Friday, February 20, 2009

A "Right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine"

What do you think a "Right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine" would consist of? Something pretty sinister, high-powered and richly financed, no doubt? Something with a large staff and a big office on K street at least? Well the Green/Left have recently discovered a "Right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine" and do you know what it consists of? It is simply a short list of email addresses! I kid you not. An excerpt below:
Marc Morano, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)'s environmental communications director, sits at the center of the right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine - of fifty-two people. Conservative columnist Fred Barnes recently refused to tell TPM Muckraker who's informed him "the case for global warming" is falling apart, but all signs point to Marc Morano. Morano's "entire job," Gristmill's David Roberts explains, "is to aggregate every misleading factoid, every attack on climate science or scientists, every crank skeptical statement from anyone in the world and send it all out periodically in email blasts" to the right-wing echo chamber. The Wonk Room has acquired Morano's email list, and we can now reveal the pack of climate skeptics, conservative bloggers, and corporate hacks who feed the misinformation machine.

Promoted on the Drudge Report and Fox News, Morano's moronic misinformation enters mainstream discourse through columns by Barnes, George Will, Robert Samuelson, and others. Many in the Morano gang are funded by right-wing think tanks, though a few are committed activists, conspiracy theorists who believe their homebrew interpretations of climate data. Others are aging scientists with strong conservative beliefs, motivating them to challenge action on global warming not because they disbelieve its existence, but because they are ideologically opposed to regulation of pollution:

More here

Must watch those evil lists of email addresses! You never know what censorship attempts they might disrupt! I am one of those on Marc's list, I am pleased to say. He is indeed a useful clearinghouse of scientific information and debate. I am in fact the third one on Marc's list so I am pleased that the Warmists listed me. They must have been disappointed that they could find no evil "affiliation" for me, though. Since I have no formal affiliations, that is not too surprising. It shows how desperate the Warmists are, however, that a humble blogger writing from an upstairs room in a house in a backstreet of a small Australian city could be seen as part of a "Right-wing global warming denier propaganda machine"

What the Warmists omit to mention is the high level of scientific qualifications of most people on the list. I, for instance, not only have a Ph.D. but have been getting academic papers published on the psychology of environmentalism since 1974. And I can assure you that psychology is by far the most relevant discipline for understanding Warmism! And I have received "funding" from no-one. I haven't received as much as a hamburger, in fact. Nor have I sought anything. As a retired man, I live entirely on the proceeds of my investments.

Below I reproduce another comment on the matter by ferociously logical statistician William Briggs
You won't have heard of it, but there is a website called "The Wonk Room". (Stick around until after the quote for today's Lesson in Logic.) Sounds like a fun place, eh? Who doesn't like a room full of wonks?

Anyway, it turns out that they have added my name to 51 others to form a pack of jokers! Climate jokers, apparently. No, not the kind of guys who might say to a cirrostratus cloud, "Look who just blew into town", but those who would make light of "The consensus." They grouped my name under the heading "Weathermen", which is close enough. Here is my comment (I sometimes worry these kinds of comments won't make it past the censored list):
Hi guys. William Briggs ("Weatherman") here.

You oddly list us weather guys as having "expert" as opposed to expert (without square quotes) opinions. I gather this means you think your comments are expert and not "expert" on climatology. It'll be fun to see if you'll have the honesty to publish this comment.

Just for fun, here are my credentials: PhD from Cornell in Mathematical Statistics, MS from Cornell in Atmospheric Science, BS from Central Mich in Meteorology. Associate Editor Monthly Weather Review; multiple publications in Journal of Climate and other such places; Member on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee. Etc. Interested readers can go to my web page for more.

Money received from anybody-government, grants, non-profit, industry, etc.-for journal articles or comments in climatology/meteorology: $0. Industry contacts: 0. Number of email blasts sent by me on any subject: 0. Thanks for the interest everybody!

Actually, now that I remember, I did receive gratis travel to give an invited lecture in Spain at the Royal Science Academy last year. I also got some free grub at the Heartland Climate Conference last year. This puts my total dollars received far, far short of one month's rent payment. But, dammit. Now I have to recant. (I added this comment to their site, too.)

