Just over a year ago I did two posts documenting at length that uber climate change Denier PopTech’s (aka PopTart) list of “skeptic” science was blithering nonsense of the worst kind:
Those who have any experience with PopTech are well aware that he never lets inconsequential trivia like facts or reality influence his beliefs, so you won’t be surprised that he kept adding to his Septic List and finally managed to double it “900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm ” (simple math for PopTech, 2 times 0 is still 0).
Now Carbon Brief has had a look at the expanded list and brings us:
- Analysing the ‘900 papers supporting climate scepticism’: 9 out of top 10 authors linked to ExxonMobil
- “Using our paper to support skepticism of anthropogenic global warming is misleading.” Part II of our analysis of the 900+ climate skeptic papers
Another earlier approach to PopTech’s list was that of SkepticalScience in “Meet The Denominator.” In this approach Honeycutt looked at the number of papers discussing climate change (850,000+) and compared it to PopTech’s (then) 850. After some adjustment he concluded that even if PopTech’s sample was valid (which it clearly is not) it represented a mere 0.45% of the literature on climate change.
This approach has to be understood with caution in that if there was even one solid paper that truly undermined climate change science (although that is well nigh impossible), it would still be more than enough. However, what this approach does demonstrate is that PopTech’s allegation that his list represents a significant body of the science is laughable.
In fact, given that PopTech is trolling the literature for anything that fits his perception despite being:
- not actually peer reviewed, and/or
- known to be false, and/or
- irrelevant, and/or
- out of date (no longer relevant), and/or
- not supportive of climate change Denial*
it is quite surprising that he has only found 900. Given those criteria 9,000 or 90,000 should easily be possible. (thanks to JM for the reminder)
Update: 28/4 See also “Anti-AGW papers debunked” for some of the papers on PopTart’s list.
The second Carbon Brief post documents in more detail the same sort of abuses as the earlier list, ie papers being irrelevant, known to be wrong, misrepresented etc. The first post shows how 90% of the authors of these papers are the same tiny cabal, all part of the Exxon stable of Denier scientists.
Carbon brief quite correctly notes that merely identifying the funding source for the Deniers is not evidence that they are wrong (that would be a circumstantial ad hominem), however:
- It does put the lie to the claim that “skepticism” is widespread among scientists, (a few dozen out of many millions), and
- given that the fraudulent nature of the list has already been documented (as before and as per 2nd post), it does perhaps explain why this tiny handful of people might be motivated to producing this nonsense. (see ExxonSecrets to map the individuals and their relationships)
For those who missed it, another update from some months back is that Energy and Environment, the magazine that published many of those alleged scientific papers, hinted at a libel suit against RealClimate (reported in The Guardian), but not really.
All I can say is that E&E’s original language “At the moment, I’m prepared to settle merely for …” is most definitely a threat of more significant action, but clearly RealClimate was wrong in assuming that they were referring to some sort of legal action. Perhaps they were implying beatings or taunting? who knows?
Be that as it may, that seems to be a dead issue now. As far as I can tell E&E has no intention of suing RealClimate OR of cleaning up their review standards.
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