Despite flagging media coverage, there was plenty to go around, says a Bay Area scientist
That isn’t to say that there wasn’t plenty of public jabber about it, much of it wrong, according to Peter Gleick, who heads the Oakland-based Pacific Institute. Gleick is a hydrologist and one of the more outspoken science figures on Western water and climate issues. As a countermeasure against what he calls climate “disinformation,” Gleick and some colleagues have started handing out yearly Climate B.S. (Bad Science) Awards. In so doing, Gleick doesn’t spare the media itself. His list of 2011 “winners” came out today (gratefully we’re not on it). The following are Gleick’s words. Some of the links are mine. May I have the envelope, please:
THE WINNER OF THE 2011 CLIMATE B.S.* OF THE YEAR AWARDS IS:
All of the Republican candidates for President
Being anti-science in general, and anti-climate science in particular, seems a requirement for nomination to lead the Republican Party. Not a single one of the Republican candidates for President has a position on climate change that is consistent with the actual science accepted by 97-98% of all climate scientists and every national academy of sciences on the planet. The choice among the current Republican candidates on the issue of climate change is scientific ignorance, distain for science, blatant misrepresentation of facts, or naked political expediency, any one of which would make the individual candidates strong contenders for the 2011 Climate B.S. Award. Combined? The group wins the 2011 Award hands down.
Second Place: Disinformation from Fox News and Murdoch’s News Corporation
Fox News moves up from their fifth place finish last year, joined by the entire News Corporation empire of Rupert Murdoch because of its apparent efforts to synchronize anti-climate science reporting among the different Murdoch outlets in the UK, the U.S., and Australia.
Third Place: Spencer, Braswell, and Christy
Third place goes to Roy Spencer and William (Danny) Braswell for a debunked research paper on climate sensitivity, and John Christy, for an astounding piece of misleading testimony at a Congressional climate change hearing.
Fourth Place: The Koch Brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
Fourth place goes to fossil-fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, Inc., who provide substantial funding to groups and politicians who deny the science of climate change. The Koch brothers fund a veritable Who’s Who of groups that put out misleading science or tout bad science on climate change as an intentional strategy.
Fifth Place: Anthony Watts for his BEST hypocrisy
Anti-climate-science blogger Anthony Watts said he would accept the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature or “BEST” study, even if it proved him wrong. Unfortunately for him, the study showed that the Earth’s surface is warming and at just the rate that numerous previous studies had shown – but he reneged and attacked the paper and the science.
Runners-Up in 2011 included:
Harrison Schmitt and the Heartland Institute for “Arcticgate” (documented errors in denying disappearance of Arctic sea ice); Rush Limbaugh for his consistent falsehoods about climate science; and Steve McIntyre for his smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University.
Gleick sharpened his teeth a bit for this year’s round. Last year, all but one of his first awards went to a series of commonly repeated “false and misleading climate science claims,” whereas this time around Gleick and his nomination team (which includes more than a dozen prominent climate scientists) took aim more directly at individuals and organizations. Reflecting the general trend in polemics these days, I guess the volume is being turned up.