’t mean there is no consensus about anything — they agree that it is getting warmer and that we are causing it.

So what use is the Washington Post? If they are not going to do even the most perfunctory fact checking on the stuff they publish, what value do they add?

Comments

  1. #1 carrot eater
    December 8, 2009

    Opinion pieces are allowed to be lacking in factual accuracy; most readers are probably aware of this. This is why I generally never read them. You just particularly notice the errors in this and George Will’s writing because you’re familiar with the subject.

  2. #2 Majorajam
    December 8, 2009

    The irony is that they publish people like Palin to keep from going out of business… and for that reason only. Brad De Long likes to ask why we don’t have a better press corps. But ultimately you get the press corps you deserve. Pride goes before decadence. Decadence before the fall.

  3. #3 Carl Zimmer
    December 8, 2009

    Carrot eater [1]: Actually, the Post claims to have a multi-layered fact-checking process for their op-ed pieces. Or at least for George Will’s column: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/02/28/ice-ice-baby-when-fact-checking-is-not-fact-checking/

  4. #4 nemski
    December 8, 2009

    Thanks for reading Sarah Palin’s piece so I didn’t have to.

  5. #5 carrot eater
    December 8, 2009

    Carl Zimmer, 3: Indeed, I just read your articles on the matter. I’m surprised they pretend to do any fact-checking at all; in this case, no checking is as good as what they’ve done.

    In any case, I’ll stand by my comment that a sophisticated reader will know there is some difference between the news and the op/ed page.

  6. #6 MapleLeaf
    December 8, 2009

    How in God’s name can she say those libelous and defamatory things without being slapped with a lawsuit? Please someone tell me how the hell one can , in this day and age, lie in public and defame someone and for there to be no consequences?

    Something is very, very wrong with this picture.

  7. #7 Eli Rabett
    December 8, 2009

    The Post made the decision that they would have no enemies to the right when the Washington Times opened up. Of course they lost their readership.

  8. #8 John
    December 8, 2009

    This article is highly ironic because when her email was hacked she took the person responsible to court.

  9. #9 MarkusR
    December 9, 2009

    Gotta love those scare quotes about ‘experts’.

  10. #10 Mike Lewinski
    December 9, 2009

    I guess when your state is melting the only defense for someone that far up da Nile is to resign and hit the book tour circuit.

    This is an excellent analysis of her autobiography. I’ll quote the best part:

    Palin draws a clear distinction between “politics” and “policy,” that is, the difference between gaining power and the actions taken while in power. By her account, she’s not a fan of “politics,” but favors “policy.”

    Those instances where Palin “went rogue,” however, were all singularly political: rejecting the corrupt Alaskan political establishment, speaking her mind on the 2008 campaign trail, her recent resignation as governor of Alaska. When it comes down to policy and ideology, Palin reveals herself to be as narrow-minded and stubborn as they come, utterly devoid of any ideological evolution or development.

  11. #11 William Wallace
    December 9, 2009

    No they didn’t deliberately destroy data…

    But they threatened to…

    … no, they didn’t try to stop their critics from publishing.

    But they threatened to….

  12. #12 Harald Korneliussen
    December 9, 2009

    A threat made in private to someone else than the threatened, when not acted upon, isn’t much of a threat, WW.

  13. #13 John Mashey
    December 9, 2009

    Well, Juliet Eilperin often seems OK, as in Contrarians at the Climate-Gate.

    I am afraid, though,that WaPo has gone the way of teh WSJ, as in What do do… here @ Deltoid, i.e., there’s OpEd, and there’s reporting.

    Eli notes the Washington Times, which seems to be auguring in.

    See last paragraph of Wikipedia on Washington Times.

    2009 layoffs and restructuring

    “On November 9, 2009, the Times’ chairman and CEO, Dong Moon (Douglas) Joo; its president, Tom McDevitt; and its chief financial officer, Keith Cooperrider—all members of the Unification Church—were abruptly fired and Jonathan Slevin, a Times vice president, was appointed Acting Publisher. Thereafter, Solomon resigned as executive editor.[56] Richard Miniter, editorial page editor and vice president of opinion at the Times, was also fired during the shakeup. After his termination, he filed a discrimination complaint against the paper, saying he was coerced into attending a Unification Church religious ceremony that culminated in a mass wedding conducted by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. [57] On November 30, 2009 the New York Times reported that the Washington Times would no longer be receiving funds from the Unification Church and might have to cease publication or go to online publication only.[37] In December 2009 the Times laid off 40% of its 370 employees and stopped subscription service, instead distributing the paper free in some areas of Washington including branches of the government. It said that it would focus on its “core strengths,” which it identified as “exclusive reporting and in-depth national political coverage, enterprise and investigative reporting, geo-strategic and national security news and cultural coverage based on traditional values.” [58]

  14. #14 MapleLeaf
    December 9, 2009

    William, people make idle threats all the time. Especially when provoked or harassed or stressed, and mark my words these scientists were all of those. I’m not sure I understand your point? Please don’t try and suggest that the deniers/skeptics are “holier than thou”.

    Lindzen, was funded by FF industry, and now seems to make a habit of knowingly using incorrect satellite data. Spencer (AGW is an “urban myth”), being paid by the Heartland Institute for some work he is doing– at least that is my understanding. Pielke Snr. (whom I used to have utmost respect for) has seemingly lost his moral compass and some of the papers the has published of late are questionable (e.g., Klotzbach et al.). Singer…nope, damaged goods. Christy is, to my knowledge, is the cleanest of them all. And that is just some of the prominent scientists on the dark side, not to mention the pseudo wannabe scientists at CA who takes great pleasure in character assassination and obfuscating.

