American Elephants


The Long, Long Story of ClimateGate and Dr. Michael Mann by The Elephant's Child

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Back when today’s environmentalists suddenly became anxious about the climate, government agencies began giving grants to those scientists who were studying the climate seriously, and coming up with information to protect the government officials who might be accused of not tending to business and protecting the climate of the earth. ‘

Obviously the scientists who got the good-sized grants were those who could write a good grant proposal, for getting a grant enhanced the prestige of the scientist and the university where he taught, and meant new equipment and perhaps a raise, and maybe even an assistant.  So naturally there was a flurry of grant proposals churned out. Then they had to start producing useful science. Many turned to the computer programs used by Wall Street to predict what the market was going to do. So they entered what they knew about climate, but there was an enormous amount they didn’t know, so they put in what seemed likely, and what they thought was probable and a few wild guesses, and started predicting what the climate would do 20 or 50 years hence. [Please remember that this is a non-scientific estimate of what was going on by a sheer amateur observer.] The point is that there was a lot they just didn’t have any information about, like the action of clouds, and some things that they assumed were correct, like the temperatures at official thermometer sites (though many were located next to air conditioning outlets and heat-reflecting concrete walls, and even next to trash burners.) In other words, the official temperature records were vastly overestimating the warming.

Anthony Watts, proprietor of the valued website wattsupwiththat.com, meteorologist and former TV weatherman, became suspicious, and asked his viewers to take photographs of the official thermometer locations, and since many were located where factors other than weather were influencing the recorded temperatures. That’s when the “heat island” notion became common.

Michael Mann (Penn State) came up with was was called “the hockey-stick” graph. Envision a hockey stick. Goes along straight and then suddenly jogs straight up. That’s what his climate graph showed that the heat of the planet was going to do. That got a lot of attention,. Naturally it was called “ClimateGate”) Mann’s graph was featured news, Mann became a recognized scientist, with all the hoopla that entails. Dr. Tim Bell, climate skeptic, from B.C. suggested that Mann was exaggerating and making phony claims, as did Mark Steyn as a journalist. Mann sued for defamation. How dare you criticize my famous hockey stick graph. And the case has dragged on in Canadian courts for nine years. and Dr. Tim Ball won,  Michael Mann deservedly lost and has to pay Dr. Ball’s court costs. Here is Anthony Watt’s story on the whole long, long ClimateGate battle. More interesting because he has long been a participant. And here is the report from Marc Morano at Climate Depot. We are pleased.

If you can, take the time to prowl around wattsupwiththat.com and climatedepot.com. These are excellent websites that will reward your visits.



The Lungs of the Planet are Just Fine. by The Elephant's Child

The panicky people are claiming that the Amazon rainforest is on fire, “the lungs of the planet” are burning,— except that they don’t know what they are talking about. NASA has explained that the current fires in the Amazon are close to normal, but a little below — compared to the past 15 years. The fires are on land adjacent to the rainforest that has already been cleared for agricultural use. They were not caused by climate change. And started purposely by humans to burn off stubble. You can relax, The planet’s lungs are just fine.




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