Fakegate: Global warmists try to hide their decline

Fakegate: Global warmists try to hide their decline.

Fakegate shows us, with the precision of a scientific experiment, several key truths about the global warming movement. It shows that most warmists, both the scientists and the journalists, will embrace any claim that seems to bolster their cause, without bothering to check the facts or subject them to rigorous investigation. (Anthony Watts notes how few journalists bothered to contact him before reporting the claims about him that are made in the fake memo.) And it shows us that warmists like Gleick have no compunction about falsifying information to promote their agenda, and that many other warmists are willing to serve as accomplices after the fact, excusing Gleick’s fraud on the grounds that he was acting in a “noble cause.” It shows us that “hide the decline” dishonesty is a deeply ingrained part of the corporate culture of the global warming movement.

Gleick wasn’t just an obscure, rogue operator in the climate debate. Before his exposure, his stock in trade was lecturing on “scientific integrity,” and until a few days ago he was the chairman of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics. So this scandal goes to the very top of the global warming establishment, and it compels honest observers to ask: if the warmists were willing to deceive us on this, what else have they been deceiving us about?

Between Climategate and Fakegate, the warmist establishment now has zero credibility, and we must call all of their claims into question. [emphasis mine]

And in related news, the EPA has scrubbed its grants database of any mention of the grants it had awarded to Peter Gleick and the institute he heads.

Peter Gleick’s “truly flabbergasting” lapse of judgement.

Peter Gleick’s “truly flabbergasting” lapse of judgement.

Gleick has done enormous damage to his cause and his own reputation, and it’s no good to say that people shouldn’t be focusing on it. If his judgement is this bad, how is his judgement on matters of science? For that matter, what about the judgement of all the others in the movement who apparently see nothing worth dwelling on in his actions?

When skeptics complain that global warming activists are apparently willing to go to any lengths–including lying–to advance their worldview, I’d say one of the movement’s top priorities should be not proving them right. And if one rogue member of the community does something crazy that provides such proof, I’d say it is crucial that the other members of the community say “Oh, how horrible, this is so far beyond the pale that I cannot imagine how this ever could have happened!” and not, “Well, he’s apologized and I really think it’s pretty crude and opportunistic to make a fuss about something that’s so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.”

After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else. [emphasis in original]

As I’ve said repeatedly, until the climate community stops circling the wagons to protect the liars and frauds that pepper their field, no one is going to believe anything they say, even when they are right. Worse, their dishonesty is continuing to do serious harm to the field of science itself.

The link between sunspots and climate

In a preprint paper published today on the Los Alamos astro-ph website and accepted for publication in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Norwegian scientists have found a strong correlation between the length of the solar sunspot cycle and the Earth’s temperature during the following cycle. From the abstract:

Relations between the length of a sunspot cycle and the average temperature in the same and the next cycle are calculated for a number of meteorological stations in Norway and in the North Atlantic region. No significant trend is found between the length of a cycle and the average temperature in the same cycle, but a significant negative trend is found between the length of a cycle and the temperature in the next cycle. This provides a tool to predict an average temperature decrease of at least 1.0 ◦ C from solar cycle 23 to 24 for the stations and areas analyzed. We find for the Norwegian local stations investigated that 25–56% of the temperature increase the last 150 years may be attributed to the Sun. For 3 North Atlantic stations we get 63–72% solar contribution. [emphasis mine]

You can download a copy of the paper here [pdf].

Their paper finds that if a particular sunspot cycle is longer with less activity, the climate will show significant cooling during the next cycle.

The paper makes several important points:
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“I feel duped.”

The man duped is Fritz Vahrenholt, a former global warming advocate and leftwing environmentalist in Germany. The words were spoken in a long and detailed interview in Der Spiegel. Read it all, as it demonstrates without question that Vahrenholt has done his research about the complexities of climate research as well as the flaws and dishonesty contained within the IPCC reports. However, he gets to the nub of the matter when he is asked why he has taken on the role of a climate skeptic with such passion.
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The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows

The uncertainty of science: New satellite data shows that the glaciers in the Himalayas have lost no ice in past 10 years.

The scientists are careful to point out that lower-altitude glaciers in the Asian mountain ranges – sometimes dubbed the “third pole” – are definitely melting. Satellite images and reports confirm this. But over the study period from 2003-10 enough ice was added to the peaks to compensate.

Is this further confirmation that global warming stopped ten years ago? Not really. As the report notes, the time period is too short to establish a clear trend. Moreover, this study only deals with the Asian glaciers, which is also too small a sample for any firm conclusions.

