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Coffee!! AccuWeather piles into the Climategate debate

Justin Roberti, for AccuWeather, advises in a media release (December 2, 2009),

Climategate Used to Settle ‘Vendetta,’ says Mann

State College, Pa. — 2 December 2009 — Michael Mann, Penn State University meteorology professor, said Climategate is an attack on man-made global warming scientists.

“I think it is unfortunate that some scientists out there are using this situation to settle personal scores, to settle a vendetta,” Mann said, in an exclusive interview with AccuWeather.com’s Katie Fehlinger.

Watch interview with Michael Mann

Mann said that the e-mail leak happened just in time for the Dec. 7, 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, where world leaders, including President Obama, hope to come to an agreement on a framework for future international climate change mitigation.

“It is not a coincidence… that this event happened in the weeks leading up to the summit in Copenhagen,” said Mann. “They’ve taken scientists’ words and phrases and quoted them out of context, completely misrepresenting what they were saying.”

We also learn that

Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) from which questionable global warming e-mails were leaked, temporarily stepped down from his position yesterday to allow for investigation to continue without disruption. Mann protected his work and the work of his peers as Penn State launched an investigation into what critics call a fabrication of global warming data.

I don’t think AccuWeather’s people get it.

No one is misrepresenting plans to manipulate journals and sideline peer reviewers. They said it themselves. Then there was  the suggestion one would destroy data rather than let other scientists see it, via the Freedom of Information Act. 

If that latter comment was just a joke, well, that guy is definitely not ready for his standup at Laff Riot Nite. So I wrote back to Roberti and said,


Justin, some thoughts from someone who has written on this subject (see below for link):

Global warming may be happening, and may be anthropogenic.

The issue most good citizens are concerned about re climategate is smokers like this:

“The two MMs [Canadian skeptics Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

Wow, the open society on display.

The people in charge of the climate data behaved unprofessionally as scientists. Claims that it is all a big vendetta against them will not wash.

One outcome is that many people, including myself, who were formerly willing to give the climateers the benefit of the doubt no longer trust what they say.

A thorough investigation is certainly needed, so I am glad it is occurring. Maybe if the climate guys are cleared, they will smarten up. After all, if global warming is so important, why shouldn’t the researchers behave more transparently?

Note: I prefer the term “climate change” to “global warming”. Many places are not warming up – but even if the planet is warming up, that might not be surprising. A person can turn up the thermostat in her home and find that some parts are still chilly, even if the home’s average temperature has increased. A change has occurred but it may not be experienced as warming in all nooks and crannies.

Blog link here.

I wish I had had this quotation from Tolstoy, kindly sent by a friend, to offer to Roberti when I wrote to him:

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

Of course, there is always that homely old proverb to fall back on: When you are in a hole, stop digging.

By the way, Bret Stephens at Wall Street Journal (December 2, 2009) discusses the way in which money may be a driver in this affair (Climategate: Follow the Money), and offers,

Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents leaked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he’d been awarded in the 1990s.

Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?

[ ... ]

None of these outfits are per se corrupt, in the sense that the monies they get are spent on something other than their intended purposes. But they depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved. Absent that proof, everything they represent—including the thousands of jobs they provide—vanishes. This is what’s known as a vested interest, and vested interests are an enemy of sound science.

Preach it, brother!

And finally, from Investors Business Daily, a note about the co-dependence of major media and networks in this affair, ignoring and making excuses:

Media: The shameless denial with which major newspapers and networks have treated “Climategate” layers even more scandal on top of the original one: Mainstream media now co-conspirators with scientific hacks and big government.

If major media and networks were a wife, they would be told to see a counsellor about the problem of unfailing and uncritical support for an errant husband, thus enabling his problems.

And these legacy media wonder why they are losing market share? For the same reason as Mrs. Co-Dependent loses friends. Most people don’t want to buy into bad head stuff like that.

Update: And here’s Canada’s own Mark Steyn:

Phil Jones and Michael Mann are two of the most influential figures in the whole “climate change” racket. What these documents reveal is the greatest scientific scandal of our times—and a tragedy. It’s not just their graphs but their battle lines that are drawn all wrong. Science is never “settled,” and certainly not on the basis of predictive models. And any scientist who says it is is no longer a scientist. And the dismissal of “skeptics” throughout the Jones/Mann correspondence is most revealing: a real scientist is always a skeptic.

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5 Responses to Coffee!! AccuWeather piles into the Climategate debate

  1. From the looks of things this battleship is gonna go down no other way than guns-a-blazing, as the quote from Tolstoy would seem to indicate. I think we are fooling ourselves to have a single bare thread of hope in the “independent review”. As the outcome of the “research” of the CRU was determined from the start, so, I think, has the “review”. There is no easy out for anyone as far as I can tell, and so the real media, the blogosphere, is gonna have to load the torpedo chambers many a time before the victory is achieved. This crow is going to have to be force fed to the MSM—every last bite.

  2. They’re really doing everything they can to keep this stuff from looking as bad as it is, aren’t they? It seems like many of the news sources that are willing to cover it are only willing to try to cast it off as a blip on the radar. I’m sure they’re hoping if they treat it like a blip, that’s what it will end up being. Too bad the media is stuck in the computer age, where people can get information from more than such a narrow minded source.

  3. Google trends shows <a href="http://google.com/trends?q=int.....ntelligent design, Darwinism about the same in search queries in the USA.

    In the last month, searches for ClimateGate have overtaken “climate change”.

    Amazing what a little “sunshine” can do to freshen up the air.

  4. Dear O’Leary, if your French is not too rusty, may I suggest you to read this excellent article about consensus in the scientific community in relation with Global Warming.
    “Ici, le concept de « consensus scientifique » est problématique. Veut-il dire vérité ? Celle-ci ne serait alors plus déterminée à l’aune de preuves et de falsification de théories, mais de ce que « croit » la majorité des scientifiques à un moment t. Dans les années 1950 le consensus était qu’il n’y avait pas de dérive des continents… Vingt ans plus tard c’était l’inverse, parce que de nouvelles preuves avaient été apportées. Les difficultés à trouver des preuves et à apporter la critique, ainsi que parfois l’utilisation commune de données de mauvaise qualité et des mêmes modèles peuvent expliquer le consensus erroné. Le consensus s’explique aussi par des raisons sociologiques : effets de réseau, « reproduction » par la formation même des jeunes scientifiques, non exposition de ces derniers aux théories minoritaires, intérêts économiques (en termes de financements de la recherche) à soutenir le consensus. D’où parfois un affaiblissement du processus critique de la science et l’amplification « non-scientifique » du consensus. ”

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