What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 6, 2009

On The Trib Ed-Board. Again.

Looks like they're learning - if only about how to hide the circle jerk. From today's Sunday Pops:
The next shoe to drop in the growing "climate change" scandal could involve NASA. The Washington Times reports that researcher Christopher Horner is about to sue the space agency to force it to cough up data showing how it shapes its findings and why it's had to repeatedly correct data going back to the 1930s. Stay tuned for the next chapter in what rapidly has become The Greatest Fraud.
So who's this "Christopher Horner" you ask?

Why he's with the Scaife funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, of course. And how do I know this? For one, the Trib has already said so. Only last September:
"If they don't tell you the cost and they don't tell you the benefit, what are they telling you?" asks CEI's Christopher Horner. [emphasis added.]
The Brain-Trust (as well as the Washington Times article mentioned) refers to Horner as "a researcher" implying, I take it, that he's some kind of climate science-researcher.

Epp-epp-epp - not so fast there, pal. According to his page at the CEI:
Christopher C. Horner serves as a Senior Fellow at CEI. As an attorney in Washington, DC Horner has represented CEI as well as scientists and Members of the U.S. House and Senate on matters of environmental policy in the federal courts including the Supreme Court.
While there is no doubt that some attorneys actually do some work and that some of that work actually revolves around research, but to say Horner is "a researcher" is, well, misleading.

And that's the point. The Brain-Trust knows he's from CEI. And (presumably) the Brain-Trust knows that their boss, Richard Mellon Scaife has made it possible for the CEI to get close to a million dollars over the last 3 years.

And yet none of that is mentioned.

They're trying to hide their circle-jerking. But it continues just the same.

But let's take a look at that Washington Times article again. Here's what it says:
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.

"I assume that what is there is highly damaging," Mr. Horner said. "These guys are quite clearly bound and determined not to reveal their internal discussions about this."

The numbers matter. Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.
And then a few paragraphs down there's this:
NASA's GISS was forced to update its data in 2007 after questions were raised by Steve McIntyre, who runs ClimateAudit.com.

GISS had initially listed the warmest years as 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921 and 1931. After Mr. McIntyre's questions GISS rejiggered the list and 1934 was warmest, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006 and then 1931. But since then, the list has been rewritten again so it now runs 1998, 2006, 1934, 1921, 1999.

The institute blamed a "minor data processing error" for the changes but says it doesn't make much difference since the top three years remain in a "statistical tie" either way.
THAT'S what Horner's hunting?

Here's what we wrote about it at the time (we were quoting this from actual scientist Gavin Schmidt):
The net effect of the change was to reduce mean US anomalies by about 0.15 ºC for the years 2000-2006. There were some very minor knock on effects in earlier years due to the GISTEMP adjustments for rural vs. urban trends. In the global or hemispheric mean, the differences were imperceptible (since the US is only a small fraction of the global area).
There were however some very minor re-arrangements in the various rankings (see data). Specifically, where 1998 (1.24 ºC anomaly compared to 1951-1980) had previously just beaten out 1934 (1.23 ºC) for the top US year, it now just misses: 1934 1.25ºC vs. 1998 1.23ºC. None of these differences are statistically significant.
So due to McIntyre's catch, the US data (but not the global data) was corrected to the tune of a few hundredths of a degree in a statistically insignificant setting. And now it looks like that (US) data has been corrected again.

Tell me again how this undermines the global data?

It doesn't.

There are only two possibilities here: The Brain-Trust knows it's misleading the public or it doesn't. If it's the former, its credibility is undermined and if it's the latter, its credibility is undermined.


BigmacInPittsburgh said...

This one of the reasons I don't read that fish wrap!
To be fair the Post-Gazette isn't anything to write home to mother about either!

albamaria30 said...

This is interesting. I've been trying to do some research about this now that a certain conservative pundit (rhymes with Hen Peck) has been going off about the climate change scam. It's the next argument I need to prepare to have with my FIL.

What kills me is Mr. Peck doesn't mention the independent, real scientists who study global climate change. Like the international panel of, oh, 130 of them, who have consensus about human's effect on the climate. He just has dubious researchers on his show who decry the "cover up". What effing "cover up"?


Anyway, thanks for more information. I'm always looking.


EdHeath said...

It is actually somewhat difficult to find the lists of scientific organizations that support the concept of human caused climate change. Wikipedia has such a list here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change), Of course, citing Wikipedia brings instant scorn from conservatives, but Wikipedia does actually have citations.