What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 10, 2010

The Trib Smears

In yet another bit of climate-change-is-a-hoax snark, the braintrust over at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review smears. AND they don't get the irony of that smear. Here it is:
The climate science community says it's ready to fight back against the forces of truth responsible for exposing extensive fraud in global warming research, reports The Washington Times. At least one scientist involved in the fight-back campaign -- Stephen H. Schneider -- already is dropping the "M"-bomb, claiming that legitimate questions about such "settled science" amount to "McCarthyism." Which prompts only one logical question: Are you now, Mr. Schneider, or have you ever been, a real scientist?
Here's the Washington Times piece the braintrust cites. When you read it (and I wonder if the braintrust gave it more than a cursory glance) you'll see that the Times does NOT characterize what the science community is fighting back against as anything close to "the forces of truth responsible for exposing extensive fraud". Here's how they describe the stolen East Anglia emails:
The scientists have been under siege since late last year when e-mails leaked from a British climate research institute seemed to show top researchers talking about skewing data to push predetermined outcomes.
And:
The e-mails emerged months after another set of e-mails from a leading British climate research group seemed to show scientists shading data to try to bolster their claims, and are likely to feed the impression among skeptics that researchers are pursuing political goals as much as they are disseminating science.
That's as close as they get. Where is the indication that it's the "forces of truth"? The Times even uses the weasel-phrase "seems to show" to characterize the emails. If it did show what they want you to believe, they'd say it. But because it doesn't, they inject the "seems to show" wiggle.

Some say that's not entirely honest, that it seems to show a lack of confidence in the information, but I'm just asking the question - I don't have to resolve it.

But let's get to the unintentionally ironic smear:
At least one scientist involved in the fight-back campaign -- Stephen H. Schneider -- already is dropping the "M"-bomb, claiming that legitimate questions about such "settled science" amount to "McCarthyism." Which prompts only one logical question: Are you now, Mr. Schneider, or have you ever been, a real scientist?
The implication, of course, is that Mr. Schneider is not a real scientist. The truth, of course, is that Professor Schneider is. From his page at Stamford University, we find that:
Dr. Stephen H. Schneider is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor of Biological Sciences, Professor (by courtesy) of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Dr. Schneider received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Plasma Physics from Columbia University in 1971. He studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1972 and was a member of the scientific staff of NCAR from 1973-1996, where he co-founded the Climate Project.
Hence the unintentionally ironic smear. By calling him "Mr." and asking the rhetorical question whether he's ever been a "real scientist" (when knowing all along that he is and hoping that no one will check the details) the Trib itself is dancing the McCarthy-ite dance. Even while criticizing Schneider for using the "M-word."

Isn't it, ironic (doncha think?)

3 comments:

EdHeath said...

Oh my God. They serious ask whether this guy is a "real scientist", and, yeah, he really is. Is he qualified to describe the discussion of whether there is climate change as "settled science"? Sure sounds like it.

Now, there are reasonable questions about how high temperatures will ultimately go, and reasonable questions about what the best balance between economic activity and reduction of activities that cause greenhouse gases is (which in turn effects how high temperatures will ultimately go), but of course those are not the questions the Trib and other conservatives are asking.

The Skeptical Inquirer has a piece on Climate Change science in their March April issue which I believe is very even handed in my opinion (and therefore damning to the deniers). They also have a piece on "Climate-Gate", also even handed (and therefore damning to the deniers).

In addition, in the next issue, they have a piece exposing the 9/11 "truthers" as junk scientists. Fair enough.

Clyde Wynant said...

What's really scary is that, to make their point, they still have to spin what the Washington Times is reporting!

Gene Callahan said...

"Are you now, Mr. Schneider, or have you ever been, a real scientist?"

That was a joke, you whiney marone.