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Fake Nobel Laureate Jason Box

Jason BOX, Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland

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In 2011, the Guardian published a profile of Jason Box. We’re told that he’s a “climate scientist” and that “he speaks in careful, measured sentences.”

Yet we’re also told he considers climate change a “moral” struggle against “the greed of others” – and that he’s preparing to get himself arrested at an anti-Keystone pipeline protest.

Box was part of the team that created the 2012 documentary film, Chasing Ice. According to the official website, it was screened at the White House and is “the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet.”

The website includes a brief biographical sketch of Box that begins with this declaration:

Dr. Box in [sic] a Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist.

Toward the end of the bio, this sentence also appears:

He was a contributing author to “Climate Change 2007″, the definitive report on the science of global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for which he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. [bold added]

There are three classes of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) authors: coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and contributing authors. Those in the first two groups attend regular IPCC meetings and are expected to play an active role in the writing of a particular chapter. Box belonged to the latter, most junior group of authors – the sort normally asked to contribute only a brief section on a narrow topic.

Box was involved in one chapter of the 2007 IPCC report – out of 44. Fifty-seven people participated in that chapter, about snow and ice.

This, then is the shaky ground on which the claim that Box “was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize” relies:

  • he belonged to the most junior of three IPCC author classes
  • he made a 1/57th contribution to a single chapter, in a report that contained 44 chapters
  • the IPCC, as an organization, was later awarded half of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (Al Gore won the other half)

In October 2012, the IPCC issued a formal statement confirming that the Peace Prize was bestowed on the organization as a whole. The statement says it is incorrect to describe any individual associated with the IPCC as a Nobel laureate or Peace Prize winner (see the fourth paragraph).

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LINKS:

  • the Chasing Ice bio (backed up here)
  • a 2009 Reuters news story describing Box as a “Nobel prize winner” (backup)
  • a 2013 news story that says Box is a “Nobel laureate” (backup)
  • the Guardian profile is backed up here

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hat tip to Vinny Burgoo for identifying Jason Box as a fake Nobel laureate

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