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Wed, 2010-02-03 17:34Kevin Grandia
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Comments on DeSmogBlog now tightly moderated

People have been emailing over the last few weeks about DeSmogBlog’s comment section.

Most are wondering why their comments are not posting even if they’re registered as a user. A few, from people I am sure you can guess, are accusing us of censorship, and a few more (sure you can guess those too) are saying its indicative of a drop in visitors.

Of course, the conspiracy theorists in the latter two categories are wrong as they usually are.

The truth of the matter is that the comment sections on DeSmog were turning into useless flame wars that did little to advance the dialogue we want to have here on the site. So, for the time being comments will remain tightly moderated and we will turn them back on to allow registered users to post directly to the site after an adequate cool down period.

We are also developing new functions that will hopefully help the community self-moderate the comments.

So stay tuned.

Wed, 2010-02-03 09:53Kevin Grandia
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Breaking: Penn State inquiry finds no evidence for allegations against Michael Mann

Penn State University has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims made against climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann surrounding the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University.

An inquiry panel was set up earlier this year to look at allegations made by right-wing bloggers and media outlets against Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, relating to the contents of emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in London.

On all 4 of the allegations made against Dr. Mann the panel has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims. 

However, the panel has recommended that the allegation that Dr. Mann “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities,” be further investigated.

Dr. Mann issued a statement today on the findings, saying that:

I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to substantiate the allegations against me.

Three of the four allegations have been dismissed completely. Even though no evidence to substantiate the fourth allegation was found, the University administrators thought it best to convene a separate committee of distinguished scientists to resolve any remaining questions about academic procedures.

This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.

I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter – as I have since the beginning of the process.

The full report of the inquiry panel can be found here: Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann

Tue, 2010-02-02 12:57Kevin Grandia
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Monbiot rips Plimer and Plimer blames DeSmogBlog

In late December, Guardian columnist George Monbiot squared off on ABC Australia with the climate-change expert wannabe, Ian Plimer.

Monbiot rips Plimer, and it’s very amusing to watch Plimer pretend he’s an expert in climate science, despite the fact  that he has no academic background in climate change research and is on the board of directors of no less than three very large mining companies.

Regardless, I hadn’t had a chance to see the entire video and just had a chance to watch it in it’s entirety. Nobody had told me that near the end of the debate Plimer smears and lies about DeSmogBlog, saying that:

“Why does Mr. Monbiot use blog sites, where the bloggers are paid to smear scientists, this is DeSmogBlog which is paid for by the Suzuki Foundation.”

Sorry, Plimer, we don’t smear scientists, we simply point out the lack of expertise and fossil fuel industry ties of people like you who are spreading misinformation about the realities of climate change.

DeSmogBlog has never received a single penny from the Suzuki Foundation and Monbiot has never “used” DeSmogBlog.

Here’s the last 3rd of the debate, Plimer lies about DeSmogBlog at the 7 minute mark:

Mon, 2010-02-01 20:28Kevin Grandia
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Why Climate Gate is bogus and based on lies

Writing for the UK’s Gaurdian news today, Fred Pearce has a very in-depth analysis of how the ‘climategate’ scandal is bogus and based on climate sceptics’ lies.

Pearce explains that,

“Almost all the media and political discussion about the hacked climate emails has been based on brief soundbites publicised by professional sceptics and their blogs. In many cases, these have been taken out of context and twisted to mean something they were never intended to.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. The so-called ‘climategate’ has been hyped by an over-the-top right-wing press and an over-excited gang of bloggers who use everything other than actual scientific research to prove their point.

Thu, 2010-01-28 07:02Kevin Grandia
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The Commonwealth Foundation's Favorite Strawman

When it comes to the art of political rhetoric there is nothing more effective then the straw man technique.

It’s simple: instead of using sound logic and evidence to discredit an idea or policy, just brand an individual as representative of the idea and then knock them down.

On the issue of climate change, you can see this technique in action with the right-wing Commonwealth Foundation trying to discredit the work of a single climate expert, Dr. Michael Mann, as a means of discrediting the entire body of climate change science.

The Commonwealth Foundation recently published a “policy brief” called Climategate & Penn State, a 12-page attack that tries to frame Dr. Mann as the orchestrator behind some grand conspiracy, which is the key to a good stick man attack.

Sun, 2010-01-24 12:35Kevin Grandia
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The NY Times' Case for a Climate Bill

The New York Times’ lead editorial today is The Case for a Climate Bill and it’s well worth the read.

While chances of a clean energy bill in 2010 were damaged by the major upset last week in the Massachusetts special election, all does not seem lost. That is, according to the New York Times’ editorial board at least. They conclude that the only way we’ll see a climate bill in 2010 is if President Obama gets out and sells its virtues to everyday Americans.

It’s time for a road trip Mr. President.

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