For an interesting exercise in logic, if consensus means agreement by all and some climate scientists do not agree with The consensus, is it still a consensus? If you answered no, you wouldn't enjoy yourself in the Wonk Room. Because on their compilation they list "The Scientists: Ph.D.s.[who] are ready to denounce the scientific consensus." "Scientists.denounce scientific consensus." But if "Scientists" do not agree then there cannot be a "scientific" consensus, right?

Unless you redefine scientist as one who agrees with The consensus. That move, regardless of what you think of it, does make the argument about consensus valid. All "scientists", by definition, agree on The consensus, which is therefore a consensus. Do you see what I mean?

This means that those who disagree must not be scientists. Which puts the Wonkers in a dilemma, for they cannot list these folks as "scientists", which they do. Those guys must lose a lot of sleep over thinking about these things. Because it gets worse.

Why? Well, none of these Wonkers is himself a scientist. So how can they know who is a scientist and who is not? After all, they do not possess the academic training to be able to tell. Only thing they can do is to ask a scientist, "Are you a scientist?" If the man says, "Yes", then the Wonker must also ask, "Do you fervently believe in The consensus." If the interviewee says "No", then the Wonker must conclude that the interviewee is deluded or confused.

It's worse still, because how did these Wonkers know that there was The consensus in the first place? Because somebody told them. And they must have believed what they were told wholeheartedly. And they must have been told by some first person who said, "I am a scientist and here is The consensus. Anybody who does not fervently believe in The consensus is not a scientist."

This must be the case because, again, the Wonkers have no way to judge on their own the scientific content of The consensus. They must accept, by faith, what the original scientist told them. Arguments against The consensus are not allowed because these would be made by non-scientists, because scientists, by definition, are those who accept The consensus, and who therefore would not-and could not-argue against it.

Whew. What a lot of work, much of it tedious and boring, to show that some people have, quite simply, lost their minds.


80% of IPCC members have no "dealing with climate"

So much for those "2,500 scientists"

During the question and answer session of last week's William Schlesinger/John Christy global warming debate, Schlesinger was asked how many members of United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were actual climate scientists. It is well known that many if not most of its members are not scientists at all. Its president for example is an economist. This question came after Schlesinger had cited the IPCC as an authority for his position. His answer was quite telling. First he broadened it to include not just climate scientists but also those who have had "some dealing with the climate." His complete answer was that he thought, "something on the order of 20 percent have had some dealing with climate." In other words, even IPCC worshiper William Schlesinger is now acknowledging that 80 percent of the IPCC membership have had absolutely no dealing with the climate as part of their academic studies.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Ooops! Arctic Ice Extent Understated Because of "Sensor Drift"

dtjohnson writes "The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has been at the forefront of predicting doom in the arctic as ice melts due to global warming. In May, 2008 they went so far as to predict that the North Pole would be ice-free during the 2008 'melt season,' leading to a lively Slashdot discussion. Today, however, they say that they have been the victims of 'sensor drift' that led to an underestimation of Arctic ice extent by as much as 500,000 square kilometers. The problem was discovered after they received emails from puzzled readers, asking why obviously sea-ice-covered regions were showing up as ice-free, open ocean. It turns out that the NSIDC relies on an older, less-reliable method of tracking sea ice extent called SSM/I that does not agree with a newer method called AMSR-E. So why doesn't NSIDC use the newer AMSR-E data? 'We do not use AMSR-E data in our analysis because it is not consistent with our historical data.' Turns out that the AMSR-E data only goes back to 2002, which is probably not long enough for the NSIDC to make sweeping conclusions about melting. The AMSR-E data is updated daily and is available to the public. Thus far, sea ice extent in 2009 is tracking ahead of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, so the predictions of an ice-free north pole might be premature."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Leading climate change cheerleader James Hansen has 'lost the plot'

Claims of what we all suspected - that James Hansen is losing the plot - have been flooding in over the past week. (Unlike the water he imagines will shortly cover half the US if we don't go back to living like cavemen.) The leading climate change hysteric, called "an embarrassment to NASA", has "lost his mind", according to colleagues. Hansen was accused of "megalomania" and and "scientific authoritarianism" by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., former director of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.

