American Elephants

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


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, 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 and These are excellent websites that will reward your visits.

The Corruption of Science Continues, as Does the Corruption of Government. by The Elephant's Child

It has been a little over a year since the so-called Climategate e-mails were leaked from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in England. The e-mails showed the scientists behind the climate scare plotting to hide, delete and manipulate data. They denigrated scientists presenting differing views in order to force journals to publish only papers that promoted alarm about global warming. They turned “peer review” into review by friends, and made the reports of the IPCC no more than alarmist propaganda.

The Climategate e-mails and the story of the corruption of science are carefully laid out in A.W. Montford’s  The Hockeystick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.  A worthy companion is Dr. Roy W. Spencer’s The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists.  Dr. Spencer has a marvelous ability to explain complicated subjects simply and clearly.  His book has the coolest book cover ever.

I said that the Climategate e-mails were leaked.  The media has liked to claim that the e-mails were “illegally hacked,” but people looking at it clearly are quite sure that a member of the CRU was horrified and distressed by the perversion of science going on.

Since that time, the work of the IPCC has been largely discredited.  They were found to be using papers from Greenpeace and ordinary mountaineers rather than the work of scientists.  Their claims about African crop yields, the Amazon rainforest, disappearing mountain ice, claims about Dutch sea levels, the melting Himalayan glaciers, and trends in disaster losses — all false exaggerations.

From Andrew Kenny, a consulting engineer with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering:

There is no evidence that mankind is changing the climate in a dangerous way. The slight warming of the past 150 years is no different from previous natural warming periods, such as the worldwide medieval warm period from about 900 to 1200 AD. Global warming and cooling are closely correlated to variations in the sun, especially in its emission of charged particles. Carbon dioxide (CO²), a harmless, natural gas upon which green plants depend, is a feeble greenhouse gas. Its only significant absorption band (15 micron) is saturated, so adding more to the atmosphere has a small and diminishing effect.

Over the past half-billion years (the span of multicelled life), CO² levels have averaged more than  2000 ppm (parts per million) but with wild fluctuations, from more than 6000 ppm to less than 500 ppm. This has had no noticeable effect on global temperatures, which have remained remarkably constant for long periods, pointing to a stable global climate system, without which higher life might not be possible. This stability probably comes from low clouds, which increase when temperatures rise and have a powerful cooling effect by reflecting away sunlight.

The “hockey stick graph” was first published in Nature magazine in 1998, and then shown 6 times in the IPCC’s 2001 report.  It showed temperatures in the northern hemisphere steady from 1000 to 1900  (compared to the long straight handle of a hockey stick) then suddenly rising to unprecedented heights in the 20th century (the blade of the hockey stick).  No medieval warm period, long considered the most beneficent climate of all, which spawned the Renaissance, and wine grapes grew in England, and was well documented in history.  The hockey stick was accepted with unquestioning faith by the IPCC and much of the scientific establishment.  (Not too big on history, those folks).

The hockey stick theory was demolished by Steven McIntyre, an expert (and stubborn) statistician.  He got hold of the data on which it was based,” and found outrageously wrong statistical methods, deliberate use of data known to be wrong, and other manipulation.”

Harold Lewis, emeritus professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recently resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) after 67 years.  He wrote in his resignation letter:  “the global warming scam with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave.  It is the greatest and most successful psuedoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.  Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the Climategate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organises the facts very well) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”

The temperature data on which the CRU supposedly based their work on climate is unavailable, apparently lost.  NASA has admitted that they were just using the CRU temperatures.  Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That with an army of volunteers to photograph American thermometer stations has found that far too many are located next to air conditioner exhausts, trash burners, reflective concrete walls and other temperature-corrupting elements.  Except for the satellite temperatures from University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) which are relatively recent — we don’t have any reliable temperature records.

Weather can be defined as what’s going on outside today. Predictions come as a 5-Day Forecast, not a 50 year estimate.  Climate is an average for a large area, but you can’t predict that for 50 years either.  In fact, scientists are beginning to wonder if the idea of a global climate average is in any way meaningful.  Think that one through — how would you get a meaningful global temperature average?

CO2 is only a minor and beneficial trace gas in the atmosphere. By far the largest and most extensive “greenhouse gas” is water vapor.  We just don’t understand clouds very well.

The New York Times vs. The New York Times. by The Elephant's Child
November 29, 2010, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Environment, Media Bias, National Security | Tags: , ,

James Taranto points out interesting reporting on”illegally leaked” emails by the New York Times in today’s “Best of the Web” at the Wall Street Journal. Made me laugh.

— “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”–New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009

— “The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.”–New York Times, on the WikiLeaks documents, Nov. 29, 2010

How embarrassing.   Your very own bias exposed once again.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Very First Music Video. by The Elephant's Child
February 19, 2010, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

Right in tune with the demolition of the activist global warming fraud, CEI’s very own Marlo Lewis comments in musical form. And this is his day job.

