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Archive for November, 2009

BPSDBWhile the administrative effort imposed by these legal moves can be burdensome, there was a much more sinister tactic available to the tobacco industry – baseless accusations of scientific fraud made against individual researchers.

Tobacco, part 4: subpoenas and legal chill


.

  • The meme
  • Whistleblower
  • The Code
  • Official inquiries
  • Ironic and illustrative
  • Harassment & intimidation

Mark Lynas’ articleLeaked emails mark dangerous shift in climate denial strategy” noted: “Instead of targeting high-profile science communicators like Al Gore, climate deniers are now encouraging mistrust of those who collect and interpret global warming data.”

New to climate change Denial perhaps, but not to the anti-science Deniers, or many of the individual Deniers who are veteran tobacco lobbyists.

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Climate Change — isn’t it natural? BPSDB

Potholer54 is back with a good one (he exposes Bob Carter for openers … what’s not to love?). Here he takes out several Denier Fables, including the “it’s not CO2″ and “it’s just the Sun.”

While Crock of the Week takes on the related issue of water vapour in:

The Big Mist Take

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by Anna Keenan (CJF Hunger Strike, Day 21) BPSDB

It’s been a little while since I’ve written – been very busy preparing for COP, moving houses in Copenhagen, and so on. But with all this ‘not eating’, it’s encouraged me to reflect on diets and their contribution to the climate problem.

In truth, the indulgent eating habits of many in the over-developed, over-consuming world are amongst our most inequitable daily habits. They are probably also amongst the easiest of our habits to change.

Unlike those other low-carbon lifestyle changes, like ‘stop driving your car and catch the bus instead’ – where the alternatives simply may not exist, or may be really really inconvenient, due to poor government services (get to work lobbying them, people!) – the alternatives to our high-impact western diet are very readily available: just choose the vegetarian option!

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BPSDB

The view from

  • the knowledgeable and informed
  • the rational and sane
  • the climate change Deniers

In keeping up with the theft and release of the emails from the Climate Research Unit I have collected a number of posts that did not fit into any of themes I have planned, but which are of interest regardless. It struck me that they do form a sort of survey of the story as it is seen from different perspectives, so I offer it as such. (more…)

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BPSDB

The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Climate Science Report

We only have months, not years, to save civilisation from climate change

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Michael, Day 20 BPSDB

Michael talks about various aspects of the Fast, such as

  • the stages he has been experiencing
  • the risks involved
  • where the determination comes from (the “why”)

Very useful if you are planning to fast for Copenhagen Dec 6th – 18th.

If you don’t know about the Climate Justice Fast hunger strike you can learn all about it here and in these posts (most recent first):

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Paul Hudon of BPSDB

says: “I was forwarded the chain of e-mails on the 12th October.”

Oh really? before 24 of them were even written?

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The story so far: BPSDB

  1. CRU research computer hacked, many emails copied, claims are made that they reveal broad scientific fraud;
  2. Emails released, much sound and fury told by idiots, claims seem to be all innuendo and speculation;
  3. More and more nothing as people search for something, anything of substance in the emails.

I’m going to make sure he goes to jail!

Does this statement reveal:

  1. a corrupt prosecutor determined to subvert the legal system?
  2. a prosecutor who has absolutely damning evidence against the accused?
  3. a dedicated prosecutor talking about her commitment to successfully prosecute someone she sincerely believes to be guilty?

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BPSDB

So Solid CRU

- ride wid us

  • The Frame
  • Sun Tzu
  • Habeas corpus

The story so far:

  1. CRU research computer hacked, many emails copied, claims are made that they reveal broad scientific fraud;
  2. Emails released, much sound and fury told by idiots, claims seem to be all innuendo and speculation;
  3. More and more nothing as people search for something, anything of substance in the emails.

The climate change science community was caught off guard by this for obvious reasons. Initially most were quite understandably not willing to comment until they had at least seen the evidence. Now we have seen the evidence, or all that we know exists.

Aside: apparently what has been released is about 1/2 of the total copied from CRU. We do not know if what has been released is cherry picked and the remaining material fills in the blanks exhonorating everyone of any wrong doing, or if there is more to come. According to RealClimate, whatever is there, it will not be evidence of scientific malpractice such as tampering with data, and that’s good enough for me.*

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BPSDB One of the supposedly most damning quotes from the CRU Hack “scandal” is:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Phil Jones

which the Deniers are citing as “proof positive” or data alteration , falsification, etc.

I suggested that, as with all of the other quotes, as they stood it didn’t actually say anything one way or another. Having worked in the sciences I said that to me it sounded like someone discussing a clever technique from the journal Nature for dealing with statistical noise or something of that sort.

Since then we learn that:

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BPSDB I’m going to go out on a short limb here, but frankly more and more it is sounding like the correct response to “Have you seen the emails?” is “Yeah, have you?

I refer to the uproar about the hacked CRU site which I posted about a few hours ago.

For all the Sturm und Drang and Denier promises of “final coffin nails”, there doesn’t actually seem to be anything to the story.  Sure, some impolitic and not nice things got said, and it’s embarrassing for some, but that seems to be about it.

We have all been waiting for the boot, or a shoe, or even a slipper to drop, and so far not even a sock … there’s nothing there.  Nada, zilch, gar nichts, mei you. That’s it, there’s no story, go home … get a life.

But read on anyway.

I read the emails as someone who trained as a scientist, but has never had anything to do with climate as a research scientist. Thus I have a sense of the culture of the sciences, but without necessarily having any idea what specifics were being referred to with respect to particular papers and studies. Here is my take on it.

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BPSDB Yup, looks like it was yet another Denier dirigible … sure looked big, but once again it turns out that it’s just full of air. See this post for the basic story, and Climate change Deniers hoax themselves …again for the analysis.

