Democracy Has Prevailed.

November 30, 2011

How Can There Be A "Climategate II" When There Was No Climagegate I?

It took some time, but Scaife's braintrust over at the Tribune-Review finally caught up to the rest of the anti-science crowd and commented on the latest batch of hacked emails from East Anglia.

For some reality-based background, we turn to the Guardian:
A fresh tranche of private emails exchanged between leading climate scientists throughout the last decade was released online on Tuesday. The unauthorised publication is an apparent attempt to repeat the impact of a similar release of emails on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit in late 2009.

The initial email dump was apparently timed to disrupt the Copenhagen climate talks. It prompted three official inquiries in the UK and two in the US into the working practices of climate scientists. Although these were critical of the scientists' handling of Freedom of Information Act requests and lack of openness they did not find fault with the climate change science they had produced.
Keep that last sentence in mind.

But let's get back to what Scaife's braintrust really wants to discuss:
Among the correspondence, as reported by author James Delingpole in The Wall Street Journal, is an e-mail from Penn State global-warming guru Michael Mann: "I've been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose (Steve) McIntyre and his thus far unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests."

That would be the Canadian ex-mining engineer who exposed Mr. Mann's flawed "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures. Rather than "prove" Mr. McIntyre wrong, Mann preferred to go dirt-digging.
Here's the WSJ article the braintrust references.  And this is what he wrote about Professor Mann:
Consider an email written by Mr. Mann in August 2007. "I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thus far unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests. Perhaps the same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy." Doug Keenan is a skeptic and gadfly of the climate-change establishment. Steve McIntyre is the tenacious Canadian ex-mining engineer whose dogged research helped expose flaws in Mr. Mann's "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures.

One can understand Mr. Mann's irritation. His hockey stick, which purported to demonstrate the link between man-made carbon emissions and catastrophic global warming, was the central pillar of the IPCC's 2001 Third Assessment Report, and it brought him near-legendary status in his community. Naturally he wanted to put Mr. McIntyre in his place.

The sensible way to do so is to prove Mr. McIntyre wrong using facts and evidence and improved data. Instead the email reveals Mr. Mann casting about for a way to smear him. If the case for man-made global warming is really as strong as the so-called consensus claims it is, why do the climategate emails show scientists attempting to stamp out dissenting points of view? Why must they manipulate data, such as Mr. Jones's infamous effort (revealed in the first batch of climategate emails) to "hide the decline," deliberately concealing an inconvenient divergence, post-1960, between real-world, observed temperature data and scientists' preferred proxies derived from analyzing tree rings?
The part left out by Delinpole (and subsequently by the braintrust) is that Mcintyre had, by 2007 was already being challenged. Like this from 2005:
Ammann and Eugene Wahl of Alfred University have analyzed the Mann-Bradley-Hughes (MBH) climate field reconstruction and reproduced the MBH results using their own computer code. They found the MBH method is robust even when numerous modifications are employed. Their results appear in two new research papers submitted for review to the journals Geophysical Research Letters and Climatic Change. The authors invite researchers and others to use the code for their own evaluation of the method.

Ammann and Wahl’s findings contradict an assertion by McIntyre and McKitrick that 15th century global temperatures rival those of the late 20th century and therefore make the hockey stick-shaped graph inaccurate. They also dispute McIntyre and McKitrick’s alleged identification of a fundamental flaw that would significantly bias the MBH climate reconstruction toward a hockey stick shape. Ammann and Wahl conclude that the highly publicized criticisms of the MBH graph are unfounded. They first presented their detailed analyses at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco last December and at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Denver this year.
The main thrust of the brainstrust's argument is that the "hockey stick" is wrong and therefore climate science is wrong.

But it isn't and the science is still undeniable.

Funny how the braintrust never seems to get around to that NOAA report.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Michael Mann is beyond reproach.
"Independent" investigations performed by Penn State have cleared him of any misconduct or inappropriate behavior in Climategate.

Penn State would never coverup any misconduct or inappropriate behavior by the people they employ. ;)

EdHeath said...

HTTT, equating a climate scientist with a pedophile is like replacing one front-running Republican candidate with multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and shaky command of the issues with another candidate with a history of several affairs and hypocritical criticism of entities and politicians he connects to those entities while taking money from at least one of those entities.

You conservatives accuse climate scientists, including all the national academies of science of the world, manufactured the climate science hoax to get government research dollars (despite the fact that since government revenues are down while energy industries are setting profit records and therefore if they wanted money it would be a lot smarter of these PhD's to run studies disproving climate change for the Koch brothers).

Yet when someone questions Steve McIntyre's motivation for ignoring all the scientific journals and evidence and taking the same side as the oil/gas/coal megaindutrialcomplex, y'all act all sad and weepy that someone dares to suggest that following the money might make sense.

By the way, y'all think Julian Assange is the worst criminal in the world for revealing what our government is doing in the world, yet you have no problem with the repeated theft of private emails. It's OK with you if Dick Cheney conceals records of conspiring with energy company executives, yet you want to let the whole world to know about the walking at lunch schedule. Double standard? Oh right, Republican.

And why does Steve McIntyre say he is linking to the Atlantic, when in fact he links to the American Spectator? Y'all lie all the time.

Winding down said...


Are Scaife and his minions watching you?

Good cover story in Weekly Standard on climate gate stuff...does Scaife back the WS? Maybe Murdoch?

Don't bother with it ..considering the source..

Winding down said...

EH and Junkies


For your info/edification

Or is the issue closed to further discussion?

EdHeath said...

WD, the paper is missing two pages, 806 and 807. We don't know why the author says "that for every case of fraud that became public there were a hundred thousand cases of fraud that did" ... something, we don't know. Or how serious the 100,000 frauds were.

The paper seems to deal with medical research fraud, and I would say that I think there is a lot of money involved in medical research, a lot of it in pharmacology or medical equipment. I think the difference with climate change research is that anyone who does get rich due to capitalizing on some aspect of climate change will do so regardless of the efforts of climate scientists, not because of them. People may or may not choose to listen to James Hansen, climate scientist, and reduce their usage of coal, oil and natural gas. If people do reduce or eliminate their use of fossil fuels, someone, let's call him John Smith, inventor, may develop a new solar cell technology, and become rich from it. But there is no particular way that James Hansen would profit.

I also think that while individual scientists might be engaging in fraud, even large numbers of them, the entire field of climate science (or geophysics, or whatever you want to call it) would not be engaging in fraud. That's just too silly. The only people who would suggest that are either energy company executives or the people who they pay off. If you want to look for fraud, I suggest you start with the office of James Inhofe.

All that said, the notion of formalizing the regulation of scientific research (especially that paid for with government dollars) with rules and oversight developed by lawyers actually sounds fine to me. Anything that further validates scientific research seems like a good idea.