JunkScience Lies: APS Offers Respectful Correction

Fri, 2008-07-18 09:06Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

JunkScience Lies: APS Offers Respectful Correction

Using methodology that Junkman Steve Milloy has refined over more than a decade, the pro-pollution website Junk Science today announced that the American Physical Society (APS) “has declared that there is no scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.”

But a quick click on the APS website produces this:

The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.”

Isn't there a technical, legal and socially bruising word to describe when someone says something that is directly at variance with an observed, easily verifiable truth?

The APS goes on to explain how this question arose - how Junkman Milloy might have thought that he could get away with his flight of fallacy:

An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed. (My emplasis.)

(Hat tip to DeSmogBlog's frequent - and frequently intemperate - commenter Ian Forrester, who has been trying to make this point clear for a couple of days, now.)

So, the editors of an online newsletter loosely associated with the APS entertain a submission from Christopher, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, notwithstanding that Monckton is a) not a scientists and b) well-known for his record of making stuff up when it suits him - or when it might help increase his income.

Steve Milloy, who advertises himself as a consultant to (among others) the “chemical, materials (and) energy” industries, then uses the Monckton submission as justification to email everyone he has ever met (or who will accept JunkScience mailers) to say:

HUGE: APS ENDS CONSENSUS MYTH! “

The most forgiving among you might suggest that Milloy is capable of an honest mistake, that he may legitimately have confused one of 39 leaflets produced by members of the APS with a respected peer-reviewed journal of a national professional association of physicists.

I am less convinced. This is a guy who cut his teeth in public relations and was an early executive director for The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), an astroturf group established by Philip Morris on the advice of the PR firm APCO Worldwide. TASSC existed to reassure people of the safety of second-hand smoke, ozone depleting chemicals and, surprise, extra CO2 in the atmosphere. And Milloy has been lobbying for such causes ever since.

This is not an unsophisticated player.

Nevertheless, I sent him this email at 8:45 PST today, July 18, 2008.

Steve,

Contrary to your report today, the APS has NOT retreated from endorsing the consensus position on climate change, a fact you can confirm by reading the disclaimer prominently displayed on the APS website. If you acknowledge that fact on your website (JunkScience) and apologize for misleading your readers, I will praise your responsible reaction on my website (deSmogBlog.com) and apologize for calling you a liar.

Let me know,

I eagerly await the opportunity to report his response.


For a more in-depth look, check out DeSmog's comprehensive research database on the climate denial industry. 

 

Comments

It is an allergic reaction to lies and slimeballs :-)

Ian Forrester

. . . lie
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): lied; ly·ing \ˈlī-iŋ\
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lēogan; akin to Old High German liogan to lie, Old Church Slavic lŭgati
Date: before 12th century
intransitive verb
1 : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
2 : to create a false or misleading impression
transitive verb
: to bring about by telling lies

Fern Mackenzie

I'm guessing the inactivists are thinking of another different word:

Climatati
Function: noun
Etymology: from neo-Latin Climatati, possibly derived from Greek klima, klimat- -- see CLIMATE
Date: 17th century

1 : a worldwide conspiracy formed during the depths of the Little Ice Age to take over the world by spreading the hoax of global warming
2 : an invisible conspiracy which has coerced the 50,000-strong American Physical Society to recant their skepticism of global warming, and to deny ever denying global warming

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

I've had a start of a look at Monckton's paper, and I suspect, as usual, that it is riddled with errors.

A few things which leapt out at me.

The graphs nearly all cherry pick starting points; move back a year or two and this becomes clear.

The claim for tropospheric non-warming is wrong.

The use of a "carbon dioxide feedback" is wrong. This one is weird. He includes a "feedback" with carbon dioxide with units of W/m^2/K. It is a confused association of section 7.3.5 of IPCC 4AR. (Ch 7, page 531 onwards) This actually deals with the slowing in the rate at which CO2 is taken up into the carbon cycle. Monckton somehow converts that into a feedback from temperature to additional forcings.

Then there is a rather strange "divide by three" applied to the CO2 forcing on this basis.

I hope someone takes this apart, and soon.

Maybe 3 is their approximation of pi.

of course, checking the APS website, there on the front page, what did i see....

the truth!

