So I’ve been spending a bit too much time in recent weeks knee deep in dodgy “open access” journals for some stories I hope to get up in the not too distant future
Predatory “open access” journals are popping up all over the place – online-based publications that allow researchers to publish papers for a fee, in return for offering a peer-review and copy-checking service that’s shonky at best.
One company facing such allegations is OMICS International. The US government’s Federal Trade Commission is currently pursuing OMICS in court on allegations that their journals and conferences are guilty of deceptive marketing practices. OMICS denies the charges. A lawyer at FTC has confirmed to me that the case is currently in the “discovery” stage, ending in early March 2018.
I’ve written a few pieces now where OMICS has been involved. The more I look, the more trading names I find.
Sometimes, climate science denialists make stuff up. Sometimes, their distinct lack of scepticism has them pushing around fake quotes.
I’ve written about that for DeSmogBlog, where I tracked down the source of some of the most popular “quote mining” that goes on.
Here’s one example. On the website of One Nation, is a page that claims to reveal that environmental sustainability issues from the United Nations under the Agenda 21 banner is not a non-binding set of recommendations, but is instead “just communism resurrected in a new guise.” Agenda 21 is a whole world of conspiracy theorising.
On the One Nation page, is this quote:
At the U.N. Summit at Rio in 1992, the Conference Secretary-General, Maurice Strong, said “Isn’t the only hope for this planet that the industrialized civilization collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
The suggestion, clearly, is that Strong had a secret plot to destroy industrialised civilisation. Bang to rights?
So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a story for DeSmog reporting on self-described “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin’s views about climate change and how he thought it might not be caused by humans.
There’s been quite a reaction to the story, mainly through Facebook discussions sparked by Salatin himself and by others who are part of what you might broadly describe as the sustainable farming movement (this is an entirely imperfect term though, given the diversity of thought among the great many people looking for alternative ways to grow healthy food in a way that has less impact on the environment).
I’ve been accused by one Australian figure, Tammi Jonas, the interim president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, of writing an “unproductive and divisive” article that was “pure click bait ‘gotcha’ rubbish.” More on that in a bit.
Every now and again I drop over to News Corp climate science denialist Andrew Bolt’s blog just to check that he’s still doing the stuff he’s always done, like misrepresenting climate science and giving his readers and followers bum information.
Andrew Bolt used to love writing about Antarctica [adopts sarcastic tone] bringing his laser-like scientific mind to the continent’s sea ice.
In December 2013, News Corp Australia’s climate science mangler-in-chief was delighting in the predicament of Professor Chris Turney, who had led an exhibition to Antarctica but whose ship had become stuck in sea ice.