Nonetheless, the data does illustrate once again how complex and uncertain the study of the Earth’s climate is. Anyone who claims we know what is really happening is either refusing to look at all the data or is simply lying.

Two more global warming scientists turn skeptics

Two more global warming scientists, this time in Germany, have become global warming skeptics.

One of the fathers of Germany’s modern green movement, Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a social democrat and green activist, decided to author a climate science skeptical book together with geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”

Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found. Persuaded by Hoffmann & Campe, he and Lüning decided to write the book. Die kalte Sonne [The Cold Sun] cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures. It examines and summarizes the latest science.

[The c]onclusion: climate catastrophe is called off. The science was hyped.

Global warming activists seek to purge ‘deniers’ among local weathermen.

The inquisition is alive and well: A campaign by global warming activists is seeking to purge ‘deniers’ among local weathermen.

So far, the campaign has identified 55 “deniers” in the meteorologist community and are looking for more. They define “deniers” as “anyone who expressly refutes the overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change: that it is real, largely caused by humans, and already having profound impacts on our world. … We track the views of meteorologists through their on-air statements, blog posts, social media activity, public appearances, interviews, and interactions with viewers,” the campaign explains.

In other words, they should be fired because of their opinions.

Persecution for the sake of global warming

Persecution for the sake of global warming.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

The quote is part of an op-ed signed by sixteen prominent scientists describing why there is no need to panic over global warming.

The new Arctic ozone hole

An interesting and very informative paper was published by the American Geophysical Union this past Saturday, entitled “Arctic winter 2010/2011 at the brink of an ozone hole.” The first paragraph of the introduction essentially summed up the paper’s key points:

Large losses of Arctic stratospheric ozone have been observed during winter 2010/2011, exceeding observed losses during cold winters over the past decades, characterized as the first Arctic Ozone Hole. Although in general Arctic ozone is expected to recover because of the reductions in ozone depleting substances as a result of the Montreal Protocol and its amendments, the observation that apparently the cold Arctic winters in the stratosphere have been getting colder over the past decades raises some concern that Arctic ozone depletion may worsen over the next decades if the cooling trend continues while concentrations of ozone depleting substances remain sufficiently high. [emphasis mine]

Two important take-aways:
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Global warming is good for you!

Here are two stories that illustrate why we shouldn’t be in a panic over climate change. Though it is important to study the climate and to learn as much as we can about it, it is at this time inappropriate to impose draconian regulations on the world’s populations so that whole economies are destroyed out of fear of climate change. We just don’t know enough about the consequences of climate change. Global warming might even be beneficial!

First, from Nature this story: Global warming wilts malaria. It appears that the assumption that warmer climates would increase malaria epidemics is completely wrong. Instead, warmer temperatures act to hinder the survival of the malaria parasite in mosquitoes.
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A Russian scientist has found large amounts of methane being released in the atmosphere in the Arctic

A Russian scientist has found large amounts of methane being released into the atmosphere in the Arctic, far more than previously predicted.

It is speculated that these releases are the result of the Earth’s warming climate during the past several hundred years. And because methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, its release will feed into that warming.

The IPCC scientist working group has decided that Freedom of Information Act laws do not apply to its work

The law is such an inconvenient thing: The IPCC scientist working group, meeting in San Francisco, has decided that Freedom of Information Act laws do not apply to its work.

Putting aside the absurdity of a bunch of individuals simply declaring they don’t have to obey the law, it is interesting to me that the lead scientists of the IPCC happen to be meeting in San Francisco the same time the UN climate conference was going on in Durban. This seems to me to be further evidence of how irrelevant science was to that Durban conference.

Climate theatre of the absurd

Climate theater of the absurd.

The key thing to understand about the climate talks is that they’re not really about the climate. They’re about power and money. They are about the desire of fast-growing emitters such as Brazil, South Africa, India and China to extract billions in so-called climate reparations from rich countries, especially the United States. These and other so-called developing countries now account for more than half of greenhouse gas emissions. They want the rich countries to start cutting large amounts of carbon right away, while they do nothing. The rich countries are understandably reluctant. Hence the impasse.

Long faces in Durban

They might have cobbled together what they call a deal, but nonetheless (and for good reasons), there are long faces in Durban.

I like this quote best:

The leading alarmist among American scientists, James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has been as spectacularly wrong as Mr. Gore. Mr. Hansen said in a 1988 interview the sea level off Manhattan would rise 10 feet within 40 years (if atmospheric CO2 doubled). In the 23 years since, the sea level has risen just 2.5 inches. Sea levels fell over the past year.

