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CRU Hack: More context

Filed under: — gavin @ 2 December 2009

Continuation of the older threads. Please scan those (even briefly) to see whether your point has already been dealt with. Let me know if there is something worth pulling from the comments to the main post.

In the meantime, read about why peer-review is a necessary but not sufficient condition for science to be worth looking at. Also, before you conclude that the emails have any impact on the science, read about the six easy steps that mean that CO2 (and the other greenhouse gases) are indeed likely to be a problem, and think specifically how anything in the emails affect them.

Update: The piece by Peter Kelemen at Columbia in Popular Mechanics is quite sensible, even if I don’t agree in all particulars.

Further update: Nature’s editorial.

Further, further update: Ben Santer’s mail (click on quoted text), the Mike Hulme op-ed, and Kevin Trenberth.

1,285 Responses to “CRU Hack: More context”

  1. 551

    Tobias: The Bilderbergs, Rothchilds, Rockefellers and Goldman-Sachs of this world… are truly having a fun time watching all you people debate matters completely besides the point…

    BPL: Not to mention the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, the Atlanticists, the Freemasons, the Jews, the Vatican, the Grays, and the Reptoids!

  2. 552

    Barton Paul Levenson says to Lubos Mokras: “Could some smart scientist explain, how can nature distinguish between man made and nature made CO2?”

    BPL: That was Lubos, not me.

  3. 553
    manacker says:

    Don Shor (512) asked:

    “Ok, what has been the trend 1979 – 2008? How does it compare with the warming experienced in, say, the first half of the 20th Century?”

    The early 20th century warming cycle from around 1910 to 1944 has been studied, most notably by Delworth and Knutson
    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/reference/bibliography/2000/td0002.pdf

    The HadCRUT record shows a linear warming of around 0.54°C over the period. IPCC states (AR4, Ch. 9, p.691):

    “Detection and attribution as well as modelling studies indicate more uncertainty regarding the causes of the early 20th-century warming than the recent warming.”

    The late 20th century warming is the main focus of IPCC. AR4, Ch.3, p.240 tells us:

    “The 1976 divide is the date of a widely acknowledged ‘climate shift’ (e.g. Trenberth, 1990) and seems to mark a time (see Chapter 9) when global mean temperatures began a discernable upward trend that has been at least partly attributed to increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”

    “The picture prior to 1976 has essentially not changed and is therefore not repeated in detail here.”

    The anthropogenic cause of the late 20th century warming cycle is underscored in Chapter 9:

    “No climate model using natural forcings alone has reproduced the observed global warming trend in the second half of the 20th century. Therefore, modelling studies suggest that the late 20th century warming is much more likely to be anthropogenic than natural in origin”

    The HadCRUT record shows a linear warming of around 0.50°C over the period 1976-2005, which is cited by IPCC in AR4 (around the same as the earlier warming period).

    Prior to 1910 and between 1945 and 1975 there were cooling cycles, so that the linear warming for the entire 20th century (defined by IPCC as the period from 1906 to 2005) was 0.74°C. Over the actual 20th century (1901-2000) the HadCRUT record showed a linear warming of 0.65°C. The difference of 0.09°C is largely due to the elimination of the strongly cooling years 1901-1906.

    Since the end of 2000 it has also been cooling, but this period is too short so far to be considered a new cooling cycle.

    Hope this clears it up.

    Max

  4. 554

    Max: The only thing that is unequivocal is that it has cooled since the end of the 20th century, no matter which record you look at.

    And that was the point I made, which you are unable to refute.

    BPL: I already refuted it. Several times. You just didn’t understand the refutation because you are an illiterate when it comes to statistical analysis.

    Crack a book!

  5. 555
    RaymondT says:

    Thnaks Gavin. [Response: Those are very clearly different statements. The latter is interesting, the former, not so much. – gavin]. It seems to me from previous messages that you stated that we would need another 10 to 20 years before we can isolate the CO2 forcing from the multi-decadal oscillations IN THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE signal. It seems to be that the “evidence” for the CO2 forcing so far would be the increase in the upper troposphere temperatures. Isn’t that an indirect method since in ajusting the CO2 forcing function you also have to subtract the multi-decadal oscillations ? Also to my knowledge there is still uncertainty regarding the albedo effect of the cloud ? Thanks for bearing with me.

  6. 556
    manacker says:

    Martin (508)

    As I have already stated, I agree with you that the long-term temperature record is more meaningful than shorter-term intervals.

    The long-term trend since 1850 (when the HadCRUT record started), with all its warts and questionable input data, shows several multi-decadal warming and cooling cycles, averaging about 60 years per complete cycle, with an underlying warming trend of 0.041°C per decade over the entire period, as we have been emerging from a colder period called the Little Ice Age.

    So this is the long-term record, which probably has the greatest significance.

    Max

  7. 557
    Hank Roberts says:

    Barton, Max Acker (manacker) knows exactly what he’s doing.
    He’s like an advertising campaign, repeating the same thing.

  8. 558
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS, Barton, a reminder — every time you repeat what Max said, it becomes more memorable; there’s good science supporting how he’s doing his PR.

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2007/09/deck_is_stacked_against_mythbu.php

    ‘Obviously, this has implications for correcting these myths. The article suggests that, rather than repeat them (as the CDC “true and false” pamphlet does, for example), one should just rephrase the statement, eliminating the false portion altogether so as to not reinforce it further (since repetition, even to debunk it, reaffirms the false statement). Ignoring it also makes things worse, as the story noted that other research “…found that when accusations or assertions are met with silence, they are more likely to feel true.”‘

  9. 559
    manacker says:

    OK, BPL, here’s an example that will make it easier for you to understand, without getting into all kinds of statistical rationalizations of what is going on out there.

    I’m at home with the flu (an example).

    I’ve taken my temperature every day for the last week. I notice that it has dropped from 103F to 98.6F.

    I conclude that it has dropped over the week.

    But not that I am totally over the flu yet. So I keep measuring it and following the advice of my wife to drink lots of water, etc.

    But, hey, the temperature has come down, as the thermometer showed

    Max

  10. 560
    Tuomo says:

    Since I just learned something extremely useful here on the “highly artificial” “fudge factor” code segment, maybe you can also comment on the following. In this is not the appropriate comment thread, please point me to the appropriate place for this.

    I am getting more emails from my Nordic friends. The gist of those emails is that more recent evidence makes it less and less plausible that the current temperatures are unique when compared to the temperatures for the last 2500 years.

