Weekly GOP Radio Address Spews Misinformation About Copenhagen and Climate

By Chris Mooney | December 15, 2009 8:07 am

It’s just amazing to listen to. Here’s Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), stating completely misleading or wrong things like the following:

A Copenhagen agreement will “destroy millions of American jobs and damage our economic competitiveness for decades to come.”

“Also absent from the discussion in Copenhagen is the Climategate scandal. Recently leaked e-mails reveal climate scientists have a long track record of manipulating data to hide scientific evidence that contradicts the global warming establishment…This scandal raises serious questions about Democrats’ climate control plans, questions that deserve a transparent investigation – not a rush to judgment – by the bureaucrats in Copenhagen.”

What can you even really say to this kind of stuff?

Comments (28)

  1. Not Amused

    Climate scientists shouldn’t be “manipulating data to hide…evidence” – that is the job of politicians.

  2. Walker

    Where have you been? From health care to the economy to science, Republicans lie publicly and brazenly on a regular basis. It is the only way they can get people on their side these days.

  3. What can you even really say to this kind of stuff?

    We could say that she has a point, and a very good one that resonates with the American public. CO2 regulation schemes, like cap and trade will drive up energy costs to the point where large swaths of what remains of America’s industrial base will move overseas (not to mention higher consumer energy rates). The chemical industry, ferrous and nonferrous metal production, other energy intensive industries, and the millions of jobs that support them will be driven out of business. You could argue that this is a good thing, taking highly regulated manufacturing facilities that employ high wage high skill workers and transferring that production to the third world where they wont be stringently regulated and will employ armies of low skill poorly paid workers, but few would agree with that argument.

    As far as climategate goes, when the raw code used to analyze 150 years of weather station data includes programming comments like “Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline” and these same temperature reconstructions are used to build climate models which are then used to forecast doom and gloom unless we act now it would also be prudent to use a little more skepticism and ask a few more questions about the science, when the “science” might well be responsible for shaping all future economic and social activity.

  4. Timkatt

    Did Exxon Mobile and Standard Oil write that script for her?

  5. Timkatt

    I notice she says lets put all the options on the table but doesn’t mention one of them, or a bill that I can look up what options she wants the government to try. She also rails against deficit spending but had no problem voting for such items during the last administration. Why are so many politicians hypocrites?

  6. Gaythia

    I think that what we need to do is to stop falling into line behind the attempts to keep the focus on the controversy and not the content.

    We need to hear about the discussion in Copenhagen. They want to talk about “Climategate” instead. These attempt at diversion can only be combated if we are able to get real evidence of climate change out to the public.

  7. TomInAK

    “These attempt at diversion can only be combated if we are able to get real evidence of climate change out to the public.”

    Better get to work and make some up quick, then!

  8. SLC

    Re Mike H

    Mr. Mike H, of course, neglects to inform the readers here that the code that the comment was referring to was also commented out. Josef Goebbels would be most proud.

    Re TomInAK

    Isn’t it amazing how denialists like Mr. Tom can ignore the opening of the Northwest Passage to shipping and the disappearance of glaciers in Bolivia.

  9. penguindreams

    What can you even really say to this kind of stuff?

    That’s rather the question I’ve had for you. You do say that it is up to the scientists to communicate better — their failure to do so being how it is they’re responsible for the last 20 years of inaction.

    ok. then:

    What could scientists have done, or be doing now, such that this address (and others you’ve complained of recently) would not be made?

    Myself, I think politicians (of any party) are primarily politicians, rather than concerned with the science and what scientists think. Some individual exceptions, which I appreciate. But, fundamentally, I think politicians will say whatever is politically convenient, with little or no regard for whether it’s scientifically accurate. Scientists can only deal with scientific accuracy.

    But, as you still assign responsibility to scientists, I’m interested to hear how the scientists could be preventing what you’re complaining of.

  10. Mr. Mike H, of course, neglects to inform the readers here that the code that the comment was referring to was also commented out. Josef Goebbels would be most proud.

