How the Global Warming Story Changed, Disastrously, Due to "ClimateGate"

By Chris Mooney | December 9, 2009 12:57 pm

I’ve contributed another post to the Science Progress blog; it’s about how climate skeptics and deniers have been winning the PR battle the past two years, with science defenders and advocates still far too disorganized and ineffective. Here’s a sampling:

The new skeptic strategy began with a ploy that initially seemed so foolish, so petty, that it was unworthy of dignifying with a response. The contrarians seized upon the hottest year in the global temperature record, 1998—which happens to have been a powerful El Nino year, hence the record—and began to hammer the message that there had been “no warming in a decade” since then.

It was, in truth, little more than a damn lie with statistics. Those in the science community eventually pointed out that global warming doesn’t mean every successive year will be hotter than the last one—global temperatures be on the rise without a new record being set every year. All climate theory predicts is that we will see a warming trend, and we certainly have. Or as the U.S. EPA recently put it, “Eight of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001.” But none of them beat 1998; and so the statistical liars, like George Will of the Washington Post, continued their charade.

The public was quite vulnerable to such messages: Americans don’t know climate science very well, and the notion that temperatures aren’t actually “rising” after all must have spurred many doubts. Indeed, I suspect the “no warming since 1998” line of attack helped contribute to an alarming finding released in October by the Pew Research Center: the proportion of Americans agreeing there is “solid evidence the earth is warming” had declined to 57 percent, from 71 percent a year and a half earlier. And those attributing warming to human activities—the robust scientific consensus view—had dwindled from 47 percent to 36 percent over the same time period.

This blow, however, was nothing compared to the “ClimateGate” saga of November, in which a bevy of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom were illegally obtained and exposed, thus generating a dramatic scandal over the climate scientists’ alleged attempts to silence skeptics and thwart freedom of information requests….“ClimateGate” generated a massive wave of media attention, blending together the skeptics’ longstanding focus on undercutting climate science with a new overwhelming message of scandal and wrongdoing on the part of the climate research establishment. This story was not going to go away, and even as scientists put out statements (most of them several days late) explaining that the science of climate remains unchanged and unaffected by whatever went on at East Anglia, the case for human-caused global warming was dealt a blow the likes of which we have perhaps never before seen.

You can read the full post here. As you can see, I’m pretty down on what has happened, but I believe it also reinforces the message of Unscientific America–we have really got to realize what we are up against, and privilege communication in a truly new and radical way–or else we’ll keep getting it handed to us.

Comments (126)

  1. Anonymous Coward

    “and privilege communication in a truly new and radical way”

    Okay, I’m an idiot, but what does that mean?

    It sounds vague and new agey, but I assume you have an operational definition for that you can make clear.

  2. Blue Light

    It sounds like it means “we have to find a way to “trick” the data, corrupt the peer-review process and threaten dissidents WITHOUT getting caught”.

  3. Freely Speaking

    Global warming caused by the AGW writers’ straw man immolations?

  4. peppanicky

    “The public was quite vulnerable to such messages: Americans don’t know climate science very well, and the notion that temperatures aren’t actually “rising” after all must have spurred many doubts.”

    That darned public. They are just so stupid! If we could just get them out of the way….there would be no one to question our theories.

    “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” –Albert Einstein

  5. John Dailey

    If you want to be taken seriously, you might want to stop using the “denier” slur (a transparently false attempt to link climate realists to Holocaust Deniers). This is merely a McCarthyite tactic used to silence dissent in the same manner that was demonstrated by the CRU emails. If the science was clear, you wouldn’t need to utilize McCarthyism to achieve your goals.

    JD

  6. CW

    I think I’ve come to the realization that either scientists need to find the correct models and formulas that adhere to global warming trends and thus, be able to make predictions…or nothing seriously is going to get done until a catastrophe strikes.

    Maybe global warming believers (and writers) need to examine previous issues in which science faced similar political/social resistance, and do comparative analyses? Didn’t science that indicated a link between tobacco and cancer have a similar resistance? What about acid rain? Or DDT pesticides? There’s got to be previous examples of how science was finally able to win the debate on these issues?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    This is intended to tease everyone on all sides of this….

    It’s unfortunate the emails called McIntyre a McCarthyite. It’s dated. In 2009/10, the appropriate meme is to call him an Alinskyite.

    And so, it’s not McCarthyism when Mooney links climate skepticism to Holocaust Denial. In 2009/10, it’s Alinskyism.

    I hope that helps everyone.

  8. bilbo

    If you want to be taken seriously, you might want to stop using the “denier” slur (a transparently false attempt to link climate realists to Holocaust Deniers). This is merely a McCarthyite tactic used to silence dissent in the same manner that was demonstrated by the CRU emails.

    Or, more realistically, it could be used to refer to people who deny that climate change is happening and/or is caused by humans – you know, the definition of ‘denier’: one who denies. But I like the conspiracy angle, John. Very…..how should I put it?….”McCarthyistic.”

    Personally, I’ve never tried to equate a climate change denier to a Holocaust denier, either overtly or in my head. Are climate change deniers Holocaust deniers? Of course not! Do most climate change deniers harbor a marginal knowledge of the scientific method, peer review process, and basic principles of physical science? Most definitely. That doesn’t make you a Holocause denier. It makes you willfully ignorant. There are differences, silly.

  9. James
  10. bilbo

    Maybe global warming believers (and writers) need to examine previous issues in which science faced similar political/social resistance, and do comparative analyses? Didn’t science that indicated a link between tobacco and cancer have a similar resistance? What about acid rain? Or DDT pesticides? There’s got to be previous examples of how science was finally able to win the debate on these issues?

    CW has hit the jackpot. What’s even more frightening is that many of the same people who are climate change skeptics (especially the “big” names in that arena) are the same people who denied that tobacco has a link with cancer, who denied that acid rain and the ozone hole even existed, and claim that the ban of DDT was a science-sponsored hoax in order to hurt industry financially.

    And what’s even more scary than that? Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer, still think that acid rain and the ozone hole don’t exist, and still think that the DDT ban was just “The Man” trying to exert power over the little guy.

    You can’t talk sense into people who have none to begin with. Look out! There’s another conspiracy around the corner!!!!!!!!

  11. Wavefunction

    John Dailey, thanks for floating a diverting canard previously floated by another commenter. Fine straw man you are erecting. Nobody here was remotely thinking of the Holocaust except you. A denier should be called what he is…it has nothing to do with the Holocaust.

    The other day somebody said that quantum mechanics has made no practical contribution which could not have been made by classical physics. The ignorance in this statement is so staggering that I called this cretin a quantum mechanics denier. Now don’t accuse me of thinking about the Holocaust when I said this.

  12. Unklar Klaar

    The fact is that the science on global warming is far from definitive. Calling people names is not going to change that or win converts to your views. Back in the 1970s when I was in college, we were given a balanced account of both global warming and global cooling. At the time, scientists were convinced that a new ice age was upon us. Persuade with facts, not with ridicule and half-truths.

  13. andrew

    “The fact is that the science on global warming is far from definitive.”

    Maybe we need to work on your definition of ‘fact’, or maybe ‘definitive’?

  14. Marklaar

    Climategate is about people messing with the temperature record, tailoring data and algorithms to “prove” human-caused global warming, and the attempt to manipulate the peer review process and the press to prevent dissenting viewpoints from being heard.

    This is continuing and all you need to do is search google news, yahoo, bing, etc, for climategate to see it.

    Also, why are delegates at Copenhagen being féted with caviar, limos and private jets? Shouldn’t they be trying to meet and operate in a low-carbon-footprint manner? Oh but that is for the rabble. Critical players in government and science will have unlimited carbon budgets because their work is all in the public interest.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    “Nobody here was remotely thinking of the Holocaust except you. A denier should be called what he is…it has nothing to do with the Holocaust.”

    I for one, don’t think that’s true. I do have a bias, I am Jewish. My father served in B-17s over Germany. When I hear denier, I mainly and only think of Holocaust.

    My biased suspicion is that most people to do.

    Brad DeLong made some outrageous claim that he first thought it was some reference to some piece of literature.

    My perusal of various skeptic sites since this thing blew up three weeks ago is that denier is absolutely not accurate in any sense for the majority of the critics mentioned in the emails: McIntyre, Pielke Sr., Jr., …. These people neither deny AGW and are environmentalists by personal behavior and public persona by any stretch of the imagination. They do not deny AGW at all. They question magnitudes and conclusions.

    I do think denier is a complete and total slur intended to bring up the Holocaust, and I do find it offensive both because it is a sign of the politicized debate and because it demeans these critics as well as the 20M victims of the Holocaust.

    It goes to demonstrate Chris Mooney/Jones/Mann’s allegiance to Alinsky.

  16. W. Holder

    bilbo writes “most climate change deniers harbor a marginal knowledge of the scientific method, peer review process, and basic principles of physical science”

    It is probably more correct to say this of most AGW adherents.

