Leakegate: Leake based story retracted

Stefan Rahmstorf reports that the Frankfurter Rundschau has withdrawn a storybased on Jonathan Leake's fabricated Africagate story.

Rahmstorf has also read Rajendra Pachauri's novel, which The Times calls a raunchy environmentalnovel and states:

For a country where sex is rarely discussed in public the book mingles lectures on climate change with descriptions of Sanjay's sexual encounters, including frequent references to "voluptuous breasts".

Rahmstorf comments:

After I have read it, I find this a bizarre summary of the novel, apparently aimed to discredit Pachauri.

There is not a single "lecture on climate change" in the whole book - the theme is only mentioned in passing in about five sentences, e.g. when the hero visits the Himalayas and refers to the shrinking Gangotri glacier.

The novel is in fact neither "environmental" nor "raunchy". To the contrary: the novel's hero Sanjay Nath, whose life story is told, lives in complete celibacy for most of his life. At first as a student in India that's against his will (his love to a student from Calcutta is unrequited). Then, as a postdoc in the US he sleeps with a woman for the first time, a stranger in a motel (on page 211 of the novel), an experience which makes him decide to live in celibacy for the next five years, which in fact he does for over twenty years. Only in his late forties does he meet the woman of his life and very quickly decides to marry her - but during the preparations of the wedding she tragically dies from cancer. The handful of love scenes in the book is in fact described just in a few sentences and wouldn't even get a 15-year-old boy excited.

Perhaps the Sunday Times mixed up Pachauri's book with Ian McEwans new novel "Solar"? That does in fact include a full lecture on climate change (and a good one, too) as well as some far more explicit sex than Pachauri's "Return to Almora". (Which, in fact, to western audiences could be much more easily ridiculed not for its sex scenes but for its central theme of reincarnation.)

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Rahmstorf obviously isn't into serious literature. Does that say something about his science too?

Just asking.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

My God Andrews you are full of crap. Is that really the best defense for Leake that you could muster? You denialists are running on empty and it shows.

I enjoy Tolkien, so best toss all my scientific understanding and work out the window eh...

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

MapleLeaf,

I was not defending Leake, rather making a comment about Rahmstorf.

Still far more interesting is that following the fiasco of the EU ETS scheme over the last couple of years, Australia's own Kevin Rudd has decided to shelve ETS for the foreseeable future.

Jakerman, welcome to reality!

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

Interesting reality check on Pachauri, the alleged "salacious" "railroad engineer".

But like Dave Andrews right here, the denialists will try their hardest to change the subject rather than admit to a lie.

right, Ben. in two posts Dave has gone from criticising Rahmstorf's choice of reading to whingeing about emissions trading and addressing someone who hasn't even posted in the thread.

i'm sure that an outraged post about the cost of postage stamps and how art isn't as good as it used to be is inbound as we speak.

Dave Andrews @ 1:
"Rahmstorf obviously isn't into serious literature. Does that say something about his science too?"

And that, my friends, is the classic example of the correct way to present an ad hominem attack: So-and-so says/does A, therefore whwho would believe what they have to say about B?

Dave: Do you really have anything interesting to contribute to this discussion or are you just trolling for reactions to your attack on Rahmstorf, and also by bringing up the completely unrelated topic of Australias ETS?

Rahmstorf obviously isn't into serious literature. Does that say something about his science too?

Yes, it clearly follows that Rahmstorf's science is a hastily cobbled together mish-mash of invalid assumptions and shoddy research from which no useful information can be learned.

Still far more interesting is that following the fiasco of the EU ETS scheme over the last couple of years, Australia's own Kevin Rudd has decided to shelve ETS for the foreseeable future.

And ergo, this shows that Pachauri and the IPCC are despicable liars who have faked and misrepresented climate science.

I just thought I'd save Dave the trouble of linking all this together. Now we can move on.....

I think by now it's pretty clear that Dave doesn't so much crave the attention as need it. There's a comfort level in the (hard-earned) disrespect he revels in here that I'd rather not speculate about. Suffice it to say, it's a mean old world out there.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

Dave Andrews, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

Just asking.

By Former Skeptic (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

That the denial industry would misrepresent and smear Pachauri is no surprise. We have to remember this is gutter politics at it's worst.

