Climate Change Global Warming Media

Pearce : The Gloom Bubble

Fred Pearce attempted to lighten the nation’s mood with a jolly little piece about how Climate Change sceptics and scientists are trying to resolve their differences, in a Short Sharp Science piece this week :-

Pearce clearly wanted to bring good news and pierce the gloom over continued attacks on Climate Change scientists from the Internet sceptic “community” (which includes a real climate scientist, Judith Curry, pictured smirking above).

However, he appears to have put his foot squarely in his mouth, by recounting what others have now strongly disputed, almost everywhere to near universal disquiet :-

“Fred Pearce is going down the David Rose road publishing fabricated quotes. Gavin Schmidt in a letter to New Scientist (so far unpublished there) writes…”

“Eli a trusting sort of bunny, likes to believe everyone, but favors cutting the cards. Porky Pearce over at Nude Scientist is taking a shellacking for, as they say, making it up. Gavin might even get a few bob out of it if he were Monckton Minded, but as for now all we have is Dr. Schmidt’s (still unpublished as we go to press) letter sent to the editors…”

“As many of you may be aware, a conference was arranged purportedly to “bridge the gap” between mainstream climate scientists and the so-called “skeptics.” Fred Pearce reported in an article for NewScientist that Gavin Schmidt had declined the invitation to attend because the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss. Quoting from the article: “But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.” This isn’t a misquote — it’s just a fabrication. Schmidt has sent a letter to NewScientist objecting to someone making up such a story…”

“In a recent article in New Scientist journalist Fred Pearce decided to make up a quote by Dr. Gavin Schmidt. Read on to see Gavin’s letter to New Scientist that correct’s Pearce’s Journalism 101 mistake…”

“Fred Pearce seems to have made a bit of a career out of being rubbish recently, but has now stooped to just making things up (or, just possibly, that good old journo standby, being so clueless as to what you’re talking about that your paraphrases are so inaccurate as to descend into lies). Anyway, Pearce’s current lies are in the Newt Scientist where he says the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss. Gavin, of course, said no such thing…”

“When last we left Pearce, he was enthusiastically attempting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the vile, rotting corpse of “He said; She said “journalism”” that has long wreaked havoc on public understanding of climate. Checking in, we now find Pearce has sunk to just making statements up and attributing them to people without their knowledge or consent. Specifically NASA GISS researcher (and RealClimate blogger) Gavin Schmidt…”

What with New Scientist carrying a pseudo-article that is actually an advertisement for Statoil, I think I might nearly be at the point where I cancel my subscription, unless Fred Pearce stands down from having control of environmental reporting or editorial functions at the magazine.

One reply on “Pearce : The Gloom Bubble”

I too have been worried by the declining editorial standards at New Scientist – aside from the more obviously error ridden pieces they seem to be shifting their stance on climate science and responses to climate change, as well as subtly (or not so subtly) calling into question the reliability of science. For example the cover-feature of last week edition ‘When Science Gets It Wrong’ – which is, of course, an article about how science improves itself by testing and discarding hypotheses…and which could equally have been headlined ‘When Science Gets It Right’ or whatever. Same edition features a hopelessly optimistic spread on 3rd gen biofuels. There’s been a lot of that sort of thing lately – articles that vaguely suggest (or whose headlines, or excerpts from) that scientific understanding is less certain than you might think, combined with technology puff pieces that suggest we can happily carry on with business as usual without worrying overmuch…

The Statoil thing was pretty annoying too…

I thought I might be imagining it at first, but…I dunno, will be interesting (if depressing) to see how it goes over the next few months.

I’ve been a subscriber for 20 years, and did renew this year after some thought. Won’t be next year if this carries on though…

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