Damaged Credibility for the IPCC, CRU, NOAA, NASA, and American Journalism. by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Dr. Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain has stepped down in the ClimateGate scandal.  The CRU is one of the world’s three sources for  the temperatures that inform the world of the state of global climate.

This last week, Dr. Jones did a startling concessionary interview in which he admitted that there has been no global warming since 1995.   And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no statistically significant warming.  He conceded that there was a possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now.  The original raw data collected from weather stations around the world and analyzed by his unit may have been lost.  He admitted that his record keeping is not as good as it should be.

Months after the original exposure of emails and code from the CRU in the ClimateGate scandal, this was major news across the world.  The Washington Post, however, somehow neglected to mention it.  But that’s not all:

# No mention by the New York Times
# No mention by USA Today
# No mention by ANY major U.S. newspaper EXCEPT the Washington Times
# No mention by the Associated Press
# No mention by Reuters
# No mention by UPI
# No mention by ABC News
# No mention by CBS News
# No mention by NBC News
# No mention by MSNBC

CNN brought Dr. John Christy on air to talk about it.  This is not just a failure of the major climate reporting agencies, but a failure of American journalism.  Journalists in this country have been deeply involved in promoting alarm about global warming, and in suppressing any skeptical voice. Apparently that continues.

Once again journalists are more interested in promoting the world they prefer, than in reporting the news.  And they wonder why newspapers and news organizations are losing circulation.

(h/t: Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

Lord Christopher Monckton Wows Audiences In Australia. by The Elephant's Child

Lord Christopher Monckton has been on a speaking tour in Australia, and wowing audiences.  He has the facts at the tip of his fingers and can document everything  he says.  He’s an entertaining speaker.

Christopher Monckton recently appeared in Melbourne, Australia before an enthusiastic audience to explain, once again, the fraud of the global warming scam.  The IPCC has a lot to answer for, as does the profession of journalism.  England has been far more invested in the panic over climate change, but even there,  reality is beginning to penetrate.

The newspapers in the United Kingdom have been much more ready to expose  the University of East Anglia’s CRU and the scandal of ClimateGate, than American papers.  Committed warmists don’t intend to give up without a fight.  And with the exposure of ClimateGate, more cases of fraud and suppression of evidence  have appeared.  Enjoy.

Obama Cites “Overwhelming Scientific Evidence” and Gets the Biggest Laugh of the Entire Speech. by The Elephant's Child
January 30, 2010, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

One of the more interesting moments in the State of the Union speech was when Obama said ” I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change,” and the audience burst into laughter.  It appeared that the president was a little nonplussed, uncertain as to why there was laughter.

One real clunker in the president’s speech was his pledge to cap discretionary spending, and he promised to “incentivize” America’s commercial energy sector.   His passion for “clean energy” and “green jobs” has not faded.

The president seems unaware of ClimateGate, IPCC-Gate, GlacierGate, AmazonGate or the increasing evidence of fudged figures in all sectors of the climate monitoring effort.  I apologize for using the trite “Gate” suffix, but it is a quick way to indicate scandal.

The efforts of governmental bodies about climate were directed toward discovering the extent to which human influences were the cause of global warming, what dangers the warming might indicate for the future, and what governments could or should do about it.

It seemed an urgent problem and money— big money— flowed.  But it flowed to those who could demonstrate the problems, not to those whose work indicated that warming seemed to be a natural phenomenon.  It was easy for scientists, hungry for grants, to favor evidence that indicated warming, and de-emphasize that which didn’t.  Or to leave the stations that showed no warming out of the lot.  Just little fudges here and there.

It is going to take time for it all to shake out, but indications are that alarmist fears of problems derived from increases in climate warming are misplaced.  The consequences of not understanding a cooling planet or even a planet comfortable in the same kind of warming and cooling that has been going on for centuries are immense.

Businesses envisioning vast profits from governmental funding of wind farms and solar arrays are inclined to extol the advantages of their products.  What energy a wind turbine is rated to produce under optimum conditions, for example, is quite different from what it actually does produce when the wind blows only intermittently or occasionally.  When the wind does not blow at the right speed, the grid requires full-time back-up from a conventional energy source.

Wind farms and solar arrays, though ugly, are glamorous.  Saving the planet elevates one to a higher plane than that occupied by those not so engaged.  Think of the cachet of that which is organic, sustainable, or natural. Think of the vast new governmental departments, the industries, the money, the prestige, the power.  Hard to give up those dreams simply because there is some question whether there is really any global warming at all.

At a time of double-digit unemployment, an economy in recession, out-of-control government spending, and rising deficits, it seems unwise to invest money in schemes that have proved to be a failure in Europe, killing two jobs for every one created.

The president is a true believer.  He has barely disguised contempt for those who do not share his certainty that he is pursuing the noble course.  There will be “green” jobs, even if the government has to pay for every one with taxpayer money.  And they will be added to the “created or saved” ledger that is a fixture of fantasy-land.  The planet will be saved.  And Obama will be its savior.

