Monday, April 19, 2010

Claptrap about Climategate claptrap

by Mike McGowan
I just read an interesting article at The Nation. It was posted by Johann Hari on April 15th, and is entitled “Climategate Claptrap, II“.

I’m not the world’s biggest supporter of the green movement. It’s fair to get that out of the way first, full disclosure and what not, because I think this is one of the least informed attacks on Climategate that I’ve seen, and trust me, that’s really saying something.
The author begins by crowing a bit, attempting to link Climategate with the fight against Big Tobacco, but it gets interesting quickly. In no time at all, the author engages us with visions of “deniers” being destroyed on the world stage…
It is happening again. The tide of global warming denial is now rising as fast as global sea levels–and with as much credibility as Cook Little. Look at the deniers’ greatest moment, Climategate, hailed by them as “the final nail in the coffin” of “the theory of global warming.” A patient study by the British House of Commons has pored over every e-mail from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and interviewed everyone involved. Its findings? The “evidence patently fails to support” the idea of a fraud; the scientists have “no case to answer”; and all their findings “have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified” by other scientists. That’s British for “it was a crock.”
Man, you know, sometimes I almost hate to do this to people… Oh well. Can’t be helped.

A “patient study by the British House of Commons”?
That one caused me to squirt chocolate milk out of my nose and earned me a funny look from the kid.
The real truth:
“Lawmakers stressed that their report which was written after only a single day of oral testimony did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth as the two other inquiries into the e-mail scandal that are still spending. [emphasis mine - MM]

Willis said the lawmakers had been in a rush to publish something before Britain’s next national election, which is widely expected in just over a month’s time.
“Clearly we would have liked to spend more time of this,” he said, before adding jokingly: “We had to get something out before we were sent packing.”
CBSNews (Which, ironically, I just made fun of here.)

The best part about the article?
It fails to mention the fact that a second panel investigating this has also declared Climategate to be 2 legit 2 quit:
“In the second of three investigations of the scandal known as “climate-gate,” a panel of academic experts said Wednesday that several prominent climate scientists did not engage in deliberate malpractice but did not use the best statistical tools available to produce their findings.”

Washington Post
However, if you keep reading, way down there, buried at the bottom of the piece, you’ll find this interesting little tidbit:
“Set up and funded by the University of East Anglia, the review panel was led by Ernest Oxburg — a geologist and former academic who is the honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and is involved with the wind-energy company Falck Renewables.” [emphasis mine — MM]
It then gives you another paragraph detailing how each of the members of this panel are associated with cooperating Universities.

It’s getting hilarious by this point.
This is nothing more than a continuation of “This debate is OVER!”…
Well… That doesn’t exactly cut it in the real world people. I’m gonna need to see something that will get me to lose faith in the laws of mathematics and statistics, and it’s gonna have to be really damned convincing… Like some form of god or advanced alien culture or something is going to have to part the clouds, single me out, and tell me that humans are causing climate change in no uncertain terms.
That’s how strongly I believe in the truth of equations.
100 years’ worth of scientific data is not a large enough sample from a population of 4 billion years to make any scientifically valid claims about anything. Read more.

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