The Great CO2 Hoax: The Devil's In The Details
Nature has interviewed the anonymous ubergeek whose ersatz paper on deep sea CO2 in the non-existent Journal Of Geoclimatic Studies was greeted like manna from heaven by Rush Limbaugh and other pundits who reject man-made CO2 as a serious force in driving climate change. An excerpt:
"Can you tell me your real name?
Why did you decide to construct the fake website? Was it purely a
joke or did you set out to make people taking your paper at face value
Its purpose was to expose the credulity and scientific illiteracy of many of the people who call themselves climate sceptics. While dismissive of the work of the great majority of climate scientists, they will believe almost anything if it lends support to their position. Their approach to climate science is the opposite of scepticism.
Are you surprised at the pick up your coverage has generated?
How quickly did you expect people to realise that your paper was fake?
In the Age of Google, hoaxes can't last for very long. But it hooked quite a few prominent sceptics before it was exposed. According to the various exposes now circulating online, among others, Rush Limbaugh broadcast it on his programme... Benny Peiser sent it to 2000 people and Ron Bailey wrote it up in glowing terms.
How long did it take to put the site together?
What would you say to those who were taken in by your spoof?
More fool you."
The hoax came complete with gonzo scholarly apparatus- including a list of papers 'in press' from the non-existent Journal Of Geoclimatic Studies of the non-existent University Of Okinawa, including such instant classics as
Submarine lightning strikes in the Hadean Zone: an unacknowledged cause of fish mortality?:
The diurnal cycle of chlorine ion release from the Andean altiplano: a three-dimensional model
Plasma samples from the TOAST-2 mission: implications for future solar settlement
Hit this link for the whole nine yards. Too bad it's all apocryphal. A lot looks better than the products of Oregon's Institute Of Science And Medicine, or the state Academy Of Biology journal Intelligent Designers turned into a scientific vanity press a few years ago.
What elevates this hack to the level of geek chic is magisterial attention to detail. It featuresa brachiopod extinct since the Jurassic atop its deep sea food chain, and if you do the math on this mother of all carbon offsets,you'll discover that at 4.3 x 10ˉ²¹g/m² , the bacterial mass supposedly responsible equals ,quite literally, a drop in the ocean.