Deniers abuse power to attack climate scientists

By Phil Plait | May 4, 2010 11:10 am

If you attend a scientific talk on a controversial subject, you may be entertained or discomfited by the sometimes spirited discussion it can engender. Scientists love to pick apart new ideas, try to find their strengths and weaknesses. That’s because they know that for an idea to survive scientifically, it must be attacked by scientifically experienced minds; any faults must be aired out. That which survives is stronger for the effort, and more likely to closely model reality.

The key phrase there is "scientifically experienced". When this happens with people inexperienced with the methodologies of science — or worse, those who actively oppose them — then the situation is very different. It changes from a way to strengthen our ideas on the Universe into a witch hunt. Instead of warming up people to discovery, it produces a chilling effect.

We’re seeing this play out in spades in the field of climate science.

To be clear: the climate is changing. There is zero doubt about that. None. Anyone telling you differently has an agenda to ram, and it’s one that is decidedly not realistic.

kencuccinelli
"Hey, maybe I can stop global warming
by creating a chilling effect!"

And some of those people ramming through this agenda are using — I would say abusing — their power to do so. For example, über-conservative Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — the same guy who was so offended by the artwork of a naked breast he had it covered up on lapel pins — is investigating climate scientist Michael Mann. Cuccinelli is claiming that Mann may have defrauded taxpayers while trying to get grants to fund his research. Mind you, Mann has survived such attacks before as fallout from the nonsensical climategate "scandal" (which was a completely manufactured controversy with no substance at all).

The fact that someone, let alone a state attorney general, would start up something like this after an investigation already cleared Mann smacks of a very transparent political attack. This has all the marks of an attempt to chill academic research when it goes against someone’s antireality stance.

inhofe
Who has two thumbs and
no grasp on reality? This guy!

And Cuccinelli isn’t alone. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe — a man so firmly entrapped in denialism that he has called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" — is looking for ways to prosecute and criminalize more than a dozen leading climate scientists, again under the mantra of defrauding the taxpayers.

Again, let me be clear: this is utter garbage. The scientists involved have been cleared of all wrong-doing (accusations which were politically motivated in the first place, and a colossal waste of time). Stunts like this from Inhofe and Cuccinelli are nothing more than government officials using their power to throw roadblocks into scientific inquiry they disagree with.

The media, of course, are buying right into this; "climategate" got far more attention than it deserved. However, in some good news, one climate scientist is fighting back: Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist and member of the IPCC (which put out the report on climate change that made so many denialists’ heads explode) is suing the Canadian paper National Post. He is saying they cast him in a false light, and he also says,

… that the National Post articles suggest he’s a corrupt scientist who promotes global warming theories so he can obtain government research grants.

Sound familiar?

This attack on the reputations of scientists is nefarious; reputation is extremely important when it comes to a scientist’s career. Getting grants, invitations to talks, even being taken seriously, all can rest on the respect they get by other scientists and the public.

I’m glad Weaver is fighting back. These attacks on science, on reality, are appalling. It is one thing for scientists to argue over the factual basis of claims in their field, trying to establish what reflects reality and what doesn’t. But it’s quite another for politicians blinded by their bias to suppress ideas they don’t like.

Sheril and Chris have more on this as well. Tip o’ the thermometer to Jay Dee Archer for the article on Weaver.

Comments (128)

  1. The Union of Concerned Scientists is calling this harassment and asking Cuccinelli to rescind his investigation. The letter we sent to him reads in part, “This action will only tie the hands of researchers that are helping the public and policy makers better understand how our climate is changing. At a time when thousands of scientists are working hard to find the best solutions to preventing and mitigating climate change and its consequences, the public is better served by an attorney general who refrains from distracting and intimidating scientists and confusing the public about climate change science.”

    More here: http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/va-attorney-general-0382.html.

    Aaron Huertas
    Press Secretary
    Union of Concerned Scientists

  2. MAH

    It would seem now that to obtain grants you might tell the gubment that you are trying to disprove global warming

  3. RMcbride

    Is it possible for the scientists involved to sue under american law. Not a lawyer but this seems to fit defamation of character.

  4. Jeff Greer

    Selective skepticism at work again.

  5. Not that it’s directly related to this case, but Virginia also rather conspicuously lacks anti-SLAPP legislation, making it a favorite place for the antivax crowd to counter science with lawsuits, as Orac has documented:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/01/one_possible_reason_why_barbara_loe_fish.php

    It wouldn’t apply here anyway since it’s the state attorney general in on the action, but it does go to show how if you’re going to sue someone to make them shut up, Virginia’s a good place to do it, apparently. Let’s hope regular folks in VA can change that by telling Cuccinelli what they think of him.

  6. Apparently Cuccinelli and Inhofe aren’t familiar with the recent ruling in Simon Singh’s case, wherein the justices stated that matters of science should be settle by science, not by law. And it’s a bit hypocritical to use taxpayer money to bring dodgy suits and investigations against scientists who did not actually defraud the public.

  7. Doug Little

    To be clear: the climate is changing. There is zero doubt about that. None. Anyone telling you differently has an agenda to ram, and it’s one that is decidedly not realistic.

    Queue the denialists in 5, 4, 3 …

    Time to make some popcorn.

  8. Here’s the thing:

    Cooch knows that what’s he’s doing carries absolutely zero water. But what it does is puts him in the news, and it allows him to turn to his base and crow about how he’s in their corner.

    Then he asks for their continued donations.

    When the inevitable happens and the case is quietly dropped, he’ll be that much further ahead in his fund raising.

    Disgusting.

  9. Ted

    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, Phil, but I am dismayed to see climategate referred to as a completely made-up scandal. This isn’t an either-or situation. The climate deniers can be jerks and climategate can have some substance behind it.

    Did you see their climate code? And the haphazard way they documented he homogenizing of the temperature records? Come on, Phil. You wouldn’t accept that kind of work in astronomy, let alone a field that has trillions of dollars in implications.

  10. And some of those people ramming through this agenda are using — I would say abusing — their power to do so.

    So who gave them that much power? The voters.

    Who can take that power away? The voters.

    Vote to reduce the power, scope, and intrusiveness of government, and then both the denialists and the warmists can both go believe whatever the heck they want to believe… without wasting taxpayer dollars on investigations and lawsuits.

  11. Lonny Eachus

    I agree with Ted. And I will also point out that Phil defended the “scientists” when the situation was reversed, and THEY were attacking anyone who disagreed. He has been anything but objective on the subject.

  12. RMcbride, Andrew Weaver is suing under Canadian law, as he is a professor at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC. He’s suing a Canadian newspaper. As for others, if it was an American who was defaming them, I’m sure they can take it up in American courts.

  13. I am just saying…UK libel laws don’t look so bad right now. I may have some issues with the UK laws, but at least over there, the burden of proof for claims is with the person making the claims.

    Just to make this explicit: I did not think the BCA suit against Simon was good or anything. And I would rather live here under Americans free speech laws than in UK, just saying, for me, the issue is a little more complicated. And the “climategate” case in America is a good example of what happens when powerful media outlets are allowed to go to the airways and spew whatever nonsense they like without having any free of repercussions for straight up lieing.

  14. Gamercow

    @ Doug Little:

    Here’s a summary of what they’ll say, in case you can’t come back.

    Step 1: OMG, the climate isn’t changing! Pro-scare climatologists are just focusing on the numbers that make them look good! Glaciers are growing! Winter is colder! The time frame is too small!

    Step 2: Okay, so maybe the climate is changing, but you can’t prove it’s humans doing it!!! More greenhouse gases come from cows than all the cars in the world times eleventyseven! Fish farts cause ice cap shrinkage!

    Step 3: Hitler!

  15. Anders

    It is strange how conservatism, at least in its American version, is getting increasingly detached from reality and rational thinking. There is certainly a trend here. Sadly, their tentacles are spreading to the Old World as well: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/02/secret-christian-donors-bankroll-tories

  16. I wish there were a way to get the real science and numbers into the public media and presented as the facts they are without the hyperbole and unnecessary arguments.

    I remember trying to tell my (uber-religious, staunchly conservative) father about climate change last time I was in town and being just apalled at the false information he was spouting as if they were facts simply because the news had given equal weight to them.

    There has to be some recourse for getting sources of public knowledge to stop presenting stupid counter arguments to facts. That has to be illegal doesn’t it? I could understand someone saying that according to the data that they both agree on (because it’s DATA!) they don’t agree with the prognostication. But I cannot forgive someone saying the recorded, measurable data gathered over several years of research is wrong.

    Maybe they don’t agree with the interpretation, but they can’t sensically dispute the numbers. Good god, it’s like arguing with a creationist!

  17. Paul

    Sorry Ted, Climate Change is religion, and you must believe any all all facts supporting it as Gospel, else you will be labelled a heretic. Well, at least a denier.

    In their day, were the people who questioned Piltdown Man called Creationists?

  18. James H.

    LOL @ Gamercow…Step 3 made me laugh so hard I almost fell out of my seat.

  19. a dood

    I love science!

    But, climate science is a joke.

  20. Ken

    Let’s see:

    – a politician (attorney general) in a traditionlly conservative state is on a fishing expedition to possibly recover funds from a left-leaning professor — he’s playing to his constituency…and you find that surprising?

    – while Dr. Mann was exonerated, mostly, by his current university employer–some of the details underlying his actual research were not (last I read anyway) fully reviewed, but were to be (if they haven’t already). His work at his prior employer, which VA’s attorney general is inquiring about, was NOT reviewed in conjunction with the “climategate” revelations & subsequent university inquiry.

    – At this point in time this query by the VA Atty Gen’l only amounts to an audit–and an unassailably lawful one at that. All such taxpayer funded research is subject to such audits; the fact that they aren’t conducted that much does not dilute this fact an iota.

    – which leads to: So what if he’s on a fishing expedition? If the VA Atty Gen’l finds nothing, Dr. Mann is further vindicated & his supporters, etc. get to say “I told you so” (in effect) — I would think you/they would welcome the opportunity. IF Dr. Mann conducted his research credibly–there is no possibility of “distracting and intimidating scientists and confusing the public” as all these constituents will have full access to the exonerating findings–by law. IF Dr. Mann’s work was credible & conducted responsibly the findings will not only exonerate him & remove any alleged taint of improriety from him personally, it will reinforce the science & conclusions overall — the so-called “halo effect” onto the overall science & its practioners.

    – As a scientist yourself I’d think you’d welcome that. After all, this is in effect just another form of “peer review.”

    – This is clearly a limited political “witch hunt” much like McCarthy back in the Cold War days — I would think you & other ‘non-deniers’ would just welcome & encourage the nuisance of a confrontation like this just to discredit the deniers (much like McCarthy was ultimately discredited–and “honored” with the term “McCarthyism”).

    HERE’s A KEY REALITY: People in our society are conditioned to believe that innocent people with nothing to hide don’t object to minor intrusions (they don’t object to a polygraph, a minor search to prove absence of evidence, a DNA sample to prove they couldn’t have done it, etc). Really talented people respond by encouraging the challenge–BRING IT ON!!! they say. The boxer, Muhammed Ali, exemplified this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxczlps5_bg & hear him predict his future) & numerous athletes and many others (individuals & corporations) have responded similarly in comparable situations.

    BUT, the clear fact that you find such a potentially validating inquiry–and one that amounts to, at this point, no more than a lawful audit–offensive, intimidating, defaming, etc. reinforces the perception that there’s discrediting information hiding undetected.

    In our society innocent people don’t object to such inquiries–especially when, as in this case, there’s little or no effort required on their (in this case Dr. Mann’s) part–and especially if they truly have nothing to hide.

