A few days ago, I wrote this about a recent academic hoax:
I have therefore come to the conclusion that this hoax is likely the work of global warming catastrophists. My guess is that they wanted to make a point that skeptics were no such thing — that skeptics would bite like a hungry bass at such a lure as long as it supported their position. And certain folks in political circles did so, at least for a few hours. My presumption is that if we had all trumpeted this fake study, then our judgement on other issues would get called into question. My sense is that catastrophists have convinced themselves with their own propaganda that skeptics are all motivated by political and financial agendas. But most skeptics are really interested in the science, and are motivated by the real fear that we are at the cusp of embarking on some really poor, near tragic, policy decisions.
Apparently, via ICECAP and Roy Spencer, this guess was correct:
An anonymous Brit has now admitted in a brief interview that he wrote the fake global warming research paper which is claimed to have fooled some of us “global warming skeptics”. His stated purpose was to “expose the credulity and scientific illiteracy of many of the people who call themselves climate sceptics”.
I would argue that he has done just the opposite. Several of us (scientists and non-scientists alike) were able, within a matter of seconds to minutes, to identify the paper as a fake. We then spread the word, warning others of the hoax. Therefore, we showed that we do not, as the hoaxer claims, “believe almost anything if it lends support to their position”. We did exactly the opposite.
Remember how I ended the original post:
Now, if you really want to have fun, create a similar hoax the other way, supporting catastrophic man-made global warming. You will probably make the NBC Nightly News. It would be fun to try something really nutty and see if people buy it, like saying the oceans will rise 20 feet in the next century… oops, its already been done. Al Gore made that claim, among other truly absurd statements, in his movie An Inconvinient Trust, for which he not only made the NBC Nightly News but he also won an Oscar and a Nobel Prize.