Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Birthday Cheer for Ricky the Special-Needs Monkey

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  • Lyndon Hood,

    a scientist could easily say "umm, no I didn't document any doubts, because I have none"

    Or "that's a lie, take my name off your list". People are, I think reasonably, still responding to the way it was originally presented.


    Heartland can interpret research however they like. Yes. And presenting the list of names as they have - even with the corrected title that accurately reflects their interpretations - doesn't have any sensible scholarly point. It's inviting misinterpretation and if it were NZ advertising i doubt it would beat the consumer guarantees act.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    This is not politics, this is science.

    You can debate appropriate levels of public spending or whatever, because they are a matter of opinion and societal preference.

    But when *all* the people who are trained in this area and have done proper research are of one mind about the existence of anthropogenic global warming, then hearing somebody with zero qualifications comment: oh it was a bit chilly this morning, doesn't that mean we're cooling not warming is of *absolutely no relevance*.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Chaos Buddha,

    They two documentaries are nowhere near equivalent. The fact you can't even be bothered to spell Gore's film correctly speaks volumes.

    ... and the fact that you can't get a basic Blackadder reference -- and the obvious kudos that implies -- also speaks volumes.

    The makers of AIT 'highlighted the bits they wanted you to see' just as much as the makers of GDWS did, as evidenced by the fact that details of the former are winding their way through the US judicial system. No boffin worth their funding grant would ever accept such a study as it was, pretty pictures and all, simply because it doesn't critique itself internally, and doesn't supply the controls needed to give you perspective.

    Oh, and speaking of perspective, Mr. Grumpy-pants, you might wanna re-read the bit where I said that I didn't think GDWS was by any means the be-all and end-all of it, but simply how it represented there being two points to the story. AIT is *not* the last word on the subject by any means, just like the Heartland Institute is *not* the only group artificially inflating their numbers.

    No need to get so defensive over it, man ... although you might wanna try stepping down from your 'Holier Than Thou' box every now and then.

    Nirvana • Since May 2007 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I maintain, the purpose of the exercise, and the way the "co-athor" list was presented was no scholarly, and it was not accidental.

    Its specific purpose was to generate headlines like these:

    Oh indeed.

    But the first and fourth articles you've listed link to the Hudson institute media release, not the Heartland one (I'm not sure what the relationship is between the two organisations, but presumably pretty close). The second and third articles it's not clear where they've gotten their story from.

    Take the first story for example. They've quoted the media release in the story, saying:

    A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares.

    And then entitled it:

    500 Scientists Publish Peer-Reviewed Literature Refuting Man-Made Global Warming

    The removal of the words 'at least one element' change the meaning between the text and the heading quite a bit. Sounds like the scientists don't believe in global warming now.

    And the title of the last one? C'mon, I've seen more accurate titles on kiwiblog. If people are going to that place for their information...

    I guess I find it strange that these guys are really worth the attention of our mainstream media. "Bunch of climate change denialists publish non-scientific book and misleading information online." Big surprise. If quacks are going to use scientific publications for their own warped purposes, up to them. There's plenty of tin foil hats to go around.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle, it does underline how weird a lot of these people are.

    I backgrounded Durkin after the "documentary" screened. This is one of the more striking parts:

    In 1998, Durkin shopped the BBC a prop for a documentary claiming that silicone breast implants were beneficial to women's health. The Beeb commissioned research that found that Durkin had ignored a large body of evidence that didn't fit his case. Channel 4's Exquinox strand aired the programme instead, but not before Durkin's expert researcher walked away, declaring that "my research was being ignored. The published research had been construed to give an impression that's not the case. I don't know how that programme got passed. The only consolation for me was that I'm really glad I didn't put my name to it."

    And there's much more where that came from. Why, if you thought you had a serious case against AGW theory, would you hitch yourself to a character like Durkin? Which is precisely what Bryan Leyland is doing in comments over at Hot Topic this week ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    ... and the fact that you can't get a basic Blackadder reference -- and the obvious kudos that implies -- also speaks volumes.

    I think you need to work on your poncy German accents, when written in text. I've seen that Blackadder episode about a dozen times, and I didn't get until you referenced it.