    See for example: http://people.su.se/~hgrud/documents/Grudd%202008.pdf

    “On decadal-to-centennial timescales, periods around AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were equally warm, or warmer. The 200-year long warm period centered on AD 1000 was significantly warmer than the late-twentieth century (p/0.05) and is supported by other local and regional paleoclimate data. The new tree-ring evidence from Tornetrask suggests that this ‘Medieval Warm Period’ in northern Fennoscandia was much warmer than previously recognized.”

    What’s your view of this study? I am pretty impressed by this study, since their calibration period produces a high R2. Furthermore, they find that density measure (MXD) gets a larger weight than ring width (TRW) in the calibration to instrumental temperature record.

    There’s also an interesting comment on Briffa’s series adjustments:

    “The update of the Tornetrask data, including relatively young trees in the most recent period, has significantly reduced the mean cambial age of MXD data in the twentieth century (Fig. 1a). As a result, the loss of sensitivity to temperature, apparent in earlier versions of the Tornetrask MXD chronology (Briffa 2000), is now eliminated. Hence, this study shows that data with a disproportionately high cambial age in the most recent period can create a similar ‘divergence phenomenon’ in the late twentieth century. This calls for further investigations of the age structure in other MXD data series that show a similar phenomenon.”

    “Diverging trends between Tornetrask MXD and TRW are apparent around AD 1800 (Fig. 9). This was registered also by Briffa et al. (1992) who interpreted the phenomenon as a loss in the sensitivity of MXD to temperature and, therefore, made an adjustment to the trend in MXD for the period AD 1750–1980. However, when the tree-ring data is compared to the 200-year long temperature record from Tornedalen it clearly shows, on the contrary, that the diverging trends are caused by the TRW data (Fig. 10). The correlations between MXD and temperature are consistent between the four 50-year periods, while TRW shows a poor correlation in the first period and then higher and fairly consistent correlations in the following three periods. Hence, there is an apparent loss in the sensitivity of TRW to temperature in the first half of the nineteenth century.”

    So, as long as I am interpreting this correctly, the author claims that the MXD series was incorrectly adjusted by Briffa. Instead of the ad hoc adjustment of the MDX series to better with the instrumental records, Briffa should have left the series unadjusted. This in term would have led to very different subsequent conclusions about the temperature record? Am I interpreting this correctly?

    Of course, this is just one region and not the entire globe. However, it’s interesting that the evidence from dendroclimatology is converging towards the egological evidence and not the other way around.

  11. 561
    John E. Pearson says:

    re: 542 Who cares whether a software engineer thinks research code programming standards are below the standards for commercial software? I would’ve been shocked had he found otherwise.

  12. 562

    BPL, maybe it’s time you had Max take a good read of the Dunning-Kruger effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect).

    Max, if you don’t understand that either, there’s not much we can do for you.

    RaymondT: here’s a bit more reading for you.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Foster_et%20alJGR09_formatted.pdf
    http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/464/2094/1367.full

  13. 563
    t_p_hamilton says:

    Tuomo said:”Aren’t you overreacting to semantics? ”

    Perhaps you did not say what you intended. The variable under question (with respect to manmade or natural) is [CO2]. A simple model would have rate for production of CO2 as d[CO2]/dt = +k(natural sources) + k(man), removal would be -k(natural sinks). No endogenous or exogenous variables for [CO2], just one variable [CO2].

  14. 564
    Michelle says:

    Gavin and all – I wish the RealClimate scientists all the best in these troubling times…I think one of you already said it, but it’s definitely a new low. Stay strong. Your posts over the years have really helped me to understand climate science. Thanks for all that you do.

  15. 565
    SecularAnimist says:

    Well, I’ve just been listening to my local NPR station, WAMU-FM in Washington DC, airing a talk program called “ON POINT” which originates with another NPR station in Boston. The subject: the Copenhagen conference, US public opinion and the impact of the stolen emails.

    The host chose to air recorded statements from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, and to hammer away belligerently at guest Michael Mann about how the public could trust climate scientists anymore in light of the emails. Again and again the host steered the discussion away from the actual fact of anthropogenic global warming, and to go on and on about public opinion becoming more “skeptical” and wondering out loud how that could happen — as though dishonest and misleading programs like his had nothing to do with influencing public opinion.

    So, here I am unexpectedly and unwillingly listening to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News preach the gospel of global warming denial and rant about the “criminal conspiracy” by scientists to perpetrate a heinous hoax — on NPR, National Public Radio, supposedly the bastion of the “liberal media”. The malicious, dishonest, reprehensible attacks on scientists by the ExxonMobil-funded denial propaganda machine — legitimized for a “liberal” audience, by NPR.

    This is what the American people are being hammered with, every day, from every imaginable media outlet — including the so-called “liberal” National Public Radio.

    When historians of the not-too-distant, and likely very short, future ponder how it was that the highly educated population of the most advanced and well-informed nation in the world could sit by and allow anthropogenic global warming to destroy the Earth’s biosphere, how they could fall for the blatantly inane propaganda of the fossil fuel industry, they will surely point their fingers at the corporate-owned mass media — which certainly includes the corporate-sponsored National “Public” Radio — and their relentless, shameless, conscienceless collusion in the industry-funded campaign of denial and deceit which has succeeded for a generation in keeping the American people ignorant of the grave danger, and indeed the very existence, of anthropogenic global warming.

  16. 566
    Rod B says:

    BPL (550), really good tap dance!

  17. 567
    Tuomo says:

    t_p_hamilton says: “Perhaps you did not say what you intended. The variable under question (with respect to manmade or natural) is [CO2]. A simple model would have rate for production of CO2 as d[CO2]/dt = +k(natural sources) + k(man), removal would be -k(natural sinks). No endogenous or exogenous variables for [CO2], just one variable [CO2].”

    Yeah, I kind of winged it when I wrote it. But you get the point though. If you are trying to estimate a complex system of two variables, say co2 and temperature, then finding exogenous variation in either variable or preferably both variables is going to make the estimation problem a whole lot easier.

    Suppose you write down the stochastic differential equations for temperature and co2. Then you try to estimate those from long-term “proxy” histories, which are effectively time-aggregated observations. That’s a really difficult estimation problem if one can identify exogenous variation in both temperature and co2 (or at least one). How do you know whether temperature is causing co2 or co2 temperature and by how much?

