Friday, November 09, 2007

One good hoax deserves another

[Imasge courtesy Vanity Fair.]
-- by Dave

EnergySmart has the goods on Rush Limbaugh's latest misadventure:
Breaking news: “proof” that global warming is entirely a natural event published in a definitive looking (okay, at first glance) site with The Journal of Geoclimatic Studies. (The links are down. Great Beyond has links to the cache material.) According to a paper on the website, “saprotrophic eubacteria living in the sediments of the continental shelves fringing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.” In other words, humanity had no role. Well, this paper began to run the lines of the Climate Denier branch of the Flat Earth Society. DeSmogBlog has a run of some of those who chose to run with this fantasy. Well, for these Flat Earthers, one problem: none of the authors existed.

Well, add Rush to the list of Flat Earthers caught, well, caught flat-footed. Yes, “America’s Truth Detector” has such a good nose for fraud that we can expect that Brooklyn Bridge salesmen have had a good time with him.

One of big names from the Climate Denier branch of the Flat Earth Society, Roy Spencer, has even apologized to Rush for being so gullible to bite on this fraud. Poor Rush. Poor Roy.

Limbaugh has since apologized, sort of -- on his site, his sub-headline to the Spencer correction/apology reads, "Rush suspends himself," whatever that means. Considering we're talking about a guy with an Oxycontin thang and a penchant for discreet trips to the Caribbean, I'm not sure I wanna know.

You've also got to love why the hoaxsters pulled this stunt:
Its purpose was to expose the credulity and scientific illiteracy of many of the people who call themselves climate sceptics. While dismissive of the work of the great majority of climate scientists, they will believe almost anything if it lends support to their position. Their approach to climate science is the opposite of scepticism.

It's also the opposite of science. Science, of course, is about assembling evidence and testing hypotheses and finally reaching conclusions after the arduous process therein. The Limbaugh approach is to first reach a conclusion, and then go looking for evidence to support it -- even if it's a hoax.

Which tells you all you need to know, namely: that Limbaugh himself is a hoaxster of the first order.

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