You’d think the main people behind the effort to keep the idea of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) alive would have figured out by now that it’s a waste of time to float the notion that skeptic climate scientists receive too much undeserved attention from journalists. The danger is that rather than anyone, CAGW skeptic or outright believer, being able to point to any CAGW skeptic scientist/speaker given fair coverage any time in the just last decade at a mainstream media broadcast or newspaper outlet, the counter-opposite might be revealed, such as what’s been seen over the last two decades at the PBS NewsHour. “But – but -but – Pat Michaels and Willie Soon have been on CNN and in the New York Times!”, CAGW believers might exclaim. Right. Each castigated as shills of the fossil fuel industry. When has anyone ever seen CAGW scientists like Michael Oppenheimer* insinuated as shills of Big Green operatives by mainstream media reporters?
Yet, only two weeks ago, a supposedly peer-reviewed paper titled “Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians” published at Nature Communications attempted to float that exact ‘too much media balance’ notion. One of the paper’s blunders was to attempt to compare 386 ‘pro-CAGW’ people to an equal number of opposite “prominent contrarians.” Willis Eschenbach at WUWT goes into much deeper detail on how the comparison’s methodology is suspect, as does Larry Kummer at Fabius Maximus. I think I showed fairly well in item #2 of my Part 1 blog post how the “prominent” bit collapses when the list includes people like me.
The far bigger error in the paper, however, was to classify their other data source, the Desmogblog organization, as a benign-sounding ‘project’ objectively documenting known promulgators of CAGW disinformation. Intentional, or inadvertent due to sheer ignorance, that portrayal itself is disinformation. Continue reading