Scoring rhetorical and propaganda victories over one's enemies is what matters: facts be damned.

The problem, these tactics are so hard to fight. Still, we have to keep countering these kind of smear campaigns with facts.

Indeed, perhaps this is cause for a libel/defamation action? Scientists such as Mann et.al are becoming alert to the legal implications of the deniers campaign of defaming them personally. Pachuri has been personally attacked and slandered for years.

Imagine what the discovery process would yield? A mountain of denialist emails/documents detailing their network and tactics. In the same way the tobacco litigation "lifted the lid" on that industry, it may be time to get tough on the deniers.

By Watchingtheden… (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

Dave Andrews writes:

>*Jakerman, welcome to reality!*

Welcome indeed Dave, feel free to look me up when you are [ready](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be…) to join me.

BTW Dave Andrews was [caught making stuff up](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be…) and [misrepresentig papers](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/bad_news_sea_level_rise_may_be…) in that thread.

Dave Andrews'MO is to smear and misrepresent, as he attempted in to do with Rahmstorf.

Dave Andrews writes:

>*Rahmstorf obviously isn't into serious literature*

Really Dave, how do you know?

It seem more likely that Rahmstorf's interest in Pachauri's novel had less to do with his preference for literature and more to do with a habit of checking facts for himself, against misrepreations made by your ilk.

Does Dave Andrews' approach say something about Dave Andrews' approach? Just asking.

Hank @13, I concur.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

I predict a new comment from Dave Andrews shifting the topic to one he feels more comfortable trolling in. I use my psychic powers to predict some or all of the following topics will be soon brought up: Al Gore. CRU emails. Something ending in -gate. Polar ice. The globe is cooling. A random argument put forward by Monckton. Broken hokey stick.

Warning: insert tongue firmly in cheek while reading this!

Meanwhile, in the UK we are having a general election and one of the fringe parties, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has none other than Viscount Monckton of Brenchley answering questions on science policy...

They start off answering a question about Britain's science budget by banging on about global warming - or "global warming" as Monkton refers to it:

>_To restore a fair balance in science funding, all funding connected with "global warming" research will cease until a Royal Commission has heard the evidence on both sides of the case, with all the rigour of a court of law, and has substantively reported._

Very open minded of UKIP? Except that though out the rest of the questions the 'open minded' UKIP approach is on display:

>_There must be an immediate halt to needless expenditure on the basis of a now-disproven hypothesis [of global warming]... The correct policy approach to the non-problem of "global warming" is to have the courage to do nothing._

Why hold a Royal Commission into a 'now-disproven non-problem'? There's either a logic-fail, or political manipulation going on here. It suggests that the intention is to bias the outcome before it has even begun. Very fair and balanced. Not.

As proof of Monkton's scientific credibility (i.e. zero) the answers of the other questions are also great fun: On the issue of public health campaigns, Monkton shows us it laser-like understanding of human biology (which matches his knowledge of climate science, i.e. zero) in regard to too much salt in the diet:

>_Consider the prolonged campaigns to tell the public that salt is bad for them. There is little sound scientific evidence for any such campaign, since any excess salt is merely excreted harmlessly via the kidneys._

Except that an expert on the issue, Stephen Havas, M.D., a professor of epidemiology, preventive medicine, and medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine says otherwise:

>_The medical community has reached a consensus that diets high in sodium are a major cause of high blood pressure as well as pre-hypertension, or blood pressure just short of high blood pressure. This significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke._

In answer to a question about Genetic engineering/Stem cell research, Monkton gives a priceless answer...

>_Wherever stem cells can be obtained by means other than the killing of very small children, it is ethical only to obtain the stem cells by means that do not involve the loss of little lives. On this basis, there is no reason why Britain should not play a leading part in stem cell research._

WTF?? There is a trashy but fun sci-fi thriller from 1990 called Dark Angel (or in the US I think it was called 'I Come in Peace') starting Dolph Lundgren where evil aliens go around killing people and harvesting biological compounds from their brains at the point of death. This seems to be how Monkton views Stem cell research - as a fictional cross between Dark Angel and the child-cather from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Very scientific.