    Or, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “Methinks thou doth protest too much.”

    Here’s recommended options:

    – Present this as a boneheaded stunt by a politically motivated opponent that will be discredited (after all, if the VA Atty Gen’l is truly wrong then he’s the one that will lose).

    – Highlight the positive outcomes–the validation of the science & conclusions by its staunchest opponents. What could possibly be better than that!

    – Or just shut up. This whiny defensive tone just reinforces that there’s something damning hidden & the whole thing is a misguided conclusion, hoax, or worse. In other words, don’t employ a “bassackwards” tactic that reinforces the deniers’ cause.

    And by the way, NOBODY, including the deniers, is doubting that the climate is changing — everybody accepts that (except the lunatic fringe not worth bothering about) — the deniers just don’t believe human activity, CO2 in particular, is cause for concern or a cause at all. That’s a significant distinction glossed over here & elsewhere repeatedly. By consistently misrepresenting their position as a denial of climate change, rather than its cause (human vs. natural), you keep signaling to them that you can’t even grasp a, their, very basic position …. and if you can’t even grasp that your credibilty at grasping actual science is assessed as equally superficial. Actually, they point to this recurring & wrong accusation to show how you & other ‘non-deniers’ clearly have the agenda, proven by the fact you’re reframing the debate where none exists.

  21. Apparently Cuccinelli and Inhofe aren’t familiar with the recent ruling in Simon Singh’s case, wherein the justices stated that matters of science should be settle by science, not by law.

    Why should they be? it’s been a few years since the US was covered by English law.

  22. Utakata

    Lol, religious YEC politicians “debate” seasoned climate scientists about climate change.

    …and I agree with Doug Little: /popcorn

  23. @ Gamercow

    LMAO – that’s just about the best description of _pickyourwoogroup/”I only parrot what the talking heads tell me to” group I’ve seen in a long time. Great job.

    …Hitler!!!!!

    *sigh*

  24. @Ted

    Just because there may be some bad science in the overall GW doesn’t mean you can shout “climategate”.. thats insane. If you’re in a movie theater and the movie stops you don’t yell “Fire”, you go and speak to a manager and let them know what isn’t working. These “Climategate” people are simply yelling “fire” and trying to divert attention from real issues to non issues or try and debunk the entire issue of GW off miniscule issues that are meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

  25. Curt G.

    You know, I’m tired of all the bully tactics, too…on both sides. I think it’s pretty obvious that the climate is changing…only a moron would think otherwise. However, as far as I’m concerned, I think the ‘how’ and ‘why’ are still very much in discussion. Are the changes that we’re seeing manmade? Could be. Are they a natural cycle? Possibly. Regardless of the culprit, I don’t want people going off “half-cocked” with solutions to a cause that might not exist. If the problem is manmade, then we need reasonable and rational solutions to the problem. If the problem is naturally-occurring, then we need to determine if it’s something that: a) we *can* control, and b) what are the consequences for the global ecology if we’re successful. One must be aware of unintended side-effects.

  26. David

    “Again, let me be clear: this is utter garbage. The scientists involved have been cleared of all wrong-doing”

    Um, not totally accurate. The committee cleared him of the first 3 allegations and decided that another committee should be convened to further review the allegations against Dr. Mann.

    From the report regarding the final allegation against Dr. Mann:

    “Only with such a review will the academic community and other interested parties likely feel that Penn State has discharged it responsibility on this matter”

  27. kodos96

    Phil Phil Phil…. I love you man, really I do… but you really need to stop talking about climate issues… it seriously harms your credibility when it comes to antivax and other antiscience woo that you’re on the right side of.

    Cuccinelli is just an idiot, grandstanding politician. You can find guys like him on either side of any debate – it doesn’t tell you anything about what serious people actually believe.

    For the record, here’s what science-based skeptics think of Cuccinelli: http://climateaudit.org/2010/05/02/cuccinelli-v-mann/

  28. @Bob O’H

    Why should they be? it’s been a few years since the US was covered by English law.

    Because it is a good lesson to be learned and an intelligent comment. I mentioned it not because the U.S. should follow English law, but rather that they should be cognizant of developments involving the intersection between science and politics.

  29. @Ted

    Wow, I wasn’t aware emails are subject to peer-review! I’ll keep that in mind when I send my friend a link to the latest funny XKCD comic I come across (don’t worry Phil, I know better than to send them to you). They’re not results columns in a scientific record book, storage media, or notebook, they’re not what ultimately gets submitted, they’re just emails between scientists shooting the breeze and discussing best interpretation of results. People who think this is conspiratorial have no idea how scientists talk. What’s hilarious is how you don’t even have to be a professional scientist to start talking this way. Enroll in an introductory college level science lab with someone (and I’ve come to believe that all science labs should require you have a partner) and you’ll start seeing yourself discuss results similarly almost the very first day.

    Of course Phil wouldn’t accept that kind of work in astronomy- it’s not frakking work! Einstein sent some letters to Bohr where he made problematic assertions, but we don’t suddenly discount all of Einstein’s publications and ideas because of his correspondence while fleshing out his thoughts. That would be stupid.

    @Ken

    Spoken as someone who’s never been audited for anything. Hell, spoken as someone with the conceit to think his conception of societal expectations is beyond reproach (or even a legitimate point). I apparently live in a very different society from yours.

  30. Scott B

    Nice to not mention that most “deniers” disagree with this political fishing trip too. Can’t present facts when you have a political agenda to march to though. Also, your statement:

    “To be clear: the climate is changing. There is zero doubt about that. None. Anyone telling you differently has an agenda to ram, and it’s one that is decidedly not realistic. ”

    Is not in contention. First, the climate is always changing. Second, yes, humans are having an impact on it. That’s far from proof that we need to implement some cap & trade scheme or carbon tax. But anyone that doesn’t 100% agree with everything the IPCC or liberal blogs say is tossed into the denier bucket.

  31. Doug Little

    Gamercow,

    I think you missed a step between 2 and 3.

    Step 3: Okay, so maybe the climate is changing, and humans are a major factor in that change but they aren’t what we consider Real Humans™

    Step 4: Hitler!

  32. Did you see their climate code? And the haphazard way they documented he homogenizing of the temperature records? Come on, Phil. You wouldn’t accept that kind of work in astronomy, let alone a field that has trillions of dollars in implications.

    By all means, please do describe exactly what the code was, what it was used for, when it was used, which inaccurate results it produced, and why it being messy is a problem in the first place?

    As lots of scientists in other fields have remarked, they aren’t computer scientists, so their code is often very messy. But unless you can show that it produced inaccurate results, it really doesn’t matter, because the quality of the code is only relevant if it leads to inaccuracies. Given that most codes are created by individual scientists, or groups of scientists, for very specific circumstances, such as to see if certain data is consistent with other data, and then it is often never used again, unless you can show that the quality of the code is an important issue, the only sensible conclusion that one can reach is that you are doing exactly what Phil has described in his post.

    This is yet another example of a non-issue being used to discredit scientists for ideological reasons. Even if it could be shown that certain computer code had produced inaccurate results, so what? Most peer-reviewed papers are found to have lots of errors in them as time passes. This is how science works and that is what peer-review is there for. The difference is that while climate scientists have been checking the quality of each others computer code, through the normal process of science (i.e. not by “auditing” code, but by using other methods to check the results, which also happens to add to the body of work), while at the same time, producing unique scientific findings, the “auditors” have done very little in the way of anything. They certainly haven’t managed to add to our knowledge about climate science, but the most hilarious thing of all is that they haven’t even seriously “audited” the work that has already been done. Not that it needed “auditing”, in the first place.

  33. CW

    I would love for this to blow up in Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s face and create a Kitzmiller v. Dover type of reaction. Of course, if it did then the media would probably not even report it.

  34. @Scott B.

    “That’s far from proof that we need to implement some cap & trade scheme or carbon tax.”

    I am a long time reader of this blog and I have NEVER, EVER, seen Phil say anything like that- whether he believes in it or not. Just in case I missed it, I actually typed in “carbon tax” and “cap and trade” into the handy-dandy search box for this blog. In fact, I’ve seen nothing in the way of Phil offering specific policy solutions to AGCC. So who is misrepresenting whom?

    Do… do you read this blog? It might help.

  35. Doug Little

    @Scott B

    That’s far from proof that we need to implement some cap & trade scheme or carbon tax

    I agree, that in itself should not get you thrown in the denialist bucket. If you believe that the climate is changing and that humans are a cause of that change then you are not at odds with the current scientific consensus and thus not a denier. Talking about what needs to be done to lessen our effect is a whole other ball game.

  36. Robert Scott

    I thought we’d have ignoramus AGW deniers like Lonny Eachus on this thread castigating Phil plait for his acceptance of scientific fact. Lonny have you googled anything about the properties of carbon dioxide yet, or are you going to make the same stupid claim that it isn’t a green house gas?

  37. Lawrence

    At the end of the day, we should be concentrating on research into alternative energy solutions, cleaner technology & attempting to lessen our overall impact on the environment. That’s just good sense & stewardship.

    We just can’t assume that we can continue to consume resources at the current rate, in their current form, with an ever-growing population & standard of living – so trying to make changes that can bridge the gap when we aren’t backed up against the wall (and desperate), also makes sense.

  38. Ted (9), I wrote about climategate in detail twice on this blog; use the search function to read what I wrote. I have no real issues with the way the data was handled as far as I can tell. But I have serious issues with the cherry-picking and distortions of the accusers and the media.

    Lonny (11): you’re wrong as usual. The point here is that the climate is really and truly changing — I even provided a helpful link for people in this very post — and so that is the basis on which I work. You are making this seem like it’s a story with two sides. It isn’t, unless you count fantasy as a side. It’s just like creationism, dowsing, talking to the dead, and astrology. There’s reality, and then there’s this “other side”.

  39. Scott B (#30): In my posts on this topic, I have never talked about cap and trade or carbon tax or anything like that. I am not promoting a political solution to climate change, I am sounding the trumpet against denial of reality. What you have done is engage in a very obvious topic-changing sleight-of-hand.

    You said: “Can’t present facts when you have a political agenda to march to though.”

    Irony can be pretty ironic, don’t you think?

  40. I’m sorry, America. I’m sorry for all of Northern Virginia. I’m sorry that our lackadaisical attitude and our thought that Creigh Deeds’s campaign really was over-hyping McDonnell’s beliefs caused a true idiot to be elected to AG and Governor. I’m sorry that our state is home to two of the most backward politicians in the US. I’m really sorry that “Virginia is for lovers” really means that “Virginia is for straight, white, missionary-style only, married lovers, and only if the woman is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”

  41. I am honestly surprised by how many people here think that the average public believes there is human impact on the climate.

    From the people I have spoken to with no more than a high school education, I get asked “Do you believe in Global warming?” I often say “Clearly, the climate is changing”, and I get back that it isn’t and even if I think it is, it doesn’t mean people are doing it. “well, if it is happening, it is natural cycles” or “We can’t prove it”

    I have often used the argument that even if humans aren’t causing the change, isn’t it a good idea to lower the amount of these potentially dangerous gases we produce? Very few people argue with that.

  42. Kees

    @ 41. Spacemom
    That’s kinda the point of ‘a good idea’. Its just that these often take effort. It’s a good idea for met to vacuum clean my room every once in a while, yet I postpone it too often.

  43. Phil, I continue to be shocked and appalled that you dare to have opinions about anything. And that when you do, you don’t cover every possible angle in detail because your knowledge of the internet is not actually infinite.