    I don’t think anyone can deny there has been some regional warming. The question is how serious is this and what is the cause. Anthropogenic Global Warming has turned into a faith or religion and as with all religions, any evidence that this faith is unfounded is met with extreme resistance. Mankind has devestated this planet and there seems to be a lot of chaos. It’s crowded – in a very short period of time (140 years) we have gone from 1 billion people to almost 7 billion people. I believe the emphasis on AGW is a knee-jerk reaction to these facts. Exactly what are we to do when the planet cools a little again as it did during the Little Ice Age a short while ago – release massive amounts of greenhouse gasses to counter the cooling? Isn’t it enough that 17,000 children die of hunger everyday or that 1 billion people don’t have ready access to clean water? I mean are there not enough very real and indisputable problems we must address ahead of the speculative problem of AGW. Living things have always had to adapt to a changing climate. Let us adapt, be sensible about energy consumption (that means Al Gore not using up as much energy as a dozen average american families) and let us come together to deal with the very real and ongoing problems and suffering that exist all around us right now.

  17. CANCON

    I agree with Professor Richard Lindzen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said:

    “future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age

    Denier, don’t skirt that one. It is so convenient. “I never think about that term and draw a parallel to the Nazi’s”. Not in my head , no no no. The warmest know this a scare word and that it has an impact. Typical Alinsky tactics abound in the group think and condesending words of the warmest religion. Question intellect, name calling, all typical. Most people prefer terms like challengers, Can we just start refering to them as the Doomdayers!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    In the past few years we’ve seen several worldwide rock concerts that used the Internet as well as teleconferencing techniques to bring a worldwide audience together. (Boxing fights too.)

    It really is a damn shame, a totally missed opportunity, a sign of elitism, and yes, a real reason for the public to just see “same old same old” and “taxpayer ripoff” and “rich get rich poor get poor” when Copenhagen utilizes NONE of this technology and serves caviar to officials and the rich who jet in on 140 private jets.

    Instead of one Copenhagen, how about a dozen local copenhagens, conferenced together, and much more accessible to the public?

    Could there have been a better way to breed public cynicism about global climate change?

    Perhaps Copenhagen is what Chris meant about privileged communication.

  19. Al Gore is repeatedly stating the mantra that the climategate e-mails are ALL “10 years old” or older (which obviously they are not).

    Why?

  20. Wavefunction

    The fact that you may not agree with who we call deniers does not mean there are no deniers around. I have used “denialist” and “denier” alternatively and don’t mind using denialist more often. And you may think all you want that denier is a slur and is supposed to suggest comparison with the Holocaust; all I can say is that I have never ever meant it that way, not even unconsciously.

  21. Sean

    Bilbo says “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer”

    Bilbo, can you please list for us the “many” climate change skeptics who still think tobacco has no link with cancer? If you can’t fit all the names into one comment, just give us 10 or 20, or maybe put up a series of comments where you comprehensively list all of the folks in this category.

  22. mark

    There is no “down” in science. “Down” implies dissapoinment in the outcome. Scientific data should not have a goal in mind. If your goal is to prove mankind acts badly and damages the earth and its animal kingdom, then contrary data would be dissapointing to you. Let the all the ideas be hammered by experts to see if they withstand the great minds of today, independent of social engineering and politics. Remember one fact that most Joe’s dont know: CO2 compromises only .04% of our atmoshere. It has been higher in the past then it has been today. It is not known if the CO2 increases causes the warming, or it is the result of warming . The last hundred years are naturally rising in accordace to the history of cycles in climate change. Plus CO2 is a weak greeenhouse gas. Plus, all things suck in an ice age..they thrive in warming. There are so many questions. Not enough answers. Not enough facts to change our laws and lives over. Bring on the debates, leave out the goals..

  23. Sean

    And by the way, my above comment should have said “Bilbo, can you please list for us the “many” climate change skeptics _here_ (trolling on this blog) who still think tobacco has no link with cancer?”

  24. Hank

    Whoever it was at the CRU who leaked those emails, first to a BBC reporter who ignored them and later to a public server, is a hero who has finally exposed the global warming cabal for the frauds, schemers and cheaters that they are. It’s disgraceful that a magazine that lionizes science is unable to see how science has been corrupted by these evil players.

  25. TomInAK

    “we have really got to realize what we are up against, and privilege communication in a truly new and radical way–or else we’ll keep getting it handed to us”

    Am I correct to interpret this as a call for even more secrecy and less transparency? Somehow I think this might not be the best way to regain the public’s trust.

  26. bilbo

    Bilbo, can you please list for us the “many” climate change skeptics who still think tobacco has no link with cancer? If you can’t fit all the names into one comment, just give us 10 or 20, or maybe put up a series of comments where you comprehensively list all of the folks in this category

    Sean, a cursory browse through the last couple of weeks’ denialist comment bombardment will bring up the following trinkets, among many others:

    “The ban of DDT was a government-initiated ploy to destroy industry and gain worldwide control over our economy which has instead resulted in millions of deaths. It was not based on sound science. Our government should be held accountable for those deaths”

    “Acid rain is just as big a hoax as the one the AGW warmers are paradeing (sic) now. It was nothing more than money-hungry scientists fudging data so that Big Government could impose a cap-and-tax system on industry.”

    “Scientists use fancy words like “multivariate” and fancy statistics to confuse the American public. They’ve done it for decades with so-called environmental “issues” to twist small issues into leverage for politicians to use to gain control over our economy at the expense of the people.”

  27. You could try reading books and thinking for yourself. The UN’s own High Level Panel puts Environmental Degradation #3 after Poverty and Infectious Disease. Climate Change is a small part of #3, and carbon a miniscule part of Climate Change. Sorry, but chanting mantras no longer cuts it. The Chair of the IPCC is a fraud ande a liar, a railway engineer emblematic of the worst of UN practices.

  28. MartinM

    I’d be inclined to take the denialists more seriously if a) the vast majority of their comments were more than just empty rhetoric, and b) when they did bother commenting on substance, they didn’t get it horribly wrong.

    The two obvious examples here: no, scientists in the 1970′s were not convinced we were headed for an ice age, and no, the CRU e-mails were not leaked to the BBC; one of their reporters simply confirmed the authenticity of a few on which he was copied.

  29. bilbo

    W. Holder, you said:

    Anthropogenic Global Warming has turned into a faith or religion and as with all religions, any evidence that this faith is unfounded is met with extreme resistance.

    Go read some Imre Lakatos or Thomas Kuhn on the basic workings of science. Yes, science very much does often herd itself into “camps” of researchers who support similar theories and attempt to shield them from attack. This is true from climate science to cancer research to mechanical engineering to particle physics. It’s the nature of the field, and it’s worked this way for centuries.

    But here’s the distinction you’re missing: scientists form these camps based off of the overwhelming amount of evidence that supports their theory. Such is the case with scientists who accept climate change – we now have two to three decades’ worth of 1000s of independent publications making the exact same conclusions from entirely independent analyses of entirely independent datasets spanning from climatic variables to nutrient cycling to species ranges to breeding seasons. ALL of them indicate the same conclusion: the climate is changing, and man has a role.

    If enough scientific evidence can be presented to contradict those conclusions, then we’ll have a day of reckoning and the scientific community will be forced to change their mind and that “camp” will be overturned. But here’s the catch: the evidence has to be SCIENTIFIC evidence, not people screaming about conspiracies and politics and pointing fingers on their blogs. The only way to disprove science is with science – especially when you’re trying to disprove something that’s been backed up by decades’ worth of independent research. If all you can offer as far as refutation is concerned is muttered accusations of conspiracies, talk about how you “just don’t think” man could have a role in climate, or political rants, the scientific community will (rightfully) ignore you.

    To date, I have never seen a solid, scientifically-based argument contradicting AGW with real analyses and real data and that doesn’t eventually boil down to politics. There’s probably a very good reason for that.

  30. Larry Johnson

    If you are pro-science, go read this….

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

    the temperature record is a fraud…take the red pill…see for yourself

  31. MartinM

    If you are pro-science, go read this….

    …and then read this.

  32. I’m glad it’s so obvious to the author that lack of warming over the last decade is easily explained by 1998′s El Nino, and that people who claim that we’ve not had much warming since then are either ignorant or liars.

    I mean, ignorant liars like Climategate scientist Trenberth–who said in October 2009 that “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t…”–simply can’t be trusted.

    I mean, who is Trenberth to say, after all?

    Oh, wait….

  33. Dave McK

    I read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear. Now I watch it happeining in the news.
    Rationally, I understand that a moron can never even understand what a moron is because – it would be oxymoron. There is evil and there is stupid – either one is deadly.

    So I guess we’ll be having a civil war when it comes time to pay for this.

  34. Sean

    Bilbo, can you please list for us the “many” climate change skeptics trolling on this blog who still think tobacco has no link with cancer?

    If you can’t fit all the names into one comment, just give us 10 or 20, or maybe put up a series of comments where you comprehensively list all of the folks in this category.

    To refresh your memory, you said “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here [i] still [/i] think that tobacco has no link with cancer …”

  35. MartinM

    I mean, ignorant liars like Climategate scientist Trenberth–who said in October 2009 that “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t…”–simply can’t be trusted.

    …and now, here’s what Trenberth actually thinks.

