Mail on Sunday Forced into Another Climate Climbdown as David Rose Errors Exposed Again

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Mail on Sunday correction

The Mail on Sunday newspaper has again been forced to correct the record after continuing to publish  misinformation about climate change by its reporter David Rose.

Yesterday the newspaper was forced to publish an apology about a story from over a year ago that repeated false claims about a study by American scientists suggesting that the so-called ‘hiatus’ in global warming never occurred. The newspaper wrongly stated that the study was based on “faulty data” and had “duped world leaders”.

The Mail on Sunday published a correction that admitted the paper had been forced to admit it broke the Editors' Code of Practice.

The code states: “A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published”.


The incident highlights the weakness of newspaper regulation in the face of repeated and deliberate breaches.

In the past twelve months, five of Mr Rose’s articles have been shown to be false, with IPSO adjudications published on 6 August, 17 September and 24 September 2017.

Only a  month ago DeSmog UK covered the latest David Rose controversy after he wrote that “the world average temperature in January 2017 was about the same as January 1998”. The article implied this was evidence for a global warming ‘pause’ — an argument of which climate science deniers are fond, no matter how many times scientists point out its failings.

Given these repeated breaches of the Editors’ Code of Practice over an extended period, the question now is whether IPSO will now undertake a standards investigation into ‘The Mail on Sunday’.

The most recent complaint was made by Bob Ward, Policy Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change who has spent the past year pursuing the matter. The length of time between the publication of the article and the apology highlights an issue with the current IPSO process, whereby the disinformation can exist uncorrected for lengthy periods.

In 2013, Media Matters named the Mail on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily Mail  “2013 Climate Change Misinformer of the Year” for stirring up of “faux controversies about climate science”, and in 2014, Greenpeace made an official release noting that David Rose is “not a credible source”, as has Wikipedia.

For more background on David Rose's track record of disinformation, see his full profile on DeSmog UK’s  Disinformation Database.

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