The recently produced Massive Open Online Course on climate science denial is chock full of great videos that should be at everyone’s fingertips. HERE is a list of the videos. Use it well and powerfully.
I don’t care that the director or CEO of an advocacy organization concerned with poverty is an active academic. Indeed, my view of active academics is that many are largely incompetent in areas of life other than their specialized field. If that. So really, if you told me there is this great advocacy organization out there run by a well established active academic I’d figure you had that wrong, or I’d worry a little about the organization. On the other hand, everyone should care that university positions be given to active academics with credentials. So, when the University of Western Australia got paid off (apparently) to give Bjørn Lomborg a faculty position everyone looked at the UWA and said, “WUT?”
That was a situation up with which the members of that university community would not put, to coin a phrase, and the public outcry put a quick end to it. This is appropriate, because according to a new post by Stefan Rahmstorf at RealClimate, “… apart from one paper in 1996, Lomborg has never published anything in any field of science that was interesting or useful to other scientists, or even just worth the bother of contradicting in the scientific literature.”
I’ve talked about Lomborg here before. Here I noted,
There is currently a twitter argument happening, along with a bit of a blogging swarm, over a chimera of a remark made by John Stossle and Bjorn Lomborg. They made the claim that a million electric cars would have no benefit with resect to Carbon emissions. The crux of the argument is that there is a Carbon cost to manufacturing and running electric cars. When we manufacture anything, we emit Carbon, and when we make electricity to run the cars, we emit Carbon, etc. etc.
We also talked about how Lomborg is wrong on electric cars here. Lomborg has been stunningly wrong on climate change, which is mainly what he is known for these days (being wrong on climate change, that is). And his wrongness on sea level rise and Bangladesh is not only stunning as well, but also, downright dangerous.
Stefan’s post looks in detail at two things (and in less detail at many other things). First, is the question of whether or not Lomborg is an actual practicing academic with a good publication record and all that. He is not. Stefan’s analysis is clear.
Second, is a more detailed look at Lomborg, sea level rise, Bangladesh, and all that. This is especially interesting because Stefan is one of the world’s leading experts on sea level rise. He has two peer reviewed papers on the “top ten most cited” on the Web of Science (which has well ove 40,000 sea level rise related papers), which are heavily cited. Stefan’s post is a must-read because of Stefan’s overview of sea level rise, aside from the stuff about Lomborg. Go read it.
So go read the post, learn about Bjørn Lomborg’s academic qualifications, how wrong he has been about sea level rise, and some other good stuff.
I suspect we are not going to see much more about Bjørn going forward.
The Willie Soon Controversy
There’s been a lot of talk about the Willie Soon Controversy. Bottom line: Soon was an author on a paper that failed to disclose his extensive funding by the petroleum industry and its friends (over a million dollars to date, I believe) as required. I don’t have time to craft a detailed expose or commentary, but I wanted to get a bunch of resources in one place. I should mention that this is not all about Willie Soon, but rather, about climate science denialists more generally, a few specific others besides Soon, about how crap gets published now and then much to the giddiness of the denialist community, and about the ethical issues plaguing Soon, which have led to, among other things, tens of thousands of people signing a petition to get him sacked from his position at Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics lab.
The Monckton-Soon-Legates-Briggs paper
It all starts with this paper:
Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model, published in the Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
The paper has been examined by a number of scientists and others, and found wanting. Here is a selection of the critiques:
Roz Pidcock at The Carbon Brief: check: Scientists hit back at claims global warming projections are “greatly exaggerated”
William Connolley at Stoat: “the Monckton et. al [sic] paper is complete trash”
Thought Fragments: Monckton, Soon, Legates, and Briggs falsely claim to have presented a new climate model (see also this comment on that post.)
And Then There’s Physics: The designers of our climate
Not Spaghetti: The Monckton equation
Alexandray Cheung at Climate at Imperial College London: http://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/climate-at-imperial/2015/01/23/with-climate-models-simpler-isnt-necessarily-better/
From the Daily Kos: Mocking Monckton’s Climate Model
On getting bad climate science published in peer reviewed journals
Brian Merchant at Motherboard: How Climate Change Denial Still Gets Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals
From E&E Publishing, Gayathri Vaidyanathan: Heartland Institute finds route into U.S. science news conduit through China
About Soon’s apparent failure to follow disclose, and his funding sources:
The Boston Globe: Climate change skeptic accused of violating disclosure rules
Climate Investigations Center: Willie Soon Fails Conflict of Interest Test in Science Bulletin Article
About that petition to get him fired: Willie Soon, will he soon be fired?