The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Tim Lambert asserts that the high profile article in the London Times claiming that former IPCC chairman, Prof. Robert Watson, says that IPCC has a warming bias, is flagrant and willful distortion:
Yes there is bias here, but the bias is in the media that only reports the errors that overstate the problem and also reports as errors things that are not errors at all. This seems pretty obvious and Robert Watson is no fool, so I asked him if The Times had accurately report his views. He replied:

The article distorted my statements - I was interviewed for an hour and it was obvious that the reporter wanted me to say that the authors were biased - I said I did not believe that.

Watson said that the authors were not biased, but The Times reported him as saying that they were. That's outright dishonesty by Webster and Pagnamenta.

This is serious business if true, and is easily verified. If Watson will talk to a blogger (albeit as distinguished a one as Tim) he will talk to another major newspaper. The press had better get off investigating IPCC and start investigating its damn self.

6 comments:

David B. Benson said...

Is that actionable in Britian?

Anna Haynes said...

Paging Seth Borenstein...

guthrie said...

Watson can complain to the press complaints commission, as the person misquoted, and they'll tell the Times to offer a retraction or something, and the Times will offer the minimum possible, often a small box buried on page 96, and the PCC will be satisfied. But for many years to come thousands of people will think that in fact Watson was slagging off the IPCC.

(I say only thousands of people because many will forget or are not interested)

The Blob said...

I just wrote a blog post on accountability.
http://climatewtf.blogspot.com/2010/02/accountablity.html

I came over here because I was trying to track down where I had read the word "asymmetry" being used to describe a difference between how the scientific community and "skeptics" are treated. Thought it might have been here.

I was surprised to see this post is also essentially about accountability (although of the media). Then again I've been following deltoid as well, so I guess accountability is a current topic on many blogs right now.

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

Time to bring in TPMMuckraker? They were covering the Bonner and Associates fake letter fiasco a while back.

EliRabett said...

It is pretty hard to miss what Bob Watson means without serious trying. He has a serious reputation of being blunt which is what got him replaced by Pachauri