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« Weather is climate | Main | Schiermeier on climate uncertainties »

Hans von Storch says Nature invented quotes

Everybody's favourite environmental journal, Nature, seems to have got itself into hot water. Hans von Storch reports on his Die Klimazwiebel blog that the quotes attributed to him in Quirin Schiermeier's article (see previous posting) did not form part of the interview between the two men.

Quirin Schiermeier quotes me with "You need to be very circumspect about the added value of downscaling to regional impacts," agrees Hans von Storch in this week's issue of nature. And: he cautions, "planners should handle them with kid gloves. Whenever possible, they'd rather wait with spending big money on adaptation projects until there is more certainty about the things to come." I have not spoken with Mr Schiermeier about regional modelling, at least not recently; the term "kid gloves" is unknown to me, not part of my vocabulary. I have asked him for evidence that I have said these sentences to whom.

Nature's reputation was already looking rather damaged, what with the "denialists" editorial and all. This kind of thing is hardly going to help.


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Reader Comments (11)

It gets better and better. I look forward to seeing Nature's response. Nature's credibility as a science mag has dropped below that of Astrology Today.

Jan 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling


I think you should demand an explanation on why you are not on the nominee list...

A few months ago he might have got away with this, now he just looks like an inconsequential idiot. Thanks to climategate.

Jan 21, 2010 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

One to watch:

Jan 21, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterukipwebmaster

Von Storch changed the system to leave comments. Seems like an awful hassle to leave a comment now.
Anyway, I see Nature using some IPCC Himylayan spin to play it down.

Jan 21, 2010 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterP Gosselin

When will the dominoes stop falling? I'd like (good) Western science to survive, but there is so much bad science around, ti isn't obvious that it will once the forensic skills of the web get going. It is my suspicion that e.g. big pharma makes the hockey team look like amateurs.
Any forecasts on a sensible way ahead vis a vis Nature (assuming John Maddox isn't coming back)? the Royal Society? etc etc.

Jan 21, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrianSJ

"There are no facts, only interpretations." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Jan 21, 2010 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Not trying to spam, honest. But those GISS emails Judicial Watch received under FOIA has some amazing stuff. Would you believe GISS admits they have NO evidence of AGW in the US data (even though it is the best on the planet) and don’t expect to detect any evidence for 2-4 decades!

Jan 22, 2010 at 1:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAJStrta

I am a librarian who has done an extensive examination of Nature Magazine, via their website. Look at the scope of their reach.

The magazine partners with Macmillan Publishing Company, which supports global warming, and whose textbooks are sold in every school district in America. This is a massive, highly competitive industry.

Picture parents questioning the school textbooks. Macmillan would not be able to bear this scrutiny.

Jan 22, 2010 at 3:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterKate

I am re-reading a history of the UFO myth, "Watch the Skies!" by Curtis Peebles.
The similarities between UFOology and AGW are striking.
One technique of Ufoologist promoters has been to misquote people.
Another has been to assign to those who decline to believe in UFO's bad motives and participation in great conspiracies to suppress the 'truth'. For Ufoology, it is the "men in black". For the AGW true believers, it is 'big oil'.
Even the name UFOols call skeptics - 'debunkers', is similar to the AGW true believer name for skeptics, 'deniers'.

Jan 22, 2010 at 3:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I had a similar experience with a journalist who made up quotes in writing up an interview with me.

Of course, he was a college newspaper columnist, rather than a writer for Nature.

True story.

Jan 22, 2010 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterCarrick

Dr.VOn Storch has an update on this story:

"Quirin Schiermeier has now responded to my claim of false direct quotes of mine in the recent issue of nature. I find his response acceptable - things happen in the heat of time limits. When attributing specific (direct) quotes to somebody, it is good journalistic practice to ask for authorization - indeed a common practice among European and North American newspapers and journals. I would also expect that from "nature". -- But I have to admit that the damage done is not large. Its more about the nuances."

Jan 22, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi

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