    ClimateGate/SwiftHack is a farce, and some very interesting and inconvenient revelations about the denialists are going to come out when the investigation starts in earnest. The plot will thicken even more if they arrest the hacker/s and their alliances become public.

    To stay on topic, what do you think about Palin’s diatribe?

  15. #15 Michael
    December 9, 2009

    WW wrote:

    But they threatened to….

    What if they had made death threats??…….like the denialists are now diecting towards climate scientists?
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/09/2766508.htm

  16. #16 WotWot
    December 9, 2009

    ClimateGate/SwiftHack is a farce, and some very interesting and inconvenient revelations about the denialists are going to come out when the investigation starts in earnest. The plot will thicken even more if they arrest the hacker/s and their alliances become public.

    Yep. When the more objective and thorough investigations of this affair finally report, I think it will actually backfire badly on the denialists, and shred what little is left of their reputations.

    I am pretty sure they have already hit us with the best ‘ammo’ they can find in those emails, and yet it has proved exactly nothing about their claims, and has not fundamentally altered anything.

    If anything, it has shown how dishonest and technically incompetent they are. Smoke and mirrors and heated rhetoric only get you so far in this world. At some point you gotta deliver on the goods, and they have spectacularly failed to deliver, despite every opportunity to do so over a long period of time. It is actually quite pathetic.

    If I was a true believing denier, with a paid up subscription, I would be asking for my money back from the leaders of that movement. You guys got sold a complete lemon.

  17. #17 John Mashey
    December 9, 2009

    re: #14 MapleLeaf
    Christy has written material for George Marshall Institute, as far back as 1990.

    Also, he is a Heartland global warming expert.

  18. #18 Thers
    December 9, 2009

    But they threatened to….

    I also heard that they hacked emails and broke into offices.

    Oh wait.

  19. #19 Nick
    December 9, 2009

    Palin opines on climate? Of course,why not? It’s part of the celebration of ignorance that is politics; all guts,no brains.

    Notwithstanding a breathtaking indifference to the illegality of the hack,and a predictably prejudiced interpretation of their content,the main issue here is scientific illiteracy,and how remarkably unfussed the media is about demanding no minimum competence from its opinion writers,and how indifferent much of the electorate is about similar failings in their representatives.

    Despite Nick Minchin’s sixteen years in the Australian Senate,with staff and a vast information system at his disposal,the best insight he could offer into AGW was no insight at all.

    Likewise,the consequences of Barnaby Joyce and Ron Boswell systematically snubbing Australia’s scientific community to promote Ian Plimer’s fictions seems to have eluded the MSM. It’s no surprise,as even the observation that they did so has escaped them as well…

  20. #20 William Wallace
    December 9, 2009

    To stay on topic, what do you think about Palin’s diatribe?

    I doubt she wrote it, but I like her. Wish there were better politicians, though, e.g., like Ronald Reagan. Sometimes it seems that the only politicians with balls enough to be conservative these days are chicks.

  21. #21 Andrew Dodds
    December 9, 2009

    Nick –

    Yes, can you imagine what would happen if Steve McI’s emails were hacked and published all over the internet? The denialists would be screaming about the criminality of the incident and probably suing or threatening to sue anyone who even referenced the emails.

    (No doubt the contents of such an inbox would be whiter than white, of course)

  22. #22 David Duff
    December 9, 2009

    Calm down, dear, you are in danger of sounding like a spurned lover! Just because the WaPo, hitherto such a fervent warm supporter, now falls for the cool and delicious Mrs. Palin (who for some reason never replies to my letters) there is no need to throw a hissy fit. Soooo shrill!

  23. #23 lord_sidcup
    December 9, 2009

    William Wallace #20

    “Sometimes it seems that the only politicians with balls enough to be conservative these days are chicks.”

    This is one conservative female with balls, foresight, and a science background – [Margaret Thatcher speaking at the 2nd World Climate Conference](http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=108237)

    The term ‘chick’ is a bit 1970s, don’t you think?

  24. #24 TrueSceptic
    December 9, 2009

    Tim,

    In contrast, see [editorial in 56 newspapers](http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/06/copenhagen-editorial) and [background to editorial](http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/06/climate-change-leader-editorial).

    This is what should’ve been happening from Kyoto onwards.

  25. #25 Harald Korneliussen
    December 9, 2009

    lord_sidcup: Whoa, that was an interesting speech you linked to. Should be mandatory reading for Reagan/Thatcher-worshipers (although I must admit it increased my respect for the wicked witch a notch or two).

  26. #26 Snarki, child of Loki
    December 9, 2009

    Well, I for one would not have a problem with the WaPo editorials, if they just changed the label from “Opinions” to “Right Wing Lies”.

    Truth in advertising, donchaknow.

  27. #27 Palin's a dill and Reagan 's a dirty Marxist
    December 9, 2009

    It’s obvious why the anti-science and denialist love the opinionated ignorance of Palin, but what did they like best about Reagan?

    Did they prefer the way he was such a good sock puppet, easily manipulated with is dimentia? Or the run of proto-feudal deregulation he started, which left the real incomes of middle America stagnant for 30 years, and culminated in a wee crisis of capital?

    Was Reagan Marxist? Perhaps he was a Poe Neo-feudalist, undercover to accelerate some Marxist wet dream.

    I’m betting William is in the same boat! Rooting for Palin to finsh of the job, and bring down capitalism from within!

    Wallace, you dirty Reagan-Palin loving RED!

  28. #28 TrueSceptic
    December 9, 2009

    6 MapleLeaf,

    It has been a mystery to me for several years now that no litigation has resulted from libels committed by people like Palin (there are many others).

  29. #29 Douglas Watts
    December 9, 2009

    Accusing someone of hiding and (thereby) falsifying global temperature data is libel, unless it can be proven. In the same sense that writing an op/ed accusing someone of plagiarism is libel, unless it can be proven. Opinion columns are not protected from libel actions if they accuse someone of professional misconduct and there is no evidence to support the accusation.

