"Climategate" - giving deniers the power to say whatever they want

Thu, 2009-11-26 13:15Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

"Climategate" - giving deniers the power to say whatever they want

There’s nothing like a good “second-day” story to absolve the average journalist (very average in this case) from any responsibility to support his contentions with, say, a smattering of evidence.

Admittedly, second-day stories are tough in a paper like the Toronto Sun where space is at a premium. You want to update the reader with the news, but you still have to provide enough of the original story to provide context. Unless you’re Lorrie Goldstein, in which case you can short-cut your way to today’s opinion without making any effort to support it with actual factual references.

In his column today on the “Climategate” story of emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, Goldstein offers this as a synopsis of what the purloined emails prove:

“Apparently they (the scientists involved) stifled their own doubts about recent global cooling not explained by their computer models, manipulated data, plotted ways to avoid releasing it under freedom of information laws and attacked fellow scientists and scientific journals for publishing even peer-reviewed literature of which they did not approve.”

Did they just? Well, you’ll have to take Goldstein’s word for it because he didn’t offer a single quote to back up his sweeping condemnation. He didn’t even mention whether he had read any of the emails himself; he was too busy getting hysterical about the horrifying collaboration of Big Government, Big Business and Big Green. Truly scary.

For people who are interested in the detail of what appeared in those emails and for a second opinion about what the authors might have meant in the writing, read the next post. For a mindless recitation of ideological cant, based on a cursory reading of yesterday’s news, you can always fall back on the Sun.

Comments

Well, this is all tactics to create public opinion/confuse the public. True or not, it sticks. So what the scientific side has to do is demonstrate that these guys have no credibility. Actually, you don’t have to demonstrate it, it is a given, just act accordingly. In my letter to the editor to the Herald today, I cut skeptics off by telling the public that these guys have missed the train ten years ago. Well, they have. They are sitting here ranting and raving about whether or not we should take action, while the world is in Copenhagen asking WHAT to do. Game over - boom! People like Goldstein are scum and have to be held right down to the ground. Pull them out by the roots so that they cannot grow back into your face.

The game is over - make this very clear!

Wow Freiherr you sure are militant. It makes me laugh everytime I see one of you guys so indignant and full of himself, standing atop the pulpit try to call people out for being sinners or rather deniers. Like we haven’t all seen this delusion of blind faith to ideology before. Don’t you see whats going on here? Your guys fudged the numbers and bs’ed their way through the peer review process. Their is no firm science to hang your hat on. At the very least we need to re-examine the work done by these people to see if their is even a shred of validity to it.
I hope you didn’t use your real name, but please tell me which paper you sent it to though we always need a laugh. Oh and please tell me how you cut skeptics off in a print newspaper? Did you use the force like darth vader as they we’re writing their articles? This ought to be good!

uuhhh…uhhh…uunnnnn. You cut me off mid sentence. LMAO

Germans have always been militant - Canadians are more polite, Americans, too. And sometimes, you have to take advantage of your background.

I did not express myself properly when talking of cutting skeptics off. I was referring to emphasizing the point to the readership that the skeptics are running after the train - meaning they have been out of touch with reality for 10 years. I am not a climatologist so “you guys” does not apply to me. But when I did my PhD with one of the best scientists in our field, I learnt two words “rigour” and “reason”. I was first confronted with the AGW discussion when a coworker pointed the T-t trend on the FoS website out, as well as the 800 year T-CO2 lag. Their interpretation of both is so obviously flawed (out of context; apple and oranges) for somebody who has looked at many many data sets. So, my intention is purely scientific and not political. Unfortunately, the “skeptics” side in only political, and in a way that would be considered extremist where I come from.

Todays Germany has zero tolerance of fundamentalism of any kind. We learnt our history from Hitler. Today, intolerance is encountered with intolerance, for example when it comes to muslim extremists or neonazis.

You find my letter in the Calgary Herald.

zero tolerance of fundamentalism of any kind.

I like that line. It’s nutty, but I like it

Was the train the benighted deniers missed ten years ago a Dr. James Hansen ‘deathtrain’? The ten years; another tipping point? And please copy here your brave, precient LTE as many would like to be set straight. Trouble getting it printed? Just re-define the editorial process.

Hansen issued a tipping point warning in 1988; the IPCC in 1989. Perhaps math isn’t their strong-suit. Pity no one was able to ‘trick’ those figures. Would ‘hiding’ be an option?

