What's newsworthy and what isn't?

Here are two stories from today's news. One is hugely important and has implications that we can't quite foresee. The other is frankly spurious. I want to talk about the spurious one. Why O why does the media use off air off the record statements to make a story? I don't condone the remarks made by the  two Sky Sports commentators but surely a person in the media is allowed to vent his (or her) spleen. It reminds me of the "bigoted woman" remark made by Gordon Brown . History may say it cost GB the election, but I say that episode was indicative of how the media has a stranglehold on rational thought. Brown lost votes because of an off the record private conversation. Personally I'd prefer a Prime Minister who spoke his mind , rather than an Eton boy who can spin the hind legs off a donkey.


Andrew Montford's The Hockey Stick Illusion lands on my doormat. I've bought it because there are a couple of points I want to look up. Does Montford display any moral anchorage whilst prying into other people's emails?  There's nothing in the intro to the relevant chapter. Perhaps it's to be found elsewhere in the book but first impressions indicate Montford seems to think it's fair game to read whatever one likes into other people's private correspondence.

Dissing the peer reviewed work of  Mann et al is Montford's stock in trade so I'm curious to read why Montford's work hasn't been peer reviewed . I've recently cribbed this  PDF from Sense about Science which says "Peer review is an essential dividing line for judging what is scientific and what is speculation and opinion. Most scientists make a careful distinction between their peer-reviewed findings and their more general opinions."  Andrew Montford disagrees by omission . A passage entitled So what is peer review for then?  makes no reference to this crucial distinction, instead drawing attention to famous scientific work that wasn't peer reviewed. The passage closes with "Yet peer review is the only oversight there is of the validity of the scientific case for catastrophic manmade global warming and on this flimsy basis governments make far reaching policy decisions that affect everyone and will continue to affect our children for decades into the future."  Hmmmm, if only there were an ounce of truth in Andrew Montford's words.

Deniers find timetravelling IPCC errors

Poor Fred Singer seems to be stuck in a timewarp. He's been asked by one Larry Bell to write a foreword for his new book on scientific corruption, climategate, politics of power, you know the usual guff . In the context of the IPCC  S Fred tells us : "For example, the 1966 report used selective data and doctored graphs".

Not bad for an organization established in 1988. Any chance of supporting evidence for that claim Fred?

Needless to say the timetravelling IPCC errors are being copied and pasted all over the web.  I found it in Forbes magazine, but it appears to have been pasted in to the ironically titled Real Science website too . Oooo here's another one. Copy editing vacancy going at  Climate Realists too. 

My You Tube video

A case study showing how the work of climate scientists has been distorted by the mainstream media.