The troubled Junk peddling giant Bush/Cheney, Inc., made the news this week as sales at its relatively obscure Its Junk Science division plummeted worldwide. Persistent reports that can not be repressed continue to emerge from Greenland, that the ice there, once thought to be impregnable, is sliding into the sea. The appearance of the Bush/Cheney name on the bottom of the G8 climate statement stunned experienced market watchers who wonder how the Its Junk Science line can continue to be sold. Bush/Cheney, Inc. refusing to give in, moved swiftly to bolster stock prices by canceling climate action at home. However, a number of mainstream corporate and political outlets had already recalled the Its Junk Science line from their dealerships. The Bush/Cheney brand, which still hangs on as the number one peddler of junk in the world, continued its long slide. At one point last week as CatholicPope, Inc, scored a public relations coup with the Pope’s new “global warming is on my mind” line topping the worldwide news, Its Junk Science stock ceased trading for two hours before an orderly market could be restored. Other Bush/Cheney, Inc divisions also seem weak. Junk War, although the market for it was stabilized earlier this year, faces serious ongoing skepticism and a huge majority of stockholders demanding the end of operations. Junk Economy continues its free fall. If all investors fully committed to Its Junk Science lost everything, the blow to investor confidence might extend to all Bush/Cheney corporate divisions, analysts say. This could threaten the entire market for Junk, end the Iraq war, cause extensive restructuring in the US economy as it moved to face the problems of today, and test the ability of Global Control, Inc., to maintain order. Speaking from Washington, Federal Junk Reserve Board Chairman Euthan A.Shaw called for calm. "We stand ready to commit the entire resources of the US to buy more Junk", he said. “Bush/Cheney, Inc will not be allowed to fail”. For more on this story see http://www.globalcontrol/bush-cheney/politically/motivated/deniers/arejunk.shitml

The APS has added the following disclaimer to the Monckton paper:

"The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article's conclusions".

I think that pretty well says what 50,000 physicist think of the subject.

Ian Forrester

They are somply reacting to pressure from the alarmists.
See the real story at Junk science.

And here is yet more proof that AGW was over a long time ago.

http://icecap.us/images/uploads/WashingtonPolicymakersaddress.pdf

Excerpt:
Shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from its warm mode to cool mode assures global cooling for the next three decades.

Of course Ian will pronounce it false. It's simply what he does. But does anyone believe him?

"They are somply reacting to pressure from the alarmists."

I knew you'd say that. See above.

http://tinyurl.com/5dpveq

So this should make me, hey, a Level IX Junior Goracle! Predicting inactivist talking points, much easier than predicting the climate.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

Hi Gary. How did you confuse the University of Alberta with the University of Calgary? And how do you propose to demonstrate your real belief that global cooling is assured for the next three decades?

Tim Lambert has a good discussion of a few of Monckton's errors at:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/moncktons_triple_counting.php

The first comment (H/T dhogaza) has a pointer to Monckton's letter to APS:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Y2IyMDE3NDMzYzgxMGM1ODMxNzU2N2U2ZjM0NjQyMWU=

demanding removal of the warning,noting that he had not even asked for an honorarium for his work, demanding all sorts of documentation from APS about its decision-making, demanding apologies, etc.

No surprise.

Clearly APS wasn't watching the Physics & Society newsletter very carefully, and incompetence crept in. It will be interesting to see what happens to that going forward.

"Clearly APS wasn't watching the Physics & Society newsletter very carefully, and incompetence crept in. It will be interesting to see what happens to that going forward."

Good heavens, a little academic freedom was allowed to creep into the newsletter. This will never do. Heads must roll!

First the inactivists say that the entire APS was becoming skeptical.

Next the inactivists say that the APS was allowing a "little academic freedom".

Next they'll claim that the APS is really part of the Great Warmist Conspiracy, and was just out to bait Monckton all along.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
"Al `Fat Al' Gore [is fat]" -- Harold Pierce

[x]

Two Colorado legislators announced they are introducing a ballot initiative aimed at punishing cities and towns that vote to ban fracking within their borders.

Rep. Frank McNulty of Highlands Ranch and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling, both Republicans, announced they will attempt to get an initiative on the ballot to block local jurisdictions from getting severance tax revenues or...

read more