Saturday, December 5, 2009

Propaganda: Stolen Emails and Climate Change

Global Warming, or as I sometimes call it "Extended Motorcycle Season", or alternate title "Shortening the Motorcycle Trip to the Beach" is back in the headlines. Now Mark Steyn and Sarah Palin are weighing in on the topic again.

Here are some comments by Sarah Palin, ex-Governor of Alaska on Facebook (I sure hope it's not a spoof site, it's so hard to tell though).

"The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures"

and on the same page Sarah asserts

"I’ve never denied the reality of climate change; in fact, I was the first governor to create a subcabinet position to deal specifically with the issue. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. But while we recognize the effects of changing water levels, erosion patterns, and glacial ice melt, .... "

I wonder if she sees that there is an inconsistency in her position. She accuses the scientists of "Hiding the decline of temperatures", but acknowledges the reality of climate change with glacial ice melt. Doesn't glacial ice melt suggest there is actually no need to hide a "decline in global temperatures"? I'm a little disappointed Sarah does not also admit the water is rising (not just "changing"), and that she neglects to mention the disappearing Arctic sea ice, which is close to Alaska, but then I shouldn't expect too much from Sarah.

So we all agree that global temperatures are warming, but the scientists are being accused of trying to "hide the decline" of something. Exactly what was supposedly declining is not mentioned, but all the critics assure us it is referring to a decline in global temperatures. I don't get it. What decline is there to hide if everyone already agrees the the temperatures are actually going up?

Now here is a paragraph from Mark Steyn. Mark is not a climatologist, and never claimed to be one. Mark's main interests these days are free speech and Muslim procreation levels. But he can take time out to harangue scientists who are looking at climate change data, based on some of their emails from ten years ago that were stolen and then made public. I'll tell you one thing, I would pay good money if I could get my hands on all Mark Steyn's personal emails for the last ten years. But that sadly did not happen, I guess the scientists had better things to do.

So this gives Mark the opening he needs to have a go at them:

Mark Steyn:

"The trouble with outsourcing your marbles to the peer-reviewed set is that, if you take away one single thing from the leaked documents, it's that the global warm-mongers have wholly corrupted the "peer-review" process. When it comes to promoting the impending ecopalypse, the Climate Research Unit is the nerve-center of the operation. The "science" of the CRU dominates the "science" behind the UN IPCC, which dominates the "science" behind the Congressional cap-&-trade boondoggle, the upcoming Copenhagen shakindownen of the developed world, and the now routine phenomenon of leaders of advanced, prosperous societies talking like gibbering madmen escaped from the padded cell, whether it's President Obama promising to end the rise of the oceans or the Prince of Wales saying we only have 96 months left to save the planet. But don't worry, it's all "peer-reviewed"."

Mark starts off with the accusation that I have outsourced my marbles to the "Peer reviewed set". Well to be fair, not just me, but anyone who has a tendency to believe the climate scientists over the opinion writers.

In response to Mark, I will say that I would rather outsource my marbles to somebody with an education, who is working on the climate change issue, than to a popular writer whose appeal is based on mindless fearmongering, and insults. Wait, I forgot to mention that I have not "outsourced my marbles". That's why I can still think for myself, and why I can figure out in other ways (not just me, but even the likes of Sarah Palin and George W. Bush) that global warming is not a hoax. Although I'm almost tempted to outsource my marbles to Mark Steyn after reading the soaring prose of "gibbering madmen escaped from the padded cell".

Picture is my photoshop of my Honda CD175 on the moon, parked where it is safe from climate change. Here is a link to some information on the stolen emails that provides far more insight than Mark Steyn, Sarah Palin or Fox News.


  1. I shudder to think what people would make of some of the emails I sent while working for the 'big corporation'!

    A common failing among the 'inconclusive/faked evidence' commentators is that they do not seem to realize (or acknowledge) that climate change 'science' is much more like economics than physics or chemistry.

    In physics and chemistry we can devise controlled experiments to 'prove' or 'disprove' a hypothesis. These experiments can then be replicated (or not, as with 'cold fusion') by other researchers.

    In climate science (as in economics) we are actually living the experiment. It is simply not possible to devise an experiment for either the global economy or the global climate system. We are forced to 'interpret' historical data and make projections on the basis of those.

    And, just as there are innumerable differences of opinion among economists, there are differences among climate scientists. And, just as in economics, political ideologies and vested interests have a disproportionate effect on both the interpretation of the data and projections for the future when it comes to climate change science, especially in terms of what appears in the popular press.

    One, however, must take the opinions of commentators who purport to apply the standards of physics and chemistry to climate change science with a grain of salt. (Just, I submit, as we should have been more skeptical of the opinions of the Friedmanite economists who dumped us into the current economic mess.)

    The basic fact remains: we are conducting a massive experiment here. And we only have ONE planet to perform that experiment on. The precautionary principle suggests that we carefully consider ALL the evidence and err on the side of caution - the downside risk is simply too great.

    The opinions of people like Palin and Steyn play to political interests and people's fears and prejudices and are an unwelcome contribution to the debate.

  2. I got so carried away with my rant, I neglected to include a very recent example of the 'bad science' being thrust upon people in this 'debate' ...

    For example, 'Friends of Science' (doncha love the names these outfits come up with?!) still maintains that glacial and polar ice melts are a 'tempest in a teapot.'

    The reality, of course (and recently confirmed again) is that 'Studies suggesting the Arctic sea ice has made a modest recovery following its record-setting retreat in 2007 are misleading and underestimate the severity of the polar meltdown'.