  36. Larry Johnson

    MartinM Says:
    December 9th, 2009 at 3:17 pm
    If you are pro-science, go read this….
    …and then read this.

    I read it, it doesn’t say much except to that Eschenbach’s review of the raw data doesn’t synch with the Australian govt’s ‘homogenized’ (excuse me, I mean ‘high quality’) data. But this was Eschenbach’s point. Do you automatically trust data because someone calls it ‘high-quality’ and their blanket assurances and hand-waving that the ‘homogenization’ has been done properly? I am quite comfortable having someone reading these side by side and drawing their own conclusions. It includes the typical alarmist denunciations of ‘lies!’ without much backup.

  37. bilbo

    Sean:

    Read, buddy. Come on.

  38. Sean

    Bilbo, you said “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer …”

    I asked you to provide names of commenters who “still think that tobacco has no link with cancer”.

    You have not.

    Write, buddy. Come on.

  39. MartinM

    I read it, it doesn’t say much except to that Eschenbach’s review of the raw data doesn’t synch with the Australian govt’s ‘homogenized’ (excuse me, I mean ‘high quality’) data.

    Oh, right. I forgot that if two organisations independently come to the same results, it just means that they’re both in on the conspiracy.

    Meanwhile, Eschenbach’s only argument is ‘the results of the homogenisation don’t look right to me, therefore it’s wrong. No, I won’t actually state what’s wrong with the process they use.’

  40. bilbo

    Ah, Sean – I see now! I said:

    “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer, still think that acid rain and the ozone hole don’t exist, and still think that the DDT ban was just “The Man” trying to exert power over the little guy.

    …but YOU used a small cherry-pick from that phrase, cut about 3/4 of it off, and left only the following:

    “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer”

    Classic cherry-pick. Garbage engenders garbage, I suppose. S’ok, though. I’ve got one to back up that fraction of a piece of a statement of mine, too. From a comment on this blog:

    “Stop your selfrighteous preaching, bilbo. The tobacco industry has been just as demonized by ‘scientists’ as the fossil fuel industry with these ‘scientists’ false allegations about smoking causing cancer. There’s a lot of money available if you’re a scientist perpetrating a hoax in either field.”

    Now, shall you continue to argue sematics like a little child, or will you accuse me of fabricating quotes now like a petty, desperate adult? Because I honestly don’t see you taking a mature way out of this one.

  41. bilbo

    I’m glad it’s so obvious to the author that lack of warming over the last decade is easily explained by 1998’s El Nino, and that people who claim that we’ve not had much warming since then are either ignorant or liars

    Hell Sean, if we’re gonna play the cherry-pick game, I could just as easily post the latest assessments from NOAA that both show that ice extent and temperature data indicate that (and I quote) “the supposed ‘cooling trend’ of the last few years was indeed a temporary fluctuation, and it appears that large-scale warming is again occurring across the globe.”

    But who are those silly NOAA people, anyway? Probably just more members of the conspiracy, making up data….

  42. John M

    You conclude: “I believe it also reinforces the message of Unscientific America–we have really got to realize what we are up against, and privilege communication in a truly new and radical way–or else we’ll keep getting it handed to us.”

    I found this blog following Climategate and was hoping to find thought-provoking information. After reading several posts over a few days, instead I’ve found out that Chris and Sheril are among the most anti-scientific people on the planet. “Privilege communication” goes against the history of science, against everything I learned in graduate school, and against everything I taught undergraduates in research methods courses. “Privilege communication” is petty power-mad advocacy and precisely what one does to succeed politically over the short term but which leads to failure and revolution over the long term. Niccolo Machiavelli would feel right at home on this blog.

    For example, just because one knows creationism is silly doesn’t mean one has to insult those members of the general public who believe in it. A funny thing about ‘beliefs’ is that the believers will die for their cause–particularly if “God is on their side.” Witness abortion politics and Islamic terrorism. To be scientific one MUST persuade through openness, logic, and facts. All other approaches lead to a world of tradition-based dogma (leftists have a way of inventing new dogmas quickly while right-wingers never abandon old dogmas). About climate change in particular, if its so easy to manipulate the data then perhaps (as skeptics say) the changes are in fact small and/or the science is not settled. Nothing more to it…nothing surprising at all.

    Ironically, Chris and Sheril are reinventing and reinforcing the problems they are trying to eliminate. I encourage everyone to ignore them so hopefully they’ll go away.

  43. MartinM

    “Privilege communication” goes against the history of science, against everything I learned in graduate school, and against everything I taught undergraduates in research methods courses. “Privilege communication” is petty power-mad advocacy and precisely what one does to succeed politically over the short term but which leads to failure and revolution over the long term. Niccolo Machiavelli would feel right at home on this blog.

    …what? Focussing on communicating science to the public is Machiavellian?

  44. MartinM

    Oh, I see. You’re interpreting that in the same way Tom did:

    Am I correct to interpret this as a call for even more secrecy and less transparency? Somehow I think this might not be the best way to regain the public’s trust.

    No. One of the major themes of this blog (indeed, precisely what our hosts’ book is about) is how to best communicate science to the public. That’s what Chris means by privileging communication; he’s saying the scientific community needs to work harder at getting the facts out.

  45. Larry Johnson

    Meanwhile, Eschenbach’s only argument is ‘the results of the homogenisation don’t look right to me, therefore it’s wrong. No, I won’t actually state what’s wrong with the process they use.’

    They don’t explain their process, that’s the problem. We can’t state what’s wrong with it. And laundry lists of generic factors that went into the ‘homogenization’ don’t count. But it smells bad. That’s how most fraud is detected. BS detector.

  46. Matt

    All I have to say about the emails is that the skeptics forced the scientists at the CRU to fake their sceince so they could expose them.

  47. @Matt

    All I have to say about the emails is that the skeptics forced the scientists at the CRU to fake their sceince so they could expose them.

    Where, specifically, in the emails do you find any evidence of faked science? Can you quote, in context, from the relevant emails and tell us in your own words how they show any faked science?

  48. MartinM

    What, this isn’t an explanation?

    If you actually look at the raw data, it’s pretty bloody obvious why the station 0 record has been adjusted in the way it has. The step change around 1940 is obviously due to the shift of the station and the addition of a Stevenson screen. And the addition of an upwards trend from that point on is to bring it into line with stations 1 and 2, which track each other almost exactly, and both show a strong warming trend from 1940 (1950 in the case of station 1, since that’s when it starts) to 1990.

  49. Matt

    The left’s integrity extends even to their science.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    It’s probably because I’m dim and have no Ph.D but

    “That’s what Chris means by privileging communication; he’s saying the scientific community needs to work harder at getting the facts out.”

    If that’s his message it’s a very strange way of saying it. It’s almost an opposite day message.

    As I said above it comes off vague and new agey, others feel it comes off as a call for secrecy. And I asked for an operational definition.

    Just saying that if Chris wants to communicate to the public, he may wish to consider that many of us haven’t had all the english deconstruction necessary to understanding his opposite day way of writing clearly.

  51. bad Jim

    Anyone who doesn’t understand what Mooney meant would do well to read his preceding post.

  52. Harpo

    Just so everybody understands. The putative (I got that from Mike Mann) empirical link between CO2 and Global temperature comes directly from the work of Micheal Mann. His “Hockey Stick” has been shown to be suspect. There are discussion in the emails about “containing” the “putative” Medieval Warm Period in order to bolster the case that CO2 causes dangerous warming.

    That is what’s going on here. The science is not settled. Mann and Jones are scientific frauds. The whole AGW case is a house of cards resting on the “Hockey Stick”. If the stick falls, the theory falls, the models fall and the policy position falls.

    Anybody who doesn’t get that needs to go back to school.

  53. ehmoran

    For all the realists that find problems with anthropogenic climate change hypothesis, or should I say Global Warming, oh that’s not PC anymore.

    In 1890’s, Arrhenius built upon Fourier’s assessment of atmospheric properties plotting CO2 and temperature data collected in industrialized England. Arrhenius’ plots and calculations related CO2 and ambient temperatures. Callendar (1930’s) extended the analysis using long term observations from 200 stations reiterating the relation between CO2 and climate warming. Keeling (1950’s) began collecting atmospheric CO2 samples at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii which is the most complete record.

    USGS reports all volcanic activity produces nearly 200-million tons CO2 annually; although much less than human activity production. Mauna Loa, near the Observatory and the world’s most active volcano, had major eruptions in 1950, 1975, and 1984. Atmospheric CO2 levels measured at volcanoes indicate the degree of activity and estimated heat flow from one volcano are reported at140-mW/m2. Correlating CO2 and temperatures data collected near active volcanoes should be significant but not show a cause and effect relation; however, correlating world-wide data significantly shows CO2 lagging temperature by approximately two years. Arrhenius and Callendar analysis similarly could be significantly biased owing to urban heat-island effects and extensive coal burning at the time, as CO2 is an abundant byproduct of burning.

