I’m no fan of the Bush family. I couldn’t believe it when those dumb Americans voted for W, then did it again 4 years later. Now apparently his brother Jeb is going to stand for President. Those Yanks must be so glad they got rid of hereditary monarchy.
But to climate activists, it seems that Jeb Bush is so evil that misrepresenting what he said is perfectly acceptable, and normal standards of integrity don’t apply.
Here’s what Bush said, according to Reuters
“Look, first of all, the climate is changing. I don’t think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you.”
“It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t even have a conversation about it. The climate is changing, and we need to adapt to that reality.”
Now here’s how the climate propaganda brigade reported what he said. First up, Mat Hope, Associate Editor at NatureClimate with a focus on social sciences.
A double misrepresentation – Bush didn’t refer to scientists, nor did he he say talking about climate science was arrogant. When challenged on this, Hope claimed that it was “fair paraphrasing” and that his tweet was an “analysis” of what Bush had said.
Not quite as bad, climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said
Here he’s making an unjustified presumption – there’s no evidence he was talking about climate scientists. In fact “The science is settled” tends to be a claim made by journalists and politicians, not scientists. Since Bush is a politician, he’s probably talking about Obama.
Then there was the ubiquitous Bob Ward,
Quite was is meant to be “denial” in Bush’s statement isn’t clear.
Finally, HuffPost writer Kate Sheppard says
Bizarrely, she quotes Bush in her article, so anyone reading it can see that her tweet and the headline of her HuffPo article are, in the words of one of the climategate emails, “not especially honest”.
Tangentially related to this, and following up from the previous post on why the election opinion polls were wrong, there’s an interesting article in the Times Higher by an academic, Diana Beech, who confesses to the sin of voting Conservative. She says she was a floating voter but was driven to the right by the “self-righteous and intolerant nature of the comments I saw from colleagues on my Facebook feed”. She goes on to say “The belligerence of the Left’s intelligentsia in the social media sphere – at least in my circles – left no room for the balanced, honest debate which could have ultimately brought undecided voters into the fold.”
Climate communication experts could perhaps benefit from reading this and giving some thought to how this might work in the case of public opinion on climate change, where the belligerence and intolerance of the activist left is just as bad, if not worse. It’s unlikely that Hope, Oppenheimer, Ward and Sheppard will take any notice.