Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Scrutinizing Outlandish Climate Claims

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorAugust 19, 2011 12:43 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Several weeks ago, I pointed out how several popular climate skeptic blogs had disingenuously parroted the headline from that skewed Rasmussen poll:

69% Say It's Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research

Shortly afterwards, I noticed a similar copy and paste job by Ronald Bailey at his libertarian outlet. Like the climate skeptics I cited (Anthony Watts and Bishop Hill), Bailey wasn't at all skeptical about Rasmussen's methodology, particularly the phrasing of the question that elicited that eye-popping figure. Shockingly, Fox News played up the Rasmussen poll, too.


So I can't say I was surprised yesterday to hear Texas Governor Rick Perry, a darling of the Tea Party, and the newest Republican entrant into the 2012 Presidential race, state:

I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.

This, combined with other previous statements on climate change by Perry, has Marc Morano, the proprietor of Climate Depot, in full swoon. Back on planet earth, however, Perry's climate change-related claims get thoroughly vetted today by Glenn Kessler, who writes the "Fact Checker" column at The Washington Post. Kessler concludes that

the governor is willfully ignoring the facts and making false accusations based on little evidence. He has every right to be a skeptic "” all scientific theories should be carefully scrutinized "” but that does not give him carte blanche to simply make things up.

Several months ago, in a post lauding Kessler's "Fact Checker" column, I wrote that it was

important to gauge the accuracy of what newsmakers say about climate change, stem cell research, vaccines, evolution, and so on.

I also said that top newspapers should have a similar fact-checking column devoted just to science and precisely the kinds of high profile statements made recently by Perry. Today in the Washington Post, Kessler provides a shining example of how it would be done.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In