The Guardian's analysis of the UKIP science policy calls it 'bizarre' and concludes:

>_On science, Ukip is dire, with no credibility in the scientific community and candidates who have a demonstrably poor grasp of basic scientific principles, which perhaps explains its general disarray and flip-flopping in areas such as health. Ukip is the only significant party to support homeopathy, and the only party apart from the BNP still in denial over climate change. The appointment of Viscount Monckton as a science spokesman adds to the air of a party of old British eccentrics. Woeful._

Woeful and bonkers. More plus links: http://anarchist606.blogspot.com/2010/04/election-uk-ukips-science-poli…

Ukip is the only significant party to support homeopathy...

The UKIP is obviously but covertly (stop sniggering, it's no more contradictory than their AGW pronouncements ;-) seeking to restore Britain's military greatness by harnessing
Weapons of Mass Dilution. Unfortunately they haven't figured out (ahem) a solution which stops the technology ... er, leaking ... into the wrong hands, which means they simply can't be taken seriously on national security grounds no matter how well-intentioned they are.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

These comments on Weapons of Mass Dilution are recommended.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

...Britain's military greatness by harnessing Weapons of Mass Dilution.

At only 99.9% water, this appears to be little short of useless ... a sort of damp squib (cough, cough).

It's either a benchtop demo or a first-generation device. The time to be afraid will be when they've successfully demonstrated the 99.999999% version.

> The medical community has reached a consensus that diets high in sodium are a major cause of high blood pressure

wait, "consensus"? that clearly means that there can be absolutely no connection between salt and blood pressure. because of Galileo.

SCIENTIFIC FACT!

Perhaps in the event of a hung parliament in the UK, Visocunt Monckton could be appointed/branded Minister for Crankology.

Well, Monckton should be branded for sure, preferably with "crank" across his forehead.

But then, on thinking, and being enamoured of "the delicious irony", I'd make him the minister responsible for ensuring that the government's climate change policy gets carried out efficiently. No? Hmm, perhaps you're right.

I heard Hansen once read a Hardy Boys book. Clearly he's not trustworthy.

Meanwhile, Christopher Monckton is so into A Confederacy of Dunces that he's patterned his life after Ignatius J. Reilly. Serious literature, serious science-doing-guy.

To slightly edit #9:
Dave Andrews, have you stopped beating it yet?
Just asking.

OT, good to see a retraction - the only one so far AFAIK - may there be many more retractions, so as to clear the backlog of discredited X-gate articles by our favourite journalist (hah!).

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

25 Lars,

Thanks. I've passed that one on.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

@ Anarchist606 - good job on the UKip/Monckton stuff. We should let Monckton talk more. A great deal more. The more he speaks, the more insight we get into his views on reality. And yes, there appears to be a disconnect.

By Watchingtheden… (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

MFS,

Was just about to mention the following:-

"Al Gore. CRU emails. Something ending in -gate. Polar ice. The globe is cooling. A random argument put forward by Monckton. Broken hokey stick."

But you beat me to it :-)

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

I want to know if there is a list of the climate deniers amoungst the Tory candidates - must be a fair number , and I'm sure I've read that someone had asked each one of them. Its already come up in the election http://www.politics.co.uk/news/economy-and-finance/climate-clash-over-t… , and its not anything new http://liberalconspiracy.org/2009/10/28/top-tory-blogs-all-global-warmi…

Making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out whose completely batso...

Ukip? That's a rather appropriate name for a party of loonies given that kip is English for nap.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

Dave Andrews:
>Still far more interesting is that following the fiasco of the EU ETS scheme over the last couple of years, Australia's own Kevin Rudd has decided to shelve ETS for the foreseeable future. Jakerman, welcome to reality!

And that has what to do with the science?
I also find it interesting that you equate your reality with politics.

eg. you superimpose your political beliefs onto everything.
In other words you allow your political prejudices to guide your views about science.

>I want to know if there is a list of the climate deniers amoungst the Tory candidates - must be a fair number , and I'm sure I've read that someone had asked each one of them. Its already come up in the election

Erm, Labour has a prominent skeptic/denier in Manchester (Graham Stringer MP), I have no doubt that it has many skeptcis and deniers!. In fact Stringer was one of the MPs that interviewed Phil Jones and gave Jones a hard time in the Parliamentary inquiry. The Tory MP that did some of the interviewing was quite reasonable. Stringer also asked for more skeptics to be involved in the other two inquiries set up by UEA.

