Birth of a Myth

Leo Hickman in the Guardian explains how climate deniers roll:

Such is the viral nature of information flow on the internet, we can sometimes see myths and memes developing before our very eyes. Just such an example has occurred over recent days with the rather irresistible news that windfarms can “increase climate change“.

The article that really gave this idea a push online was published on Sunday evening on the Daily Mail’s website. It was delivered with the headline: “Wind farms can actually INCREASE climate change by raising temperatures and causing downpours, warn academics.

Somewhat predictably, that headline quickly attracted attention and was being disseminated with particular gusto on climate sceptic sites such as Climate Depot and JunkScience. The news was also reported on (“Wind Farms Cause Global Warming, some Scientists say”)

This is all of a piece with Krugman’s dictum, but there’s even more here, how a scientist’s research gets re-purposed, as they say. It’s stupid, really – giant wind farms can alter the weather. But the deniers don’t care about the stupid if it smells like proof; add the possibility of fantastic headlines and presto: a meme is born.

via LGM.