    Was this commented out before of after it was run and how do you know …. thats what I thought.

  11. bilbo

    The standard of communication in the GOP is making brazen, absolutist statements that aren’tbacked up by anything substantial. Consider the following:

    A Copenhagen agreement will “destroy millions of American jobs and damage our economic competitiveness for decades to come.”

    No corroborating evidence is provided for this statement.

    James Inhofe: “(Climate change) is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated by the American people.”

    Corroborating evidence, please? None provided.

    “Recently leaked e-mails reveal climate scientists have a long track record of manipulating data to hide scientific evidence that contradicts the global warming establishment”

    Really? The Swifthack can be extrapolated from a handful of people to all “climate scientists?” I’d love to see some evidence that backs that up. Big surprise: none provided.

    See the trend? The goal of GOP rhetoric is to use bold statements that evoke primitive emotion (see the above and the whole Obama Muslim mess they perpetrated back in the election). The problem is that their followers are either too stupid, lazy, or willing to bend over and grab the ankles to demand them to substantiate.

  12. SLC

    Re Mike H @ #11

    It is my understanding that the code sample in question was part of the email dump. If so, then it was obviously written prior to that dump and therefore, the commented out code in question was produced before the dump.

  13. Dana H.

    I bask in the glow of schadenfreude seeing AGW alarmists criticize the scientific ignorance of others, while not knowing themselves the difference between PCA and PCBs, just why you need to properly center your data before doing PCA to avoid mining for hockey sticks, or that the temperature really isn’t “millions of degrees” at the earth’s core. But I do hope that the crap that passes for climate “science” doesn’t end up smearing those of us who do real science.

  14. toasterhead

    11. Mike H Says:
    December 15th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Was this commented out before of after it was run and how do you know …. thats what I thought.
    __________

    More importantly – how do you know that it was run at all? All you’re looking at is code that was found on a hard drive. There’s no proof that the particular chunk of code you refer to was ACTUALLY used in any papers or studies. A search of any individual’s office hard drive will reveal plenty of drafts and test files and memos that were later revised or replaced or abandoned – what makes you so certain that this one stolen snippet of code is any different? Where is your evidence that the objectionable bit of Fortran was run to produce any results used in any actual papers?

    Thought so.

  15. Duane

    “Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline” might apply to an early version of a model.

    As a programmer, we often used “artificial” data to test the boundary limits of the formulas used in our programs (financial sector in my case). This is a very important part of programming, and someone who would make hay out of this statement probably doesn’t comprehend much of the scientific process.

  16. bilbo

    What you just said is true of about all of the Silly Little Denialists, Duane. They’re silly because they’re trying to criticize the scientific process without harboring even an elementary understanding of it….and labeling those who point out their ignorance as trying to “gloss over” thing. Nope – we’re just telling the truth to their stupid lies.

  17. why-conservatives-fail

    HA…. David McK actually referenced an article written by James Delingpole who refers to himself as a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. Talk about arrogant.

  18. Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her unconstitutional votes at :
    http://tinyurl.com/qhayna
    Mickey

  19. Anonymous Coward

    What can I say to this stuff? Who cares what I would have to say, because YOU’re the science journalist, so the question is: what would you say about it?

    “A Copenhagen agreement will “destroy millions of American jobs and damage our economic competitiveness for decades to come.””

    Seems accurate to me. Can you PROVE otherwise (recitements of your faith are not acceptable here.)

  20. StevoR

    Here’s Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), stating completely misleading or wrong things like the following:

    A Copenhagen agreement will “destroy millions of American jobs and damage our economic competitiveness for decades to come.”

    “Also absent from the discussion in Copenhagen is the Climategate scandal. Recently leaked e-mails reveal climate scientists have a long track record of manipulating data to hide scientific evidence that contradicts the global warming establishment…This scandal raises serious questions about Democrats’ climate control plans, questions that deserve a transparent investigation – not a rush to judgment – by the bureaucrats in Copenhagen.”

    What can you even really say to this kind of stuff?