The fact is the left are just as bad as the right when it comes to self interest and neglecting the environment.
Environmental politics if there is such a thing, should be setting its own agenda and kicking ass where ever an ass needs kicking.

Getting back to the actual posting by Tim.

It's good to see that many scientists are fighting back and not allowing the media to continue to spread lies.

@MikeB #29

You can definitely put Douglas Carswell to your list of Tory deniers:

[Climate change - most now dare to doubt](http://www.talkcarswell.com/show.aspx?id=1134)

[BBC and climate change: are we about to see more balanced reporting?](http://www.talkcarswell.com/show.aspx?id=1061)

He is also a big plan of Ian Plimer:

[Climate change - some facts](http://www.talkcarswell.com/show.aspx?id=1171)

He will almost certainly be re-elected as MP for Harwich - a low lying coastal constituency.

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

If you want to know UKIPs views about climate science you only have to get it from the horses mouth. From UKIPs Energy and Environment policy:

>While our climate may currently be changing, this has happened in the past. Greenland was covered by forest that supported butterflies less than 1 million years ago.
A mere 10,000 years ago glaciers extended south of Birmingham. In Britain, and probably globally, our climate was relatively warm in Roman times and again in the
âmedieval warm periodâ. This was followed by a âlittle ice-ageâ from about 1350 to 1850, followed by a further period of warming. Global temperatures increased during the
twentieth century by only about 0.7 degrees Celsius despite the large-scale industrialisation that took place, with little control of emissions.Cyclical changes in the brightness of the Sun, variations in the Earthâs orbit, and cosmic and solar radiation effects influencing the amount of cloud formation on Earth, may be raising global temperatures directly and indirectly through the release of carbon dioxide and methane from the Earthâs crust and oceans. There is an historical association between global temperature and the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, but rises in temperature have generally preceded rises in carbon dioxide (by about 800 years). Which is âcauseâ and which âeffectâ has yet to be settled convincingly. Oceans act as buffer absorbers of carbon dioxide. They may be approaching saturation but the extent and consequences of this are not well established.

http://www.ukip.org/content/ukip-policies/1568-main-policies

Doh, typo "He is also a big *fan* of Ian Plimer".

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 28 Apr 2010 #permalink

Paul UK,

Oh please do tell me what my political beliefs are and how they dictate my view of science.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 29 Apr 2010 #permalink

> Oh please do tell me what my political beliefs are and how they
> dictate my view of science.

Why? You did so already yourself, Dave. What do you need Paul for? Alzheimer-by-proxy?

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 29 Apr 2010 #permalink

Paul UK,

From your post #32

" In other words you allow your political prejudices to guide your views about science."

From your post #33

"Environmental politics if there is such a thing, should be setting its own agenda and kicking ass where ever an ass needs kicking."

Pots and kettles come to mind.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 30 Apr 2010 #permalink

@lord-sidcup # 35
Sadly, I remember him from when Plimer came up in conversation.

PaulUK - your right to bring up Graham Stringer, but he seems to be the exception that proves the rule - pretty much all the batty types seem to be on the right. Even if you discount the UKIP and the BNP, the Tories have a fair number of climate deniers. There's the MP's (such as Redwood and Davies), the wannabe MPs's, and the supporters. Radio 4 seemed to have got a fair number of them on its World at One programme, including Frederick Forsyth, who sounded as though he was the Daily Mail demographic archtype. And as for Lawson et al...
The sad thing about this is that the Tories have actually been pretty good on climate change in the past, from Thatcher to Gummer and Yeo. What happened?

If Cameron does get in, perhaps with a very slim majority (or relying on the Unionists), some of these people are going to be rather more powerful than they would normally be. The Unionist environment minister won't be so much of a joke then...

Re: DA @40.

Pots and kettles may well come to a mind that believes everyone must think like them.

I let science guide my politics mr Andrews.
More like chalk and cheese.

Paul UK,

"I let science guide my politics"

So what science is it behind your

"Environmental politics if there is such a thing, should be setting its own agenda and kicking ass where ever an ass needs kicking."?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 02 May 2010 #permalink