    Now, suppose that we can get an accurate series of something that changes temperature but doesn’t directly change co2. Say some sort of record of sun’s radiation. That will allow us to isolate variation in temperature that was not caused by co2 and record the response in the system to a pure temperature shock. I guess climate science calls these “forcings.”

    Am I on the right track?

  18. 568
    Timothy Chase says:

    manacker wrote in 542:

    Your long plaidoyer sounds more like it’s coming from a defense attorney rather than a computer programmer.

    I went to St. John’s College, taking the Great Books Program which focuses upon the authors and literature that forged Western Civilization. Plato, Darwin, Lobachevsky, Marx, constitional law — that sort of thing. Many of those that go to St. John’s go on to become lawyers.

    However, I was also a philosophy major, writing an eighty page paper critiquing The Critique of Pure Reason (here), another paper of similar size critiquing Six Meditations on First Philosophy (here) and yet another that provided a history and criticism of Early Twentieth Century Empiricism (here), the last of which forms much of the basis for my understanding of the philosophy of science.

    Unfortunately there isn’t much of a market nowadays for philosophy. So I am now a programmer. You have to do something to try and pay off the student debt.

    Yet I must admit that being a lawyer has some attraction. However, I find it far easier to imagine myself in the role of a prosecuting attorney, not the defense. This was metaphorically speaking how I thought of myself as I wrote the papers critiquing Descartes and Kant.

    Consider… in 542 you have not responded to the following points:

    1. a crime was committed by the hackers;
    2. the stolen emails were released in a way that indicates the attempt to disrupt the Copenhagen conference rather than permit any meaningful investigation of their contents;
    3. the fossil fuel industry is lobbying Washington at roughly fourteen to one compared to environmentalists;
    4. similar crimes against climatologists are being committed elsewhere, including security breaches and the theft of computers in Canada;
    5. to the best of our knowledge no paper was ever affected by the errors in the code;
    6. regarding CRU, other temperature records (including satellite records) are available and show virtually identical temperature trends;
    7. those who would set themselves up as qualified, disinterested auditors of the science of climatology are neither qualified nor disinterested;
    8. given the nature of the cognitive division of labor that exists within science, no individual or centralized authority would have available the information, knowledge or skills necessary to audit the science;
    9. given its very nature, science is self-auditing in a way that over time far surpasses anything one might honestly wish to impose on it;
    10. simply given the “analysis” that has been offered of the emails so far, the auditing that climate “skeptics” would seek to impose upon climatology would appear to be that of quote-mining passages of text, cherry-picking of data and continually receding goal-posts of demands, that it would be akin to Young Earth Creationists auditing evolutionary biology;
    11. any serious attempt to impose the sort of “transparency” that climate “skeptics” would seek to impose upon science would, by the very nature of the cognitive division of labor that exists within science, bring climatology to a grinding halt;
    12. that in fact there is a close correspondence between Watergate and Climategate — in that theft was attempted in both cases in the attempt to discover material that could be twisted and made to appear questionable; and,
    13. the major difference between Watergate and Climategate in that in the latter it is the victims rather than the perpetrators of the crime that are being put on trial.

    You make vague allegations of one form or another but rarely offer any argument or evidence to back your claims up.

    And this was simply with respect to the past two posts of mine, 527 and 528.

    Your “responses” prior to that were of even lower quality.
    *
    There was an internal memo by the tobacco company Brown and Williamson that stated “doubt is our product.” Tobacco companies found the medical science showing the link between tobacco and various medical illnesses inconvenient and therefore attacked it. But as they saw it, they didn’t have to prove anything. They only had to manufacture enough doubt to paralyze any attempt at the regulation of tobacco. They simply had to create the appearance that the science was still debatable.

    A number of the organizations involved in that campaign have been involved in later campaigns involving DDT, CFCs — and fossil fuel. Like the earlier campaign, they don’t seek to prove anything but only manufacture enough doubt, to create the appearance that the basic science is still debatable when it had actually been well established for years. Not all the details, but the fundamentals.

    Not much point in my continuing with you, is there?

  19. 569
  20. 570

    568: regarding CRU, other temperature records (including satellite records) are available and show virtually identical temperature trends;

    OK, so let me get this straight. East Anglia committed amazing levels of incompetence in their data analysis. It would be quite the coincidence if their results were anything close to accurate.

    Yet you tell us that it’s all OK because “other temperature records” show “virtually identical” results.

    If A was done incompetently and B looks just like A, what does that tell you about B? It tells me that it would be wise to look into B to see how it ended up so much like A.

    In other words, all of the raw data and source code for these climate studies needs to be open-sourced right now. Because if it isn’t, the world is going to wonder, “What are they hiding?” [edit]

    [Response: You are assuming what you seek to prove. But since the GISTEMP code is available, and part of a open source project (see comments passim), you will no doubt be able to find your mysterious conspiracy. How about at least considering the possibility that the CRU group, the GISTEMP group, the NCDC and the JMA are all getting basically the same result because… wait for it…. this is actually a good estimate of what is happening in the real world. Gosh. – gavin]

  21. 571
    Tuomo says:

    Too bad these comments don’t have an edit feature, I didn’t quite write it right in my comment 560 either. Here’s a better way to say it:

    Most tree-ring studies don’t adjust for the age of the tree. The width and density of the tree ring are related to both how many years old that particular tree was when it grew the ring in question and what kind of year that year was. (In some other field, these are called the cohort and year effects.)

    [Response: Not true at all. All the RCS chronologies for instance fit a growth curve for trees in that region and only use the residuals for climate proxies. Older studies did this too but in ways that did not preserve any potential long term climate effects. – gavin]

    Grudd demonstrates pretty convincingly that the reason why the tree ring density has stopped correlating with temperature in the post-1960 sample is that the trees in the previous studies were old. Grudd collected data on young trees and merged those to the data set. The presence of both old trees and young trees from all periods then allowed him to estimate the relation between the ring density and the age of the tree when the ring grew, and separate this from the year effect.

    The paper suggests that Briffa / Briffa et al. (so many papers, can’t keep track) should have collected younger sample trees, should have removed the effect of the age of the tree, and then should have stuck with unadjusted density-based proxy. This would have eliminated the need for “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline.” There’s no decline in the density of recent rings of young trees.

    Now, what’s the punch line from Grudd’s study? When you model the tree ring density right, you’ll get a relation between temperature and density that holds up well throughout the sample. Then, if you use that model to reconstruct temperature record (blue line in his Fig 12), you’ll see that in Northern Europe was really warm for a couple of centuries about 1000 years ago, warmer than now.

