A View From the Cheap Seats

December 2, 2009

Lies and Damned Lies

Filed under: Environment,Global Warming,National,Religion,World — trzupek @ 3:13 pm

EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – NOVEMBER 25, 2009

There were amazing happenings in the bizarre world of “climate change” last week, although the mainstream media – Fox and the New York Times excepted – did their best to ignore it. Over 4,000 electronic files were published on the internet, files that the global warming alarmists really, really didn’t want anyone to see, files that exposed the alarmists as the frauds, bullies and hucksters that they are.

If this story involved another subject, one more popular with the MSM, the scandal would have been splashed across the front page of every newspaper in the country. But, since it didn’t involve the price of Sarah Palin’s shoes, or something equally vital to the national interest, the mainstream media dutifully dumped it in the circular file labeled “right wing nut jobs”.

We start with the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which we will now abbreviate “CRU”. The CRU has long been a repository for a great deal of raw data and correspondence that is used by global warming alarmists to make their dubious case. There is a very good reason that CRU plays this role: since it’s located in the UK, all of these files have been out of reach of the United States’ Freedom of Information Act.

Unfortunately (for the alarmists) the UK recently enacted its own version of FOIA and leading skeptics like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts began the tedious process of getting the data that the alarmists have steadfastly refused to produce. You know – those “the science is settled” alarmists who have nothing to hide, but who ignore requests to examine their data at every opportunity.

The noose was closing when, out of nowhere, over 4,000 files from the CRU were posted on a Russian FTP site by someone who chose the handle “FOIA”, with this message attached to the post:

“We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.”

“We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.  Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.”

Was this for real? Oh yeah. The CRU and the alarmists didn’t bother to deny that the files were genuine, choosing instead to denounce the “hacker” who “stole” them and dismissing the contents of the files as irrelevant.

As to the first point, it seems unlikely to me that we are dealing with a hacker, given the sequence of events. The UK FOIA request was closing in and, as a result, there are several recent e-mails in the files advising people to delete their e-mails ASAP – obviously so that the rest of the world would not see what has been going on. In this circumstance, it seems more likely that “FOIA” is a whistle-blower within CRU who wanted the truth to be told.

And are the contents of the files truly irrelevant? NASA scientist Dr. Gavin Schmidt, one of the high-priests of global-warming alarmism, posted this typically airily dismissive comment at his website realclimate.org, saying that the e-mails merely represent:

“…scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions.”

Disagreements? Really Gavin? We thought that the “science is settled” as you have said – oh – a couple of gagillion times. But these recently-exposed disagreements are about mere “details” and therefore of no consequence. When has science ever cared about something as mundane as details, after all?

In fact, the CRU e-mails reveal alarming patterns of behavior that should make legitimate scientists cringe. Alarmists discuss manipulating data – sometimes even bragging about it – in order to achieve the desired result. They sneer at skeptics (not surprising) and discuss how to put pressure on the media and scientific journals so that they will ignore legitimate studies authored by skeptics (which surprised even a cynic like yours truly).

In one e-mail, as reported by both the NY Times and Fox (and your humble correspondent has read it too) one of the alarmist scientists bemoans the fact that we have had global cooling recently and that the alarmist models can’t explain that.

The website Bishop Hill has a particularly good summary of the e-mail trail. Go to www.bishophill.squarespace.com and look for the “Climate Cuttings 33” post.

The bullying, data manipulation and deceptions contained in the e-mail trail is troubling enough, but a detailed analysis of the scientific data files will likely be truly damning. This will take a little more time, given the mountains of data and the expertise needed to examine it, but a cursory look shows that the alarmists dismissed data that did not fit their model on more than one occasion. When Enron did that sort of thing, we called it (correctly) a felony. When global-warming alarmists do it, it’s called “consensus”.

Now I know how reader response to this column is going to go. Based on the e-mails that y’all send me, about half of you love me and half of you think I’m an idiot. About the only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that I should be working for Fox News, which – if you think about it – says something about the state of journalism today.

Anyway, I’m sure that lovers will applaud this piece and haters will dismiss it as lies and distortions. That’s cool on both accounts. As I have said on many an occasion, I’ll take all the readers I can get. But I hope (and most likely in vain) that there will be another reaction, from someone in a position to take action. I hope that somebody in Congress or in the General Assembly or somewhere, will be moved to call for an investigation.

An independent panel, including some truly independent scientists, should examine the CRU record and demand accountability from the scientists who have spent the greater part of two decades assuring us that catastrophe lies just around the corner.

Granted, this is not quite as pressing an issue as the price of Sarah Palin’s shoes, but if we’re about to invest another few trillion taxpayer dollars to combat a problem that doesn’t actually exist, it sure would be nice to know about it.

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