A Few Things Ill Considered

A few good reads on the CRU email hacking

I have had these tabs open in Firefox for quite a while now hoping to have the time to comment on them in a bit of detail but time is not on my side (sorry Mic).

So I would just like to list them briefly and recommend them for your review.


From Balloon Juice:

Especially early in this story’s life cycle, when you could hardly expect an average reporter to make much sense of the science, a sheaf of personality stories (e.g.) complained about the defensive attitude among climate researchers. Again, you have to wonder what people expect. Taken collectively the “science” of warming denial has exactly as much credibility as the anti-evolution brigades. Their ideas amount to a series of turds thrown indiscriminately at the wall (solar forcing, natural cycles, the world is really cooling et cetera ad nauseum) in the hope that something might stick. The same people come back over and over with a new argument every year, as if the argument they made last year (which also proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that carbon-forced climate warming is a hoax) was just a practice round. It should not stretch the imagination to see how a professional scientist could get jaded after decades of attack by angry hysterics who, almost to a man, lack the training to understand what they are talking about (note: meteorologist means “weatherman”).

From Kevin Drum writing for Mother Jones has sentiments similar to mine:

So on a substantive level, there’s really very little to this. Certainly nothing that changes the actual science of climate change even a little. The earth is still warming and disaster is still highly likely if we sit around and do nothing. But George Monbiot thinks we lefties have our heads in the sand if we think that makes any difference:

Jeff Masters at Weather Underground presents some important context:

In 1988, the fossil fuel industry realized it had a serious problem. The summer of 1988 had shattered century-old records for heat and drought in the U.S., and NASA’s Dr. James Hansen, one of the foremost climate scientists in the world, testified before Congress that human-caused global warming was partially to blame. A swelling number of scientific studies were warning of the threat posed by human-cause climate change, and that consumption of fossil fuels needed to slow down. Naturally, the fossil fuel industry fought back. They launched a massive PR campaign that continues to this day, led by the same think tanks that worked to discredit the ozone depletion theory. The George C. Marshall Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer’s SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been key players in both fights, and there are numerous other think tanks involved. Many of the same experts who had worked hard to discredit the science of the well-established link between cigarette smoke and cancer, the danger the CFCs posed to the ozone layer, and the dangers to health posed by a whole host of toxic chemicals, were now hard at work to discredit the peer-reviewed science supporting human-caused climate change.

Any particularily interesting tidbits in there?

Comments

  1. #1 wagdog
    December 12, 2009

    The problem I have with the Big Tobacco=Big Oil narrative that the left adopts as an argument against the denialists, is that the tobacco industry never accused cancer researchers of hoax, fraud, and conspiracy. The reaction to the stolen CRU emails is more in-line with 9/11 truthers, birthers, moon-landing hoaxers, JFK conspiracists, etc. None of these groups need to be paid by lobbyists to believe in all that rubbish. A Brit was even caught using script kiddie tools to hack military computers looking for evidence of a UFO cover-up. Hackers don’t need PR finance to be motivated to steal emails.

    Except that for the climate conspiracists lobbying money is like throwing gasoline on the fire.

    However, the fossil fuel lobby does recognise the risk of their denialism industry being marginalised by the general public in the same way that many of the conspiracist groups have been. And it seems that S.McIntyre does as well — google “Alex Jones” site:climateaudit.org vs “Alex Jones” site:wattsupwiththat.com and compare. Alex Jones has weaved the Climategate story into his crazy New World Order conspiracy narrative. If sites like his start being more prominent on Google searches on the climate change “debate”, the public will just think the denialists are a bunch of crazies, and by then the fossil fuel lobby will have lost control of their message.

  2. #2 Scott A. Mandia
    December 13, 2009

    My favorite reply comes from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change:

    http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/east-anglia-cru-hacked-emails-12-09-09.pdf

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