  22. 572
    Bruce Williams says:

    Ref #522

    So, are we to assume

    No. You may not assume; Ken W.

    The statement was “Are their people” – Not all or even the majority of people. You’re assuming and tart response shows that the old saying – “Assuming makes an ass out of u and ming, and I’m betting ming doesn’t like it.” is true.

  23. 573
    Bruce Williams says:

    Tobias

    Ref #520

    “Human beings are not up to the task of climate science when it comes to reliable predictions… and, above all, should be thrown into the next best dungeon for any such attempts as geoengineering.”

    And with your attitude they never will.
    You’re “Holier than though” attitude misses the point. Right now, mankind cannot accurately predict the weather for more than 3 days out, let alone the climate. But the people involved here are at least trying. And yes there are some bad ones in the lot, and they have managed through mismanagement and ego to mess up a process that needs to continue.

    The ones that messed it up suffer the same problem you do – to much ego, and not enough sense or long term commitment.
    If you want help the world, seriously, get with Ralph Nader – He has done more for humanity than you have. At least he gets things done and doesn’t berate others doing it.

  24. 574

    Timothy Chase #568: you raise good points. Note also how tobacco companies included in their strategy causing confusion about other areas of science so that their astroturfing couldn’t easily be tracked back to them, as revealed for example by George Monbiot in his book Heat (some details on my blog).

    This gets me wondering: do we have enough info to go after the fossil fuel industry with a class action suit, to recover damages arising from their sabotage of effective action on climate change? We are not talking about a small matter like tobacco here, where only a few tens of millions of people died unnecessary and horrible deaths. Half a billion people are at risk from loss of water from the Himalayan glaciers alone.

    If tobacco eventually lost lawsuits in the hundreds of billions of dollars, what sort of liability is the fossil fuels industry setting itself up for? Hundreds of trillions? I’m sure there are some hotshot lawyers out there who’d like to work on a case on that scale…

  25. 575
    manacker says:

    Timothy Chase

    You stated your personal opinion on Climategate (568), so I will respond with mine.

    1. a crime was committed by the hackers;
    Response: This depends on whether or not the whistle-blowers are protected under the UK (or US) whistle-blower protection law

    2. the stolen emails were released in a way that indicates the attempt to disrupt the Copenhagen conference rather than permit any meaningful investigation of their contents;
    Response: A matter of opinion. It could have been simply to expose the weakness of the AGW premise

    3. the fossil fuel industry is lobbying Washington at roughly fourteen to one compared to environmentalists;
    Response: This claim is blatantly false – the taxpayer funding for climate research in support of the AGW premise as promulgated by IPCC far exceeds any funding by the fossil fuel industry for research to prove the contrary

    4. similar crimes against climatologists are being committed elsewhere, including security breaches and the theft of computers in Canada;
    Response: An unsubstantiated claim, but it has nothing to do with Climategate in any case

    5. to the best of our knowledge no paper was ever affected by the errors in the code;
    Response: Your knowledge may not be so conclusive (see the BBC report I cited)

    6. regarding CRU, other temperature records (including satellite records) are available and show virtually identical temperature trends;
    Response: Not “virtually identical”. The satellite (tropospheric) record shows a slower warming trend than the surface record, even though the GH theory indicates that it should be more rapid

    7. those who would set themselves up as qualified, disinterested auditors of the science of climatology are neither qualified nor disinterested;
    Response: A matter of opinion. Is Steve McIntyre, for example, financially beholden to anyone (such as IPCC), or is he an independent operator (bring evidence for your response)? His qualifications as a statistician are unquestioned.

    8. given the nature of the cognitive division of labor that exists within science, no individual or centralized authority would have available the information, knowledge or skills necessary to audit the science;
    Response: A matter of opinion. A group of independent auditors acting in the service of the public could scrutinize the science, in the interest of the taxpaying public, who paid for, and hence who owns the science. “The science” here is not only whether or not Arctic sea ice has melted, in any unprecedented or unusual manner in the late 20th century, whether or not the late 20th century showed unusual warming of the surface air and ocean, etc., but whether this can be conclusively shown to be a result of AGW

    9. given its very nature, science is self-auditing in a way that over time far surpasses anything one might honestly wish to impose on it;
    Response: As long as there are hundreds of millions (if not trillions) of dollars of carbon taxes (direct or indirect) at stake the alleged “self-auditing” nature of the supporting science becomes suspect. Your statement only holds as long as the science is not “agenda driven”

    10. simply given the “analysis” that has been offered of the emails so far, the auditing that climate “skeptics” would seek to impose upon climatology would appear to be that of quote-mining passages of text, cherry-picking of data and continually receding goal-posts of demands, that it would be akin to Young Earth Creationists auditing evolutionary biology;
    Response: A weak and totally unfounded analogy; this has absolutely nothing to do with creationism, just insistence on good science

    11. any serious attempt to impose the sort of “transparency” that climate “skeptics” would seek to impose upon science would, by the very nature of the cognitive division of labor that exists within science, bring climatology to a grinding halt;
    Response: Your unsubstantiated opinion. I am of the opinion that complete transparency and openness to independent audit in science are paramount.

    12. that in fact there is a close correspondence between Watergate and Climategate — in that theft was attempted in both cases in the attempt to discover material that could be twisted and made to appear questionable;
    Response: The Watergate whistle-blower (Deep Throat) was not prosecuted for leaking confidential information, nor were the Washington Post reporters who published this leaked information. Your opinion that the “theft” was made “in the attempt to discover material that could be twisted and made to appear questionable” is conjectural. Watergate exposed improper and illegal actions by individuals in power in the public service. Whether or not Climategate will expose manipulated data, sloppy science, or outright illegal destruction or withholding of tax-payer funded information under the FOIA is still open

    13. the major difference between Watergate and Climategate in that in the latter it is the victims rather than the perpetrators of the crime that are being put on trial.
    Response: A rather one-sided opinion. Whistle-blowers have exposed many questionable, fraudulent and outright illegal acts and are protected under law in the UK as well as the USA. It may turn out that the “victims” were actually the tax-paying public, who paid for good climate science but got skewed data and personal opinions instead

    The “tobacco company” analogy is ludicrous, Timothy. Stick with the topic, rather than going off on irrelevant waffles.

    Max

  26. 576
    Didactylos says:

    manacker, whistleblowers don’t steal data and hack mailservers and websites. Given that you have failed to get even the basics right, I don’t think the rest of your recycled claims are worthy of comment.

