Oh, the violins are playing, the tears are flowing. Rush Limbaugh chose to headline with a false paper proving that Global Warming is a Hoax. (For a moment, one must imagine that James Inhofe’s heart was beating …)
Breaking news: “proof” that global warming is entirely a natural event published in a definitive looking (okay, at first glance) site with The Journal of Geoclimatic Studies. (The links are down. Great Beyond has links to the cache material.) According to a ‘research paper’ published on the website, rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are coming from CO2 emissions from “saprotrophic eubacteria living in the sediments of the continental shelves fringing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.” In other words, humanity had no role. Well, this paper began to run the lines of the Climate Denier branch of the Flat Earth Society. DeSmogBlog has a run of some of those who chose to run with this fantasy. Well, for these Flat Earthers, one problem: none of the authors existed.
Well, add Rush to the list of Flat Earthers caught, well, caught flat-footed. Yes, “America’s Truth Detector” has such a good nose for fraud that we can expect that Brooklyn Bridge salesmen have had a good time with him.
One of big names from the Climate Denier branch of the Flat Earth Society, Roy Spencer, has even apologized to Rush for being so gullible to bite on this fraud. Poor Rush. Poor Roy.
Why did you decide to construct the fake website? Was it purely a joke or did you set out to make people taking your paper at face value look foolish?
Its purpose was to expose the credulity and scientific illiteracy of many of the people who call themselves climate sceptics. While dismissive of the work of the great majority of climate scientists, they will believe almost anything if it lends support to their position. Their approach to climate science is the opposite of scepticism.
Are people asking serious questions? Are they testing their hypothesis? To the extent that I have examined the science, the human factor in driving global warming seems clear. And, well, I am relying on the work of 1000s of others who are bringing ever greater fidelity to humanity’s role in driving Global Warming. Now, to be honest, I would love for all of us to be proven wrong. That would be a far better world to envision that the reality of where humanity is driving an ever warmer world. I would love to be proven wrong, but have to read arguments honestly and seriously — the skeptic material is about as convincing as Flat Earthers.
Are you surprised at the pick up your coverage has generated?
Not really. Equally ridiculous claims – like those in the paper attached to the “Oregon Petition” or David Bellamy’s dodgy glacier figures – have been widely circulated and taken up by the ‘sceptic’ community. But you can explain this until you are blue in the face. To get people to sit up and listen, you have to demonstrate it. This is what I set out to do.
As per Al Gore, those flat earthers will seize on the flatlands of Kansas (or a flat parking lot) as proof that the world is flat, that there is no Global Warming, that humanity has no role in driving the warming, that warming doesn’t really matter, that we can’t do anything about it, that …
How quickly did you expect people to realise that your paper was fake?
In the Age of Google, hoaxes can’t last for very long. But it hooked quite a few prominent sceptics before it was exposed. According to the various exposes now circulating online, among others, Rush Limbaugh broadcast it on his programme, James Inhofe’s office posted it on his site [Editor's note: Sen. Inhofe's office says it was never posted on his website], Benny Peiser sent it to 2000 people and Ron Bailey wrote it up in glowing terms.
Yes, in the reality-based world, things get checked, re-checked, and checked again. Mistakes occur but, well, Spencer and others make the claim of being serious scientists …