    Apparently, no laboratory control experiment to date, such as in a biodome, has shown CO2 levels influencing ambient temperatures. Tyndall (1861) measured the absorptive characteristics of CO2 followed by more precise measurements by Burch (1970). Absorbance is a measure of the quantity of light (energy) absorbed by a sample (CO2 molecule) and the amount of absorbed energy can be represented as specific heat of a substance. Specific heat of CO2 ranges from 0.791-kJ/kgK at 0-degrees F to 0.871-kJ/kgK at 125-degrees F and average atmospheric concentrations are 0.0306-percent. As revealed, the specific heat of CO2 increases as ambient temperatures increase showing CO2 likely is an ambient temperature buffer.

    The atmosphere contains from 4-percent water vapor in the troposphere to 40-percent near the surface. Specific heat of water vapor relatively remains constant at 1.996-kJ/kgK. Water absorbs energy (heat) and evaporates to water vapor. During condensation (precipitation), latent heat is released to the atmosphere thus increasing ambient temperatures. Water vapor holds the majority of atmospheric heat and regulates climate and temperature more than any compound. Historically, however, water vapor characteristics as related to climate were much less appreciated, but investigations concerning the significance water vapor plays in global climate-dynamics are just beginning.

    Energy not stored in the atmosphere is released into space through radiation. Re-radiation is the emission of previously absorbed radiation by molecules. Specific heat of water vapor and CO2 molecules shows that water vapor reradiates significantly more energy back to the surface and this case further is justified by quantities of each compound. Thus, this synopsis and other publications suggest that minute variations in atmospheric CO2 concentrations likely results in an insignificant affect on climate; whereas water vapor likely is the significant factor. Nevertheless, this argument easily could be rectified with an appropriate biodome-type control experiment.

  54. ehmoran

    For all those coming to this blog site to discuss opposing views of climate change, a phenomena occurring for nearly 4.6 Billion years, you’ll have a one way conversation likely ending with you being insulted and attacked.

    Retain you’re sanity and find a friendly bog site with real scientists willing to discuss the topic without politic or financial influence…….

  55. ehmoran

    Hurricane Expert Rips Climate Fears: ‘There has been an unrelenting quarter century of one-sided indoctrination’

    The following commentary is from Atmospheric Scientist and Hurricane forecasting specialist Dr. William Gray. Gray is the renowned hurricane forecaster and Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU).

    Puncturing the Climate Balloon
    by Bill Gray

    December 8, 2009

    Had I not devoted my entire career of over half-a-century to the study and forecasting of meteorological and climate events I would have likely been concerned over the possibility of humans causing serious global climate degradation.

    There has been an unrelenting quarter century of one-sided indoctrination of the western world by the media and by various scientists and governments concerning a coming carbon dioxide (CO_2 ) induced global warming disaster. These warming scenarios have been orchestrated by a combination of environmentalists, vested interest scientists wanting larger federal grants and publicity, the media which profits from doomsday scenario reporting, governmental bureaucrats who want more power over our lives, and socialists who want to level-out global living standards. These many alarmist groups appear to have little concern over whether their global warming prognostications are accurate, however. And they most certainly are not. The alarmists believe they will be able to scare enough of our citizens into believing their propaganda that the public will be willing to follow their advice on future energy usage and agree to a lowering of their standard of living in the name of climate salvation.

    Rising levels of CO_2 are not near the threat these alarmists have portrayed them to be. There has yet to be a honest and broad scientific debate on the basic science of CO_2 ‘s influence on global temperature. The global climate models predicting large amounts of global warming for a doubling of CO_2 are badly flawed. They should never have been used to establish government climate policy.

    The last century’s global warming of about 1 degree F is not a consequence of human activities. This warming is primarily the result of a multi-century changes in the globe’s deep ocean circulation. These ocean current changes have lead to a small and gradual increase in the globe’s temperature. We are coming out of the Little Ice Age and into a generally warmer climate state. This is akin to the warmer global climate of the Medieval Period. We can do nothing but adapt to such long period natural temperature changes.

    The recent ‘ClimateGate’ revelations coming out of the UK University of East Anglia are but the tip of a giant iceberg of a well organized international climate warming conspiracy that has been gathering momentum for the last 25 years. This conspiracy would become much more manifest if all the e-mails of the publically funded climate research groups of the US and of foreign governments were ever made public.

    The disastrous economic consequences of restricting CO_2 emissions from the present by as much as 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 (as being proposed in Copenhagen) have yet to be digested by the general public. Such CO_2 output decreases would cause very large increases in our energy costs, a lowering of our standard of living, and do nothing of significance to improve our climate.

    The Cap-and-Trade bill presently before Congress, the likely climate agreements coming out of the Copenhagen Conference, and the EPA’s just announced decision to treat CO_2 as a pollutant represents a grave threat to the industrial world’s continued economic development. We should not allow these proposals to restrict our economic growth. Any United Nations climate bill our country might sign would act as an infringement on our country’s sovereignty.

  56. ehmoran

    Make no bones about this.

    Cap and Trade is designed to pay for government run health care and current entitlements which are broke. This plan was laid out by the University of Mass about four years ago. Other types of social and economic reports written by their affiliates will give you insight into the future direction of the US so as to fit into the World view dogma, specifically voiced and written by the Club of Rome…

    Read the materials for yourself and decide……

  57. John

    Deniers calling deniers deniers.. I know you are but what am I.. My dad can beat up your dad.. Is this what 500 billion dollars of research buys? Childish games? We dont care about the emails.. just the data.. How was it gathered and how was it compiled..
    A open and honest accounting of the entire process..

  58. John

    Yes it seems that all governments are flat broke and need a new and massive stream of cash to be able to move forward.. Our choice is to eat the scam that global warming is or cut the size of our government by 50%.. I say we drag the criminals out into the light and take the axe to government.. They have no problem bending us over for a extra 1/3 of what we make.. Based on fictional green lies..

  59. Larry Johnson

    “50. MartinM Says:
    December 9th, 2009 at 6:47 pm
    What, this isn’t an explanation?
    If you actually look at the raw data, it’s pretty bloody obvious why the station 0 record has been adjusted in the way it has. The step change around 1940 is obviously due to the shift of the station and the addition of a Stevenson screen. And the addition of an upwards trend from that point on is to bring it into line with stations 1 and 2, which track each other almost exactly, and both show a strong warming trend from 1940 (1950 in the case of station 1, since that’s when it starts) to 1990.”

    Appreciate any valid explanation, but I’m not follow’ ya. Willis says they all pretty much agree (all three) so why adjust any of them. Then he says they adjusted 0 and 1 but left 2 untouched. They all look pretty close to me. So I still think his concerns are valid. Maybe I’m missing something.

  60. Dr Mo

    Yet another CRU-gate denier.. Oops did I just call you a “denier”?!?

  61. Andrew

    It was much warmer during the medieval warming period.

    There are Vikings buried in permafrost in Greenland.
    The permafrost was not disturbed since it froze.
    It was not frozen when they were buried.
    I would call that warmer then today, a lot warmer.

    The ironic thing is that this evidence of the medieval warming period is in a museum in Copenhagen.

    The Fate of Greenland’s Vikings February 28, 2000 by Dale Mackenzie Brown
    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland

    Also, the medieval warming period was global.

    Fraudulent hockey sticks and hidden data
    joannenova.com.au/2009/12/fraudulent-hockey-sticks-and-hidden-data

    For a satirical look at the climategate computer programming (hiding the decline):
    Anthropogenic Global Warming Virus Alert.

    http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s5i64103

  62. Perhaps now is a good time to breathe deeply and celebrate.

    President Barack Obama is in Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a moment for rejoicing and listening to the words of a great person. He is deserving of a Nobel Prize because he is a beacon of light and hope in an awakening world that has suffered grievously through the past 8 long, dark years with leadership known mostly for its disasterous decisonmaking, disinformation, delay, denial, duplicity and dunderheadedness.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

  63. Cap and Trade is designed to pay for government run health care and current entitlements which are broke. – ehmoran

    Yes it seems that all governments are flat broke and need a new and massive stream of cash to be able to move forward.. Our choice is to eat the scam that global warming is or cut the size of our government by 50%. – John

    Guys, you know that governments don’t need to create a worldwide conspiracy to raise taxes, right?

  64. Arrow

    The main problem of AGW is that global climate models have never been experimentally verified.

    Since many people seem to have blinders on when it comes to climate imagine something else – imagine that someone claimed he has developed a successful computer model of evolution and that he can now predict where evolution will take a particular organism in 100 years.

    How should science deal with such a claim?

    There is only one way to verify such a claim – it has to pass experimental test. First one should check if the model successfully postdicts past evolution. If it passes this test the next step is to see if it can indeed make successful predictions – use it to predict evolution ten or twenty years into the future and wait to see if those predictions agree with reality.

    Only when the model passes both tests, meaning it can successfully postdict and predict evolution, it will deserve some trust but even then it may very well turn out that those results were a fluke and therefore the model will only be trustworthy if it is repeatedly shown to correctly predict evolution on the timescales on which it is to be used.

    If the model is unable to even postdict past evolution it is worthless.

    Now the same applies to any new models, before they can be trusted and considered part of established science they have to pass experimental verification. Experimental verification is what turns such models into science and it is the *only* thing that separates them from pseudoscience.