    The fact that the WaPo directly links from Palin’s column to a refutation by their editorial content staff of Palin’s central claim is an admission by the WaPo that they knowingly published an op/ed that makes false accusations of professional misconduct.

    This cannot be dismissed as “letting both sides have their say,” since the accusation itself is libel unless it can be proven.

    Note that it’s not libelous to say the data are wrong. It’s libelous to accuse someone of manipulating, hiding or falsifying data when there is no evidence they did so. All of these things require deliberate intent rather than say … incompetence.

  30. #30 Daniel
    December 9, 2009

    carrot eater:
    I know that Op-Ed’s don’t have to be unbiased, strictly-fact reporting, but at the same time, this op-ed doesn’t even seem based in reality. One can have an opinion that green is a prettier color than red, but if one writes an op-ed about riding their pet unicorn to pick up plutonium cereal from the local grocery, that’s no longer an op-ed, it’s pure fiction. So while I see your point completely, I still think this blatantly false “op-ed” by Miss Palin shouldn’t be anywhere near an op-ed page.

  31. #31 Dan R
    December 9, 2009

    Latest contender for The Australian’s war on science. Michael Asten, choosing to interpret the findings of [this study](http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7267/full/nature08447.html), like [this](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/climate-claims-fail-science-test/story-e6frg6zo-1225808398627).

  32. #32 Climategate
    December 9, 2009

    From your blog feed stats I see you have 1,590 readers. Palin reaches more people than that a book signing in the middle of winter.

    The jig is pretty much up isn’t it?

    Lovely comment from ‘Y-town Democrat’ by the way, stay classy, Warmers!

  33. #33 Rod
    December 9, 2009

    Majorajam said: “… But ultimately you get the press corps you deserve.”

    You also get the press corps you pay for. It took the industry a long time to figure out that cut and pasting all their copy to a Web site that didn’t require a subscription was a bad idea.

  34. #34 Neil
    December 9, 2009

    Newsflash, Kool Aid drinkers: Sarah got it right. Isn’t it curious how the same data used to predict global warming today was the same data used 30 years ago to predict the coming Ice Age? You Palin-bashers are a gullible, naive herd of sheep, being led by the likes of Al Gore, who refuses to openly debate the issue and by scientists who had to redefine “peer review” in order to get a consensus on the “settled science”. As for the computer scientist who wrote the article, give me a break… calling a computer scientist a scientist is like calling a Sanitation Engineer an engineer.

  35. #35 Coturnix
    December 9, 2009

    Just compare NYT and WaPo in their coverage. WaPo is sinking fast. And good riddance.

  36. #36 Paul UK
    December 9, 2009

    Hold on. Palin Climate history sequence…

    1. I don’t believe humans are responsible, polar bears are not in trouble, I love Alaskan oil.

    2. Presidential campaign. I was wrong, I think humans are a bit responsible. I’ll shut up because I want a nice job in Washington.

    3. Damn, I was right the first time. The scientists are lying, I do really love Alaskan oil.

    4. ???

  37. #37 carrot eater
    December 9, 2009

    Daniel | December 9, 2009 8:33 AM, 31:

    In a guest opinion, I think a basis in reality is optional. One doesn’t read Ms. Palin’s piece to learn about global warming, one reads it to learn how she processes the available information. The reader can then judge the author’s analytical ability. Just as letters to the editors are published to show a range of reader opinions, no matter how unrealistic they might be.

    Neil | December 9, 2009 9:24 AM, 35

    And there’s the ice-age myth again. Perhaps there should be a third button below, besides ‘preview’ and ‘post’. It would read “are you about to claim that scientists were warning us of an impending ice age in the 1970s?” Clicking it would bring up the literature review by Conolley, Fleck and Peterson. It’d save people like Neil from embarrassing themselves, and exposing themselves as the gullible ones.

  38. #38 Raging Bee
    December 9, 2009

    Palin reaches more people than that a book signing in the middle of winter.

    But when a liberal reaches huge numbers of people, it’s a dangerous personality cult.

    Isn’t it curious how the same data used to predict global warming today was the same data used 30 years ago to predict the coming Ice Age?

    That WOULD be curious, if it hadn’t been proven FALSE.

    As for the Post, they started losing me when they brought Bush Jr. speechwriter Michael Gerson onto their op-ed pages, AFTER his lies about Iraqi WMDs had been exposed as pure fabrications. Since then, he’s lied about atheists, lied about science, lied about eugenics, and lied about liberals — and that was only in his first six months at the Post.

    They know they’re spreading lies, they know it’s wrong, and they don’t have the guts to stand up and do the right thing. They had a front-page headline implying that those stolen emails said certain things; and the flat admission that the emails didn’t really say that was buried in the article underneath.

    Fuck ‘em. I’m paying for sundays only, and when their free daily service runs out, I’ll probably just drop them altogether.

    Can anyone here suggest a more reliable alternative daily paper? One that has good national and world news, and isn’t trying to compete with the Moonie Times and WorldNutDaily?

  39. #39 WotWot
    December 9, 2009

    Isn’t it curious how the same data used to predict global warming today was the same data used 30 years ago to predict the coming Ice Age?

    Do you have any idea how moronic that statement is?

  40. #40 Reader
    December 9, 2009

    Question: How can you tell the difference between the Washington Post and the Washington Times?

    Answer: You can’t.

    I stopped surfing to the WashPo a long time ago when it became clear that its pro-war editorial position had creeped into its reporting. Similarly, the WashPo’s support for standardized testing is hardly unrelated to its ownership of Kaplan Test Preparation Courses, (which are about the only profitable division of the company).

