Leo Hickman pointed me to John Abraham's submission to the Leveson Inquiry and somewhat jokingly suggested I should be fact-checking it. Always seeking to oblige, I took a look. It's rather interesting.
The general theme is the wickedness of right-wing people in general and of right wing journalists in particular. Singled out for particular mention are David Rose, who writes at the Mail, and Christopher Booker.
Rose's article 'What happened to the warmest year on record?' was on the theme of 'global warming has stopped', which is a subject that is endlessly bickered over and I don't propose to go into it again here. Abraham took the obligatory pop at the idea and left everyone no further forward. However there were some more interesting differences over the Medieval Warm Period too. In his article Rose had said:
Earlier this year, a paper by Michael Mann - for years a leading light in the IPCC, and the author of the infamous 'hockey stick graph' showing flat temperatures for 2,000 years until the recent dizzying increase - made an extraordinary admission: that, as his critics had always claimed, there had indeed been a ' medieval warm period' around 1000 AD, when the world may well have been hotter than it is now.
This seems fairly clear to me: Mann had changed his story on Medieval warmth. But here's how Abraham represented the Rose article:
He claimed...that scientists misreported a period of warmth during the middle ages...
A surprising interpretation, I think you will agree.
Now people make mistakes, so we should try to give the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, however, there is another instance of the same thing when he talks about Booker's article 'What happens when great fallacies, like wind power or European Union, collide with reality?'.
This contained a relatively innocuous sentence about concern over AGW:
Recent events show us two huge examples... One is the belief, which took hold 20 years ago, that the world was in the grip of runaway global warming, caused by our emissions of greenhouse gases.
...which Abraham explained to the Leveson inquiry as follows:
[Booker] claimed that the concept of human-caused global warming is merely 20 years old. In fact, research on this topic stems back to the mid 1800s with the work of John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius.
Abraham also takes issue with a claim that temperatures in 2007 fell by 0.75° C, although there seems to have been a fall of that size in temperatures between January 2007 and January 2008, at least if you believe the GISS figures at the time.
I don't know about you, but I'm not getting a warm feeling from this.