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Black redux

I have no idea what happened to the last post on Richard Black - it seems to be gone. I'm waiting for a response from Squarespace support, but in the meantime, from the Google cache, here is the original text.

Richard Black has an article up about BEST. It also mentions "hide the decline".

The original "hide the decline" claim is one of the most easily de-bunked in the entire pantheon of easily-debunkable "sceptic" claims.

Phil Jones wrote the email in 1999, immediately following what still ranks as one of the hottest years on record, and well before the idea of a "slowdown" or "hiatus" or even "decline" in warming gained currency.

So it can't have had anything to do with hiding a global temperature decline.

If it were a scientific idea, the notion that it did would be consigned to the garbage bin of history alongside perpetual motion machines, the steady-state theory of the cosmos and the idea of HIV/Aids as a gay-only disease.

It's that wrong.

I'm struggling to put an innocent gloss on Black's misrepresentation of what the allegation was. I can remember Sarah Palin making this claim a couple of days after the story broke, but did anyone make such an allegation to any of the inquiries? Perhaps readers could see how many people made the allegation as framed by Black and how many got it right - i.e that it was about hiding the divergence between instrumental temperatures and some proxy records.

The misrepresentation seems very blatant to me.

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Reader Comments (57)

It is interesting that two years later the AGW true believers still depend on misleading and deception to explain away Climategate. I think Black knows at some level he has to continue shouting out his deceptive work to keep the gullible beguiled.
"Hide the decline" was exactly what it was: an attempt (successful with the credulous) to deceive as many people as possible about the veracity of the data.

Nov 3, 2011 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I think this is great, The press, which is supposed to bring us the news, is reduced to covering "this blogger says that " and "that blogger says this".
Gosh! the enigmatic Tamino says "this" and Nick Stokes says "that".
I say keep preaching to the choir, Richard.

Nov 3, 2011 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Cruickshank

You people don't understand, it's the BBC, Black is going to be reprimanded for having admitted any kind of wrongness of any sort...

Nov 3, 2011 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Well, well, well, a response from the BBC (apparently Mr Black himself, but more likely a stock response):

Dear Dr Wintersgill,

Please see the updated post.

Best wishes,
Richard Black

And my reply back to him/them:

Dear Richard,

Whilst I appreciate the fact that you have updated the post to clarify somewhat the misleading nature of the original, I note that the amendment is placed at the foot of the article as an UPDATE, as opposed to a CORRECTION/APOLOGY and in no way does this have the same prominence as the original article.

Also, by placing the update at the end of the existing article the BBC have almost ensured that anyone who has already read th eoriginal is now unlikely to read the update (I'd be interested in any figures you may have as to how many repeat visitors yo get to the site following your UPDATE).

If the intention was to genuinely correct such an obvious (being generous) misjudgement, then surely an article of equal prominence would have been better at briging the correction to the attention of those who had already been deceived by the original; howvere, if the intention was merely to pay lip service to the need to occasionally demonstrate both scientific and journalistic integrity, the I suppose I have to offer a begrudging well done, or to paraphrase, 'a blinder played by all' (the significance will, I am sure, not be lost on you).

I would also like to say that, despite the recent revision of the BBC's science reporting policy removing the need to offer a balanced view on climate issues (not the exact wording I know, but I do not have the time at present to refer back to the report), this should not be seen as carte blanche to actively mislead the public who pay for this 'service'.

I look forward to your comments and response at your earliest convenience.

Very Best Regards


Nov 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteveW

Martin A

"how many of the warmist faithful will read it now?"

And those that do will simply assume he's been got at. It's hard to believe, but there are plenty of people who think that the Beeb errs on the side of scepticism!

Nov 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

It's not that I despair of comrade Black - I'm simply exasperated by him (and Harrabin) and the perpetual chirruping propaganda of the entire anti industry "carbon industry" that the BBC obviously sees itself as primus inter pares of - see Black's latest blatherings about shipping.

The truly maddening thing is that they sit smugly inside the BBC parroting this abysmal tosh without entering into any debate to defend their parade of usually ludicrously ill informed ideological assertions. Even when they are caught out I've heard (on Radio 4) that even if their outpourings are actually utterly incorrect - that's OK - because "it was entertaining and well presented" - so that's OK in their eyes....

The toxin oozes from almost every pore of the organisation - I've done my bit - 4 years of no telly tax....

Just continue railing ineffectually from the cheap seats at the back I suppose.

Nov 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

I too have corresponded with Richard Black on this point, and on the point that he made everyone aware that Dr. Spencer was a member of a christian (to the BBC being a christian is worse than being a paedophile, and I say that as an atheist!) group that, in my view, bizarrely, has not believing in warming as one of its tenets. I pointed out to Mr, Black that it was probably more important that Dr. Muller has a financial interest in spreading the CAGW meme, but he failed to mention it in his article, which isn't even handed. No response to that.

Nov 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

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