Energy-Funded Pol Launches Yet Another Congressional Mannhunt

Mon, 2006-07-24 12:07Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Energy-Funded Pol Launches Yet Another Congressional Mannhunt

Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican congressman from Kentucky (and a darling of the coal, gas, oil, auto and railroad industries), will be holding yet another set of hearings on the famous “hockey stick” climate reconstruction graph by Drs. Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes.  Mann indicated he will testify – even though his graph has become a lightning rod for climate-change deniers.

(They deniers seem oblivious to the fact that Mann's work has been thoroughly peer-reviewed and approved by a number of studies, most recently by the US  National Research Council.  They also seem not to understand that even if Mann's work were proved to be fatally flawed, it is only the latest of many scientifically approved studies that prove we humans, by our burning of coal and oil, are trashing the planet.)

Now comes Whitfield, who is not only antagonistic to climate change, but who, also coincidentally, is heavily funded by coal, oil, railroad (they carry the coal) and automotive interests.  During the last election cycle, Whitfield enjoyed contributions of from $1000 to $5000 from the political action committees of, among others: USEC (a nuclear fuels firm), railroad giants Union Pacific, CSX and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. His campaign was also supported by Coalpac, the Southern (coal) Company, Arch Coal and Peabody (coal) Energy. A further look into his funding reveals Whitfield was also supported by American Electric Power, Occidental Petroleum, Valero Energy, DTE Energy, Federal Lg&E Energy, the American Gas Association, Exelon, Sun, General Motors, the National Automotive Dealers Assn. and Rolls Royce, among others.

The Wall Street Journal first aired a critique of Mann's “hockey stick” graph on its front page, for which it received some scathing criticism.  The Journal subsequently published a second story “exonerating” the graphic.

Comments

Interesting. DeSmogBlogger Ross Gelbspan says Michael Mann’s hockey stick work “has been thoroughly peer-reviewed and approved by a number of studies, most recently by the US National Research Council,” but DeSmogBlogger Richard Littlemore says Mann’s work is “a hockey stick that can’t keep its stick up.”

You guys are split into your own camps of believers and deniers, yet you criticize others for not agreeing with every part of global warming movement orthodoxy!
(Does this mean Richard Littlemore is on the take from the fossil fuel industry?)

Richard Littlemore is right to be skeptical, while Ross Gelbspan should be more careful, as his spin has overtaken the facts. The NAS study did not “approve” the hockey stick work (whatever “approve” means) however Mann might wish – with Gelbspan’s help – to spin it otherwise. And Congressman Whitfield’s Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations invited Mann to testify on the 27th after Mann, through a lawyer, refused to testify at a hearing on the 19th because he did not want to interrupt his vacation. (If you doubt this, go to the Committee website at http://energycommerce.house.gov/ and download and watch the archived webcast of the July 19th hearing, where the lawyers’ letters to the Committee were discussed openly by the Congressmen as part of the hearing.)

A question for Mr. Gelbspan: Why has Michael Mann so stubbornly refused to make his data public, so his hockey stick paper can be genuinely peer-reviewed?

P.S. Ross Gelbspan is not being honest. He writes: “The Journal subsequently published a second story ‘exonerating’ the [hockey stick] graphic.”
When one clicks on the link to read the story Gelbspan says is ‘exonerating,’ one sees that the story says no such thing. It says two new studies found problems with the hockey stick paper without agreeing fully with the critics, either.

Gelbspan further misleads the reader by implying that story was the Wall Street journal’s last word on the subject. Nope. Was he on vacation (with Dr. Mann, perhaps?) on July 14, when the Wall Street Journal published “Hockey Stick Hokum”? (Read the original article here for paid subscribers, free summary here for non-subscribers.)

Mr. Gelbspan, meet Mr. Littlemore: “The hockey stick argument has gone back and forth and this [now last] week, a clutch of very reputable statisticians appeared before Congress to say that, yes indeed, the hockey stick graph is statistically unverifiable. Not necessarily wrong, mind you: ‘unverifiable.’”

“Unverifiable.” Now there’s an endorsement!

1. The headline, “A hockey stick that can’t keep its tip up” was a crass bid for attention and not intended as an informed critique of the implement in question. 

2. RealClimate.org DOES offer an informed critique here.

I am not quite sure how you want to define “exonerate” or “robust,” but I think you can hold back the Viagra. The stick, for all the abuse it has taken, still seems to be rising to the occasion.

Tartly Critical Wrote:

 ”When one clicks on the link to read the story Gelbspan says is ‘exonerating,’ one sees that the story says no such thing. It says two new studies found problems with the hockey stick paper without agreeing fully with the critics, either.”

 Actually, one of the stories “endorses” the stick, the other claims it is “robust” against the criticisms levelled against it.  You seem to be just bandying words.

Contrary to your claim, if one clicks on the article Mr. Gelbspan claims is “exonerating,” (the 10/25/05 WSJ article) one does not even find in the text of the article the word “endorse,” “robust” or “exonerate” in any form.

[x]

At 9:35 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, Greeley, Colorado was struck by a 3.4 magnitude earthquake. Earthquakes are highly unusual in eastern Colorado, raising speculation that it was a “frackquake” — a man-made earthquake stimulated by the disposal of contaminated drilling water in deep injection wells. This disposal technique forces wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deep into underground rock formations, lubricating layers of rock that would not ordinarily be subject to movement.

Earthquakes are so rare in eastern Colorado that the U.S....

read more