Ed Driscoll

Climategate's Rathergate Deja Vu

Phil Jones’ latest modified limited hangout? He’s going with the “It’s up to you to prove I’m wrong” defense. As Ed Morrissey writes:

Dr. Phil Jones, late of the East Anglia CRU, has a bone to pick with bloggers, as the New Scientist blog Short Sharp Science reports today.  Does he defend himself by pointing out factual errors from bloggers, who are certain to have made a few, in reporting on the “climategate” scandal and the cascading series of exposed errors from the IPCC report on the “settled science” of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)?  Not exactly.  Jones rolls out yet another innovative approach to science in which he transfers the burden of proof to skeptics:

Phil Jones, who has temporarily stood aside as the unit’s director, admitted to the journal Nature that his much-criticised failure to keep records about the location of Chinese weather stations used in a major paper was “not acceptable”.

In effect, Jones conceded that British climate sceptic Doug Keenan had been right in some of his criticisms of a 20-year-old paper that had used the Chinese data in an analysis that ruled out local urban influences as a significant factor in global warming.

Jones said he might submit a correction to Nature. But he nonetheless attacked bloggers and other critics for “hijacking the peer-review process… Why don’t they do their own [temperature] reconstructions? If they want to criticise, they should write their own papers,” he said.

Well, let’s see — could it be because we’re not the people advancing extraordinary claims about man-made influence on global weather patterns?  This must be some new, previously unknown tenet of the Scientific Method, wherein people who point out errors, bias, bad process, and unsubstantiated claims from scientists are somehow required to disprove their unsupported hypotheses.  It’s apparently no longer incumbent on Jones and his colleagues to substantiate their own conjectures with actual science, rather than use badly-lifted speculation from media interviews and unsupported propaganda from advocacy groups.

Which brings to mind a comment a blogger made when Dan Rather was still thrashing away to stay afloat back in the summer of 2005:

You see the problem? When he says nobody’s proven the documents false or not, he’s demanding extraordinary proof of their falsity. But of course, a real newsman should be in the business of demanding extraordinary proof of their validity. That’s supposed to be the difference between CBS News and the National Enquirer.

Of course, that was before the National Enquirer proved on some level that it knows more about what it’s doing than the MSM — just ask John Edwards.

Will Jones’ story end as badly as Dan Rather’s did? Hey, I’m sure Dan’s always looking for “scientists” to join him (and his viewer) at HD-Net…

(In contrast to Dan’s banishment to cable Siberia, Hot Air was just acquired by Salem Radio, in a move perfectly timed to coordinate with CPAC. Read the early details here.)