A college friend of mine who knows I write about climate change brought this Newsweek article to my attention today:
He wanted my opinion on it. I wrote a quick review of the article, and I’m reposting it (slightly modified) below.
Joe, this article is written by a women who either does not understand the issue, or is willing to further distort it. This is readily apparent in multiple ways, and I’ll highlight a few. You got my fingers going, so this is going to be fairly long.
The headline claims that multiple papers have retracted ‘climategate’ claims. She actually only quotes one paper (references another German paper), and here is the problem: Neither of these articles have anything to do whatsoever with climategate. It is a subtle misdirection, she opens up by talking about climategate then mentions the two article retractions, but there is no link between the two. Climategate was a leak or hack of emails from the CRU in Britian, the articles were talking about mistakes in the UN IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), two totally separate issues. This mistake invalidates the entire point of the article, but the mistakes don’t stop there.
Her opening statement speaks of climategate as a “highly orchestrated, manufactured scandal”, which is a hard pill to swallow. The emails were released on a relatively unknown blog, and bloggers (like me) went through the emails and found all the goodies ourselves. Even is this claim is to be believed, the author attempts to completely dismiss climategate by mentioning the ‘inquiries’ into Jones and Mann. The inquiry into Jones is almost comical in its brevity. Considering the gravity of the accusations and the serious implications of Jones cooking the books, the Oxburgh report was a total of….five pages. Not only that, but they didn’t keep any record of how they reached their conclusions that Jones was innocent, leaving us to simply trust them. The Mann investigation was just as bad. Penn State had little incentive to chastise the man who gets them millions every year in funding.
If it is hard for you to believe that both of these investigations could be farces, let me simply direct you to the climategate e-mails themselves. Anyone who claims that climategate is a non-issue has not read the e-mails, or doesn’t understand them. Read them here (I can highlight a few of the better ones if you desire):
Yet another problem with the article is the focus on ONE mistake in the AR4. This is still regarded by many to be a mistake, but even if you throw out this Amazon claim the AR4 is still full of mistakes. The false glacier claim is the most well known, but there are many more, quite a few which yours truly has found. They claim that climate change will reduce African tourism, but their source doesn’t mention Africa or tourism. They claim Canadian wildfires substantially negatively affected the local economy, but their source actually shows positive gains. They claim that the mangroves in Bangladesh are being irreversibly damaged by climate change, yet their source only mentions Pakistan’s mangroves. They cite a newspaper article claiming that 1.3 billion agricultural workers will be negatively affected by climate change, yet the article doesn’t cite any study or article at all. These are just some of the mistakes I personally have found. Yet another IPCC mistake (at least it seems to be so far) was revealed just yesterday:
To claim that climategate is now rendered false by two newspaper’s retractions about a separate issue, and to go on and claim that the AR4 actually isn’t full of mistakes, is a lie. As Mark Twain said, “A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on.”