Limitless billions in federal loan guarantees will create wind, solar, clean coal and nuclear projects — the lobbyists insist that the loan guarantees are off budget, and all will be repaid, so they are as good as being free.  Easy.  The CBO estimates, for example, that roughly half of the nuclear projects would default.  How to pay for it all?

The president has urged the Senate to approve the House-passed cap-and-trade legislation.  It would create a Clean Energy Development Administration to administer the loans and use carbon-emission taxes to cover any defaults.  Another federal disaster.

Take Off The Green Glasses, Mr. President. The Emerald City Was Just Another Fraud. The Wizard Was a Fake. by The Elephant's Child
January 14, 2010, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Energy, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

Rising unemployment, record-breaking deficits and guess who gets a $541,184 grant from the Stimulus plan?   Dr. Michael Mann, under investigation at Pennsylvania State University, a central figure in the ClimateGate scandal,and the author of the discredited “hockey stick” graph on which the misleading IPCC assessments were based gets over a half a million.

Professor Mann is under investigation by the University because of his activities with a circle of climate scientists who appeared to be engaged in falsification of data in boosting their case for global warming.   Emails, documents and computer code released from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, revealed discussions about manipulation of data, and efforts to stifle opposing views and interfere with their publication.

The Obama administration apparently believes that it doesn’t much matter where the money goes in the economy.  The simple fact of spending taxpayer money and newly borrowed money will somehow fix everything, and if spending some doesn’t work, they’ll just spend more.

Far too much money has gone to reward campaign contributors, carved out special favors for the favored, and now has rewarded loyalists in the climate change debate.  (Environmental organizations were big donors too).

All very nice politically, but it is not surprising that Obama’s stimulus plan has failed to create jobs.  The stimulus was not sold to the public as a way to promote the administration’s position on global warming theory.

To be fair, the grant was initiated in June 2009, but after the ClimateGate scandal broke, one would assume someone would say oops! not a good idea. The White House has not grasped that the scandal puts the whole global warming  theory into the reconsider basket.

The administration announced Friday the awarding of $2.3 billion in tax credits — from last year’s stimulus bill — to companies that create “green jobs.” The announcement was obviously timed to counter the bad news that the country lost another 85,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained in double digits.

“Building a robust clean-energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future — jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” President Obama said Friday.

He says the grants will create 17,000 clean tech jobs.  That’s $135,294 per job.  The experience of Spain, Britain, Germany and Denmark with “clean energy” and “green jobs” suggests that not only will this not work, but that 2.5 jobs will be lost in the regular economy for every “green job” created.

Liberals are never interested in evidence or experience. More money always solves the problem.  The administration wants Congress to approve another $5 billion for “tens of thousands” more “green jobs.”

Saving the Planet Whether it Needs it Or Not. by The Elephant's Child

Copenhagen was a fiasco.  The U.S. Senate is probably not going to touch cap-and-trade with a ten-foot pole.  The Green lobby is off on a new approach.  If at first you don’t succeed, switch to plan B.

Across the country, green pressure groups and trial lawyers are teaming up to sue electric utilities for carbon emissions under “nuisance” laws.

A group of 12 Gulf Coast residents whose homes were damaged by hurricane Katrina are suing 33 energy companies for greenhouse gas emissions that allegedly contributed to the global warming that allegedly made the hurricane worse.

In Connecticut, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and seven state Attorney Generals plus New York City are suing American Electric Power and other utilities for all sorts of ecological maladies.

A native village in Alaska is suing Exxon and 23 oil and energy companies for coastal erosion.

They are trying, Richard Blumenthal told Carbon Control News, “to compel measures that will stem global warming regardless of what happens in the legislature.”  In other words, he’s trying to force a policy that the legislative branch will not pass, because it is too damaging to the economy.

It’s hard to know how the courts will react.  I think we can safely assume that the justices don’t spend their evenings reading the emails from Hadley’s CRU, or the latest studies about CO2.  They decided that polar bears could be considered a threatened species in spite of plenty of evidence that the polar bears are just fine.  Activist courts are ever eager to arrogate more power to themselves.

Protestors abound at Copenhagen. Are You Surprised at Who They Are? by The Elephant's Child
December 16, 2009, 1:45 am
Filed under: Politics, Socialism, Statism | Tags: , , ,

Lord Christopher Monckton remarked that “They call themselves Green because they are too yellow to admit they’re really Red.” As the Soviet Union fell, many of the “true believers” migrated to the environmental movement. The environmental movement and global warming have always been political efforts, not scientific. And now it’s playing out. ClimateGate is exposing the truth.

The Marvelous Michael Ramirez Strikes Again! by The Elephant's Child

Editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez is the absolute master of the visual metaphor.  He captures the essence of ClimateGate so perfectly.  Don’t miss his work at Investors Business Daily.

The Meaning of ClimateGate, Exposed. by The Elephant's Child
December 4, 2009, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Environment, Junk Science, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Here’s an excellent summary on the meaning of ClimateGate from the CBC’s Rex Murphy.

(h/t: Planet Gore)

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