How about another cup of coffee? (Global Warming Conspiracy and Starbucks Cup #289)

June 19, 2013

Encore post from September 17, 2007, and August 2009 — maybe more appropriate today than ever before.

Found this on my coffee cup today (links added here):

The Way I See It #289

So-called “global warming” is just

a secret ploy by wacko tree-

huggers to make America energy

independent, clean our air and

water, improve the fuel efficiency

of our vehicles, kick-start

21st-century industries, and make

our cities safer and more livable.

Don’t let them get away with it!

Chip Giller
Founder of Grist.org, where
environmentally-minded people
gather online.

Starbucks Coffee Cup, The Way I See It #289 (global warming)

Look! Someone found the same cup I found!

I miss those old Starbucks cups — but then, they killed the Starbucks in our town.  I don’t buy the 100 cups of Starbucks coffee I used to get in a year.

More:


Ethics in climate science: How do we know what we know?

August 12, 2011

It’s almost an arcane fight, but it’s an important one — if you’re going to discuss climate science and the policies required to clean up pollution that causes destruction of our planet, can we at least agree to stick to the facts, the real facts?

John Mashey is a computer smart guy who jumped into the fray to point out that most opponents to doing anything to stop the destruction have a social or economic interest in stopping the action and continuing the destruction, something Mashey determined from looking at the networks linking the people involved.  There’s a lot of howling about Mashey’s pointing out that the emperor is a crook.  So far he’s been proved correct.

An academic group you probably never heard of, the National Association of Scholars, has an elected leader who decided to take after Mashey, rather than clean up the house.  Peter Wood writes a column for the  Chronicle of Higher Education, and sadly, their editorial mavens appear not to have fact checked it.  To their credit, they allowed Mashey’s response.

Comments are brutal.

Here’s how Tim Lambert described it at Deltoid:

John Mashey and Rob Coleman have a guest post at The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s blog replying to Peter Wood’s hit piece.

Wood’s article misused the platform of CHE. Its relevance to the concerns of CHE was minimal. It had little purpose but to damage the reputation of one of us, John Mashey, and the climate scientist Michael Mann, whom Wood has often denigrated elsewhere. The political false-association tactics were obvious. Climate scientists are under incessant attack, a fact strongly decried the day before Wood’s article by the AAAS Board. The muddy battlefield of blogs and media has now arrived on the CHE premises, easily seen in the comments.

If one tells the truth in climate science, one needs thick skin.  Go read Mashey’s piece before you read the comments.  More background from Lambert, here.

And the context you need:  Only one study on climate change has actually been retracted over the past couple of years — no, not any of those noting that warming occurs, not any of those that use the graph famously described as “a hockey stick,” but the piece that pulled together all the criticism of the science, at the behest of Republicans on the environment committees in the U.S. Congress, called the Wegman Report.  And it was John Mashey who assembled the extensive and sometimes elegant case that the Wegman Report was plagiarized and wrong.

This is, indeed, a case of trying to kill the messenger’s reputation.

Am I the only one suspicious that the National Association of Scholars may have been named to foster confusion about the authority of reports, say from the National Academy of Sciences, the long-time science advisory group to presidents whose reports urge action to stop climate change?  Notice their acronyms are the same.


Wind power, more than just talk

July 30, 2011

I missed Global Wind Day on June 15 — too much static from the ironically long-winded anti-winders.

Voice of America claims wind power offers great potential.  Climate denialists, used to denying all facts especially if they are hopeful, will deny it any way they think they can.*

These posts are for examples only, and should not be interpreted to mean that the blogs sampled are composed entirely of denials, or that the blog authors and editors are themselves pure denialists — certainly they will deny that.  We will gladly post links to posts at those blogs that promote benefits of harnassing wind energy, if anyone can find them.


History and economics of energy use and conservation – a more accurate version

July 30, 2011

Our memorial to George Washington neared completion in the 1880s.  For an obelisk more than 550 feet tall to honor the Father of Our Country, planners decided to top it with a “capstone” made of the what was, then the most precious metal known on Earth.  The top is a pyramid, and the top of the pyramid is a one-pound block of this precious metal.

