Mail on Sunday 92% wrong on climate change

GlobwarmNH
GlobwarmNH (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sadly, I increasingly fear, in future decades our children and their children are likely to look back on this second decade of the twenty-first century as a wasted opportunity to put the findings of science into action.

The scientific consensus on climate change is clear and stable. The only “argument” is about just how rapidly the threat is growing. Yet that argument – in fact often just a refinement of figures based on better measurements and more refined models – is being used to claim that the science is not agreed and that, somehow, it is legitimate to claim that climate change denial is good science.

The latest example has been the misreporting and misrepresentation of the leaking findings of a draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

First of all – leaked findings of draft reports are not generally to be regarded as scientific reports – science does not work that way. Papers are reviewed and finalised for good reasons.

Secondly, misreporting renders even your attempts to manipulate such leaked draft reports as little better than chip paper.

And that is just what the Mail on Sunday – one of the leading engines of the science-denial brigade in the UK – have been caught doing.

As this excellent blog shows – the Mail on Sunday claimed that scientists were about to reduce their estimate of the long-term warming by 50% when, in fact, the reduction was about 8% (or one one-hundredth of a kelvin).

Such journalism – personally I think this sort of reportage belongs in a comic, not a serious national newspaper – poisons public debate all too often. And, without wanting to comment on the individual views of the journalist concerned here – one David Rose – it is plain there is a determined attempt by some to have ideology trump science. That cannot be allowed to stand.

 

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