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New Scientist Magazine Backpedals In CYA Move and Acknowledges Climate Science Has Been Damaged by the Climategate Emails

Posted by pwl on January 16, 2010

The 16 January 2010 issue of New Scientist is really interesting as New Scientist admit that they published “non peer reviewed speculations” as if it was science (rather than soothsaying) and that those speculations were treated as if they were peer reviewed science by the politicians who run the IPCC panel and produce the Alarmist Anthropogenic Global Warming Climate Change Hypothesis (that has now been falsified in so many ways). Now let’s get into it.

[Update 20100119: It’s fine if a science magazine publishes “speculation” AS LONG AS it is so labeled! If it’s not labeled as a “speculative possibility” without any evidence then the readers might be inclined to “blindly accept it on faith or trust” or to accept it “on authority” as seems to have happened with the Himalayan Glaciers are Melting Doom and Gloom. New Scientist does have cache as an allegedly authoritative (to some degree) science publication, at least in some circles. As such it is their responsibility to indicate accurately as possible the evidence available for any particular hypothesis. One way science rags such as New Scientist, Nature, Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, et. al. fall down is in not presenting opposing hypotheses or contrary evidence that falsifies the hypothesis. By only presenting the one side a rosy picture is transmitted into the minds of many of their readers not all of whom have the time nor inclination nor skills to dig deeper. That failure is on the shoulders of the editors and policy makers of those rags. – pwl]

New Scientist magazine’s unnamed Editors write:

Sifting climate facts from speculation
IT WAS a dramatic declaration: glaciers across much of the Himalayas may be gone by 2035. When New Scientist heard this comment from a leading Indian glaciologist [Syed Hasnain], we reported it. That was in 1999. The claim later appeared in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report – and it turns out that our article is the primary published source. The glaciologist has never submitted what he says was a speculative comment for peer review – and most of his peers strongly dispute it. ” – New Scientist magazine, 16 January 2010, page 3

In the article Fred Pearce writes:

A decade ago, New Scientist reported (5 June 1999, p 18) a comment by the leading Indian glaciologist Syed Hasnain, who said in an email interview with this author that all the glaciers in the central and eastern Himalayas could disappear by 2035. Hasnain, of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, has never repeated the prediction in a peer reviewed journal, and now says it was ” speculative”. – Fred Pearce, New Scientist magazine, 16 January 2010, page 11

So the glaciologist who made the comments and New Scientist are both backpedaling their claims which amount to nothing more than the equivalent of soothsaying the future. Shame, shame, shame. When scientists peddle “predictions” without sufficient hard evidence what really is the difference between what they are doing and soothsaying from dead tree entrails? Nothing really.

“So how could such speculation have become an IPCC “finding” which has, moreover, recently been defended by the panel’s chairman [Rajendra Pachauri]?” – New Scientist magazine, 16 January 2010, page 3

You’re kidding right? Rajendra Pachauri is a politician and will attempt to use anything regardless of how verified it is to support his political agenda and personal wealth accumulation agenda as his recently revealed conflicts of interest demonstrate! This shows that the Editors of New Scientist clearly fail to see the highly political nature of the alleged AGW Hypothesis. Are the editors still under the delusion that climate science is a pure science without being driven by a hard core polarized political movement? I can’t believe they are that naive, can you?

“We are entitled to an explanation, before rumour and doubt compound the damage to the image of climate science already inflicted by the leaked “climategate” emails.” – New Scientist magazine, 16 January 2010, page 3

This is a very strange item. Still attempting to unpack it’s full meaning. Thought I’d share it and see what others had to say about it.

It seems that New Scientist, unnamed author, is backpedaling a published claim that was being propagandized by the chief politician of the IPCC to support the political non-science based AGW hypothesis agenda.

It is also evident that New Scientist is acknowledging that the image of climate science itself has been damaged by the damning Climategate Emails, Documents, and Programs that the Whistle blower released as a public service.

Any way you slice it New Scientist and IPCC are involved in a non-scientific politics based process rather than one dedicated to science. While it looks like New Scientist is clarifying, it’s more of a covering of the butt.

The question I have for the IPCC and New Scientist is where is the actual evidence, hard evidence, not speculation, not science based upon statistical games or questionable data, the actual hard evidence that proves once and for all that CO2 actually causes global warming to any scale that is a problem for humans and life on Earth? Not correlative arguments, but hard repeatedly verifiable and fully open and auditable every step of the way down to each data item and program statement and analysis step and basic assumption.

