For some odd reason, arch-science denier Christopher Booker has been getting some play in the media. He's been broadcasting false claims about the surface temperature records.
Every so often a science denier will scour the temperature records to unearth some that have been adjusted upwards. They'll then shout to the world "fraud" "scam" "it's all a hoax". What I've never seen from any denier is them scouring the records for temperatures adjusted downwards. That would totally spoil their propaganda.
This sort of thing happens from time to time, often when the UN is meeting to discuss action on global warming. The timing of the denier attacks in this case coincide with the UN meeting in Geneva.
The reason I think it's weird for any reputable newspaper to publish anything from Christopher Booker these days is because his articles on climate are nuts. Newspapers don't usually like to be associated with utter nuttery (except for the Murdoch papers). Remember this from Christopher Booker back in March 2013? He put up a very silly chart of surface temperature with a cherry picked start date and a scale to hide the temperature change.
Compare the charts below from HadCRUT4:
|Data source: UK Met Office Hadley Centre|
In the above I showed the equivalent of Christopher Booker's dumb attempt to confuse people. This is how Christopher Booker actually portrayed the global surface temperature back in March 2013 - with my annotations:
How can anyone take the chap seriously after that bit of silliness?
This time he's trying to promote a wrong claim by some other denier in deniersville UK. A bloke by the name of Paul Homewood - whose denialist tactics have also been featured at HotWhopper previously. Paul tried to downplay the devastation of Supertyphoon Haiyan. He is also known for building strawmen. And he once tried on a variation of the "bouncing climate" theme - described here. He's a middling denier - not the most extreme I've come across. He's either in denial about global warming or he's in the disinformation business.
Anyway, Christopher Booker managed to con the UK Telegraph into publishing Paul Homewood's misinformation, just in time for Geneva. Here is what Christopher grandly announced:
Of much more serious significance, however, is the way this wholesale manipulation of the official temperature record – for reasons GHCN and Giss have never plausibly explained – has become the real elephant in the room of the greatest and most costly scare the world has known. This really does begin to look like one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.
Does that sound familiar? It will if you're a regular reader here. It's the sort of nonsense you'll read daily in the comments at denier blogs. "It's all a hoax" the rabble wail. "It's a conspiracy." interspersed with allusions to Jewish bankers in the 1800s who started this whole plot, and how FEMA is going to round up all deniers and put them in concentration camps because of the UN sustainability program, Agenda 21.
Christopher Booker comes across as no better than extremist conspiracy nutters who write for WUWT or Prison Planet or Above Top Secret or some other lunatic blog. Apparently before he declared his denialism, Christopher Booker had a career as a journalist. He still manages to persuade some gullible or attention-seeking editors to publish his nonsense.
Kevin Cowtan is a scientist. He's not a climate scientist but he has made a very valuable contribution to the science of global temperature records. You may have heard of the Cowtan and Way paper that was widely acclaimed last year.
He investigated the claims made by Paul Homewood and Christopher Booker. Here are two you tube videos to let you know what he found.
The first is about claims made about Paraguay:
The second one is about the Arctic. Go to YouTube to get the files that Kevin refers to.
References and further reading
Kevin Cowtan isn't the only one who dumped on this latest attempt by Paul Homewood, the UK Telegraph and Christopher Booker to misinform the general public. Here are some more:
- Victor Venema, who is a temperature homogenisation specialist, wrote an article pointing out the silliness and putting it into context. He also wrote a "be nice to deniers" version here. Victor's articles have links to several related articles - including one from Phil Plait at Slate; and one from John Timmer at ArsTechnica - and several more (ATTP and Nick Stokes etc).
- FactCheck.org has an article denouncing the deniers.
- RealClimate.org also has an article showing that Christopher Booker and Paul Homewood are wrong.
- Politifact also has an article about deniers refusing to divulge their "sources" but probably it was a denier (Booker) quoting a denier (Homewood). In that article, Paul Homewood takes a small step back - not far enough - but some. (Added by Sou 14 Feb 15)