John Vidal is probably the stupidest journalist reporting on climate change for the Guardian, which is quite an achievement given the stiff competition. It was Vidal, you may recall, who claimed that the sexual harassment allegations against Pachauri were part of a conspiracy cooked up by climate sceptics.
Today, Vidal says that it is Time to listen to the ice scientists about the Arctic death spiral. Who are the scientists Vidal says we should listen to? Well, it turns out there’s only one quoted (distinguishing between singular and plural doesn’t seem to be one of John’s areas of expertise), and guess what, it’s Peter Wadhams again.
Wadhams is of course notorious for his failed predictions of Arctic ice disappearance.
In the Telegraph in 2011 Wadhams declared that “It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.” This was unchallenged by the journalist, showing that unquestioning promotion of climate hype crosses the political spectrum in the media.
The BBC told us that Arctic summers would be ice-free by 2013, quoting both Wadhams and Maslowski.
But most remarkable is this article by John Vidal himself, Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years, published in 2012. I wonder whether John Vidal’s science skills extend as far as adding 2012 and four. If so, this might help him understand why he’s not taken seriously.
But Vidal isn’t just a gullible idiot, he’s misleading readers with falsehoods. In his article today he claims that “Wadhams says what other scientists will not”, implying that other climate scientists agree with him but don’t want to speak out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Other climate scientists have publicly ridiculed Wadhams for his extreme views, with comments such as “ridiculous projections with no basis in physics”, “Entertaining break with Wadhams. Back to science now” and “Hasn’t Wadhams already predicted 4 of the last 0 ice-free summers?” Yet Vidal describes Wadhams as an “experienced and rational scientist”.
Amazingly, the Guardian/Observer published two more articles promoting Wadhams’s alarmist pseudoscience and his new book on Sunday:
Next year or the year after, the Arctic will be free of ice, by Robin McKie, in the form of an interview, and
A Farewell to Ice by Peter Wadhams review – climate change writ large, a book review by Horatio Clare.
In not one of these does the author of the article try to get a view from another scientist.
Ed Hawkins has written a nice blog post Predicting an ice-free Arctic summer. He picks up on a claim by Wadhams in the Robin McKie interview that “Most people expect this year will see a record low in the Arctic’s summer sea-ice cover”, and shows that this is not true by referring to predictions made by other groups. Also, in the comments, anonymous has given a thorough list of Wadhams’s previous failed predictions.
Richard Betts tweets this image, which shows just how extreme the Wadhams prediction (on the far left) for 2015 was. No wonder the Guardian loves him.