Let’s just say that against all odds these emails have a small shred of credibility. Will Hansen have to reissue his warning to President Obama that there are ONLY four years to save the planet? Will Al Gore have to re-evaluate his prediction of an ice-free Arctic in ONLY five years? Factor in both these bold statements are a year old yet gospel to so many.

And I’ve found no comment by Hansen or Gore, even outside the lame stream media which is suffering an acute case of opportunistic amnesia.
Any link provided would be greatly appreciated.

A “decline” not “hidden” will be in AGW funding.

“Hansen issued a tipping point warning in 1988; the IPCC in 1989. Perhaps math isn’t their strong-suit. Pity no one was able to ‘trick’ those figures. Would ‘hiding’ be an option?”

Oh yes, Yankeebubba, it certainly was. That was at any case the option chosen by Pat Michaels who, in mendacious testimony to the Senate, chose to hide two of Hansen’s projections so that, on the basis of the most extreme one, he could argue that Hansen had had it completely wrong. Let us have the story in the words of the New York Times columnist, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman:

“In 1988, Dr. Hansen was well out in front of his scientific colleagues, but over the years that followed he was vindicated by a growing body of evidence. By rights, Dr. Hansen should have been universally acclaimed for both his prescience and his courage. But soon after Dr. Hansen’s 1988 testimony, energy companies began a campaign to create doubt about global warming, in spite of the increasingly overwhelming evidence. And in the late 1990’s, climate skeptics began a smear campaign against Dr. Hansen himself.

Leading the charge was Patrick Michaels, a professor at the University of Virginia who has received substantial financial support from the energy industry. In Senate testimony, and then in numerous presentations, Dr. Michaels claimed that the actual pace of global warming was falling far short of Dr. Hansen’s predictions. As evidence, he presented a chart supposedly taken from a 1988 paper written by Dr. Hansen and others, which showed a curve of rising temperatures considerably steeper than the trend that has actually taken place.

In fact, the chart Dr. Michaels showed was a fraud – that is, it wasn’t what Dr. Hansen actually predicted. The original paper showed a range of possibilities, and the actual rise in temperature has fallen squarely in the middle of that range. So how did Dr. Michaels make it seem as if Dr. Hansen’s prediction was wildly off? Why, he erased all the lower curves, leaving only the curve that the original paper described as being “on the high side of reality.””

And the lying has not stopped.

Krugman writes:

” … the smears have been around for a long time, and Dr. Hansen has been trying to correct the record for years. Yet the claim that Dr. Hansen vastly overpredicted global warming has remained in circulation, and has become a staple of climate change skeptics, from Michael Crichton to Robert Novak…”

And Pat Michaels has never owned up to his deception.

Dr. Hansen has not had 1 prediction that has even come close to being accurate. He is the climate science version of Kenneth Lay.

O.K. mention a few.

http://startthinkingright.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/government-covering-up-science-proving-global-warming-is-bogus/

Here’s one of my faves where Hansen co-predicts a 6 degree drop in tempertures because of the anthropogenic global cooling theory that was in vogue before.

James Hansen has zero credibility with anyone. He is the alarmist of alarmists.

http://startthinkingright.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/government-covering-up-science-proving-global-warming-is-bogus/

Here’s one of my faves where Hansen co-predicts a 6 degree drop in tempertures because of the anthropogenic global cooling theory that was in vogue before.

James Hansen has zero credibility with anyone. He is the alarmist of alarmists.

Greenmachine, you are a bad joke. All you get when you click on that is some denialist blog that refers to some Washington Post article and provides a link, not to that article as you would expect but to … another denialist blog that claims that Hansen predicted cooling (by six degrees no less) around 1970. This fellow doesn’t even mention that mythical newspaper article. And that passes for source material among you and your few friends - because that is the people you are referring to when you say that Hansen has ‘zero credibility with anyone’.

Dumb,dumb,dumb.

Incidentally, the story that around 1970 a new ice age was predicted is an urban myth. That was just a matter of a few popular news organs and never got a foothold in the professional journals. See
http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/they-predicted-cooling-in-1970s.php

Actually your bs doesn’t deserve an answer like this.

