conspiracy theories

Thu, 2010-06-03 17:07Morgan Goodwin
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Putting Conspiracy Theories to Rest: Scholars and Rogues puts 'Climategate' in Context

As the stolen emails non-scandal from November retreats slowly in the rear-view mirror, it’s worth a quick re-cap of why it was so exciting in the first place.  Emails without context can be made to fit any story that someone wants to tell, which is one of the reasons we don’t like to release email correspondence that is inherently out of context.  Brian Angliss at Scholars and Rogues gives us an elegant run-through of how the stolen CRU emails are taken hopelessly out of context and cannot, in and of themselves, contribute to our understanding of climate science.

Given the demonstrated unreliability of electronic records that have been sorted or analyzed using automated tools, it’s unreasonable to make firm claims either of scientific misconduct, ethical lapses, or illegality based on only the published CRU emails. It takes full inquiries and investigations where the investigators talk with the involved parties to truly understand the details and the context surrounding claims like those made against the climate scientists mentioned in the published CRU emails. To date, three such inquires have been completed, and while there may be some areas where the inquiries can be fairly criticized, the fact that the results of all three agree with each other strongly suggests that Tim Osborn’s claim, rather than Geoff Sherrington’s, is closer to correct in this case – “It is impossible to draw firm conclusions from the hacked documents and emails.”

There is little that can dissuade someone who is convinced of a certain narrative, but fresh angles and a fresh perspective, such as Angliss offers, are an excellent part of the solution.  Check out the full article for interviews with both skeptics and scientists, and a fascinating look at how a study of computer bug fixes can be used to illustrate the incompleteness of the electronic trail.  See the full post at Scholars and Rogues

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.

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