Saturday, December 5, 2009

Climategate Update 13: Hack Job Alert - Washington Post Leads With Climategate & A Complete Defense Of Global Warming

The Washington post leads with an article on Climategate that is nothing short of a one-sided defense of AGW, ignoring the core issues raised by Climategate. The authors, David A. Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin, spend their time assuring the reader that the earth is burning up while only grudgingly acknowledging that the hacked CRU e-mails and data exist. It is a hack job.

WaPo begins by telling us that the last decade has been the warmest decade ever.

I seem to recall having read that Greenland was once actually green and grapes were growing in sufficient quantity in Britain to fuel a substantial wine industry during the Medieval Warming Period. That would make that period the warmest in the past two millennium. (Plus see here) But who can argue with a graph based on peer reviewed, massaged data provided by the AGW scientists?

WaPo repeatedly emphasizes the vast amount of AGW supporting peer reviewed data while belittling those who still contest AGW theory in any form. They then pronounce on Climategate and downplay the major issues raised by the scandal:

Leaked just before international climate talks begin in Copenhagen -- the culmination of years of work by scientists to raise alarms about greenhouse-gas emissions -- the e-mails have cast those scientists in a political light and given new energy to others who think the issue of climate change is all overblown.

The e-mails don't say that: They don't provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle.

But they do raise hard questions. In an effort to control what the public hears, did prominent scientists who link climate change to human behavior try to squelch a back-and-forth that is central to the scientific method? Is the science of global warming messier than they have admitted?

What grossly understates the "hard" questions raised by the CRU e-mails.

- Was data manipulated inappropriately? That answer is clearly yes, a fact which would seem to belie WaPo's resounding pronouncement to the contrary.

- Did the AGW scientists operate in such a manner that the public has been provided with their conclusions, but other scientists were denied the ability to actually check and reproduce their experiments? Absolutely. They wholly corrupted their science, deliberately refusing to release their data, methodology and programs, not to mentioning conspiring to delete data subject to FOIA requests, such that it has been impossible through today to verify their experiments and conclusions. That holds true on this side of the pond also. And indeed, with the loss of the raw data from CRU that they claim to have destroyed in the 1980's, it is not even possible for the AGW scientists themselves to reproduce their work.

- Does the peer review process in the AGW field suffer inherent and systemic weakness that were compounded by the deliberate malfeasance of AGW scientists? Yes., to the point where it is fair to say that the process is irredeemably corrupt and provides no standard for judging the validity of any particular journal article on climate science.

Instead we get this from WaPo:

But recent debate -- some scientists say the Earth hasn't warmed as predicted over the past 10 years -- show that climate science is still science, with researchers drawing different lessons from the same data. The problem is that it plays out before an audience that won't wait for certainty.

Could that paragraph be any more outrageous. To restate the WaPo hacks, by using the word "some," they imply that many, if not a majority of scientists, apparently believe that the Earth has warmed over the past decade - an abject falsehood even contradicted by WaPo's own graph. Two, the WaPo authors decry the fact that the reality of a lack of consensus on AGW has now been made public because the unwashed masses simply have not the patience and intelligence to understand action to combat AGW must happen now regardless. In essence, the authors are arguing that it would have been better if the public continued to wrongly believe in the canard of a consensus. The hubris on display in that paragraph is breathtaking.

Wapo then, amazingly, tells us that this lack of scientific agreement doesn't matter because . . . there is a consensus, even if there are some unimportant distractions surrounding the consensus:

. . . But the climate establishment -- including the U.S. government's top scientists on the subject [That would include Michael Mann, directly implicated in the CRU scandal] -- say that nothing in the e-mails disproves their bedrock ideas. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are still gathering in the atmosphere and trapping more of the sun's heat, and the consequences of that will still be dire in the long run, they say.

"Our collective understanding of how the Earth is warming . . . rests on a wealth of scientific information that is very diverse and comes from multiple sources and multiple groups," said Jane Lubchenco, who heads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Regardless of what happened in one place, it doesn't undermine the totality of what we know."

Wapo then sets up the "few" skeptics as merely substandard scientists. Interestingly, they pick Roger Pielke, a renowned scientist whose work was discussed in the CRU e-mails by the conspirators who sought to keep it from the major journals. Instead of quoting from the e-mails, WaPo quotes an another individual who calls Pielke's work unsupported. You can find the links to Pielke's work here, as well as his explanation of the disagreement he has had with the AGW crowd. Given that his work is based on something that should be easily provable or disprovable - i.e., whether temperature stations used to support AGW conclusions are in fact untrustworthy - I find the dismissal of his work out of hand to be extremely questionable. Too bad, is it not, that WaPo did not see fit to give him an opportunity to respond to his accuser.

Wapo spends the remainder of the article telling us why Climategate makes no difference to the validity of AGW.

Top climate scientists say that in recent years most of the new, worthy research has only made the threat of climate change seem bigger and faster.

. . . These are the facts: After an increase in 1998, the world has been historically warm, but its average temperatures have not climbed steadily. Does that mean climate change has stopped?

Many mainstream scientists say no: This is just a tic of nature, as cycles of currents in the Pacific Ocean and a decrease in heat coming off the sun have temporarily dampened warming. Some researchers, though, have said the models -- and, by extension, the human researchers that built them -- could be missing something about how the climate works. That point was made in one stolen e-mail, in which climate researcher Kevin Trenberth wrote it was a "travesty" that models could not explain why the Earth hadn't warmed more.

. . . The diversity of opinion on this topic, however, wasn't evident late last month, when a group of 26 climate researchers issued a report called "The Copenhagen Diagnosis," summarizing scientific advances since the last major U.N. climate report in 2007.

"Has global warming recently slowed down or paused?" the report said. "No."

So, all of the "worthy research" says the lack of global warming is meaningless and, once again, while their may be disagreement among scientists - including high priest of AGW Kevin Trenberth - we can ignore that because 26 scientists form another consensus. Could these authors be any more intellectually dishonest?

This article may be the mother of all hack jobs. Do feel free to complain in the article's comments and to let the WaPo editors know of what you think.

Prior Posts:

Climategate and Surrealism
More Climategate Fallout
Climategate Update 3
Climategate Update 4: CRU Records Worthless
Climategate Update 5: IPCC's Chairman Mao
Climategate Update 6: Climategate In Video
UNEP, Green Religion & Global Governance
Climate Update 7: IPCC's Chairman Mao Plays The Obama Card, Peer Review Analyzed, Scientific Method Explained For Paul Krugman
Climategate Update 8: The NYT Reports
Climategate Update 9: CRU Head Phil Jones Steps Down During Investigation, An MIT Prof Explains The Holes In AGW Theory, And Climate Fraud Is Everywhere
Climategate Update 10: Climategate Reverberates From The UK To Down Under
Climategate Update 11: Finally An AGW Consensus, "Hockey Stick" Mann Attacks Jones, Gore Goes To Ground
Climategate Update 12: The AGW Wall Starts To Crumble, The Smoking Code & The Tiger Woods Index


Dinah Lord said...

You're back!

(I'd almost given up hope.)

So glad to see you blogging again!

GW said...

Hello Dinah. And as always, good to hear from you.