Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

Fail on Sunday – Is David Rose incompetent or deceitful?

with 16 comments

As reported by Peter Sinclair on Climate Denial Crock of the Week, David Rose has lit up the deniosphere with yet another outing for his favourite gobal warming stopped in [insert year]” meme.  I am so tired of reading this, I emailed the Editor of the snoozepaper, Paul Dacre (cc. the Press Complaint Commission) – see transcript of email appended below – but I think I should just have sent him a link to the Skeptical Science website where he will see the following:

These graphs are reproduced here in accordance with Creative Commons licensing principles.


Dear Mr Dacre,

Complaint regarding serial misrepresentation of fact by David Rose

With reference to the rebuttal published by the Met Office yesterday (appended below), I hereby wish to complain about David Rose’s inaccurate reporting of relevant facts. The key points being as follows:
1. David Rose has done this – and been rebuked by the Met Office for doing so – before.
2. The Met Office has not published any report (“quietly” or otherwise) on this subject.
3. Global Warming has never been consistent (because anthropogenic CO2 is not the only factor).
4. Any “pauses” can be explained by other factors (the Sun, volcanoes, ocean currents etc).
5. The overall multi-decadal warming trend can only be explained by the effects of anthropogenic CO2.

I should therefore be grateful if you could advise me as to whether David Rose is merely incompetent or being deliberately deceitful; and confirm that the Daily Mail will now publish an apology and/or correction.


UPDATE: The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) responded to my email  – telling me they would ask the Met Office (MO) if it wishes to submit a formal complaint.  I responded to the PCC (copying my reply to the MO’s Press Office) saying that I hope they do.  Meanwhile, Dana Nuccitelli has provided the UK’s Guardian newspaper with a far more detailed rebuttal:

Written by Martin Lack

16 October 2012 at 00:02

16 Responses

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  1. Comment on this is now appearing in many blogs including, SkS, Climate Progress and Planet 3.0 by Michael Tobis where I picked up a link to this article at the Carbon Brief David Rose’s climate science – half truths and bias where a Barry Woods drops a rather strange comment (“Verity, Verity, Wherefore art though Verity.”) for I recall reading somewhere earlier this year or even last year that warming was now significant at the 95% confidence level.

    One could ask these duffers about their choice of boarding a flight or not if the confidence level of it not reaching its destination safely was 95%.

    Lionel A

    16 October 2012 at 12:49

    • yes, that was with 2010 data added.. (ie a warm ranked year)

      as we now have 2011 data available, a much lower ranked year (see Met Office News blog graphic)
      A quite reasonable question to Phil Jones would be, what if you add 2011 data and recalculate…

      And, as we see from the Met Office figures, the significance drops again..

      Barry Woods

      17 October 2012 at 22:07

      • Hello again, Barry!!! If you’re not down at HM Treasury today, trying to assert that Green Energy is not Sustainable (how insane is that?), can you please read the piece in the Guardian by Dana Nuccitelli and tell me exactly where he is going wrong? To me, the essence of this is very clear; Dave Britton’s attempts to reason with David Rose have backfired terribly… This was a gift to the pedantic “sceptics”; who will take great delight in endlessly debating the meaning of the phrase “statistically significant”. This serves no purpose other than to distract attention from the centrally important issue: The only possible way that global warming (not just surface warming) could have stopped would be if it was not primarily being driven by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Therefore, will you, for the record, just state very clearly and simply whether or not you think it is?

        Martin Lack

        18 October 2012 at 08:50

  2. […] well as writing my own post about such denial yesterday, I also commented on a similar piece on the website of The Carbon Brief. Then, yesterday, amongst […]

  3. David Rose is at it again see my comments at SkS here or at Deltoid.

    Lionel A

    21 October 2012 at 18:12

    • Astonishing level of self-delusion required to repeat lies so comprehensively exposed in The Guardian What do we have to do to shut these people up?

      Martin Lack

      21 October 2012 at 20:44

      • What do we have to do to shut these people up?

        I don’t think we want to ‘shut anyone up’ — although it has been misappropriated, especially so in recent decades, by those who would wish us to think a certain way, freedom of speech is, I think, still a valuable concept worthy of maintenance.

        I think your question should be recast as ‘what do we have to do to persuade these people that trying to misinform isn’t worthwhile?’ to which the only answer can be ‘educate the masses’. In this vein, I would sycophantically offer your website as one option, and, on the grounds that there is little point in trying to edumacate people who are themselves incapable of independent thought, Khan Academy as another.


        22 October 2012 at 02:57

        • Yes of course. I am not anti-free speech; I am anti-insanity. I want them to shut up because they are wrong; therefore my question was in effect, “What will it take them to realise they are wrong?”

          What scares me the most is that they may never accept they are wrong; possibly not even when sea level rise becomes noticeably faster. They will probably blame a passing asteroid; rather than accept that our substance abuse is the problem and that we need to change our self-harming behaviour.

          Martin Lack

          22 October 2012 at 08:38

        • Not much can be done about morans. Never forget that fully half of the planet’s human cargo is endowed with less than average intelligence.


          22 October 2012 at 12:02

        • And most of them appear to read the Daily Mail – e.g.:
          “Asking scientists to deny climate change is like asking Cadbury’s to deny Easter. Ask yourself, how many scientists are involved in climate change research, sustainable energy research, carbon capture research, etc, etc? It’s a cash-cow, and the rest of us are providing the hay.” – Had enough, London, United Kingdom, 21/10/2012 13:35.

          Actually, I did ask myself; and I decided it was far more likely that businesses would lie to me!

          Martin Lack

          22 October 2012 at 13:54

        • ‘Follow the mney’, indeed…


          22 October 2012 at 13:58

    • I suspect this comment will be deemed offensive and therefore not appear on the Daily Mail website. So, just in case, I am going to post it here too:

      Dear Mr Rose,

      The Met Office (MO) have agreed with you that there has been very little warming of the Earth’s surface since 1997. This much is not in dispute. However, which part of the sentence “The Earth’s surface is absorbing only 2% of the extra energy trapped by increased atmospheric CO2…” do you not understand? The MO has politely explained this – and much more besides – to you. What on Earth is the point of pretending that they did not?

      I really do think you are pushing your luck this time. The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) have advised me that they can only act if the MO choose to complain. Therefore, I really do hope that they will complain. Especially since you would now appear to have deliberately sought to misrepresent what they told you twice in as many weeks.

      Yours sincerely,

      Martin Lack.

      Martin Lack

      21 October 2012 at 21:10

      • The salutation ‘Dear’ is offensive to us under the circumstances but dana at SKS has a response up in answer to Rose’s repeat offence

        Lionel A

        22 October 2012 at 20:06

        • No offence intended to you or anyone else, Lionel. The word “dear” should be interpreted as patronising and pitiful (not as a term of respectful endearment). Thanks for the link to the SkS piece (on which I have now commented).

          Martin Lack

          22 October 2012 at 21:02

  4. […] Sunday claiming that climate change has stopped happening.  Despite a howl of protest (including my own) – and some very thorough rebuttals in various publications (pointing out things like 98% of […]

  5. […] regular readers of this blog will know, I submitted a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission last October regarding David Rose’s similarly repetitious attempts to paint the Met Office (MO) as either […]

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