Archive for February 5th, 2010

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Kill Your Children (Part II)

February 5, 2010

Taking a cue from our dear saint Glenn Beck, a nearby state legislator, Mike Noel (R-Utah), has set wheels in motion to explore the possibility that concern over global warming is a clever ruse to eradicate the earth of the hideous blood-bags we euphemistically refer to as ‘people’.

The House Natural Resources Committee then approved a resolution that expresses the Utah Legislature’s belief that “climate alarmists’ carbon dioxide-related global warming hypothesis is unable to account for the current downturn in global temperatures.”

The resolution, sent to the House on a 10-1 vote, would urge the Environmental Protection Agency to drop plans to regulate the pollution blamed for climate change “until a full and independent investigation of the climate data conspiracy and global warming science can be substantiated.”

But here’s Mike Noel’s winning justification:

“Now, if you can’t see a connection [of a conspiracy] to that,” the legislator said, “you’re absolutely blind to what is going on. This is absolutely — in my mind, this is in fact a conspiracy to limit population not only in this country but across the globe.”

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Curses!

February 5, 2010

I’ve been a little slow to comment on the so-called Himalaya 2035 curse in the IPCC ¬†AR4, WG II; and that’s partly because I haven’t been particularly keen to spend my time figuring out what happened. As far as I’ve been concerned, it was sloppy science, done by appealing to the grey literature.

Looks like there’s a little more to it than that, as this nice overview from the Yale Forum points out. Seems as though it was a case of plagiarism; and if not plagiarism, then near plagiarism.

And that’s sorta what makes this interesting. Here’s a case where cribbing a sentence and adding one or two modifiers to that sentence isn’t really a major incident of plagiarism, but at the same time, this is arguably one of the biggest incidents of plagiarism and its repercussions that one can imagine.

Think of all of the attention now directed at these few sentences. It’s astonishing. This could well have been avoided not only by citing good studies, but also by compiling and interpreting the scientific reports rather than lifting them straight out of their source.