What was the most precious metal known to humans in 1880?  Gold?  Platinum?  Tungsten, perhaps, not yet chosen to be filaments in the yet-to-be-perfected Edison “A” lightbulb?

Washington’s Monument is topped with aluminum.

Yeah, aluminum.

“But,” you begin to sputter in protest, “aluminum is almost ubiquitous in soils, and it’s cheap — we use it in soda cans because it’s cheaper than steel or glass, for FSM’s sake!”

Today, yes.  In 1880, no.  Aluminum requires massive amounts of energy to refine the stuff from ore.  Aluminum is common in soils and rocks, but it couldn’t be refined out easily for use.

That problem’s solution was electricity, generated from coal or especially falling water.  For a while, our nation’s biggest aluminum refining plants resided in the state of Washington, not because they were close to aluminum ore deposits, but because there was a lot of cheap electricity available from the Grand Coulee and other dams on the mighty Columbia River.  It was cheaper to transport the ore long distances for refining than to transport the electricity.

This history reveals a lot about science, history, energy use, resource conservation and economics — areas in which most climate denialists appear to me to lack knowledge and productive experience.

Peter Sinclair more often explains why climate denialists get things wrong.  In this video, the first of what could be a significant series, Sinclair explains how we got to where we are today in energy use and conservation — or energy overuse and lack of conservation, if the Tea Party and Rand Paul get their way.  (Notice the ingots of aluminum shown in the historic film footage.)

This is history which has been largely covered up, partly because so much critical stuff happened in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, a time the internet doesn’t cover well.

5,842

Slowpoke Comics on the light bulb wars

July 24, 2011

Oh, while we’re looking at the genius of Jen Sorensen, let’s see what she’s got to cartoon about light bulbs:

Jen Sorensen's Slowpoke Comics, "Bulb Wars"

Jen Sorensen's Slowpoke Comics, "Bulb Wars" - for a larger image at Jen's website, click the image

This strip appears Wednesdays at Daily Kos, and I understand some newspapers around the country have picked it up.  Does it appear in a paper in your city?


Republican bid to turn out the lights failed

July 12, 2011

Dan Weiss reports at Climate Progress that the attempt to kill energy conservation standards failed tonight.  It required a two-thirds vote from the House to suspend the rules to consider it (the bill did not go through normal legislative channels) — the bill failed.

You may want to read Steve Lacey’s earlier explanation of the bill there, too.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Tony Sidaway and his tweets.


More wisdom: From Burlington, Vermont, grassroots ideas on fighting global warming

April 10, 2011

Another local newspaper op-ed, this time from Burlington, Vermont (yeah, I know — a Gannett paper — still, smaller than Dallas). This comes from the March 4 edition of the Burlington Free Press’s “I Believe” series:

I Believe: ‘We have a responsibility to learn about climate change

by Joan Knight

“If politicians remain at loggerheads, citizens must lead.”
— Dr. James E. Hansen, physicist, director of NASA Goddard Institute

I was impressed when I attended a recent meeting with a group of volunteer activists forming a Vermont chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby. This group is different, I thought. It might actually work. As a newly retired 72-year-old, I was looking for a new focus, and found it.

Religious groups use the word “creation.” Most people say “nature.” Academics speak of global ecology. Deep ecologists who view Earth as one living being say “Gaia,” in reverential tones, meaning our planet and its atmosphere is a living “body.” Its “cells” include us humans, plants, forests, microbes. All life is tied together by dynamic, interdependent relationships. Most native peoples sense that all beings are like sisters and brothers — members of the same family.

I understand. It started for me as a young child with what Rachel Carlson called a sense of wonder. Grasses back-lit by the setting sun; starfish in tide pools crawling about among colorful mats of living plants and fungi. It was a more spiritual experience than was going to church under parental orders. Nature really mattered.

Growing older, I revered the writing of Rachel Carson, David Brower, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry and so many more. I still feel abiding love for it all. I believe in Earth as a planetary living being.

It is clear that our family of All Beings is suffering.

