Eschewing decorous and abashed silence, I continue to air my dirty laundry in public. As H&R readers know, I was successfully hoaxed for ten minutes (actually more like three minutes, but who's counting?) by a fake scientific report on bacteria and global warming last week. Naturally, the fact that I was duped has drawn media attention–as it should. However, one of the hoax perpertrators, David Thorpe, reports in his write up of the incident that reason "tore down" the post.
I alone was responsible for its deletion. I immediately deleted the post, chiefly in an attempt to avoid the embarassment of having been successfully duped in public, but also because I was anxious not to pass along misinformation to H&R readers. In addition, Thorpe states that I wrote up the fake report in "glowing terms."
I invite Mr. Thorpe and H&R readers to look at my post again. My actual comments were:
This is a rather sweeping conclusion from research published in a minor journal and will likely produce howls of outrage from defenders of the consensus. Only further research and time will tell if these guys are on to something significant or if they have somehow misinterpreted what they believe they have discovered.
Disturbingly, the article suggests that efforts were made to suppress their findings. Of course, what they are interpreting as suppression might be well-intended advice by colleagues telling them not to make fools of themselves. Or it might be something worse?
Of course, I prefer New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin's characterization of my blog comments. To wit:
Ronald Bailey, a libertarian commentator for Reason Magazine who had quickly posted on the study (he included strong caveats about its merits), withdrew the piece within minutes. A day later he republished his original post, with an apology.
The irony for Mr. Thorpe and his crew of merry pranksters is that, in my case, their hoax "caught" someone who has not been a global warming "skeptic" for some time now. See my online columns, "We're All Global Warmers Now," "Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore," "Global Warming-Not Worse Than We Thought, But Bad Enough," and my proposal for carbon taxes as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur low-carbon energy development, "Carbon Taxes Versus Carbon Markets."
Full disclosure: My face is still very red.