A scientific dream team led by Climate Nuremberg dot com’s own John Cook is contemplating an online complaint about the denier blog Climate Scepticism dot com, in the wake of a “flawed and potentially misleading” interview (don’t click) regarding the latest post at Skeptical Science dot com.
In a scathing article today the climate scientist Joseph Romm, who teaches at DeSmogBlog dot com, gives the CliScep piece a D- for scientific credibility, citing “serial unseriousness, blatant dog-whistling and the decontextualization of literally every paragraph, from beginning to end, of the original [SkepSci] post.”
Writing at The Conversation dot com dot au, Professor Clive Hamilton says the scandal people are calling SkepticismGate illustrates the worthlessness of the blogosphere as a source of information. He reminds readers that—unlike deniers—legitimate scholars never express themselves on the Internet, viewing it as “an attempt to bypass the checks and balances of the peer-reviewed literature. Those are the two words you need to remember, folks—peer and review.”
Cook and his mother, Professor Naomi Oreskes, say they only agreed to CliScep’s interview request because the name and contents of the now-discredited website tricked them into mistaking it for a reputable, anti-skeptic blog, like Skeptical Science.
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a Bristol-based cognitive scientist, lent his credibility to the SkepSci post as a co-author. He believes it’s no accident that the shadowy coalition of Australo-, Americo-, Anglo- and Euro-deniers behind CliScep chose a blog name so easily confused with Dr Cook’s. His regretful conclusion is that, “at this point, the only way to keep words like ‘sceptical’ and ‘skeptical’ safe from misappropriation by skeptics is to trademark them.”
In a special post at ShapingTomorrowsWorld dot org today, Lewandowsky reluctantly appeals for donations to a legal fund.
“The tragedy is that the good guys here are vastly out-funded by the skeptic blogs,” he writes. “As the underdogs in this cock-fight, we have no choice but to beg for your help, dear public. I’ve personally pledged to give whatever I can afford, but—with life becoming an endless series of airline tickets—I doubt that’ll cover the initial consult[-ation with an intellectual property lawyer].”
Doctors Cook and Oreskes have been on a three-continent tour to dispel public unawareness of their blog entry. But in light of the seriousness of the skeptic distortions of its message yesterday, they ditched their itinerary to meet us in Sydney, where they gave us the authentic, scientific version of events.