A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Naomi Oreskes, THE Merchant of Doubt herself, uses tactics of the tobacco lobby

Naomi Orsekes’ big intellectual contribution to the climate debate is her fantasy that skeptics copy tactics from the tobacco lobby. It’s a trick to reframe real criticism — Dr A spots a real error, but Oreskes waves the “Tobacco tactic!” red flag. Stop the conversation!

Not only are these ad hom attacks tactics as old as the stone age, bone obvious, and used in every political hot-potato debate, but “tobacco tactics” are the stock and trade of Prof Naomi Oreskes.  She’s make a whole career out of mimicking the tobacco industry.

Oreskes wrote an entire book designed to denigrate scientists based on tenuous links on unrelated topics with 20 year old documents. She is The Merchant of Doubt — it’s what she sells — “doubts” about the motivation of skeptical scientists. Her fantasies about skeptics using tobacco tactics is pure psychological projection. Perhaps she isn’t aware?

In a science debate about the climate, the only things that matter are evidence and reasoning about the climate. Those who can’t point out flaws in the science debate launch personal attacks from the gutter instead. What has tobacco got to do with Earth’s Climate? It’s not a forcing or a feedback, but the [...]

The end of the Global Warming Scare would look a lot like this

Soon, the moment will come when the crowd will say “I always knew it was fake”.

Here are three signs we are at the beginning of The End.

1. Op-Ed writers will be pointing out how governments are unwinding  policies: Dominic Lawson: Britain Has Finally Rejected The Bogus Economics Of Climate Change. Germany (home of half the worlds solar energy production)  is winding up its pursuit of renewables, and eight Eastern European nations said “No Thanks” (legally) to the EU’s authoritarian dictat on carbon emissions, and hardly anyone complained…

And which energy source is ecologically correct Germany now developing faster than any other? Lignite, otherwise known as brown coal, the most carbon- intensive fuel known to modern man.

This makes the countries on the European Union’s eastern borders (notably Poland, for which indigenous coal is a dominant energy source) even more reluctant to accept the national emissions targets promoted by Brussels. Eight of these nations launched a legal challenge and last week they won a ruling by the European Court of Justice that Brussels had exceeded its powers in imposing such limits. The court brushed aside the European commission’s complaint that it would not otherwise be [...]

This is not journalism, Wendy Carlisle

Background Briefing ABC Radio National July 17th

I’m sure Wendy Carlisle thinks she’s helping Australia.

The awarded writer who calls herself a science journalist, breaks laws of reason, makes a litany of careless errors, ambushes interviewees with false claims, and devoutly stares past hundreds of peer reviewed references as if they don’t exist. Yes, Anything but the evidence!

She thinks hunting through resumes of retired scientists is a good way to inform us about the need for a Carbon (sic) Tax.

It’s a wake up call ladies and gentlemen. This is the state of “science” at your ABC where polite discussion and meaningful research has been replaced with tabloid guttertalk.

The ABC is not part of the problem, it IS the problem. It’s not just that we spent $1 billion last year on the ABC — the real cost of the propaganda-machine disguised as “impartial reporting” is the billions of dollars we have already malinvested due to the ABC’s inability to provide rigorous and relevant science reporting, and the multi-billions more we are about to waste.

The nation is about to undergo a [...]

Oreskes’ clumsy, venomous smear campaign: busted

Naomi Oreskes

The great Fred Singer takes the time to explain why Naomi Oreskes is a scientifically inept and a poor historian. Her famous claim of a scientific consensus based on 900 papers missed more than 11,000 that should have been included. Her grasp of science is so poor she isn’t familiar with the pH scale, thinks Beryllium is a heavy metal, mistakenly assumes that CO2 is trapped in the troposphere, and climate models can predict forest fires and floods. Embarrassingly, Oreskes doesn’t understand the difference between reactive oxygen and radioactive oxygen.

Armed with cherry picked distortions she sets about maliciously impugning upstanding senior scientists with distinguished records in science, and years of service. Unlike a professional historian she hasn’t even interviewed any of them to find out if the information she promoted was correct. Sadly Singer is the only one still with us to point out the flaws.

Years from now when their contributions are still recognized, Oreskes will be but a footnote in history classes of how poor research and largely baseless innuendo were used to serve a groupthink meme and feed a hate campaign against some of our best and brightest. No humility. No respect. No [...]

Thorne 2010: A very incomplete history of the missing hot spot

Emails are coming in about the latest attempt to announce that they’ve “found the hot-spot”: Thorne et at 2010.

It’s already being used in NOAA press releases to repeat the same line about how a “new scientific study” supports the models. The aforementioned support is rather weakly phrased as being “broadly consistent” (which somehow means the same thing as being “90% certain” a catastrophe is on the way, right?).

But it gives them another chance to claim it’s been found:

This new paper extensively reviews the relevant scientific analyses — 195 cited papers, model results and atmospheric data sets — and finds that there is no longer evidence for a fundamental discrepancy and that the troposphere is warming.

It says something about how important the hot spot is that they keep “finding it”. (Even though they never seem to issue a press release saying it’s missing.) But since the data from the last warming spell came in ten years ago, there are only so many ways they can rehash the same numbers. So now they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel in desperation. This new study is not a “new scientific study”, it’s a new review. This paper tells us [...]