LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  July 2007

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE July 2007

Subject:

Monbiot on Cockburn on global warming

From:

Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 2 Jul 2007 13:21:40 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (92 lines)

For those who might be interested in George M's comments.
Mandi
June 13, 2007
 The Conspiracy Widens
By George Monbiot

[ZNet editors note: see related debate between Cockburn, Monbiot and others
here http://www.zmag.org/debatesglobalwarming.html]

So at last, and after only seven requests, we have some references. And, to
no gasps of surprise, they reveal that the "papers" on which Alexander
Cockburn bases his claim that carbon dioxide doesn't cause global warming
have not been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In fact they
have not been published at all.

Cockburn appears not to understand the implications of this. Aware that I
might as well argue with a tree stump, let me explain - again and for the
last time - what it means. If these papers have not been published in
peer-reviewed scientific journals, they are not science. They carry no more
scientific weight than an article in the National Enquirer.

The man who wrote them, Martin Hertzberg, has kindly sent me copies. The
howling scientific errors Cockburn makes do indeed stem from this work.
(They are demolished here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/this-week/). This is
why the peer-review process exists: to weed out nonsense. Hertzberg informs
me that he has tried to get his "papers" published in scientific journals,
but he has failed: his nonsense has been weeded out. It is our misfortune
that Alexander Cockburn does not understand this.

But Cockburn will heed no warnings, listen to no one with whom he disagrees.
In my last posting, I gave an example of straightforward scientific fraud
perpetrated by Patrick Michaels. Cockburn now tells us that "I haven't seen
any significant dents or quantitative ripostes to his meticulous scientific
critiques." Well, it's time he started looking.

But there is no elephant trap he is incapable of falling into. He now cites
a "paper" by Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, published in 21st century
Science and Technology. It sounds impressive, doesn't it? But the briefest
check would have established that this is not only not a scientific journal,
it is in fact an anti-scientific journal. It is owned and published by
Lyndon Larouche. Larouche is the ultra-rightwing US demagogue who in 1989
received a 15-year sentence for conspiracy, mail fraud and tax code
violations. He has claimed that the British royal family is running an
international drugs syndicate, that Henry Kissinger is a communist agent and
that the British government is controlled by Jewish bankers. He sees science
and empiricism as yet another conspiracy, and uses 21st Century Science and
Technology to wage war against them.

Cockburn is not the only one to have fallen for this impressive title: it
was also the undoing of the former British environmentalist David Bellamy
(as you can see here:
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/05/10/junk-science/). But Bellamy is
notorious for failing to conduct research before opening his mouth. Should
the same now be said of Cockburn? Did he bother to check this source before
citing it? Has he checked any of his sources?

The answer is plainly no. He has waded unprepared into this debate and as
his errors are exposed, he lashes out with ever wilder accusations and
conspiracy theories. In his attack on the 9/11 truth movement, he rightly
complains that "the "conspiracy" is always open-ended as to the number of
conspirators, widening steadily to include all the people involved in the
execution and cover-up …. ". Now he invokes a conspiracy that widens
steadily to include thousands of climate scientists: "the beneficiaries of
the $2 billion-a-year global warming grant industry". Even the most cursory
research would have shown that climate scientists have been consistently
punished by the grant-givers in the Bush government for speaking out on
global warming and rewarded for hushing it up - you can read more here:
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/04/10/the-real-climate-censorship/.
Should anyone be surprised by this? Or is Bush now part of the conspiracy
too?

I have now learnt that it is pointless to seek to argue with Cockburn.
Because he cannot admit that he got the science wrong, he merely raises the
volume and widens the scope of his attack. Resorting to grapeshot, he now
invokes just about every crazy theory ever raised by those who say that
manmade global warming is not happening. It would require an entire website
to answer them all. Happily, it already exists - www.realclimate.org - and,
over the years, it has dealt with every new issue he raises, drawing on
peer-reviewed papers. But Cockburn will not read these refutations. He has
answered none of his critics; he has not even listened to them. For this
reason, this will be my last posting in this debate.

I sign off with sadness. I have followed Alexander Cockburn's writing for
many years and I have admired it. His has been an important and persuasive
voice on many progressive issues. But I can no longer trust it. I realise
that he is blinded by a conviction that he remains right whatever the facts
might say. In his determination to admit nothing, he will cling to any
straw, including the craziest fulminations of the ultra-right, and he will
abandon the rigor and scepticism that once informed his journalism. I feel
this as a loss. I am sure I am not the only one.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
May 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager