By Tobias Ziegler
Tim Lambert has already reported on this, but this is such a brazen example of how Andrew Bolt plays with the truth that it deserves repetition.
Yesterday, Andrew told us that “The tide is slowly turning” on the scientific consensus about global warming. His evidence? A statement from Jeffrey Marque, editor of the American Physical Society’s Forum on Physics & Society, published in July 2008:
There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.
There are just a couple of issues with Andrew’s presentation of this new evidence to support his claim.
First, he noted the same publication back in July.
Second, he failed to note that the same editor published this in October (the next issue):
In fact, we have not polled any scientific community (e.g., the climate research community, the physics community, or the general science community) as to the extent of its consensus regarding human-activity-caused global warming, and we apologize for making such a remark for which we do not have supporting data. We now do know that, in addition to the American Physical Society, the following scientific organizations have issued statements and/or reports in support of the IPCC’s main conclusion concerning the role of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in global warming: The National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
So, that is the type of evidence Andrew Bolt uses to rally his followers — recycled and retracted.
But the saga continues. In response to a complaint from a commenter, Bolt suggests that he included appropriate caveats in yesterday’s post. The complainant noted that the APS itself had distanced itself from the original editorial, which is true. And Bolt did address that in his post, by noting:
The [physics and society forum of the] American Physical Society
Note that the APS forum is only part of the APS, which still maintains the faith.
But there are still a couple of problems. First, Bolt attributes the original statement to “the APS forum” — this is wrong, as it was the work of one editor. The APS newsletter has two co-editors — Marque and Al Saperstein. Each writes an editorial comment for each issue of the newsletter — the statement in the July issue that Bolt quoted was written by Marque.
Second, there is still the fact that even that editor apologised for his statement — in other words, he retracted their own denial of “the faith” that Bolt rails against. He noted that not only his own organisation, but at least four other relevant groups, have supported the IPCC’s main conclusion about anthropogenic global warming.
So, this is the type of “evidence” that Andrew Bolt musters to rally his followers. Take one discredited statement and repeat it a couple of times. Throw in the occasional cherry-picked snippet of data (surely it must be cold today somewhere in the world?), and depict your detractors as religious zealots. Keep it up and it just might become the truth.
I think I would rather look at all of the scientific evidence, thanks.