Morgan Goodwin's blog

Wed, 2010-05-05 12:50Morgan Goodwin
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Offshore Drilling Industry Has Its Own 'Conservation Organization'

One surefire way for conservation groups not to criticize the largest offshore drilling company in the world in the wake of a huge spill is for that company to sponsor and support its own conservation organization.

In this 2005 image, GMF President John LaRue accepts a check from BP’s Hugh Depland (left) at a recent reception.

Unfortunately, the deep connections between the Gulf of Mexico Foundation and Transocean Limited, (owners of the disastrous Deepwater Horizon rig) were omitted by the New York Times this week, which wrote a surprisingly positive front-page story about how the drilling disaster ‘wasn’t that bad’.  NYTimes reporters Tom Zeller Jr. and John M. Broder spend the first half of the article on quotes from Edward Overton of LSU and Quenton Dokken of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.

Thu, 2010-04-29 12:35Morgan Goodwin
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Conservative Talk Show Host Brian Sussman Adds 'Climategate' to His List of Favorite Conspiracy Theories

Newest climategate book a 'greatest hits' of conspiracy theories

The book “Climategate: A Meteorologist Exposes the Myth of Global Warming” is the newest bang on the Climategate drum.  It is written by none other than Brian Sussman, the California TV personality whose conspiracy theories also include ‘birther’ arguments and the discovery of the real Noah’s Ark

The conservative media has fallen into a rut of chanting ‘climategate, climategate, climategate’ every time global warming is mentioned.  If conservative mojo is demonstrated by how loudly one can say it, Brian Sussman just announced his candidacy for denier-in-chief.

Sussman’s book, released on Earth Day 2010, is based on the over-arching theory that the entire environmental movement is a farce.  The back cover reads: “For many decades, communists, socialists and the global elite have tossed a dizzying array of predicaments into American culture; that carbon dioxide emissions generated by mankind are ruining the planet, is their greatest assertion yet.”

According to Sussman, Earth Day is a socialist plot, DDT is harmless, Rachel Carson was wrong, and Al Gore doesn’t even believe in global warming.  Indeed, he thinks practically every environmental issue can be explained away as part of this theory. The book includes such gems as explaining how installing smart-meters that help the grid save energy is really just helping Big Brother become a reality

It’s not necessary to address Sussman’s claims about Climategate, as numerous investigations have cleared the scientists of wrongdoing and found the underlying science sound.  The book’s title is merely a trendy hook slapped on a book that’s been in the works for two years.

Fri, 2010-04-09 22:39Morgan Goodwin
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Media Outlets Falsely Reporting Scientific Fraud Should Make Corrections

Ideologically motivated and often well-funded operatives were quick to broadcast the hacked East Anglia emails in November as ‘the biggest scandal of the century.’  Thanks to a UK parliamentary investigation, and an earlier Penn State investigation, we are reminded that the emails revealed no such scandal. 

We can expect that the industry-funded think tanks would go all out to spread any story that fits into their narrative of denying climate science.  More alarming are the reporters that swallowed the bait and reported on the manufactured scandal in a fake debate.

We should be expecting apologies and corrections from these reporters for taking the hints of ‘scandal’ and ‘fraud’ and reporting on them as fact:

  • Bret Stephen in the WSJ hinted that global warming scientists were “closet Stalinists”? (The seems to have been removed, but did he apologise for it?) 12/8/2009
  • Andrew Bolt in the Melbourne Herald Sun: “Climategate: Warmist conspiracy exposed?” 11/20/2009
  • James Dellingpole in the Telegraph: “The Final Nail in the Coffin of Anthropogenic Global Warming” 11/20/2009
  • Leo Hickman and James Randerson in The Guardian: “Files stolen.  Evidence of collusion among scientists”
  • Lauren Morello writing for Climatewire and picked up in the NYTimes: “Stolen E-Mails Sharpen a Brawl Between Climate Scientists and Skeptics” 11/24/2009
  • The Freakonomics blog on the NYTimes: “Phil Jones, the scientist at the center of the Climategate  scandal, answers questions from the BBC.” 2/18/2010
  • Fred Guteri in Newsweek: “Climate scientists who play fast and loose with the facts are imperiling not just their profession but the planet.” 2/19/2010

Even though it generates lots of web-views, taking quotes out of context from illegally obtained information and then implying global implications is irresponsible.  Calmly investigating the claims, as the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has done, and finding the science sound is to be applauded.

Fri, 2010-04-09 17:18Morgan Goodwin
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CEI fails to manufacture its own 'stolen emails' controversy

The folks at Competitive Enterprise Institute seemed to enjoy Climategate so much that they tried to manufacture an email scandal of their own.  But two months and several attempts later, they haven’t been able to generate much interest.

Tue, 2010-03-30 14:42Morgan Goodwin
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Climategate: An Autopsy

How did emails stolen from climate scientists snowball into a global news story in less than 48 hours?  

“A lot is happening behind the scenes. It is not being ignored. Much is being coordinated among major players and the media. Thank you very much. You will notice the beginnings of activity on other sites now. Here soon to follow. ~ ctm [Charles Rotter, moderator on WattsUpWithThat.com]”

‘Climategate’, or ‘Swifthack’ was a media story about a set of hacked emails that was pushed by a group of avid climate skeptics, including bloggers Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Patrick Condon, Lucia Liljegren, Charles Rotter and Anthony Watts.   Collectively, they took a mountain of stolen material, condensed it into a well-packaged pitch, and sparked a scandalous story that reached virtually every major news outlet in the world.

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