Forbes’ [Dr. Roy Spencer] Version of Science Journalism Is More Than A little Deluded
Forbes Version of Science Journalism Is More Than A little Deluded
By Dan Satterfield
Someone on twitter asked me about an op-ed in Forbes with the breath-taking title NEW NASA DATA BLOWS GAPING HOLE IN GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM. With a title like that, you know right off the bat that this article is written for people looking for confirmation to their belief that ALL of the planet’s major science bodies are wrong and a very tiny handful of sceptics are right.
Furthermore, this is not from the editorial board of Forbes or a Forbes reporter, but instead from a writer for the ultra conservative Heartland Institute. The same people who sent me (and hundreds of other meteorologists working in TV) a glossy paper claiming that the surface temperature record could not be trusted based on a blog post by a blogger whose claim was totally discredited by NOAA.
The junk science piece in Forbes was based on a paper written by Dr. Roy Spencer a well-known climate skeptic here in Huntsville and was published in an open access journal of apparently rather dubious reputation in the open access journal MDPI. Some of these journals have a rather dubious reputation with the Bentham open access journal recently agreeing to publish a paper designed to be totally meaningless. That in itself does not mean the paper is wrong, and it is important to remember that peer review has often said to be a necessary but not sufficient check on accuracy. Several climate experts have expressed surprise it was published in a refereed journal.
While a big name like Forbes is clearly unable to produce a decent science story, Stephanie Pappas at Live Science certainly can. Her piece on the paper is excellent, and well worth a read. Live Science asked some of the very top experts in the field about the paper like Kevin Trenberth at NCAR, and Gavin Schmidt at NASA. Pappas couldn’t find one climate scientist who agreed with the conclusions in Spencer’s paper.