This is what Hansen himself wrote about it:

“In 1976, with four colleagues, I wrote my first paper on climate (Science, 194, 685-690, 1976). Based on the suggestion of Yuk Yung, one of the co-authors, we examined, for the first time, whether several human-made trace gases might have an important greenhouse effect (until then, only carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons had been considered). We found that methane and nitrous oxide were likely to be important, though measurements of how these gases might be changing were not yet available. Starting then I became interested, very interested, in the Earth’s climate; indeed, two years later I resigned as Principal Investigator of an experiment on its way to Venus so that I could devote full time to studies of the Earth’s climate.

So it was a bit of a surprise when I began to be inundated a few days ago with reports that I had issued proclamations five years earlier, in 1971, that the Earth was headed into an ice age.

Here is how this swift-boating works. First on 19 September 2007 a Washington Times article by John McCaslin reported that a 9 July 1971 article by Victor Cohn in the Washington Post had been discovered with the title “U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming”. The scientist, S.I. Rasool, is reported as saying that the world “could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age”.

This is an old story: Rasool and (Steve) Schneider published a paper in Science on that day noting that if human-made aerosols (small particles in the air) increased by a factor of four, other things being equal, they could cause massive global cooling. At Steve’s 60th birthday celebration I argued that the Rasool and Schneider paper was a useful scientific paper, an example of hypothesis testing, in the spirit of good science. But what is the news today? Mr. McCaslin reported that Rasool and Hansen were colleagues at NASA and “Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above Venus.”

What was that program? It was a ‘Mie scattering’ code I had written to calculate light scattering by spherical particles. Indeed, it was useful for Venus studies, as it helped determine the size and refractive index of the particles in the clouds that veil the surface of Venus. I was glad to let Rasool and Schneider use that program to calculate scattering by aerosols. But Mie scattering functions, although more complex, are like sine and cosine mathematical functions, simply a useful tool for many problems. Allowing this scattering function to be used by other people does not in any way make me responsible for a climate theory.

Yet as this story passes from one swift boater to another it gets juicier and juicier, e.g.:

Global Warming Scientist Once Warned of ‘Ice Age’

By Doug Ware – KUTV.com

[I won’t reprint the whole piece of nonsense here]

It is little wonder that I have been getting nasty e-mails the past several days. The lesson is: don’t believe everything you read in the press, especially the conservative press.”

I hope you just copied and pasted that because it would be a shame if you wasted any time typing that montage. James Hansen swiftboats himself everytime he opens his mouth. Everytime I hear him I hope at least one of his dire predictions come true so we can all be put out of our misery. James Hansen is Kenneth Lay without the stock options. Hows that? I debunked your two page propoganda piece, with 1 paragraph of coldcocking truth.

If I would have heard you saying this in a pub (where this type of ‘argument’ belongs) I would have asked you how many glasses you had had. No, more likely I wouldn’t have bothered. Babble on brother.

Are you coming on to me? Was that an invitation to take me out for a drink? I think if I had 30 minutes with you in a pub, I could have you sorted out by then. I could certainly offer you a preferable option to being screwed by tax hiking alarmists.

Don’t believe anything you read in the rightwing press.

Normally I have little time for the irrational rantings of Moonbat, however just for once, he has it spot on.

That Climate Crook, Jones should rssign (or be sacked) and all publications based on his dodgy science anulled.

http://www.monbiot.com/
It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.
Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.
Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.

Here an example of skeptics tactics: phlogiston does not refer to Jones as a crook, however as a climate crook (whether he really is a crook is a different story). This way he attempts to associate alleged fraud not with a single person but with the whole climate science community. A very clever manipulation of the public.

Phlogiston identifies himself as a climate denier by using simple, derogatory language, in this case an infantile name parody: Moonbat for Monbiot.

Now, would anyone intuitively give credit to science published by someone with the attitude of phlogiston?

the great thing about the impending climate disaster side and the left in general is that they never belittle or call people names or make personal attacks, except when they do, which is frequent.

Personally, I believe no-one should ever call a liar a “liar”. That would be unfair, dirty pool, unsportmanlike, mean, ya da ya…..

For the most part, Monbiot is a Moonbat. Most people view him as out in left field, if not completely out of the ball park.

Monbiot believes Phil Jones should be held to a much higher standard than the deniers. The article states that much worst things have been done in defense of Climate Change denial. Funny Phlogiston you never complained about the double standard Mobiot supports. But that wouldn’t be convenient, would it?

Of course Phil Jones would be held to a much higher standard. He is a scientist and has received millions of dollars in public funds for his research.