    I was told that I was in line for Disneyland. *flounce*

    /sarcasm

    Oh, and @Scott B: Your persecution complex is showing.

  44. Scott B

    Phil, I do sincerely apologize for making assumptions and taking that too far. Not even really irony, just stupidity on my part.

    @Rachael A
    It is coming across. If I dare question that exact climate sensitivity of CO2, or the methods used to create some of these climate reconstructions, or the true certainty around our knowledge of our climate I’m painted with the same label as a holocaust denier. It tends to drive me nuts.

    This happens all across the blogs. People like Steve McIntyre, Lucia, Jeff ID, Ross McKitrick, even the Pielkes get that label tossed at them. None would question the generic statement that “the climate is changing. There is zero doubt about that. None.” and they’d agree that humans have an influence. They’d disagree on exactly how much influence CO2 and other factors like land use have. This common use of denier in context with this bogus “investigation” when most of these “deniers” have spoke against it set me off.

  45. Carl H

    “God is in charge! Science is a failure!” There, VA should give me a grant now!

  46. Jack

    What part of CO2 is the effect and not the cause of global warming don’t you people understand?

    The climate is also changing — that’s a given.

    Climategate is the greatest gift to mankind.

    Go Cooch! Get ‘em!

  47. Yeah, if like-minded scientists/academics with a clear bias toward the validity of AGW investigate themselves and find no evidence of wrongdoing, than all is fine in the selectively-skeptical world of those who lean to the left in their politics.

    Funny though, if Republicans or corporations investigate their own scandals and find no evidence of wrong-doing then that is clearly a violation of ethics and is discredited. As it should be.

    The irony. The hypocrisy. You gotta love it.

    Sorry, Phil, when only the choir is allowed to vouch for itself, you haven’t done a thing to solve legitimate questions raised by Climategate. Indeed, you are making them worse by the arrogant reaction…just as your enemies do.

    To have NO skepticism about ANY claims of AGW, especially toward those beating us over the head with notoriously unreliable computer models that predict ultimate catastrophe (just as Chicken Little, aka “human nature,” has always been doing as long as their have been humans), well that is, how did Phil say it? Utter garbage.

    But, hey, I’m all for science putting as much effort as it can into studying climate change. And you know why? Because I know that if EVERYONE can keep their political noses out of it, within a century we’ll know how much of this AGW stuff was garbage and what the real impacts, GOOD AND BAD, that we humans have on this planet. (Oh gosh, you mean we benefit nature sometimes? Nobody ever tells us about that.) And then maybe we can get back to solving global problems that might actually make a difference in people’s lives.

    Of course, I’ve already heard murmurs of “Acid Oceans!!” on the horizon. My cynicism tells me that there’s always going to be another Chicken-Little global-disaster for everyone to fret about. It’s in our nature.

    And, as Ken so eloquently says, I do not deny climate change..and it would be nice of y’all to acknowledge my Vvery basic position on the matter. That is constantly mischaracterized, both here and by virtually all climate alarmists. I’m not even going to imply that humans have no impact. My BASIC POSITION is that I do not think it is proven that we are having or will have CATASTROPHIC IMPACT and that some of the proposed solutions are unecessary–especially considering that Europe is already showing them to be ineffective and ridden with corruption. I’ve mentioned this before and nobody will address it. Why?

  48. Will

    Phil @0:
    Please get your facts straight before throwing around loaded terms like ‘denier’.

    1. Michael Mann was not cleared of all wrong-doing. He was cleared of three ‘charges’, and for the fourth it was recommended that another investigation be conducted. Also note that this investigation was conducted by his co-workers.

    2. An ‘attack’ on Michael Mann is not an attack on science. He is one person, in one specific field, who happens to be very vocal about a controversial subject in which some of his dirty laundry has recently been aired.

  49. TravisM

    We need every scientist, critical thinker, and rational person that has a face on TV to make a commercial supporting this. A grand stand against political interference in science. Neil, Steven, Ed, Phil, Randy, Amanda, Swoopy, Shoemaker, etc… If all of these people think it’s “real” then, well, reality isn’t subjective people.
    I find myself saying this all to often of late: “Come on people, give me a break.”

  50. After reading the rest of the comments:

    Perhaps nobody addresses the issue of some proposed solutions because they are not advocating those solutions here. My bad there.

    I still feel demonized and labeled with aspects of denial which simply do not apply to my position. Any disagreement with any aspect of the “dogma” is not accepted and one is lumped in with clear lunatics. Gee, thanks. Guilt by association. Oops, gotta go…having dinner with Rush tonight…

  51. Ted

    Chemist, try reading what I said before responding to straw men I didn’t put up.

    @Phil. I agree that the climate deniers have been cherry-picking data and quotes. I’m familiar with the “trick” BS talking point. My favorite denierism was when they boasted that a sea level rise study had been withdrawn … in favor of one predicting higher sea level rise.

    But one of the things leaked out in Climategate was the modeling code which is, to say the least, poorly documented. Many of the hacked e-mails express the frustration the programmers were having with figuring what was going on and how the data were being homogenized. One specific error I recall is that the had an elaborate work-around because they didn’t know about unsigned integers. They’re drawing earth-shaking from a poorly documented code that NASA wouldn’t use to send e-mail.

    And the fundamental problem, which they have been criticized for in both investigations, is not complying with FOA requests and not making their data public. If the science is solid, why stonewall like that? Do you know any scientists who refuse to share their data? The bunker mentality that deniers create isn’t enough of an excuse for me.

    It’s telling that a lot of ire has been reserved for Stephen McIntyre who (a) does *not* deny global warming; (b) has found specific problems in their data analysis which have improved the modeling. But because he has the temerity to ask for the raw data, he’s dismissed as a bozo and a tool of industry. Is that science?

    I accept that global warming is real and a legitimate concern. But I’m also concerned over behavior that is ant-scientific and, in the case of FOA, in violation of the law. Ultimately, they weaken the scientific case. If these guys had obeyed FOA requests, provided data to other scientists and written their code properly, this scandal would never have happened. But their behavior has given plenty of kindling to the Rush Limbaughs and Tom Coburns of the world.

    Does that not bother anyone who accepts global warming?

  52. Steve in Dublin

    Now the deniers here are moving the goalposts to: “Everyone agrees that climate change/global warming is happening. We just don’t agree that the cause is anthropogenic.”

    Bulldinky. From a Washington Post article about a year ago:

    The percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dipped from 80 to 72 percent in the past year, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, even as a majority still support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

    So more than 1 out of 4 of Americans don’t even believe *it’s happening*. And further to that, from the same article:

    The increase in climate skepticism is driven largely by a shift within the GOP. Since its peak 3 1/2 years ago, belief that climate change is happening is down sharply among Republicans — 76 to 54 percent — and independents — 86 to 71 percent. It dipped more modestly among Democrats, from 92 to 86 percent.

    Once again, reality is proven to have a liberal bias. Yeah, so everyone believes GW is happening. NOT. Only half of the republicans will even admit that *it’s happening*, let alone that we are the primary cause.

    Not even going to attempt a discussion of the science here. Time and again it has not proven to be possible. The science gets drowned out by the politics and disinformation and the hand-waving every time. We have apparently progressed so far, yet we have collectively learned so little. I suppose it’s fitting that mankind must inevitably perish in its own waste. But it’s still sad to see it happening in my lifetime.

  53. Great comments to the peanut gallery, Phil.

    Folks. Climate science is Planetary Science. Planetary Science is Astronomy. This site is called Bad Astronomy.

    Climate Change Denial is the quintessence of Bad Astronomy, right up there with Planet X and the Electric Universe and Richard C. Hoagland.

    Thanks, Phil. Keep up the great work.

  54. And, as Ken so eloquently says, I do not deny climate change..and it would be nice of y’all to acknowledge my Vvery basic position on the matter.

    Did you really mean it to come out like that? Looking back through the thread, this is your first post, so who is misrepresenting who? Why should I care about you, specifically?

    And then you follow it with this little bit of hilarity:

    That is constantly mischaracterized, both here and by virtually all climate alarmists.

    Ah, so it’s not good if people mis-characterize your position, but it’s perfectly fine to represent the scientific consensus as “alarmis[m]”? Is that what you’re saying?

    You’re not even trying to be serious, are you?

    I’m not even going to imply that humans have no impact. My BASIC POSITION is that I do not think it is proven that we are having or will have CATASTROPHIC IMPACT and that some of the proposed solutions are unecessary

    Do you or do you not agree that simple logic and basic physics suggests that if we do absolutely nothing and continue as we are at the moment then the earth will be continue to get warmer and warmer and that will likely result in, yes, catastrophe, at some point in the future?

    That is an entirely different question to what is likely to happen in the next 100 years, or what will happen if we do cut back on fossil fuel use over time. I am simply asking whether you understand what the consequences are of ever increasing CO2 levels? This is basic physics, by the way.

  55. LPDad

    I completely agree with Ted’s point. Stop the stonewalling. Stop the name-calling. Minimize the “cherry-picking”…on BOTH SIDES.
    Work on getting the data, present it as acurately as possible.
    Let the data speak for itself.

    Just as an aside. I am sure that the people of Siberia will benefit from increased temperatures, just a other locations would be harmed. Because of the warming trend fine wines can now be made from grapes grown in England. Perspective is relative to your location.

    -Keep up the good work.

  56. Daniel J. Andrews

    you haven’t done a thing to solve legitimate questions raised by Climategate.

    And what legitimate questions might they be, Eric? Two independent investigations have said there was no wrong-doing (no, these ones didn’t investigate themselves). They also said that in cases there wasn’t even anything to answer for (in other words, ‘skeptics’ just made up accusations based on deliberate misreading of the emails). Even before all that those accusations were answered numerous times, and for anyone who actually read the emails in context, it was obvious that the ‘questions’ (read, accusations) were baseless. There’s a third investigation underway right now.

    And even if the CRU people were completely corrupt, that wouldn’t affect what we know. If you think it would, please specify exactly what science was corrupted, how, show us what papers or ideas would need to be retracted, and then explain why national academies around globe have also found similar results using different methodologies and different data sets (I don’t think you’d be so silly as to suggest a global conspiracy, btw).

    especially toward those beating us over the head with notoriously unreliable computer models that predict ultimate catastroph

    Gah! You’re just repeating long debunked talking points. How are they notoriously unreliable? Which of the several hundred models are you referring to?

    Go here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm Check Spencer Weart’s Discovery of Global Warming–http://www.aip.org/history/climate/, click on the Search button, type in “models”. Also use Google Scholar and type in “climate models”. Follow the links in the IPCC sections here: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-6.html

    Educate yourself on the science, past and present, so that you’re not fooled by talking points that not only are long debunked, but reflect an abysmal ignorance of models and their usage.

    Incidentally you used a strawman argument when you say they predict ultimate catastrophe (that happens when you don’t know what you’re talking about). 1. That depends on the particular model and scenarios used (e.g. temp-CO2 models have increasing CO2, level CO2, decreasing CO2)…moderate or low scenarios don’t predict catastrophe. And 2. many of the models don’t predict catastrophe because that is not their function. That’s another area dealing in different probabilities–given the models show x, what is the probability y will occur (read above links, search tips). Sometimes to get these answers, different models are used, sometimes other methods are used.

