Sunday 14 February 2010

How the media can manipulate our viewpoint

What a brilliant illustration of what cherry-picking can do to a message

How the media can manipulate our viewpoint

Saturday 13 February 2010

The inconsistency in the response of the Klimatosoof’s Theo Richel to the Open Letter of 55 Dutch Scientists

Theo Richel Klimatosoof Lord Monckton global warming nonsense statement
Theo Richel and Christopher Monckton
On the Klimatosoof-website DGR’s Theo Richel complains that the “55 Dutch scientists open letter” published on SENSE contains a lot of “non-climate scientists” like biologists. He writes a whole paragraph to say he thinks biologists aren’t able to understand the complex physical processes of climate science. He also wonders about the fact there are economists, politicologists, mathematicians on the list. He concludes :
On the grounds of their education only a minority of all signers is able to judge whether IPCC’s claims on anthropogenic climate change are true.
According to a comment of Bart Verheggen (link in Dutch) most of the names he recognizes actually do work in a domain related with climate research
But given Richel’s argumentation it might be fun to have a little closer look at the people who wrote (or were interviewed) on the Klimatosoof website the past half a year or so :
  • Bas Van Geel is a biologist
  • Theo Richel himself is a man who apparently has no education after high school
  • Hans Labohm is an economist
  • Benny Peiser is an anthropologist
  • Lord Monckton is a man with no scientific training whatsoever
  • Arthur Rörsch was a professor teaching genetics
And of course in the entire advisory board of the Klimatosoof there’s no-one who ever worked in a field even remotely close to climate science.
I think Theo Richel just disqualified his entire website :)

Tuesday 9 February 2010

The Inhofe 700 erratum on Belgian climatologist Luc Debontridder

In the end of 2008 i wrote a blog post to show that a misrepresentation of a Belgian climatologist in a Belgian newspaper somehow ended up in the Inhofe 650 report.

It’s been out a while already but i only discovered now that the March 16, 2009 update (aka Inhofe 700) of the Inhofe report acknowledges that Debontridder’s views and his report at the Belgian Royal Weather Institute were incorrectly represented.

These extra lines were added to the original text (my emphasis):

[Note: Though Debontridder dampened climate fears with such quotes as “There's no need either to needlessly frighten the public. Bruges will not be on the coastline by 2050,” he reportedly claims he and his report were not translated correctly in media reports from 2007. (LINK) ]

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Marc Morano, author of the Inhofe minority report, took my blog as a source for his erratum :

  1. Morano ends with a link to a Babelfish translation just like the one that appears in the second comment below my original post
  2. The part between parentheses is a word-by-word copy of a sentence i wrote. (while the exact Babelfish translation is : “we must people also do not boom on the corsage to hunt. It is not this way that Brugge is due within fifty years to the range”)

Should I be happy now that Morano at least used a reliable source (hear hear) to write his erratum ?

Well, i am not.

Unlike what the placing of Morano’s parentheses suggest the quote he gives actually is the second part of a sentence. Which normally requires you to quote it in this format : “(…) xxx yyy zzzz”

The reason why Morano didn’t insert the first part of the sentence is pretty clear if you look again at the full translation which i already gave in my previous post of December 2008 :

"we cannot go on, following a business as usual policy like this, but there's no need either to needlessly frighten the public. Bruges will not be on the coastline by 2050."

While Morano want to suggest between the lines that Debontridder minimalises the consequences of global warming, truth is that in the VERY SAME SENTENCE Morano quoted Luc Debontridder warns it’s necessary to take actions !

I’m not entirely sure the Debontridder-erratum in the Inhofe 700-list is such an improvement.