Oh really paul s., you make it sound like the money funding the research goes into Phil Jones pocket. Perhaps you can tell us all how much Phil Jones makes. I’m sure the CEO of Exxon would be jealous. Perhaps you can also tell us how much Singer, Michaels, etc. make from private sources. But that’s okay isn’t it. You can lie and cheat as much as you want as long as your money comes from industry sources.

(In the spirit of tabloid papers I’ve edited the heading above)

Well - It’s The Sun. It’s not the most serious newspaper in the world, so you have that going for you.

Laurie Goldstein is quite impressed with himself and his own little world. Unfortunately, a certain segment of the population laps up the rantings of people like him. He reassures their ignorance. They just need a couple of talking points and they’re good to go and bully people in their crap.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had discussions with these sheep, it’s frustrating and useless. You get the feeling they have their fingers in their ears while they continue to sing “la, la, la, I can’t hear you, la, la la”.

The climate change inertia is reaching the point of no return. There will be a special place in hell for people like Goldstein.

The CBC has a story running on this that is actually quite well balanced. Be great to see this level of attention on the “National”.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/11/26/climate-change-hack.html

CanWest is running a piece on the 3000 Canadian scientists demanding this govt get serious about the science.

http://www.canada.com/technology/scientists+tell+federal+government+climate+change/2272707/story.html

… and one on our Environment minister saying “we” need 40 more years before we can do something………. ???

Is this man FROM this planet?? http://www.canada.com/technology/environment/years+deal+with+climate+change+Prentice/2246753/story.html

The last link was dead.

The second link outlines a serious problem with the global warming issue. Why do we really care what 3000 people think? We live in a country of 33 million. Just tell them to vote next election. From the people I run into it’s pretty clear no action on global warming. We’ve been had and many people that we’re sitting in the middle are now not convinced and are becoming climate skeptics. My take is that after kyoto dies we will be free and clear to examine climategate and ditch the issue. Even grandia must be having his doubts, fabricated data? Perr review fixing, thats not much of a theory to start government action towards.

now just think richard. this is how we feel about your guys. two differences tho..you say they didn’t have any evidence but i say that is better than making the evidence up. secondly, this guy is a “average journalist (very average in this case)” writing a “second-day” story. your guys were the (let’s see how many superlatives i can remember you using to describe the A team…)preeminent scientists helping to shape policy for the world. hmmmmmm

How the email can be stolen, did the owner have any secure for his email? And did the provider kept the secure for their customer?
Tahitian Noni Juice

leak!

Al Gore has been slandering the oil sands in Alberta again. He was in Toronto yesterday spreading the lie that a Prius powered by oil sands fuel has a carbon footprint as large as a Hummer! What a load of rot.

The truth is, a Prius powered with gasoline produced from the oil sands has a carbon footprint the size of a Smart For Two car. But before the Goreacle could be questioned on this outright fabrication, he hopped back onto his private jet, to either jet back to his oceanside condo in California or off to Copenhagen. Or to another $250,000 1 hour speaking engagement. Does that man know no shame?

As a former VP, you might think he would remember the place that the tar sands have in American energy security. You can’t just take that source out of the mix.

If Canada was to unilaterally shut down the tar sands, the US would freak out and demand we get that energy source back on line.

Exactly. And a former politician getting rich off of slandering tens of thousands of hard working Canadians is always irritating.

What is the biggest factor that causes a climate changer to overlook all reasonable facts and logic to arrive at the determination:
1. That global warming is real and manmade
2. We should do somethin about it and soon
3. Why overlook the fraud?
4. If no action is taken what will happen in 3 years, 10 years, 20 years

1 Climate change is real and human sourced CO2 must be having some effect. How much is another question.

2 that’s a political response. people want to have a cause and save the day.

3 you can only focus on one thing. The cause appears to be bigger than the fraud

4 a) Obama will lose an election. b) water will rise by some imperceptible amount c) bx2

Coincidence does not prove cause.

The countries with the most paved highways have the highest rate of heart disease. Therefore paved highways cause heart disease.

It is obvious.

The countries with most paved highways, have the greatest numbers of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Those with the most ICE powered vehicles use these vehicles and cover fewer miles on foot or by bicycle than those with fewer ICE vehicles. Those who cover less distance on foot or bicycle get less exercise, those who get less exercise have a higher incidence of heart disease. QED.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/27/the-global-cooling-cover-up/?feat=home_editorials)

It really is disheartening how much vomit is around in North America (I am referring the the WP). I hope the continent is not sinking of the weight. Is there no ethics? Time to relocate to Europe. Nasty little buggers here.

