Skeptic Climate Scientists Do Not Deserve Fair Media Balance.’ Redux, part 2

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

[Update: 8/20/19] Open Letter to Nature Communications (the ‘Skeptic Climate Scientists Do Not Deserve Fair Media Balance’ Problem, part 1)

[ Author’s 8/20/19 update appears at the bottom of this page]  The entertaining news item last week was reports about the publication of a paper in Nature Communications titled “Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians,” which fundamentally suggested that “professional journalists and editors should adjust the disproportionate attention given to contrarians.” Climate scientist Dr Judith Curry describes it as a travesty, “the worst paper I have ever seen published in a reputable journal,” with regard to its highly questionable attempt to juxtapose 386 prominent contrarians with 386 expert scientists in a way to conclude critics of the IPCC side of the issue don’t deserve equal media attention. I’m one of the so-called “contrarians.” Continue reading

Skeptic Climate Scientists Do Not Deserve Fair Media Balance.’ Spread This Line Widely; NEVER Check its Veracity and Don’t Examine its History.

When a topic is soundly settled, it is egregiously stupid to consider long-debunked counterclaims, and Ross Gelbspan was among the first to see the stupidity of anyone doing exactly that in discussions about global warming.’ This would be a devastating statement if either of the two premises within it were demonstratively true. So, why would anyone make such a statement if either premise cannot stand on its merits? Continue reading

Did Gelbspan Prompt the BBC to Avoid Giving ‘Unfair Media Balance’ to Skeptic Climate Scientists?

In late 2012, an interesting scandal broke out concerning how the British Broadcasting Service – the BBC – was trying very hard to avoid releasing the names of ‘experts’ who had contributed to a report which concluded that the BBC wasn’t especially obligated to give equal time to skeptics on the topic of man-caused global warming. While the subsequent release of the names revealed the ‘experts’ were potentially quite biased, the question remains, what caused the BBC to heed the advice of such people in the first place? Continue reading