Another Showing of Yoo Intentionally Making Arguments That He Knew Were Wrong or False
links for 2010-02-21

"Economist" Russ Roberts: Liar Gullible

UPDATE: Russ Roberts writes that it's not his fault--that he wasn't lying to his readers--but that it's the Daily Mail's fault: the Daily Mail was lying to him:

Finally, Brad DeLong calls me a liar: Brad doesn’t like this post.... I had read (and linked to) this article from the Daily Mail.... "Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming." How would you interpret that last sentence?.... Had I read the BBC version, I also would have known that Jones thinks there is a warming trend rather than merely a trend that is not statistically significant. I should have said that Jones admits that “for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.” My mistake. Dear readers, I did not mean to trick you. (I refrain from mentioning that Brad knew that I had linked to the Daily Mail story rather than the BBC version. I’ll just assume he made an honest mistake.)

Well, I would interpret "that last sentence," being that it was from the Daily Mail, as needing to be carefully checked and handled with tongs.

It's not an accident that the BBC version and reality conflict with the Daily Mail.

To get your information about the world from the Daily Mail is first of all to lie to yourself:

Daily Mail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Libel lawsuits:

  • On 27 April 2007, film star Hugh Grant accepted damages over claims made about his relationships with his former girlfriends in three separate tabloid articles published in the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday on 18, 21 and 24 February. His lawyer stated that all of the articles' "allegations and factual assertions are false." Grant said, in a written statement, that he took the action because: "I was tired of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday papers publishing almost entirely fictional articles about my private life for their own financial gain. I'm also hoping that this statement in court might remind people that the so-called 'close friends' or 'close sources' on which these stories claim to be based almost never exist." World football governing body, FIFA, also filed a lawsuit against the Daily Mail due to comments made by sportswriter >* Andrew Jennings against the organisation and its president Sepp Blatter.
  • The Daily Mail falsely reported that former child star Mark Lester assaulted his ex-wife and had allowed his son to share a bedroom with Michael Jackson. In 2008 substantial damages along with legal costs were awarded to Mark Lester after he launched a libel case against the paper.

Other libel awards against the Daily Mail (and Mail on Sunday) include:

  • November 2009 - Actress Kate Winslet awarded £25,000 in damages after an article in the Daily Mail titled "Should Kate Winslet win an Oscar for the world's most irritating actress?" accuses her of lying about her exercise regime.
  • 2009 - September — Metropolitan police commander Ali Dizaei accepts 'substantial' damages after a story falsely accusing him of being a bigamist.
  • 2009 - May — Labour MP Tom Watson accepts 'substantial undisclosed damages' over untrue allegations he 'was not only copied into emails between former Downing Street press adviser Damian McBride and activist Derek Draper but "encouraged" them.'
  • 2009 - May — three women whose stories had appeared in an article about women who'd adopted children, suggesting they did so for 'selfish' reasons, were awarded £10,000 each in damages.
  • 2009 - January - £30,000 award to Dr Austen Ivereigh, who had worked for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, accused of hypocrisy over abortion.
  • 2007 - May — Actress Keira Knightley awarded £3,000 for an article in which it was falsely claimed she was anorexic.
  • 2006 - May - £100,000 damages for Elton John, falsely accused of rude and dictatorial behaviour
  • 2006 - April — Undisclosed damages paid to actress Sharon Stone following a story falsely claiming she'd left her child in a car unattended while she ate at a nearby restaurant.
  • 2006 - March — A formal apology and substantial damages awarded to businessman Sheldon Adelson, in a case estimated to have cost £4m.
  • 2004 - April — Actor Rowan Atkinson was paid 'substantial' damages after story falsely stating he was on the verge of a mental breakdown.
  • 2003- October — Actress Diana Rigg awarded £30,000 in damages over story which 'wrongly portrayed her as an embittered woman who held British men in low regard'
  • 2003 - August — Actress Nicole Kidman awarded 'substantial' damages after false story accused her of having an affair with actor Jude Law
  • 2001 - February — Businessman Alan Sugar was awarded £100,000 in damages following story which falsly accused him of 'being "miserly" in his stewardship of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.'

He doesn't even try very hard...

Russ Roberts:

Cafe Hayek: Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times: "Of the festivals of nonsense that periodically overtake American politics, surely the silliest is the argument that because Washington is having a particularly snowy winter it proves that climate change is a hoax and, therefore, we need not bother with all this girly-man stuff like renewable energy, solar panels and carbon taxes. Just drill, baby, drill..."

He’s right in principle. One observation doesn’t make a trend. Of course Phil Jones has said recently that there’s no trend for the last 15 years. But never mind...

What Phil Jones said was:

BBC News - Q&A: Professor Phil Jones:

BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

Phil Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods...

Russ Roberts knows as well as I do--as well as anybody who has taken even one semester of statistics does--that "no trend" does not mean the same thing as "no statistically significant trend," that you are unlikely to find statistical significance when you restrict your attention to a short period because your statistical tests then lack power, and that everyone literate in statistics asked for their point estimate of the warming trend since 1975 would say that it is almost as much as the overall trend since 1860: 0.012C per year as compared to 0.015C per year.

Russ Roberts knows all this. But he hopes to trick some of his readers by hiding it.

Lyingest economist alive...