    A model and especially when it is complex should *never* be trusted if it has never passed experimental verification.

    Now consider this, not a single climate model used for predicting future global climate has ever passed rigorous experimental verification – not a single climate model has been shown to correctly postdict past climate, not a single climate model has been shown to successfully predict future climate.

    What it means is that climate predictions based on such models are *NOT* scientific and should *NEVER* be trusted, not until proper verification takes place.

    This also means that we cannot tell what impact manmade emissions have on climate – whether they account for 90% or 0.09% of the change. The only scientifically valid way to prove causation here requires experimentally verified climate models – one has to run such models with and without manmade emissions and then compare the results. Without trustworthy climate models this is of course impossible.

    To sum it up from a strictly scientific point of view AGW remains nothing more then a plausible hypothesis and future climate predictions are baseless speculations.

  65. gene

    Chris:

    This is the first time that I have stumbled upon your blog…I have a couple of questions.

    I see that you are well educated, but I see no indication of a degree in atmospheric sciences in your bio…did I miss something? I must have, because you write with the confidence of someone who most certainly has had a great deal of training in how the atmosphere actually works.

    Also, have you read ALL of the emails and data files from UEA? If not, your preparation for discussion of the impacts of those emails is grossly lacking.

  66. Sean

    Bilbo says:

    “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer, still think that acid rain and the ozone hole don’t exist, and still think that the DDT ban was just “The Man” trying to exert power over the little guy.”

    I asked him to back up his assertion that “many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer…” because frankly I have met hundreds of climate change skeptics and I have yet to meet a single person in my whole life who claims that tobacco has no link to cancer. So it would be very surprising if many of the people on this blog believed that tobacco has no link with cancer. If they did deny the link between tobacco and cancer it would cause me to doubt their objectivity, which I suppose is the point of Bilbo’s baseless accusation.

    Bilbo then posted one single quote from one commenter, which only proves that “one climate change skeptic here once (how long ago we don’t know) claimed that tobacco has no link with cancer”.

    Since Bilbo is very focused on context, perhaps he can post the link to that quote, so we can see when that comment was posted, what it was reacting to, and figure out why the heck that commenter would ever say such a thing, and what other kinds of nutty things he or she believes.

    The link, please, Bilbo.

  67. kadaka

    MartinM said: “The step change around 1940 is obviously due to the shift of the station and the addition of a Stevenson screen.”

    It wasn’t the Stevenson Screen.

    MartinM said: “And the addition of an upwards trend from that point on is to bring it into line with stations 1 and 2, which track each other almost exactly, and both show a strong warming trend from 1940 (1950 in the case of station 1, since that’s when it starts) to 1990.”

    So, I have a large mixing vat with three temperature sensors at three different locations, two are showing warming while one is not. Rather than studying the system and identifying why the one reads lower, and also checking the outside possibility that the one is valid while the other two have issues, I may instead confidently assume the warming is real at all three locations and adjust the readings from the one to “bring it into line” with the other two.

    This is science?

  68. TTT

    science defenders and advocates still far too disorganized and ineffective

    This is like saying “rape crisis counselors are still far too disorganized and ineffective”. Quit blaming the victims already. There was no way to “message” or “manage” the response to the SwiftHack. All people can do is what they have been doing: responding to it by pointing out how it is false. Can you frame ANY issue of science communication and awareness without fixating on how allegedly bad every scientist is at it–except for you, of course? Heck, you’re already here and yet this problem is worse than ever.

    Stephen Hawking is a fascinating guy, but I’d bet 99.99997% of people in the world do not understand quantum theory and could quite easily be misled by lies about it.

  69. Also, have you read ALL of the emails and data files from UEA? If not, your preparation for discussion of the impacts of those emails is grossly lacking.

    Likewise, maybe you should try reading all the published articles in the climate science literature. Get back to us when you’ve finished that.

  70. Patrick

    “I’m pretty down on what has happened, but I believe it also reinforces the message of Unscientific America–we have really got to realize what we are up against”

    Chris, you have no clue what you are up against.

    You are up against independently-minded thinkers who are unimpressed by shilling and phony illogical arguments … whether ad hominem (“denialist”, “oil company”), appeals to authority (“They are attacking science!”), double standards (“They are cherry-picking 1998″ all the while cherry picking selective data) etc.

    The “no warming since 1998″ meme has gained ground BECAUSE IT IS TRUE!
    The neglect of the natural impact on climate was ignored in the popular treatment of the topic, and still is.

    There was as much warming in 1900-1940 (pre-CO2 impact) as 1940-1980 (start of CO2 impact). The US is no warming in this decade than in the 1930s.
    The last 70 years have seen an increase of temperatures of about 0.4C, that amount of minor and modest warming contradicts IPCC models that predict much stronger effects.

    Yet the Warmists and Journalistic shills merely parrot the worst-case data points and ignore the FULL story. If Chris were a real journalist or a real scientist, he’d consider putting more balance in how he presents these issues. He seems more a partisan shill for one side when he attacks the skeptics so vehemently.

    #58 has a great “real science” view of our temperature record in recent and not-so-recent times …
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/

    on the basis of this, I’d ask the question “What is the ‘right’ temperature for the earth? Answer – there is no clear answer to this.

  71. Patrick

    “Focussing on communicating science to the public is Machiavellian?”

    Yes, it is. Einstein never worried about ‘skeptics’ to his theories. He just did his work. No scientist who is confident in his product would be offended by others wanting to check his work. That the Hockey Stick Team and CRU hated McIntyre for doing statistical checks on their work only proved that they LACKED confidence in their own work and felt the need to hide information from others.

    It suggests that they science is far from settled.

    ClimateGate is NOT a PR setback for the Global Warming scientists, it’s an exposure of light on their actions and words and data files. The embarrassment and setbacks are completely self-inflicted.

  72. gene

    Jinchi…you don’t even know what I think about climate science, and you start the ad hominem stuff….pretty lame. I was commenting on journalism, not climate science.

  73. Norm

    A plateau is the highest part of a rise, and the temperature has plateaued starting after 1998. The global temperature has also started cooling after 2002 with each successive year being cooler than the previous year except from 2004 to 2005. This is six years of cooling and one year of warming, which is why the trend for the last seven years is cooling not warming.
    The world has been warming since the Little Ice Age, but the warming seems to have ended for a while. Hopefully this is just short term as the 33 years from 1942 to 1975 when the world cooled with increasing CO2 emissions much like today. If this is in fact the end of the long period warming, we will greatly miss the fact that this decade which would be the warmest in about 300years may also be the warmest in the next 300 years if the Earth continues to cool. When you are at the top of the mountain there is no other way but down, so while Mann can truthfully make the statement that this is the warmest decade ever recorded he is right, but this statement has nothing to do with the fact that the world is now cooling, and there is no end to the cooling in sight.

  74. Sean

    The link, please, Bilbo.

  75. Craig Goodrich

    1) Ten out of ten of the warmest years on record were between 900 and 1250.

    2) There is not now and never has been any scientific evidence whatever that the amount of warming CO2 is purportedly causing is even measurable, let alone that it will have catastrophic consequences. Note, in particular, that AR4 WG1 Ch 9 contains absolutely no references to actual evidence. After twenty years and a hundred billion dollars, the best it can offer is unsupported assertion of opinion.

    Anyone who believes the rubbish being pushed at Science Progress simply doesn’t understand the science.

  76. @Patrick

    “The ‘no warming since 1998′ meme has gained ground BECAUSE IT IS TRUE!”
    ——–
    Would you mind defending this statement using any of the global temperature sets?

  77. Sean

    Bilbo you were very active yesterday. When are you going to post the link?

  78. I plagued by a real job that doesn’t allow me near a good library nearly often enough. I’d love to see the chart discussed in the e-mails, and the changes made.

    As I read the e-mails, this is what I saw: Data were corrected from known incorrect to actual temperatures measurements. The denialists are calling the actual thermometer readings “lies,” and if so, they should be called to answer why they think thermometers lie, and why the actual data are not better than data known to be in error.

    My understanding of the chart is that it was low in predicting the actual amount of warming, too.

    Now, IAAL, and not a scientist, but were I given that case to defend, I’d ask for dismissal for absence of evidence of any wrongdoing. And were the judge so foolish as to go to trial, I’d crucify the prosecution on motive: Who has a motive to skew the charts to the denialist side, predicting less warming than actually occurred?

    Am I wrong in my understanding? If not, lets publish the tables far and wide.

  79. bilbo

    Bilbo: “Now, shall you continue to argue sematics like a little child, or will you accuse me of fabricating quotes now like a petty, desperate adult? Because I honestly don’t see you taking a mature way out of this one.”

    Sean, in reply: “Since Bilbo is very focused on context, perhaps he can post the link to that quote, so we can see when that comment was posted, what it was reacting to, and figure out why the heck that commenter would ever say such a thing, and what other kinds of nutty things he or she believes.

    The link, please, Bilbo.”

    …and Sean chooses the petty, desperate adult path. Or, should I say the Way of the Troll. Predictable. I wish I had bet money on it.

