Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Penguins - more fantasy about a Time cover

There was a really crazy article at WUWT by Leo Goldstein on fact checkers and allegations of fakery. Leo G regularly publishes really paranoid stuff on Google conspiracies etc. But this one was a doozy, titled "How Google and MSM Use “Fact Checkers” to Flood Us with Fake Claims". Here is an extract:
An example is a global cooling scare of the 70s. In 1977, Time magazine published an issue under the following cover:

That cover is a seriously inconvenient truth for climate alarmists and their media accessories. So, Time attempted to re-write a history. It published a forged version of its own cover, the left one on the following picture (the “Time-2013-version-of-1977”):

…and then easily debunked it as a photoshopped version of its April 2007 cover (3). As I will explain below, Time magazine knew it was launching a hoax. The rest of the liberal media popularized it, although it could have easily recognized it. Snopes adopted it (4), invented additional details that were not present in the Time article, and angrily condemned “climate deniers.”
And there is lots more about how "notorious Greg Laden" exposed the hoax etc
The “original source” of the fake cover is hard to trace. It is almost certainly somebody in the climate alarmism camp: the real cover from 1977 was very clearly making a point against climate alarmism. But the point of entry of the forgery into mass circulation was Time magazine, June 6 of 2013. Good job, motherf*ckers.
My initial commentary was a bit confused, mainly because we have recently had NBN (a new optic fibre system, much complained about) installed, and it kept disconnecting from the internet. However, I loooked into it a bit more and found quite a lot of history.

Firstly, some links.

Goldstein is of course talking nonsense about the forgery being a plant designed to pick up on the 1977 Big Freeze cover. That cover wasn't about global cooling at all. It was a straight forward factual article about a very snowy winter in 1976/7 in North America. There was in fact a 1974 Time article on global cooling that people might have wanted to look up, as the Time link describes. But there was no cover associated with that, although the contrary is widely believed.

But I did some more searching. First some notable occurrences of the hoax, which is actually ten years old:
  • As mentioned, it apparently got to President Trump via K.T.MacFarland
  • David Rose at Daily Mail, "Great Green Con". See the blue box which says "In the Seventies, scientists and policymakers were just as concerned about a looming ‘ice age’ as they have been lately about global warming – as the Time magazine cover pictured here illustrates. The picture has now been removed without explanation, which doesn't help the clarity of the text.
  • WUWT, 2017
  • Roy Spencer, 2013

There clearly was more history, since most of these don't have the 1977 pasted over as in the Time/Kirtley versions. So I did a bit more searching.

Steven Goddard, 2011 is an old reliable. This predates 2013, so clearly debunks the Goldstein fantasy about Time forging its own cover in 2013.

Neocon Exresss is the earliest nominal date, at Feb 12, 2007. But that predates the real cover, so I presume the image was added later. Of interest is a Jan 2011 comment, drawing attention to the fakery.

But the most interesting early occurrence was in August 2007, in Free Republic. That was soon after the genuine cover in April 2007. But this one is an animated GIF, and shows alternately the fake and the real. I'm not sure what the point is, but it must be getting close to the source, where it was somehow, I suppose, seen as parody. The url links to this site, which seems to be for prank pictures, but I couldn't find an original there. Update: The picture numbering on the StrangePolitics site isn't entirely consistent, but seems to place the original in April 2007, the month of the genuine cover. <

Here is Goldstein's summary:
In this example, multiple entities are involved: Google, Snopes, Time magazine, and ScienceBlogs. They are independent entities, but each of them knowingly plays its own well-defined role in the chain of injection, amplification, propagation, and utilization of a lie. Thus, they might be referred to as a single body.


  1. Of course the liars will claim it is others who are lying. The people who lie are capable of saying anything - the fact that they lie does not trouble them, apparently. People who argue in good faith are always going to be at a disadvantage.

  2. I emailed Philip Lloyd (who wrote the January WUWT post) to point out that the Time cover was a fake. He responded to say that the beauty of a blog post is that it is not as vitally important to check all sources.

  3. "He responded to say that the beauty of a blog post is that it is not as vitally important to check all sources."

    The lazy phony skepticism of these shameless liars summed up in a sentence.

  4. Wow! Time faked their own cover! How far does the AGW conspiracy go?! /sarcasm

    I dug up a little bit more of the back-story on this fake meme, tracing it to a few more websites:

    Great to see you trace it back to its very beginning!

    1. Thanks, David. It was great that your original post prompted the Time statement too. I've added an update; the numbering of images on the StrangePolitics site suggests that the animated gif dates to April 2007, the month of the genuine Time cover. But the numbering sometimes jumps around.

  5. What matters is the cover they were "thinking", and we all know what they were thinking. - JCH

  6. A photo of the published 2013 Daily Mail article can be found here
    This isn't my image and I'm don't know who uploaded it, so I guess it could disappear at some stage in the future...

  7. Of course, the point about this cover, as ATTP's comment amply demonstrates, is that "sceptics" (be they bloggers, newspaper reporters or advisers to the US president) do no fact checking when confronted with "evidence" that supports their own position. Which, in turn is why I needed to put the word sceptics in quotes.

    And this would still be the case, even if Goldstein's nonsense was true.

    And so the real question is, if people like Lloyd, Rose and MacFarland can't be bothered to fact-check a Time magazine cover, what else haven't they fact-checked ?

    1. "what else haven't they fact-checked ?"

      Indeed. The very start of Goldstein's chain of "reasoning" is broken right out of the gate because he didn't check to see what the story behind the original 1977 Time mag. cover (the one with the man in the snow-covered ski mask) was about. It *was not* about the "global cooling scare" it was merely about the very cold winters in America at the time, as Nick pointed out.

  8. Are alarmists ever not deceptive?

    Masturbate over the fake global cooling crisis (with identical global warming catastrophic effects, curiously) and ignore the measured decrease in temperatures that have now been adjusted out of the temperature record entirely.

    Call Nick when people start questioning so he can lie and say the tampering is justified.

    1. Don't forget Zeke and Mosh.

    2. I will give you 1 out of 10 for the quality of your trolling.

    3. Is the 1 for Mosh? Poor guy is always being paraded out when the excuses start running thin.