    Of course, I’ve already heard murmurs of “Acid Oceans!!” on the horizon. My cynicism tells me that there’s always going to be another Chicken-Little global-disaster for everyone to fret about

    Do you have any particular reason to think extra CO2 won’t make the ocean acidic? This is basic physics and chemistry. We’re seeing it now. This isn’t on the horizon, but has been a concern for a long time, which you might not know if you rely on standard media to keep you informed on science in general. Do you know what paleoclimatology tells us happens when oceans become more acidic? Do you have evidence that this won’t happen again?

    For more education on CO2, see this excellent and entertaining video given by Dr. Richard Alley. CO2: The Biggest Control Knob
    http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

    His book, The Two-Mile Time Machine, is also excellent and accessible to a moderately informed reader. The time machine in the title are the ice cores, and what they tell us about the past, and the possible future (don’t need models for that either).

    If you don’t have time to see the video (45 min or so), here’s a synopsis…
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1453

    Really though…this is one of the few must see videos. Entertaining and informative–if this guy was my prof I’d fail the course so I could sit through his lectures again. :)

    Anyway Eric, please read the links above. You’ll be so much better informed than you are now. I’m assuming you are honest and have just been misled. To you and people like you, familiarize yourself with the science given by the publishing working experts in the field, and stop relying on general media and various talk-shows and Faux News.

  57. Robert Leyland

    Steve in Dublin – Do you know what the word “hubris” means?

  58. SLC

    Re Ted @ #49

    Mr. Teds’ complaint about the computer code of many of the climate models is well taken. Unfortunately, I suspect that he is ignorant of the reason why. Most of the code is produced by graduate students who have no stake in the programs but are just trying to get their degrees. Producing well documented, well structured code, is not on their agenda, and in fact, if imposed by their graduate adviser, would only delay their achieving their degrees and increase to costs to the granters who support the research Well documented and well structured computer code costs money and the granters are unwilling to pay for it. To make matters worse, the computer programs that implement the climate models have been written by multiple graduate students who pile patches on top of patches.

    The unfortunate fact is that funding of climate research is just not adequate to support the type of well documented and well structured computer code that Mr. Ted desires.

  59. Steve in Dublin

    @Ted #49

    And the fundamental problem, which they have been criticized for in both investigations, is not complying with FOA requests and not making their data public.

    Two problems with that:

    1. 95% of the data is public. Go to realclimate.org, and check out the ‘data sources’ link.
    2. The 5% of data that is not in the public domain is owned by various met agencies that sell the data to fund themselves, and the climatologists are not allowed to release this data without express permission.

    Most of the FOI requests were vexatious, asking for data that was not able to be released.

    Got any more more lies for us? Because that’s all the denialists have left at this stage: lies and disinformation.

    @Robert Leyland #57

    Steve in Dublin – Do you know what the word “hubris” means?

    Yep.

  60. Tony Sidaway

    Predictably the mere mention of climate science brings out every crazy and concern troll on the net. Like moths to a flame, as far as this site is concerned.

  61. Brian Too

    “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”

    Next (big) step, an announcement that Ken Cuccinelli runs for Governor of Virginia.

    Big step the third, Cuccinelli collapses in a tawdry sex (or other) scandal. Finds (or rediscovers) God, asks for forgiveness, divorces old wife. Becomes wildly overpaid industry lobbyist. Retires wealthy, remarries attractive woman at least 30 years younger than self. Turns away all criticism with “I did it my way!” Dies with big smile on face, having lived the life of Riley and never faced any consequences of note.

  62. SLC

    Re Tony Sideways @ #60

    It’s equally bad over at the Mooney/Kirshenbaum blog. They have a number of nutcases, like a moron calling himself moptop, who post comments there every time they bring up the subject of climate change. Unlike Dr. Plait, they almost never respond.

  63. I accept that global warming is real and a legitimate concern. But I’m also concerned over behavior that is ant-scientific and, in the case of FOA, in violation of the law. Ultimately, they weaken the scientific case. If these guys had obeyed FOA requests, provided data to other scientists and written their code properly, this scandal would never have happened. But their behavior has given plenty of kindling to the Rush Limbaughs and Tom Coburns of the world.

    Does that not bother anyone who accepts global warming?

    Once again, please describe this “anti-scientific” behavior, as I notice that you have ignored my post asking you to describe the problems with the computer code and whether it should, in any sense, cause us to mistrust climate science? I know what I believe, but I’d like to know what it is that you know that I don’t.

    Even if one scientist is found to have not properly dealt with FOI requests, how is that “anti-scientific”? What have FOI requests got to do with science, at all? It is certainly true that they should be dealt with seriously and professionally, but what happens when a known denialist website places a generic FOI application on their site and asks their readers to send a copy to the university, but to alter the name of the country that they were inquiring about, which resulted in dozens of FOI requests arriving in the space of a week? Would you deem that as frivolous, which is stipulated as a reasonable explanation for not complying?

    But, what has any of this got to do with science? How do unproven accusations of not complying with FOI requests in any way harm the scientific consensus? Once again, science is fought out in the journals, not on blogs, not in the media, and not through FOI requests.

    This is just the usual poo-flinging, hoping that something, anything, will stick

  64. @Ted

    Apologies, with respect I thought you were referring to something entirely different as you referred to “climate code.” Specifically something I read a while ago on a loony-bin website essentially alleging that climate scientists were beholden to a “code” they could not deviate from. Computer code (which I wasn’t aware was an issue and I know nothing about) didn’t even enter into my head.

    So it wasn’t so much a straw man as a preemption of what I thought was going to a flood of idiocy. But you are apparently not an idiot. So I’ll be in the corner, quietly drinking from this nice tall glass of STFU I poured for myself.

    *Note to Phil. The “F” in “STFU” clearly stands for “Fourier transform” in keeping with your clean comments policy.

  65. Minimize the “cherry-picking”…on BOTH SIDES.

    There are no “both sides.”

    Well … there is. If one side is astronomy and the other is astrology.

    Besides that, nothing.

  66. Will

    Dan Andrews @56:
    The two investigations you refer to didn’t really investigate anything of substance. In both cases some of the investigators would not be what you could call ‘impartial’. In the second case it is somewhat suspicious that there was finger pointing at Michael Mann; Mr. Mann isn’t employed by UEA/CRU. If the point of the investigations were to clear the air I think they both failed.

    Now on to the models…

    I have written my own climate model using forcing data from GISS, CPI, Marginal Tax-rate for married couples, annual precipitiation, and bigfoot sightings. It does not include CO2 forcing. All of the data is public. With the exception of bigfoot sightings, all data is gleaned from US government sources. The model, HotErr, is accurate to within 0.08 degrees celcius over the years 1910 to 2003 in ‘predicting’ the following years global mean temperature. No math-fu involved, and no ‘fudge factor’ to force certain years up or down.

    You can see a graph (sorry, haven’t updated for newest 0.08C version) here:
    http://i39.tinypic.com/eimgph.jpg

    Please explain to me how bigfoot sightings are not related to rising temperatures? The model clearly shows a relationship. Without bigfoot sightings the model just can’t explain reality as well. The model is based on basic math. 1 + 1 = 2. Do you deny it?

    Of course I’m being sarcastic.. However:

    To say the underpinnings of a model are ‘basic physics’ is a half-truth. There are many variables and parameters in the models that, due to the chaotic nature of the system, can cause wildly different outcomes. You also have to ask yourself how the various forcing approximations are derived. It’s a discussion worthy of its own thread, and should really involve experts from many disciplines.

  67. Ozonator

    Global cooling only comes from the cold cash that makes hired liars. Unwilling and unable to do any global warming science, extremist Republicans and Christians have tried to bury any of my global warming predictions in a ~50% bigger pile of propaganda and identity theft. Currently, they swarm my posts to bury them in a sea of condemnation that is very repetitious and avoids disasters like flooding in Nashville, the Gulf oil spill, and the tornado swarm in Mississippi. Long term, they are slowly taking over any science on the Internet. For example, google searching “robert rhodes sunspot” on 12/7/09 and on 5/2/10 showed that activity had increased from “about 120,000” to “about 183,000”. On 12/7/09 , for “robert rhodes sunspot Search”, I had 3 sets of predictions in the top 10 in positions of #1,#3, and #7. ExxonMassingill’s’ Skeptic Tank had 2 in the top 10 with 20-Watts (wattsupwiththat.com) in #8 and the manure-hitting-fans examiner.com in #9 (“not found”). Confederate States of America General Robert Rodes occupied #2, #4. and #6. On 5/2/10, for “robert rhodes sunspot Search”, I had 3 sets of predictions in the top 10 in positions of #1,#2, and #3. ExxonMassingill’s’ Skeptic Tank had 4 in the top 10 the manure-hitting-fans examiner.com in #4 (still “not found”), with 20-Watts (wattsupwiththat.com) in #5, freerepublic.com in #7, and solarscience.auditblogs.com in #10 (“domain for sale”). Confederate States of America General Robert Rodes was no longer there.

  68. Ted

    @SLC 58:

    Point taken. But this is not some random data reduction these graduate students are doing but a model from which rather sweeping conclusions are being drawn. These computer codes are the lynchpin of multi-trillion dollar public policies. Astronomy institutions hire people whose basic job is to construct uniform well-documented codes for data processing and analysis. Why should analyzing supernovae or actives galaxies require more rigor than determining the ecological fate of the planet? It’s not like climate scientists are starved for funds. One less conference could buy a few software engineers to clean things up.

    @the Chemist.. :) No offense taken! Or at least offense taken back. It’s hard to keep track of the BS on this issue sometimes.

  69. Professor Jim

    Um, Ken…

    While it is true that athletes do enjoy and welcome challenges, if you go up to LeBron James and challenge him to a little one-on-one just to impress your girlfriend, he’ll laugh in your face. And rightfully so. This political thug who probably got a “gentleman’s C” in his lone science class in college is challenging someone who does actual science, for nothing more than the ability to ask for more donations. Athletes welcome challenges from those they consider their peers. Guess what, so do scientists. Funny how that works.

  70. Professor Jim

    Um, Ted…

    “Astronomy institutions hire people whose basic job is to construct uniform well-documented codes for data processing and analysis.”

    This gave me a chuckle. Have you ever *looked* at the code astronomers write and use? In my years as an astronomer, I saw, used, and wrote some pretty nasty code. Not really our primary job, my friend.

  71. Tony Sidaway

    This thread has strayed ridiculously wide of its moorings. The actions taken by the Attorney General of Virginia reflect most appallingly on his conduct and nobody else’s. The premise, suspicion of fraud, is laughable. The scientifically literate people of the Commonwealth are rightly ashamed tonight, but perhaps some good will come of this if they work together to ensure that this buffoon is removed from office and replaced by someone with a functioning brain.

  72. Bruce

    Awesome! It’s about time the warm-mongers got a taste of what they’ve been dishing out. For years the skeptics have been dragged through the mud because they won’t jump on the political global warming bandwagon.

    Phil, you make some good points. “Scientifically experienced”. Obviously you’re not talking about Al Gore, the ringleader of the global warming scam. He’s not a scientist; he’s just a politician kicking back in his $9 million house that he bought with the money he rakes in from the gullible global warming fanatics.

    You also say that the scientists have been cleared of any wrongdoing. They were “cleared” by the CRU’s Lord Oxburgh. He’s the chairman of Falck Renewables, a company that stands to profit from global warming. Hardly an unbiased investigator.

    All these scam artists should be locked up. I hope Cuccinelli an Inhofe go after these guys and expose more of the lies. Global warming is utter garbage.

  73. Charon

    “Astronomy institutions hire people whose basic job is to construct uniform well-documented codes for data processing and analysis.”

    I’ve never met someone with a degree from Fantasyland U before.

