Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

2011 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award

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[* B.S. means “Bad Science”]

The second annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards were announced today on the Huffington Post and Forbes blogs by Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, and simultaneously on a number of environment and climate blogs. These “Bad Science” 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. Nominations for the 2011 “bad climate science” awards came in from around the world and were reviewed, analyzed, and voted on by a panel of climate scientists and climate communicators. For this year, nearly 20 nominations were received and judged.

Background

Even as unusually frequent and intense extreme weather events killed people and damaged property, and as the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate continued to strengthen, national leaders did little to ameliorate or plan adaptation strategies for climate change. Gleick attributes this failure to act in part to the difficulty of the challenges of curbing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, rising sea-levels, loss of snowpack and glaciers, disappearance of Arctic sea ice, and more. But he also points to what he describes as “a concerted, well-funded, and aggressive anti-science campaign by climate change deniers and contrarians.”

“These are mostly groups focused on protecting narrow financial interests, ideologues fearful of any government regulation, or scientific contrarians who cling to outdated, long-refuted interpretations of science,” said Gleick. “While much of the opposition to addressing the issue of climate change is political, it often hides behind pseudo-scientific claims, with persistent efforts to intentionally mislead the public and policymakers with bad science about climate change”

In response to these efforts, in 2010 the Pacific Institute launched the annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards. We are now pleased, and disturbed, to announce the winners of the 2011 (second annual) Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards:

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.

Last year, the first Climate B.S.* of the Year Award went to a series of false and misleading climate science claims including: “there has been no warming since 1998;” “the earth is cooling;” “global warming is natural;” and “humans are too insignificant to affect the climate.” Four other runners up were also highlighted in the first awards given a year ago.

Dr. Peter Gleick, one of the co-authors and creators of the Award, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, and a hydroclimatologist by training, says: “The public and our policymakers are being bombarded with climate B.S. It is long past time this B.S. was called out for what it is: bad science.”

For full details on each prize winner’s contribution to climate B.S., go to Pacific Institute or Peter Gleick’s blogs at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/climate-change-denial-_b_1185309.html or http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/01/05/the-2011-climate-b-s-of-the-year-awards/.

Written by Scott Mandia

January 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Good list.

    I think they underestimate Watts’ aggregate contributions.

    arch stanton

    January 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

  2. Looks like everyone that is a denier whether a scientist or teacher or whatever, are all wrong, and you are all right about man made GW…. Again I will say follow the money…this will break the USA, no other country will follow suit. so forget it….Al Gore, is nothing but a lying hypocrite. He tells us don’t buy property along the coast, so what does Al do, buy a mansion in Malibu on the coast. come on guys…..look at this truthfully.

    Kelly

    January 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  3. Kelly,

    That humans are warming the planet dramatically is settled fact. Another settled fact is that scientists cannot get rich by publicly-funded research grants. See:

    https://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/ and https://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/

    You are advocating a scenario where we are all in a burning house but we all refuse to leave because nobody wants to be first. The US is more responsible for the CO2 that is in the air so we must take the lead to reduce emissions and then use diplomacy and economic pressure to get others like China to follow.

    We have the technologies now that are needed to put us on the path of reducing our carbon emissions. The military, businesses, and everyday people are already taking action. It is time that we tell our leaders to also take action. There is still time but the window of opportunity is quickly closing. It is urgent that we act now.

    Solving the climate change problem offers tremendous economic opportunity and has the benefit of securing our national security and improving our public health.

    Scott Mandia

    January 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

  4. Kelly changes the topic and fires off vague and unsubstantiated ad hominems.

    Conspicuous in the absence of a direct reply is the implication that Kelly thinks bad science is justifiable if it suits one’s political goals.

    Kelly, 2 thoughts:

    Learn to separate science from politics, and beware of projecting.

    arch

    arch stanton

    January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm


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