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December 07, 2009

Trust the Scientists on Carbon, Even If They're Not Really Scientists

California imposed tough new standards on buses and trucks to fight CO2 ("The Invisible Killer").

The "lead scientist" putting together the report that urged this, and a member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), was a Ph.D. in statistics, so he's a scientist and can weigh in on global warming.

Odd, isn't it, that Ph.D. in statistics makes you an expert in global warming when your're on the leftist side, but makes you inexpert and entirely without standing to say anything at all when you're a "denialist," like McKittrick and McIntyre.

So there's the story: A guy who's not a scientist by their definition of "scientist" is imposing a hugely costly regulatory scheme on California, despite only being a Ph.D. in statistics.

Except that's not the story; that's just typical hypocrisy in credentialism, selective credentialism. The only thing that you need to be an expert in global warming is a zealous belief in global warming.

The story is that he's not a Ph.D. in statistics, unless you count a mail-order diploma mill for purposes of a Ph.D.

They hid this fact from other members of the board, even after discovering the fraud. They took the vote anyway and covered it up. Now members of the board are crying foul and asking for a re-vote.

There are calls to suspend California's statewide Truck and Bus Rule because of allegations that research behind the legislation was tainted.

Members of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have taken to the media to request that the board suspend the truck rule, which would require exhaust filter retrofits and engine upgrades starting in 2011 and the replacement of pre-2010 model engines between 2012 to 2022.

CARB members Ron Roberts and Dr. John Telles allege that CARB had tried to cover up that the lead scientist and coordinator of the research used to justify the new emissions rules, had lied about holding a Ph.D. in statistics.

Hien T. Tran's Ph.D. was the mail-order version, according to local media reports, and senior CARB officials were aware that his falsified credentials before voting on the truck retrofit legislation.

Telles, a cardiologist on the board, wrote a letter to the air board's chief counsel, saying CARB staff failed to meet its "ethical if not legal obligation" to provide all board members with pertinent information before a vote on a state regulation.

Like Telles, Roberts is generally in favor of the rule, but admonished how it was achieved. He penned a 750-word guest commentary in the San Diego Union-Tribune last week, alerting the public to the cover-up.


A "stupid" "distraction" and "not a real scandal." Gee, that's sounding like a bit of a chorus (x4, improvise and fade-out).

Beginning with two editorials in late December 2008, this editorial page repeatedly has criticized the California Air Resources Board for its headline-hunting decision to adopt unprecedentedly sweeping and costly diesel-emission rules at its meeting earlier that month. Soon after that meeting, we had confirmed that Hien Tran – lead author and coordinator of the study justifying the rules – lied about having a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California Davis.

Our subsequent reporting showed senior air board officials from Chairwoman Mary Nichols down knew of Tran’s academic fraud before the Dec. 12, 2008, vote but chose not to inform the public, the media or most of the board members who voted for the diesel rules.

The outrageousness of this deceit is finally being acknowledged. One of the board members who was kept in the dark – Fresno cardiologist John Telles – learned of the deception earlier this fall. Now Telles and another board member, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, are calling for suspension of the diesel rules.

But the reaction from the agency’s hierarchy and board members to this common-sense request has been obtuse to the extreme.

Chief Counsel Ellen M. Peter told Telles that the board officials’ failure to reveal the deception before the Dec. 12 vote didn’t amount to a violation of proper procedures.

In a letter he co-wrote that was published in the Union-Tribune, board member John Balmes – who was informed of Tran’s fraud by e-mail on Dec. 11, 2008, and failed to tell Telles and other colleagues about it – rejected all criticism of the air board for its actions in the Tran matter. But in an e-mail to Telles, he said “in retrospect” the Tran report should have been withdrawn – which can’t be reconciled with his public comments.

Nichols is worst of all. In an e-mail to Telles, she acknowledged Tran’s fraud was “illegal and unethical” and apologized for not disclosing it to the full board before the vote. But she characterized the matter as a “distraction” and a “stupid personnel problem” – not a real scandal.

Trust scientists who shriek about global warming, even if they're not scientists, even if they're frauds, because if they believe in global warming, they are scientists worthy of your trust.

'Round these moron parts we call that a tautology. And not just a tautology, but a tautology that depends on another flaw in reason, the appeal to authority. An appeal that's not only logically invalid but entirely false in this case.

Thanks to KarenM.


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posted by Ace at 04:41 PM

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