ClimateGate: Hacked Emails Reveal Global Warming Deniers Are Crazed Conspiracy Theorists

Evidently due to this e-mail conspiracy, Arctic sea ice is at historically low levels, Australia is on fire, the northern United Kingdom is underwater, and the world’s glaciers are disappearing. Oh yeah, and it’s the hottest decade in history.

Wonk Room

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BPSDB

Digg.com is probably the largest social news sharing site on the web. As such it is an attractive target for the climate change Deniers to try and use it to reach a huge audience with their frauds. Their most recent success was the ‘Latif global cooling trend‘ hoax.

For the most part the Denier spam dies a quiet and well deserved death as the more scientifically literate Digg users are able to vote down the idiocy.

However, now and then one of the Denier frauds is picked up by an Earthsucker and makes it to the “front page.” At that point it gets seen by thousands of Digg users, many of whom seem only too eager to believe the most idiotic Denier claims despite the obvious flaws in the stories.

What is puzzling and disturbing about the comments that get made on the stories is the apparent inability of many users to distinguish the vacuous histrionics of the Deniers from rational, fact based points.

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BPSDB

The politicians won’t care.

How often have we heard that with reference to some action we are taking? How often has it proved to be true?

Why does anyone think that it matters?

The problem isn’t the tools that we have available for political action don’t work. The problem is that generally we have no idea what it is we are actually trying to do. I do not mean that in terms of our ultimate goals as they relate to a particular issue, but in terms of what we are trying to achieve with a specific action. As a result we do not know how to effectively use the tools we do have.

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PSDB Climate Justice Fast hunger striker Anna Keenan takes some time to reflect about where she has been for her last three birthdays, aspects of the UNFCCC process, COP 14 in Poznan, Poland, 350.org, the rise in civil disobedience and climate camps, the future of the movement and where it needs to go at COP 15 and beyond.

Note that climate Trolls Canada and Harper get special mention:

“I am myself and what is around me. If I do not save it, it shall not save me.” … Gassett

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BPSDB The other day I posted “450 more lies from the climate change Deniers” and the response has been interesting.

This has given fodder for sharing some more examples and reasons why the list is total nonsense.

By sampling approximately one third of the references from “450 320 299 286 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming” I showed that, of the references I looked at, all were:

      • not  peer reviewed, and/or
      • known to be false, and/or
      • irrelevant, and/or
      • Out of date (no longer relevant), and/or
      • not supportive of climate change Denial*

*(I use the appropriate term (Denier) with respect to what the author was struggling to say when he mis-used the word “skepticism“).

    • Pielke dumps (on) the list
    • Energy & Environment is peer reviewed
    • Some more struck from the list
    • Poptart and other Denier’s respond react say stuff
    • What did anyone expect?

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EPIC FAILBPSDB The climate change Deniers make four attempts to refute the Meehl et al NCAR: Record high temperatures far outpace record lows study.

Four tries, four epic FAILS!

In reporting on the study which showed that “…daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States.” Wattsupmybutt spins it as Number of record highs beat record lows – if you believe the quality of data from the weather stations ie repeating the false claim that surface station temperature monitoring is unreliable

The Surface Station Meme

(and here).

Not to mention that ” … undergo a quality control process at the data center that looks for such potential problems as missing data as well as inconsistent readings caused by changes in thermometers, station locations, or other factors.”  Record Highs Far Outpace Record Lows Across U.S.

but fair enough, at least Watts is consistent.

NOT

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GarbageBPSDB A week ago this “450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming” appeared and I figured it was just a matter of days before it started making the rounds of the climate change Denialosphere.  Sure enough it has turned up at Wattsupmybutt so I guess it’s time to state the obvious, that it’s utter nonsense.

Let’s have a look at a sampling of these “450 Peer-Reviewed Papers.” The list includes:

UPDATE: Pielke pulls 21 papers off the list! “they’d better change that to 429 papers, as their list doesn’t represent what they think it does.”  Better Recheck That List (Hat Tip to Former Skeptic for the heads up)

NOT peer-reviwed

The following are NOT peer-reviewed Journals

Energy & Environment: 82 papers on the list

E&E is a sort of vanity press for the Deniers, cited by one Wag as “where bad science goes to die.”

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apsBPSDB

Despite seven months of intense effort to recruit physicists to sign a politically motivated petition disputing anthropogenic climate change, a mere, 0.45% of the American Physical Society‘s 47,000 members signed on.

It’s a humiliating defeat for the climate change Deniers who make such false claims as ”many scientists dispute’ and ‘there is no consensus. The Petition drive was announced in the prestigous journal Nature, APS publications, numerous popular and electronic media, as well as heavily promoted by the petition organizers. Despite all of that effort and publicity, a mere 0.45% was all that they could manage.

Consider that the success rate for Nigerian email scams is estimated to be 0.1% to 0.2%, ie roughly speaking about the same. (Tip of the Hat to Grumbine for the genesis of seeking a comparison)

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Monk Debate 8BPSDB Of course most people will recognize this phony argument  (logical fallacy) in it’s more popular form “have you stopped beating your wife?

In this verbal trap, if you answer ‘Yes‘ you are admitting to having beaten your wife before, and if you answer ‘No‘ you are admitting that you still beat her.

The climate change Deniers love to use logical fallacies, and this one is the Loaded Question. It is “loaded” because if you answer it in the way that it is posed, you lose no matter how you answer it.  In this example the question is ‘loaded’ with the assumption that you were beating your wife before, and there is no way to answer the question as asked without accepting that premise.

With respect to climate change science the loaded question comes packaged in various forms of “the debate is not over” canard, but really they all boil down to the same ‘Loaded Question’ logical fallacy.

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