Monday, November 12, 2007

An Inconvenient Hoax

Yesterday while visiting my parents, my dad brought up the subject of global warming (I think he's still under the impression that Reagan was right about the cow farts). He brought up this recent study that proved Global Warming was caused by bacteria. I found this hard to believe, and told him I'd look it up the next day and figure out how to refute it. (Details about how the authors were intimidated by the politics of scientists etc. were red herrings of conservative hogwash)*.

A quick Google search of "global warming bacteria" quickly pointed me towards what I thought was the case. It was a hoax. Not only a hoax, but a prank, as the author, David Thorpe puts it, "it was meant to show that some sceptics will uncritically grab any evidence casting doubt on most scientists’ view that human activities are the main cause."

Thorpe made up the scientists who participated in his "study". A quick and easy search of the departments at The University of Arizona shows you there's no "Department of Climatology". Also, the fake authors were not employed by the University. I couldn't find a reply to this incident from UofA, though I don't necessarily blame them, I thought it'd be an interesting thing to read.

*Speaking of conservative hogwash, comedian Rush Limbaugh was fooled by this. Not a hard thing to do, no doubt, but even Rush's "scientist" later apologized for it. I couldn't see if he himself retracted the story, you need to be a member of Rush's website to even see any content, and I'm just too good for that.

Al Gore and Stephen Hawking, still smarter than Rush Limbaugh.

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