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Peter Doran and how misleading talking points propagate

Filed under: — group @ 28 July 2006

Peter Doran, the lead author on a oft-cited, but less-often read, Nature study on Antarctic climate in 2002 had an Op-Ed in the NY Times today decrying the misuse of his team’s results in the on-going climate science ‘debate’. As we discussed a while back (Antarctic cooling, global warming?), there is a lot of interesting stuff going on in Antarctica: the complexities of different forcings (ozone in particular), the importance of dynamical as well as radiative processes, and the difficulties of dealing with very inhomogeneous and insufficiently long data series. But like so many results in this field, it has become a politicized ‘talking point’, shorn of its context, that is mis-quoted and mis-used by many who should (and often do) know better. Doran complained about the media coverage of his paper at the time, and with the passage of time, the distortion has predictably increased. Give it another few years, maybe we’ll be having congressional hearings about it…

152 Responses to “Peter Doran and how misleading talking points propagate”

  1. 151
    JohnLopresti says:

    I wonder if anyone has seen the July 28, 2006 issue of Science article reporting on a study of 3He and terrestrial dust particles in EPICA during timeframe 6-28 K-years. An announcement appears on the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory website; the alert is titled “Cosmic Dust in Ice Cores Sheds Light on Earth’s Past Climate”, there. Although the announcement divulges very little, I imagine the actual article in Science might have some content interesting to RC authors and readers.

  2. 152
    Hank Roberts says:

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge ordered tobacco companies Thursday to admit they lied about the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes and to warn consumers in advertisements and packaging that tobacco is addictive.

    “U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that the industry conspired for decades to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking and now must pay to help smokers kick the habit.

    “Sharon Eubanks, who recently stepped down as the head of the government’s tobacco team said of the cigarette makers, “This is the first time they’ve been found to violate the racketeering statute. For crying out loud that’s significant. They’re racketeers.”