Thursday 18 February 2010

Piers Akerman is Being Victimized

It's so unfair.

Malicious bullets fired by the global warmists’ guns

In response to accusations he had misquoted John Houghton, Piers Akerman did the right thing and made a call to International Rescue. It worked:

"Unfortunately for The Independent, Crikey and the ABC, my call to international scientists has borne fruit.

Yesterday I was forwarded an article published in The Sunday Telegraph (UK) on September 10, 1995, in which Houghton told writer Frances Welch: “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”"

This is indeed unfortunate for the Independent. It's tragic in fact. Here we have a different quote with different meaning to the one Houghton never made. But if we really want to - if we close our eyes and really wish - we can imagine that perhaps the misquote was just a paraphrase of this quote. A slight paraphrase in fact.

"How that remark came to be slightly paraphrased in the quotation sent to me we shall probably never know. It’s possible that someone, somewhere in cyberspace tidied up Houghton’s original remark before including it in the material which was sent to me. That sort of thing occurs in the blogosphere."

Akerman gives the blogosphere the credit it deserves, but strangely he claims we will never know how the quotation was paraphrased. If he consulted a Blog Scientist such as myself he could have found out.

The Blog Science technique of "tidying up" quotes - an example

Take what John Houghton actually said in 1995:
"If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident."

This is quite boring. He's claiming humans won't act until it's too late. We could indeed paraphrase him as saying such. But that's not blog science. That's just telling people what John Houghton said, which would be alarmist. No we need to tidy up his words before we can discredit him and the science. Let me tidy up his words a bit so that it sounds like Houghton is advocating lying:

"Unless we announce disasters no one will listen"

There we go. Now it's blog post material.

True to form, The Independent ran Connor’s story which said I had not responded to his queries and, just as reliably, two left-leaning Australian organisations eagerly followed, convinced that they could discredit first me and, more generally, the convincing argument against global warming theorists.

So Conner misquoted Akerman. Typical! Misquoting people is a grave journalistic malpractice. But in Conner's defense perhaps he had simply tidied up Ackerman's words and was just slightly paraphrasing Ackerman.

Even worse we find out that other media outlets eagerly parroted the Independent's story! And it was all done to discredit an individual and discredit scientific arguments! I am glad us skeptics never stoop to such low practices.

Connor was playing ambush journalism and Houghton had never and still has not contacted me.

Ambush journalism? How typical! Fortunately Ackerman knows Ambush Journalism when he see's it. Skeptics would never resort to such a thing.

Houghton hasn't contacted Akerman which technically means he wasn't misquoted and Akerman is off the hook. I mean if you were egregiously misquoted and smeared by a journalist, wouldn't you be just dying to have a phone conversation with them? In journalism if you can misquote someone without them finding out, that's fine.

The ABC’s MediaWatch was next with a piece in which The Independent’s claim it had received no response from me was repeated.

That was patently false but then The Independent was not interested in accuracy. It was interested in discrediting me

Indeed and accuracy is of course very important. Journalists shouldn't be allowed to get away with patently false claims. Akerman is on the ball here.

his agenda was clearly to discredit the messenger (me) and, through that, strike a blow for the warmists, those who have been distorting and withholding data, manipulating scientific evidence and falsifying reports.

Discrediting messengers is bad, yet that is just the kind of behavior that mad "scientist" James Hansen would resort to.

The little Crikey website had a defamatory reference to The Independent and me, clearly unsupported by any research.

Defamatory statements? Statements unsupported by any research? Who would ever print such things? Certainly not Ackerman. Only those bastard warmist rags.

As it happens however, Houghton has made numerous remarks about catastrophic events that would flow from global warming, all of them now found to be baseless, and there is every likelihood that he wishes he never made them. When I read the material on Houghton sent to me, I believed it because it was entirely at one with the quote he gave The Guardian when he equated global warming with WMD in a piece it published on July 28, 2003.

We know what Houghton thinks so we should be allowed to put words in his mouth.

If The Independent, Crikey and the ABC had done some research they would have found the remark ascribed to Houghton which I was given was so little different to what was published 11 years earlier as to make their claims totally misplaced and devoid of anything but malice.

Ackerman is right. Journalists really should research quotes before publishing them.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Lubos Motel finds a trick to hide the embarassment

Lubos calls for an apology in his new post Sir John Houghton is a liar
"I urge Sir John Houghton, the Independent, and all those blogs to apologize to Benny Peiser whose quote was inaccurate in its wording but certainly not in the content."