I’ve heard worse about Europe

Yeah, thanks for the link. I told them the following:

Big statements – but no substantiation. I am eagerly awaiting part II of your editorial, in which you point out the fraud in detail, then correct the tainted data, and publish the real temperature trends. Hasn’t the Heartland Institute released a petition by 34,000 climatologists that global warming is a hoax. Since the dissenting climatologists are in the minority (97% of them entertain the idea that global warming is man made), there must be over 11 Mio actively researching climatologists, of which 3-4 are accused of fraud. How can these few people have manipulated the whole world? And once the CRU dataset has been corrected with the actual data, we can compare the temperatures with the ones released by other institutions., as summarized here:

http://climate4you.com/

And then we will see the extent of the fraud!

Lots of leaves but no plums. By the way, there are people who believe the Washington Post is a hoax.

that would be spew from the Washington Times you are pointing to, there, Cam…

The editorial board at the Washington Post, on the other hand, had this to say about the illegally obtained emails:
None of it seriously undercuts the scientific consensus on climate change…

Many — including us — find global warming deniers’ claims irresponsible and their heated criticism of climate scientists unconvincing….

By our reckoning — and that of most scientists, policymakers and almost every government in the world — the probability that the planet will warm in the long term because of human activity is extremely high, and the probability that allowing it to do so unabated will have disastrous effects is unacceptably large. The case that governments should hedge against that outcome is formidable…

The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, and is subsidized by the Unification Church community. The Times is known for its conservative stance on political and social issues.

Comment: considering what this newspaper stands for, the editorial in question is very moderate.

2 climate letters in today’s Herald:

First writer has looked at data:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/letters/Weather+forecast/2275217/story.html

The second has not - but has already drawn his conclusions from the stolen emails and releases them to the public:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/letters/Discredited/2275221/story.html

And a columnist quotes Monbiot out of context:
http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Warming+skeptics+vindicated/2275212/story.html
Here one can leave a message below.

And here I found a website that keeps track of Lorne Gunter: http://www.inform.com/Lorne%20Gunter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEiLgbBGKVk

Funniest video ever that pretty much sumarizes a large part of climategate.

A very “sobering” video on the reality of “Denial Gate”…. http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/denialmachine/

The AGW Virus

The AGW Anthropogenic Global Warming or Human Induced Climate Change virus was first isolated in a lab at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.

Virus Signature:
The AGW virus can be recognized by the following signature
——
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x)
densall=densall+yearlyadj
——
Detection:
The external effect of the virus is visible as a tendency of graphed data to ‘dip’ in the middle and then rise sharply at then end for no other apparent reason.

Pathology:
The AGW virus and been found to infect both IDL computer programs and research papers. All attempts to mitigate the spread of the virus using the current procedures of peer review and analysis have been unable to contain the spread of the infection. In sever cases the virus has been seen to affect the central nervous system in humans although no direct link to the rabies virus has been demonstrated.

Patient Zero:
It currently appears that patient zero was an IDL program known to as “FOI2009/FOIA/documents/harris-tree/briffa_sep98_e.pro”. It is not known at this time what other artifacts may have been contaminated by the virus.

Preventing the spread if AGW:
Although appearing asymptomatic papers that reference infected papers can become infected on site. Papers that have therefore sited an infected paper should be treated as infected. Prudence in this regard is highly recommended.

If you detect that the virus has infected one of your papers you should place the paper in a suitable quarantined environment. The peat bogs of northern England and Scotland will provide sufficient protection to the environment if the hole is at least 1.47 meters deep.

If you know of any software that is infected with the AGW virus the proper procedure for disposal is to maintain an alternating 100 Gauss field in the immediate vicinity of the infection for not less then 2 hours, 4 hours is recommended.

Please help prevent the spread of the AGW virus, please model responsibly.

Spam.

While the global warming deniers continue blowing content-free smoke and making noise, here’s a nice little fact on the time zones in the FOI2009.zip file that was, um, ‘discovered’:

Most of the archived files in the .zip gave a time zone of -0500 or -0400. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s in Britain.

http://frankbi.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/what-we-know-about-the-cru-attacker-part-trois-the-zip-file-2/

– bi

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