  27. 577
    Jim Prall says:

    CNN is running a week-long series “Global Warming: Trick or Truth?” While they are getting some good sound bites from top scientists like Ken Caldeira, Michael Oppenheimer and Peter Liss, they are also giving plenty of air time and credibility to hard-core climate contrarians.
    One segment that really made me blink was a discussion with Dr. Oppenheimer, Stephen McIntyre *and* Chris Horner of AEI. Huh? Two contrarians vs. one scientist? That’s not even false balance. Fortunately Dr. Oppenheimer is good on camera and came across well. The overviews by the anchors continue to get in the point that “scientists say the science is intact,” but the scurrilous snipers are getting plenty of air time.
    Let’s just keep one point in mind: there is no ‘decline’ to ‘hide’ in the ‘real temps’ since 1960, only the tree-ring proxies. We can stress that Prof. Briffa used the ‘real temps’ in preference to the problematic tree-rings – real data from over 10,000 surface stations that show a real increase.
    If you view clips of FauxNews quoting ‘hide the decline’, they’re tossing in the words ‘in temperature’ – which is *not* what the email says, but it’s what all their base want it to say.

  28. 578
    Mike says:

    @575 manacker

    3. You are confusing lobbying with research. Hmm…

  29. 579
    Firkas says:

    manacker, do read the book “Doubt is their product”,

    http://books.google.com/books?id=J0P3IdSYO_MC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    Have a look at chapter 14.

    More links,
    http://www.amazon.com/Doubt-Their-Product-Industrys-Threatens/dp/019530067X
    http://thepumphandle.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/david-michaels-speaks-at-google/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_controversy

    You are part of “Doubt is their product”, indirectly (doing it for free!?!) or directly (getting a buck out of it).

  30. 580
    ccpo says:

    Max, you’re bizarre, dude.

    1. a crime was committed by the hackers;
    Response: This depends on whether or not the whistle-blowers are protected under the UK (or US) whistle-blower protection law

    You know for a fact it was whistle blowers? All the way from Russia, with love? You are using declarative statements that they were whistle-blowers. Must be in on it? BTW, W-B laws don’t apply to ideology.

    2. the stolen emails were released in a way that indicates the attempt to disrupt the Copenhagen conference rather than permit any meaningful investigation of their contents;
    Response: A matter of opinion. It could have been simply to expose the weakness of the AGW premise

    Foolishly argumentative.

    3. the fossil fuel industry is lobbying Washington at roughly fourteen to one compared to environmentalists;
    Response: This claim is blatantly false – the taxpayer funding for climate research in support of the AGW premise as promulgated by IPCC far exceeds any funding by the fossil fuel industry for research to prove the contrary

    Completely, bizarrely non-responsive. He said lobbying. As in lobbyists. And is is demonstrably accurate. Last I heard some months ago was 8 – 1. Guess it’s gone up.

    4. similar crimes against climatologists are being committed elsewhere, including security breaches and the theft of computers in Canada;
    Response: An unsubstantiated claim, but it has nothing to do with Climategate in any case

    Let me get this straight. 1. You know who hacked the EAU e-mails, and that they were insiders. 2. You know who hacked the folks in Canada and that they aren’t connected to the EAU e-mails. Got that about right? I’ll let Interpol know you’ve solved both cases…

    5. to the best of our knowledge no paper was ever affected by the errors in the code;
    Response: Your knowledge may not be so conclusive (see the BBC report I cited)

    No, you are making the claims. Show where the papers are substantively wrong because of a coding error.

    6. regarding CRU, other temperature records (including satellite records) are available and show virtually identical temperature trends;
    Response: Not “virtually identical”. The satellite (tropospheric) record shows a slower warming trend than the surface record, even though the GH theory indicates that it should be more rapid

    I’ll leave the science to the scientists, but again you’re making a ridiculous comment. Purely argumentative. They ALL show the warming you and your ilk have been told doesn’t exist. They are, for the purposes of determining whether warming is occurring and whether it is anthropogenic vitually identical. Why pretend you didn’t understand the point? It’s childish.

    7. those who would set themselves up as qualified, disinterested auditors of the science of climatology are neither qualified nor disinterested;
    Response: A matter of opinion. Is Steve McIntyre, for example, financially beholden to anyone (such as IPCC), or is he an independent operator (bring evidence for your response)? His qualifications as a statistician are unquestioned.

    Unquestioned by whom? RealClimate and other climate scientists have pointed out a number of FUBAR examples of his “unquestioned” skills. And in peer-reviewed literature, to boot. A mistake you are making now and that he has made in the past is the assumption that it’s all numbers. McIntyre may know numbers, but because he doesn’t know climate, he doesn’t use the numbers correctly.

    Can you explain why there are so few climate scientists that are deniers?

    8. given the nature of the cognitive division of labor that exists within science, no individual or centralized authority would have available the information, knowledge or skills necessary to audit the science;
    Response: A matter of opinion. A group of independent auditors acting in the service of the public could scrutinize the science

    So, not only do we have to pay the climate scientists, we now have to train and pay an entire new set of them to check the work of the first set? Are you out of your mind? When you cannot point to any paper, peer-reviewed or not, that in any way overturns what we know of climate science, how do you have the gall to suggest such an effort and expense is justified? Absurd.

    …but whether this can be conclusively shown to be a result of AGW

    It is conclusive. Show how it isn’t. Refute the science. Your assertion it isn’t proven means nothing. Sun? No. Sun spots? No. Clouds? No. Cow farts? No. What, then? What do you not understand about “unequivocal?”

    9. given its very nature, science is self-auditing in a way that over time far surpasses anything one might honestly wish to impose on it;
    Response: As long as there are hundreds of millions (if not trillions) of dollars of carbon taxes (direct or indirect) at stake the alleged “self-auditing” nature of the supporting science becomes suspect.

    1. What about those paid by Exxon, et al? Not suspect? All the crap you believe is directly or indirectly tied to that money. All of it. Why does that motivation not matter to who you think is worth listening to?

    2. Your statement necessarily implies that all climate science is suspect since the understanding of the effects of CO2 are over 100 years old. The rest of the basic underpinnings occurred long before carbon credits were ever discussed. Let me say this slowly: if all the basic science existed before the carbon credit system, how can it be tainted? For chrissakes…

    Oh, and the Big Boogey Man, Hansen? He’s against carbon credits and for a tax that goes 100% back to the public. Go figure…

    10. simply given the “analysis” that has been offered of the emails so far, the auditing that climate “skeptics” would seek to impose upon climatology would appear to be that of quote-mining passages of text, cherry-picking of data and continually receding goal-posts of demands, that it would be akin to Young Earth Creationists auditing evolutionary biology;
    Response: A weak and totally unfounded analogy; this has absolutely nothing to do with creationism, just insistence on good science

    I am non-plussed at your GIGO style of debate. The analogy wasn’t of the topics, but of the processes. And they are related. Most denialists, and their funders, are conservative christians.