    Occasionally some places, like NRAO, will hire postdocs whose primary job is coding some backend or interface. These people are almost invariably scientists, not trained as programmers. They’re pretty adept at coding, but “uniform well-documented code” is… pretty much non-existent in astronomy. No university I’ve known has ever had dedicated programmers in astronomy. It’s scientists, often grad students who are still learning, who write the code.

    We want our programs to be correct. But when we get to the point where they work, we generally stop. Not a lot of effort is spent making it cleaner and prettier, and documenting it well, because that’s time that could be used for science, or paper writing, or grant writing, or something else.

    I still recall a time in undergrad when I had to unravel some grad student’s spectrum-processing code. He’d just graduated, so he wasn’t there to consult, and the code to process one spectrum (from raw data to printable output) was in ~30 programs that all called each other, written in a mix of C, Perl, Bourne shell, and IDL. Without much commenting. And I had to find the bug…

  74. Charon

    “Obviously you’re not talking about Al Gore, the ringleader of the global warming scam.”

    No… we’re talking about the myriad of climate scientists, from many competing research groups, who all think you’re an idiot have evidence of deleterious climate change. Al Gore just uses his celebrity to amplify their message. But you attack him instead, because you have no idea what the scientists are talking about, and Al Gore is fat, therefore climate change isn’t happening.

    You need help. And I say this as an astronomer, who directly competes for funding with the climate research groups (NASA’s science budget is split between us, mostly zero-sum).

    Why does hatred of Democrats detach people from reality? Climate change is not a partisan issue. (What to do about it is – but not whether or not it’s happening.) Perhaps it’s true, as Colbert notes, that reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  75. Peter

    For pete sake “on BOTH SIDES.” , There is NO BOTH SIDES !

  76. Thomas Jefferson also noted the climate was warming way back in 1820. Until climate scientists can explain how the current warming trend began a century before its alleged cause existed, their ideas aren’t worth a warm bucket of spit.

  77. Ozonator

    My ecosystem spilled over into astronomy without killing anyone with Bruce’s death-rays;

    On the evening of 4/28/10, I predicted “CMEs hurtling away from the Earth, and sunspots blasted off the near side of the Sun“ due to our global warming filth because it is much harder to lie about a star that is in front of every body. This can be found publicly, as of this posting, in:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/04/epa-climate-change-indicators-united-states-report.php There were approximately 2 astronomical predictions (of at least ~4 days in that blog) and 20 earthquake prediction (of ~11 days in that blog). With the burden of proof on me, “The sun of science … A better prediction about the sun’s inner and outer workings is the Holy Grail for any solar researcher … Understanding of how the sun interacts with Earth to influence our planets fragile climate is critical to our well-being, he said” (”Solar Storms Keep Space Forecaster Hopping”; By Leonard David, Senior Space Writer; space.com, 4/17/00).

    Sometimes global warming is rocket science. My 2 astronomical predictions were correct with successful modeling from the Ozonator Star Model that is driven by the global warming “hoax” components and products and my global warming “disability”. “We saw 13 days with no sunspots, April 15-27, then new sunspot group 1063 appeared April 28, and on April 29 it was gone again. Although the sunspot number for April 29 is 0, early on April 30 I can still see group 1063 in a magnetogram … no sunspot expected for today” (“The K7RA Solar Update”; arrl.org, 04/30/10). There were CMEs. A large CME (coronal mass ejection) blasts off of southeastern limb of the Sun around 2010/05/01 07:24 – toward Mars or Venus (“THE SUN NOW” – “LASCO C2”; sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov) (planets by fourmilab.ch, 2010-05-01). A small and faint twin- peaked CME (coronal mass ejection) rises off of southeastern limb of the Sun around 2010/05/01, from 09:30 to ~ 22:20 toward Mars or Venus (“THE SUN NOW” – “LASCO C3”; sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov) (planets by fourmilab.ch, 2010-05-01). From the northeast limb for up to a total of 4 solar flares by 5/1/10, “IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 30/2100Z to 01/2100Z: … observed a C5.7/sf x-ray flare at 01/0139Z. The source of this event was located just beyond the east limb at N24” (“Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity 1 May 2010”; Space Environment Center, NOAA; STATUS REPORT; spaceref.com, 5/1/10). About 4 days after my post, off the southwest limb, a monster CME, http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/03may10/cme_c2_big.gif?PHPSESSID=38ua9vgco8rrdjfidjl651pel1 That monster CME appears to be rotating and heading straight to Jupiter (~5 days) given the current planetary formation (fourmilab.ch). There were sunspots. “MAYDAY SUNSPOTS: A new sunspot, AR1064, is growing in the sun’s northeastern quadrant. … Meanwhile, another sunspot group (not yet numbered) is emerging near the sun’s northeastern limb” (“What’s up in Space”; Dr. Tony Phillips; spaceweather.com, 5/1/10). With 4 sunspots, “Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Region Summary … Issued at 0030Z on 03 May 2010 … from data received at SWO on 02 May I. Regions with Sunspots. … Nmbr …1064 …1065 …1066 … 1067” (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force; swpc.noaa.gov).

    It is hard but not impossible to lie about a star and the cause of such potential extinction events. About the same time as my predictions in Treehugger.com, ExxonMassingill’s Skeptic Tank of their “scientific” articles were consistent on ignoring the obvious and avoiding any scientific any predictions. Lies are Morano’s expertise, “Physics professor tells U.S. government PUT UP OR SHUT UP on Global Warming Claims” (found on climatedepot.com, 4/26/10). Posted on or about 5/2/10, “Warmist asks: ‘Is the Sun Finally Setting on Climate Change Skepticism?’” from a 4/8/10 article (by By Marc Morano, peerless container model; climatedepot.com). “Peer-Reviewed Study: ‘Sunspot cycle has a big effect on the earth’s weather’” (By Marc Morano, container model for ExxonMassingill’s Skeptic Tank; climatedepot.com, actually having a date – Friday, August 28, 2009). “They’ve mapped the sun … and they know when these things happen … ” (“Global Warming: The Power of the Sun”; 12/14/06) and “Global warming, I gotta … plug … Dr. Roy Spencer … our official climatologist. … the so-called scientific community … they’re idiots. … the sun (which they’ve rejected) … ” (“Dr. Roy Spencer’s New Book”; rushlimbaugh.com; 4/20/10) (rushlimbaugh.com).

  78. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Sorry BA but I think you are letting your political views interfere with your skeptical judgment on this Anthropogenic Global Warming issue. I agree with you nine times out of ten, Dr Phil Plait, but this topic would have to be that tenth time. :-(

    I really hope that the BA reconsiders and changes his opinion here because, if nothing else, I think he will feel very embarrassed and very much regret holding to the AGW orthodox party line in years to come as their extreme claims turn out increasingly to be simply wrong. I think the BA is harming his own reputation as a skeptic and a scientist by defending a political cause masquerading as a “science” that is increasingly being exposed as nonsense driven by a radical Green ideology.

    Indeed, this is already starting to happen now – eg. non-melting Himalayan glaciers, non-drying out Amazon forest and discoveries that the “scientific” IPCC report included a lot of stuff written by Greenpeace lobbyists, etc ..

    Climatologist “scientists” have been caught on record saying that they’d rather “change the meaning of peer review” and rather delete the raw data than share it with the world – esp. those they disagree with. They’ve been caught censoring dissenting skeptical scientists & commenters, threatening these skeptics with violence, celebrating the deaths of those who disagree with them and so on. Some have even been arrested at political protests against hard working people making an honest living by mining coal such as Jim Hansen.

    All this surely, clearly, is NOT good scientific practice and strongly implies the AGW case is far weaker than they would like us to believe.

    AGW is a political cause & NOT a proper scentific theory.

    Mike Mann, Jim Hansen and some of the other climatologist “scientists” pushing their Global Warming faith have, to be blunt, long ceased being real scientists and become political activists pushing their ideological barrow and twisting their supposed “science” to suit.

    The BA should be hauling these political activist pretend “scientists” (who are giving all of science a bad reputation & causing the public to lose trust in genuine scientists) over the coals and slamming *them* NOT shooting the messengers who are exposing the AGW mob for what they are.

    The BA should be attacking Mann, Hansen & the Climategate crew NOT defending them.

    One day he’ll realise that & I really hope for his sake that that day comes sooner rather than later.

    – In My Humble Opinion Naturally.

  79. Plutonium, 9-11 truthers and their “melting point of steel” make more sense than you. Apollo 11 truthers and their “why is the flag waving” make more sense than you. Creationist baptist preachers with crudely painted pictures of people leading dinosaurs into Noah’s Ark have better evidence than you.

  80. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Correction:

    Some have even been arrested at political protests against hard working people making an honest living by mining coal such as Jim Hansen.

    Jim Hansen is obviously NOT a “hardworking person making an honest living mning coal!” ;-)

    I meant & that is supposed to read :

    Some such as Jim Hansen have even been arrested at political protests against hard working people making an honest living by mining coal.

    @ 77. Doug Watts : Another ad hominem. What a surprise. :roll:

    I’ll add it to my collection. Could you back up your insult there with any evidence? No, of course you can’t – otherwise you’d have done so rather than resort to name-calling.

    @ 75. Peter Says:

    For pete sake “on BOTH SIDES.” , There is NO BOTH SIDES !

    Its politics – of course there’s more than just one side. Trying to deny that skeptics of climate change (AGW) exist or that they don’t have a valid case is a negative tactic that basically says : “La-la-la-la can’t hear you!”

    You can’t pretend away the real questions and real oponents to this AGW ideology. Well, actually, I suppose you can! ;-)

    However, doing so will not help you win the debate or make you correct nor will the questions over the validity of the “Climataologist” methodology and legitimacy just go away because you want them to. Saying that makes you look silly. Actually, make that even sillier! :P

  81. Science

    Mann received almost $500 000 in grants, taxpayers have all the right to ensure their money were correctly spent.

    Pretty much everyone agrees that hockey stick produced by Mann and used to spread climate hysteria and win multiple grants is bogus (Even his friends admit it in emails). Then there are also climategate emails which prove some of his closest collaborators committed a crime by destroying evidence targeted by FOI requests, they also hint at many more questionable practices.

    So on one hand we have a scientist whos science is used to promote regulations which are going to affect millions of people worldwide, and we have half a million dollars of public grant money which were spent by him. On the other hand we have a very shady dealings bordering on crime disclosed in emails and controversial scientific papers.

    It’s hard to find a case more worthy of public investigation, the public absolutely deserves the right to know whether Mann is an honest scientist acting in good faith.

    The fact that Mann has been cleared by his colleagues means nothing since if he is acting in bad faith they are almost certainly at least partly responsible too.

  82. Could anybody please explain the difference between Phil’s accusing people of having completely fabricated Climategate and Cuccinelli accusing Mann of having defrauded the State of Virginia? They are both prisoners of current American politics, where your side is Good no matter what, and the other side is Bad (some poor souls deny the existence of another side, oblivious of Christy or Spencer, or the Pielkes).

    The fact that catastrophic AGW is crumbling doesn’t bode well for the quality of Cuccinelli’s and Phil’s respective crusades. In the long run both stances are untenable, so I guess it is time to leave both and their crowds to self-engineer their own demise.

  83. Tony Sidaway

    I think this can best be seen as the final phase in the decay of the case against global warming. The reasonable scientific objections are few, and the main opposition to the science has for a long time fallen into the hands of bloggers. The science having failed to give way to massed blogger opinion, the final phase is conspiracy theory. And here we are, the screeching masses of anti-intellectualism, brothers-in-arms of the religious nuts, rise up and vent their rage at science for no other reason than their own ignorance and stupidity.