    Or "that's a lie, take my name off your list". People are, I think reasonably, still responding to the way it was originally presented.

    I guess so. I still don't really see the amended title as a bald-faced lie, just bad use of science.

    The original release was in September last year. I presume the story came up here today because the scientists made their release against it. Does anyone know why it took them 8 months to do that? Did they not know that they were on the list? Amazon lists the book coming out in February 2007, so I can't imagine it's the release of the book that has brought it to light.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The original release was in September last year. I presume the story came up here today because the scientists made their release against it. Does anyone know why it took them 8 months to do that?

    It's presumably because DeSmogBlog brought it to light, contacted the scientists and told them how their names were being used. Heartland didn't change its description of the paper until this week either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Somehow - goodness knows how - I managed 702,567 km

    Wow. That's almost further than the moon. Enoch Brown will be most impressed.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The makers of AIT 'highlighted the bits they wanted you to see' just as much as the makers of GDWS did, as evidenced by the fact that details of the former are winding their way through the US judicial system.

    Again, I call bullshit. The Swindle guy was an out and out lier. The only reason Al Gore's documentary is winding its way through the judicial system is that it was damned inconvenient for many people and there are deep pockets wanting to discredit it in anyway they can. To presume that the courts are a sensible place to "prove" science is crazy.

    And yeah, not everyone on PA is a Mr. Bean fan.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Terence W,

    What Don Christie said.

    What Don Christie said.

    And, what Don Christie said.

    Thanks Don.

    YesWeCanberra • Since Mar 2008 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Just watched the Media7 feature. I think that Kerr's right in what he said to Deborah Hill-Cone - there is a limited business advantage in having quality journalism wrapping a publications ads. NZ has the other disadvantage for freelance journos that the whole APN business model is based around filling newsprint with the cheapest possible content (with exceptions, like Robert Fisk). It doesn't help that the newspapers are all monopolies and would be read to some extent even if they just had wire stories in them.

    So you have a job that many people want to do and quite a few are able to do, plus employers that don't regard quality as a business edge. Are you surprised rates are low?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    The reason Al Gore and his little Truth number appeared in the courts is that his doco wasn’t science in the strict sense of the term. We have a similar review process for advertising here. And even Hansen has used the Press Council in NZ to get a ruling on a climate sceptics opinion that differed from his own. ( he lost)

    And what about Als other exaggerations.

    Well known is claim over the internet.
    Also he claimed to have been 'shot at ' in Vietnam, he said that he was a ' newspaper trainee' at the NY Times and that he had a part in writing Hubert Humphreys acceptance speech at the 68 convention.

    Strangely he WAS the model for a character in Erich Segals Love Storey.
    And in a throwback to his internet claim, Al Gores father claimed to be the 'father of the interstate highway system'

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And yeah, not everyone on PA is a Mr. Bean fan.

    Please. Let's not confuse the distinctly average comedy that is Mr Bean, with the masterful Blackadder series, particularly Goes Fourth. It should be compulsory to view Blackadder before you're allowed to watch Mr Bean.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well known is claim over the internet.
    Also he claimed to have been 'shot at ' in Vietnam, he said that he was a ' newspaper trainee' at the NY Times and that he had a part in writing Hubert Humphreys acceptance speech at the 68 convention.

    Oh yawn.

    I heard he wears women's underwear on every second Sunday.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    Look at this recent headlines from that science ' magazine' Nature.

    any problems Russell 'with the way they conduct themselves'

    Is the Arctic's biggest ice sheet in irreversible meltdown? And would we know if it were? Alexandra Witze reports.

    When people talk about catastrophic climate change, there's a fair chance that Greenland is on their mind. If they use the term 'tipping point', then it is pretty much a sure thing.

    and the comments in the online discussion here
    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080416/full/452798a.html

    What I didn't see in the article is what happened to the Greenland ice cap in the period 1935-1950. The retraction of the breakup point of the largest glacier at Ilulisat (Jacobshavn) was much faster in that period than recently. See the NASA web site at: http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/jakobshavn.html and specifically the long-term retreat (1850-2003):

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    Yawn...

