Can We Have Some Standards?

I broke my finger recently bad enough I needed ten stitches, I should recover fine, but it makes typing more difficult. As a result, today's post is going to rely heavily upon things I've already said on Twitter.

The topic today is a recent story going around because of a paper which claims recycling ia a key source of plastic litter that's being found in oceans. The eye-grabbing quote used by the paper is:

While the quote is real, the subsequent interpretation This is a total fabrication. The quote in no way says that. In fact, the source it is taken from makes it explicitly clear this claimed meaning isn't correct. Despite this, the paper is getting a lot of publicity from the global warming "skeptic" crowd.

The GWPF, whose letterhead the paper is published on, issued a press release promoting the paper. Andrew Montford, a popular Skeptic blogger and member of the GWPF has been tweeting to promote it and even published an article to do the same. Watts Up With That, the largest Skeptic website, ran an article promoting it. So forth and so on. Lots of people like what this paper claimed so they somehow failed to notice its central claim is simply made up. That, or maybe they just failed to care.

My hand is hurting so I'll just copy my tweetstorm explaining what happened:

A person might argue this paper's overall conclusions survive despite its headline claim being a blatant misrepresentation. However, those same people would never accept such an argument from the "other side." When a central claim of a paper is a blatant falsehood, that is a problem everyone should demand be corrected. If people won't do that, they prove the "standards" they hold are really jusy, "Whatever we do is good, whatever they do is bad."

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