Climate change. Global warming. Is it real? Is it a problem? Why are the changes happening? There is controversy about the answers to these questions. The collapse of climate and energy legislation last year in Congress was a relief to some in big business.

Natural laws or physics and chemistry are in action. The climate is warming faster than it ever has. Weather patterns are strange and tragic. Species are becoming extinct. Predictions of the end of nature (Bill McKibben’s 1984 book title) are common now. What if the scientists are right? We don’t need all the answers to figure out that something awful is going on.

Can we slow down the rate of change? Yes. Can we stop the climate from warming too much? It’s not likely, but I believe we must try. Should we let it happen while we enjoy our greenhouse-gas-producing lifestyles? Some family members deny the reality that their loved one has a serious illness and is likely to die prematurely. We humans have an interesting default to denial. This does happen. Might some of us, similarly, deny that our planet is critically ill?

Most of us agree that conservation of energy and resources is good for us and for the environment. We are changing our personal lifestyles. We have changed our light bulbs to compact fluorescents; we vacation closer to home; we’re working to improve the efficiency of our buildings.

Many of us also become members of environmental organizations. We read their magazines, put in bird feeders to enjoy nature, donate money and sign petitions in the attempt to show our legislators how we would like them to vote. Here in Vermont, we even talk with state legislators and are proud we are the “green state” — cherishing our remaining cows in pastoral landscapes and our forests for both wildlife and recreation. We’re thankful our delegation to the Congress “gets it.”

There are many grassroots activists successfully influencing lawmakers on a town and state level. But we know that states tend to make changes in laws and budgets in response to constraints brought on by federal legislation and financing. Are there ways to really influence federal representatives and senators? Paid lobbyists do it on a massive scale. Money speaks. But what about us?

The Citizens Climate Lobby believes in an approach by which ordinary people influence the federal “deciders” enough to sometimes change their votes. The influential people take the trouble to learn about and appreciate some things an individual legislator has done, seek to discover common ground, listen respectfully and talk in a collaborative way. After discovering what information would be relevant, they come back to provide it. In this comfortable way of relating, ordinary people do make a difference.

As citizens of this country we have a responsibility to learn about climate change, solutions and how to take part in the democratic process. We can sit down for a conversation and tell our legislators what we care about and why. We can write letters. It’s really our job as citizens to share these thoughts with our legislators, if we ever hope to be truly represented by them.

That’s where the new Citizens’ Climate Lobby comes in. The group gives us the tools we need. There is a monthly conference call with a leading thinker who will help keep us informed of the latest issues, and an opportunity to practice speaking with each other about those issues. We work together to help our legislators hear the non-confrontational message: We want a healthy planet for our kids and grandkids.

If I dare to step forward to lobby my representative, I want to learn how, to practice, to feel supported by kindred spirits, to know it’s OK to make mistakes and keep on gaining new knowledge and skills. I’m up for it. And I hope many of you will consider joining us as we begin making our voices heard where it matters most.

Check out the Citizens Climate Lobby website, and get information about how to join in on the next national conference call. This one will be focused on messaging — the importance of context and delivery. This organization seeks to empower each of us to have breakthroughs in our personal power, to be heard and to be counted. It feels good to be a part of a supportive web of passionate citizens.

Join us. Talk with an active member on the phone, go to the website (www.citizensclimatelobby.org), find the lobby on Facebook.

It’s not too late to make a difference. We have been lazy in hoping someone else would do the right thing, that sending a check to an organization and signing an online petition was enough. It’s time for folks, including myself, to step up and be heard.

Real grass roots politics, from a woman concerned enough about the issue to think historically, and to read broadly about it.

Citizenship is wonderful to behold, when it is practiced so nobly and elegantly.

What else might we learn, if we really listened to the people?

Citizens Climate Lobby masthead

Masthead for the home page of Citizens Climate Lobby - click to see


Annals of global warming: Records from Mauna Loa show continuing rise in atmospheric CO2

March 26, 2011

NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, NOAA photo, 1982, Cmdr. John Bortniak

NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory, from NOAA At the Ends of the Earth Collection, 1982 NOAA photo by Commander John Bortniak

John Adams observed, and Ronald Reagan was fond of quoting, “Facts are stubborn things . . .”

