Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nature abhors a vacuum … that’s what we are getting from the media on ClimateGate

After its miserable failure to cover the O’Keefe/Giles expose of ACORN, the MSM is striving for a repeat performance in ClimateGate with near silence. This is a story of “hacked” emails from the Hadley Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the UK that were made public about 12 days ago. It is a story of the top climate research scientists cooking the data, queering the peer review process and encouraging each other to destroy data covered by two nations’ Freedom of Information Acts.

Coverage by the nation’s two “leading” newspapers has been underwhelming. A total of three print articles have been written in the NY Times and Washington Post. All three ignore or minimize the underlying corruption of the scientific method, find the most significant aspect is that CRU scientists are antagonistic to skeptics, and reach the same conclusion (in strikingly similar wording - note bold text) that it’s no big deal.

From the Times (11/21):

This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud,” said Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist who has long faulted evidence pointing to human-driven warming and is criticized in the documents. Some of the correspondence portrays the scientists as feeling under siege by the skeptics’ camp and worried that any stray comment or data glitch could be turned against them. The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.

 First article from the Post (11/22): While few U.S. politicians bother to question whether humans are changing the world's climate -- nearly three years ago the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded the evidence was unequivocal -- public debate persists. And the newly disclosed private exchanges among climate scientists at Britain's Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia reveal an intellectual circle that appears to feel very much under attack, and eager to punish its enemies. The second Post article (11/25) reaches a similar conclusion as the Times. "This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud," proclaimed one skeptic. Not quite. Assuming the documents are genuine -- the authenticity of all has not been confirmed -- critics are taking them out of context and misinterpreting at least one controversial e-mail exchange. None of it seriously undercuts the scientific consensus on climate change. But a few of the documents are damaging for other reasons.

 Fortunately we have the internet, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and several UK newspapers that aren’t part of the journalistic omerta (code of silence) to cover this scandal. In particular the internet has been the conduit to the scientific community for the technical aspects of the emails. The MSM isn’t really needed here. They have dissected the data and the statistical code used in the temperature calculations and many are appalled. And some very prominent names are calling for blood.

Green activist and renowned columnist for the leftist Guardian, George Monbiot, has called for the resignation of Phil Jones, Director of CRU. Eduardo Zorita of Germany’s climate research center, GKSS, has said Michael Mann (of now discredited hockey stick fame) and Phil Jones should be barred from further participation with the UN’s IPCC “because the scientific assessments in which they may take part are not credible anymore.”

The University of East Anglia (home of the CRU) has announced it will now release all source data into the public domain. And Penn State University has said it will investigate the writings of Michael Mann in light of new information revealed in the recent emails. No doubt there will be new revelations and accusations. Remember all of this has happened without the assistance of the US media, save Murdoch’s group which is not part of omerta.

Fortunately we have Canadian Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit (damned in many of Phil Jones emails) and Anthony Watt of Watts Up With That keeping us informed. So heavy was traffic on Steve’s website after the release of the emails, it melted down. He now has an alternative site (use it) which can handle the load.

Watt’s site has been setting records, doubling its viewership from earlier in the month. Both are good reads. Steve’s are heavy on the statistical side and often Anthony will translate Steve’s Geek into English for less informed (such as me) on his website. Both are good friends of each other and work well together.

Anthony’s cause, outside of reporting on climate change, is attempting to document some of the absurdly biased siting of US weather stations. Some are on blacktopped building rooftops, some subject to jetwash at airports, and some are near hot exhausts of a/c compressors. He is leading a citizens’ effort to photograph and note discrepancies from proper siting standards.

The best wrap up of ClimateGate so far ran in the Telegraph (UK) today. Read it. It will open your eyes. Again the old media has stepped in it. By ignoring the story they hope it won’t “get legs” and damage the warmists’ agenda at the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference, December 7. They will fail in that as they have failed in so many others. They seek to marginalize conservative thought, but they only marginalize themselves. Their circulation numbers are tanking. Climate Audit and Watts Up With That are setting record highs.

Update: The Times of London is now reporting much of the underlying raw data to determine the actual measured temperatures for the past 150 years was destroyed in the 1980s. There is no way to verify this data other than Phil Jones' word. The whole global warming scenario simply can't be verified.

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