Knock me down with a feather; Herald prints a climate retraction

Sort of.

On the 2nd of?November, the NZ Herald published the same scare story that all major media outlets were covering. In fact, they got it from the lefty Washington Post.

The scare was based on a ‘peer reviewed’ paper published in Nature, no doubt rushed out in time to bolster COP24.

An independent scientist (mathematician and physicist) took a few minutes to read the introduction to the paper and immediately sensed that there was something wrong.? He published his findings and sent them to the Nature paper’s authors.

They have looked at the criticism, re-examined their numbers and have agreed that their numbers do not really support their conclusions.

To their credit, the authors have attempted to get media outlets to update the story and, to their credit,?the?NZ Herald has done just that, again thanks to copying the Washington Post. (Nothing so far from Stuff and Nonsense)

The NZ Herald has also tagged the original story with an update: Quote.

This study has been updated by the researchers involved since this story was published. They had claimed that the oceans were warming much faster than previously thought. But researchers now say they can’t necessarily make that claim. End quote.

So why the “Sort of” to start this post?

Detracting from the import of the retraction, which cast a tiny shadow of doubt on the ?settled science? mantra, the?NZ Herald reproduced a selection of Tweets:

Environment celebrity Attenborough is rolled out and quoted spouting the usual nonsense.

Then the poor old polar bear is trotted out despite the fact that there are so many of them that they are now a nuisance:


Then a snide aside at some Aussie politicians:

I am confident that there are a diminishingly small fraction of people in the world who would say that the climate never changes.

So what are the takeaways from this fiasco?

  1. ?Use people who understand maths to review your work.
  2. ?Don’t use ?pal review?.
  3. ?Don’t rush to publication to meet a COP deadline.
  4. ?Perhaps the science isn’t settled?