Melanie Philips uses careful scientific investigation to debunk climate change

spectator*Yawn* Another week, another howler from the Spectator, rapidly pulling ahead in the 'single least informed source on climate science' awards, or maybe just the 'most credulous rag' category.

So Melanie Philips announces on her Spectator blog…

Yet another scientific scandal has come to light which knocks another whopping crater in the already shattered theory of anthropogenic global warming. Eight peer-reviewed studies, which for years have played a significant supporting role behind the IPPC’s claims of AGW, have been shown to be fraudulent.

Oh good, we can all pack up and go home – I can get on with writing that book about water polo I've been putting off. Just to make sure, let's have a quick check on RealClimate, just in case…

RealClimate say, (with an air of resignation):

The timeline for these mini-blogstorms is always similar. An unverified accusation of malfeasance is made based on nothing, and it is instantly ‘telegraphed’ across the denial-o-sphere while being embellished along the way to apply to anything ‘hockey-stick’ shaped and any and all scientists, even those not even tangentially related. The usual suspects become hysterical with glee that finally the ‘hoax’ has been revealed and congratulations are handed out all round. After a while it is clear that no scientific edifice has collapsed and the search goes on for the ‘real’ problem which is no doubt just waiting to be found. Every so often the story pops up again because some columnist or blogger doesn’t want to, or care to, do their homework. Net effect on lay people? Confusion. Net effect on science? Zip.

Oh, so actually she just based it on a couple of blog posts echoing some fabricated 'research' on the Siberian tree ring record she found down the back of the internet. For full details read the realclimate post.

It's almost like Melanie has a vested interest in stoking controversy… The boys at RC continue:

One would think that some things go without saying, but apparently people still get a key issue wrong so let us be extremely clear. Science is made up of people challenging assumptions and other peoples’ results with the overall desire of getting closer to the ‘truth’. There is nothing wrong with people putting together new chronologies of tree rings or testing the robustness of previous results to updated data or new methodologies. Or even thinking about what would happen if it was all wrong. What is objectionable is the conflation of technical criticism with unsupported, unjustified and unverified accusations of scientific misconduct.

Of course, no-one could level that charge at the Speccie

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