Since the last of the CRU-email inquiries came in, a whole string of rubbish journo’s have been queuing up to try to explain why, given that the inquires enhonerated the scientists, there was so much kerfuffle over the whole issue. Naturally, given that the journo’s can’t have been wrong, the scientists must have done something wrong, so a whole string of tedious “yes they were exhonerated but still, they could have done better” posts have come and gone.
Pearce was trash. Monbiot was rubbish during the fuss and was rubbish afterwards though JA took the piss out of him better than I did. mt finds somewhat better from the NYT (original here), good for them.
But the one that has wound me up today is the Economist, whose headline Flawed scientists is deeply dishonest and fails the introspection test. They should have written “flawed media”, since the overall failing in this sordid affair was the inability of people like them to produce accurate reporting. Their subhead is The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change needs reform. The case for climate action does not ; the second half of this is OK, the first isn’t. the IPCC works. I’m sure it could use some fiddling – JA found it not entirely open about the comment process, though that got fixed – but compared to the beam in the media’s eye, the IPCC has motes.
So we have stuff like
Yet the science of climate change has seemed to be derailed by climategate and the discovery of some errors in IPCC reports, even the gravest of which come far short of undermining its conclusions. Part of the explanation is no doubt a noxious campaign against the credibility of environmental science in general, and climate science in particular; the internet has allowed the doubt thus manufactured to go viral. But the problem also stems from the failings of climate scientists themselves, and the institutions they work in.
and you can peruse the entire article and find not the slightest hint that the lily-white media might even be a tiny bit at fault for being a bunch of gullible fools.
[Update: Amusingly enough, there is now an Economistgate. They defend themselves - apparently they would edit a cover but never an internal picture, they say. I find their examples of other covers edited not quite convincing - the point of this one is that you couldn't tell it was edited. It would have been more honest for them to have put a note somewhere explaining the edit and linking to the original. Also, is their explanation We removed her not to make a political point, but because the presence of an unknown woman would have been puzzling to readers entirely convincing? I wouldn't consider it odd to have an unknown woman standing next to the president; indeed, I would find it ordinary. I think it is clear that they removed her because it made a "better" photo, because it made their point, or because somehow it didn't look right the other way. But to do so silently was wrong.]
[Another way to tell how bad the Economist piece is to note how Eduardo "Jugular" Zorita likes it.]
[More: I've just looked at all my Economist comments (I now have 3, having made 2 today). I'm pleased to see that my comments on "Merchants of Doubt" (pointing out how carefully The Economist avoided mentioning GW) is at a recommendation level of 35, way above any others. See comments sorted by recommendation.
[Yet more: I'm not sure when I'll lose the will to live but Andy Revkin joins the ranks of those still defending the indefensible media coverage (a href="http://hot-topic.co.nz/climategate-the-missing-context/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=climategate-the-missing-context">ht Gareth). His excuse is that "conflict is story" and who cares about reality (no, he didn't say that last, it is only implied).]