By: Pacific Institute
OAKLAND, Calif. Dec. 30, 2010 - Today marks the release of the very first Annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Award. While many observers think they know what "B.S." means, here the award is presented for the "Bad Science" of the Year. The Award is being simultaneously released on a number of climate sites, among them: Skeptical Science, deSmogBlog, UU-UNO Climate Portal, Conservation Minnesota, The Cost of Energy Blog, ScholarsandRogues.com; Huffington Post, SF Gate "City Brights," Pacific Institute, and more.
2010 saw widespread and growing evidence of rapidly warming global climate and strengthening scientific understanding of how humans are contributing to climate change. Yet on the policy front, little happened to stem the growing emissions of greenhouse gases or to help societies prepare for increasingly severe negative climate impacts, including now unavoidable changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, sea-level rise, snowpack, glacial extent, Arctic sea ice, and more.
These physical impacts will lead to sharply increased disease, military and economic instabilities, food and water shortages, and extreme weather events, among other things. Without appropriate risk management action, the United States will be hit hard. Yet confusion and uncertainty about climate change remain high in the minds of too many members of the public and Congress.
Why? In large part because of a concerted, coordinated, aggressive campaign by a small group of well-funded climate change deniers and contrarians focused on intentionally misleading the public and policymakers with bad science about climate change. Much of this effort is based on intentional falsehoods, misrepresentations, inflated uncertainties, and pure and utter B.S. about climate science. These efforts have been successful in sowing confusion and delaying action – just as the same tactics were successful in delaying efforts to tackle tobacco's health risks.
In response, a group of climate scientists, climate communicators, and other experts solicited nominations for Climate B.S* of the Year from around the world and then narrowed the list down to five finalists. Voting produced the following award winners:
Fifth Place. Climate B.S. and misrepresentations presented by Fox "News."
Fourth Place. Misleading or false testimony to Congress and policymakers about climate change.
Third Place. The false claim that a single weather event, such as a huge snowstorm in Washington, D.C., proves there is no global warming.
Second Place. The false claim that the "Climategate" emails meant that global warming was a hoax, or was criminal. In fact, it was none of these things.
AND THE WINNER OF THE 2010 CLIMATE B.S.* OF THE YEAR AWARD?
First Place. "There has been no warming since 1998" [or 2000, or…], "the earth is cooling," "global warming is natural," and "humans are too insignificant to affect the climate." All of these claims are false according to climate science.
The award goes to all those climate change deniers who promulgate these false claims in the media, before Congress and the public, and throughout the blogosphere: such statements are all nonsense and long refuted by real climate science. For full details on each prize winner's contribution to climate B.S., visit one of the posting sites.
Dr. Peter Gleick, one of the co-authors and creators of the Award, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, and a hydroclimatologist by training, said: "The public and our policymakers are being bombarded with climate B.S. It is long past time this B.S. was called out for what it is: bad science. Policymakers should not hide behind bad climate science as an excuse to avoid taking actions now to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for inevitable climate impacts."
[* B.S. – "Bad Science"]