Here are the facts on atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2):

 

Monthly CO2 levels since 1960, Mauna Loa Observatory (Scripps Inst of Oceanography)

Mauna Loa Observatory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD (University of Calfornia-San Diego); CO2 concentrations in parts per million (ppm)

As described at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography site:

Description:
Monthly average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration versus time at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (20°N, 156°W) where CO2 concentration is in parts per million in the mole fraction (p.p.m.). The curve is a fit to the data based on a stiff spline plus a 4 harmonic fit to the seasonal cycle with a linear gain factor.

Data from Scripps CO2 Program.

For perspective, here’s a chart from Scripps that shows why there is concern over current levels of CO2:

CO2 over the past 420,000 years - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

CO2 over the past 420,000 years - Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Resources, More:


Lens incompetence: Watts Up looks through the wrong end of the telescope

December 27, 2010

The wags and denialists over at Anthony Watts’ joint are up to their old tricks, accusing others of their own errors.  Today it’s a guest post by Bernie Lewin, in which he claims that climate warming was all psychological, a “scare”:

Yet we can find precedents to this science-base scare in many health scares of recent decades, and also in environmental scares since the DDT cancer scare triggered by Silent Spring, politicised by the EDF and legalized by the newly formed EPA. (See Scared to Death which finds a repeating pattern to these science-based scares.)

Woman looking through the wrong end of a telescope

This woman might be corrected; global warming denialists will staunchly insist she knows what she's doing and doesn't need YOUR advice.

He fails to even think that Rachel Carson was right.  Lewin demonstrates incompetence at history, law and science, and the first point of the Scout Law, all in one sentence.

So much error.  So little time to correct.

  1. Carson didn’t claim DDT caused cancer. She noted that we create thousands of chemicals that may cause cancer, that cancers were rising in frequency, and that there was no testing of the new substances prior to their marketing.   Was there a DDT/cancer scare?  Lewin doesn’t offer any evidence.  (We had to correct Matt Ridley on this a couple of weeks ago – see his post here.)
  2. EDF (Environmental Defense Fund, now known as Environmental Defense) was on DDT without Carson — suing to stop DDT spraying (for no good reason) on Long Island in 1968.  EDF relied on science that was courtroom ready.  (I had misremembered the year of EDF’s suit in an earlier version of this post; my apologies to the two or three who may have read it.)  EDF’s suits established, on the basis of science, that DDT is an uncontrollable poison in the wild.  Lewin ignores science and law in his off-hand indictment of Carson’s book and ED.
  3. EPA didn’t act against DDT until 1972.  EPA banned DDT use on agricultural crops in the U.S. because DDT kills non-target species and, basically, entire ecosystems.  EPA was specific:  The ban had nothing to do with cancer.  Once again, Lewin ignores history, science and law.

So, in Lewin’s guest post, we see the pattern that continues at Watts’s place — unfair and wrong indictments of science, ignorance of history, little understanding of law.

All while trying to mock scientists:  ‘Of course scientists are almost always wrong,’ Watts’s blog argues, once again.

Watts won’t let me correct his errors there, even though he’s still coddling those who misdescribe Rachel Carson as a mass murderer, while denying he does it himself.  Consequently his readers won’t be alerted to this post because Watts or his minions will edit out the automatic ping his blog gets that this post is here.  Propaganda promoting falsehood can’t stand the sunlight of fact and truth.

Just because there’s a scare doesn’t mean there’s not a reason to be scared.  DDT is a deadly toxin, so long-lived that it almost cannot ever be eradicated from the environment.  It kills everything small, quickly, unless so much of it is used that the small things evolve quickly to be resistant and immune to it.

So, if we are to assume, as Lewin wrote, that the anti-warming bunch is to warming what the campaign against Rachel Carson by the DDT manufacturers was to DDT’s harms, we get a hint of what’s really up at Watts Up:  Any anti-warming claim is a hoax.  Why put it so cryptically, if that’s what they meant to say?

When Lewin looks at the history of DDT and Rachel Carson, he’s looking at the false history, and he draws the wrong conclusions.  Should we trust a guy so sloppy with the facts to be right on anything else?


Wegman Scandal: Attack on climate scientists based on shoddy scholarship

October 4, 2010

John Mashey assembled a massive document that nails down the case that bad science and politics make the complaints against scientists and the science that indicates global warming occurs, and can be attributed to greenhouse gases.  It is a scandal, though it’s unlikely to be reported that way.

Mashey’s entire paper — and it’s very, very large — is published at Deep Climate.

Mashey’s paper indicts staff work done for Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas — not that any of the voters in Barton’s district will let this major breach of ethics sway their votes, but those who want to vote against him can be gratified that they are on the moral side of the ballot.

Mashey wrote:

This report offers a detailed study of the “Wegman Report”: Edward J. Wegman, David W. Scott, Yasmin H. Said, “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION”(2006).

It has been key prop of climate anti-science ever since. It was promoted to Congress by Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield as “independent, impartial, expert” work by a team of “eminent statisticians.” It was none of those.

A Barton staffer provided much of the source material to the Wegman team. The report itself contains numerous cases of obvious bias, as do process, testimony and follow-on actions. Of 91 pages, 35 are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning. Its Bibliography is mostly padding, 50% of the references uncited in the text.  Many references are irrelevant or dubious.  The team relied heavily on a long-obsolete sketch and very likely on various uncredited sources. Much of the work was done by Said (then less than 1 year post-PhD) and by students several years pre-PhD. The (distinguished) 2nd author Scott wrote only a 3-page standard mathematical Appendix.  Some commenters were surprised to be later named as serious “reviewers.”  Comments were often ignored anyway.  People were misused.

The Wegman Report claimed two missions: #1 evaluate statistical issues of the “hockey stick” temperature graph,  and #2 assess potential peer review issues in climate science.  For #1, the team might have been able to do a peer-review-grade statistical analysis, but in 91 pages managed not to do so.  For  #2, a credible assessment needed a senior, multidisciplinary panel, not a statistics professor and his students, demonstrably unfamiliar with the science and as a team, unqualified for that task.   Instead, they made an odd excursion into “social network analysis,” a discipline  in which they lacked experience, but used poorly to make baseless claims of potential wrongdoing.

In retrospect, the real missions were: #1 claim the “hockey stick” broken and #2 discredit climate science as a whole. All this was a facade for a PR campaign well-honed by Washington, DC “think tanks” and allies, underway for years.

Now, if only Mashey had some e-mails stolen from Joe Barton, we could get some traction on the issue, eh?  ::wink-wink, nudge-nudge::

One may wonder what it will take to rehabilitate the skeptical side of the debate, to the point that they contribute more than mau-mauing.

Mashey’s paper makes that case that Joe Barton worked hard to pull off a great, hoaxed political smear, with a high degree of success.  Who will have the backbone to do anything about it?  Global cooling will proceed to the next ice age before any Republican shows backbone, I predict.

But, how long before the Fort Worth Star-Telegram or the Dallas Morning News picks up the story?

Other Texas bloggers?  Anyone?

It’s not an air-tight legal brief (I could quibble with some of the legal material), but in a better world, a world where politicians actually do good politics and public servants do public service, the House Rules Committee and Ethics Committee would be reading Mashey’s piece, and asking pointed questions.  U.S. attorneys in Washington, D.C., and the Northern District of Texas, would also be downloading Mashey’s piece, and puzzling it out.  Journalists in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Galveston and Houston in Texas, and Washington, D.C., and New York, would also be poring over the piece.  Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia would also be paying attention to it, if he were concerned about justice.

More (watch for updates):


Carbon-cutting schemes work, in Great Britain

August 11, 2010

Another press release that will have the climate change critics pulling their hair, from Great Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change about the Carbon Reduction Commitment plan (CRC):

50 days for businesses to register for carbon cutting scheme (Press Release)

With just 50 days to go until the end of registration for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Greg Barker is calling on the remaining organisations to register now.

Currently 1229 of the organisations required to register have done so.

Launched in April 2010 the CRC requires large public and private sector organisations to register with the Environment Agency by 30th September 2010.

Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said;

“This new Coalition Government wants to boost energy efficiency in business because we know that saving energy saves money. The CRC will encourage significant savings through greater energy efficiency and importantly will make carbon a boardroom issue for many large organisations.

My message to businesses today is to register now. I understand the original complexity of the scheme may have deterred some organisations and I want to hear suggestions as to how we can make the scheme simpler in the future.”

GB Energy Minister Greg Barker and Westminster Fire Station

With just 50 days to go until the end of registration for the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Greg Barker is calling on the remaining organisations to register now. The Minister visited Westminster Fire Station this month to meet fire fighters and see some of the measures recently installed to improve the station’s energy efficiency.

The London Fire Brigade is one organisation that has registered for the CRC. Energy efficiency projects put in place by the Brigade have led to savings of £260,000 in 2009/10 and over £1 million since the Brigade started focusing on the need to be greener. Despite the organisation growing overall carbon emissions on their buildings are down by over 18% on 1990s levels.

Greg Barker visited Westminster Fire Station this month to meet fire fighters and see some of the measures recently installed to improve the station’s energy efficiency. Chairman and Leader of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Councillor Brian Coleman AM, FRSA, said:

“This isn’t just about protecting the environment, it makes excellent business sense. Last year we saved the taxpayer over a quarter of a million pounds by making our fire stations greener and reducing our energy bills.”

The CRC will help to ensure that organisations play their full role in contributing to the UK’s emissions reductions of at least 34% on 1990 levels by 2020 through improved energy efficiency.

  • Find out more about CRC on the DECC website
  • Imagine that: Saving energy both reduces carbon emissions and saves money.

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    Another blog, shocked — shocked! — at cold in Argentina in July

    August 10, 2010

    Unlike the blog discussed in an earlier post at first, this blog seems to understand that it’s winter in South America.  Still, the author can’t understand why record cold in one small spot doesn’t completely negate warming in the rest of the world:  Minnesotans for Global Warming.

    One almost expects to find it has sister sites:  Minnesotans Love Cancer, Minnesotans for Child Abuse, and Self-Lobotomies R Us.

    Maybe it’s not the concept of climate that confuses these people, but the entire notion of “average global temperature.”  People who spend their entire lives below average, probably expect that’s the way it is in temperatures, too.  (Is that nasty enough for today?  I’m feeling crabby about idiocy.)


    Warming deniers surprised by winter

    July 27, 2010

    Were you writing fiction, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Another bastion of people misled by the lack of a Hemingway-brand Solid Gold Sh*t Detector™.

    Another person proud as heck of her denial of global warming, points to cattle freezing in South America in July as proof that the Earth’s atmosphere is not warming.

    At a blog called Frugal Café Blog Zone, “Where it’s chic to be cheap… Conservative social & political commentary, with frugality mixed in,” blogger Vicki McClure Davidson headlined the piece:

    “Remember Al Gore’s “Global Warming” Hoax? People & Cattle in South America Are Dying from Extreme Cold in July”

    Gee, how to break this news to her?

    Vickie, sit down.  This is something you should have learned in geography in junior high:  In the Southern Hemisphere, winter starts on June 21It’s cold in South America in July, because it’s winter in South America in July.

    Cold in winter.  They don’t expect it.  These warming denialists provide the evidence those crabs need, who wonder whether there shouldn’t be some sort of “common sense test” required to pass before allowing people to vote, or drive, or have children.

    Oh, it gets worse:

    Another site picked up the post.  No, seriously.  (Has Anthony Watts seen this yet?)

    • Voting Female [I am convinced that is a sock puppet site designed to insult women; no woman could be that stupid, could she?]
    Earth at northern solstice

    Earth at northern solstice - Wikimedia image


    Stolen e-mails report: Scientists in the clear, science solid

    July 7, 2010

    So far it’s a shut out against the “skeptics” of global warming.*

    From Science Insider (the AAAS breaking news blog):

    The fifth and, so far, most thorough major investigation into the published mails from the University of East Angia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has given the CRU a relatively clean bill of health. (See the full report.) The independent inquiry into so-called “Climategate”, instigated by UEA and headed by former civil servant Muir Russell, examined the conduct of the CRU scientists following allegations sparked by the so-called “Climategate” e-mails. It looked at selective use of data, subverting of peer review, and failure to respond fully to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    The report was unequivocal in its backing of the scientists in terms of research integrity, though it did criticize their openness. “Their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” it said. In response to the assertion that CRU had withheld data, the report found that it was mostly not theirs to withhold but was easily accessible in public databases. One of the report’s authors, physicist Peter Clarke of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, told a press briefing today that they were able to download the relevant data “in a few minutes” and then process it in the same way as CRU had done, producing similar final results. “It took a couple of days of code writing,” he said. The authors found no evidence of bias by CRU in its selection of data. Allegations of misuse of tree ring data were also put aside.

    Some of the 1000 e-mails that appeared on the Internet suggested that CRU Director Phil Jones had tried to influence peer review of papers he disagreed with and prevented them from being cited by reviews of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    On the subject of peer review, Russell said that expressing “robust opinions [about papers] was typical during peer review.” And after consulting with editors of the IPCC report, the panel concluded that the CRU scientists were “parts of teams and not individuals responsible for the wording of the reports,” Russell says.

    Where the CRU scientists did fall down was in their openness to requests for data. “There was a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness,” Russell says. And the report criticizes UEA for failing to recognize its statutory requirements under the FOIA and also the risk to the reputation of the university and to the credibility of U.K. climate science. Panel member James Norton said that “now more than ever scientists need to be open. Scientists don’t own their own data and at most have a temporary lease.”

    More:

    _____________

    *  They’ve complained about being called denialists — maybe we should start calling them “gullibles,” especially since they seized on the thin reed of these stolen e-mails to claim that the victimized scientists were the ones who had done something wrong, since they fell for the fourth-grade science project hoax, and since they fell for the Spanish bomb-in-the-mail hoax.


    Rep. Markey: “Those who deny global warming . . . have been refuted”

    May 7, 2010

    Chairman and scientist witnesses at May 6 hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

    Members of commitee and scientist witnesses at May 6 hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. From left: Rep. Jay Inslee, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Dr. James Hurrell, Chairman Ed Markey, Dr. Lisa Graumlich, Dr. James McCarthy, and Dr. Chris Field

    Excerpt from the opening statement from Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, at a May 6 hearing:

    Those who deny global warming point to past uncertainties that have been refuted. They ignore the overwhelming observational evidence that the increased levels of heat-trapping pollution are already warming the planet. Instead of trying to understand the science, they use stolen emails about analysis of tree rings in Siberia to turn an honest discussion into a Russian Tree Ring Circus. Or they manufacture a cooling trend by cherry picking a few years out of a longer record of warming temperatures.

    While the deniers hope to confuse the public, the real world consequences of inaction mount. Over the weekend, killer storms blew through Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. In Nashville, nearly 13 inches of rain fell in just over two days time – almost doubling the previous record that fell in the aftermath of a hurricane in 1979.

    These storms follow the wettest March on record in Boston. Two 50-year storms occurred within 2 weeks of each other. The National Guard was mobilized. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. The region suffered millions of dollars in damages.

    No single rainstorm can be attributed to climate change. Nor can a snowstorm disprove its existence. But the underlying science and the observed trends do point to more extreme weather events, especially heavy precipitation events because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.

    Extreme rainfall is just one of the consequences of the carbon pollution we are releasing into the air. Our witnesses today will explain how science has revealed this unseen pollution for what it is and discuss the very real consequences of its continuing accumulation in the atmosphere.

    As we approach summer, our clean energy debate needs to acknowledge what many would like to deny. Our dependence on oil carries with it national security, economic and environmental risks. As gas prices rise and the oil slick spreads, perhaps we will finally acknowledge that we cannot drill our way to independence. We have less than 3 percent of proven oil reserves. Perhaps we can also acknowledge the basic facts that have been known for decades—increasing carbon pollution in the atmosphere is warming the planet and that the only way to put a halt to such warming is to move to clean energy solutions.

    Tell the anti-warmists to refute this:

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