The Dernogalizer

December 10, 2009

The Scientists Strike Back

Filed under: Climate Change — Matt Dernoga @ 12:47 pm
Tags: , ,

There has been quite an assault on the climate science in the past few weeks.  Far more so than ever before, which is saying something given the Climate Cover-Up that’s gone on for so long.  First, e-mails were hacked from a British university, showing some cherry-picked conversations between climate scientists, which global warming deniers have stretched and chalked up to data misrepresentation, and a massive global scientific conspiracy to trick people into reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  For more background information on the entire issue, check out EnviroKnow.  As I said before in my defense of science

“A few e-mails of out thousands sent by a few scientists out of thousands taken out of context by global warming deniers does not come within a light year of collapsing all of the scientific research, data, and current events that point to a warming planet caused by greenhouse gas emissions.  It’s why record highs of outnumbered record lows by an ever increasing ratio, which reached 2:1 in the last decade.  It’s why NASA recently reported the hottest June to October on record.  It’s why every each decade is considerably hotter than the last, and why ocean surface temperatures are the warmest on record.  It’s why declassified US spy satellites show the impact of warming on our ice caps, and East Antarctica is losing ice mass. Increased wildfires and pine bark beetles moving North. Australia being pushed to the breaking point by drought.  That’s all happening now.”

Wonk Room has a great timeline which I’ve posted towards the bottom that shows all the steps taken by the climate denial machine to distort these e-mails and sabotage the climate “debate”, topped off by a Sarah Palin Op-Ed suggesting Obama should boycott Copenhagen because of the hacked e-mails.

Richard Graves has a great post about the real scandal, and I think he’s right on, given the fact that there was another attempt last week to hack a Canadian Government Centre’s e-mails

“The real scandal is not the email archive, or even how it was acquired, sorted, and uploaded to a Russian server, but rather the emerging evidence of a coordinated international campaign to target and harass climate scientists, break and enter into government climate labs, and misrepresent climate science through a sophisticated media infrastructure on the eve of the international climate talks.”

Now, it appears the climate scientists are finally fighting back, but an even louder voice is needed.  There’s an Op-Ed today in the Washington Post by Alan Leshner, the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science hitting back against Sarah Palin and other deniers

“Doubters insist that the earth is not warming. This is in stark contrast to the consensus of 18 of the world’s most respected scientific organizations, who strongly stated in an Oct. 21 letter to the U.S. Senate that human-induced climate change is real. Still, the doubters try to leverage any remaining points of scientific uncertainty about the details of warming trends to cast doubt on the overall conclusions shared by traditionally cautious, decidedly non-radical science organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which represents an estimated 10 million individual scientists through 262 affiliated societies. Doubters also make selective use of the evidence, noting that the warming of the late 1990s did not persist from 2001 to 2008, while ignoring the fact that the first decade of the 21st century looks like it will be the warmest decade on record.

None of these tactics changes the clear consensus of a vast majority of scientists, who agree that the Earth is warming as greenhouse gas levels rise. The public and policymakers should not be confused by a few private e-mails that are being selectively publicized and, in any case, remain irrelevant to the broad body of diverse evidence on climate change. Selected language in the messages has been interpreted by some to suggest unethical actions such as data manipulation or suppression. To be sure, investigations are appropriate whenever questions are raised regarding the transparency and rigor of the scientific process or the integrity of individual scientists. We applaud that the responsible authorities are conducting those investigations. But it is wrong to suggest that apparently stolen emails, deployed on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit, somehow refute a century of evidence based on thousands of studies.”

On top of this, the AP recently reported that 1,700 UK scientists have signed a statement defending the evidence for man-made climate change.

With the stakes so high right now in Copenhagen, you can believe that the fossil-fuel funded deniers and delayers will continue to push the envelope on the tactics used to confuse the public and deny the science.  We need more scientists and scientific organizations to recognize the importance of this moment, and take back the debate.  This is certainly a good start.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

From Wonk Room

Nov. 17:

– RealClimate blogger Gavin Schmidt realized that someone was hacking his computer and downloading 160MB of files from a Turkish IP address. About an hour after the intrusion, a mysterious commenter at the climate skeptic blog Climate Audit posted a link to the hacked files with a note reading: “A miracle just happened.” Schmidt noted that, “four downloads occurred from that link while the file was still there (it no longer is).”

Nov. 19:

– Hackers then used a computer in Saudi Arabia to post the stolen e-mails, stored on a Russian server, on the climate skeptic website Air Vent.

– Skeptic blog “Watts Up With That” curiously is among the first blogs to posts the hacked e-mails.

– Chris Horner, an operative of the Koch Industries/ExxonMobil-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, blogged giddily at National Review that although he had not been “able to fully digest this at present,” “the blue dress moment may have arrived” on climate science.

– Sarah Palin appears on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor to discuss her new book. Palin and O’Reilly compare a young man who briefly hacked into her e-mail account in 2008, calling the incident “extremely disconcerting and disruptive” and “Watergate-lite.” O’Reilly and Plain do not discussed the hacked climate e-mails.

