Climate Lies

From RP Jr and Nurture. Well, not quite direct lies, more in the nature of deliberately-misleading by omission. But I have a work colleague who habitually accuses me of spreading climate lies (hello Hugo!) so it only seems fair to use the phrase myself. [From the Nature article,] It isn’t quite possible to tell who is at fault: the quote from the review in Nurture is:

In The Climate Fix, Pielke argues… Fright sells, he points out, citing the late Stephen Schneider, the environmental scientist and political adviser who once wrote that, to rouse public support, “we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have”. Schneider later stepped back from that piquant assertion, yet the approach remains widely used. [1]

Daniel Greenberg is the author of the Nurture review but it looks as though he is pretty well quoting RP [Update: RP in comment 2 denies truncating the quote, and provides the evidence on his blog. So it looks like DG is the guilty party]. There is a long-standing tradition of abusing this quote from Schneider: which means that neither RP Jr nor DG can have done it accidentally, which makes the abuse all the more surprising. If you don’t know the context, the quote continues:

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

You can find Schneider complaining about being misrepresented in this way by Julian Simon all the way back in 1996 in the APS newsletter..

[The Nurture article is paywalled; there is a sneak preview copy here]

Incidentally, one might wonder who DG is. He seems to be DSG, and is a Marshall Insititute expert, which is something of a black mark. But then again this seems OK OK in parts.

[Update: as is probably clear from the strikes above, when I originally wrote this it wasn’t clear who was truncating Schneider. RP has now provided enough context that it is clear that DG is the one at fault]