    I’d say it sounds like the truth and a fair enough statement of the facts to me based on what I’ve read of the Climategate scandal.

    The CRU have been caught fusing the data, stacking peer review, censoring dissenting opinions, using tricks to hide the decline and so on.

    Please, answer the following questions honestly, straighforwardly & without resorting to name-calling flames :

    1) If the Warmers science was really good & their data sound why would the CRU need to engage in such dishonesty and fraud?

    2) If the world is warming at such a rapid dangerous rate why was the hottest year on record over a decade ago?

    3) If Co2 is causing climate change why does it seem to follow not precede temperature rises?

    4) If human industry causes climate change what about the Roman Warming and Medieval Warm Period when the climate shifted dramatically without Humans having such industry or emitting Co2?

    &

    5) Why is it that when anyone dissents from the Global Warmer orthodoxy they are abused and their views shouted down and censored rather than argued against rationally? Why for instance has no one replied to my Beach & tide analogy in the other thread with actual logical argument instead of just name calling and mockery?

  21. StevoR

    Typo correction :

    “The CRU have been caught fudging the data, stacking peer review, censoring dissenting opinions, using tricks to hide the decline and so on.

    not ‘fusing’ the data is what I meant to say there.

    It should be noted that this is not the first time Climate Alarmists have been caught being deceptive and dodgy with the evidence – there was the previous case of Mike Mann’s fraudulent “hockey stick” graph.

    Oh & one more question :

    Why are those who support the AGW idea so scared of having a full and judicial enquiry looking into Climategate and establishing the full truth of what happened? Don’t they want the truth to come out? What are they hiding that hasn’t yet been revealed?

  22. StevoR

    @ 12. bilbo Says:

    The standard of communication in the GOP is making brazen, absolutist statements that aren’tbacked up by anything substantial. Consider the following:

    A Copenhagen agreement will “destroy millions of American jobs and damage our economic competitiveness for decades to come.”

    No corroborating evidence is provided for this statement.

    Perhaps because its just so blindingly obvious as to be beyond dispute?

    There are thousands of Amercians employed in the mining sector, thousands of Americans depend on coal for their livelihood – and petrol – and raising cattle. Measures to “reduce carbon” by shutting coal mines, penalising people for driving cars of their choice, “encouraging” millions to go vegetarian and thus hurt cattle farmers, taxing the use of petrol and coal and oil in so many ways to meet a specific discrimatory carbon level which applies unfairly and unevenly to the USA and other Western nations but NOT to rising totalitarian superpower China or to India or Muslim Indonesia all of which will then out compete us.

    Duh! Blind Freddy could tell you accepting the Warmer’s demands means major economic suffering, huge job losses, huge tax rises and hurting the average American badly. Copenhagen could lower our standard of living badly. You okay with that?

    James Inhofe: “(Climate change) is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated by the American people.”

    Corroborating evidence, please? None provided.

    Inhofe specifically mentions the Climategate scandal – more than enough evidence there.
    The CRU were *the* lead climatologists and were on the IPCC & had their manipulated corupted and ireredeemably tainted faked data fored and fed and spread everywhere. The Climategate emails also contained an admission from lead IPCC author Kevin Trenberth to his Alarmist colleagues that :

    ““The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. ”

    So knowing the world wasn’t warming. Knowing the evidence contradicted the AGW theory, Trenberth and co still tried to terrify the Western world into a adopting some Left Green manifesto. They even have the cowardly gall to use -and create Children’s nightmares as propaganda eg. theCopenhagen opening ad. Going after and frightening kids as a deliberate tactic to get your way when you know you are telling lies. How sick is that?

    The Democrats & liberals like to go on about the missing WMD’s in Iraq. The Warmer fraud is worse. At least Bush genuinely believed (along with the rest of the world btw) in Saddam’s bluff. At least some of the Warmers *knew* they were lying when they lied about AGW & dangerous global temperature rises – which, of course, have been noticeable only by their absence.

    You could also take that statement as a matter of subjective opinion although one with which many people would agree. The CRU emails do prove what could politely be called scientific malpractice and not-so-politely but accurately outright durned lying to the world.