  84. Muzz

    It won’t be this case, but I’m almost looking forward to the day when this ends up in court. When it’s all over everyone will say “Well that was a year we could have spent doing something better” but to finally go the ‘full Dover’ on these idiots would be utterly magnificent.

  85. Tony Sidaway

    Dover was a First Amendment case in which a judge determined that intelligent design was a religious doctrine and therefore could not be taught in American public schools, thus killing the Discovery Institute’s strategy to sabotage the teaching of science as a secular, rather than a branch of religion. Although I’m appreciate the aptness of your comparison of the two situations. I don’t think the same constitutional niceties are applicable here.

    Nevertheless it may interest you to know that there has been at least one Supreme Court ruling concerning global warming that is at least as significant, in the field, as the Dover ruling was in science education. In Massachusetts v. EPA the court ruled that the Agency MUST regulate greenhouse gases unless it can produce a scientific reason not to do so. To reverse this ruling will require an amendment to the Clean Air Act, and indeed I believe such a proposal was part of the carrot-and-stick package in Waxman-Markey.

  86. Sarah Pressman

    “Did you get that? The CO2 warming theory is the extraordinary claim. The claim that has to prove itself. Not the other way around.”

    I had to laugh at the total ignorance of science spouted by this AGW denier. He couldn’t even be bothered to Google “properties of carbon dioxide”! All the deniers have is mud to sling and their ignorance of science.

  87. Doug Little

    Gamercow,

    I think there should be a change to your list of steps for the denialists.

    Step 1: OMG, the climate isn’t changing! Pro-scare climatologists are just focusing on the numbers that make them look good! Glaciers are growing! Winter is colder! The time frame is too small!

    Step 2: Okay, so maybe the climate is changing, but you can’t prove it’s humans doing it!!! More greenhouse gases come from cows than all the cars in the world times eleventyseven! Fish farts cause ice cap shrinkage!

    Step 3: Hitler! Al Gore!

  88. Doug Little

    Could anybody please explain the difference between Phil’s accusing people of having completely fabricated Climategate and Cuccinelli accusing Mann of having defrauded the State of Virginia?

    Two independent investigations have shown that Climategate was a fabrication, from what I have read the scientific consensus on climate change hasn’t changed one iota because of it which is good evidence also that it was a fabrication.

    Now claiming that Mann has somehow acted inappropriately in his duties as a scientist and needs investigation when he already has been investigated is clearly a political move manufactured for the benefit of Cuccinelli.

    The big difference therefore is that Phil has nothing to gain and is simply stating the truth about an event that was fabricated initially for political gain, whereas Cuccinelli has everything to gain by pandering to a miss informed and ignorant electorate by calling for an investigation of an event that has already been investigated.

    This situation is startlingly similar to a bill that the Arizona Legislature approved to bar presidential candidates from the state’s ballot unless they produce a U.S. birth certificate.

  89. Robert E

    How is Al Gore “kicking back in his $9 million house that he bought with the money he rakes in from the gullible global warming fanatics” a bad thing, and the US pumping millions of dollars in oil money to governments like Chavez and Iran — who hate us — not?

  90. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    WTF?! Inhofe has his head stuck up so far his ass that he can no longer see what he is doing!

    Stunts like this from Inhofe and Cuccinelli are nothing more than government officials using their power to throw roadblocks into scientific inquiry they disagree with.

    Not if it is a systematic witch hunt. There are names for politicians who has made such stupidity historically, instead of promoting the free inquiry we all need, but referring to those would likely Godwin us.

    @ PbfP:

    AGW is a political cause & NOT a proper scentific theory.

    Are you the troll your admiring handle suggest – the original insane one dead and now a boring seemingly saner copycat?

    In any case your claim falls flat since it is the (remaining) theory of climatologists, constructed precisely to predict the observations they have. The rest of your comments are, as far as I can see, similar bogus given without neither reason nor reference.

    AGW theory is thus testable. In fact, remember that IPCC -07 gave it ~ 80 % certainty? (From scientists having run an accumulated 20 000 simulations with 60 % certainty and adding stronger evidence.)

    In feb -10 there was an update review, where scientists observe that the warming has led to that they now routinely run models predicting AGW with 95 % certainty. (“Detection and attribution of climate change: a regional perspective”, Stott et al, WIREs.) Only 5 % trend as observations by coincidence.

    Meanwhile AFAIU all the alternatives have failed in such testing.

    Btw, if you take the trend from having two distributions (signal + noise vs noise) separating with such a rate, you can predict that 99 % certainty, the usual _physics criteria_ of 3 sigma from theories, will happen in 10 years.

    [I use the approximation of gaussians, since the noise is many sourced, and approximately the same ones, since the signal is from weak forcing. (Only ~ 5 % of forcing is from anthropic CO2, most Earth temperature is from direct radiation and other greenhouse forcing.)

    Then I can transform the tails to one gaussian and use a probit diagram on the non-linear problem to predict the effect of moving out on it. IPCC -07 gathered data updated from -01, and I take the 80 % certainty to get the lower bound on rate.

    You can check it easily for yourself, for example Wikipedia carries a probit diagram.]

    Likely sooner, as the simplest theory and most papers point to an accelerating GW effect. I make it even odds that next IPCC -14 will have a “physics tested” result in it.

    What will anti-scientists of your ken do then, with that utter failure to comprehend simple science staring in their face? Likely go on jabbering against commonly known and testable evidence to the contrary about how ‘it isn’t scentific [sic]’!

    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. [Attributed to A. Einstein]”

  91. Plutonium being from Pluto

    I’ve read and would strongly recomend that other people also read Prof. Ian Plimer’s book ‘Heaven + Earth – Global Warming : The Missing Science’.

    See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_and_Earth_(book) if you haven’t already.

    However, would anyone else here care to suggest other texts on this issue from both pro-AGW and anti-AGW, Alarmist and Skeptic sides that are worth reading?

    Which sources (print NOT web) would folks here say give the clearest, most readable arguments for & against and best put the opposing cases regarding AGW?

  92. Doug Little

    Geologist Ian Plimer, who has a rather large financial stake in the Australian mining industry, whose book was widely rejected by an overwhelming majority of climate scientists, that Ian Plimer.

  93. fred edison

    @PBfP
    How do you continually get off calling yourself a “skeptic,” and calling accredited and learned climatologists “alarmists?” You’re as religious in your “We didn’t do it. I swear!” beliefs as any Moon hoax believer who thinks Armstrong lied. But why let science and reality stand in your way, as usual.

  94. PbfP,

    Please supply any data that does any of these two things:

    models (as opposed to fitting a line or a statistical analysis) the average global temperature of the planet, without incorporating the excess anthropomorphic CO2 and gets as good a fit as the many models currently available from climatologists. This model must be physics based, not statistical.

    Explain why the 800 year temp-co2 lag is gone for the first time in the history of the world.

  95. folder

    I did some tweaking of Gamercow’s list in reference to PBfP:

    Step 1: OMG, the climate isn’t changing! Pro-scare climatologists are just focusing on the numbers that make them look good! Glaciers are growing! Winter is colder! The time frame is too small! (Add: OMG, it’s not hot three years in a row! 1995 was warmer! 2010 is colder! I like heat, heat is good for animals!)

    Step 2: Okay, so maybe the climate is changing, but you can’t prove it’s humans doing it!!! More greenhouse gases come from cows than all the cars in the world times eleventyseven! Fish farts cause ice cap shrinkage! (Add: I don’t want the government in my pocket, I like heat!)

    Step 3: Plimer! (And/or: not that scientist’s data, that scientist is unreliable. *)

    I read each and every comment on these posts, but I’m now skipping PBfP’s comments because they’re so darn repetitive. I didn’t even have to read the comments on this post to figure out what he’s going to say, the additions are all from memory of previous comments. (Sure I could go back and provide citations, but I don’t have time right now) PBfP states he is a skeptic, but my goodness, does he stick to his talking points like all the other denialist types (creationist, etc.).

    *Note he never says *why* that scientist’s data is unreliable, only ever that the person themselves is biased; nor does he ever state why Plimer’s data is more reliable/trustworthy; nor does he ever refute the issue of Plimer’s incorrect facts in his book, but just keeps on going on about it anyway.

  96. Ozonator

    Geologist Ian Plimer predicts nothing like earthquakes yet is another “expert” of global warming –

    On the evening of 4/28/10, I predicted 20 earthquakes due to our global warming filth because it is much harder to lie about an earthquake that is in front of every body. This can be found publicly, as of this posting, in:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/04/epa-climate-change-indicators-united-

    With ~3 days more to go, the following quakes makes for a total of 2 correct “impossible” earthquake predictions (10%) in this blog for both region and strength out of 20 that each has the actual odds of 1/20 times 1/20 from random chance at best. This quake is within the 2-week model, the 4.5 Richter minimum, and the Vanuatu region predicted under 4/25 – 5/1/10. The good people with bad web maps at the USGS reported with poorly colored numbers and letters, the significant quake – Magnitude Richters … Date … Region: “5.1 … 2010/04/29 … VANUATU” and “5.0 … 2010/05/01 …  VANUATU” (earthquake.usgs.gov).

    This quake is within the 2-week model, the 4.5 Richter minimum, and the Vanuatu region predicted under 4/25 – 5/1/10. The good people with bad web maps at the USGS reported with poorly colored numbers and letters, the significant quake – Magnitude Richters … Date … Region: ”6.1 … Monday, May 03, 2010 at 10:27:45 UTC … IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION … 300 km (190 miles) NNW of Chichi-shima, Bonin Islands, Japan … 685 km (425 miles) S of TOKYO, Japan” (earthquake.usgs.gov).

    From geologists to a mass murderers, earthquakes are events for perpetual employment. “So far it has proved impossible to predict earthquakes in any meaningful way—that is, of a given magnitude, at a given place, on a given day. That is because of the complexity of the problem and the lack of information” (“All shook up”; From Economist.com; economist.com, 6/26/09).  “Idiots who want to equate global warming and climate change with … earthquake … an act of God … we have nothing to do with them. … We don’t give orders to nature … God doesn’t let things happen, God doesn’t cause things to happen” (“Nature Kills”; rushlimbaugh.com, 1/3/05). Who needs basic science with extremist Republicans and Christians and their superior god-genes, “Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Oil Spill “Act of God”” (by Mark Berman Opposing Views; opposingviews.com, 5/4/10).

  97. Climategate is dead

    Denialist: “There’s _gotta_ be something there, just keeping looking harder! We already know all of climate science is a fraud.”

  98. ND

    Plutonium being from Pluto,

    Has Ian Plimer published any papers on climateology? Anything peer-reviewed material that counters AGW? Books don’t count since they in general only include select evidence in favor of a conclusion. And they will always make sense if you take everything in the book at face value. And since you don’t have any climate science background, you don’t know what makes sense in what you read is scientifically accurate or sound.

    And it’s hard for you to understand the arguments given to you because your opposition to AGW is idealogical, not scientific.

  99. Reidh

    Look Tom, The climate is and always will be changing. Scientific Hypothesis starts with edutated guess, thats ALL. there is never any repeatable proof, because the Climate is Always changing. For now the Volcano in iceland is Cooling the atmosphere around the world, not to mention all the other currently erupting volcanos. Then the sun is generating Massive flares, as recorded only recently. No knows before this how often or much the Sun contributed to the Climate. How precisely can anyone abstract this chaos from the mix and come up with a truly scientific conclusion as to who, and/or what is causing the climate to change. What caused the ice age? was there an ice age? Neither you nor anyone else can prove or disprove it and so it, along with Evolution, the big bang, whats inside a black hole, what is dark matter and energy, and is space open or closed, Remains a THEORY, not a FACT. So to call people who flat out oppose your conciets DENIERS is not only illogical, it is not scientific, it is Pure Emotional Bitching. Grow up, and get a pair. You are far from out of the woods.

  100. Ah, how quaint. I got my first “death wish” posted on my personal blog. (Now deleted.) I know it was posted by somebody following the link from my comments here since it’s the only place on the web that I’ve openly made controversial statements.

    So, to whomever you are: Same to you, buddy; even better if you have six year old boy that knows he going to lose his father one day.

    Yes, this is how “deniers” get treated.
    A bit shameful, dontcha think?

  101. Ozonator

    “Reidh Says: May 5th, 2010 at 4:02 pm”;

    Your failure to make any predictions among the buffet of topics thrown out there shows that your level of expertise is:
    a. copying from other extremists in the GOP,
    b. neuticles that give you the courage to rubber stamp propaganda from the Morano – American Stinkers – Roy ‘d-rage’ Spencers, and
    c. an inability to do or just plain lazy to do any home work to appreciate correct solar flare, sunspot, and earthquake predictions which brings us that much closer to extinction events from your investments.

    “Eric Says: May 5th, 2010 at 4:58 pm” please still to facts that can be verified. For example, my posts in news.yahoo.com get those results with a ratio of 1 fine to 20 hate which my comments become hidden and my potential “killers” are not hidden. There is no ratio to show “Eric” is abused.

  102. Dean

    The term “deniers” is not OK to use, it seems, but “climategate” is?!? I can see that these are different in some important ways, but all the btching and moaning about the former, while tossing about the latter as if a “given” seems to me like a strikingly odd contrast.

    But then again, nobody is denying climate change is happening. I guess movement of the goalposts is something.

    All eminently “reasonable” now, huh… Well, not so much, it looks pretty transparent on the face of it.

    Where’s that popcorn?

  103. Dean

    Again, and as usual, Pbfp raises JH (and others) as a straw man / target (multiple times, at that), when not a SINGLE other person has mentioned them. This is not a response, it is an agenda. This is the sound of one hand clapping. Move on.

  104. Doug Little

    Remains a THEORY, not a FACT

    You know what a scientific theory is right?

    Quick, popcorn stat!

  105. Ozonator

    A “theory” is when Inhofe and other ExxonMobil accomplices say sunspots cause global temperature fluctuations –

    and

    a “fact” is what they are paid to ignore, killing billions, even though there is ample scientific evidence to the contrary like what I posted and a continuing part of my prediction:

    “CINCO DE MAYO BLAST: With May 5th winding down, magnetic fields on the sun wound up and erupted, producing a bright coronal mass ejection (CME). Click on the image to set the cloud in motion”
    http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/05may10/eit195_anim.gif?PHPSESSID=phe4vnddfgk9rrsr5hve8mrlq2
    “The eruption came from a spotless region near the sun’s southwestern limb. … The billion-ton cloud is not heading directly for Earth, although it could deliver a glancing blow” (“What’s up in Space”; Dr. Tony Phillips; spaceweather.com, 5/6/10).

  106. Doug (#88): “Two independent investigations have shown that Climategate was a fabrication”

    Please don’t play up with semantics. How could all the brouhaha have been a fabrication given its consequences? Even Phil Jones admits that the record keeping was “not as good as it should be”. Following the findings of the Oxburgh commission, UEA now writes:

    “we do see the sense in engaging more fully with the wider statistics community to ensure that the most effective and up-to-date statistical techniques are adopted and will now consider further how best to achieve this”

    And I am not going to mention all the stuff about scientists trying to undermine the publication chances of perfectly legitimate scientific papers.

    That’s all things that we had little or no hint about, the day before “Climategate” exploded.

    A “fabrication” is something untrue and is meant to deceive. Obviously, “Climategate” is not a “fabrication”. Some commentaries about it might have been. What is a fabrication is the claim that Climategate was a “fabrication”, and therefore nothing has changed because of it.

    =======

    Dean (#102)

    I consider “denier” on the par with “negro”. One could argue about their intended meanings and etymology until the last red dwarf gets cooler than 1K, still as words they are to be used in exchanges among people. One therefore cannot disentangle what the receiver will get out of them from what the sender wanted to convey.

    That is, it doesn’t matter if one intends to offend or not. If one uses the word, the person at the other end will get offended anyway.

    That is an absurd situation to find oneself in, given that there are non-offending words that can be used instead. If on the other hand one goes around offending everybody that doesn’t fully buy the catastrophical AGW theory, well, one can only end up screaming isolated and in the minority (this is for you, Phil!).

    No matter how good one’s intentions, by the use of “negro” one will find himself classified as “racist”. Likewise, by the use of “denier” one finds himself straight into the category of “AGW extremist creating obstacles to the development of a proper climate policy” (the absence of which, after twenty years of AGW discussions and accusations of “denier!”, should by now be very telling).

    “Climategate” on the other hand is part of pop-culture alongside all the other -gates that have ever been claimed since the time of Watergate. Who could get offended by the gazillionth usage of it, I cannot fathom.

  107. Ozonator

    You are an environmental racist if ““denier” on the par with “negro””. You are trying to compare vilification of a race for the designed failings from extremist Republicans and Christians to stay in power over life and death through industrial waste disposal. “A. … 2. … With condolences … GBRWE predictions have been the tombstones and other markers of ~1 to 2.5 million dead and dying from violent global warming catastrophes” (“GBRWE 2/7 – 13/10”s Extreme Planetary Warnings for Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Solar/Terrestrial Flares from Human Activities”; Robert Rhodes, Supplemental; GBRWE 2/7 – 13/10, 2/6/10).

  108. Dean

    @105
    I simply disagree that the phrasing *gate is just part of pop culture, although I realize that there are people/factions that would dearly love it to be seen as such.

    No, it is a profoundly loaded term, intentionally used by those who wish others to view it as scandal, sensu Watergate. Its over-use for this and other situations is simply at attempt to set the tone and frame the “debate”, and more importantly, to transform it straight into a public meme, bypassing the whole idea of unbiased examination or debate.

    I do understand that the terms “are different in some important ways” (as I already said!). The thing that the terms have in common, in a very profound way, is that they both are attempts to beg the whole question under consideration.

    Are you saying it is OK to beg the question (which was my point), but it is not OK to beg the question if you do it using Politically Incorrect terms (which seems to be your focus in that particular post)?

    And I just have to point out that your focus on the difference between the terms I noted is in a whole other ballpark from the comparison you chose to go on (and on) about. Bringing this down to the level of a discussion of race is just mind-boggling, in my view!

  109. Dean (#107)

    There are 103 -gate’s in Wikipedia. including “Bigotgate” and “Kanyegate”. And “Nipplegate” (no prize to guess what that one was). Hardly stuff that can be taken seriously. Shall we say the expression is suffering from inflation?

    (I presume most people use “Climategate” for lack of a better (single!) word, rather than to express anything sinister. What would you suggest? (question))

    As for “bringing this down to the level of a discussion of race”…not sure what you are talking about. Substitute “negro” for whatever other term that was acceptable for a while and has nowadays become denigratory, and the logic of my argument remains the same.

    For an example the other way around, check the history of “bloody”.

  110. Doug Little

    Please don’t play up with semantics. How could all the brouhaha have been a fabrication given its consequences?

    But it was a fabrication, the scientists have been cleared of doing anything nefarious, which is the way that it has been framed by deniers all along.

    Are you going to start moving the goal posts now.

    Even Phil Jones admits that the record keeping was “not as good as it should be”.

    Following the findings of the Oxburgh commission, UEA now writes:

    “we do see the sense in engaging more fully with the wider statistics community to ensure that the most effective and up-to-date statistical techniques are adopted and will now consider further how best to achieve this”

    Why yes, yes you are.

    And I am not going to mention all the stuff about scientists trying to undermine the publication chances of perfectly legitimate scientific papers.

    Got any proof of that, Yawn, you are really boring me with your persecution complex, better go talk with the fellows at the Disco ‘tute, you have a lot in common.

    A “fabrication” is something untrue and is meant to deceive.

    Really! thanks for the definition. But on the whole the inference that data was fiddled with to give a predetermined result was definitely fabricated to be used as a tool to somehow discredit the whole of not only climate science but science in general.

    Obviously, “Climategate” is not a “fabrication”. Some commentaries about it might have been. What is a fabrication is the claim that Climategate was a “fabrication”, and therefore nothing has changed because of it.

    Have you ever heard of the saying turning a molehill into a mountain. That’s exactly what Climategate was, The pearl clutching and fainting couch businesses have never been better.

  111. Doug (#110)

    We have UEA changing their working practices, new statistical tools going to be used, the temperature records being reviewed, the importance of FOI being restated…

    If that’s what you call the consequence of a non-story/fabrication, well, it’s the most effective non-story in the history of Science.

    And if that’s what you call a molehill, well…for example, what Oxburgh has said is that we have been lucky, as the results were good enough even if the most effective statistical tools were not used.

    I presume everybody agrees we should not try our luck again. However, that’s exactky what would have happened, without Climategate.

  112. Doug Little

    We have UEA changing their working practices, new statistical tools going to be used, the temperature records being reviewed, the importance of FOI being restated….

    So the goalposts have moved from, OMG the scientists are lying and making crap up, climate change is a big myth perpetrated by elitist, greenie, commie, atheist, left wing, American hating terrorists. To, well we think that the scientists could have been a little more organized and employed some better statistical techniques when analyzing the data.

    What I was talking about as being a non event is that it didn’t change any of the conclusions that came from that data or any theories that the data was shown to support.

  113. Ozonator

    What the “deniers” are doing with every breath, type stroke, and paycheck is their typical method to avoid examination of the original, their own Climategate, by blaming the victims. They have yet to predict anything with their “natural cycles”, “God’s will”, or “conservatism” that has yet to conserve anything.

    After 4 of 22 correct Robert Rhodes – Ozonator – GBRWE predictions, Inhofe’s’ Marc of “expertise”, like Joey D’Aleo’s, are caught trying to avoid the big burning ball in the sky and the quaking underneath from their sugar daddies. 20-Watts is the last to know but tries to make up for it by “stealing” some intelligent sounding words. Predicting the usual nothing while giving permission to himself (paired T-bag test? w/wo Joey) to lie like a rug, “Team of Scientists Counter U.S. Gov’t Report: ‘Global warming alarm will prove false’ — Climate fears ‘based on faulty forecasting procedures’” (climatedepot.com, found on 5/5/10) which linked to – the same title and “’The forecasting procedures … violated 81% of the 89 principles relevant to climate forecasting’ Wednesday, May 05, 2010 By Marc Morano  –  Climate Depot [Special to Climate Depot — Reprinted with Permission] … Willie Soon is an astrophysicist and a geoscientist …20 years of active researching and publishing in the area of climate change … alarming forecasts of global warming are merely the opinions of some scientists … we predict that the global warming alarm will prove false”. Joey D’Aleo lacks any permission from Morano who seemed to add information to the “comments” and does not claim permission from the rest of Team T-bag t-test. “Comments on the United States Department of State’s U.S. Climate Action Report … submitted by: J. Scott Armstrong … Wharton School of Management … Kesten C. Green of the International Graduate School of Business at the University of South Australia … Willie Soon “ (“Global Warming Alarm Based on Faulty Forecasting Procedures:”; editorial abuse by Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, IUD, IED, BMF, STD, H1N1, AMS PU jolly fellow, HIV, and ExxonMobil approved TV weather presenter aka another pseudo-scientist and executive dictator; icecap.us, 5/5/10). (Some readers may want to see a photo of Marc. I am not sure if the photo is of him as an “Eskimo” – derogatory Sioux word for eater of raw flesh – or Limbaugh’s Vietnam Halloween “pilonidal cyst” costume. This is in “This Man Wants to Convince You Global Warming Is a Hoax”; John H. Richardson; esquire.com, 3/30/10).

    Usually extremist media outlets steal sexy and other images from Hollywood movies without permission to add celebrity endorsements to their “science-y” points. Even with Paypal, 20-Watts is not as gifted. For example, “SPOTTED SUN: The sun is peppered with spots today. … Slowly but surely, it seems, the sun is coming back to life” (“What’s up in Space”; Dr. Tony Phillips; spaceweather.com, 5/4/10). The next day, somewhat acknowledging being clueless unlike readers of Treehugger.com, “We’ve had a rash of sunspots lately, and it appears sol is awakening from its magnetic slumber” (“Sun’s magnetics coming alive again”, editorial and writing abuse by Anthony “20-watt dim bulb” Watts, America’s only residential weather “genius” extremist Republican and Christian paperweight at Newstalk1290, Deer Creek Broadcasting; wattsupwiththat.com, 5/5/10).

  114. adam

    But it’s quite another for politicians blinded by their bias to suppress ideas they don’t like.

    LOLZ. Like Obama, Pelosi and the media did in ignoring popular sentiment and established legislative process in passing Obamacare? Face it, this is what politicians do. Don’t pretend like it’s one-sided in any way whatsoever, or that the side you disagree with is somehow more guilty.

  115. Ozonator

    It is harder for “deniers’ to deny >5% predicted quakes that are impossible to be geologically predicted especially by their completely fair and balanced petrochemical geologists.

    The following significant quake makes for a total of 3 correct “impossible” global warming earthquake predictions (15%). (This is from the referenced treehugger.com citation for both region and strength.) Each has the actual odds of 1/20 times 1/20 from random chance at best. This quake is within the 2-week model, the 5.5 Richter minimum, and the Bolivia region predicted under 4/25 – 5/1/10. The good people with bad web maps at the USGS reported with poorly colored numbers and letters, the significant quake – Magnitude Richters … Date … Region: “6.2 … Thursday, May 06, 2010 … SOUTHERN PERU … 30 km (20 miles) W of Tacna, Peru” (earthquake.usgs.gov). With Tacna being ~50 miles from Bolivia and condolences, “On alert after a strong earthquake measuring 6.5 on Ricther scale … governor Hugo Ordonez … said that some electricity and telephone posts felt down, so there were blackouts and cut of the telecommunications for about two hours in Tacna city. … The earthquake was also felt in Chile and Bolivia” (“Peruvian Department on Alert after Strong Earthquake”; Web Editor: Zhao Lixia; Xinhua; english.cri.cn, 5/7/10).

    Deniers can’t spell “fool” without “U”. But, another roo-munching geologist proves how easy it is to become an instant climatologist for fame and fortune without library donations to Tacna! Naturally, still no quake or other scientific predictions nor useful coloring-book format in “New Book: Climate: the Counter-consensus by Aussie Geologist Dr. Robert Carter” (Marc ‘extremist sound-bite’ Morano; climatedepot.com, found on 5/6/10). “Global Warming: Connecting the Dots … the whole concept is silly! … We have had continental plate shifts … baloney … that we are causing a catastrophe from “ people who don’t believe in God … the result of a divine creation from elsewhere” (“The Warming Tax!”; 4/12/05), “”Me … the courage, gonads, and guts … You would think that the insurance companies are causing the earthquakes.”“ (“Monday Quotes: EIB Original”; 3/8/10), and “I am … total credibility … Do not read anything written by any “scientist” who tells you there is man-made … global warming” (“The Limbaugh Peace Initiative: Amnesty for the Duped Warmers”; 2/15/10) (rushlimbaugh.com).

  116. Matris Fututor

    Cuccinelli is a hero, fighting for the truth in the face of obfuscation and propaganda from a group of liberal elite scientists. We need to put in place measures to ensure that our economy and society aren’t hijacked by selfish scientists wrapped up in a fantasy of AGW. Total transparency from all climate research establishments should be enforced by the government, so we can all see what is going on here.

  117. sdcougar

    “Scientists love to pick apart new ideas, try to find their strengths and weaknesses. That’s because they know that for an idea to survive scientifically, it must be attacked by scientifically experienced minds; any faults must be aired out…”

    OH, you mean like the IPCC has done???

    So why are true climate scientists NOT allowed to ‘pick apart new ideas’ in your little club???
    i.e. actual climate scientists like Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Roy Spencer, etc. etc…..

  118. Doug Little

    sdcougar the,

    IPCC is a panel they compile reports, they don’t actually do the science.

  119. Ozonator

    Matris Fututor, George Will, and Marc Morano will give up Focus on the Family’s rentaboy.com for a month to rebuild Tacna due to a predicted, regional, global warming earthquake.

    With Tacna being ~50 miles from Bolivia and condolences, “A magnitude-6.5 earthquake jolted Peruvian department of Tacna, bordering with Chile, injuring 11 people … the earthquake caused the cuts of water supply and telephone service … gaps and cracks in walls and structures of the Apoyo Hipolito Unanue Hospital and the patients were evacuated … Landslides occurred in several parts of the highway connecting Tacna’s capital with Locumba and Tarata provinces … the quake damaged houses in Costa Verde settlement and the center of San Antonio town” (“Magnitude-6.5 Earthquake Jolts Peru, 11 Injured”; Web Editor: Han Yueling; Xinhua; english.cri.cn, 5/7/10). In the last 10 years, I have both directly and indirectly predicted “~1 to 2.5 million dead and dying from violent global warming catastrophes”. “This is … the first international conference devoted to answering questions overlooked by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. … George Will … wrote that if nations impose the reductions in energy use that Al Gore and the folks at RealClimate call for, they will cause “more preventable death and suffering than was caused in the last century by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined.” … The Heartland Institute is in the “skeptics” camp because we know alarmism is a tool that has been used … since as early as 1798 … Winners don’t exaggerate. Winners don’t lie” (“2008 International Conference on Climate Change – Opening Remarks delivered Sunday, March 2, 2008”; Joseph L. ‘pharaonic god of science’ Bast, Conference Host, President, The Heartland Institute; heartland.org). “‘Yes, we plead guilty to promoting ‘inaction’—‘Skeptics will proudly celebrate the collapse of Copenhagen Treaty’. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spewed out a rhetorical barrage on climate skeptics worldwide. … Climate Depot has undertaken a point by point rebuttal to Rudd’s claims. … Rudd Claim: Our “children’s fate – and our grandchildren’s fate – will lie entirely with [skeptics’ opposition]. Climate Depot Response: Nice maudlin touch, Mr. Rudd. … Climate Depot takes full responsibility for the fate of your children and grandchildren from any future man-made climate catastrophe” (“Australian PM warns skeptics ‘are too ‘dangerous to ignore’ and are ‘holding the world to ransom’”, By Marc ‘Eskimo cyst’ Morano, Climate Depot Editorial”; editorial abuse by Joseph D’Aleo; icecap.us, 11/6/09).

  120. Doug Little

    So why are true climate scientists NOT allowed to ‘pick apart new ideas’ in your little club???
    i.e. actual climate scientists like Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Roy Spencer, etc. etc…..

    Got evidence that the IPCC is actually repressing anything. That would be funny because both Richard and John have contributed to the IPCC reports.

  121. Alecto

    Doug Little Said:

    “What I was talking about as being a non event is that it didn’t change any of the conclusions that came from that data or any theories that the data was shown to support.”

    As a skeptic I find your faith in scientific institutions that have been shown to be untrustworthy a little unsettling. The whole edifice of climate science, and science in general is suspect in the light of current events. The government should be working to make all of science extremely open to public scrutiny by the skeptics of all scientific theories.
    This is the only way that falsehoods perpetuated by the scientific establishment can be dealt with.

  122. Doug Little

    As a skeptic I find your faith in scientific institutions that have been shown to be untrustworthy a little unsettling. The whole edifice of climate science, and science in general is suspect in the light of current events. The government should be working to make all of science extremely open to public scrutiny by the skeptics of all scientific theories.
    This is the only way that falsehoods perpetuated by the scientific establishment can be dealt with.

    As a skeptic you don’t seem to understand what science is. If someone has been dishonest in the scientific community the they get weeded out fairly quickly, piltdown man, cold fusion, etc. Science is the best and only tool that we have to understand what reality is. You realize that anybody can find and read a published paper on the internet right. If you have a problem with the paper and can show where it is wrong then I’m sure that the original author would be grateful so that he can then make an adjustment and hopefully move forward with his work.

    Oh and sorry to disappoint your preconceptions but the climate scientists have been cleared of any wrongdoing, I afraid to say that the fantasy land you live in well it conflicts with reality. Obviously in Alecto land science is a popularity contest where the general public can scrutinize something that they probably cant even read let alone understand, if that was the way science was done where do you think we would be as a society today? The enlightenment would never have happened that’s for sure.

    You know what if you think science is so unreliable the why don’t you go live with the Armish, they reject most of the technology that teh evil science is responsible for.

  123. Sarah Pressman

    Doug Little said:

    “Oh and sorry to disappoint your preconceptions but the climate scientists have been cleared of any wrongdoing, I afraid to say that the fantasy land you live in well it conflicts with reality. Obviously in Alecto land science is a popularity contest where the general public can scrutinize something that they probably cant even read let alone understand, if that was the way science was done where do you think we would be as a society today? The enlightenment would never have happened that’s for sure. ”

    Doug, how nasty of you to write such callous words! Science should be a social endeavour open to all regardless of lack of knowledge or education. We should all be able to decide, by the amazing democracy of internet blogging, which science is nice and which science is part of a liberal lefty non skeptic agenda foisted upon us by corrupt selfish so called “scientists” that can’t do science properly.
    Anyone can be a climate scientist! Just look at Lord Monckton, and a plethora of quite capable people who didn’t even study the subject of “climate science”, but are giving excellent peer reviewed critiques of the so called “science “churned out by the amateurs that bothered to learn some so called “climate science”!

  124. Doug Little

    Anyone can be a climate scientist! come one come all!

    Have access to the internet, Check

    Have a general mistrust of science, Check

    Watch FOX News, Check.

    Know how to build straw men and knock them down, Check.

    Well then you have all the qualifications necessary to receive your advanced degree in climate science. For two simple payments of $29.99 we will send you a list of blogs where you can publish your ideas to have then peer reviewed.

  125. Ozonator

    But, if you buy into corporate welfare, you save $5 and get rent-boy as super hero and Marc Morano flashbacks.

    “Story #8: Financial Times: Police Quiz Climate Change Skeptics … something pretty outrageous, pretty damned outrageous in any number of ways that you have not seen in American State-Controlled Media? … “Police investigating the alleged theft of e-mails behind the recent ‘Climategate’ ….” … “… Local police are being helped by officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team ….” … Story #13: … Who’s going to read it and give you the details? … researchers at the Heritage Foundation … You walk in there and you see ‘em think. … And after they think it, then they write it, and that’s how you know what they’re thinking. Membership starts at just a paltry $25 a year” (“Stack of Stuff Quick Hits Page”; rushlimbaugh.com; 4/20/10).

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