    The Washington Post already died; now it’s just a creepy neocon zombie.

  41. #41 neil
    December 9, 2009

    No, explain it to me Einstein. I quote from Time Magazine, June 27th 1974: Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface could tip the climatic balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914-2,00.html#ixzz0ZCp6vXUw

  42. #42 Raging Bee
    December 9, 2009

    Sorry, you patronizing asshat, but one article in a non-scientific publication does not a scientific concensus make. Show us a sizeable mass of peer-reviewed work arguing for global cooling, and then you’ll have a case. All you have now is fake-macho insults and pretend airs of authority that any ten-year-old can ape toward eight-year-olds.

  43. #43 pauly
    December 9, 2009
  44. #44 carrot eater
    December 9, 2009

    neil | December 9, 2009 10:34 AM

    You’re digging your own hole deeper and deeper. Yes, we all know Time and Newsweek had some sensationalist pieces.. that didn’t at all reflect the scientific thought of the time.

    Please read this

    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/89/9/pdf/i1520-0477-89-9-1325.pdf

    before continuing.

  45. #45 Chris O'Neill
    December 9, 2009

    neil:

    I quote from Time Magazine, June 27th 1974

    That “Time” article contains the following utter bullshit on page 1:

    “Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F.”

    The temperature drop from 1944 to 1974 was only about 0.3°C.

    Since you rely on utter bullshit for your claims, how do we know everything else you say is not also utter bullshit?

  46. #46 davet
    December 9, 2009

    From the secret diary of William Byrd II of Westover :

    8 September … saw two women, a mother and daughter who stayed about two hours and then came Mrs. Johnson with whom I supped and ate some fricasee of rabbit and about ten went to bed with her and lay all night and rogured her twice …

    11 September … I wrote some English till nine and then came Mrs. S-t-r-d. I drank a glass of wine to our good rest and then went to bed and rogured her three times. However, I could not sleep and neglected my prayers….

    14 … About eight I went to Mrs. Smith’s where I met Molly and had some oysters for supper and about eleven we went to bed and I rogured her twice …

    17 … about seven I went to Mrs. FitzHerbert’s where I ate some boiled pork and drank some ale. About nine I walked away and picked up a girl whom I carried to the bagnio and rogured her twice very well. It rained abundance in the night.

    6 October…. endeavored to pick up a wh— but could not. I neglected my prayers, for which God forgive me …

    7 October … picked up a wh— and carried her to a tavern where I gave her a supper and we ate a broiled fowl. We did nothing but fool and parted about 11 o’clock and I walked home and neglected my prayers …

    16 October picked up a woman and went to the tavern where we had a broiled fowl and afterwards I committed uncleanness for which God forgive me. About eleven I went home and neglected my prayers.

    20 October … to the play where I saw nobody I liked so went to Will’s and stayed about an hour and then went to Mrs. Smith’s where I met a very tall woman and rogured her three times …

    11 November, went with Lord Orrery to Mrs B-r-t-n where we found two chambermaids that my Lord had ordered to be got for us and I rogured one of them and about 9 o’clock returned again to Will’s where Betty S-t-r-d called on me in a coach and I went with her to a bagnio and rogured her twice, for which God forgive me …

    13 … took my ways towards Mrs. Southwell’s but she was from home. Then I walked in the park and went to Ozinda’s … After we went to Will’s … then … to Mistress B-r-t and stayed about an hour

    14 … went away to Will’s where a woman called on me. .. then went to a bagnio where I rogured my woman but once. Her name was Sally Cook. There was a terrible noise in the night like a woman crying…

    22 … walked home and by the way picked up a woman and committed uncleanness with her, for which God forgive me …

    28 … I ate some boiled milk for supper and romped with Molly F-r-s-y and about 9 o’clock retired and kissed the maid so that I committed uncleanness, for which God forgive me.

  47. #47 Daniel 4
    December 9, 2009

    Seriously – who reads the Post anymore? I’ve deleted it from my browswer more than a year ago, and haven’t missed it since.

    This paper is a pale facsimile of its former self. What a joke.

  48. #48 David Kane
    December 9, 2009

    Tim,

    When I suggested that you cover the strongest arguments from the smartest critics, this is, uh, not exactly what I had in mind. How about a thread devoted to The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero by Willis Eschenbach?

  49. #49 Shawn Sene
    December 9, 2009

    I remember the hysteria of a coming iceage in the 1970’s.
    I was just a child but saw mutliple documemntaries on tv and it was discussed in my 3rd and 4th grade class.
    It scared me until my great grand mother said it was all just propaganda and idiots seeking fame and money.
    Climategate does in fact detroy the entire concensus on global warming and expose it as part of a fraud
    CRU’s data WAS manipulated for the very reason to show more warming post 1960 and less pre-1960.
    ALL 4 data sets use 90 percent of the SAME adjusted data, they are not independent of each other at all.
    Every climate scientist know this, so later on when the bullcrappy science is fully exposed, remember who kept defending it, remember who kept trying to get the tax payers money…..those are the crooks.

  50. #50 Douglas Watts
    December 9, 2009

    neil — and in the 1960s it was widely predicted in the popular press that nuclear energy would make electricity “too cheap to meter.” And in the late 1800s Lord Kelvin declared that all of the fundamental questions of physics had been completely solved. And in 2003, GWBush declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq. And the personal hovercraft that 1950s articles predicted we’d all be flying by the 1970s. And let’s not forget the undersea cities !!!

  51. #51 Michael Ralston
    December 9, 2009

    @David Kane: So someone who says we need to adjust for the UHI, but has problems with adjusting all the stations in a city for UHI, and also claims that cities create heat but humanity isn’t creating heat is the smartest critic of AGW you can find?

    Really? You guys were better off with Sarah Palin. At least she’s relatively consistent about her insanity.