Show me the alleged mountain of evidence. Please. Where is it? Show it. Open Source it. I dare you. I double dare you. Heck publish a special edition of New Scientist with all the hard evidence listed in black and white. Make said issue publicly available and not behind the usual pay wall. Open Source It!

The task of science magazines is – in part – the education of scientists and the public. Do your job New Scientist. Educate the public, not by explaining the science of the alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming Hypothesis assuming that an explanation of a hypothesis is equivalent to evidence for it but to actually present the hard evidence of the claims alleged to represent objective reality.

Show the hard science evidence New Scientist. Remember to show every step of the work and have it open sourced. Anything less isn’t doing your job and is unprofessional. Science is based upon showing your work. So show it. Assuming that New Scientist supports the AGW Hypothesis that is, which from reading your magazine it sure seems so.

10 Responses to “New Scientist Magazine Backpedals In CYA Move and Acknowledges Climate Science Has Been Damaged by the Climategate Emails”

  1. Alexander said

    Is the Fred Pearce quoted above the same Fred Pearce that writes egregiously silly stuff condemning various countries for the size of their hypothetical carbon footprint for the UK’s Guardian Newspaper? If it is, the Warmists are fleeing the temple before the pillars fall!

  2. RockyRoad said

    An excellent new book, and the first of its genre, called “Climategate, the CRUTape Letters” authored by Steven Mosher and Thomas W. Fuller is now available. I suspect it will be just the first of many such books, but the tide is certainly turning. You can see it reviewed on [adjusted the link – pwl]

  3. Ian L. McQueen said

    FWIW, the year “2035” (melting glaciers) should be “2350”. An error in transcription happened somewhere along the line.


  4. pwl said

    Ian, any “transcription error” within the quoted text belongs to New Scientist. Actually on further review the bulk of the page 11 article gets into the other longer time frame that you suggest was a typo.

    The page 11 article: Debate heats up over IPCC melting glaciers claim

  5. pwl said

    I don’t know if it’s the same Fred Pearce. It could be. Let’s find out.

    The Google Intertube spat this out: “ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in the UK. He is environment consultant for New Scientist magazine and author of the recent books When The Rivers Run Dry and With Speed and Violence. His latest book is Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff. In earlier articles for Yale Environment 360 Pearce has written about the issues of over consumption and over population, and about what he calls humankind’s addiction to nitrogen.” –

    The Google also found this: “Fred Pearce is an environment writer and author of The Last Generation: How nature will take her revenge for climate change.” – Guardian

    Here is his bio from the notorious wikipedia: “Fred Pearce (b. 1951) is currently the environment consultant of New Scientist magazine and a regular contributor to the London Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Times Higher Education Supplement and Country Living. Fred’s Footprint, his fortnightly environment blog, appears on the New Scientist web site. He has also written for several US publications including Foreign Policy, Audubon magazine, Seed, Popular Science and Time. Pearce has written a wide range of books on environment and development issues published in both the UK and US including:
    * Confessions of an Eco Sinner[4]
    * When the Rivers Run Dry[5]
    * Earth: Then and Now, including a foreword by Zac Goldsmith[6]
    * The Last Generation[3] (on climate change)
    * Deep Jungle.” – wikipedia

    Yup, it’s the same Fred Pearce.

    Would you comment further about your observations about Fred Pearce. Thanks.

  6. A C Osborn said

    Of course the “2035” must be true, it was Peer Reviewed lots of times, wasn’t it?
    What Arrogance.

  7. […] Here’s the story: New Scientist Magazine Backpeddles In CYA Move and Acknowledges Climate Science Has Been Damaged by … […]

  8. Chris S said

    Fred Pearce is indeed the same pisspoor journalist who writes in the Guardian.
    His efforts rank amongst some some of the weakest and most alarmist articles I have ever read.

    This is their response to such damming evidence, a feeble attempt at damage limitation (Monbiot style).
    Give them a month or so and it will be business as usual for New Scientist Magazine.

  9. I’m reading the New Scientist (or it’s predecessor) since nearly 50 years. Since about 15 years, NS has clearly adopted the AGW religion, and Fred Pearce is one of its most outspoken evangelists. But from time to time, Fred Pearce curiously manages to write more sober articles. Many years ago one of those was a really article on GW partisans and GW sceptics (I don’t remember the title anymore).

  10. Teresita said

    Forr thee reason that tthe admjin off this website is working,
    no uncertainty very soon it will bee famous, duee too itss qualiy contents.

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