    Why Sean, if it is this much of an issue to you (after now FOUR responses over two days with evidence on my part which you have made no concerted effort to disprove or even respond to outside of rote repetition), you are free to browse the blog archives yourself and find the quote(s) you are looking for. They are there for you, I promise. I will not argue with a brick wall who demands evidence but offers no retort when evidence is provided.

    You have two choices: find the quote yourself (or some other form of evidence refuting my point since you were the one who challenged it, after all) or continue repeating yourself into troll obscurity. The choice is yours, but I have a feeling I already know which one you’ll pick.

    Enjoy.

  80. Bill S.

    Sean, bilbo is slapping you around this comment board like a little child. Man up!

    Since making his original point, bilbo has posted multiple quotes from this very blog that support it. Yet you continue you scream “WRONG!!!!!” without backing yourself up with evidence of yor own. The burden of proof is on the accuser, and you’re screaming accusations like a child. If you’re not trolling like bilbo says, let’s see something to back your point up. Put up or shut up.

  81. Seminatrix

    I’m with The Hobbit, Sean. He’s talking about a trend that seems all too apparent not just here but all over the blogosphere too.

    But since you seem so upset about this accusation, let’s see the evidence that backs you up. Surely you’ve got something, right? Or maybe you are just a troll….

  82. @Ed Darrell

    Am I wrong in my understanding?

    Nope. You pretty much nailed it.

    The only thing missing is pointing out that those who scream “He hid the decline!” quote obviously don’t even know what decline he’s talking about.

  83. EDK

    Silly Little Denialists, go get them bilbo!

  84. EDK

    Way to debate bilbo! Make them pay those Silly Little Denialists!

  85. … those who scream “He hid the decline!” quote obviously …

    Even though it almost works, that was supposed to be “quite obviously” and not “quote obviously”. Stupid spill chucker.

  86. Adam

    As long as scientists continue to ignore the need to communicate their data in terms everyone can understand they are going to lose this debate. The skeptics gain ground because they communicate their ideas better. Someone explain to me what the data says. Is there an actual warming trend? How did we measure this trend? What sources were used? Build credibility by telling me how this data can also be interpreted and then show me why your interpretation is better.
    I am sure the journals do all of this but I do not read the journals. I read Time and CNN and listen to NPR. If they are communicating more effectively than the scientists, guess who I am going to believe. Can you answer my questions in plain English? Don’t tell me to go read some journal or study. Explain it to me because that is what the other side is doing.
    Finally, explain to me why the skeptics’ arguments are flawed with a clear explanation. Don’t get mad or emotional. Look at the other side’s point and overcome it. You do not win an argument by rehashing the same points. A debate is like a fencing match, not only do you have to try to score points but fend off your opponents as well. How are you going to do that? Is it a fact that temperatures have not been as hot as 1998? Answering yes but it is part of a warming trend does not help. How do we know it is a warming trend? Where is the graph? How do we know it is not a cooling trend? Why is the interpretation that if CO2 rises steadily then temperatures should also rise steadily wrong? Answer these questions simply and definitively and you will have successfully converted a skeptic.

  87. D Bonson

    Want more statistical trickery then check this out.

    If you were to measure today’s temperature compared to The Little Ice Age of the 17th Century, you could make the argument that our warming trend has been well above normal levels.

    If you were to measure today’s temperature compared to The Medieval Warm Period of the 11th Century, then you could make the argument that there is not warming trend and our current temperature is cooler that the Middle Ages.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics.

  88. Sean

    Bilbo, you’re awesome. You are replicating in miniature all of the methods of the CRU scientists. You make a variety of allegations, and I note that one of them (meany people here deny the link between tobacco and cancer) is untrue.

    Instead of saying “you’re right, I got carried away” you then provide support for the allegations I did not challenge, which doesn’t really help.

    Then I ask for you to support the one I challenged and you provide one single quote, not many, which even if it were true would not reflect on “many” climate skeptics here.

    I searched on google advanced search using the first sentence of the “quote” you provided as follows:

    “Stop your selfrighteous preaching, bilbo” site:http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

    And the only thing that comes up is your own comment, so I asked for the link.

    You then try a lot of insults, some intimidation, a bit of handwaving and a claim that ‘well, the data is out there, you go look for it … I’m not going to give it to you’.

    What do I do next? A FOIA request?

  89. bilbo

    Sean:

    I now count five people, including myself, calling for you to provide evidence to support your accusations. To this point, you have provided none.

    Your evidence, sir?

    Your evidence, troll?

  90. Seminatrix

    Sean the Concern Troll,

    Bilbo has you pinned to the wall, and I’m loving watching you try to squirm your way our of the death blow that is coming your way…and has sort-of already been landed. But just to put the final nail in your reputation coffin:

    “The denial industry is ruthless, tireless and in more than a few cases well-funded by the energy industry. It is remarkably similar to the campaign launched by the tobacco industry over the years against scientific evidence linking cigarette smoke –first-hand and second-hand–to cancer. In fact, some of the very same people behind the tobacco-denial industry are behind the climate-change-denial industry.

    Author George Monbiot wrote about this in his book Heat: How to Stop the World From Burning and quoted a memo from one tobacco company saying, “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the’body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

    Tobacco companies raised doubt by trotting out bought-and-paid-for experts who cherry-picked data. The tobacco industry and the climate-change-denial industry don’t have to prove that respected scientific data are wrong, they merely have to raise doubts about the data and confuse the public.”

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/technology/Climategate+doesn+change+facts/2305942/story.html

    “Six of the stars of Denial were among the the ‘A’ list of professional contrarians, lobbyists and conspiracy theorists who spoke at the New York International Conference on Climate Change in March this year. The sponsor was the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank which has received $781,000 in grants fron Exxon Mobil since 2000 for its campaign against the Kyoto Protocol.

    Even if we assume that he started with pure intentions, Solomon has now fallen in with some very unsavoury people. In April this year his column for the National Post defends Fred Singer who, as usual, he calls ‘one of the world’s renowned scientists’. Singer has not had a peer reviewed paper published in 20 years and is linked to a string of oil and coal industry lobby groups. He has long operated as a hired gun for the tobacco industry giving ‘expert’ testimony that side stream smoke is not dangerous.

    http://climatedenial.org/2008/09/16/cooking-the-books-how-to-write-a-contrarian-polemic-on-climate-change/

    “Tech Central Station is a climate change denial organ, owned and operated by DCI Group, a Washintgon PR/lobby company. You may remember DCI was recently ousted by the Wall Street Journal as the producers of an Al Gore spoof video posted on YouTube under the guise of an young amatuer video producer. Oh, and would it surprise you if I told you that the current CEO of the DCI Group, Doug Goodyear , was also heavily involved as a PR consultant in RJ Reynold’s efforts to manufacture a grassroots campaign against tougher tobacco laws.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/former-tobacco-spin-doctor-plays-cruel-climate-change-hoax

    Enjoy your afterlife in the world of irrelevancy, Sean the Dead Troll.

    Now sir – the evidence to support YOUR argument? Surely you have some! *snicker*

  91. The Accuser

    Ouch, Sean. Ouch.

  92. Bill S.

    It appears I was not alone, Sean. Man up! You’re losing your grip here – this is a gang beating.

  93. FergalR

    Erm, Bilbo, it’s obvious that you’re using 3 different identities here. It is honourable for children to leave a sinking ship. Just so you know.

  94. bilbo

    Of course, Fergal! It’s soooooooo clear that I have multiple personality disorder.

    So, by agreeing with me, EDK, The Accuser, Bill S., and Seminatrix all become me? Is this what you’re accusing, or am I missing something here?

  95. Bill S.

    For the record, I am not bilbo. I cannot vouch for the others, except that they are not me.

    Still waiting for you to man up, Sean.

  96. FergalR

    MPD is called Dissociative Identity Disorder these days. It’s quite possible that you’re not aware you have it. The alternative – that there are several people as ignorant as yourself – is too horrific to imagine. I pray that I was correct the first time.

  97. bilbo

    The alternative – that there are several people as ignorant as yourself – is too horrific to imagine

    I’m sure you, unlike Sean, have some evidence to back up your assertion that we are all “ignorant?” Let’s have it!

  98. Seminatrix

    I can assure you I’m not bilbo either, FergalR. But I would like to see your line of reasoning as to why I’m ignorant.

  99. So, the hockey sticks, all fraudulent, have been debunked (MBH98, Briffa, et al) Gore’s big graph shows, as do all the ice core graphs, that temperature rise before CO2 levels by hundreds of years. Then, temps drop and CO2 follows. No cause and effect there! The ERBE satellites show that as CO2 levels have increased the amount of IR leaving the atmosphere has also increased. If CO2 and water vapor were causing more heat to be retained there would be less IR leaving the atmosphere. Where is the hot spot in the mid troposphere? Why , if the models are soooo accurate do they disagree with each other? Why does the AGW crowd lose every debate? Why do they refuse to release their raw data? If the truth is on their side why do they try and keep others from being published in peer reviewed literature? Why did they try and hide the decline? Was the tree ring data so bad that they had to splice real temperature data onto the graph? Is the tree ring data falsified by the temperature record or is the temperature data falsified by the tree ring data? One thing is for sure, they cannot both be right. Either they are wrong about previous temperatures or they are wrong about recent temperatures. or both. They cannot both be right because they contradict each other. If the data was altered (computer code, etc.) and it agrees with the NASA data, is the data at NASA altered? Why does Jim Hansen keep adjusting his data temperatures upward? Does he ever get it right? Why won’t Hansen release his raw data? Is he afraid that he will be exposed? Who will roll over first to avoid prison time? This is just getting started. Listening to these liars reminds me of the Watergate scandal. Over the next few months heads will roll.