  52. #52 Douglas Watts
    December 9, 2009

    Shorter Neil: Ptolemy was wrong, therefore no science can be trusted. I will now hide my head in sand, which science cannot prove is quartz.

    [This is somewhat off, since Neil is citing a popular magazine as his only source, whereas at least Ptolemy was a scientist and was applying the scientific method.]

  53. #53 val kraljic
    December 9, 2009

    My mother used to have a term for you global-warming clowns, “educated FOOLS”.

  54. #54 vagueofgodalming
    December 9, 2009

    David Kane, it’s almost as if Tim thinks this is his blog, to choose his subjects as he sees fit, without reference to you.

    Unaccountable, isn’t it?

  55. #55 Raging Bee
    December 9, 2009

    I remember the hysteria of a coming iceage in the 1970’s. I was just a child but saw mutliple documemntaries on tv and it was discussed in my 3rd and 4th grade class. It scared me until my great grand mother said it was all just propaganda and idiots seeking fame and money.

    I was a child then too, Shawn, and guess what — I never saw such hysteria. Sounds like all you have here is an old childhood memory of a VERY localized phenomenon, which you’re now pretending is a life-changing trauma. What probably happened is that a handful of idiots had a freakout, and those idiots just happened to be in your neighborhood, and they started blaming “propaganda and idiots seeking fame and money” rather than admit they’d been wrong.

    Climategate does in fact detroy the entire concensus on global warming and expose it as part of a fraud CRU’s data WAS manipulated for the very reason to show more warming post 1960 and less pre-1960.

    Sounds like that imagination is just as active — and just as fear-driven — as it was in your childhood. In other words, you still haven’t grown up.

  56. #56 Raging Bee
    December 9, 2009

    BTW, Shawn, if the people in your hometown freaked out about something that turned out to be false, why does that undermine the credibility of science, as opposed to, say, the credibility of the people who actually did the freaking out? Seems like you — like the Jew-bashers, gay-bashers, and other scapegoaters and demagogues throughout history — are blaming the wrong people for your own ignorance and misunderstandings.

  57. #57 D
    December 9, 2009

    Carrot eater said, Opinion pieces are allowed to be lacking in factual accuracy; most readers are probably aware of this. This is why I generally never read them. You just particularly notice the errors in this and George Will’s writing because you’re familiar with the subject.

    The people who will “make hay” from this and other libelous Palin op-eds are the cynics in the neocon political movement who do know the inaccuracies and don’t care.

    The rest of the readers who will gobble up Palin’s op-eds like so much red meat are her unquestioning, incurious devoted fans who beam with pride that “she’s just like us” every time she Tweets some inanity or issues another deliriously faux policy proclamation from her Facebook page.

    Just like her book. It’s riddled with inaccuracies or outright lies which have been debunked by people who know Palin or who have worked in her administration or who have followed her career.

    But her fans LOVE the book — and if you listen to a recent NPR round table discussion, even non-fans of Palin have accepted what she wrote in her book at face value. — because protests of Palin’s libels and ethical misdemeanors seem to appear only in blogs like this one or in the several Alaska blogs that have been critical of Palin.

    Stanley Fish in an opinion piece in the NY Times said, “…autobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves…Do I believe any of this? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she does, and that her readers feel they are hearing an authentic voice.”

    What hogwash. It’s no wonder the mainstream media is turning the other way on “outing” Palin’s narcissitic cynical self-promotion and tendencies to avoid responsibility, if presumably intelligent law professors say it doesn’t matter if nothing in her hagiography, er…autobiography is true.

  58. #58 connertown
    December 9, 2009

    You “warmers” are so ridiculous and arrogant. Have you no capacity for introspection at all? Have you not been educated on the many fallacies during the course of human history where the “experts” got it wrong?

    Science is a living thing. Theories come and go. AGW is not “proven” in any sense of the word. To meet that criteria, it would need to reliably predict outcomes. To date, it has not even come close.

    Your constant railing against “deniers” smacks of religion. Your desire to censor dissent smacks of facsism. And your preoccupation with hatred of Sarah Palin smacks of lunacy.

  59. #59 Bud
    December 9, 2009

    Ah, a HuffPo link. That explains the nutters :D

    David Kane:

    How about a thread devoted to The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero by Willis Eschenbach?

    [See this thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/more_on_the_stolen_emails.php), where it was discussed in the comments from about post 30 onwards (and I realised it was by Eschenbach and not Watts about post 35…). It’s junk, and I don’t think Tim need waste his time on it any more than we did.

  60. #60 MapleLeaf
    December 9, 2009

    Neil, please actually go and read this:

    The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus
    Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
    Volume 89, Issue 9 (September 2008) pp. 1325–1337

  61. #61 dhogaza
    December 9, 2009

    Science is a living thing. Theories come and go. AGW is not “proven” in any sense of the word. To meet that criteria, it would need to reliably predict outcomes. To date, it has not even come close.

    Actually, climate scientists have made many predictions that have been confirmed, except in many cases the timeframe’s been shorter than predicted.

    Finding out what those are is your task, though. You have a choice: educate yourself, or continue to make a fool of yourself by posting lies.

  62. #62 pough
    December 9, 2009

    When I suggested that you cover the strongest arguments from the smartest critics, this is, uh, not exactly what I had in mind.

    Yeah, when will reality conform to your desires? It’s obviously not starting with Tim writing only what you ask him to write. Maybe you should try bending some spoons, or something.

  63. #63 connertown
    December 9, 2009

    dhogaza – “Finding out what those are is your task, though.”

    Nice try…but the onus of proof is on the theorist, not the “denialist”. You’re the one trying to prove something. It is the responsibility of true science to stand up to investigation and criticism. The truth will only win when this is done. Otherwise, you are still pushing religion.

