Last month when E&E reported on an email with notes from Heartland’s meeting about the Red Team, one of the suggested actions the fossil fuel flunkies take up was to “conduct a new survey of scientists to refute the 97% consensus.”
But odds are pretty slim a Heartland-approved survey could get past peer-review in any legitimate or significant journal. Case in point: the somewhat regular posts from blogger Kenneth Richard at the ironically named NoTricksZone (NTZ) that tricks readers by misrepresenting studies to claim they refute the consensus.
When NTZ published a list of 58 studies that supposedly debunk climate change in May--quickly copy-pasted the next day into a post by James Delingpole at Breitbart--Snopes quickly made a move to debunk. The all-around hoax-busting site contacted many of the authors of the studies described by deniers as consensus-busting, and not a single one who responded agreed with the NTZ/Delingpole assessment.
So when NTZ released an updated list of 400 supposed consensus-busters last week, Delingpole jumped into action and faithfully parroted the list the next day. Soon after, he was contacted by Snopes with some questions. Instead of actually responding to the questions directly via email, Delingpole wrote a public post that point blank admits he doesn’t bother with due diligence or verification or any of that journalistic nonsense.
Snopes fact checker Alex Kasprak asked if Delingpole had read the papers on his list and talked to the authors, how long it took him to research his post of NTZ’s list, and if he’d gotten an early look at the post on NTZ. In response to Kasprak’s queries, like any good reporter, Delingpole admits he did absolutely no research himself. Because Delingpole is not an expert, he says he entrusted NTZ to do “all my homework for me.”
“Obviously, if it turns out that Kenneth Richard [NTZ] has misrepresented these papers, then yes, I can be criticized for having lazily helped promulgate a lie,” Delingpole writes, offering the smallest fig leaf of credible, good faith engagement. “If Snopes can demonstrate this to be the case – viz that the quotations from the papers I quoted are themselves misquotations – then clearly I will apologize.”
Reading the Snopes debunking of the NTZ list, it’s pretty obvious that Delingpole lazily helped promulgate a lie. Snopes reports, for instance, that one paper deliberately removes the warming trend to examine non-greenhouse gas influences on the climate. Despite the paper’s explicit discussion of having removed the trend, NTZ and Delingpole count it among those that show no warming. Clearly this is a misrepresentation driven by either deliberate deception or an unbelievable degree of incompetence.
Snopes uses the earlier list of 58 papers that were addressed by ClimateFeedback in June to show how the deceptions are broken out into three main categories: papers that look at non-ghg forcings misrepresented as debunking climate change, misrepresenting papers that look at regional trends and pretending they’re globally representative, and calling out papers that are fine-tuning the models as though they somehow prove models are broken and therefore climate change is a hoax.
But remember, Delingpole says that he’ll apologize if the quotes he used in his piece are misquotations. We don’t expect an apology, since he quoted the words in the paper, yet he misrepresented what they actually meant. Have he and and NTZ “misrepresented these papers”?
In the words of Delingpole himself, “Yes, [he] can be criticized for having lazily helped promulgate a lie.”
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