    There are 4 major temp agencies. NASA and HadCrut is surface based and the MSU and RSS data are satellite based. The two satellite temps measure the movement of O2 molecules and are calibrated against the surface temp data. If NASA is in cahoots with CRU then all four temp records are unreliable. Maybe its just a coincidence that temperature measurement stations in Rural area show an average temp gain of zero.

    If Al Gore and the rest of his Green Carpetbaggers were right they would hold a debate on national TV and give the skeptics a thrashing that would resolve the quetion to the satisfaction of the average Joe Sixpack. Why don’t they proudly display their raw data and dare anyone to prove them wrong?

    Wow! Forgive me for stating the obvious but if they said that global warming was a minor concern all of their grant money would evaporate. Why find a cure for cancer or AIDS or feed the poor when you can control the world through control of the energy supply, get filthy rich and be famous fighting a non threat!

  100. Tom

    I’ve read the text of some of the hacked e-mails.. and they are indeed damning.

    The author of the blog above keeps referring to “science”, but how is it really “science” if you manipulate the raw data, write computer programs to get the results you want, secretly try to purge those of opposing views out the literature, talk about deleting your e-mails and try to avoid freedom of information requests?

    “If”.. the data supports assetions of human caused global warming.. WHY would ANY of the above be necessary??

    This scandal has destroyed the credibility of the research which has come out of the CRU..which has been heavily used by the IPCC..and placed under reasonable doubt ALL claims about global warming from ALL sources.

    If this kind of manipulation was done at CRU, given the obvious agenda being pursued and the money and power involved..we have no reason to doubt that it was also done elsewhere.

  101. bilbo

    Answers to most of your questions, Eddy If-I-Say-Enough-Stuff-Maybe-I-Can-Muddle-the-Discussion:

    Why , if the models are soooo accurate do they disagree with each other?
    Read the definition of a “model.” That will clear this misunderstanding up.

    Why does the AGW crowd lose every debate?
    Because a Silly Little Denialist thinks they’ve won the debate before it even begins.

    Why do they refuse to release their raw data?
    The raw data are published along with most journal articles. Freely accessible to the public, complete transparency. You should check it out sometime….and stop lying.

    If the truth is on their side why do they try and keep others from being published in peer reviewed literature?
    Because the article they were referring to in the Swifthack was a piece of fraudulent (made-up) research ghostwritten by the American Petroleum Institute.

    Why did they try and hide the decline?
    Read the original Mann et al. along with the Swifthack email, and you’ll see why it’s a non-issue.

    Was the tree ring data so bad that they had to splice real temperature data onto the graph?
    Only 1/3 correct. Read the Mann et al. paper and you won’t have to ask. (You just kind-of answered the question above, by the way, genius.)

    Is the tree ring data falsified by the temperature record or is the temperature data falsified by the tree ring data?
    Read the Mann et al. paper. It’s all right there. But while you’re at it, read up on what a False Dilemma is, because you just used one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

    If the data was altered (computer code, etc.) and it agrees with the NASA data, is the data at NASA altered?
    Another false dilemma. NASA’s data and Mann’s data are two independent entities that reach the same scientific conclusion. They aren’t the same dataset. Try again.

    Why does Jim Hansen keep adjusting his data temperatures upward?
    He does? That’s quite an accusation with nothing to back it up. Hmm….

    Does he ever get it right?
    Yes. A lot.

    Why won’t Hansen release his raw data?
    He does. Try reading an actual journal article, O Climate Scholar.

    Is he afraid that he will be exposed?
    Not exposed, but he’s probably afraid of being misrepresented and taken out of context by conspiracy theorist idiots such as yourself.

    Who will roll over first to avoid prison time?
    So I see you’ve already constructed a future conspiracy to satisfy yourself when no one actually goes to prison over this because no wrongdoing was done. Nice.

    There are 4 major temp agencies
    No there aren’t.

    If NASA is in cahoots with CRU then all four temp records are unreliable.
    Well, they aren’t – so it’s a nonissue. …unless you’ve got some evidence of a secret scandal no one else knows about…

    Maybe its just a coincidence that temperature measurement stations in Rural area show an average temp gain of zero.
    No coincidence. That’s just called cherry-picking. Idiots do it. They do it because it satisfies their preconceived notions while not being scientifically valid and/or rigorous. Hence, no coincidence.

    If Al Gore and the rest of his Green Carpetbaggers were right they would hold a debate on national TV and give the skeptics a thrashing that would resolve the quetion to the satisfaction of the average Joe Sixpack.
    If al Gore and his Green Carpetbaggers were right, we’d be seeing the Northwest Passage open, alpine glaciers melting at an alarming rate, giant icebers breaking off a melting Antarcitca and floating towards Australia, species ranges shifting worldwide – oh, wait. We are.

    Why don’t they proudly display their raw data and dare anyone to prove them wrong?
    Um, they do. And no one can – at least not using actual science.

    Forgive me for stating the obvious but if they said that global warming was a minor concern all of their grant money would evaporate.
    No it wouldn’t. The fed. government allots money to general climate research, not specificalyl global warming research. If global warming didn’t exist, the same amount of money would just go to another research focus. I suggest you teach yourself how funding works if you’re going to attempt to argue it.

    Why find a cure for cancer or AIDS or feed the poor when you can control the world through control of the energy supply, get filthy rich and be famous fighting a non threat!
    And at the very end, you reveal your true motivation: you think there’s a secret world order trying to rule over humanity with science. Classic.

    I’m through with you.

  102. Seminatrix

    Wow. Did Sean the Evidence-Lacking Concern Troll tuck tail and run away, or what? That was much easier than I thought. Evidence will do that to ya’, I suppose.

  103. Craig Goodrich

    @Seminatrix #94

    As to secondhand smoke — there is in fact no evidence that secondhand smoke is dangerous, except to those who are extremely sensitive to any air pollution whatever, such as asthmatics.

    Smoking is in fact a severe health risk. Secondhand smoke is not; the EPA study purporting to demonstrate this suffers from the same tendentious cherry-picking and statistical chicanery as the IPCC reports. Yes, secondhand smoke is smelly and unpleasant; no, it’s not dangerous. Get the science straight.

  104. bilbo

    Sean:

    There’s one of your tobacco deniers in the stupid flesh. Congrats, Craig Goodrich. You’ve reinforced my point.

  105. tom

    Bilbo.

    I read the post by Eddy Aruda and then your attempt at a rebuttal.

    It wasn’t much of a rebuttal.

    The news about raw data suddenly becoming “irretrievably lost’ at CRU is rather telling..and coincidental don’t you think?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936328.ece

    How convenient.. if you fudged the data!

    As someone relatively new to this argument and without too much of a preconceieved opinion on this issue, I found his presentation of the facts, logic and argument much more compelling and convincing then yours.

    Your attempt at a rebuttal would have been better spent coming up with a credible explanation for the behavior of those at CRU.

    Much as you apparently hate to admit it, their actions raise some very, very serious questions.

    Your attempt to bloviate and divert attention from those actions says a lot more than I’m sure you intended.

  106. @tom

    <The news about raw data suddenly becoming “irretrievably lost’ at CRU is rather telling..and coincidental don’t you think?>

    Considering that these data were discarded a generation ago, in the 1980s, doesn’t it strike you that they just might not be all the raw data? Or that CRU might not be the only place where raw data exist?

    It was a poor decision on East Anglia’s part, to be sure (although it should be remembered that the political environment in the 80s was entirely different, and it might not have seemed to them like much of a big deal–after all, they’d already processed it). Still, it hardly invalidates an entire science. The fact is that if East Anglia and its scientists had never existed, we would still have the same understanding of the mechanics of greenhouse gases, and of the effect that increasing GHGs have. There are mountains of other data, legions of other scientists, and a whole lotta other institutions all pointing in the same direction.

  107. Craig Goodrich

    @bilbo #108

    Sorry, some glitch in the blog software must have cut off the link you entered to demonstrate your point that presents scientific evidence of my error. Please repost it. Thanks.

  108. Craig Goodrich

    @Chris #111

    The fact is that if East Anglia and its scientists had never existed, we would still have the same understanding of the mechanics of greenhouse gases, and of the effect that increasing GHGs have.

    Well, not really. If you look at the other major surface temperature dataset, GISS, you quickly discover that there is a tremendous interdependence between it and HadCRUT. If you then look at CRU’s heroic efforts to avoid disclosure of the data and their adjustments to it, and then compare that with the equally heroic efforts GISS has taken to evade FOIA requests — going on three years now — when the traditional ethic of science has placed a premium on transparency and reproducibility, and when on top of that we see in the Climategate letters a desperate and paranoid effort to prevent any contrary research from seeing the light of day, surely it is not unreasonable to conclude that the actual scientific underpinings of this silly CO2 theory are very weak.