    So go ahead – edu-macate me.

    You have a choice. Keep calling people “fools” without ever looking in the mirror. Or be a man, show your work, and stand up to the criticism.

  64. #64 wtfwjd?
    December 9, 2009

    I wonder if Sarah Palin watches the Colbert Report and jumps up and down yellin’ “hell, yeah!” not realizin’ it’s parody.

  65. #65 pough
    December 9, 2009

    @connertown: I can see how you’re confusing the climate scientists with people pushing religion, since you’re expecting them to come to your door to convince you. It’s not going to happen. They’ve spent their time “showing their work” and “standing up to the criticism” in the proper venue for such things: scientific journals.

    If you want to understand it enough to effectively criticize it, you’ll need to take the time and do the work to figure it out. Expecting someone else to hold your hand and treat you like a baby isn’t fair, to them or to you.

    You have a choice. Be a man.

  66. #66 Michael Fumento
    December 9, 2009

    As a conservative I booed and hissed at her presence in the WaPo. Space there is very precious, too precious for Miss Pretty Lady’s ghost writer. If you’re going to crack your pages open to allow dissent, make it valuable dissent. Many scientists could have used that space.

  67. #67 sod
    December 9, 2009

    which right wing denial blog is sending people over today?

    you could folks please tell us where you come from, so that we know from which dustbin you copy your posts?

  68. #68 Douglas Watts
    December 9, 2009

    I remember the hysteria of a coming iceage in the 1970’s.

    Well, I was born in 1964 and had a subscription to Science News when I was 12, and I don’t recall any hysteria. I do recall that a number of popular science periodicals, when writing about the science and evidence for past Ice Ages, would mention that we are now in an interglacial, and if the past pattern in the Pleistocene continued, the interglacial should end several millennia from today.

    Occasionally, headline and copy writers, looking for a saucy hook on an otherwise straight science story, liked to juice up the text by solemnly intoning that (eventually) the ice sheets would return, albeit not for at least a few thousand years.

    Science teachers also liked to do this to teach kids about Ice Ages, esp. in New England (where I’m from), because so few kids had any clue about Ice Ages and knew nothing about how profoundly the last Ice Age sculpted and created our contemporary topography (like Cape Cod and Long Island) and stuff we saw everyday in town (like glacial erratics and striations).

    But hysteria? Only in the imaginations of the hysterics.

  69. #69 Lorianne
    December 9, 2009

    Op Eds are opinions. You make it sound like opinons in this country need to be pre-approved before being delivered.

    In the USA, citizens have just as much right to be right as they do to be wrong (or some mixture).

    Washington Post made the call. The correct response is to counter Palin’s opinions with other opinions, not call into question her right to air her opinions.

  70. #70 William Wallace
    December 9, 2009

    that didn’t at all reflect the scientific thought of the time.

    Please read this

    [http://www.archive.org/details/sciencechallenge00nati]

    before continuing.

    There, I fixed the link, to the Science and the challenges ahead : report of the National Science Board (1974 [i.e. 1975])

  71. #71 quantos
    December 9, 2009

    Deltoid can’t go out of business fast enough?

    It’s regrettable but Palin’s current prominence in America’s political landscape is undeniable. What the future holds, who knows, but as it is right now she has a strong following because many people do in fact subscribe to her political views, and as a result its important to know about that. That’s why opinion pieces like this are important, I for one would rather know what she is thinking, even if it is riddled with incorrect facts, then not know. That way if (heaven forbid) she gets somewhere in national politics, we know what her beliefs are. Having her editorial run in the Washington Post is a good thing for that reason.

    Political debate on important issues such as climate change needs to happen in as many channels as possible, including on op-ed pages. The way to move forward is by weighing the value of one person’s argument against another and against the facts. The link in her editorial affords readers the easy ability to get the facts, and weigh them against her argument. Her (or George Will’s) argument clearly won’t stand up against the facts, it gets shot down, and the marketplace of ideas wins again.

    It is regrettable also that Tim Lambert’s response to a few pieces of writing he doesn’t like is to wish the entire outlet he read it in gets shut down. Is that myopic philosophy the level of debate he ascribes to? These objectionable beliefs will have to be confronted head on, not ignored, and by publishing her piece with a link to an article containing actual (and contradictory) facts Is the Washington Post living up to its duty to inform the public of what is going on in the world of politics. It may be ugly, but it’s out there and needs to be known.

  72. #72 MapleLeaf
    December 9, 2009

    Ok, here is an idea– class action suite. There are about 2700 reputable climate scientists out there, see http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/

    There have to be lawyers out there who would love to take on that class action suite. Just wondering…

    Connertown, you fail to understand that in science one cannot definitively prove anything. Read a book or two, might I recommend Giere’s “Understanding Scientific Reasoning” as a start.

  73. #73 Harald Korneliussen
    December 9, 2009

    David Kane,

    again, asking people to address the “good” criticism is hardly reasonable of you, since

    1. You, as far as I can see, don’t lift a finger against the bloody stupid arguments (like neil’s reference to an article in the peer-reviewed journal Newsweek)

    2. The stupid arguments are the ones people listen to, believe and reproduce. As poster “Climategate” so triuphantly informs us, “the jig is up” and the stupid has won.

    3. In the end, “the sophisticated” arguments are just as vacuous as the stupid ones. Can you blame people for not wasting time trying to convince you, when there is so much stupid that should be dammed up? (especially after what you pulled at the Lancet Iraq papers!)

    No, let me give this advice to Tim Lambert: On no account allow David Kane to dictate what bogus arguments you should address, before he can show he has done at least twenty pages of dumb-argument rebuttals on public comment sections at various blogs.

  74. #74 MapleLeaf
    December 9, 2009

    Wallace, r e a d the A M S p a p e r. Actually r e a d the w h o l e p a p e r.

