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2011 Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards
[* B.S. means “Bad Science”]

January 5, 2011
The second annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards were announced today on the Huffington Post and Forbes blogs by Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, and simultaneously on a number of environment and climate blogs. These “Bad Science” awards go to particularly egregious, notorious, or well-publicized examples of bad climate science that were produced, cited, or used over the past 12 months to try to influence or confuse the public and policymakers. Nominations for the 2011 “bad climate science” awards came in from around the world and were reviewed, analyzed, and voted on by a panel of climate scientists and climate communicators. For this year, nearly 20 nominations were received and judged.

Even as unusually frequent and intense extreme weather events killed people and damaged property, and as the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate continued to strengthen, national leaders did little to ameliorate or plan adaptation strategies for climate change. Gleick attributes this failure to act in part to the difficulty of the challenges of curbing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, rising sea-levels, loss of snowpack and glaciers, disappearance of Arctic sea ice, and more. But he also points to what he describes as “a concerted, well-funded, and aggressive anti-science campaign by climate change deniers and contrarians.”

“These are mostly groups focused on protecting narrow financial interests, ideologues fearful of any government regulation, or scientific contrarians who cling to outdated, long-refuted interpretations of science,” said Gleick. “While much of the opposition to addressing the issue of climate change is political, it often hides behind pseudo-scientific claims, with persistent efforts to intentionally mislead the public and policymakers with bad science about climate change.”

In response to these efforts, in 2010 the Pacific Institute launched the annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards. We are now pleased, and disturbed, to announce the winners of the 2011 (second annual) Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards:


All of the Republican candidates for President
Being anti-science in general, and anti-climate science in particular, seems a requirement for nomination to lead the Republican Party. Not a single one of the Republican candidates for President has a position on climate change that is consistent with the actual science accepted by 97-98% of all climate scientists and every national academy of sciences on the planet. The choice among the current Republican candidates on the issue of climate change is scientific ignorance, disdain for science, blatant misrepresentation of facts, or naked political expediency, any one of which would make the individual candidates strong contenders for the 2011 Climate B.S. Award. Combined? The group wins the 2011 Award hands down.

Second Place: Disinformation from Fox News and Murdoch’s News Corporation
Fox News moves up from their fifth place finish last year, joined by the entire News Corporation empire of Rupert Murdoch because of its regular misrepresentation of climate science and anti-climate science reporting among the different Murdoch outlets in the UK, the U.S., and Australia.

Third Place: Spencer, Braswell, and Christy
Third place goes to Roy Spencer and William (Danny) Braswell for a debunked research paper on climate sensitivity, and John Christy, for an astounding piece of misleading testimony at a Congressional climate change hearing.

Fourth Place: The Koch Brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
Fourth place goes to fossil-fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, Inc., who provide substantial funding to groups and politicians who deny the science of climate change. The Koch brothers fund a veritable Who’s Who of groups that put out misleading science or tout bad science on climate change as an intentional strategy.

Fifth Place: Anthony Watts for his BEST hypocrisy
Anti-climate-science blogger Anthony Watts said he would accept the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature or “BEST” study, even if it proved him wrong. Unfortunately for him, the study showed that the Earth’s surface is warming and at just the rate that numerous previous studies had shown – but he reneged and attacked the paper and the science.

Runners-Up in 2011 included:

Harrison Schmitt and the Heartland Institute for “Arcticgate” (documented errors in denying disappearance of Arctic sea ice); Rush Limbaugh for his consistent falsehoods about climate science; and  Steve McIntyre for his smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Last year, the first Climate B.S.* of the Year Award went to a series of false and misleading climate science claims including: “there has been no warming since 1998;” “the earth is cooling;” “global warming is natural;” and “humans are too insignificant to affect the climate.” Four other runners up were also highlighted in the first awards given a year ago.
Dr. Peter Gleick, one of the co-authors and creators of the Award, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, and a hydroclimatologist by training, says: “The public and our policymakers are being bombarded with climate B.S. It is long past time this B.S. was called out for what it is: bad science.”

Read the full Climate B.S. of the Year Awards details.

Read Peter Gleick’s blogs for the Award at the Huffington Post and Forbes.

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Nancy Ross
Pacific Institute

2011 Climate B.S. of the Year Award

2010 Climate B.S. of the Year Award

2011 Press Release

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