February 13, 2010

The Trib Times TWO

Two, two, two rants in one!

That's what we have today, my friends. Two separate yet equal wingnut climate rants on the editorial pages of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Both equally wingnutty. Both equally wrong.

Rant the first (from Bob Pellegrino):
To further confound the public's perception of climate-change "science," President Obama wants to create a new ministry of information.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Service, expected to bow by year's end, would provide "one-stop shopping into the world of climate information," says NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco. "Climate change is real, it's happening now."

Just don't pay any attention to the large body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence to the contrary.
Note the nod to George Orwell's Ministry of Truth. Orwell used pre-war Britain's "Ministry of Information" (the organization that ran that country's censorship duties) as the model for Oceania's propaganda ministry. As Orwell's "Minitrue" rewrote history to conform to the current political agenda, it's not surprising that Scaife's braintrust would use that particular literary reference to smear the newly formed NOAA Climate Services.

But it's that third paragraph that's an out and out lie. You'll notice that nowhere does Pellegrino reference any "peer-reviewed scientific evidence" that counters Lubchenco's statement that "Climate change is real, it's happening now."

That's because there isn't any. At least none that can be relied upon.

How do I know?

Historian of Science Naomi Orestes published a study that looked into all the peer-reviewed papers published between 1993 and 2003 found in the ISI Database by using the keyword search "Climate change":
The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.
The consensus position being (roughly) that "Climate change is real, it's happening now." So where is this "large body" of scientific evidence? Is it found in the peer-reviewed journals from 2004?

Well yes, and of course, no. There's a "counter" study from 2007 that purports to show 32 papers (just 6% of the total number of 528) reject "outright" the scientific consensus. Though Schulte's paper is not all that it seems - sloppy, plagarized and, in general, discredited (He reportedly sites non-peer reviewed material, reviews, and counts papers that accept climate science as among those rejecting it.)

So where, again, is this "large body" of evidence? And why hasn't it swayed the:
Have they all been duped, too? Or maybe (and these words must only be spoken in hushed tones) they're the dupers. Yea, yea, that's the ticket! It's a vast criminal conspiracy to impose socialism on our children by way of faked temperature data.

Makes complete sense.

Rant the second, from Alan Wallace, takes such a curious religious tone that requires it to be fully quoted:
The Obama administration is about to erase whatever infinitesimal separation still exists between the anti-mankind, anti-growth Church of Climatology and the state.

Already established is, a new central Web portal for government climate data -- eco-wackos' holy writ. Next up: a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service office, which NOAA officials say won't adjudicate controversies over that data.

They thereby certify the "inerrancy" of that "sacred" canon -- which of course excludes the Climategate e-mails and the blunders of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Required approvals from congressional appropriations committees amount to an "Amen." Pontificating on Democrat-controlled Capitol Hill's piety is Archbishop of Cap and Trade Edward Markey, the House Democrat of Massachusetts who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:

"This service will be a vital part of our growing body of knowledge on climate change, and will be held to the highest standards of scientific integrity and transparency."

Roll your eyes at that -- as you should -- and you're a heretic. This faith-based initiative, which disdains reason, might as well be an Inquisition.
Um, tiny point here, but Wallace gets his chronology wrong. already is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service.

And who says?

If Wallace either can't get such a simple factoid right (or, giving him benefit of the doubt) isn't clear in writing about it, then why should we trust anything else in the editorial? Do I need to point out that probably won't "adjudicate" the "controversies" because (let's all take a deep breath here) there is no controversy.

Of course he presents "climategate" to us conveniently omitting's debunking:
In late November 2009, more than 1,000 e-mails between scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the U.K.’s University of East Anglia were stolen and made public by an as-yet-unnamed hacker. Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming. We find that to be unfounded.
And so on.

Other than that, the editorial is profoundly fact-free.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

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