    Are you famiiar with the work of Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius? When was the first computer simulation made which allowed for elevated (doubling) GHGs? The mid seventies,

    The Effects of Doubling the CO2 Concentration on the climate of a General Circulation Model by Syukuro Manabe and Richard T. Wetherald, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
    Volume 32, Issue 1 (January 1975) pp. 3–15

    PS: Newsweek retracted the comments made in their 1975 article in 2006 concerning ‘global cooling’ and conceded that they were ‘spectacularly wrong’.

    Honest to God I and others could spend 24/7, 365 days a year refuting the myths and unsubstantiated crap put forward by the cynics, obstructionists, contrarians and denialists!

    And yes, I’m getting rather pissed off with the continual stream of crap being spewed by the denial machine– it is as if their sewer line has a huge rupture and the spewing of crap cannot be stopped. Not to mention we all know how crap sticks and contaminates everything it comes into contact with.

  75. #75 0x1b
    December 9, 2009

    Who are these “flat-earth” people? How can there be so many of them? Let’s buy them all smartphones and teach them to look up facts. Okay, bad idea. Let’s just focus on educating the rest of the world not to vote for these kinds of people.

  76. #76 connertown
    December 9, 2009

    @ MapleLeaf: You fail to understand how to even spell lawsuit. “Suite” is an apartment or office. Even in Canada.

    @ quantos: Right on. This is opinion, which is all a politician is qualified to have. Even Mr. Gore. Opinion should not be stifled. The hysteria looks bad for the hysteric, not the object of their hysteria.

    @ pough: I will admit that I am not a scientist. I will wager 1 bazillion carbon credits that you are not one either. The fact is that there are many scientists who disagree with AGW.

    Before any more flaming, please realize that there are many reasons to support pollution control and the search for renewable energy resources. Personally, I’m very much in favor of these goals. But not at the point of a gun or the threat of AGW.

  77. #77 carrot eater
    December 9, 2009

    William Wallace | December 9, 2009 1:12 PM

    “There, I fixed the link, ”

    You fixed nothing, but continue to expose yourself.. I’ve read your NSB report (did you, or did you just read what some blog said about it?), and it does NOT say what you are saying. It simply says that both cooling and warming factors are present, and more study is needed on the matter. In other words, no consensus.

    Now, just read the lit review of the period.
    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2008BAMS2370.1

    Unless you really enjoy proving yourself to be a fool, by continuing to repeat easily debunked things.

  78. #78 mb
    December 9, 2009

    If you don’t put several years worth of educational material into your blog comments, then the jig is up on this “global warming” hoax. I’m not even sure I believe in this so-called “statistical mechanics.” Sounds to me like they just don’t know what’s going on, so they just guess. That’s not science, and neither is this tie. Plus some egghead told me that the universe would end in a “heat death,” but if they know that then why can’t they tell me what time I’ll put my pants on five days from now? You know what my mom would say? “Stop embarrassing yourself on the Internet. I didn’t invest all of those resources into you so that you could be proud of being an uneducated boob.”

  79. #79 liwwel bunny wabbit
    December 9, 2009

    Man, The leftists here are sounding like they have not had their diapers changed in a while. Got a bad diaper rash? At least Sarah palin knows how to change a diaper, unlike all of you genetic dead enders with no kids. With no children You will all wind up in state-run warehouses for the elderly staffed by illiterates who do not speak english. Better learn Brazilian Portuguese or Haitian creole if you want your bedpans changed! at least the illegal immigrants know the value of having a family. unlike all of you creating your own self destructive dead end policies.

  80. #80 carrot eater
    December 9, 2009

    quantos: I more or less agree with what you say there. Sarah Palin may be an idiot, unqualified to speak on this or any matter, but she’s still a national figure. What she thinks can therefore be of interest – not in its own right, but in what it says about her.

    That said, the Post is just trying to sell newspapers. Why Palin, and not Pawlenty, Huckabee, Romney, etc? Because Palin sells papers, and the others don’t.

  81. #81 liwwel bunny wabbit
    December 9, 2009

    Man, The leftists here are sounding like they have not had their diapers changed in a while. Got a bad diaper rash? At least Sarah palin knows how to change a diaper, unlike all of you genetic dead enders with no kids. With no children You will all wind up in state-run warehouses for the elderly staffed by illiterates who do not speak english. Better learn Brazilian Portuguese or Haitian creole if you want your bedpans changed! at least the illegal immigrants know the value of having a family. unlike all of you creating your own self destructive dead end policies.

  82. #82 A Lurker.
    December 9, 2009

    “[I]f they know that then why can’t they tell me what time I’ll put my pants on five days from now?”

    Please tell me this is a parody.

  83. #83 Michael Ralston
    December 9, 2009

    Yes, A Lurker, I think we can safely say that post was a parody.

    Nobody who is seriously capable of making those arguments is also capable of avoiding the usage of RANDOM CAPITALIZATION and other abuses of the English language.

  84. #84 MapleLeaf
    December 9, 2009

    Connertown, really? I had no idea that there was a difference (sarc). Yes, my typing and at times spelling sucks, so your point is? Oh yes, nothing. Just enjoying the juvenile game of poking holes while adding nothing of substance to the discussion.

    Oh dear, and what would an “argument” from a denier be without making reference to Al Gore or using the word “hysteria”.

    Yes, of course, you are all for pollution control (sarc). That is until it is proclaimed by your ilk that addressing pollution will actually cause the economy to “contract” and “destroy jobs”. We have seen that red herring put forth by deniers before. Well, thank you for pretending to care so much about the environment. Would you be willing to pay more money for using renewable energy, or to fund Syngas coal-fired power in Oz? Here you say “yes”, but the reality? Not on your life is the government or anyone else taking my “hard earned’ money from my grubby little hands.

