Prat Watch #2: the 2011 Climate BS Awards

The 2011 Climate BS Awards (where BS stands for Bad Science) have just been announced by Peter Gleick and the Pacific Institute [Huff Post, Forbes]. Nominated and voted for by a crack team of climate scientists and communicators, the awards go to “particularly egregious, notorious, or well-publicized examples of bad climate science that were produced over the past 12 months and used to try to influence or confuse the public and policymakers”. Runaway winners? The Republican candidates for President of the USA. Here’s the award citation in full:

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. [my emphasis]

Worthy winners, and deeply depressing for the future of the planet. Here’s the rest of the award pantheon:

  • #2: Disinformation from Fox News and Murdoch’s News Corporation
  • #3: Spencer, Braswell, and Christy
  • #4: The Koch Brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
  • #5: Anthony Watts for his BEST hypocrisy

Read the full awards citations (including “honourable mentions”) at Peter Gleick’s blogs or at the Pacific Institute. Readers might care to nominate worthy Australian and New Zealand contenders for a southern hemisphere award. There are plenty of prime contenders…

de Freitas feeds his students sceptic propaganda

Auckland University associate professor Chris de Freitas has been caught feeding climate denier propaganda to first year geography students. A close examination of the student workbook for de Freitas’ lectures on climate for the University’s core first year geography course reveals that it includes material from sceptic blogs and US think tanks — even a misleading graph prepared by Christopher “Garnaut’s a NaziMonckton.

The NZ Herald‘s Chris Barton broke the story this weekend — first year geography students have complained that their climate lectures didn’t reflect what they were learning elsewhere in the university:

…according to some students of de Freitas’s 101 course on the basics of climate you won’t hear about how climate scientists are now seeing such patterns [of extreme weather]. Or about the building evidence that human-induced climate change is changing precipitation and the hydrological cycle, especially the extremes.

And that 2010 ranked as the warmest year on record, together with 2005 and 1998, making the first decade of the 21st century the warmest ever according to the World Meteorological Organization. […]

“No, nothing,” a student in the course told the Herald. “I learned all that in my Environmental Science class.”

The Geography 101 lecture workbook confirms the lack of such information. There seems little, if any, reference to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its landmark 2007 reports were not listed in the course reading material. Climate scientists shown the workbook were surprised at how out of date much of the material was.

A glance at the lecture workbook, however, shows that de Freitas’ misdirection of his students goes much further…

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Missing the point by miles

I have been steering clear of Wishart-related material for the last week or two (on the “wrestling with pigs” principle), but I can’t let this post at his blog pass without comment. It begins:

In the climate debate, we can choose to listen to truffle fanciers like Gareth at Hot Topic, journalists like myself or politicians like Al Gore, or one of the leading scientists in the climate field, like Roy Spencer from University of Alabama-Huntsville. The following is a fascinating essay from his blogsite, which backs up the central thesis in Air Con – most of the CO2 increase is natural, not man-made:

He then reposts Spencer’s blog item in full, adding in the comments:

Spencer’s study suggests strong evidence that oceanic CO2 is the primary driver of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. (Looking at the graphs, very strong evidence).

Not a squeak out of Hot Topic and no one posting here challenges it.

Notice how a blog post became a “study”? Ah well, here’s a squeak…

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