Richard Littlemore

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Co-author (with Jim Hoggan) of the award-winning Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, Richard has been Editor of the DeSmogBlog since its inception in 2005. Originally a newspaper reporter (the Ottawa Citizen, the Winnipeg Tribune, the Vancouver Sun), Richard has, since 1995, split his career between magazine journalism, activism and politics and corporate communications. On projects specific to climate change, he wrote the David Suzuki Foundation’s first public information package on global warming in 1996, was vice-chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District's Air Quality Committee in 1996 and 1997 and sat as a delegate to the Canadian government's (failed) Kyoto Implementation Process from 1997 to 1999. Richard is a regular speech writer for many business and academic leaders.

Wegman Report: Not just plagiarism, misrepresentation

New Mashey Report Drills into Academic Misconduct

The 2006 Wegman Report to Congress, already under investigation for extensive plagiarism, also appears to be guilty of falsifications, misrepresentation and frabrications that could give rise to a charge of academic misconduct, according to a new report by computer scientist and entrepreneur John Mashey (attached, below).

Mashey and the Canadian blogger DeepClimate have analysed Wegman extensively in the past, primarily for the plagiarism of which Wegman is so clearly guilty. But Mashey digs deeper in the current report, questioning whether the numerous errors, oversights and misrepresentations in the report can be explained by inadvertence or incompetence, or whether Wegman and his prinicpal co-author Yasmin Said were intentionally distorting the information they were plagiarizing and, in the process, pointedly misrepresenting science.

Nature Scolds GMU over Wegman Inquiry

George Mason U dragging its feet on plagiarism complaint

An editorial in the current issue of Nature questions why George Mason University has taken more than 14 months - so far - in its review of the plagiarism complaint against Edward Wegman, even though GMU’s own policy says that such a complaint should be dealt with in 12 weeks.

“Long misconduct investigations do not serve anyone, except perhaps university public-relations departments that might hope everyone will have forgotten about a case by the time it wraps up,” the Nature editorial states.

The editors go on to say that this is as particularly pressing issue because Wegman’s (purportedly) shoddy work has been used to prop up government policy, as well as to dilute the quality of climate science.

Mashey Report Reveals Wegman Manipulations

Strange Tales and Emails: Said, Wegman, Sharabati, Rigsby (2008)

The discredited Dr. Edward Wegman tried to blame a student for the plagiarism in a paper that has since been retracted from the journal of Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, according to emails released in a new report by computer scientist Dr. John Mashey (attached below).

The emails, originally obtained by USA Today reporter Dan Vergano, reveal that Wegman and his friend, CSDA Editor Dr. Stanely Azen, both tried to convince the publisher Elsevier to allow the discredited paper to stand, perhaps with an errata sheet attached as what Azen described as “punishment” for the Wegman team’s academic misconduct.

Wegman Paper Retracted for Plagiarism

The journal Computational Data and Statistics Analysis (CSDA) has withdrawn a paper by George Mason University Professor Edward Wegman and his student Jasmin Said for plagiarism, USA Today has reported.

The newspaper quotes CSDA editor Stanley Azen (who is denying responsibility for what appeared to be a rushed, one-man review of the Wegman/Said paper), saying the journal’s legal team has decided to pull the study because of the evidence of plagiarism from Wikipedia and textbooks.

The Wegman work is part of a flurry of “analysis” (at least one expert derides this particular paper as “an opinion piece”), that Wegman and Said conducted on behalf of U.S. Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), who was using the material to attack the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann.

Skeptics for Exxon: Oil Funds Climate of Criticism

The Carbon Brief (TCB) has a nice analysis on the not-very-startling coincidence that at least nine of the top 10 “skeptical” “scientists” who are publishing on climate change have direct links to Exxon.

This is interesting, as well, in that it doesn’t account for the increasing amounts of money being invested invested by funders (such as the Koch brothers) who have been taking a less transparent approach than Exxon in acknowledging their links.

In a second instalment, TCB also took a closer look at both the quality and content of the purported “900+” science papers identified by the Global Warming Policy Foundation as somehow skeptical of the science of climate change. The news, for the skeptics as for the climate, turns out to be all bad.

Climate Science Rap Settles the Debate

The Australian TV show the Hungry Beast teams up with some actual climate scientists to set fire to the ridiculousness of climate change denial. Some of the villains here pictured are Aussies who won’t be familiar in North America - and some of the language is, how shall we say, down under - but the piece rocks.

Climate Crock: Watching Muller trying to "hide the decline"

Peter Sinclar of Climate Crock of the Week unpacks one of the most famous quotes from the stolen East Anglia emails - in his typically clear and entertaining way. He also shows how frankly disingenuous the Berkeley physicist Richard Muller is being in his own climate science presentations.

New Weaver Book a Gift for the Climate Confused

Canadian readers should keep an eye out for Generation Us, a tiny climate change primer by University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis.

Subtitled The Challenge of Global Warming, Generation Us is like a climate change CliffNotes. Published by Raven Books as part of a “Rapid Reads” series, this is a short, succinct, clear and readable rendering of the science - followed by a passionate appeal for us all to move from “Generation Me” (which really seems to have outlasted its stylishness) to Generation Us, in which we start taking seriously the opportunity we have to mitigate the climate damage that we have already inflicted on future generations.

Actually, if you’re looking for an informed tour through the science, I might recommend Weaver’s earlier book even more highly. In Keeping Our Cool, Weaver drilled down into the topic a bit more thoroughly, even explaining precisely how scientists such as Lonnie Thompson torture 650,000-year-old oxygen isotopes to get them to admit what the temperature was on the year they were frozen into the Antarctic plains.

But for someone coming to this topic without any science background, GenUs is a perfect introduction - and as such is an important addition to the climate library.

Sun TV (aka Fox North): No Goths; only vandals

Full disclosure: I have not actually spent any time watching the new Sun TV channel, which promised in its debut last week to bring Fox News-style partisanship to the Canadian airwaves. But one of my favourite provocateurs sent me the Youtube link below to a skit in which Ethical Oil author Ezra Levant belligerently prunes a tiny cedar as an insult to “Saint Suzuki” and a Koran-burning-style assault on the sanctity of Earth Day.

Seriously. Mr. Tough Guy can’t even start his own chainsaw.

Regrettably, I have been unable to confirm the rumour that, for his next demonstration of man’s dominion over nature, Levant is going to buy a really pretty ficus - and not water it.

Lindzen Slipping from Ranks of "Credible" Scientists

Has the once-respected professor “gone emeritus”?

Richard Lindzen has long been the “skeptic” community’s scientific poster boy. In a world stuffed with deniers for hire such as S. Fred Singer and Tim Ball, who lecture on the topic of climate change regardless that they bring little or no relevant expertise to the subject, Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT and has served (many years ago) as a lead author on a chapter in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

But increasingly, his trenchant denial that climate change is a concern is casting him further from the ranks of people who can be taken seriously - particularly as he shows increasing willingness to say things that are simply and demonstrably not true.

Take as an example this recent radio interview, in which Lindzen tells Australian commentator Chris Smith that his country’s effort to tackle climate change by implementing carbon tax is “a bit bizarre.”

Lindzen says a number of silly things (in more detail below), but he flat out lies about the state of polar ice in Greenland and Antarctica saying, “there is no evidence of any significant change.”

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