    Oh and Connertown… oh what difference does it make, I’m trying to apply reason and logic with an “omniscient” and truly “enlightened” cynic.

    And yes, I am in a most foul mood :p

  85. #85 Joseph
    December 9, 2009

    mb’s post is actually best referred to as a Poe.

  86. #86 TrueSceptic
    December 9, 2009

    Looks like we’ve got a few testing our Poe radar.

  87. #87 MapleLeaf
    December 9, 2009

    liwwel bunny rabbit re 81….thanks for providing yet another sterling example of that giant leak in the denialists’ sewer line.

    OMG, how did we ever put astronauts on the moon with the likes of bunny rabbit bounding about? Oh hang on, or did we? What do you think our little conspiracy theorist trolls?

  88. #88 Raging Bee
    December 9, 2009

    Have you not been educated on the many fallacies during the course of human history where the “experts” got it wrong?

    Have YOU not been educated on the far greater number of times the denialists got it wrong?

    Your desire to censor dissent smacks of facsism.

    That’s what I used to say to my mom every time she told me to clean up my room. That’s when I was in grade-school. What’s your excuse for acting like you’re still in grade-school?

    Ever notice how denialists always cry about “censorship” and “fascism” every time they’re faced with a reality they can’t wish away? These people never grew up enough to face reality on its own terms. This is the sort of infantilism that drives today’s Republican Party.

    Man, The leftists here are sounding like they have not had their diapers changed in a while. Got a bad diaper rash?

    Typical fake-macho Republican behavior: when you can’t function as an adult, pretend everyone else is a baby and make diaper jokes.

    At least Sarah palin knows how to change a diaper…

    Wow, does someone have a mommy-complex about Sarah Palin? Right-wing infantilism gets more obvious every day.

  89. #89 mb
    December 9, 2009

    Certainly people that are vain-enough to pontificate on complicated technical subjects using nothing but their folksy intuition deserve little more than parody. Such people, if they exist, would have to be completely unaware of how socially-inept they reveal themselves to be when they interject diarrhea into someone else’s field and start making demands. They would have to be buffoons from television sitcoms made flesh, preparing to sabotage a structure doing ‘repairs.’ Only they’d be less ‘lovable’ than the television bafoon, because after they had given up and sought aid, they would be giving the contractors the finger the whole time they were repairing the damage.

    It’s a good thing people like that never comment here at scienceblogs!

  90. #90 Chris Farmer
    December 9, 2009

    carrot eater, clearly there is a difference between news stories and op eds, the difference being that a news story is supposed to present facts and an op ed to offer a particular interpretation of facts. The latter is not the same as making things up.

  91. #91 A Lurker.
    December 9, 2009

    Really? Another Poe? I was leaning towards the theory that the recent proliferation of randomly generated crackpot comments were Drudgies doing 4chan-style sarcasm bombing. Either way, seems like a waste of effort.

    Then again, the ‘pants’ line was pure gold.

  92. #92 Raging Bee
    December 9, 2009

    So, Chris, you can’t justify Sarah Palin’s drivel except by insisting that editorials like hers are NOT supposed to be factual?

    …a news story is supposed to present facts…

    Which WaPo has done VERY poorly lately.

    …and an op ed to offer a particular interpretation of facts. The latter is not the same as making things up.

    In the case of oped writers like George Will, Michael Gerson, Chuck Krauthammer, and Sarah Palin, it is the same.

  93. #93 A Lurker.
    December 9, 2009

    @mb

    ; )

  94. #94 Tim Lambert
    December 9, 2009

    Wha? Fumento is [agreeing](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/the_washington_post_cant_go_ou.php#comment-2134697) with me??

    My head is spinning.

  95. #95 mme flutterbye
    December 9, 2009

    Again we are getting upset over what this illiterate queen of airheads propounds. Now she’s masquerading as a scientist. What’s next? Forget it. I don’t want to know. But she presides over the uneducated segment of our society who are desperately trying to understand where they fit into the scheme of things. Life has passed them by and they are angry…and dangerous. They feel the world owes them a living. VERY SAD.

  96. #96 trollhattan
    December 9, 2009

    As I see it the WaPo’s problem is that while it’s widely perceived as a last bastion of “teh liberal em ess em” it’s functionally nothing of the sort, especially when it comes to the op-ed pages.

    The Palin drivel might at a cursory glance seem to offer “balance from the right” but the WaPo op-ed pages are already there (see Broder, David for example). The effect may be to use her lunacy as a lever to elevate their run-of-the-mill right wing writers to the level of centrist. If so, well played, Howie! Maybe they can give us a solid week of Cal Thomas and Newt Gingrich as a chaser.

    I assert Palin is the furthest thing from “conservative.” Rather, she’s the embodiment of today’s Republican Party, who lost any notion of the meaning of conservative in the ’80s. She desires power and control and the silencing of any criticism. “Grifter” remains the single best description.

  97. #97 carrot eater
    December 9, 2009

    Chris Farmer | December 9, 2009 2:19 PM

    If a guest opinion writer like Palin wants to write that 1+1=3, that’s fine by me, if that’s what she thinks. The paper will then decide whether that’s worth publishing, and in the case of Palin, it will be, because Palin generates sales and controversy.

  98. #98 ann
    December 9, 2009

    Palin ignores all science and hold the belief that the earth is 6,000 years old. Yet, now we are being asked to believe “her” understanding of science and climage change? Seriously?

  99. #99 ann
    December 9, 2009

    climate change, sorry.

  100. #100 PHG
    December 9, 2009

    Different take on it here.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-heilbrunn/why-the-washington-post-w_b_385790.html

    I do enjoy the comedic value her commentary provides.

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