All I can say is PHEW! At Denial Depot we've been up late the last couple of nights in a kind of panic situation as the John Houghton incident (not a scandal, definitely not a gate) developed. We recognized immediately that the incident was nothing but a commie plot to embarrass the Dear Leader, The Honorable Sir Lord Monckton who had prominently displayed the quote in question on one of his famous lecture slides:

The incident was sparked when Sir John Houghton, former head of the IPCC, decided to haphazardly deny he ever uttered the quote attribued to him, "Unless we announce disasters, noone will listen"

Then to make matters worse an IPCC cheerleading backwater gossip rag had the audacity to publish the headline Fabricated quote used to discredit climate scientist.

So we were frantically trying to figure out a response - a way of spinning it back to make John Houghton the criminal again. As an early attempt we pointed out that skeptics had been citing the quote for years. Why had it taken John Houghton so long to raise an objection? Hasn't he been reading our blogs?

Next we planned to provide the original source and show them where John Houghton had said those words. Being skeptics we of course keep meticulous notes and have a thorough auditing system in place so we were confident that the quote was genuine and our ace journalists had the source. But something odd transpired, it turned out we had lost the notes. Not in a climategate crime-against-humanity way, just that we couldn't find the original source which we based our claims on. This isn't a big deal. Mistakes happen. And anyway it's just one error in such a lot of slides. It happens. Sometimes you lose things. Sometimes you make mistakes. Move on is what us skeptics say. I don't see the big deal anyway, we are only smearing the reputation of a scientist by accusing him saying something that amounts to dishonesty. Ok the quote happens to not have been made by him at all. Is that really a big deal?

We were aghast at the possibility that we would have to apologize. Apologize? No way! We're not apologizing to some commie new world order. In flies Lubo on his white horse and shining armor to save the day and craftily spin the story back onto John Houghton. The answer was simple: Just call him a liar.

So our story now is, OK, John Houghton didn't make the claim "Unless we announce disasters, noone will listen". But he could have done. In some alternate reality he could of said that. And look in our own reality he has said other stuff OK? And now we think about it, we could have quoted that other stuff instead. Yea. But by chance we quoted the false quote, just a coincidence. But the other stuff is just as good OK? And that alone means we shouldn't need to apologize. Oh and it also means that logically John Houghton is a liar.

Look what John Houghton did say. Look at the scandal that Lubos has uncovered:

"If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we'll have to have a disaster. It's like safety on public transport, The only way humans will act is if there's been an accident."

It sounds very much like he's justifying the London terrorist attacks in 2005. So next headline for Lubos:
John Houghton is an Al Qaeda terrorist

And that's the memo.

Saturday 13 February 2010

The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton Wins Another Debate

It was Tuesday when I first heard that The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton would be debating yet another climate scientist. I had first seen The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton when I was undercover at Copenhagen, but I didn't approach him at that time as I could not remember the protocol for addressing royalty.

When I discovered that in fact he was to debate a warmist blogger I immediately shot off a series of emails to The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton's head servant. I instructed him to proceed to the Keep immediately and inform the Lord that it was nothing more than a trap.

There is nothing to be gained from debating a warmist blogger I told him. You'll only lend them credibility. You are a climate scientist after all, a royal one at that, you should surely be seeking out Al Gore or James Hansen. I received no reply of course. The Honorable Sir Lord Monckton will reply if he wishes to.

I watched the debate online using my computer. I had expected a long drawn out affair. So imagine my surprise when The Honorable Sir Lord Viscount Monckton won the debate almost immediately by raising the point that the world renowned skeptical scientist, Dr R. T. Pinker, had in fact already proved that manmade global warming is a fraud and had done so before the debate had even started.

Tim Lambert was left flailing for a response. In desperation he resorted to mere ad hominem, playing a recording of a womans voice to paint Dr Pinker, the world renowned skeptical scientist, as a mere woman. Most of the audience, like myself, gasped at the sheer sexism inherent in this. Some of the girls in the audience even fainted.

In my frankly unbiased view, The Honorable Sir Lord Monckton can be considered to have won the debate simply because of this turn of events and that his little pictures of crowns are better than James Hansen's little pictures of crowns.