    There are mountains of other data, legions of other scientists, and a whole lotta other institutions all pointing in the same direction.

    Well then, why are they not included in the IPCC’s AR4 WG1 Ch9, which deals with attribution of the purported warming? I’ve read through this chapter several times and have found NO objective evidence of anthropogenic warming. Perhaps I’ve overlooked it; please post a page/paragraph reference. All I can find is unsupported opinion which, of course, has no scientific standing whatever. Thanks for your help.

  109. a desperate and paranoid effort to prevent any contrary research from seeing the light of day

    Oh, please. Are they talking about this research because it is skeptical, or because they find it to be “crap science”? (Hint: “Crap science” is in quotes because it’s a quote.)

    It really is quite interesting that the global temp data is manipulated and valueless–unless, of course, it shows a brief period of decline. Or that 2008 was a bit cooler than 1998. In those cases, of course, it’s the revealed word of God, there’s not a peep of protest about its accuracy, and it’s proof positive that temps are declining and that all of AGW is a hoax.

  110. StevoR

    Seems its an issue of trust & a X said /CRU said thing.

  111. StevoR

    I used to be a certain believer in the idea that human C02 was causing unprecedented dangerous “global warming.” I’ve defended the AGW concept on blogs like this one here before. (Specifically the Bad Astronomy one.)

    However, I no longer think this & am now quite uncertain over this situation.

    The major factors in this are reading Prof. Ian Plimer’s book ‘Heaven & Earth’ (search on Wikipedia & you’ll find a page on it.) & also hearing him speak in person and talking with him & also other skeptics from the astronomical /geological backgrounds. (But these people have done a lot of study and research into climatology too or so it appears to me.)

    Also the latest “climategate” scandal, which true or not, out of context or not, sure looks bad – if even half of the stuff in the CRU emails is the way its represented then its very devastating blow against the believing in AGW side.

    Because if nothing else it has your average person on the street asking :

    Can we really trust or beleive what they are saying?

    When it comes to science we are just NOT individually either trained or equipped to assess the competing claims or take the data for ourselves.

    We need to have a certain amount of trust in the people that are telling us some very alarming things and saying we must take very painful and costly measures that will or could make our lives much worse and poorer.

    If one side of this debate looks “dodgy” – & right now the pro-Anthropogenic Global Warming side does – to me & many others – then it is not going to be seen as credible.

    I do think we need a full thorough and high-level investigation and accountability here.

    Lets get everything out in the open and public – please.

    I don’t claim to be an expert or to even know more than a few things about this issue but it is one that affects or could effect everyone and the line that 1998 was the hottest year and the world hasn’t got any hotter since does seem a strong argument against AGW theory.

    Yes, you can talk “El nino exceptional year” & so forth but really .. the worlds meant to be getting hotter and C02 is increasing all the time and … over ten years ago is still the hottest year ever!? Come on! Something doesn’t make sense there.

    There’s a lot of politics mixed in here from both sides and the science suffers as a result. There’s a lot of name-calling & talking past each other from *both* sides.

    Honestly, I don’t know what to think anymore but I am a lot more dubious and far less sold on the AGW idea and the Climatologists arguing it.

    That’s my personal view of things anyhow for whatever good it is.

    PS. I’ve been told about the Realclimate website worth examining this with – & also told that they are a lobby group implicated in the Climategate emails. So can I trust them? Are they reliable or too partisan here? Afraid, I’m not sure anymore.

  112. Craig Goodrich

    @Chris #114 –

    … the global temp data is manipulated and valueless–unless, of course, it shows a brief period of decline.

    You seem to be under the impression that the only temperature records are from the surface, and that’s true prior to 1979. Since then, of course, we have MSU satellite data, which shows a very slight warming through 1997, the 1998 El Niño, and cooling after about 2003. Likewise the ARGO deep-diving bathythermographs show no warming since their launch in 2003 and in fact show that the upper 700 meters of ocean is cooling, which means the pretended “radiative imbalance” upon which the entire absurd AGW theory is based is nonsense; the planet isn’t “storing the extra heat” anywhere.

    @Stevo #116 –

    RealClimate is the web headquarters of apologetics for the AGW religion. It’s run by Michael Mann, principal author of the famous MBH98 “hockey stick” paper which has become the most comprehensively discredited object in science since Piltdown Man. Many were under the impression that the paper was an innocent error until the actual underlying data and programs were finally released; at that point it became obvious that the whole thing was a deliberate lie. Visit ClimateAudit.org for articles discussing the exposure of the fraud.

    RealScience is a pure public relations operation; Mann admits as much in the CRUtape letters, where he talks about the technique of armwaving obfuscation used there to “respond” to skeptical papers (it always seems to convince the RC fanboys, who are by and large scientifically illiterate) and how he and Gavin carefully prune out any comments pointing out the scientific weakness of the AGW case.

    One of the best actual science sites is co2science.org , where you’ll find reviews of published articles on relevant topics from solar cycles to ocean chemistry. DrRoySpencer.com is a fascinating site once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basic science, which you apparently already have from the excellent Plimer book.

  113. Craig Goodrich

    RealScience is a pure public relations operation …

    Sorry, “RealClimate,” of course. In fact, the site is about neither climate nor science, but rather keeping the billions in research funding flowing to GISS, CRU, and the rest of the AGW clique.

  114. Sean

    Bilbo says:

    “Since they’ve descended on this blog to troll, I’ve found that many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer, still think that acid rain and the ozone hole don’t exist, and still think that the DDT ban was just “The Man” trying to exert power over the little guy.”

    I asked him to back up his assertion that “many of the climate change skeptics here still think that tobacco has no link with cancer…” because frankly I have met hundreds of climate change skeptics and I have yet to meet a single person in my whole life who claims that tobacco has no link to cancer. So it would be very surprising if many of the people on this blog believed that tobacco has no link with cancer. If they did deny the link between tobacco and cancer it would cause me to doubt their objectivity, which I suppose is the point of Bilbo’s baseless accusation.

    Bilbo then posted one single quote from one commenter:

    “Stop your selfrighteous preaching, bilbo. The tobacco industry has been just as demonized by ’scientists’ as the fossil fuel industry with these ’scientists’ false allegations about smoking causing cancer. There’s a lot of money available if you’re a scientist perpetrating a hoax in either field.”

    If this were a real quote, it would only prove that one climate change skeptic here once (how long ago we don’t know) claimed that tobacco has no link with cancer.

    I used google to search blogs.discovermagazine.com as follows:

    “selfrighteous preaching, bilbo” site:blogs.discovermagazine.com

    Anyone else here who wonders what kind of person Bilbo is is welcome to do the same search. What you’ll find is that he invented the quote to win his argument. It was not postes anywhere else on this blog, and so when you search for the quote the only his you get is to Blilbo’s “reporting” the quote above.

    It tells you everything you need to know about Bilbo that he will make up a bizarre quote to support his otherwise baseless accusation. Then, when I call him out on it, all he does is ask me for evidence.

    The evidence that Bilbo fabricated the quote is fabricated can eb found by putting:

    “selfrighteous preaching, bilbo” site:blogs.discovermagazine.com

    into a google search.

    Calling me a troll does not change the fact that the quote was fabricated and the accusations that Bilbo makes against people he calls deniers are baseless and deliberately dishonest.

  115. StevoR

    @ 117 – 118. Craig Goodrich : Thanks. :-)

  116. michael peck

    According to NASA who had to change thier statement that 1998 was warmest year on record,after being challenged by independant studies now say 1934 actually was the warmest year on record, where i live in great lakes region we were under 2 miles of ice just 12000 years ago, now we are not, was this caused by ‘carbon’i think not,our enviroment was never ‘stable’ for any period of time and never will be. i say “follow the money” these CRU scientists stood to get millions in research money to look for carbon based warming, and would of got nothing for finding out it was actually cooling for last decade. i am an enviromentalist and want to see alternative energy sources eventually take over, but ‘cap&trade’ is no doubt a scam to form a world govt (dictatorship), as already admitted by UN leaders.These crooks have hijacked our movement and destroyed it, its time to disolve the United Nations, and arrest al gore and maurice strong for ‘racketeering’

  117. SeanNY

    I would like to note that nearly two weeks have passed and Bilbo has not produced any evidence to refute my claim:

    “the accusations that Bilbo makes against people he calls deniers are baseless and deliberately dishonest.”

  118. Sean

    It’s now been nearly a month and still no word from Bilbo regarding the quote he fabricated to support his baseless accusations.

  119. Wesley
  120. Milton C.

    @ SeanNY 122:

    One should not need to disprove an ad hominem, because ad hominems are faulty logic, by definition. Just a thought.

  121. Milton C.

    @ Wesley #124:

    Read up on some climate science, and you’ll find why your argument makes you look like a fool. Then you’ll figure out why the rest of us are chuckling at you.

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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