Nov. 20:

– In a front page article, the New York Times’ Andy Revkin reports that the e-mails “might lend themselves to being interpreted as sinister.”

– Myron Ebell, of the Koch Industries/ExxonMobil-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, releases a statement pointing to the stolen e-mails to conclude that global warming science is “phony.”

– Reading reports on right-wing blogs on air, Rush Limbaugh dedicates a segment to the hacked e-mails, claiming they vindicate his belief that global warming does not exist.

– Conservative Ed Morrissey concluded the e-mails prove global warming is “not science; it’s religious belief.”

– Right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin cheers “the global warming scandal of the century,” adding: “The Chicago Way is the Global Warming MobWay.”

– ExxonMobil-funded front group FreedomWorks blasts out an e-mail asking “Has the Global Warming Lie and Conspiracy Been Truly Exposed?”

– Marc Morano, a former Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) staffer who helps todistribute climate change denying propaganda to a network of news outlets and conservative organizations, broadcasts Climategate to talk radio.

— The Wall Street Journal’s environmental blog publicizes the conservative blogosphere’s furor: “this should get interesting … Maybe this will spice things up.”

Nov. 22:

– Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) staff distributes a letter claiming the stolen e-mails reveal what “could well be the greatest act of scientific fraud in history.”

Nov. 23:

– Heralding the stolen e-mails, infamous climate science skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) call for congressionalinvestigations against climate scientists.

– Fox News’ Fox Nation headlines the e-mails: “Global Warming’sWaterloo

– Glenn Beck devotes both his radio and Fox News program to covering Climategate, claims the e-mails show a “brand new reality” on climate science.

– Investors’ Business Daily editorializes that the e-mails show that global warming is “junk science.”

– The ExxonMobil-funded Heritage Foundation publicizes the stolen e-mails.

– Right-wing activist Viscount Monckton says climate scientists are “criminals.”

Nov. 24:

– Fox News’ Stu Varney begins his daily coverage of Climategate. He continues to attack global warming science, using the e-mails, on both the Fox News and Fox Business network.

– Washington Times editorial board, Drudge Report, both chime in to claim hacked e-mails show global warming is not real.

Nov. 29:

– Fox News regular Andrew Breitbart calls for climate scientists to be killedover Climategate.

Nov. 30:

– Rep. Candace Miller (R-MI) issues a statement to demand for an investigation of Climategate, and begins speaking about it on the floor of the House. In the following week, Reps Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), John Linder (R-GA), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Joe Barton (R-TX),Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), Mike Rogers (R-MI),Dan Burton (R-IN), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Greg Walden (R-OR) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) begin blasting press releases on the subject.

Dec. 1:

– Newt Gingrich, who only 2 years ago said America must act “urgently” to address climate change, seizes on the stolen e-mails to spread skepticism of global warming science. Gingrich’s political attack group, ASWF, is heavily funded by coal interests.

Dec. 2:

– Right-wing billionaire David Koch, of the oil empire Koch Industries, sends his front group Americans for Prosperity to attend the Copenhagen conference to attempt to hijack the debate. AFP intends to “expose” the science using the stolen e-mails.

Dec. 3:

– Canada’s National Post reports that burglars and hackers have been attacking the Canadian Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. In the lead up to the Copenhagen conference, Andrew Weaver — a University of Victoria scientist and key contributor to the Nobel prize-winning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — noted that his campus office was broken into twice and that a dead computer was stolen and papers were rummaged through.

– Saudi Arabian climate negotiators for the Copenhagen summit endorse Climategate, charging that the e-mail show “there is no relationshipwhatsoever between human activities and climate change.”

– Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade says “damning” e-mails show scientists who “think … Antartica is becoming like the Bahamas.”

Dec. 4:

– NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams adopts right-wing Climategate smear: “Have the books been cooked on climate change?”

Dec. 7:

– ExxonMobil-funded think tanks the Heartland Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis publicize the e-mails to “discredit” global warming science.

Dec. 8:

– The Wall Street Journal accuses climate scientists of being Stalinists.

– Fox News devotes a segment to a right-wing Rasmussen poll with a graphic that claims 120 percent of the public believes scientists falsified global warming data.

Dec. 9:

– Sarah Palin, who only weeks earlier decried the hacking of e-mails, writes in an op-ed that the Climategate e-mails are proof that anthropogenic global warming does not exist. The Washington Postpublishes Palin’s op-ed, despite the fact it is riddled with errors and outright falsehoods.

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2 Comments »

  1. It’s depressing how easily many people have been swayed by the Climategate campaign. Thanks for sharing the timeline of media coverage.

    Comment by Nexyoo — December 10, 2009 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  2. [...] Climate scientists speak up! [...]

    Pingback by COP15: day 4 « PURETIMES — December 10, 2009 @ 8:20 pm | Reply


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