In Sunday's Guardian (natch), Hansen called coal-fired power plants "factories of death". Marc Sheppard responded eloquently today in American Thinker:
Even the realization of Al Gore's dream of "capping" carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants wouldn't satisfy NASA's James Hansen. He wants to shut them all down, despite the untold human misery such hysterical action would inevitably bring. And toward that preposterously unattainable end he is now pushing panic buttons with the alacrity of a man truly possessed.
In a wild rant in Sunday's Guardian responding to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's green-lighting of the controversial Kingsnorth power plant, the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies managed to outdo even his own sophomoric guilt trips and fear-mongering. [...]
So James, might you kindly explain - without mention of extinction or sea-level rise or ice sheet disintegration - just how you propose we close these "factories of death" without synchronously opening a global arena of human want, suffering and ultimate demise? [...] Even after last week's annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting, at which the Goracle likened his battle to stop global warming to that of 19th century abolitionists fighting to end slavery. Indeed - in gauging the measure of a movement, one need not delve far beyond its leadership.

As long ago as June 2008, Dr. Nicholas Drapela from Oregon State University Chemistry Department wrote this:
My dear colleague Professor Hansen, I believe, has finally gone off the deep end. When you have dedicated the bulk of your career to a cause, and it turns out the cause has been proven false, most people cannot bring themselves to admit the truth. [Hansen's recent claims] contain neither reason nor truth when compared to the volumes of daily literature being published in scientific journals today on climate change. It is not difficult to refute the words of Professor Hansen. On the contrary, one feels it is almost unfair. [...] The global warming 'time bomb', the 'present, dangerous situation', 'the perfect storm', 'global cataclysm', 'disastrous climate changes that spiral dynamically out of humanity's control.' These are the words of an apocalyptic prophet, not a rational scientist.

One by one, the most extreme scientific studies are being discredited and the most hysterical ringleaders are being exposed as scare-mongering rabble-rousers. Governments must surely now realise there are far greater priorities than the apocalyptic shrieking of the climate change industry.
Earlier this month, I predicted "open warfare between experts presenting serious, evidence-based research into the state of the planet and hysterical alarmists like James Hansen". Has it already begun?


Top weatherman Alexander Bedritsky says global warming good for Russia

GLOBAL warming may be a worry to low-lying lands but Russia's top weatherman said that warmer temperatures would help to cut heating bills in one of the world's coldest countries.
"The heating season will be reduced and this is a positive factor for us as it will allow us to economise on fuel," Alexander Bedritsky, head of Russia's state weather centre, said.

Russia is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide as it burns vast amounts of oil and gas to heat houses during the bitter months where temperatures regularly fall below minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit).

Heating bills in Russia could be cut by 5 to 10 percent by 2050 if current trends continue, the weather centre said.



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Owen McShane said...

You might enjoy these essays.

The Age of Environmentalism.

The following essay is one of a series of four in which the Centre argues that the “big debates” about the nature of our world continue to reflect the contest between The Enlightenment and Romanticism.

The first essay, The Rise of Urban Romanticism – or the New Road to Serfdom discussed the impact of the Romantic movement and its contemporary expression on urban planning theory, and in particular examined Smart Growth and Visioning as planning tools within this context.

The second essay, Beware the Dark Greens, explored the development of European environmentalism from the dark side of Romanticism as expressed in the early and mature phases of fascism. This passionate and spiritual form of environmentalism, does not sit well within those nations still committed to the democratic tradition.

This third essay, "The Age of Environmentalism – the American Story", (also attached below) explores the origins of Environmentalism in the United States during the 1970s, and implies that this form of Environmentalism, which focuses on the natural and physical world and makes the case for World Government, is the form which is most commonly expressed through the United Nations and current governments, and has hence determined so much of the political debate of the current “Age”.

The fourth essay (yet to be written) “European Communes and Urban Villages” will explore the story of the commune movement in Europe and how those who failed in their quest to live “the good life" in their rural communes returned to the cities to set up “urban communes” within the major cities and contributed to theories of Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Urban Villages in which people walk or cycle to their destinations, and eat organic food, but without the need to actually till the soil.

The three essays are posted as a special item on the CRMS webpage here.

Woody said...

Why doesn't NASA just fire Hansen? He gave up science long ago...except the science covering mental disease.