Lapkin’s Shame

Posted by John Byatt 13/12/2012

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/387130.html

Under the by-line CLIMATE SHAME 28April 2011 Ted Lapkin (IPA) sought to tarnish the name of one of the world’s most respected scientists, the late Stephen Schneider.

He used this claimed quote attributed to Schneider as his proof that scientists were playing fast and loose with the truth.

Stephen Scheider said: “We are not just scientists, but human beings as well. Like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

A Complaint I made to the ABC, included the full Schneider quote and clearly stated that Lapkin had doctored it for his own purpose

“On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

My complaint was rejected by the ABC because I had referred to the full quote in the comments section which should suffice, and that out of context quotes are not a breach of the ABC’s new policy.

In light of the recent adjudication that Bolt’s article regarding HADCRUT’s temperatures had misrepresented the science I hope that the ABC now amends their own policy and that blatant misrepresentation is no longer a part of the deniers arsenal at ABC unleashed,

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Lapkin’s Shame

  1. Sou

    It’s a while since I read The Drum / Unleashed. Does the ABC still work for the IPA as it’s freeby publication arm? I think I read somewhere that it’s not accepting so many articles from them but I could be mistaken. (It went through a disastrous period even posting articles by wacky JoNova. She threw a hysterical tantrum at least once, coming across as emotionally disturbed in the comments section. She’s a bit odd isn’t she.)

    Deniers often misquote Schneider. The ones who do so are beneath contempt. And it’s ironic they do, because not only are they not ‘effective’, they are not ‘honest’ either. So they lose on both factors that Schneider thought was necessary for good scientific communication.

    • john byatt

      Since Maurice Newman left as chair of the ABC earlier this year they seem to have lost their insider, There have been a few Climate Change opinion pieces there lately but not one from the denialsphere,( last was about the time he left)

      I suppose that after now checking their opinion pieces and removing the misrepresentations. there is not much of an opinion piece left to put up,

      Nova wrote a recent letter in the regional papers claiming that she was not a conspriacy theorist as i had stated but that scientists were in it for the money and politicians were in it for the power,

      Odd alright,

      • john byatt

        Sou I am sure that Mike would not mind you exposing some of the comments at the Copper site here.

        Just put in comments and I will add as a post

        JB

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