Forbes Censors Article About a Scientist Who Is Skeptical of Climate Hysteria

Dr. Nir Shaviv speaking in Australia

Dr. Nir J. Shaviv is an astrophysicist of some renown. He has over 100 scientific papers to his credit and is currently chairman of the Racah Institute of Physics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I think it’s safe to say that Dr. Shaviv knows a thing or two about science and how it is done. One of his specialties is studying the effect that cosmic rays from the sun have on the earth’s climate. So just to make it clear. Dr. Nir Shaviv is a well-respected scientist who has published peer-reviewed research specifically about earth’s climate.

Does this mean we have to believe what Dr. Shaviv says when it comes to earth’s climate? Of course not. However, it does mean that he is a recognized expert in the field. Even when I disagree with experts, I still try to pay attention to what they say and the data they produce, because they know more than I do when it comes to the issue I am investigating. Thus, while I certainly don’t have to agree with the conclusions of any given expert, I do have to at least try to understand the data the expert has collected and why he or she thinks they point to a certain conclusion. If I don’t do that, I am no longer thinking scientifically. After all, the only way you can make a scientific conclusion is to consider all of the data. Ignoring data because I don’t agree with the source is not scientific; it is emotional.

Why am I bringing this up? Because last night, I was scrolling through a news feed and noticed a Forbes article entitled, “Global Warming? An Israeli Astrophysicist Provides Alternative View That Is Not Easy To Reject.” Obviously, that title was very interesting to me, so I clicked on the link. Unfortunately, what I found was a message that said:

After review, this post has been removed for failing to meet our editorial standards.

We are providing our readers the headline, author and first paragraphs in the interest of transparency.

We regret any inconvenience.

This seemed rather odd to me, so I decided to do some digging. What I found did not reflect well on Forbes.

As Erica Albright says in The Social Network:

The internet is not written in pencil, Mark. It’s written in ink.

Knowing this, I went searching for the article that Forbes claims does not meet its editorial standards. I used my favorite tool for this purpose (mostly because of the name), The Wayback Machine. I found the article and read it in its entirety. What I found was an excellent article that clearly explains one respected scientist’s view of the global warming hysteria that certain high-profile scientists and politicians are promoting. Since then, it has been posted elsewhere, in a form that is probably easier for most browsers to read.

Please read the article for yourself. While reading, try to spot what caused Forbes to decide that it didn’t meet their editorial standards. The only thing I can think of is that the respected scientist had the audacity to question the narrative that global warming is going to lead to the end of the world as we know it. Indeed, he even mentioned the nonsensical assertion that 97% of all climate scientists agree with the narrative:

Only people who don’t understand science take the 97% statistic seriously…Survey results depend on who you ask, who answers and how the questions are worded. In any case, science is not a democracy. Even if 100% of scientists believe something, one person with good evidence can still be right.

Even though that statement is 100% correct and fundamentally important to understanding the very nature of science, it flies in the face of the narrative that some high-profile scientists and politicians are pushing. As far as I can tell, Forbes decided the article didn’t meet its “editorial standards” because it failed to support that narrative.

6 Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Kind of scary when our news is being altered to push an agenda. Yet, this is happening constantly.

  2. Steve Jones says:

    Forbes is pro-business. Businesses make a fortune from climate hysteria, mining either the rich vein of government grants and subsidies or the deep pockets of gullible billionaires like Tom Steyer. Ergo, Forbes has a vested interest in promoting climate hysteria. You almost have to assume that some beneficiary of this scam explained the situation to Forbes and got the article pulled.

  3. Jake says:

    I’m not sure I agree with what you say about science, data, and emotion, but I’m pretty sure it’s incorrect to say Shaviv studies “the effect that cosmic rays from the sun have on the earth’s climate.” While I do know that there has been lots of research and speculation on the origin of cosmic rays, I’ve never heard of anyone say they come from the sun. That doesn’t mean no one has said it, of course, and the use of the word cosmic doesn’t imply cosmic rays can’t come from the sun; but reading your post I immediately guessed that the cosmic ray source Shaviv refers to isn’t the sun. I read about half the paper (and skimmed the rest), and I think this part confirms my guess:

    Empirical observations indicate that the climate link could be via solar wind modulation of the galactic cosmic ray flux … because an increase in solar activity results not only in enhanced thermal energy flux, but also in more intense solar wind that attenuates the CRF reaching Earth. The CRF, in turn, correlates convincingly with the low-altitude cloud cover on time scales from days (Forbush phenomenon) to decades (sun spot cycle). The postulated causation sequence is therefore: brighter sun ⇒ enhanced thermal flux + solar wind ⇒ muted CRF ⇒ less lowlevel clouds ⇒ less albedo ⇒ warmer climate.

    The beginning of the paper also says something similar—that the variation at issue involves “solar system passages through the spiral arms of the galaxy.” So Shaviv isn’t saying the cosmic rays are from the sun; rather, there is a galactic cosmic ray flux, and the solar wind blocks that flux to a varying extent. Solar variation is directly involved, but the sun isn’t making the cosmic rays.

    Anyway, the notion that the production of cloud condensation nuclei is affected by cosmic ray flux is cool, and sounds exactly like what an astrophysicist would come up with. Luminiferous aether may not have been real, but the earth might still be floating in galaxy-scale fields that dependent on the sun, the position of the earth in the solar system, and the position of the solar system in the galaxy.

    1. Jay Wile says:

      Thanks for the correction, Jake. I put strikeouts to get of the idea that they are coming from the sun. However, I would point out that we do know that some cosmic rays do come from the sun.

      1. Jake says:

        Ah, thanks for pointing me to solar cosmic rays; yeah, I have friends who work on solar magnetic reconnection events, so I’m not surprised the sun can produce highly energetic particles.

        I still can’t get over the connection between cosmic rays and clouds. But since you would have a very different interpretation of Shaviv’s data (as it extends millions of years into the past), what exactly do you make of it?

        1. Jay Wile says:

          I don’t really put a lot of stock in the data. First, they are all (necessarily) proxies. Second, I don’t think the timescale is right. He needs a smoothly-varying timescale, and I don’t think he has one.

          He is right that clouds are probably a negative feedback mechanism, so to the extent that cosmic rays make clouds, they do influence the climate. It’s just hard to say how big that influence is.

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