    11.

    Too ridiculous to even bother answering.

    12. Your opinion that the “theft” was made “in the attempt to discover material that could be twisted and made to appear questionable” is conjectural.

    False. It is the observed result of the hacking.

    13. the major difference between Watergate and Climategate in that in the latter it is the victims rather than the perpetrators of the crime that are being put on trial.
    Response: A rather one-sided opinion. Whistle-blowers

    Wrong. Again, observable fact. The scientists are on trial for doing nothing more than try to resist asinine interference in doing their jobs. As for whistle-blowers, you have not shown a single shred of evidence of the involvement of a would be whistle-blower, so stop claiming it. The hack came from a shack in Russia, not CRU.

    The “tobacco company” analogy is ludicrous, Timothy. Stick with the topic, rather than going off on irrelevant waffles.

    How are undeniable facts of history irrelevant? Not only are some (many?) of the same people involved, it’s the same tactics by many of the same people, Singer first and foremost. Are you claiming there is no connection between tobacco denial and AGW denial? If so, you are either lying or naive beyond description.

  31. 581

    Max: OK, BPL, here’s an example that will make it easier for you to understand

    BPL: I understand what you’re saying perfectly well. I’m just pointing out that the data doesn’t say what you think it says, and you’re too ignorant about data analysis to understand why.

    Let me try to explain in a way even you can understand. Statistical equations–like a linear regression of temperature against time–are not like equations in algebra. If Y = 2 X + 3, you can always solve for X and get your original data again, with no loss of information. You cannot do that with a statistical equation. A statistical equation is uncertain, and the smaller your sample size, the more uncertain it is. A statistical equation comes with error bars. The fact that you find Y going up with X, or Y going down with X, doesn’t mean anything if the error bars on your coefficient include zero. An increase or decline is only a TREND if it’s statistically significant. Yours isn’t.

  32. 582

    Rod B: BPL (550), really good tap dance!

    BPL: It’s called “knowing what you’re talking about.” Which you clearly do not.

  33. 583
    Tuomo says:

    I wrote “Most tree-ring studies don’t adjust for the age of the tree. The width and density of the tree ring are related to both how many years old that particular tree was when it grew the ring in question and what kind of year that year was. (In some other field, these are called the cohort and year effects.)”

    [Response: Not true at all. All the RCS chronologies for instance fit a growth curve for trees in that region and only use the residuals for climate proxies. Older studies did this too but in ways that did not preserve any potential long term climate effects. – gavin]

    I agree that regional curve standardization (that uses the age of the tree when the ring was grown) does control for the age effect properly. This is not new in Grudd’s paper, perhaps it is the dominant method. As you can see, I am not familiar enough with these research — that’s one of the reasons why I am here!

  34. 584
    JBowers says:

    manacker says:
    8 December 2009 at 3:11 AM”The “tobacco company” analogy is ludicrous, Timothy. Stick with the topic, rather than going off on irrelevant waffles.”

    I say, your assertion that there has been no attempt by special interests to derail the discussion of climate change and sow doubt and confusion is a hundred times more ludicrous.

    Here’s one mere example:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2009/jul/01/bob-ward-exxon-mobil-climate

    But, then, he’s a scientist, so I doubt you can possibly trust what he says. For anyone seriously interested in the subject of climate change, and to have not known of these shenanigans, you would need to have been living on the moon for the last decade.

    At least English MP Chris Huhne has been here on Earth:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo061012/debtext/61012-0013.htm

    “On that point, I ask the Secretary of State to consider what to do about the remaining climate change deniers, who include multinational corporations. Although ExxonMobil, for example, no longer denies global warming outright, it funds institutions and websites that do. Judged by its actions, not its words, it is a climate change-denying organisation, and it has been treating some reputable bodies pretty badly. I said recently that the Royal Society had pointed out that ExxonMobil was still funding climate change-denying organisations such as the International Policy Network and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The IPN is the organisation whose executive director, Mr. Morris, popped up so long ago with a poisonous and personal attack on Sir David King, the chief scientific adviser, as having no status in the debate because he was not a climate scientist. I do not know how much ExxonMobil thought that nasty bit of attempted character assassination was worth, but Mr. Morris ludicrously described Sir David as

    “an embarrassment to himself and an embarrassment to his country”,

    and the Royal Society calculates that overall ExxonMobil spent $2.9 million on such outfits last year alone.

    The Royal Society’s letter says that

    “ExxonMobil last year provided more than $2.9 million to organisations in the United States which misinformed the public about climate change through their websites.”

    Exxon’s director of corporate affairs, Mr. Nick Thomas, rang me and said that the author of the letter to ExxonMobil had left the Royal Society. I asked whether he had been sacked, and Mr. Thomas said that he could not possibly comment, but it was clearly significant. The implication was left hanging in the air. When I checked, I found that Bob Ward, the senior manager at the Royal Society, had been promoted into another job. The Royal Society is standing by every word that he wrote, as it made clear in a subsequent press release attempting to deal with internet rumours.

    I ask the House: should we be buying fuel from people such as ExxonMobil? I do not want even indirectly to be helping to fund bodies such as the International Policy Network and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. I do not think that the Government should do so either, if only as a tribute to the sterling work of Sir David King, so I hope that Government procurement of fuel oil no longer uses Esso or Exxon. ExxonMobil is surely the irresponsible and unacceptable face of capitalism, to borrow a phrase. Perhaps Ministers could tell us what they propose to do, if only to protect the reputations of their own distinguished employees.”

  35. 585

    Tuomo: How do you know whether temperature is causing co2 or co2 temperature and by how much?

    BPL: Granger causality tests. And physics.

    Tuomo: Now, suppose that we can get an accurate series of something that changes temperature but doesn’t directly change co2. Say some sort of record of sun’s radiation. That will allow us to isolate variation in temperature that was not caused by co2 and record the response in the system to a pure temperature shock. I guess climate science calls these “forcings.”

    Am I on the right track?