    “Recently leaked e-mails reveal climate scientists have a long track record of manipulating data to hide scientific evidence that contradicts the global warming establishment”

    Really? The Swifthack can be extrapolated from a handful of people to all “climate scientists?” I’d love to see some evidence that backs that up. Big surprise: none provided.

    Er .. Climategate, dude?! :roll:

    Note what Isaid earlier about Trenberth , Mike Mann and others implicated in the Climategate being lead IPCC authors and lead Climate scare players. The CRU was the big data source – it fed the whole AGW push. Now we know they lied those who used their data, knowingly or not, are also tainted and unreliable.

    Real scientists now need to throw out the whole CRU based stuff & start over again. Real scientists know that science’s reputation has been severly damaged and that they will have to work very hard and long to win back the public’s trust and restore scientific credibility. This sets science back an awfully long way and if Iwere a real scientist then I’d be steaming mad with the CRU fraudsters.

    See the trend? The goal of GOP rhetoric is to use bold statements that evoke primitive emotion

    I suppose the Democrats are different? “Yes we can!” / “Change we can believe in!” Nothing bold and aimed at getting primitive emotion there I suppose? :roll:

    I think this just what they call politics. Sad but true and not about to change for either side.

    I also see bilbo hopping up and down with self-righteous political outrage at what he considers a bad speech by a Republican yet totally ignoring the very real and outragous manipulatingand downright lying of the CRU.

    The CRU did many wrong things and were caught doing them.
    Inhofe is doing the right thing in calling for an investigation into that so people can hear the truth.

    I think you’re getting angry at the wrong people here bilbo.

  23. bilbo

    Steve,

    A couple of points.

    1.) Perhaps you don’t understand the meaning of the word “evidence.” Simply stating that the government will do A or do B or do C under a climate change agreement doesn’t cut it, buddy. Yes, it does evoke fear in other Silly Little Denialists, and it rouses the conservative wanker front, but it doesn’t make it true. You must substantiate your wild claims with evidence, my friend! But perhaps you don’t deal in evidence, Steve. That’s fine – I can play your game. Consider this, everyone: Steve’s mother is a filthy, rotten whore. That sounds crazy and could very well be a lie, right? Don’t worry – I don’t need to back it up with evidence. Because it’s been said, by Steve’s rationale it has to be true.

    2.) When I posted Inhofe’s quote “(Climate change) is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” you responded with Inhofe specifically mentions the Climategate scandal – more than enough evidence there.

    Really? Inhofe “specifically mentions Climategate?” WOW! We have ourselves a time-traveling Silly Little Denialist! That’s because Inhofe made that statement on July 28, 2003 – SIX YEARS before the swifthack! So, O Brilliant Steve, please explain for the blogosphere how a politician mentioned something from half a decade in the future as evidence for a point made in 2003. Thanks for taking my bait and proving that Silly Little Denialists are one and the same: gullible, unthinking, stupid, and overeager to make connections where there are none. *snicker*

    3.) Real scientists now need to throw out the whole CRU based stuff & start over again

    OK then, let’s pretend we do. The scientific evidence for climate change still exists in all its veracity. Nice try, but a half-assed one. You clearly don’t have even a two-year-old’s grasp on what science exists out there on this topic, do you Stupid Steve? If you do, you can prove me wrong and I’ll stop calling you Stupid Steve.

    4.) I think this just what they call politics

    For once, Steve is correct! …and that’s the very problem. Conservatives can’t refute the science that threatens their industry interests with other science, so they’ve decided to undermine credibility by attempting to connect dots without backing themselves up with evidence instead. Thanks for refuting your earlier point, Steve. You did all the work for me!

    4.)

  24. Bill S.

    Are you absolutely bonkers, Steve? You seem to only know what the talking heads say about agw rather than what scientific evidence exists for it.

  25. Bill S.

    Never mind. I believe the hobbit has issued a firm takedown of Steve on everyone’s behalf.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »