What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 21, 2009

How Long Before We See This At The Trib?

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a story on its website and I am wondering how long it'll take for our friends on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviews editorial board (aka Scaife's Brain Trust) to write about it.

Let's all take a moment to remember that the CEI is funded (in part) by the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation is controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife who owns the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

And they've circle-jerked with the CEI before.

Here's what the CEI posted:
Scientists engaged in major global warming research and data collection have waged and discussed an internal smear and data manipulation campaign targeting critics of catastrophic global warming predictions. This was revealed when unknown hackers this week broke into the database of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU)—an academic institution that has for decades compiled raw climate science data. The CRU, embroiled in another recent scandal after it admitted deleting much of its raw data, has since acknowledged the authenticity of the hacked e-mails.
Rush Limbaugh even chimed in on this (and when Rush chimes in, you know it's right. He has "talent on loan from God" doncha know). Here's a transcript from Mediamatters:
I don't know if the jury's still out on that, but more and more people are picking up on this. The whole thing as we've -- I've instinctively known this from the get-go 20 years ago. The whole thing's made up. And the reason I know it is because liberals are behind it. When they're pushing something, folks, it's always bogus. It's never what they say it is. There's always a hidden reason behind the objective. The objective -- stated objective is just designed just to get you feeling guilty, responsible, frightened, scared -- and your kids as well. But it looks like substantial fraud, a lot of evidence of substantial fraud in reporting the evidence on global warming. And Clarice Feldman at the AmericanThinker.com is posted one this, and she's got a sample of the purportedly hacked materials on here -- of the 1,079 emails and 72 documents, and they are available online -- the hackers put them up.

"Dear Roy -- or Ray, Mike, and Malcolm, Once Tim's got a diagram here we'll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I just completed Mike's nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years, i.e., from 1981 onwards, and from the 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline in temperature." To hide the decline in temperature. "Mike's series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-September for NH land N of 20 north. The latter two are real for 1999 while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is --" blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
RealClimate has the real story about the (let's all admit it, illegal) hack:
No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.
Wired has this bit of fun:
Bloggers allege that an e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that reality contradicts scientific claims about global warming:
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming ? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low….

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. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
But Trenberth, who acknowledged the e-mail is genuine, says bloggers are missing the point he’s making in the e-mail by not reading the article cited in it. That article – An Imperative for Climate Change Planning (.pdf) — actually says that global warming is continuing, despite random temperature variations that would seem to suggest otherwise.
Wired goes on:

Gavin Schmidt, a research scientist with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the e-mails offer no damning indictment of climate researchers, and that bloggers are reading information in them out of context.

“There’s nothing in the e-mails that shows that global warming is a hoax,” he told Threat Level. “There’s no funding by nefarious groups. There’s no politics in any of these things; nobody from the [United Nations] telling people what to do. There’s nothing hidden, no manipulation.

“It’s just scientists talking about science, and they’re talking relatively openly as people in private e-mails generally are freer with their thoughts than they would be in a public forum. The few quotes that are being pulled out [are out] of context. People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way.”

Now that a preemptive deconstruction of an expected Brain Trust editorial has occurred, I wonder of Scaife's droogs have the yarbles to spew any more of this chepooka.

LATE UPDATE: The RealClimate link was added.


Clyde Wynant said...

When I first saw a headline about this, I jumped to the online article and read it. My initial thought was, "What the hell?"

Because, as is noted here, nothing in the actual facts support the right wing, "conspiracy" aspect of the story. This is spin, pure and simple; pick a few choice words or phrases out of context (like every political campaign does every year) and spin a "story" out of it. Feed the red meat to the hungry jackals and they'll tear it to bits.

As we all know, it doesn't have to be true, it just has to get seeded into the cloud of stupid people who read no further than the headline...if they can read.

The Cunning Runt said...