    BPL: Yes, very much so! You’re talking about a statistical procedure called multiple regression, where one “dependent” variable Y, say temperature anomalies, is matched against a number of “independent” variables X2, X3, etc. (X1 is a stand-in for Y used to compute the “regression intercept”). The independent variables might be ln CO2, solar constant, dust veil index, PDO index, etc. Annual figures for these are publicly available going way back. For CO2 we have direct measurements since 1959 and ice core measurements for hundreds of thousands of years before that; for solar constant (“TSI” for Total Solar Irradiance) we have direct measurements back to the ’60s and so-called proxy reconstructions going back centuries. PDO index goes back to 1900, dust veil index to antiquity (although the present list needs to be extended forward past 1995, which is when the last revision I know of was done).

    I did such a regression recently, for the period 1900-2007, extending DVI by assuming it to be zero for 1996-2007 (probably not too far off since there were no large volcanoes in that time). I found that ln CO2 accounted for 73% of variance and everything else together accounted for another 9%. The solar contribution was statistically insignificant.

    If you want to run the numbers yourself, I have many of them available on my climatology site:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Climatology.html

    Others are available on the web from places such as NASA GISS, Hadley Centre CRU, NOAA, the US Geological Survey, Japan Meteorological Agency, etc.

  36. 586

    BW: If you want help the world, seriously, get with Ralph Nader – He has done more for humanity than you have.

    BPL: I liked him until he threw the 2000 election to Bush. Then I stopped listening to him.

  37. 587
    SecularAnimist says:

    manaker wrote: “This depends on whether or not the whistle-blowers are protected under the UK (or US) whistle-blower protection law …”

    That is a blatantly dishonest statement, given that there is absolutely NO evidence — ZERO, NONE AT ALL — that there were any “whistle-blowers” involved in the theft of the emails by hackers.

    Nor is there any evidence in any of the emails that there was anything untoward or improper, let alone illegal, to “blow the whistle” on.

    On the other hand, there IS evidence that whoever stole the emails — or received them from the thieves — sat on them for several months and then deliberately released them just before Copenhagen, to the accompaniment of an obviously well-prepared and well-orchestrated media barrage of distortion, innuendo and outright lies about the contents of the emails.

    Your dishonest pretense that this was the act of “whistle-blowers” is laughable and is certainly fooling no one here.

  38. 588

    What “mkp” in “mkpcorrelation” stands for?

    []s,

    Roberto Takata

    [Response: ‘Make’ ‘p'(earson?) ‘correlation’ I would guess. – gavin]

  39. 589
    grumpy software architect says:

    Seems like Max is trying to drown out everyone else. He reminds me of someone I knew a long time ago who had spent a little too much time living in a “therapeutic community”, the result being that his usual approach had been honed, through long practice sessions, to be apparently calm, reasonable, larded with deep human concern for his interlocutors, and unshakably rooted in a parallel universe where he, and only he, possessed any virtue or awareness of the true facts. His comments at #575 for example:

    #1 assumes on no evidence whatsoever the existence of whistleblowers
    #2 assumes that the emails were not released by a whistleblower (“expose the weakness of the AGW premise” is hardly whistleblowing in the legal sense that he and others refer to, and that is inconsistent with #1)
    #3 unsubstantiated claim
    #4 complains that his respondent makes an unsubstantiated claim (prefers to ignore media reports on the goings on in Canada, an interesting desire for substantiation given his preparedness to run with other gibberish)
    #5 unsubstantiated claim, appeal to authority at the BBC (want to bet that his regard for the BBC’s authority is selective?), utter cluelessness about how science works in practice
    … et cetera et cetera…

    Some interesting nuttiness in what he is saying though, that scientists will in some sense benefit from carbon taxes (the statement about agenda driven science does not seem likely, its more likely that big businesses will eventually work out how to make money out of it or that governments will become dependent on the revenue flow in the way that some are for gambling tax revenue). Perhaps he thinks that the representatives of large corporations are more trustworthy than the scientists he regards as being influenced by large amounts of off-in-the-future tax dollars collected by someone else and spent on someone else? Could it possibly be something else? Could it possibly be that corporations have an interest in avoiding these taxes? Heavens! How could anyone suggest such a thing!

    Regarding his “group of independent auditors acting in the service of the public”: how their work is quality controlled is an interesting issue (yes, auditing does need to be quality controlled itself) and a related issue: how you keep the nutters out of a group like that? This is a topic that attracts crazies, perhaps he thinks that candidates might be rounded up by a government agency, who send them to him to be interviewed? Just the ticket, a government department to decide whether the rest of climatology is wrong. How does this kind of wholly loopy “we don’t need to understand the issues and methodologies, we don’t need to understand what is important, we only need to check the source code/numbers” idea keep re-surfacing? Presumably the auditors will not be climate scientists because that would be just reproducing the way that science works now and he clearly doesn’t want that. An open mind and a good dose of ignorance perhaps? We have some of that already and it is having little to no impact on the science other than soaking up time and effort of people who are actually working in the field dealing with ignorance or trivial corrections.

    Then, more talismanic invocations of “transparency” (his assumption is that any scientific analysis is only ever done once so getting it wrong means its wrong forever, and also seemingly that scientists do not actively compete with each other) and more inventing of entirely unsubstantiated whistleblowers. I am mostly surprised that he did not use the term “falsifiable”, that would have completed the picture nicely, but perhaps he will get around it it later (or maybe I missed it earlier).

    His objection to the tobacco company reference: too close to the mark or is he just that ignorant of the history?

  40. 590
    eco says:

    There appears to be some confusion in a comment above about the relevance of the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act.

    Under 43B (3) it states “A disclosure of information is not a qualifying disclosure if the person making the disclosure commits an offence by making it.”

    If hacking was involved, one might presume that an offence has been committed and therefore any disclosure or disclosures arising from such hacking would not constitute a protected disclosure(s) under the meaning of the Act.

    Furthermore, a test of GOOD FAITH would need to be applied.

    Is it clear that the hacker(s), if such exist and if the alleged theft did involve hacking, was(were) acting in good faith and committed no offence? If the materials were stolen physically, again the question arises as to whether the alleged thefts were carried out in good faith.

    Overall, if seems rather odd to me that the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act should be invoked in this situation. UK legislation that does seem to be more appropriate is that of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which defines an emergency.

