Sunday, September 21, 2008

More on Oreskes et al 2008 ("Chicken Little")

One of the interesting things that has happened as a result of blog discussions of the Times article is that errors and misrepresentations from Oreskes et al 2008 keep popping up. It almost as if you can look at any page in that paper and find something wrong.

A frequent subject of our criticism was the tendency of the "Chicken Little" paper to edit and paraphrase quotes in order to change the meaning. Well I'm sorry to say that I missed a good one that Atmoz discusses here. They use an elipsis to leave out a word, and then just cut the quote in mid sentence to completely change the meaning of what Dr. Revelle wrote regarding the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. (I may add that to our paper prior to submitting it for publication.)

There is this ironic point made here by Atmoz that the synthesis emphasized the issue of sea level rise more than the Revelle chapter. Just the opposite of the conclusions reached by Oreskes et al 2008.

On the post normal times web site Sylvia Tognetti quotes from "Chicken Little" to make a point about Nordhaus and Yohe. However I found it amusing that even in that short quotation there are two errors. First the Nordhaus and Yohe chapter is not chapter one of the report but chapter two. Second Jesse Ausubel is listed as an author of the chapter, but he was in fact not an author of that chapter. The first point is trivial I admit, but it does show a lack of care. The inclusion of Ausubel seems to me to be a little more deliberate since he wouldn't be perceived as an expert on that subject.

I think you can find a mistake or deliberate falsehood in that paper just by throwing a dart at it.

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