Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Friday, November 09, 2007

Climate Hoax Backfires

At, Dr. Roy W. Spencer (see his Wikipedia bio) exposes an odd climate hoax.

Yesterday (11/7/07), a "research study" was circulating on the internet which claimed to have found the "real" reason for global warming. Even though the hoax was quite elaborate, and the paper looked genuine, a little digging revealed that the authors, research center, and even the scientific journal the study was published in, did not exist. I sent an e-mail to Rush about the issue regarding the hoax, with a copy of the "research study". Unfortunately, my very brief note to Rush was not very clear, and he thought that I was calling global warming a hoax, rather than the study. Even though Rush has told me not to worry about it, and that "the buck stops here" with him, I just wanted to apologize to everyone for this misunderstanding, as I feel that better wording on my part would have prevented this from happening.

Ironically, the hoax was published by a true believer in anthropogenic global warming, in an attempt to discredit AGW skeptics:

An anonymous Brit has now admitted in a brief interview that he wrote the fake global warming research paper which is claimed to have fooled some of us "global warming skeptics". His stated purpose was to "expose the credulity and scientific illiteracy of many of the people who call themselves climate sceptics".

I would argue that he has done just the opposite.

Several of us (scientists and non-scientists alike) were able, within a matter of seconds to minutes, to identify the paper as a fake. We then spread the word, warning others of the hoax. Therefore, we showed that we do not, as the hoaxer claims, "believe almost anything if it lends support to their position". We did exactly the opposite.

I was listening to Rush that day. He introduced the bogus study and debunked it during the same broadcast.

Dodgeblogium has the bogus study's abstract.

Dr. Spencer demonstrates one of the first rules of both journalism and peer review: check the validity sources. In this case the named authors didn't even exist.


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