    Under Part 1 (1) there is defined:

    “In this Part “emergency” means—

    (a) an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom,

    (b) an event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom, or

    (c) war, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom”

    It should be noted that the UK has enacted world leading legislation to tackle climate change, and has/is introducing a wide range of regulatory frameworks and national planning systems. The question arises as to whether the alleged theft and release of the CRU properties were designed to undermine the UK’s efforts to protect its environmental security, and consequential to that, to protect critical infrastructures, such as may be at risk at the coast due to potential sea level rise.

    To my mind, a very serious act may have been committed that strikes at the heart of UK national security and the continued discharge by HM Government of duties of care to the UK public and other stakeholders.

  41. 591
    t_p_hamilton says:

    Tuomo said”Yeah, I kind of winged it when I wrote it. But you get the point though. If you are trying to estimate a complex system of two variables, say co2 and temperature, then finding exogenous variation in either variable or preferably both variables is going to make the estimation problem a whole lot easier.

    Suppose you write down the stochastic differential equations for temperature and co2. Then you try to estimate those from long-term “proxy” histories, which are effectively time-aggregated observations. That’s a really difficult estimation problem if one can identify exogenous variation in both temperature and co2 (or at least one). How do you know whether temperature is causing co2 or co2 temperature and by how much?”

    Are you talking paleoclimate or industrial age? In the modern age, we can determine that change in CO2 is from combustion and land use change by the extremely difficult process of “looking”.

    It is not so complicated that an applet can’t be programmed for it (assuming a consensus CO2 sensitivity of about 3 degrees C for doubling CO2):
    http://carboncycle.aos.wisc.edu/

    See the specific explanations and references to the scientific literature under each tab. The issue is not how difficult it is (which may sound like a reason to think it hasn’t been done to the ignorant), but whether it has been done.

  42. 592
    SecularAnimist says:

    Moderators, is it really necessary to provide a forum for such blatant, sneering, gloating, cynical, deliberate dishonesty as that with which “manacker” is spamming this thread?

    The fossil fuel industry’s zombie army of brainwashed Ditto-Head deniers are already turning every public forum where AGW is discussed into a sewer of lies and vicious attacks on the “world conspiracy of climate scientists” that would make Goebbels proud.

    Is that to be the fate of RealClimate’s comment pages? To become just another venue for the arrogant, belligerent deceit and ignorance of the deniers and their dupes? In the name of “openness” to “skepticism”?

  43. 593
    Timothy Chase says:

    manacker wrote in 575:

    You stated your personal opinion on Climategate (568), so I will respond with mine.

    Manacker, I wasn’t making arguments in 568: I was listing the arguments that I had made in 527 and 528, arguments oftentimes with links to the relevant supporting material, other times arguments that I made in considerable detail or had dealt with in greater detail in the comments before.

    You ignored them. Naysaying the mere list at this point amounts to nothing. Just more manufactured doubt.

  44. 594
    Timothy Chase says:

    Philip Machanick wrote in 574:

    Timothy Chase #568: you raise good points. Note also how tobacco companies included in their strategy causing confusion about other areas of science so that their astroturfing couldn’t easily be tracked back to them, as revealed for example by George Monbiot in his book Heat (some details on my blog).

    Unfortunately I haven’t read Heat as of yet, but currently I am getting into Climate Cover-Up by Hogan and Littlemore.

    *

    There is a fair amount of information on the people and organizations involved in the doubt industry, particularly on the web.

    Naomi Oreskes details some of this in:

    The American Denial of Global Warming
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

    She points out that Frederick Seitz was involved in the denial of the link between tobacco and cancer in the 1970s and 1980s and of course more recently played a significant role in denying a connection between carbon dioxide and global warming. She likewise points out that S. Fred Singer who has been at work denying anthropogenic global warming was involved in the denial of the link between environmental tobacco smoke in the 1990s, the connection of sulfur and nitrogen to acid rain and CFCs to the ozone hole.

    For more on Seitz and Singer I would suggest:

    Frederick Seitz
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Frederick_Seitz

    S. Fred Singer
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Fred_Singer

    She also mentions the George C. Marshall Institute and Alexis de Tocquerville Institute as having been involved in the both the tobacco and AGW denial campaigns.

    Anyway, for those who are interested, here is some background information on organizations involved in both campaigns:

    Alexis de Tocquerville Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Alexis_de_Tocqueville_Institution
    *
    Competitive Enterprise Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=CEI

    Competitive Enterprise Institute And Global Warming
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Competitive_Enterprise_Institute/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute_And_Global_Warming
    *
    George C. Marshall Institute
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio
    *
    Heartland Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute

    … and here are a couple of larger papers worth looking at:

    How to Manufacture Public Doubt: Analysis of the public relations techniques used by the Climate Denial Industry
    http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/global%20warming%20denial%20industry%20PR%20techniques%20report%20March%202009.pdf

    Scientists’ Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science
    http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html

    Philip Machanick wrote in 574:

    This gets me wondering: do we have enough info to go after the fossil fuel industry with a class action suit, to recover damages arising from their sabotage of effective action on climate change? We are not talking about a small matter like tobacco here, where only a few tens of millions of people died unnecessary and horrible deaths. Half a billion people are at risk from loss of water from the Himalayan glaciers alone.

    The science certainly exists, and there is industry documentation in the public sphere — and the IRS 990s, for example.

  45. 595
    Timothy Chase says:

    CORRECTION to the above

    The link for the George C. Marshall Institute should have been:

    George C. Marshall Institute
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=George_C._Marshall_Institute

  46. 596
    Ron Taylor says:

    Manacker, there is nothing ludicrous about the tobacco analogy. Check out the common PR firm, strategy and spokespersons. You can do it.

  47. 597
    Hank Roberts says:

    Max Acker teaches the doubt, once yet more again. All doubt, all the time, on every point, with no citations to factual sources. The guy’s like an entire advertising company slapping up PR posters.

  48. 598
    Rod B says:

    Philip Machanick (574), there ya go! If you want answers, follow the money. Always.

  49. 599
    Justin Waits says:

    “post hoc ergo propter hoc.”

    If the planet is 4.5 billion years old, how can we predict how its climate will behave by studying a small amount of data from a mere 10,000 or even 1 million years, if it were available? This seems to me to be like predicting what I will have for breakfast on July 10, 2011 by how many times I sneezed last week. I agree that the climate is changing, but it seems to me that that is what climates do. We will never have a static climate, and to believe that we can control it by affecting one variable seems foolish.

  50. 600
    Rod B says:

    Didactylos (576), a side bar: why on earth would you say whistle-blowers don’t steal data, etc??? (I’m assuming that a legally protected whistle-blower has to be connected to the organization, not just any outsider.)