But alarmism has been good for his pocketbook. Mr. Hansen failed to report $1.6 million in outside income, much of it in violation of NASA’s rules, according to Power Line’s John Hinderaker.

The draft treaty being proposed in Durban

Some of the madness contained in the draft treaty being proposed in Durban, as reported by Lord Christopher Monckton:

  • A new International Climate Court will have the power to compel Western nations to pay ever-larger sums to third-world countries in the name of making reparation for supposed “climate debt”. The Court will have no power over third-world countries. Here and throughout the draft, the West is the sole target. “The process” is now irredeemably anti-Western.
  • “Rights of Mother Earth”: The draft, which seems to have been written by feeble-minded green activists and environmental extremists, talks of “The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature”. Also, “there will be no commodification [whatever that may be: it is not in the dictionary and does not deserve to be] of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose”.
  • War and the maintenance of defence forces and equipment are to cease – just like that – because they contribute to climate change. There are other reasons why war ought to cease, but the draft does not mention them.

There’s more stupidity detailed by Monckton at the link.

All in all, this treaty draft once again reveals these activists for what they are: power-hungry socialists whose real goal isn’t to save the Earth but to take from some to enrich themselves and others. I pray the Obama administration and Congress refuse to go along.

An update on the climate treaty talks in Durban

An update on the climate treaty talks in Durban.

I gather from this article that the talks appear to be going nowhere. (The reporter desperately wants a deal, and you need to read between the lines to sense how unlikely the deal is.) Not only is the U.S. reluctant to sign anything, so is India, China, and Brazil. Furthermore, even if the Obama administration agreed to something, it is highly unlikely any treaty could get through the Senate.

Also, it appears that the $100 billion Green Climate Fund is is in trouble as well.

All good news, as far as I am concerned. None of these deals have anything to do with climate or science. Instead, they are designed to redistribute power and wealth, by fiat, from one set of countries to another.

The Pathetic State Of Science Journalism

The pathetic state of science journalism.

Many survive as a science journalist just by paying attention to press releases and reproducing them, as long as others do the same. A recent BBC analysis of its science coverage in its own news reports revealed that 75% came from press releases, and only a tiny fraction contained views not expressed in those press releases.

This lip service is not good enough, and editors should wise up that science journalism has lost its edge and demand reform. It has also become uncritical and therefore not journalism. Too many who profess to practice journalism are the product of fashionable science communication courses that have sprung up in the past fifteen years. It’s my view that this has resulted in many journalists being supporters of, and not reporters of, science. There is a big difference.

I couldn’t agree more. I sometimes think my rants against “press release journalism” sound like a broken record. I am glad I am not the only one ranting.

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reach new high

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2010.

And yet, the rise in the world’s climate has stalled since around 2000. This suggests to me, as does a lot of other research, that the Earth’s climate is far more complex than claimed by many scientists, and that there are some factors we do not yet understand contributing to the ebb and flow of the planet’s global temperature.

Let me add one more point: this lack of understanding about climate change also suggests it is a mistake for our government to take drastic action against global warming at this time. As George Will has noted, “The law is a blunt instrument.” It often does a poor job of dealing with these kinds of issues, especially in cases where our knowledge is flawed or incomplete.

Two climate papers of interest

When I appear on radio and am talking about climate change, I often get the same questions over and over.

  • Is the climate warming?
  • If so, is human behavior an important factor for causing that warming?
  • How much does the sun influence climate change?
  • Is the ozone hole linked to climate change?

The truth is that, right now, no one can really answer any of these questions with any certainty. While a large majority of climate scientists might be convinced the Earth is warming and that human activity is causing this warming, the public has great doubts about these claims, partly because of the untrustworthy behavior of many of these climate scientists and partly because the science itself is often confusing.

We simply don’t yet have enough data. Worse, much of the data we do have is tainted, unreliable because of the misconduct and political activism of the very climate scientists who are trying to prove the case for man-made global warming.

Two new papers, published today in Geophysical Research Letters, add some interesting but small data points to this whole subject.
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Nature: Political science in Durbin

The headline (from Nature) proves how little the Durban climate conference has to do with science: Bridging the gap: Political science in Durban.

This conference, as well as all past UN climate conferences, has always been about politics and money, not science. And the last line of the article even emphasizes the point:

More on all of that next week as negotiators work to avert disaster and identify a politically palatable path forward — and some money to make it all happen. [emphasis mine]

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