    WILKIE (paragraph 1): The subtitle of this campaign biography could be: The Riddle of Al Gore. Why does a disciplined, earnest, intelligent man with high morals have, as the authors describe it, "an occasional propensity to enhance his role in events?" To believe that as a 20-year-old he contributed to Hubert H. Humphrey's acceptance speech at the 1968 Democratic convention? To claim that he was "shot at" in Vietnam when he never faced enemy fire? To expand his job description at The New York Times from copy boy to "newspaper trainee?" And, most famously, to pose as father of the Internet and role model for the protagonist of "Love Story?"

    http://www.dailyhowler.com/h091500_1.shtml

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    re: Al gore

    Check out Vanity Fair on the truth behind the media claims.

    It looks in detail at the media's distortion of what he said. For example, he never said he "invented the internet" he actually said that he presided over the congressional cttee that made the internet public, so we could all use it. Al Gore did a huge amount for the internet as we know it today - but he never claimed to have invented it.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Terence W,

    Um Steve,

    Did you actually read the Daily Howler post you linked to???

    It is a critique of the errors in the Curtis Wilkie review you quote.

    Scraping. The. Bottom. Of. The. Barrel.

    YesWeCanberra • Since Mar 2008 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Llewellyn,

    To Rich of Observationz
    What particular problem do you have with wire services.
    Personally I rely on them to pay me wages.
    Russell
    I am also perplexed by the idea that 1/3 of newspaper copy is freelance. That would not match my perception, newspapers are far too cheap to pay even those poor wages for copy when they get it from the wire services that Rich takes exception to.

    Since Feb 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Ummmm......Australia's Waikato University?????

    Oh dear....

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    The reason Al Gore and his little Truth number appeared in the courts is that his doco wasn’t science in the strict sense of the term.

    erm, no.
    the reason he was in court was because, to quote the Guardian, the court case was

    funded by a Scottish quarrying magnate who established a controversial lobbying group to attack environmentalists' claims about global warming"

    "The case was supported by a powerful network of business interests with close links to the fuel and mining lobbies."

    Ultimately, the judge ordered some teaching aids to go with the film to clarify 9 points and denied the legal application to stop it from being distributed in schools.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I have no problem with wire services. I used to work for a firm that resold Reuters and Dow stuff. I'd just point out that their copy is, shall we say, functional and different from what one might expect in a newspaper.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The arrival of the story here and in the local media isn't an accident: Greenpeace, with an eye on Heartland beneficiary Owen McShane's select committee submission yesterday, has been shouting it from the rooftops. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

    Certainly not, but I do have to note the irony of Greenpeace (!) complaining that (and I think this is an accurate paraphrase) "foreign lobby groups should stay out of New Zealand politics". My problem is that there are too many people on both sides who see science as a tool of politics, and I not only feel rather disturbed by that confusion but am damned if I know how you re-establish a cordon sanitaire between the two.

    Before this gets dismissed as right-wing Greenie-bashing, I've not problem with Greenpeace being an intensely political lobby group with a very clear agenda. I just don't think it's the most credible organisation to be complaining about the politicisation of science, and lobby groups manipulating the media for uncritical coverage.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Just watched the Media7 feature. I think that Kerr's right in what he said to Deborah Hill-Cone - there is a limited business advantage in having quality journalism wrapping a publications ads.

    Um, I'd quibble with Kerr on that point. As I've said elsewhere, my blog diet runs more towards literary/arts blogs these days. I've got to say that one major motivation to take The Spectator was it's excellent book and arts pages, some of the best-written and stylishly quirky columnists around and provocative features. Mostly provided by freelancers who apparently were decently paid for doing good work.

    While Conrad Black is now, and ever shall be, the anti-Christ to most PA readers, he didn't turn The Spectator into a solidly and consistently profitable journal of opinion (for the first time in its 180-odd year history) by fucking over the contributors.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Conrad Black was (before his trial and conviction) in business both to make money and because he enjoyed the power and influence that owning influential publications like the Telegraph and Spectator got him.

    I think if he had acquired Hello or Womens Day he could have made much more money more easily than by owning the Spectator. But it wouldn't have helped him have dinner with world leaders.

    Most of NZ's media isn't owned by people like Black - it belongs to corporates out to make money.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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